Archive for July, 2014



There were a couple days when I didn’t get much sewing done. Cutting and planning, yes. Sewing, no. Thursday was devoted to getting up super early, driving an hour to the city for Seth’s third eye surgery. Blah. Exhausting. And then driving home, and Seth sleeping, and playing every game in the house to keep Mark entertained until I could put him to bed and do nothing for a while. And not fall asleep. But for a short while that evening I went to a Clothes Swap with some fabulous women, and came home with a whole bag full of amazing new shirts! Most of them are for me, but a couple got thrown at me with the words, “I think Mark needs this.”

Mark did need them both, but both were way too big for him, so I figured it would be a perfect chance to do some redesigning! The other one you may hear about tomorrow. Today, I played with the lions!

Here’s what the shirt looked like to begin with:



Awesome, but came down to his knees. It would take years to grow into. But I knew right away it wanted to be a raglan. And now it is:

The green knit strikes again, this time as sleeves.

The green knit strikes again, this time as sleeves.

You may notice I got some cool tape. It looks cool, but does not stick – this is the only photo I could get before the shirt fell down many times.

But it’s cuter on Mark anyway. Selfishly, I got him super excited about it, he put it on, and we went to the Botanic Garden to take pictures. Selfish, because it’s so stupidly hot today. His face was dripping with sweat by the time we left. But look at the cuteness!


To make up for it, he’s now watching a movie in his underwear. In fact, I may or may not be blogging in my underwear and a Piggly Wiggly shirt. Classy, I know. It’s HOT.

Gosh, I love that shirt. And that boy.


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I have been meaning to participate in Kids Clothes Week forever! Or at least since the spring of 2009, which was when I discovered Elsie Marley (is it even necessary to link that? Is there anyone in the world of sewing and blogging who doesn’t already have Elsie Marley bookmarked?) But until now I’ve been too busy, or too disorganized, or my sewing machine was all packed away, or something.

For the last year now, though, I’ve been sewing things for Mark fairly consistently. Not as consistently as some amazing people, but I would say that at least once every couple of days he’s wearing at least one piece of clothing that I made. And they look good, and fit him and his personality, and wear well, and he likes them – which are all reasons that I’ve kept doing it. I even tackled sewing with knits! (And it was not a complete disaster.) So here I am, stepping up to the challenge, because I feel like I’m up to it!

And can I tell you about my recent victory? Yesterday I cut out the pieces for three shirts (you’ll see them soon, but that’s not the victory), piled them next to my sewing machine on my newly cleaned sewing table, like so:


Yes, I was so happy about this that I took a picture. But then I remembered…. the last time I used my sewing machine. To make myself a dress. At the very last minute. Before I had to drive an hour to get to the airport. A dress I really didn’t have to make, but had convinced myself I did. And right when I was trying to sew the gathered skirt onto the top (it was knit, of course), I realized the machine was refusing to zigzag. Like, only picking up the bobbin thread on one side of the zigzag. To make a long story short, the dress did get finished without the use of the zigzag, I nearly had a panic attack, and it will probably fall apart the next time I try to wear it. Which will not be for a really long time, because it has long sleeves and is floor length, and it’s the summer in Oklahoma.

So yes, I remembered that the zigzag was broken. And then, like a fucking epic hero, I fixed it.


Did I know anything about sewing machine repair? NO. Do I now? Actually, kinda yes. The internet helped. And support from Facebook. I was so pleased with myself. I still am. This is me, being super pleased, when it was finally zigzagging happily:

Photo on 7-20-14 at 8.37 PM

Then there was bedtime for the child, and whatnot, but basically, at midnight I could not wait to start making something. I ended up sewing a whole shirt! This is my first time making a Flashback Skinny Tee, and I know I’m late to the party, but wow! It’s both remarkably easy, and remarkably fun. It turned out pretty well, with a few glitches,


the glitches being mostly those two snags on the neckline – but since they were pretty symmetrical, I felt like I could live with them. But then (not in the middle of the night, but at a normal hour) I did this to it:



I had such a vision! This is a drawing that Mark did a while ago, that I’ve been carefully preserving for the very purpose of making t-shirts. I’ll probably have more to say about the drawing itself later – it’s a whole story. Anyway, this is NOT how I imagined it looking. I saw Meg’s post over at Oliver + S about using transfer paper, and I tried to find the same product. What I found was not what I was looking for. I thought just the image would transfer! But instead the paper itself just glues right onto the shirt. I HATE how it looks. So I’ve already started taking the shirt apart to redo it. And I learned from my mistakes, played with the coloring, added a border, trimmed the paper around it, and I think this is much better, though it’s still not my vision.


But I do like it better. A lot better. It’s for a different kid, if that’s not obvious. And actually neither of those were for my own kid, who I have yet to get to, though there will be another green tee coming down the line. Still haven’t figured out how I’m going to tinker with that one.

Also, I think I’ve spent at least six hours sewing today – trying to make up for later in the week, since Seth has a surgery on Thursday.

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