A Shirt for Me!

Little e and I have been busy in our sewing studio the past several weeks with Christmas presents.  Can’t share any of them as they are all wrapped up under the tree, but I did finally make something for myself.  I used one of my J Crew shirts to make the pattern and it fits pretty well, just like everything from J Crew fits me.  Over half my wardrobe is from there.

I was new to making button holes and thankfully I tested it out multiple times on fabric scraps before doing it on the actual garment because there were several kinks that had to be worked out before I could consistently make button holes.  Once again, I had only bought one yard of fabric (from Tokyo) and barely had enough to make this top.  I wanted to have pleats in the center but couldn’t spare ANY extra fabric for it.

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This type of sleeveless tunic top is super versatile for me.  I wear these all of the time tucked in with dress pants/skirts, tucked out with skinny pants and jeans, and always under a cardigan.  Being that they are sleeveless, there is no bump in the arm under the cardigan and as a temperature nazi, I can leave the cardigan on when I’m cold, and take it off when I’m hot.  I plan to make many more of these, using the Liberty fabrics I purchased from London.  I’m also planning to add some 3/4 sleeves to see how it looks.

E says that the shirt makes me look pregnant.  He’s always so flattering…  Well, he’s very obsessed with fit.  I may take in the sides a little.  The original J Crew shirt was made of silk so it was more flowy and showed my form a little more.  This one is a thin cotton, so it does come off looking a little boxy.  But under the cardigan or tucked in, it’s just fine.

I asked little c to take this picture of me.  He’s turning 4 soon!  Time flies.  He loves taking pictures with my iphone.  It’s a little blurry but not too bad for a 4 year old, right?

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Children’s Messenger Bag

One of the first bags I’ve ever sewn was this kid sized messenger bag.  The tutorial was very detailed and easy for a novice sewer to figure out and I was quite proud of my results. Below is my first attempt at the tutorial and is a present I gave to my god daughter.  I asked her what color she likes and she told me yellow so I used this mustard colored linen Japanese fabric for the outer flap and interior.  The instructions called for round stick on velcro tabs which were not good at all.  I’ve tried these velcro tabs twice and they just do not stick well.  I ended up hand sewing those tabs on to stabilize but they are still so flimsy and probably have already fallen off.

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I next tried to make the same bag for little e.  I used a navy blue canvas for her and she chose the Liberty fabric I picked up in London.  I love perusing the Liberty for London Haberdashery section on the fourth floor.  One side is all fabrics and notions while the other side is full of Rowan yarns.  I used to go just for picking up yarn for my mom who loves knitting, but now, I also spend hours in the fabric section, debating which print to purchase as they are quite expensive compared to the other fabric I typically purchase. Little e has expensive taste, I guess, pulling out my most prized fabric from the stash.

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This bag is actually the perfect size for a kid, I think.  It’s big enough to fit a hard covered book, some note pads and pens.  Little e carries this every Sunday to church and it fits her hard covered bible, some pens, and her little wallet.  I’m glad to see it getting good use.

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It has no pockets or zippers on the inside, though.  I haven’t yet attempted a more complicated bag because I’ve since then got caught up with making clothes for little e. However, I have so many ideas of bags that I want to make.  I wish that there were more time in the day!

Princess “Lounge Wear”

I want to develop a line of pajamas for little girls that would make them feel like a princess, made with high quality, soft fabric, in a “non tacky” design.  The Disney princess pajamas are poor quality (almost costume-like) and in my opinion, rather tacky and uncomfortable.  I wanted to use the same material that is used to make those popular baby swaddles by aden + anis, a very soft muslin that is warm, but yet breathable.  Actually, my mom told me that’s what babies wear in Taiwan and I guess it’s just been made popular in the US by aden + anis.

However, the US has strict standards about children’s pajamas and the need to be fire retardant, or else, tight fitting.  The restriction apparently doesn’t apply to babies, which is why this material can be used for baby products, although don’t quote me on this.  I haven’t done enough research.  In my mind, having my kids wear pajamas sprayed with fire retardant  seems counter intuitive to all of the efforts I make trying to have the family eat organic, use non toxic shampoos, detergents, etc.  I assume not having them catch fire is more important but I wonder what the risk/probability of that is.  So, a friend suggested that I call these princess clothes, lounge wear rather than pajamas.

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I found this muslin at the fabric store and it is not cheap.  The solid peach/pink fabric was $17 per yard and the white patterned fabric was $12 or $13 per yard, making the materials alone about $30.  That’s more than I would spend on pre-made pajamas but I couldn’t find anything like this anywhere (or maybe I just don’t shop that much.)

E took one look and said, ugh, it looks like Pride and Prejudice.  That is exactly the look I was going for!  I guess guys don’t appreciate this look because E vetoed me making one for myself.  Or maybe it’s just E.

I really like it, though, and plan to make some for my friends’ kids if time permits.  Maybe I’m the only one in the whole world that likes something like this which is why it isn’t currently commercially available.  That would make me really unique.  heh heh.  In any case, every time I see little e in it, which is every night, it makes me happy.  Maybe I WILL make one for myself.

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“The dress is very comfortable.  I like the design because it’s got dandelions on it and it makes me feel dreamy because dandelions are supposed to grant wishes.  It’s fun to float around in it and act like a princess.”                                                                                                      –                                                                                                                                                   Little e

I should gather some more feedback from little e’s friends after I make a batch and see what they think.

ps. excuse the messy room.  We’re still working on little e’s cleaning habits.