Birdsong Bows: September 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sewing, rather than shopping

I've never really loved clothes shopping. I know I'm in the minority (among many women, anyway), but the nicely-cut clothing is usually out of my price range, and being petite, clothes are often either too long, or too wide. And lately, because the price of cotton has skyrocketed, the cotton on T-shirts has become miserably thin, and I'm thinking: I'm paying *that* for *this?*
Our girls also tend to gravitate toward looks that are expensive -- but looks that are totally accessible for me to sew. So I've made a loose commitment to sew most of the new clothes for my daughters and I...probably not jeans and bras, but I may even give underwear a "whirl."
I'm particularly interested in sewing with knits, because they're so comfortable and easy to wear! Sure, they're different to sew, but with a few modifications (and continued learning on my serger), the results are very professional! As I go along I'll share some tips and techniques.
My youngest daughter loves to wear skirts, but still enjoys jumping around, upside down (exposing her underwear!) so I started with sewing up several pairs of leggings in different lengths. The pattern is from Patty Young's book, "Sewing ModKid Style." I used some cotton rib knit with Lycra that I had available from former baby headband projects. This fabric is perfect for leggings, because the Lycra, or spandex, helps the fabric bounce back into shape around the knees.
Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store had some cute and inexpensive knit fabric to use for a twirl skirt (pattern also available in Young's book).
I plan to make a funky T-shirt as well, but right now the leggings and skirt match wonderfully with one of my daughter's monkey T-shirts. I might change out the sleeves with the dot print, though - it would really tie everything together and add to her girlish funky style!

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