Friday, May 23, 2014

Homemade Friday: Maritime Shorts from Grainline Studio

It's getting a bit ridiculous, this sewing bug.

I started once it finally warmed up and I seem to be partially addicted.  But, really, if you're going to have an addiction isn't it better to have one based on creating pretty things?  For myself? While my children moan about being hungry?

Ever since I started sewing* I've not really felt up to the task.  I started simply, sewing skirts that had two pieces and a zipper, making my mom sew in the zipper every time.

Also notice the tiny pocket tank. And the fact that for some reason every time I take self portraits I look super pissed.  Probably because I hate taking self portraits.
I moved on to dresses, but it was never easy.  The instructions were like really complicated math word problems that refused to make any sense in my brain.  I winged it mostly, believing that even if I wasn't following the instructions exactly I'd still be able to wear the finished project.

And for the most part it worked - provided my mom would sew the buttons on for me.

I put my machine away for awhile, preferring to focus on knitting in my spare time because I had babies and it was way easier to find the time to sit in front of a television knitting than hiding myself in a room far away from TV and sewing.  I multi-tasked, is what I'm saying.

In the past few years I've still sewn things for my kids sporatically, like the bags for Christmas, those demonic Easter bunnies, Halloween costumes, shorts.  But I never felt confident.  I never felt like I knew what I was doing, just like I was able to finish a project with sheer determination.

They are wrinkled because they are well-loved.
Last year I started sewing earnestly.  I'm not sure why, really.  Maybe it was because the kids were older and better able to go longer stretches without needing me at their beck and call.  Maybe it was because I was older and felt the need to connect in some way with my mother, and with her mother, my Granny, who died almost 12 years ago and who was a sewist and who I still miss so very much.

But whatever the reason I pulled my machine out and got to work.  I made dress after dress after dress for myself, and a couple of tops.  I even used a bit of that time to sew for my kids, who probably don't really deserve it on account of how little they appreciate my effort.

Everything I made, though, was simple, no buttons, no zippers, easy-to-follow.  I did put the zipper in Sebastian's Batman Halloween costume myself, so by October I was beginning to feel the urge to stretch my sewing wings a bit.

Me Made May 2014 has really helped me.  I've never participated before, probably because I didn't have enough hand-made clothes to wear.  This year, though, I've made it a point to make myself things.  It's fun, you know?  It's neat to be able to say yes, I did make that.  And I've been given the opportunity, the freedom, to spend much of my days off of work sewing.  The kids are in school and I am all by myself.  (Oh how I love being all by myself!  Introverts unite!)


I'm not sure what made me look to shorts to sew.  I know I bought the Maritime Shorts pattern along with the Tiny Pocket Tank and Scout Tee in a drunken haze one night.  Because nothing says fun drunk girl like buying sewing patterns late at night while your husband is asleep.

I spent last Friday cutting out the shorts pattern, along with the tank and shirt because I find it much easier to sew when all the pieces are already there waiting on you.  They're digital patterns, which means (I think I've already said this but bare with me) you have to print out a bajillion pages and cut and paste all of the pieces of the pattern together.  It sucks.  Hate it.  But then again, it's nice to have the pattern right there for you.

These shorts also had a bajillion pattern pieces to cut out, so once I got all of the pattern pieces cut out I still had to cut out all of the shorts pieces.

I started sewing on Saturday because I was excited about doing something new.  (All the pieces!  THE ZIPPER!)  And I just couldn't get it.  I have a hard time with shorts and pants anyway because I can never see how the pieces are going to fit together to make something vaguely wearable until the end.  These instructions made absolutely no sense to me.  So I did some searching and found that Grainline Studio did a pattern tutorial, which was perfect and just what I needed.  It was still difficult and confusing and hard to follow in some points, but I did it.  I sewed shorts.  Real shorts, not just the ones with an elastic waist.

It's a fly!  And more wrinkles!

There was a fly to insert and a zipper to sew and pockets.  Four of them.  I took it step by step and had to use the seam ripper quite a few times, but I finished.  I actually originally had the legs longer than the pattern called for, but I'd made the shorts too big accidentally so the long length made me look matronly and I'm not ready for that yet.

As I said, they're too big.  I realized it as I was going and attempted to just sew larger seams to make up for it.  It worked some, but then made the waistband wonky.  And they're still too big.  But that could possibly be because the material is stretchy and has loosened up as I've worn them.  And I have worn them.  I wore them on Monday afternoon and Wednesday to the zoo and then when I got home from work last night.

They're incredibly comfortable. I love them so, so much.  They're not perfect at all but they're mine and I made them with my own two hands and a photo tutorial.

I want to make more.  I will make more.

Watch out for my butt.**

*I'm not counting the hand-sewing I did as a kid making clothes for my Barbie dolls. Mainly because it was horrible.

**We've been watching entirely too much Frozen around here.  I couldn't help it.

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