A Year-long Quest for Shorts

Yes, once again demonstrating a flair for dramatics with that title. But I also made 4 pairs of shorts in about a month after putting it off for a full year.

You see, my mom was frustrated with the lack of non-denim shorts in stores about a year ago. Seems a strange thing to be looking for in February now that I am sitting here in March in less than 50 degree weather, but perhaps I put off making that first pair of shorts as well and she was actually looking for shorts in the summer. Now that I think of it, that’s probably what it actually was.

Anyway, I set about to draft a pattern and quickly got bored of that idea. So I found a commercial pattern I could tinker with instead. (McCall’s M6930 if you are also looking for one. I used option A but shortened the inseam a bit.) I was able to combine two sizes to get them to fit the way she wanted, not to mention they have actual, functional pockets instead of the fake pockets women’s shorts usually have.

I made the first version as a test out of the fabric she had the most of, but for those I used some snaps I had in my stash instead of those slider buttons pants usually have. That turned out to be a mistake, because they continually pop open, but by waiting a year until things opened up a bit more I was able to get the actual hardware I needed for the “real” shorts.

I am thinking of once again taking the easy road and modifying the pattern for myself to make some short leggings for under dresses this summer. Or it might just be easier to draft my own pattern for those. We’ll see. I still have a dress in pieces hanging out in my sewing bin that I should probably finish first.


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A Double-sided Halloween Pillow

When I joined the Snarky and Modern Facebook Group for the RBG Stitch Along, I found out that there was also an embroidery stitch along happening at the same time. I’ve been wanting to do more embroidery, so I decided to pick this one up as well. Here is the finished result:

As the opposite side of a scrap-stuffed pillow with this piece designed by 8.Bit.Stitch that I stitched last year:

I wasn’t entirely certain what I was going to do when I started, but luckily I made it on a large enough bit of fabric that it fit perfectly with the cross stitched piece I had finished a year earlier. It was a great way to work on some stitches I needed to practice, like French knots.

I think I can finally say I’ve got the hang of the French knot after not being able to do them consistently ever.

I really like the way it turned out on the dark purple, even if it was difficult to see the lines on the water soluble stabilizer. Though some of that difficulty may have stemmed from the fact I didn’t have the printable type and instead had to use some from a roll I had laying around. I don’t think it was meant to be used for pattern transfers.

It worked, though. I printed the pattern on paper, originally intending to trace it directly onto the fabric with a water-removable fabric pen, but I couldn’t see the pattern through the fabric even on my lightbox’s highest setting. The clear stabilizer worked with the pattern traced in a micron pen. No marks were left once I washed it away, so it can work in a pinch if you happen to have it on hand.


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Masks, Masks, and more Masks!

Back in March I set out to use all the cotton fabric I had in my stash to make fabric face masks to donate. I pulled every bit of plain cotton I had out and ironed it, then set to work cutting as many mask pieces as I could.

I didn’t have much of the thin elastic for ear straps, so I made as many of those as I could, and then started making the ones with tie straps. The best part of that is they are completely adjustable and can fit very snugly, no matter what your head size. I’ve had littles as young as 2 wear the same size I do.

As the experts began suggesting everyone should wear non-medical masks when leaving the house, I changed from exclusively planning to donate to selling them as well. Through selling them, I was able to buy more fabric that I could dedicate to making more masks and then donate one for every one sold.

A little less than a month after starting the project, I was able to send a box of 66 masks off to the Sew Together project put together by the shoe company Tieks. I was still awaiting some fabric at that point, but I wanted to be sure I got what I had available sent out.

Once I finally got the last batch of masks finished, I decided I was only going to leave them up on Etsy until the end of June. I just got the box sent off today, so now I have the final count:

127 donated, 42 sold through Etsy, and about 60 sold through Instagram/ text/ kept for myself (having trouble counting it up, and probably forgetting about some). So in all I’ve managed to make probably 230 masks, and now I’ve taken some time off from sewing. My poor little machine definitely needed a break.


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