Friday, May 2, 2014

I have been sewing a lot more than I have been blogging lately. (You would hope so, right?) 
I have been battling a respiratory thing along with my kids for upwards of a month, which is horrifying to say. I try to boost our immune systems and eat healthy foods but we are really having a hard time shaking it. It seems like it is not just us though; the wacky weather of this spring is catching up with a lot of folks around us as well. My point here is however, that I have been spending a lot more time sleeping at night than I usually do. And when I find some time to work on something, it is either outside in the yard / garden; cleaning the house; or SEWING. Not spending time on the computer. I knew blogging was going to be a challenge for me because I don't enjoy screen time very much (with a key exception being Game of Thrones) and am usually trying to limit it more than expand it. But the online sewing community is so inspiring and motivating and educational that I can't help myself. 
I am going to try to post at least once a week for the rest of the year. 
There, I said it. So now that it is in writing perhaps it will come true. 

So here is a project I finished last month. And a major reason I love to sew. Look at that fabric! Isn't it fabulous? I made Althea some overalls to replace a pair that she has grown out of. 
I used an outdoor fabric from JoAnn's. I love that stuff! They have so many amazing prints. And the fabric is very sturdy without being too stiff or heavy. Perfect for this project (and another project I will share soon!) So when it was on sale a while back I couldn't resist. 
I drafted the overalls myself by looking at the pair she already had. I included front slash pockets:
and a pocket in the middle of the bib. 
I learned a few things along the way. 
#1: Installing those big buttons for the overall hardware is fun: you wack away at it with a hammer. Those buttons are pretty heavy duty however, and even though I used a sturdy fabric, I should have had more layers where the buttons are; next time I would either line the whole bib or use a wide hem or facing on the top so there are more layers of fabric at the buttons. 
#2: I need to keep reminding myself: Flat felled seams are wonderful but very difficult to install on the inside of a garment with narrow room to work like a sleeve or leg hole! That's what french seams are for. Or does anyone have other suggestions for a favorite inseam stitch?
#3: My original bib pattern pieces was way too small. See how low it is on her chest here?
 That led to the straps falling off of her shoulders constantly; plus it looks a little funny. So I removed the bib and added about a 4" strip of fabric to it. Which made it way too big (but I didn't want to be too small again!). So then I folded it down and basted it at the proper height; now if she starts to grow out of them, I can just rip that basted seam and adjust. Ta da!
#4: I got a little lucky with the width of the top of the bib; that is a measurement that I should have paid more attention to. If that is too wide or narrow, the straps won't stay put on their shoulders very well. I was considering adding a strip of elastic between the shoulder straps in the back, but once I added the extra length to the bottom of the bib, they began to stay put better. They are still a little wider than ideal on Althea (above, 2 yrs). The straps hit her 4 year old sister perfectly (below), although the inseam is a bit short on her!
She is a goof, but she is a much more willing model than little sister!
  So of course, now that I made them, Althea is growing into a phase of needing to wear a pink dress every day so that she can be Sleeping Beauty. She introduced herself as Sleeping Beauty to a friendly stranger the other day. Perhaps there will be a new pink dress in her future.

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