Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pencil Roll: PASS



A young friend of ours had a birthday this week. It wasn't until I saw his mom's rainbow-birthday-cake-in-progress pictures on Instagram last night that I realized we forgot to RSVP to his party. Which started in 12 hours. Some weeks are like that.

Enter the 10-minute pencil roll tutorial. When paired with some of your husband's old-fashioned pens and nibs, it makes for a spiffy little gift package. Our son approved of the idea and helped choose the appropriate fabric.



Making a pouch out of a single piece of material felt a bit like magic. Cintia's tutorial instructions are very clearly written and illustrated. The only change I made was to attach the cord when I serged (overlocked) the side vs. serging first and attaching the cord with my sewing machine. I had to clean and rethread my serger, so this took longer than 10 minutes. But probably not more than 30.

Thanks to this quick project, we made it to the party on time, gift in hand for a really cool 11-year-old. We weren't the only ones who had forgotten to RSVP. And that rainbow cake was really something.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Crazy Pockets Parsley Pants: PASS


I wish I were as easy to fit as my kid. It took just one pattern adjustment to improve the fit of this season's second pair of Parsley Pants. Eyeballing the first pair, I figured the next ones could be taken in an inch. I slashed the pattern at the tuxedo stripe line, overlapped the pieces by a half inch, taped them back together, and redrew the waistline.

And that's it!

There is the matter of the pockets. Aren't these enormous fish ridiculous and wonderful? I didn't think I could use this fabric scrap for anything. I don't even remember where I got it. But when I pulled it out of my blue/green scrap bin, it coordinated so well with the corduroy. My kid thought they were great. (Despite the look on his face in the pic below.)

Pants in action at the end of a school field trip. Note the jaunty walk and nascent preteen glare.

Hoarding. It's how the magic happens.


Do you hang on to your dubious scraps? Or do you keep your stash pared down to only what you know for sure you'll use?


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tiny Button Down Shirt: FAIL



Last winter, just before my son's school concert and Kid's Clothes Week, I realized he had outgrown his dress shirts. What a perfect opportunity resize one of my husband's castoffs into an adorable and practical item!

Or not. As the shirt came together (Burda magazine 9/2008, 142), I realized it would be too small. Much. Too. Small. (Again!) I couldn't bring myself to finish a shirt my kid would never wear and bundled the whole mess away.


Last week I cleaned up a pile of fabric scraps, patterns, and unfinished objects. At the very bottom, I found the tiny shirt. Looking it over, I remembered enjoying the puzzle of reusing the button placket, collar, cuffs, and hem instead of making them from scratch. I ran the fabric, delightfully soft, through my hands. And I realized that I was nearly finished!


It took just an evening to complete. The shirt looks great, aside from one ugly buttonhole and a couple of lumpy seams. An utter failure for my intended purpose, but maybe some little guy can put it to use.

Egads! At least it's the bottom buttonhole.

Do you abandon projects you know you won't use or finish them up to give away? Or, like me, do let them sit for eight months while you decide? :)