April 4, 2012

Lots of littles...

      Nothing groundbreaking today, but several little bits of progress.  First up, I used McCall’s 7851, a recent thrift store find that I actually bought for the robe patterns, to make a matching pair of pajama shorts to go with my Star Wars shirt.  You only get flat shots for this because the shorts are a bit skimpy and trying to show shorts on a dress form is a losing battle. (Ask me how I know.)  While a bit of a detour from my goals, it was too cute not to do, and it used up enough of the sheets that I was mostly down to really worn parts that I could just throw out.

Next, I finished my reconstruction project from my goals in the form of this sweater vest.  A few years  ago, I went to Walmart with my family (no, I don’t generally shop there, but where I’m from there are places where it’s literally the only store within a half hour drive.)  We happened upon the last of the winter clearance, and I picked up two of these sweaters for $1 each, because I figured I could do something with them, where Walmart would just throw them away.  As full sweaters, there was some definite sleeve funkiness going on, and the pattern just didn’t look good on me.  I kept them thinking I could somehow fix them, and eventually it came to me.  Sweatervests are one of my favorite pieces of clothing, and have been since elementary school.  Some might say they haven’t been in style since then, but I just don’t care.  I can rock a sweatervest any day.  

    Converting the sweaters to sweatervests took less than an hour.  I essentially used part of the sleeve as a facing, serged the edge, then topstitched it down.  Voila!  Instant sweatervest!  Now that I’ve tried it on clothes I had no emotional investment in, I plan to use this approach on some of my favorite old sweaters that are no longer wearable for one reason or another (mostly because of lengthwise shrinkage).  I’m also contemplating picking up lots of basic white button up shirts and dyeing them to give a little pop to these vests.  Watch this space.

     Finally, a random trip to the thrift store Sunday yielded gold, in the form of a complete Singer buttonholer to the tune of $9.50! 

   Since my Brother machine’s 4-step buttonhole leaves much to be desired, teaming this up with my vintage Kenmore machine should hopefully remove buttonholes as a source of project dread.  You know what I mean, when you’re reluctant to start a project because you know something will go wrong when you get to that one technique?  Buttonholes are like that for me.  A project where I can use this will probably go into next month's goals.
Right now, I'm about halfway through construction of McCall's 5538 and it's looking pretty good! I'm trying pretty hard to avoid the "homemade" look with this one, as it would be great to wear at work or as a spring jacket.  (Yes, fleece is still appropriate during spring; Wisconsin is cold!)  I'm hoping to have it finished up by the end of the week.  We'll see what happens! 


  1. Buttonholes make me nervous too. You can't undo a cut in a finished garment. There is a lot of trust involved that the machine will get it right both the first time and the eighth time.

  2. OMG, I love the Star Wars jammies! Not sewing related, but I recently watched The People vs. George Lucas on Netflix. Recommended. :)