Friday, August 28, 2009

dusk designs

The other day my daughter happened to be with me as I perused the aisles of our local Salvation Army. That girl has an eye and some very clear ideas. She spotted two identical striped shirts in colors that were "just perfect for me, Mom!". Yup, she really said that... including the Mom part (I miss "Mama"... I hope that name doesn't disappear, totally). I really do love her strong sense of self... and I happen to love stripes, too. Even though these were a little bright.

The whole ride home she proceeded to tell me exactly what I would make them into. I appreciate her confidence in me... that total faith in my abilities amazes me and keeps me burning to make whatever she requests, even if it's right before bed time. And how come it always seems to be that hour of the day? I can't tell you how often she's sweetly asked: can you finish it tonight? Before bed? Or how about her most frequent ploy to get me running for my sewing machine: "I don't know if I can sleep without it... ".

So her design idea: a sleep skirt... have you ever heard of a sleep skirt? I hadn't. And a sleep tank top with "flowers". Essentially: innovative pajamas!

I'll be honest, I love having an excuse to sew up something without too much of a plan or pattern. Cutting up jersey is so forgiving. Making up as I go along is one of my favorite ways to create. I always learn a thing or two. Next time, I'd adjust the tank... more fabric would have helped. She's super happy with it, but I may try another version some day. The skirt, however, will be made again and again... and not just for sleep!

I might need one for me, too. So can you tell from the pictures? Finished it at dusk... just in time for some evening hooping.

Tips for working with jersey/cotton knit with a standard sewing machine:
  • there is an endless supply of good quality cotton t-shirts at most thrift stores for: perfect supplies for deconstructing.
  • lettuce edging is an easy way to finish off a bottom hem.
  • a knit-wear needle in your machine makes a difference.
  • stretch stitches (zigzag, etc.) are best.
  • double rolled edges (like the ones in the front crossover part of the tank) eliminate some of the stretched-out wonkiness that can happen.
  • use a delicate hand when guiding jersey through your machine: too much pulling will activate that said stretched-out look.
Note: It's been almost a week... and this outfit has morphed into separate pieces of "day wear", as well! Pin It


  1. do you knopw that i have been feeling the same thing here with lily? lately (now that she has begun kindergarten?) she has taken to calling me "mom" more often than "momma", also. a little bit sad for me, but at least em still calls me momma, and that's about all that cate says right now!!
    i have a whole pile of tees waiting to begin life as new togs for the girlies. you have inspired me for sure, and thanks for the helpful hints. now, if you could just find some time for me, i would be ever so grateful. ;)

  2. oh...and that should have been "know" instead of "knopw". sorry.

  3. That's excellent. You and your daughter are both so clever. And thanks for the sewing tips, too.

  4. very cool. you and your daughter have great vision!

  5. i think that might be precisely why I create clothing for my daughter. I would love it to bits if when she is older she comes to me with a plan of what she wants me to make her. I think that the 'my mommmy can do anything' thing is hard to come by these days, the longer it can be held onto the more precious it is!

  6. I love the lettuce edge. Thanks for the quick tutorial. I've just started appliqueing some of my daughters' shirts. Now I may have to give them a new edge too!

  7. your much taller than last I saw her sweetheart has amazing style that reflects her lovely personality

  8. This is wonderful and the lettuce edge tute is sweet! I can't wait to practice that one soon!

  9. THAT is darling. And I adore stripes.

  10. It's fantastic!
    I never got to do the lettuce edge right... Don't know why but it seems to be wrong. I have to give it another try.
    These are julie-colored stripes!
    I really love the outfit.

  11. That's a great sleep/day outfit, and I love that your daughter assumed you would be able to create her design :-)

    I have loads of old t-shirts waiting to be refashioned, so thanks for the sewing tips.

  12. Thanks for the idea. My daughter has lots of old tees that could be converted.

  13. You inspired me to repurpose a tablecloth into a little dress for one of my toddlers (I'll have to make a second one tomorrow!) Thanks for reminding me to look at things around me a bit differently!
    (Oh, and I linked to your blog with this entry:
    love your blog!

  14. Wow! I'm so impressed, I wish that I could jump on the sewing machine and make things for my kids. I am still at the WAY beginning stages of that though. I so admire your craftiness, and they way you make time for it all!

  15. Cute, cute, cute! I love the idea of a sleep skirt.

  16. Its a nice skirt and baby is looking so cute in it.

  17. adorable! i love sleep skirts - so clever, it's half a nightgown, so why not, right?!