Posts Tagged ‘ denim ’

Kids Clothes Week, delayed edition

My parents ended up spending that whole week with us. Only downside to that, and I do mean the only, was that I got done zero sewing that whole week.

I am late in getting my upcycled projects made:

Shorts finally cut from camo skirt.

camoflage skirt


Same shorts from skullie denim skirt. This was a really tight squeeze, so the inside of the waistband might have to come from something else.


skull denim skirt


And while at it, more shorts cut from an old remnant of navy terrycloth I had bought to make a romper for a now-8-year-old nephew.


Pile of t-shirts and sweatshirts to cannibalize remain in a pile in the sewing room. Mr. B could use some decent sweats…

Earmarked for warmer weather

It only takes about 1/3 of a yard of fabric to make shorts for Mr. Baby, who’ll be about 18 months old when the cold breaks, and about 1/2 a yard for simple pants.

Which means some old duds can turn into useful clothes for him.

This skirt fit ok, but I was 28 then. Skull denim!

skull denim skirt

Same pattern in camo. Used to be a Fitz summer uniform but now way too short.

camoflage skirt

These pants will shorten into shorts for me, and the excess leaves enough for shorts or even pants for him.

striped pants

Lots of denim scraps.

denim pieces

And this goofy dress  – enough fabric for a whole romper – is a perfect green giant plaid for him. Who else can credibly wear giant green plaid?

green plaid dress

So excited about this dress

This Butterick 5277.

Raglan sleeve, darts for easy shaping, nice neckline and length, not too fancy. Belts and collar all optional:

Cut a muslin out last night from some khaki polished cotton I thrifted at the Unique in Markham, like $2 for 3 or 4 yards.

Once it fits, there’ll be no stopping me. It’s such a necklace dress. It uses only 1.5 yards of fabric, plus 1.5 of lining, so I can make it in posh things.

I already have some polka dotted polished cotton. Maybe add some piping for top and sleeve edges?

Some lightweight denim

Some black polished cotton

And some dark purple twill.

Teeny tough a hit!

Yup, made another one for another teeny birthday.

This one:

jacket-patch pinned

For this one:

jacket-half birthday

T is for teeny and for tough

My teeniest friend, whose birth I got to witness last year, is a year old now and on the move.

He lives here in Chicago not far from me with his parents, but the rest of his family is spread out all over the place. And he gets to go see them pretty often.

So I thought he (and they) might like a present that lets him represent his hometown and his tough attitude.


Enter the denim jacket, which is super fun to make for teeny people. And I don’t mean I made the actual jacket. More like the patch I sewed onto the back of one I found in excellent condition in one of my better second-hand sources.


Used a piece of white cotton I interfaced and then folded in half. Cut out the six-pointed stars from interfaced scraps of polka-dotted red quilting cotton.

jacket-stars ready

Stripes from long rectangles of blue and white cloud printed fabric I folded into thirds so the edges would be clean folds. No interfacing needed there since they won’t fray.

jacket-stripes cut

Laid it all out!

jacket-applique laid out

Stars got sewn onto the background in red thread with a teeny zigzag stitch across from point to point, then all the way around.

jacket-stars stitched back

Stripes were pinned down then secured with white thread in a wider zig-zag.

jacket-stripes stitched

I basted the patch edges together really close to the edge, basted it to the jacket with a similar giant stitch, then sewed around the whole thing twice with a really big satin stitch.

jacket-patch pinned

jacket-patch satin stitch

When little mister tried it on last night, his mom had to roll up the sleeves. He has some room to grow into his new jacket.

Happy Birthday, teeny friend!

Sweet! We have another friend here whose baby boy is just about ready for a jacket, too.

Time for a reprise?!

Happy Birthday, little girl I love

My goddaughter who has legs up to her neck and avant-garde bangs (she cut herself, naturally) turned 7 this year. My girl loves a casual dress, and I love sewing for little ladies, so there’s the finished present.

I took this vintage Simplicity pattern thrifted in a packet of old patterns and lengthened the wrap top shown in yellow. The inside facing had to become longer, too, to hide all the denim fray, and I fused interfacing to a teal bandana to do that (pix here). Denim’s from Gaffney’s in Philadelphia, my very favorite fabric store.

Finally saw the little girl this past weekend, handed over packages, watched her twirl (despite the flu) in the dress *and* white on white embroidered cowboy boots purchased for a steal from Alcala’s Western Wear in Chicago.



Not sewing as much as usual – work has heated up with a giant Freedom of Information project. I love the FOIA and the 1st Amendment and open government as reporter tools, and have wanted to conduct such an audit for a long time. So that’s good news. But here’s why editors wouldn’t let me do it before – it’s incredibly time consuming keeping track of so many document requests. More to come as Sunshine Week approaches.
That having been said, I have managed to straighten some pants, which is easy to do just because it can be done one small step at a time.

  • Sliced the boot cut off dark denim pants inherited from my sister
  • Un-booted gray cords I wear practically as reporter uniform
  • Tightened up a gorgeous pair of vintage Bill Blass jeans
  • Tried to taper the bells on these thrifted muddy pink cords because the waist construction is stunning and very solidly done.

pink-pants-before.jpgSo they’re pink, I know, after I just whined about stupid pink. (What’s with all the best thrift store stuff being pink?) But they are of such quality that I thought I’d try out dyeing on them since they were $1. Will try gray or brown or black. Nothing crazy.

The beauty of this work is that it can be done in pieces. Short attention spans welcome. Got 10 minutes to sew? You too can straighten pants. Click here for the step-by-step.