kids clothes week challenge: day 4

May 13th, 2010

I usually have a fine time while I am sewing, maybe there are a few mistakes here and there, but I fix them and continue on imagining how perfect the dress (or whatever) will be when it’s done and then I start working on the very last step–the waistband or the binding or the damn hem–and everything goes to shit.

It just destroys me every time. Why is it always the last step? Of course it means that in order to fix the screw up you have to undo most of what you just did and unpick a whole lot of seams to get there.  But to have made the dress in the first place I’ve had to put everything else I have to do on hold (as I sew I can feel the laundry pile getting bigger and bigger) and now I have to go do all that stuff in half the time because I just wasted two hours on sewing with nothing to show for it.

This dress wasn’t like that at all actually, but I have plenty of projects piling up on my ironing board that are and I’m feeling a leeetle frustrated about it. If this challenge weren’t happening I would just quit and be crabby, but I can’t now. Who came up with this stupid challenge anyway?

But the dress. The pattern is from Carefree Clothes for Girls and in the book it’s made out of woven cottons, but I made it with knits so I could be sure my daughter would wear it.  I omitted the button closure on the back and made the neckline a little deeper (I was going to say “I made the head hole bigger,” I think I need more coffee).  Because of that, it falls off her shoulder a little when she jumps around (i.e. all the time) which is too bad, but it’s big anyway and next year I think it will fit perfectly. The printed knit I got from Joann’s and the lining was an XL tshirt. I had barely enough of the shirt to make the ruffle, but there were no hems anywhere! so yay!

28 Responses to kids clothes week challenge: day 4

  1. pamela says:

    “who came up with this challenge anyway?” that cracked me up! the dress looks great! but i definitely know the feeling of not having something to show for after hours at the sewing machine. ugh. oh, and this challenge has made my laundry pile into a mountain : )

  2. I actually haven’t even posted anything yet because I didn’t finish my project yesterday. I was disappointed with myself that I didn’t have a finished dress but it’s a new pattern and I took my time. My sewing teacher said the next one I make from this pattern will go faster. I hope so. I might take a pic of the “in-progress” dress later. Thanks for being real!

  3. My sewing machine usually likes to start to eat things on the last line of top stitching. It’s happened too many times for it to be a coincidence. How can the tension just suddenly go haywire, anyway?

    I’m getting behind already – I chose seeing Iron Man 2 over finishing a dress last night…

  4. shisomama says:

    Oh how I’m loving this challenge! It’s like homework and I’ve always loved homework!! I’m a nerd, I know. I think it’s something about creativity under pressure and the time restraints that make it fun and strangely stress-free. But here’s to easy-to-complete projects that help us through the rough patches.

  5. haha, I love shisomama’s comment about homework. In my case, I sew to avoid my real homework. ahem. anyhow the dress is great, esp the color combination. Maybe it will fit this winter as a jumper with a longsleeve?

  6. karen says:

    My fave is when I enter some kind of crafting wrinkle in time–I obsessively redo the binding five times and the next thing I know it’s dinner time and my toddler has peed all over the floor and the babies haven’t had their ears cleaned in weeks…

    That dress is super cute. I like the idea of repurposing a t-shirt.

  7. I giggled when you said ‘and everything goes to shit’. It’s honest. We’ve all been there. I’ll tell you from my end of the blog, though, your dress looks wonderful and the more I sew clothing the more I notice horrid imperfections & cheap shortcuts in mass produced clothing that I actually purchase. I’d rather make something with mistakes for my child to wear than buy something. :)
    PS: I’d be happy to come do your laundry if you would come do the stinky dishes at my house!

  8. cathiehong says:

    love this print on her — it’s perfect but not overdone for a little girl! came out perfect. and i actually love when straps fall off of little girls’ shoulders :]

  9. Wendy P says:

    I just love a crafty cussin’ blogger. I didn’t find your blog in time to join the challenge this year, but I hope to join next year. I’m enjoying following along very much. Thank you!

  10. Jill says:

    At least you are actually TRYING to sew instead of just watching someone else try things on her lovely blog! :) Keep it up for those of us who are too tired to try.

  11. Tanja says:

    Great dress – love the print! I have been drooling over that book for a long time but keep holding back, because then I would just be making clothes for the fun of it ’cause I have two boys! My kids are watching me with great anticipation – they do love their jammies! “Aren’t they done YET?” my older boy asked this morning…so since we are all behind, how about (dare I suggest)extending the challenge into next week?

  12. Lisa says:

    Until I read the part about this dress not causing you any of those pains, I really thought you were having the same experience I am right now. I just picked the stitches from the hem of a pair of jammy pants cause it looked ridiculous and the first project I started this week needs some help – way too big for my girl. But, I love this dress you made (I have the pieces traced for this one, so I am glad to hear of the success). Hopefully, I will have a finished item or two by tomorrow’s end. PS – thanks for the laugh!

  13. Islay says:

    You’re doing better than i’ve done today – an outing to a quilt exhibition and about 30 seconds free to knit/sew have resulted in minimal progress since yesterday!

  14. Looks great!
    I am busting to get hold of Carefree Clothes for Girls -I was hoping it would arrive in time for the challenge but its on order through my library.

  15. britt says:

    sorry to hear about your frustrations. at least your machine hasn’t broke! mine did. i am sewing by hand so far this week. but two shirts down. thanks for the challenge and hang in there, we are with you!

  16. trula says:

    oh, I am with you. On everything.
    This has happened to me many, many times – this week as well. Trying to put buttonholes into stretch fabric is a bad idea – when tired even more so. I still enjoy your challenge a lot. Thank you.

  17. teri says:

    this is just beautiful!

  18. Love the print on her. And the doodle on her wrists – too cute! :)

  19. Jacqui says:

    Very cute! It’s hard adapting knits to patterns for woven fabric, they always seem to end up a size too big. For me anyways! You know what always scares me about sewing? Buttonholes. Not because they’re so hard but because they’re usually the last thing you do and if you screw them up you’ve either ruined the whole thing or you have to spend an hour unpicking it. Plus there’s a whole bunch you have to successfully navigate to be done. So I should amend that, it’s the _last_ buttonhole of the outfit that scares me :)

  20. whitecraft says:

    Wow! What a great challenge. Your sewing is fantastic! Maybe I will join in next year ;-)

  21. Candace says:

    i love this dress & i have this book!!! need to try this one. all of your stuff has been really excellent this week, Meg.

  22. Nancy says:

    I think it’s just darling, I love the fabric and the dark blue ruffle. Perfect together.

    Ripping out seams is my favorite thing to do, I find it very meditative and character-building. (Just kidding. It’s all I can do not to break down and cry. I usually turn on a movie and have at it so at least there’s something enjoyable about those moments.)

    May I suggest something?? Please, please extend your challenge by a week or three. Please. I want to have at least one thing to show for it! ;)

  23. R says:

    Ok, I want to know how you had the patience for sewing knit. I made a pair of pajama shorts for my little girl out of my old t-shirt. Everything was going well until I got to the waistband. I totally understand your statement, “It destroys me everytime.” I must’ve pouted for hours about the awful, messed up waistband. It really made me wonder how some people have the patience to sew their own underwear out of t-shirt material. All that elastic and knit….AHHHH!

  24. Cate says:

    I made this dress for my daughter for Christmas. I love it and I love it in a knit too. I think I’ll have to give it a go. It was one of the first times I really followed instructions and ironed as I sewed. Who knew that could make such a difference? I like the idea of extending or repeating the challenge as I’d like to join in….