Yet another Goodwill find a while back was a men’s hooded tee–very large and very upcyclable! The most awesome part was that it was clearly only worn a couple times. I wish you guys could feel this fabric, because it is insanely soft! (And the hood hem is just folded and looked crooked from being washed before I took the pics.)

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I used the usual flashback skinny tee pattern with the existing sleeve hems intact as well part of the hood serging. ¬†I only had to do a tiny bit of stitching on the hood piece to make it the right size. I left the bottom hem raw, since it was such a lightweight knit, it would curl perfectly, and–let’s be real–I’m lazy! I drafted my own hood pattern piece.

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My sister thought I bought this one and has claimed it’s her fave thing I’ve made for LM so far! I must admit, this one passes for store bought around here, and I’m okay with that!

Thanks for looking!ūüôā

thegreencateye.comLittle Man has been in love with the Grinch for a while now. When I went on my usual Goodwill trip to get some tees to refashion for last year’s spring kcw, I found a brand new, ¬†tags-still-on-it adult size Grinch shirt for only a couple bucks. I was stoked (even if it was 9 months too soon for me to kid-size it for him)! It’s unfortunately one of those bulk tees with the stiff ick kind of fabric, but I was determined to make it work.

I used the usual flashback skinny tee pattern but added a little extra to the side and sleeve seams. I don’t love how the face had to be cut for a zoomed-in look, but family and LM love it, so I’m calling it a win!

Grinch Tee Styling 2

I used the existing sleeve hems, but did a simple zig-zag hem on the bottom after LM said the shirt was “broken on the bottom.” I used my usual yellow interlock for the neckband. The bonus for that one is it works great styled with his old “Silly Goose” hooded henley I made last year! Sure, the sleeves are getting a bit short, but this kid loves hoods now, and hello! The colors match perfectly! This dimly lit pic comes from Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and is the only reasonable one I could find of him wearing it.

I have more posts lined up and pics already edited and loaded, so hopefully you’ll be seeing more soon! Thanks for looking!ūüôā

Over the busy summer, three-year-old Little Man got to go to the movies for the first time.¬† Then a second and third time.¬† He’s a fan!¬† His favorite part is the food and candy that he¬†truly does not stop eating from the beginning of the movie to the end of the credits (yes, we sit through the credits).¬† We buy popcorn there, but always stop for “theater candy” at the drugstore on the way (to smuggle in…).¬† Little Man’s candy of choice?¬† Junior Mints and M and Ms.¬† A child after my¬†own heart!

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When the themes for this season were posted for Project Run and Play, I had already been planning some fall clothes for Little Man, and candy had nothing to do with them.¬† But this week’s theme is “candy inspired” so I thought on it for a bit to come up with this outfit.¬† M and Ms seemed too rainbow and would end up unwearable around here, so Junior Mints won out.¬† (I also have an almost-finished outfit from last week’s theme of the pop-over dress, but life is more important to me than the internet and self-imposed deadlines, so you’ll see that one when it’s complete!)

And I apologize in advance for the sub-par pics–we finally got a break from the massive storms today, and these were the best I could do.ūüė¶

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I’ll start from the top–the tee!¬† The collar for the tee¬†was cut¬†from a brown thrift store interlock tee.¬† This green shirt was made from a thrift store tee I originally bought to make into a Hulk tee for my nephew, but I made him something else, so it’s Little Man’s now!

before...

I used the existing hems on the sleeves and bottom hem to save time and stress.¬† My favorite part about the original tee is¬†its tag, and I didn’t notice until after I bought it.

tag

For two US dollars, I got a super-soft tee that was in great shape.¬† And it’s made in the US under fair wages conditions!¬† Part of why I sew for Little Man is to avoid “fast fashion”, the environmental impact of all that fabric, and the conditions the clothes are commonly made under in other countries.¬† This shirt was more thrilling for me than you can believe!¬† But I digress…

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I used the Flashback Skinny Tee Pattern in a 5T and shortened the sleeves based on the length of some of his other tees.¬† I also made sure it was longer than most tees, because he’s always yanking on the back of¬†his shirts¬†even if¬†they’re practically strangling him from the front as a result of said tugging.

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I didn’t want the outfit to scream “I LOVE CANDY!”, so I came up with a more subtle approach (as usual per my regular subtle nods to popular things).¬† I made a freezer paper stencil for decorations on the tee.¬† I free-handed some Junior Mints in a row, some from straight-on, some turned to the side, and all intentionally imperfect.¬† I do regret the side-view pieces now–they didn’t quite turn out how I hoped.

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I typed the lettering for the “Junior” and “03” and traced them to make the stencil.¬† I asked Little Man if he wanted the number to be “13” for the year 2013 or “03” for his age, so this was his pick.¬† I also¬†think I might need to buy some new freezer paper, because the past few stencils have leaked far too much.

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The pants are a bit of a mash-up pattern-wise.¬†¬†After the crotch curve issues I had from the Parsley Pants pattern (totally a personal¬†fit thing, you should absolutely buy the pattern!), and the awesomeness that came from¬†MADE’s KID Shorts pattern, I knew¬†the two needed combining for my impossible-to-fit little guy.¬† So I taped the shorts pattern together as a one-piece pattern and¬†traced the crotch curves from the shorts onto the Parsley pattern.¬† The result–KID¬†Shorts lengthened to pants with very little effort!¬† Rolled up, they are a great length for him right now with shoes.¬† But¬†I think I may need to shorten them a little.¬† How do you decide how long is enough growing room for pant length?

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The main fabric was purchased last spring and was LM’s pick.¬† It’s light-weight¬†brown linen with black pinstripes from Joann.¬† I added scrap¬†black twill to the pieces as a lining¬†before construction to make them a little more durable and appropriate for winter.¬† I made oval knee pads per the Parsley pattern, and added front patch pockets with black bias trim.¬† I also made them with a flat front.

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I love how the pockets turned out!¬† I planned to add back patch pockets as well, but I’m not much for welt pockets, the sharp points of¬†a standard pocket didn’t fit with the curves of a Junior Mints theme, and a curved pocket seemed too feminine.¬† So we went sans rear pockets.

Little Man is stoked for his new Junior Mints outfit!¬† And I’m stoked he now has a nicer pair of pants for any of our future (non-existent) fancy outings!¬† I hope to share last week’s look with you soon!

Thanks for looking!ūüôā

I’m baaaaack!!¬† I’m sure some of you were beginning to wonder if I had become one of those blog-abandoners, but I’m still here.¬† After the paid project I mentioned in my last post, I kinda lost my sewing mojo for a bit, then we had an impromptu family vacation to Chicago, which helped motivate me to make a few things to use for the trip (stupid, yes, but don’t all¬†we sewists do this??).¬† While pondering what projects I could eek out the fastest, I got such an awesome shock that Dana FINALLY released her KID Shorts pattern!¬† So, it was fully decided then and there.

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You may remember I used her free pattern for KID Pants as my main pattern for Little Man’s pants through the winter months.¬† Right after perfecting the fit of the rise and such from having to grade it up a size or two, he had yet another growth spurt that I had zero motivation to deal with.¬† I was over grading that pattern, and decided to wait it out until she produced a graded version of the pattern, which, by the way, I would’ve happily paid $40 for, because her pants pattern worked out so well for us!¬† But don’t worry it’s actually only $6, and you if you have a hard-to-fit kid, you should absolutely give it a shot!

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Though I normally try to use thrifted adult-sized clothes for anything I make for LM, he had requested yellow shorts, and Goodwill had none I could utilize.¬† I had passed this neon yellow stretch denim at Joann a few times and always thought LM would love wearing something made out of it.¬† It wasn’t until his yellow shorts request that I decided to just go for it.¬† And this fabric is so yellow!¬† I don’t think the photos even really do it justice–the woman at the cutting counter even commented about how bright it was and perhaps one would need sunglasses when looking at it.¬† But LM loves it, and that is always what matters!

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I¬†prefer the board shorts look, but I made them as long as I could without the risk of his knees catching them when he’s climbing around like a monkey.¬† And though I love the color for him, the stretch of the fabric was a pain to sew.¬† My brain kept thinking “light weight denim!”, but my machine was obviously sewing something more kin to a knit.¬† The back pockets–which I made too big to begin with–ended up slightly stretched at the corners, and there was a row of topstitching at the bottom of the¬†hem that I had to rip out from waviness.¬† Might I also take this opportunity to announce that topstitching is officially my KRYPTONITE.¬† I suck at it on so many levels.¬† When doing the front patch pockets, I somehow managed to make the inner row of stitches so far inside that there was a good half inch between the two rows.¬† So to pretend it was intentional, I added a third row in between them.¬† I don’t like it, but luckily the thread color is close enough that it’s not too noticeable.

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As far as the pattern goes, I obviously love it!¬† But if I’m being completely honest, I will share the few downsides I find with it.

-The only sizing help she offers prior to printing is the finished waist measurement.¬† There are no finished hip measurements or sizing help here at all.¬† She does offer the finished length, but that’s something you adjust after you find the proper hip/waist size.¬† I printed out and taped together¬†one set of sizes just to find it was identical to the size that he had just outgrown.¬† So I had to print out another size and tape all that together, too.¬† Though only having two or three sizes per print out makes it easier if you don’t have a color printer, it’s a pain for finding the proper size.¬† We ended up with the 5Y size even though LM is only 3 years old.¬† But he’s huge for his age, and I wanted room to grow, so I would consider this okay.

-If you loved her free pants pattern from the Celebrate the Boy series, I think this fit is nearly the same.¬† But if you are comparing your pattern to the new one, note that she has shifted some of the front piece’s ease onto the back piece.¬† It doesn’t effect the fit at all (I don’t think), but be sure to actually measure both the front and back pieces to find a total measurement for your comparison.¬† I first only compared the front pieces and was surprised to find it smaller, but the back piece was bigger.¬† (I hope this rambling makes sense…)

-All directions for sewing these shorts is on her website.¬† ALL OF IT.¬† While I love that she is opening up her pattern to a plethora of free tutorials you can do with any basic shorts pattern, I don’t like having to go online to find so little as a seam allowance for a pattern.¬† **UPDATE: In the comments, Dana pointed out that the seam allowance is printed on the back pattern piece for all sizes.¬† I don’t look much at patterns after cutting, so that must be how I missed it!¬† Thanks, Dana!**¬† I also was ready to add back patch pockets to his shorts, but she hadn’t posted the fresh¬†tutorial yet–she has an older tutorial for her standard KID PANTS pattern, so you won’t be completely in the dark there.¬† I will likely have to just print some info from her site to have that handy for future reference.¬† (We live out of normal WiFi range,¬†and¬†we literally pay by the gig for our internet, so I try to avoid excess internet use.)¬† I would love to see at least the instructions for the basic advertised pattern¬†included in the file download.

-The shorts seem very long.¬† It could just be me, I folded up inches of excess into the hem.¬† Granted, I can let that hem down next summer after LM grows again, but there seems to be drastic differences in length between sizes.¬† However, this is minor, since it’s not hard to shorten a pattern.¬† (Some may even wager that the size I chose is too big to begin with, so it may not affect you at all!)

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You can still see a bit of that waviness on the bottom hem here where I ripped out the topstitching.¬† Hopefully after more washes it will shift back into place.¬† I’m also hoping that bit of flared-ness shrinks up…

Even with all these things, I still love this pattern.¬† It has awesome versatility and can last for many years with gobs of variations (my favorite kind of investment!).¬† And the best part is these are the first shorts he has worn that I haven’t had to tug on throughout the day!¬† I realized near the end of our day in Chicago that I hadn’t had to pull them up or fix them even once since putting them on him that morning (except bathroom breaks, of course), and we were on the move all day!¬† I’m also thinking I will just trace the crotch curve onto the Parsley Pants Pattern to make for some perfect pants, since that was the only flaw¬†I really had with Rae’s pattern!

I’ve also already made a second pair of shorts as a birthday present for my nephew.¬† I used thrifted plaid shorts for them, but the original shorts weren’t big enough to fully “harvest” fabric from; so I made a one-piece shorts pattern from the Kid Shorts pattern and kept the original side¬†seam and hem¬†intact (I’ll get pics later).¬† This pattern is great, people!¬† Buy it!¬† I’ll be back soon with a post about¬†Little¬†Man’s¬†new shark shirt.

Thanks for looking!¬†ūüôā

Hello!¬† Sorry for the radio silence lately…there’s been a bit of extra stress around here the past couple weeks that I’m aiming to adjust to.¬† And my birthday was yesterday!¬† I’m 29 now for those who are nosy like me¬†and can’t get past the “she looks like she’s twelve but how old is she really?!”¬† And no, I’m not worried or paranoid about turning thirty.¬† It’s all just a number.¬† I also¬†may be slightly absent for the next week or two as I finish up a paid-for project.¬† But after that I’ve got many things lined up to make and share, including a better version of that Wiksten Hack Tank tutorial post that I removed.¬† To the point of today…

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Skirt Week is upon us!

Blue Turtle Skirt

As for this skirt, I’m making myself even do a post in the first place, and that’s only¬†because I put it in with the A-line skirts for Skirt Week.¬† Yay, Skirt Week!¬† Boo on this skirt.¬† I’ll give you some quick details and then let you see my rushed pics that we took just before it was too dark.¬† I was mad then at anything and everything, but¬†it was the last day to submit a photo,¬†so enjoy my grumpy face in the one pic my head is seen.¬† (And ignore the wrinkly cardigan I pulled out of the¬†basket of clean clothes right before heading outside.¬† Yikes…)

BTS outfit

The fabric is not really turtles, but kind of looks like turtles, and that’s fun, so hello, pretend turtles!¬† It’s a stretch cotton sateen-like fabric from Hancock (I always forget to check labels, sorry!).¬† I used the Sewaholic Crescent Skirt pattern, View A.¬† I fully lined it with white¬†Bemberg rayon lining, but I wanted to wear it a few times before settling on where to hem that lining; so I used an overlock stitch on my regular sewing machine as a temporary finish until I make up my mind.¬† Unrelated: I find it hilarious that it looks like I’m wearing white tights in this pic, but no, I’m really just that pasty!ūüėÄ

BTS Lining

I added white piping to the waistband, but I would recommend forgoing the corded piping and just use some fabric strips instead.  The added bulk and dealing with topstitching on the waistband was annoying.

BTS piping and print

Those horizontal wrinkles are from my shirt, by the way–in case you think there’s something funky going on there.¬† I did a baby hem, but it¬†tried to go mildly¬†“lettuce” on me from the stretch.¬† Live and learn, I suppose.

BTS Back

The skirt itself isn’t all bad, but my last version of this pattern took some wearing before I learned to like it.¬† I’m hoping the same happens for this¬†one.

Thanks for looking!¬† Sorry I’m so dull today.¬† The cats are at it again, and I’m not looking forward to the “unselfish sewing” I agreed to months ago.¬† I shall return with a bit more pep in my step!ūüôā

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So, it’s finally over!¬† As much fun as it was, I’m relieved.¬† It started to wear on me to take pics and deal with choosing what me-mades I was going to wear¬†each day.¬† But I can definitely say that I learned quite a bit during the month.¬† First the round-up:

Day 26–Casual Lady Top

I neglected to get a pic this day, but the top is here if you’re curious.¬† It was a random cold day, so I wore it with my¬†hand-me-down jeans and zip-up cardigan (shocker…it’s like my daily uniform!).¬† It was quite comfy since it wasn’t so scorching hot outside.¬† I haven’t worn it as much as I thought I would, but after this day, I think it will see much more use in the cooler fall/early spring time around here.¬† I think…

Day 27–Just a Wiksten Tank

Ummm….again I neglected a pic, but I looked just like this, only with shorts instead of pants:

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Day 31: New Tee Yet to Be Blogged

My last day was a new tee I made that will be blogged later once I finish the shorts I have sitting on my ironing board–hopefully in a couple days.

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Also another goofy jump shot.¬† It wasn’t at all what I was hoping to get, but with ominous storm clouds visibly rolling in, I had to do something quick and this fit the bill.

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And can I just say how hard it is to nail a suitable facial expression for this pose?!  I managed some very put-together smiles while in the air, but it just looked like I was floating weirdly.  Also, by ankles are sore from the 500 jumps I did in ten minutes!

Some Zoe Love

A big, fat thank you to Zoe for organizing this whole Me-Made-May business in the first place!¬† I’ve only really been following her blog the past year, but her influence on me regarding¬†sustainability in the clothing industry has been huge.¬† I used to feel a little gross about going into our local thrift store because of a bad experience when I was much younger.¬† When I began sewing for little man, I decided to take the plunge and start upcycling thrifted adult garments into smaller clothes for Little Man.¬† After much success (and a learning curve, for sure!), I’ve been looking at the thrift store as a fabric source for myself as well.¬† But¬†may it be known–around here, you don’t find straight-up fabric–it’s all clothes and blankets and toys.¬† I’ve learned to go in with a purpose and look for the color and type of fabric I need for a specific project (see this post to see the top that sealed that lesson for me!).¬† It truly is worth it.¬† I began to feel conviction about excessive fabric store shopping and hoarding new fabric after following Zoe’s blog for a while–a need for sustainability in the textile industry is a very big deal.¬† But that’s a post for another day…

What I learned from Me-Made-May ’13:

-It is valuable to take the time needed to create a well-fitting garment.¬† Otherwise, I’m wasting time and fabric.

-I realized last year that I’m not a dress-maker.¬† As much as I’d love to wear flowy dresses and skirts, as a mom, I don’t have the energy to worry about my skirt receiving a nice upward gust of wind.¬† I also gravitate toward jeans/shorts and a shirt anyway.¬† So that’s what I make, and I should continue on that mission.

-I need to make myself some easy-to-wear comfy clothes that look put together.¬† On the May days that I couldn’t seem to like any of my me-mades, I ended up in a RTW tank and cardigan.¬† That was a light-bulb moment for me.

-Taking the time to actually fix my hair from time-to-time isn’t all bad!

-Taking better blog photos is worth the time–even if it means I have to wait a day or two to get the post up.¬† I’ve been working on it prior to May (hopefully the efforts haven’t gone unnoticed!), but as far as pics of myself go, I’m learning (as is my husband/photographer!).

-In my drive to make some items for summer, I found myself “shopping my stash” and using the old fabrics I had been too afraid to use.¬† And I don’t regret using them!¬† Who knew?!¬† I used a total of five stash fabrics in the past month and a half.¬† I still have plenty of each left over, but I wasn’t trying to get rid of my stash.¬† I was just trying not to buy new fabrics.¬† It’s paid off, because I love seeing that I’ve actually used them and am now able to wear them instead of just seeing them sitting on a shelf.

-After reading others’ posts who committed to no outfit repeats and hated that they couldn’t wear their fave dresses or outfits more than once in the month–I will never be committing to no repeats if I do this challenge in the future.¬† I also tend to wear my fave clothes more than once before they hit the washer (don’t act like you don’t do it, too! Right??).

There’s probably more that I’ve gained from this, but that’s all I can think of for now.¬† Thanks for following my Me-Made-May ’13 journey!ūüôā

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This week was a bit rough, but I still managed to keep my commitment to three me-made garments this week.¬† I had to push myself¬†a little to keep from wearing the same shirts I keep wearing over and over.¬† I guess there is some motivation for variety when I’m actually documenting this for the world–gotta try to keep things interesting, right?

Day 21–Barely Wearable Sleeveless Button-Down Muslin

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I was feeling/looking pretty gross this day, so I cropped out my head.¬† I’m sure you’re missing it!ūüėČ I’m a little embarrassed to even show you this one,¬† but for any newbies who think I’ve got it all together (ha, yeah right!), you can really come a long way in a year.¬† This is a wearable muslin from last year’s venture into pattern¬†drafting. ¬†It looks okay with¬†a¬†cardigan over it, but the¬†shoulders and armholes are a mess!¬† This top was made of some pink¬†lightweight fabric from the quilting section of Hancock, and it has tiny white flowers on it.¬† Whenever I see fabrics that remind me of my late Grandma, I buy a little–usually with no plan for what it will become.¬† But this one I knew I wanted to be a sleeveless button-down, because a sleeveless button-down and capris was my Grandmother’s “uniform” for summer.¬† Obviously, that makes this top a little bit “old lady” as my husband says, but it reminds me of her every time I see it and wear it, and that feeling is one I love.¬† If you look closely enough, you might be able to see how the upper button isn’t actually buttoned at all and is held together with a safety pin from the inside…yes, that’s right, a safety pin.¬† I was hurrying to finish it and just grabbed a bunch of vintage buttons that looked the same size (yeah, you know what I’m getting at…).¬† Well, they weren’t the same size, but my buttonholes are, so that button doesn’t button.¬† That’s one more for the “why Ashley needs to work on not being lazy when sewing” category!

Day 24 Theme Friday–Floral Sunburst Tee

We went to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum¬†this day, which we do at least once a month for 3-year-old Little Man.¬† We took the camera along to take random pictures of me for the Me-Made-May ’13 Flickr group‘s “Hometown” Theme Friday.

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That’s me with the cast of a Super Croc (think dinosaur days–there are also¬†some dino casts and I think a couple real deal fossils in there, too), a polar bear that stands 9 feet tall (it’s on a platform–I’m not that short), and on the indoor carousel (on a goat!¬† What carousel has a GOAT?!).¬† I told you about this¬†top¬†a couple days ago, so I won’t repeat myself except that it is really the most comfy tee I’ve made.¬† I habitually was reaching for it to pull it or situate it–just to find that it was perfectly placed and in no need of adjusting!¬† The actual fit may need some side seam adjusting, but this tee will undoubtedly be worn to shreds.

Day 25–Just a Wiksten

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I blogged this one yesterday, so feel free to check it out for more info.¬† I’ll just say I like the color, but I’m not sure I’ll be making many more of the original style–the loose woven makes me feel huge even if I don’t look it.¬† It’ll get worn, but probably more as a back-up when I just want to wear a bright color.

So that’s my week.¬† Only a few more days to go!¬† Thanks for looking!¬†ūüôā