2.27.2014

Sew Chic Kids : Wide Leg Pants

If you were to ask me which material I find most challenging to work with it would be... linen.  I've sewn with it quite a lot, but not often enough to remember the way it shifts and changes shape and gets kind of wonky after it's cut. (Linen/cotton blends are much easier in that regard.)

linen pants - sew chic kids

But I really like linen.  It's beautiful and durable.  These linen napkins look almost as good as the day I made them, and that's after 5 months of frequent use - and, of course, frequent washings, too.

linen pants - sew chic kids

When I saw the linen pants pattern -Project O- in Sew Chic Kids, I knew I wanted to make a pair for Tia.   But I also knew I didn't want to choose a cream linen like the pants in the book.  My girls love to play outside.  In the dirt.  Cream would stay clean for about 2 seconds.  It just wasn't practical.   And yet I was having a hard time imagining an alternative.

sew chic kids - linen pants
 
So I was pretty thrilled when I was strolling through Joanns and came upon an espresso colored linen.  I loved the variation in the weave - great for hiding stains, too!  It was so pretty yet functional.

When I was tracing this pattern, I was a little worried that the pants might look like pajama pants.   Tia has t i n y legs and I wondered if the pants might end up looking silly on her.  I cut the size 2 in width and size 4 in length and I couldn't be happier with the fit.  (She measured between a size 2 and 4 in the book so the measurements are quite accurate.)  I love this look on her.


I thought this pattern would sew up in an hour or so, but I had a lot of trouble with the linen shifting, so they took several hours to make.  With knits, I've read about tracing patterns onto freezer paper and ironing it on to avoid shifting.  I wonder if that might work with linen, too?  I wonder if you could even iron the pocket edges under with the freezer paper in place to stabilize them and then remove the paper afterward?  I'm going to try that next time. 

thumbs up dance - glad she approves :)
Tarikua's thumbs up dance.  I'm glad she approves! 
 
The back pant fabric shifted enough that when I sewed the legs together, the pockets were uneven, in spite of having sewn them according to the pattern placement guides.  I had to take one of the pockets off and reposition it so it matched the other pocket.

back pockets- sew chic kids

 Outside of my issues with shifty linen, this pattern was very simple to sew.  The pants fit beautifully.  I really love Sew Chic Kids.  I hope to try out at least two other patterns from the book soon. 

sew chic kids - linen pants

Oh, this girl! When I was taking these photos of her, I had this realization that she really has blossomed into the sweet, happy, carefree child that she was created to be.  I really can't put into words how grateful I am for that.

my sweet, silly girl

It's easy to romanticize international adoption and forget how much these kids have been through in their short little lives.  They learn to become survivors.  On the path to secure attachment, there are so many layers - likely protective ones- that are covering their true selves.  It's like peeling back an onion, except you never quite know when you're 'there'.  As her bond with us has grown so strong, so secure, her inner self radiates a pure joy and a lightheartedness that wasn't there before.   I'm so grateful.  I'm also grateful for the guidance and resources provided by the University of Minnesota adoption clinic.  They not only provide a realistic view of attachment in international adoption, but also excellent resources (including phone consultations, which I have done and would highly recommend) on working toward secure attachment in a way that's gentle, loving and respectful. 

tarikua

16 comments:

  1. These look so great! Well worth the trouble with the linen. I have some linen/cotton sand washed fabric here to make some bloomers :)

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  2. Tia is becoming more beautiful every day! And this photos show how happy she is with you!
    I think you already know I am a big Sew Chick Kids fan too... These pants are adorable! I have to make them for Ines. They look so comfortable.
    I love Tia's tee. Did you also made it yourself?

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    1. The tee I did not make. The townhouse where we stayed was about 5 minutes from Joann Fabrics and next to Joanns was an Old Navy. The girls and I stopped in to pick up a few things we needed while staying in the townhouse since the weather was unseasonably cold. Most of our cold weather clothes were packed away at home. So the t-shirt is from Old Navy. :)

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  3. The color of that linen is fanastic- and you're right, much more practical. It's nice to know about your experience with the sizing and the fit. E wore her blouse from Sew Chic Kids today and the 4 is definitely too wide on her, but still such a fun pattern. It reminded me that I want to make more things from this book. Also, those napkins are so cheerful. I may need to make some- it would be good threading the serger practice :) And Tarikua does look so happy and content in these pictures. What a journey life must have been so far for her, and for your family.

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  4. Gosh, she is looking so beautiful in these pictures, and so stylish in those pants! I'd love a pair of wide, linen pants anyday.
    I'm yet to make this pattern but you've just moved it much higher up the list!

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  5. you're daughter is so beautiful and the pants looks great! to hear that her adoption is going well is an amazing thing. i have several close friends that have adopted and have heard it can be so hard. keep up the good work! :)

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    1. thanks, sarah! yeah, i've heard a lot of adoptive families say it took about 2 years to feel like they found their 'normal'. that was true for us. i guess it's different for everyone. and there is definitely a transition period with biological kids too. :)

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  6. AWWWWW. What a wonderful post! The pants are adorable (I actually love sewing with linen, but I try to TOUCH it as little as humanly possible during the process, and then I accept the imperfections as part of the charm). Tia, and your description of her, is just radiant. Radiant with happiness and lightheartedness, just like you say. Sniff!

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  7. LOVE these pictures of Tarikua! The silliness is delightful, and she is radiating peace. Beautiful!

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  8. I there something wrong with me that I want to wear 90% of the clothes that you make for your kids? They're just so gorgeous and chic and very boutique-like (if that's a word).
    And Tarikua's delightful spirit definitely comes through in all the pictures of her! I love to hear how you've all worked to get to this place and I love to see that you that you're able to be proud of how far you all have come!

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  9. Loved Carolyn's comment above. Yep, I'd wear that too! Thanks for sharing about your adoption journey. I'm so glad you keep doing that!

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  10. So sorry that you had a frustrating experience with the linen for these pants, but MAN - was it ever worth the extra effort! Those look so very chic, especially when paired with that adorable top (don't tell me you made that too?!). I actually have this pattern book as well, so perhaps a pair of linen pants in the future for my youngest . . . though lately she will only wear leggings, and these are about the opposite of leggings:)
    Of course I resonate so fully with your comment about international adoption. To be honest, I don't think we understood fully what it meant to adopt a child internationally when we first started on our journey, but we certainly are learning along the way. There is so much more under the surface than initially meets the eye - as our daughter reaches her tween years (currently 10), we're seeing those internal struggles with identity and relinquishment become very real for her. We've just recently begun taking her to a counsellor as a way of giving her a voice and exploring what it means to be relinquished and adopted. To see Tarikua's smile and sparkling eyes is to know that she is loved well and is responding to it:)

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    1. Lucinda, this comment touched my heart! So hard. I'd love to talk to you about something international adoption related. I'm going to PM you on Flickr. :)

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  11. Gorgeous pants! I love that style, and the linen is so right, even if it was a hassle to sew with. Tia looks so happy, too! I imagine it's difficult with adoptions. We are surrounded by a generation of orphans who grew up in orphanages or with relatives of some kind. They find it difficult to talk about family, they have never celebrated a birthday, and being around our family is fun, but also makes them sad. Even with all the challenges you've faced, and have yet to face as Tia gets older, you've already given her the greatest gift ever...a family where she is loved and belongs. Hugs xoxo

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  12. Missed these pants - they are fabulous (question - do you ever make any fails?!) and Tarikua is one gorgeous girly x

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