Thursday, October 10, 2013

Soft pants

Since I've sewn several pairs of lounge pants, the son doesn't like jeans any more.   The lounge pants are really sewn to be pyjama pants but since he wears them around the house all day, I call them lounge pants.  At his age he could probably get away with wearing them to school and around, but they are silky and thin, so I say lounge pants only. We've gotten away from jeans during the summer, but with the weather cooling, he is resisting the jeans and only wants "soft pants".   Well, have you ever found decent sweatpants or gym pants at the thriftstore for a boy?  Usually they are stained, snagged, torn, etc.  What is a thrifty mom to do?

I always buy nice flowy jersey dresses for the fabric to make shirts, leggings, palazzo type pants, etc.  But the material seems too thin and stretchy for a boy.  So I decided to check out the men's section to see what I could find in the way of "quality" winterwear.  I found nice thick sweatshirts (not the cheap type), thick knit shirts and pyjama pants, polo shirts (that nice waffleweave type material).  I basically went crazy.  I found some really nice fabrics and some interesting colors.  I plan to make a ton of winter pants for both kids.  I also found several stripe print polo shirts that I plan to make into pants for the daughter.  I am so excited!

Here is the first pair I've made so far.  These are for the son.  Notice the little I that ended up right around the crotch.  I for Izod.  That was not planned but I just rolled with it.  Adds character.  I have to laugh.  He could care less.  I guess he could turn them around and let it hide under his buttcheek.  I told him it is I for Intelligent.  Maybe I'll try to work harder to avoid that next time.

Here are the steps and missteps.

Nice quality sweatshirt, really thick and soft.  Green tags were half off that day, so double score!

 First I cut off the waistband to use as a guess what?......Waistband.

Then I just used a pair of his own sweatpants for the pattern.  Notice I let the waistband hang off and am still right on the edge of the fabric (which I will need to hem).  Yikes!  These pattern pants are a little long so I am just going to risk it.  Worse case, I end up using the waistband or the arm cuffs to make leg bands for more length. 

*Note to self, extend life of too short sweatpants using legbands.  More likely, fix sewing screwups with legbands.

Notice at the last minute, I remembered to turn the sweatshirt inside out before cutting.  Whew, close one!

 I left a little seam allowance up the side and left the waist straight cut since it will be attached to a waistband.

Same thing for this side.

 I trimmed away the seam on the waistband so I'd have less bulk to work with and besides, the serger will be finishing that edge nicely again.

Here they are, all serged up.  Now I must say, typically the back on pants are cut a little bigger and with a longer stride than the front to make room for the butt.  But I couldn't see much of a difference between front and back in the pattern pants.  That and the fact that these are forgiving sweatshirt knit and for a bootyless boy, I didn't fret over making adjustments for the back pieces.  I will not be able to get away with that for the daughter.  Baby got back.

And here is the waistband attached.........backward. Oh well, I never said I was perfect.


Here is the waistband, attached correctly.

Since the waist only took half the existing shirt waistband, I cut it so it would have a finished edge on both ends.  Then I decided to just slightly overlap them where they joined so I could run a cord through and call it a day.

Then I came back to reality.  I had visions of rethreading those darn things over and over and also remembered that cords aren't really safe for kids.  So I ran a piece of elastic through and stitched them up like this with an X.....not exactly professional but basically unnoticeable.

And here is the waistband completely installed.

And all that is left is to hem the bottom.  I just flipped under and stitched with a stretchy zigzag so it would have some give.  No need to roll under because I don't want the bulk and knits don't ravel.  By stretchy, I used the zigzag that looks like it is elongated, and appears to be a straight stitch on fabric.

And that's it, pair number 1.  So nice and soft, actually too warm for the odd weather that we had for a while there, but now that it is cooling off, the son is super excited to wear them.

And I am left with half a waistband (enough for another pair), a neckband, and two arms.  Those arms are big enough to make a pair for a baby.  Hmm....

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall garden

Pitiful ain't it?

Isn't this a sad excuse for a flower bed?  I swear I've been looking at it every day for over a month, wanting to put some plants in, hating to spend the money since it is so late in the year.

And yes, if you've been following my posts, those are the same plants that I showed several posts ago, when I was so super excited about making terrariums.  Good thing those are the types of plants that can take abuse.

And you may be asking why I have a dvd stand in my flowerbed.  Well, I can tell you that has only been there for a day or so, once I finally got tired of walking around it in my dining room.  I bought it on a thriftstore trip with the intent on making a plant stand of sorts.  Perfect for outdoors since it is metal.  You'll see.

Notice how dry that soil is.....the very same soil that I paid to have delivered months ago so I could laboriously shovel it in to plant some nice annuals in the bed.  It has been so dry and the annuals just never happened.  At the very least I wanted to put some mulch down to keep it from washing away and keep weeds down.  Then I did a little research on Pinterest on "fall gardens" and of course they had me at hello.  I decided it was more worthwhile to be happy for few months than to cringe every time I pulled up to my front yard.  Besides, our yard had us looking like the Clampetts (holler if you get the reference.)

Since I have been furloughed and got to see what it feels like to be a stay at home mom for once, I was able to see just how productive I could be if left to my own devises (kids are in school!).  I justified spending the money that I have no clue if I can really afford at this point (day 2 of the furlough) to buy some plants, a bag of potting soil, mulch and a few misc. items.  I ended up spending around $100 (with some plants, pots and bulbs left for the back yard - a later post).

Well, was it worth it?  I think so!

 Amazing, isn't it, what a few plants and some mulch will do for some curb appeal.

And there is that lovely dvd, I mean plant stand.  Pretty cool huh?

I even got to finally finish the terrarium project.  All thiftstore buys.  Sorry for the wetness in the photos but I figured I better not wait or they'll be dead by the time I get around to it again. :)  I just gave them a light spray.  I didn't want to shock them too bad by actually giving them some water.....just kidding, they only take a little water.

You can barely see it but that is a rock plant amongst all the rocks in the pitcher and it has a single bloom.  How the heck does it bloom as dry as it has been?

Since I used the daughter's rock collection for this project, I had to include the rainbow rock she made in school last year.  I actually think it is the perfect touch.

The rocks are actually supporting this poor pitiful one.  It'll make it, these things are tough as nails.

This one is my favorite, not really a terrarium but such a pretty plant and planter.

Now you just watch, after all the abuse they've been through in the heat with little water, I'll bring them inside and kill them within a month.