Clothes I’ve made for my girls (or sewing like the Lone Ranger)

When I sew twirling betty orders, I basically inspect every stitch and the ones that aren’t up to scratch are made to stand in the corner, sometimes for hours. That might sound harsh, but I am a perfectionist and if I’m doing my best, then I expect my stitches to be on board with me.

This does not, however, apply to the clothes I sew for my kids. Nope, the sewing I do for them I refer to as “cowboy sewing”. That is, it’s so rough and ready it’s practically wearing spurs.

I kind of love it. I get to sew without worrying about the perfection I insist on for my paid orders. So, in the next few shots of clothes I’ve made for the girls this summer will you see straight lines? Nah. Finished seams? Nope. Seriously, if you turned some of these garments inside out you might faint clear away from the sheer horror of tangled elastic threads and hastily sewn straps. I mean look at this (if you dare):

I know. Practically illegal.

But I LOVE making these things. And, more importantly, the girls love wearing them and that gives me a great sense of satisfaction. If I aimed for perfection with their stuff too, I’d never sew for them because I simply just don’t have the time. Because I am EXTREMELY busy and important.

So saddle up pardners. We’re in for a rough ride.

This black and white polka dot sunsuit was a nightmare to make. I actually started it 12 months ago and then abandoned it when my sewing machine, for no apparent reason, suddenly refused to shir. For those of you non-sewing types out there, shirring is when you put elastic thread in your machine and sew lines to make a stretchy panel.

I had to order a new bobbin case from Brother, then break the tension paint seal and re-set it at a tension that let me shirr. It shirr was a pain in the arse.

But it all came together beautifully in the end despite the fact I drew up the pattern for the bottom half myself. The striped neck strap was a last-minute addition when I couldn’t be fagged to make matching straps. It’s actually ready-made quilt binding.

I made this dress for Sophia

using this pattern, only instead of straps I went with the halter neck look again.

It’s very cute seeing those big bows at the back of the neck.

I used a tutorial I found on this magical interwebs for the blue dress in the photos at the start of the post but can’t for the life of me find it again now. Despite having bookmarked it. Sigh. But that’s probably just as well given the dress ended up looking like a flowery sack of potatoes.  So I did a bit of John Wayne-ing on the side seams.

The red is the original seam and the green my cavalier attempt to correct. I didn’t measure or mark (because I don’t go in for that kind of thing when I’m in the saddle) and it worked beautifully nonetheless. The lesson: eyeball it and then be brave. You can always unpick it.

And did I clean up the inside, ie snip out the excess fabric? Well that wouldn’t be very wild west now would it?

But guess what? You can’t tell.

Finally, this gorgeous fabric was a gift from my friend Dorothy. When her mother passed away, she gave me lots of fabric from her mother’s stash which I absolutely treasure. When Dorothy and John came by recently I told her I had trouble using any of her mother’s fabric because it was so very special. But in her inimitable way she told me to stop being ridiculous and just use it. So I did.


14 thoughts on “Clothes I’ve made for my girls (or sewing like the Lone Ranger)

  1. Darrrrrn they are mighty cute – still lovin’ that blue floral fabric too! And the fabric in the visor (in the Olive butt photo).

    Who needs perfection when your ‘less than perfect’ stuff looks so fantastic!!!!


    • I know, I think this is one of those things lots of crafty mums face: only ever having time to create stuff for people they don’t even really know…while their own kids tug at their knee requesting something similar. So I agree, if hacked together means my kids get some stuff – I’m happy with it.

    • Thanks Claire. I can’t but be honest…what if I pretended they were all perfect on the inside and then Sophia did a handstand and put the dog’s breakfast that is my sewing on display! Nope, much better to prepare people up front, I think!

  2. SO CUTE!! I especially adore those little bubbles (you know, for lack of a better word the ones that have shirring then little leg holes). I am going to try and figure that out for my little toddler tonight.


  3. Pingback: How fabric serviettes will convert waves of chaos to nightly fine dining. « twirling betty

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