Saturday, November 17, 2007

Why I will never be a seamstress.

Sewing is one of my pleasures. I do like to sew. Right now doll clothes are my specialty. They are not very high-quality. Just because I like to sew does not mean I'm good at it. I make a lot of mistakes. A while back I related my problem with keeping right sides together. But, I keep trying.

My little E is having a trousers crisis: we can't find any that fit her. So we decided we should make some simple elastic waist pants for her. We planned to start with some pajamas for practice. I had a large piece of flannel purchased for some long-forgotten project. One of the nice things about flannel is that both sides feel nice. Both sides look the same, too, if it's a solid fabric. This had a faint print of blue flowers on white. The wrong side of the fabric was just white. This is important to know. This is foreshadowing, folks.

Since elastic waist pants require only 2 patterns pieces, and I have sewn before (but not pants), I didn't bother to look at the layout instructions. We just pinned and cut. Then it was time to put the piece together. I remembered to put them right sides together. But they didn't go together. If you know how to sew pants, you know the problem. I can't exactly explain it. But I had positioned the pattern pieces in such a way that they simply couldn't be pinned right sides together.

I really try not to get frustrated and burst into tears in front of my children. It was hard not to. But I explained, as calmly as I could, the problem. I showed E that we could still make the pants, but they would be, uh, mismatched. Part of the pants would be all white; part would have the blue flowers. At that point I couldn't tell exactly how that would work out.

She cheerfully accepted the idea of the funny pants and we pressed on. Got the pants finished before bedtime, all except for the hem! They fit perfectly. They are cozy and warm and comfy. The front of the pants is white; the back has the printed side out.

For wearing at home, mismatched pj pants are fine. It would have looked better, and more intentional, if the front of one leg and the back of the other matched. But I couldn't have planned it that way.

Today we bought some corduroy to try again, this time to make some pants she can wear outside the house. I'll be checking the instructions for the pattern layout this time!

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