Friday, February 27, 2015

Sewing Date with Ms. Ella

From paper to reality. It's so gratifying to see a design come to life.
With all the hustle and bustle, non-stop sewing, planning pop-ups and work being crazy 24/7, it's nice to slow it down and spend some quality time sewing with a friend for fun. It's something I've been trying to make an effort to make time for lately. Ella and I set up a sewing date for this past Wednesday, and she had one goal: to make a skirt. 
Ella designed the above garment in her book of drawings and figures years ago, and she had just enough striped jersey to make a skirt. But one problem, we didn't have a pattern or a waistband. Oddly enough, this wonderful 9 year old had never sewn a garment.

She's been hand sewing since she was 5 or 6, and I gave her her first machine this past July. You may also recognize her from our piece that aired in December featuring my donation program with kids in the community. 
Next step: drafting a pattern. We used paper her mom had what was drafting paper on a roll, perfect for making patterns. Measured Ella's waist, and the length she wanted, and added about 8 inches to the width at the bottom hem, making two different pieces for the front and back. The bottom diagonal piece was cut on a fold to make it drape better, so the skirt was actually three pieces and the waistband.

As far as drafting patterns for clothing, I can't remember the last time I did this! I wish I sewed for myself more. Sewing with Ella and other girls I teach makes me realize how much I just love sewing, without the purpose of making goods for my shop. My goal for 2015 is to make myself something at least once a month. 
After drafting the pattern, we carefully cut out the fabric, and just barely had enough fabric. Phew! Without elastic for a waistband, we just happened to have the perfect waistband in the car from a recent donation we were able to size down for teeny Ella. 
First thing we did was change out her needle. It's very important to use a ballpoint needle in your machine when sewing jersey, or your machine will skip stitches. Also, we did not sew a straight stitch, we turned her stitch selector to zig zag. Then, we sewed the front piece of the skirt to the back at the left side. Then we sewed the bottom sash piece to the skirt, and lastly closed up the skirt by sewing the front and back together at the right side seam. Then we attached the waistband and DONE!
Okay. Now scroll back up and look at the original design. Isn't she brilliant?! I'm so proud of her! And I know she was equally excited. If she can do it, why can't you! You can do (almost) anything you put your mind to, I promise. 
Get out your sewing machine and make yourself something. Treat yourself to some crafting, sewing, knitting, crocheting, whatever. Whatever makes you happy. We all move too fast in this world, working, sleeping, eating, Facebooking, and general stuff that fills our day. Be sure to take time for you. I know you won't be disappointed with the outcome.

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