Sunday, November 30, 2008

Weekend Project: Holiday Countdown

I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.
Shirley Temple

It's crunch time for making holiday gifts. During a boring telcon last week, I listed out the gifts that I want to make and estimated the time each would take. Then I sketched out a calendar for the month of December and penciled in the hours that I would have available for sewing. The resulting clash of incompatible numbers was not pretty... :(

I will try to follow Summerset's example and sew for at least 30 minutes each day. It's amazing how much she has been able to accomplish in those small bursts!

Of course, over the weekends I must get big chunks accomplished. I only did so-so for this weekend. I did make a shirt for my youngest nephew. I'm embarrassed to admit how long this has been in my queue - he picked out the fabric last Christmas! :(

The most fun part of making these shirts is planning the pocket. Sometimes I cut it to blend in with the shirt. Other times I cut it for the impact of the graphic. This time, I went for the impact...

I also cut out all of the pieces for a flannel shirt for my grandmother (left) and a shirt for my father (right).

I spent Sunday afternoon at Ana's house, helping Ana and Juana make their practice pair of pants. We used the patterns that we drafted a few weeks ago. Both pairs of pants were short and so the patterns will need to have an inch or so added to the length to allow for hems. Both girls also trimmed down the waist by 2 - 2.5 inches, to have "hip-huggers".

For some reason, Ana's pair came out too tight around the hips. She came up with the idea to add an extension on one side to salvage this pair of pants, but we definitely need to add another "seam allowance" of half inch or so along the inner and outer side seams.

Oddly enough, Juana's fit better. Here are front and rear views before we added darts around the waist or the waist treatment (bias tape binding):

And here she models the finished pants!

Given that we followed the same instructions to make the two patterns, I'm not sure why the two of them ended up with such different results... Still, I had definitely established that the goal of this exercise was to refine the patterns and that getting a wearable muslin would be a bonus. So, we accomplished our goal. Ana's next pair will fit better. :)

How are you doing with your Christmas sewing projects?


Joanne said...

Love the fabrics you use here, particularly in these shirts. They have a distinct personality, that I'll bet the recipient just loves!

Anonymous said...

That shirt is wonderful--congratulations on the pocket placement. That really looks fantastic! I will, eventually, work up the courage to sew a pair of pants but that won't be for a while. By the end of tomorrow I will have finished two skirts that were started on Thanksgiving. I'm happy with the results and happy with my progress. I know you will get all your Christmas sewing done--you'll find a way!

SunnyQ said...

Wow - the pants look great. I couldn't tell that Ana's looked too tight from the pictures. Hopefully that means it's not too bad (and I hope it's not error I added during drafting<:-}!) Good luck with the countdown! :)

Summerset said...

Just a little bit each day! You really can get a lot done if you plan for and use the time wisely.

The pants look good, and what a tremendous learning experience!

Christine said...

Wow! The pants look excellent. What a fantastic job!