No, not a sewer (soo-wah) which is connected to the toilet but one who sews (soh-wah). 😉 I guess that’s why they use the word tailor or seamstress instead. 😉
My kids are doing their level best to grow out of all of their clothes at the moment. Jasper is now 5 and is growing up fast, both in body and mind. He’s a tall but rather slim boy so finding things long enough and small enough around the waist can be challenging. Allegra has decided that she now does wear dresses without a screaming fit whilst her equally stubborn mother jams her into one. 😉 So, this summer it’s all about dresses and floral patterns. Orik is pretty set for clothes as, being the hoarder that I am, he will inherit all of his older brothers clothes. He’s larger at this age though than Jasper was, just as tall but a far more solid unit so I’ll have to see what does and doesn’t fit.
Shopping and I are not friends. I don’t like the big chains, I don’t like the industries they support with their cheap products, the quality of which is reflected in the price and I don’t like having style dictated to me by others either. Those that know me well know I’m a
complete fashion queen that should be designing her own label, up with the latest fashions, an utter dag (of the fashion sense, not the sheep in need of crutching sense 😉 ) with no more fashion sense than a blind rabbit. 😉 I do appreciate vintage fashions, styles, fabrics and clothing though. It’s not unheard of for me to prance around the house in a 1950’s full-skirted dress. 🙂
In order to avoid the shops, and because I simply love doing it, I’ve been doing my level best to sew up new wardrobes for the kids. Over the years I’ve hoarded fabric remnants, bought fabric from op shops and I’ve also inherited a lot of beautiful fabrics from a friend as he passed me on his mothers stash of fabrics and patterns when she passed away. He also passed on scraps from his work (he worked in a large fashion house) so I have a lot of boxes of fabric currently cluttering up my new cupboards. As a hoarder I cannot bear to throw it out so the only other option really is to use it! 🙂 So, after some pattern consultation with Allegra, we chose some patterns and went searching through the stash.
I’d bought a stack of pillow cases a while back after seeing pillowcase dresses on Pinterest but I’d never got around to making them up. I realised yesterday that a pillowcase has enough fabric to make a simple pinny style dress for a 4-year-old with a wee bit less fullness in the skirt than the pattern dictates (not that you can tell) so Allegra is now the proud owner of a 1970’s fabric purple flowers pinafore dress. 😀
It needs a wash then an iron for it to settle into itself but I have a little girl desperate for a super hot day now. 🙂 I cheated a little on the shoulders though as my sewing machine is an older model so no fancy button holer and I suck at making button holes. I suck so much I’ve seriously contemplated hand sewing them. I have been practicing though.
Now I know my photos are blurry but seriously, have you ever tried to get an excited not quite 4-year-old to stand still long enough to snap a shot? These are the best I could get! Lynda, they’re almost as blurry as your tail-chasing Miss Tilly. 😉
Dress complete, what’s next. Ok, we need a blouse. One blouse coming up using a scrap of material from the friend. Just enough to make the sleeved pattern and using a little of stashed lace the sleeves are now suitably pretty for a little girl who is being a girly girl (this week at least ;)). Buttons found in the button tin, probably snipped off a shirt that was cut up for something else and pinned ready for button holing and sewing on.
Have you ever had a fitted sheet set where the fitted sheet has worn out or the elastic has gone and it’s too threadbare to make it worth repairing? What do you end up doing with the top sheets? Few people use flat sheets as bottom sheets in my experience as you can never buy fitted sheets at the op shop but the flat ones are everywhere and cheap as chips. 🙂 I bought a lovely pastel blue sheet, a couple of white ones and also a divine musky pink one (skirt for me there methinks 😉 ) most of which I’d sewed into another project that had never been finished. They were perfect size for cutting out kids clothes. Jas now has a pair of pajama shorts so I’ve cut out a sleeveless and a sleeved top to go with them and I’ll make up another pair of shorts too. 2 pairs of summer pajamas sorted. 😀 I also had several iron on motifs I’d bought years ago, from which Jasper chose 2 with which to decorate his pajamas.
I’ve also been given a top by my mum that she’d bought but didn’t like. I’m not sure I have a need for it so I’m debating if I cut them up for stripey leggings for Allegra. I think I can get 2 pairs out of it but cutting into a new top is worth thinking about a little longer before making the first cut. I know I have some more stretch fabric around though so Allegra will get herself some more leggings to wear under her new skirts and dresses when the weather isn’t so warm. I’m hoping to make her a coupe of pairs. 🙂 A barely worn but too small cardigan of mine has become a pair of winter leggings for Allegra now though.
Jas also needs some shorts for day wear so I’ll likely use the same pattern, make them a little narrower and longer and then find some more stashed fabric. 😀 I’ve also an old business shirt of Martin’s that is no good for work with the neck line frayed so I’m sure I can come up with a use for the fabric and some torn and worn out jeans that still contain usable sections. Waste not want not. 🙂
So far, aside from spending a little on the electricity to run both the machine and the overlocker (serger) including the price of the sheets and pillow cases I’ve spent a couple of bucks at best making these clothes.. I think they cost me$2 to fill a large shopping bag. Even the spools of thread were mostly free too so each outfit is probably costing at most $0.20 (plus electricity). 😀
The major advantages of using linen as fabric is that for kids, a pillow case is often all the fabric you need to make something. The older linen in vintage patterns is a darn sight cheaper than buying the equivalent vintage fabric (that stuff is pricey) and you get a wonderful variety in the linen too. And on a time-saving point, thrift store sheets have all been through the wash already. No pre-washing of fabric to prevent shrinkage (something I’m terrible at doing anyway – yes I know Ing ;)) or washing to get out any toxic nasties that may be there like in store-bought clothes. The colours are unlikely to run as they would have already done so ages ago and did I mention that it’s cheap? 😉
I’m sure the day will come when my kids resent wearing old bed sheets but for now, when they pay in the dirt in the garden and clothes get stained, torn and dirty I don’t plan to spend a small fortune on clothes to see them ruined within the day (it has happened). Until that day…