Sunday, April 29, 2012

KCWC Day 6 - Rainbow Monsters and Truck Trousers

Well, here we are on the last day of KCWC.  I'm still blogging a day behind, but I'm feeling a bit done.  I'll try to sew today and post a proper Day 7 post with a few straggler things I haven't finished up yet tomorrow.  But for right now I'm definitely feeling a sort of blissful exhaustion.  It's been a great week. Just what I needed to remind myself what I love to do in my spare hours. 

Adding to my feeling of success is the fact that 2 well known and crazy clever people have highlighted my work this week.  First the brilliant Dana from Made linked to Jonesie's rainbow raglan shirt! Then today Meg at elsiemarley, the ineffable organizer of this sewing freight train called KCWC linked to Beckett's robot shirt!  In a word... elation.  I mean, I would have felt proud either way, but it never hurts to get a pat on the back from people you respect so so much!

Anyway... onto Day 6:
I definitely owe a lot to the rainbow fabric.  I can't believe how much mileage I got out of it, and how much brightness and whimsy it adds to simple, simple things.  So yesterday I made 2 more shirts with it.  This time with icy blue jersey for the bodies.  I screen printed Beckett's monster (I saved the screen from last Fall) on them both.  The placement is a little too high on B's, but it'll do.
I also finished these corduroy trousers I've been plodding along on all week.  They're like the robot shorts, with lined pockets and trimmed hems.  B loves them.  He says they're so comfortable that he can't wear underpants with them, like pajamas.  Hmm... this could become a problem...
 My model was reluctant, as ever, so I have no pictures showing the back pockets, the length, or how well they fit his long, long legs.  I'm proud of these, they worked out better than the robot shorts.  The corduroy is soft and lightweight and the warm brown color is perfect with the bright cotton print.  If only I had a better photo to share, but alas... this is all I've got.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

KCWC Day 5 - The Rainbow Robot Raglan

As I mentioned before, the baseball tee has become a favorite for B.  Warmer arms, but no need to push up sleeves to experiment in water, dirt, sand, toilets etc.  I had a raglan for each boy on my to-sew list for KCWC, but now that I've discovered the super speed of making raglan tee- shirts, I may sneak in a few more before Sunday. So far though, this one is my favorite.  I actually made a little tee shirt and shorts set for Jonesie yesterday (Day 5) too, but this guy deserved a post all to himself. 
B is super proud.  He had a rough day at school yesterday, but I had this shirt ready for him by the time he got home.  The mood swing was abrupt and delightful.  Though he insists that I call it his "robot shirt" or his "color stripe shirt" not a "rainbow shirt."  He says he's not such a fan of rainbows, even if he really likes this fabric.
 It has rainbow stripe on the sleeves and back and gray on the front.  The robot is another freezer paper stencil.  The edges of the bottom edge and the edges of the sleeves are left raw.  I'd left them long enough to hem, but they roll up so nicely, so why bother? Beck insists that it makes them more comfy too.  This picture is lame, but it's the only one I snapped that shows the stripes on the back.
I think after KCWC is all wrapped up, and I take a quick breather, I'll post a tutorial for eyeballing this raglan pattern from an existing tee shirt. It's just so simple and I've had such a good time with the ones I made this week.
PS.  My kids don't actually play in toilets.  At least one of them doesn't.  The other very well might, if left to his own devices.  No governor on that little guy, but he knows how to have a good time.  He's way more fun the other 3 of us combined.  Still though, we try to stay away from commodes, as a general rule.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 4 - Freight Train Baseball Tee

Freight Train by Donald Crews is one of the most cherished books in our house.  I assume that's true in many, many homes across the world.  The kids are crazy for it, for obvious, vehicle worshipping reasons, but I adore the simple, modern illustrations.  It's a pleasure to read, even for the 300th time this month.  My favorite page has the city scape.  Clean, positive - negative shapes, skyscrapers and bridges.  It's just awesome.  And it's been screaming at me to be stenciled.  So, because I needed a breather and new needles for my sewing machine, I spent Day 4 with my old friends, x-acto and freezer paper. 
It turned out better than I'd expected.  Becks is thrilled, Jones is thrilled (he should probably get his own) and with Beckett's new-found adoration for baseball tees, I see this being a new favorite.  Not bad, for a no-sew day.

KCWC Day 3 - Robot Shorts and Stripe Tee

Day 3 was a doozy, I pulled off two items. Navy corduroy long shorts with robot linen details and a blue and white cotton tee with lime ribbing. The tee shirt was super quick, basic, easy.  Not as quick as the raglans I've been playing with this week, but still pretty painless.
 I have a confession, I started these robot trimmed pants way back last Fall during the last KCWC. Pathetic. They sat in a paper bag in my steamer trunk for all these months.  Fortunately, Becks tends to grow up and not out, so while they were now too short, they still fit in the waist.  So, I cropped them to below the knee, and finished them up. They're pretty cute, if I do say so myself.
The pockets are lined with the Kokka robot linen as well as the cuffs.  The waist is encased elastic, and the front has a top stitched faux fly.  Actually the whole shebang is top stitched like crazy.  It's time consuming, but I like the style.  Someone else likes it too. 
I think he was starting to think Jonesie was getting all the goods this week.  Little does he know, the big boy's list is double the toddler's list.  He wore this outfit to school today, which had me bursting.  Damn, it feels good to be productive.  I mean, not that I'm otherwise lazing about, but you just don't get the same sense of pride over a clean sink or folded hamper of underpants, agreed?

I'm behind, so I'm going to post my KCWC Day 4 progress report later tonight.  Check out all of the other darling kids clothes being whipped up over at the elsie marley flickr pool. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

KCWC Day 2 - Rainbow Raglan

I know I'm blogging a couple of days behind, but I'm keeping up with the sewing and that's saying something, right?  The house isn't even that big of a disaster, considering how divided my attentions have been.  However, we're getting down to the dregs of our take out dinner options. Pizza again, boys?
Anyway, on Tuesday, the real day 2 of KCWC, I made this raglan baseball tee for Jonesie.  It's the same made-up pattern as the Day 1 shirt, but with 3/4 length sleeves.  I just traced an existing shirt's sides and neckline, eyeballed the raglan angle at the shoulders, then made a sleeve pattern with the corresponding angle.  So simple. 
 I ordered this awesome primary rainbow stripe jersey here.  I'm such a fan.  I'll be making a few more items with it before the end of the week.  When you have a 5 year old that wears a size 7 or 8, your options for playful, young-hearted duds are pitifully limited.  It's all skulls, and camo.  So I'll definitely be making B some rainbow things in the next few days.
I'm having so much fun making sewing a priority this week.  It's great timing too, the boys have outgrown nearly everything in their closet, and at the rate I'm going they should both have a couple of new outfits for Spring. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

KCWC Day One

Hi all! Thank god it's KCWC. I needed a shot in the ass to overcome my recent doldrums. Nothing like 550 creative people working simultaneously on children's clothing to get you going. Or to make you feel like a total bum for not getting going sooner. Maybe both.

The pervasive strangeness that has plagued us Brewers these past months didn't let up for the pre-KCWC week. I was swamped. So I started the day with a minimal list, washed fabric and that's it. I hadn't made my patterns or cut anything, none of the things I thought I'd have gotten a jump start on.

Oh well, it's a truer test of the theory this way, right?

Well, I put in my hour today. It was rough going, both Little Brother (my sewing machine) and the Viking (my serger) were dusty, needed new needles, and all of the tensions and settings were jacked. Worse yet, it's been so long since I sewed anything, all of those dials and mechanisms were like alien technology to me. But I did my. due diligence, babied my machines a bit, and pushed through to a second hour.

The second hour became a maelstrom of newsprint, felt tip ink stained fingers and improvised patterns. I have to admit, as scatter brained as I can be while "drafting" patterns, this is one of my favorite parts of sewing. Oh, lovely, puzzle-y geometry

Anyway, despite how disorganized I felt all day, I snuck in a 3rd hour after bedtime, and actually made something. I made something!!! It seems simple, but I've been useless in terms of output since Christmas so this little raglan tee feels like a big deal.

I'm proud. I'm happy. I'm inspired. And I'm hoping to keep it up this week and well beyond.