Friday, May 27, 2011

Sew the shorts, and Summer will come.

It's still raining every few days, it seems. Just trust me when I say, a significant amount of May rain is almost unheard of in these parts. This year's weather has been ... baffling. But we did get some dry days this past week, and we have been working hard in the garden. The front yard is going to be very crowded lush this year, I think! We now have six tomato plants and a dozen shelling beans out there, and I have plans to squeeze in a few more.

Hopefully, I will have pictures of a shelling bean tee-pee to share with you very soon!

When I haven't been gardening, I've been sewing children's clothes. In a fit of (so far unfounded) optimism, I've sewed a variety of summer clothing for a few of the children in my life, mostly from patterns that will look familiar to my blog followers.

For example, here is my second pair (oh, wait, third pair - I didn't blog the crazy bike printed ones I made for our friend's little boy) of Sketchbook Shorts, and my third (I think!) Ice Cream Top, for my best friend's daughter, who turns two in June. She lives in Denver, where it actually gets warm, so hopefully she'll be able to wear these this summer.

Sketchbook shorts and ice cream top.
Not the very best photography here, but I hope you can see the cute owl fabric!

And then I really got on a roll, and made a third fourth pair of Sketchbook Shorts, for Joe, from the same striped material I used for the yoke of the Ice Cream top, above. These were a bit of a challenge, because it's an irregular (non-symmetrical) stripe, so it's a bit of a trick to match it. I managed across the front and back of the pants, and the sides aren't too far off, which made me pretty proud. Now we'll see if it ever gets warm enough for Joe to wear them!

Striped sketchbook shorts.
Hand in the cookie jar box.

Striped sketchbook shorts.
That TUMMY!! Yeah, that top is a little small.

My little niece Helen is turning one in June so I made her a little dress too. This one is called the "Pretty as a Picture Dress," from Anna Maria Horner's Handmade Beginnings. This pattern has a European peasanty-folksy look I love. And it's probably a good thing that it can be worn over a long sleeved t-shirt, on chilly Bay Area summer days.

Pretty as a Picture Dress - Front.
Yes, that's a potato plant and tree branches in the background. Hopefully I'll get Helen to model this soon, for a better photo.

For all of these projects, I used fabric that has been sitting in my stash for a long time, and managed to avoid fabric stores altogether. Whew! I have so much great fabric,* but sometimes it sits for a long time waiting for a project. I know I'm not alone in that problem, right?

My next summer project is for me, and it has taken longer to cut it out than it took me to make two whole pairs of Sketchbook shorts, but hopefully it will be worth it. I'm making the Violet Blouse, from Colette Patterns in a funky brown and orange print. Making clothes for myself is so much harder than making baby clothes! Because, you know, I have curves. And also, I insist on a good fit (toddlers are not generally as picky). Fingers crossed.

*Note to self: Buy more solid colored linens, in great bright colors, and less kitchy prints. Those kitchy prints suck me in me every time, but then they end up neglected and orphaned in my pile.


  1. Super-cute kiddy clothes! I love all the fabrics. I feel you on the need to buy fewer adorable prints and more practical plains - me too. Looks like you might have an excuse to make Joe some more tops!

  2. Thanks! I definitely need to make Joe some shirts!

    Further note to self: Stop buying cute girly florals. You have one child, and he is a boy!

    Hee hee.

  3. The cuteness is just staggering! I know this is a shallow sentiment on my part, but I think that clothes this cute make the world a better place. Way to be so selfless in your quest for world, um, cuteness expansion. You're the Saint of Prints or something like that.

  4. World cuteness expansion! Wow, you just made me feel like I'm creating cuteness for the greater good! Alright!


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