12.04.2016

Ash Pants, Bloomers, and Two Flashback Skinny Tees

I never envisioned myself as a person who would enjoy sewing basics.  When the Flashback Skinny tee made its debut several years ago, I remember wondering why I would ever want to sew a tshirt. They are readily available for purchase, whereas the dress patterns on the market are often so unique in their design.


Eight Flashback Skinny tees later, I can decidedly say I have changed my tune.  One thing that hooked me on this pattern is the fit.  If you are looking for a fitted tee pattern, this one can't be beat.  (If you're looking for a looser, more sweater-like fit, I love the Mini Briar, especially in a cozy, sweater-y knit.)


I assumed I would find it boring to make something so simple over and over again. But it turns out, I actually find it relaxing and rewarding.  They come together quickly, which is always so satisfying.


I also enjoy the mindless element of sewing tees, where I can plug in to a podcast and some music and relax, without having to think too much about how it will all come together.


I was happy with this striped fabric, this time in mustard, which I bought from Craft South.  I think I bought 4 yards of it!  I haven't seen striped tshirts at the store this season, although I admittedly don't do a lot of shopping.  This is another benefit of sewing your own!


Last time I mentioned how much I enjoy using my serger to sew knits.  I wrote about how my hems and seams had been popping when using my sewing machine alone for construction, especially when using a double needle.  Now I only use my sewing machine to baste my seams in place (prior to serging them) and then later to sew the hem.  I wanted to elaborate on that a bit more.


After lots of fiddling with various stitches, I'm having success using a very narrow stretch (zigzag) stitch at the hemline.  It works effectively (no popped hems) and still looks professional.  I haven't been as happy with the look of this stitch at the neckline, though, so I've since opted out of topstitching my necklines. I only use my serger.


It has worked out great! I made these tshirts over a month ago now and they have washed and worn beautifully.


I made another pair of the Ash Pants. This time in a linen-cotton blend from my stash.  I've been sewing a lot from my stash recently which has been great.  But unfortunately, I can often no longer remember where I purchased these fabrics or even what lines they are from!


I also made another pair of Brindille and Twig bloomers for Hazel.


I do remember the details on this one : it's a Kaufman union chambray (geometric) which I ordered from the Imagine Gnats shop.


I love this chambray!  It's lightweight and has a floaty quality to it that works so well with bloomers.  I also made a pair of Ash pants for Iris in this material, but she was busy building a fort in the forest while I was taking these photos and I didn't get a single good shot of her in them.


Hazel has recently learned several phrases which she uses frequently and with gusto.  1. No!  2. Hrumph!  3.  I do it!


It's funny how such a tiny person can possess such a strong will and so much determination!


For many years, we let our kids work alongside of us, which made everything take s o - m u c h - l o n g e r .  But now that Indigo and Jude are getting older, they are so independent and willing and able to do almost anything.


Jude hung most of our Christmas lights this year.  Inside, he hung them in three rooms (I posted a video here to IG) and he even did most of our outdoor lights as well, except for the roof line.  He did an amazing job and they look beautiful!  It was such a blessing to us!


We say Jude is like Elf, ready to spread Christmas cheer whenever he can. :D


I try to keep this picture in my mind's eye when Hazel insists, yet again, on doing it herself.  Someday this will pay off.  Taking a deep breath helps, too!  :)



17 comments:

  1. I always tell that I don't like sewing basics either, but this weekend I enjoyed sewing the same type of baby pants over and over again. It's just so rewarding to have a result that quickly without having to think too much!

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    1. That is so true! Especially if you have a good podcast to listen to! It's quite relaxing, isn't it? I found myself a little disappointed when I finally finished all of them! :)

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  2. Yes ! Deep breaths ?! I always find it hard to let my kids work along le too . But I agree that it is so beneficial for the whole family ! Your Christmas elf did a great job ! This boy really has something for decorating and building ! Maybe a future designer or engineer! I can see you have been super busy with your sewing ! Chambray is my favorite type of clothes fabric ! Now that you enjoy sewing tees maybe you are ready to make lots of linden tops for yourself !
    Are You making pajamas this year ? Hugs

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    1. I sure am! I bought the flannel yesterday evening. I think it amounted to something like 13 yards in total! :O I promised myself I would get an earlier start this year!

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  3. Beautiful! My Oma always reminded me with me 2nd one that it's not stubborness but persistance and it will pay off one day. Well my 2nd is 14 now and she is persistant and determined. She's pulling great marks in school because she won't let it go until it's perfect. It's amazing to see and experience as a mother. Great makes! Lately I'm not making much but I'm sure my sewing machine will be there when I'm up for it again. :-)

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    1. Yes, I just read that “grit” - determination - is one of the largest predictors of success in adulthood! Congrats to your daughter!

      And it’s true, sometimes it does feel good to take a little break from sewing. The machine is always there, like you said!

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  4. Love the striped mustard shirts!! and Hazel is always so adorable in her bloomers. My grandbaby is built just like her - if I thought her mama would like bloomers on her, I'd make a doz pairs, but she prefers her to wear more 'grown up' looking clothes.
    Ah - the working with children. I was so much better at that with my older kids than I've been with my younger ones (their births were spread out over 22 years). I was telling my husband just the other day that these kids aren't nearly as responsible as their older siblings were at their ages. And it's all my fault : / I was so weary for a few years; I let things slide. And now I can't seem to catch up!
    Jude is doing a fabulous job!! (your wall of windows (doors?) is gorgeous!!)
    ~ Tracy

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    1. 22 years - that is so amazing! High five, mama!!!

      It’s interesting that you say that about growing weary - because I feel that is maybe why my older children are so independent. When I only had two children - before we adopted Tia - Jude was 5 and Indigo was almost 3. I did everything for them, because I could. They made enormous messes which I cleaned up. I picked their clothes off of the floor. I brought their dishes from the table to the sink. But as our family grew, we had to work together. It is utter chaos and disorder if I require nothing of them. They love homeschooling, but I remind them not infrequently that in order for it to work, we must all work together and everyone must chip in. So even Tia and Iris have to pick up after themselves, organize shoes, clear the dinner table, wash fruits or peel carrots. I have wondered though, if when we are finally out of the toddler days, if I will revert back to doing more for the youngest ones, especially after our older ones leave the nest eventually. I guess only time will tell! :D I think the responsibility my older ones have learned has been great!

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  5. I love this!!! I almost feel like I've personally won you over to the side of basics (especially t-shirt) sewing, even though I realize that's ridiculous!!! Of course it wasn't ME. But I am so very glad you've discovered the fun of a quick basics project. I think I started sewing t-shirts because Joe was/is so darn picky about clothes, and I discovered a subtle joy in boy-sewing that's hard to explain. It doesn't take much fabric, it's wicked fast, and the final results are always better than what you get at the store. I also prefer a zig zag hem on a t-shirt over double needle for hard-wearing kids' items (if the project is more roomy and for me, I would do the double needle, because I don't destroy my hems like my kids do). For the neck, a straight stitch on top of the serged seam actually seems to hold up just fine for me, even on t-shirts for Joe (with small necks). I don't really know why, it actually doesn't make sense, but they do! I think the serged seam allowance stabilizes the neck and prevents popping.

    Hazel is growing up and asserting her independence just as she should! She is beautiful. And I look forward to letting Joe hang the lights at my house!

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    1. Well, Inder, that is because it’s true! You have totally influenced me! And spurred me on with encouragement, too! I was most deterred by : fear. :), lack of options in terms of high quality knits, bad prior experiences using knit fabrics, and pattern sizing issues, especially when I sewed for Jude. Some of my knits faded considerably or pilled terribly - or both. Some patterns just didn’t fit well as store-bought. But I think I’ve found my way now!

      All of your boy sewing is super inspiring! Also, thank you of the great information about the topstitched neckline. Who would have ever guessed?

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    2. I agree with Inder-ific... I usually topstitch my necklines with a straight stitch too when I'm sewing with knits, and it holds up fine. I've also topstitched the shoulder seams on raglan style shirts and that seems to work as well. Speaking of raglans, they are one of my favourite types of basics to sew. There are no sleeves to set in, and they come together quickly and you can some fun things to "customize" them... putting in a button placket to make it into a Henley, piping along the shoulder seams. And I just think raglans look good on almost anyone.

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    3. Inder always knows best! She's a sewing rockstar! Thanks for sharing your experience, Heidi!

      Inder also recommended raglan tops to me. I think I better take this as a sign that they need to be made. :D I made them once but the pattern wasn't the greatest. Maybe it's time to find a new one!

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    4. I think I've used the Recess Raglan and it was pretty good unisex pattern, but my favourite raglan pattern for girls is from Jalie. I also like the Jalie patterns because they're paper patterns and their sizes go right from size 2T to like XXXL for women. I've had to make some adjustments to the neckline when I sew the shirt for myself because it was just a bit too low cut and gaped a bit, but the kid sizes have fit my daughter perfectly. The Jalie raglan is actually one of the only patterns I've ever sewed more than once!

      https://jalie.com/jalie3245-raglan-tee-racerback-tank-tunic-pattern

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  6. Yep, deep breaths all throughout the day!! I question the people that said it would get easier with those independent ones. In my experience that streak only gets a bit stronger. Love the striped tops especially with chambray. I read your comments about sewing pajamas too. You might like the Modkid Vivian that just released for the girls. I'll have Tandy's on my blog tomorrow. She loves it!!

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    1. I guess every child is different! Mine all went through a rough patch in their 2s (I guess what some people call the “terrible twos”) - not that I like that expression. :) But then the 3s and beyond were so much smoother. I haven’t hit the teen years yet, so I can’t speak on how that will go! :)

      I saw your nightgown but wanted to comment from my computer because I have a hard time commenting from my phone. And this way I can get a better view, too! <3 It is GORGEOUS!

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  7. Basics are great as they get worn so often. I agree, sometimes it is nice to sit and relax and just quickly make something without having to refer to instructions. Am little cute outfit that can be whipped up in one sitting - awesome! When I first started sewing I read so much about knits. Now I think I should have spent that time practicing and seeing what works on MY machine! it is amazing how different machines respond to different fabrics! My first machine was not very kind to knits. My current machine is awesome. I have never had an issue with double needle. I use a longer straight stitch for topstitching, and I have the best feature on my machine - an adjustable presser foot! It makes sewing knits like a dream. None of that awful stretching of knit fabric while sewing it anymore. OK, nowhere near as much :) This machine is not allowed to break. I think Baby L and Hazel would make a dynamite team hahahaha

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  8. There are so many things that I told myself that I would never sew only to find myself loving sewing those garments later on. It's so interesting what we're drawn to at different times in our lives. I definitely enjoy making basics - especially since those handmade items tend to get the most wear! I love the mustard striped knit. Such a great find!!

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