I will start off by saying I am not a seamstress. I recently went to visit my sister, who by chance owns a fabric store that is taking over her house. A couple days into the visit I was helping pull orders and put inventory away. Being surrounded by all this beautiful fabric just makes you want to create, or should I say NEED? I started visualizing different prints together and picking out fabrics my teen daughter might like. The more I talked about it the more I just HAD to create something.
So what does the older and wiser sister hand me……. LAGUNA Spiral Skirt by studio TANTRUM * Fledge. I have an 8 year old who would just love this!!! I have my daughter come in the “fabric store” and pick one fabric. She settles on something I would have never thought. A totally fun white with lime dots 100% cotton poplin manufactured by StenzoKids. OK, now the tough part, what should my next fabric be? Well, at this point I must confess something. I am not only a "buy your clothes at the store" kind of girl but I feel I do not have a creative bone in my body. This is going to be harder than I think…
Turns out, its not! Not when you have such great options. For my second fabric choice I decide to go with Marilyn from Tanya Whelan's Dolce collection. WOW, these look awesome together! Now I have my fabric and its washing I can cut the pattern. OK, this is not as hard as I thought. Skip ahead to after the fabric is dried and ironed (its always the prep time that kills you in a project, whether it be cooking or sewing). I whip together the skirt on the sewing machine and finish with a rolled hem on my sisters most fabulous serger. Project done. Daughter happy!
"Oh wait!", says the crafty brother in law. "What are you going to do for her leggings?" I haven't even been done 5 minutes and he is pulling fabric off the shelves and holding it up to the skirt. Well, I give him credit he picked the cutest green and orange striped knit!! I end up finishing my vacation having no time to work on the leggings but the sewing bug has officially bit me and I get home desperate for the knit! A wonderful care package from Texas arrives with the knit, some iron ons, a white t shirt, and the pattern.
I am off!!! Like a herd of turtles. Wow, am I a type A personality or what? I think I called my sister about 20 times for this project, from cutting, to pinning, to sewing. Good thing she loves me! So here's what I learned. Don't rush!! Take your time, methodically pin so those stripes line up. In the end it will save you from unpicking and starting over. Again go slow. When sewing with the knit I found I had to slow down so I could watch and feel the way the fabric was pulling and to guide it “just right”. I think starting out a knit that was striped was a good idea because it forced me to be methodical and take my time.
I applied the iron-ons, without a hitch, and now my beautiful daughter has a one of a kind outfit made by her mom. I am proud and feel quite accomplished. Oh and by the way, I am already picking out my next sewing project!
—Thanks, Amber, for sharing your first soiree into sewing! And THANK YOU Erin, for the great pictures
I just want to saw a few things about how she constructed the pieces…
If she can sew this patten anyone can, it just takes a nudge and desire. The skirt was sewn on the sewing machine, using a straight stitch and then another pass over the raw edges with a zig-zag is all it takes. Finishing the skirt with a rolled hem makes it quick and easy (you can do a rolled hem on your regular sewing machine if you don't have a serger). Check your user manual and I bet you'll find directions.
The knit leggings were made on a sewing machine too. Starting out with a striped knit was, I think, beneficial. The cut edge of jersey knits tend to roll, some roll a lot some a little, but it's something that you get used to. Having the stripes meant it was easy to get it layed out straight while still being able to cut the 2 legging pieces on the fold and still end up on the straight of grain. I usually fuss and muss with it getting it just so then cut out the pattern with my rotary cutter and weights (not using pins). Amber was a little more particular and pinned along the way so the fabric wouldn't get all shifty on her, then layed down the pattern and cut it out with scissors. After the seams are joined go back over the raw edges with a zig zag if you don't want them to curl up on you. For the hem make sure to use a stretch stitch (check your user manual if your not sure if you have one, I bet you do, even my first starter machine had a 3 step zig zig. Keep the fabric "as is" meaning don't stretch as you sew otherwise your hem will turn out kinda wavey.