Monday, March 31, 2014

Sewing Shorts

If nothing else, I'm writing a new post to push aside my Pantone quilt, which didn't do well in the challenge. The piece that won is gorgeous... and so small! Makes me wish I hadn't put so much time into a larger project that I don't even like very much. "Perspective" is the only thing that redeems it! I'll be hanging it in my sewing room with the word side out.

For something different... Sometimes it's nice to sew clothes again.

I come from a background of home sewists. My mother was the best at garment construction. In a week or less, she could whip up a new outfit for herself or us two girls, even when working full time. She always sewed new Easter outfits for us and herself, and I remember one time when she even made my sister and me purses! They were white fabric, drawstring top bags, and inside, for stabilization was a Quaker Oats container! So economical, and clever! There wasn't much that she couldn't sew. At one time or another, each of us wore a home sewn swimming suit, dress coat, two-piece suit, wedding and bridesmaid dresses... and those were just a few of the items she created!

On the right is our mother, perhaps in the early 1990's, modeling a wool suit and blouse she made and entered in the Make It Yourself With Wool contest. She won first place, in her region and age division.

An upbringing in such a household led both my sister and me to do our own sewing. For me, quilting came later, but it's still a treat to sew clothes. I'm a dress and skirt kind of gal, and still like to make the occasional outfit for myself. I had hoped to someday have a little girl to dress up again, but with four grandsons born into our family that isn't going to happen. To be honest, I find it difficult to not become overly jealous of my friends who get to sew cute girl clothes for their granddaughters.

So, I look for reasons to sew for grandsons. I'm grateful to SewKellySews on Instagram, who recently posted a picture of Minion fabric. That was all the excuse I needed to sew shorts for two grandsons - the brothers who are 13 months apart and "speak" Minion to each other. They're a hoot.

The fabric came from Spoonflower - two one-yard Kona pieces. One print has a pale green background and the other, a light blue background. 

The little drawing Jorren drew on the packing slip made me smile.

This shorts pattern is a purchased download from DanaMadeIt. It's nice because I have 11 sizes, and a number of styles. These are sizes 3 and 4 boy's shorts with front pockets. See how I even matched the print of the pocket Minions to the shorts fronts?!

Too bad I don't have any models nearby to put them on and show you how they look. I hope they'll like wearing the shorts, and look as adorable as I think they will. Linda

16 comments:

Deb said...

What a wonderful photo of your mother! She was lovely and stylish and gave you the great gift of sewing. As for the Pantone challenge, I'm sorry you didn't win but to be honest, I don't like the "Color of the Year." Something about it turns me off, however, yours paired with the brights was great. Funny how we all have colors we love and others -- not so much. Makes for wonderful quilts. The shorts are adorable. Are you making some teeny ones for LJ? Have fun.

Patchwork and Play said...

You look like your mother, Linda! And what a stylish lady she was.... My mother also made most of my clothes growing up! So many that I remember clearly buying my first swimsuit when I was about 13 or 14! Your little grandsons will love their shorts, I'm sure.

tink's mom said...

Oh how cool those shorts are. They will be well worn before the summer is over.
You look so much like your mom. That is such a terrific picture.

Mayleen said...

Linda, those are really cute shorts! Impressed that you matched the pocket too.

You look so much like your mom and I think its neat that you both sew. My mom was not a good seamstress and that motivated me to succeed.

Oops-Lah said...

Now I know where all your talents come from. How lovely your mum looks in her hand made outfit, although it doesn't look home made at all, but very professional. And you know what; I think you look a lot like her too. Love the shorts you've made. No doubt your grandsons will love them.

Karen said...

That sounds like my mom! Sorry your quilt didn't do well. Sometimes it's hard to know what to do, but I think each quilt we make makes us better. I know the boys will love their shorts, so cute.

sandra said...


I loved your quilt but I guess you can't always win and I am sure it was a learning curve for you.
I wanted granddaughters to so I could sew all the frilly dress. Then I have Jonah who really can't see what I made so could care less but I do love those shorts.
Love the picture of your Mom, lucky you to have someone to teach you. My Mom always worked so I had to teach myself and learn from wonderful friends. Blessings Sandra

Anne said...

Talent runs in the family. Such a nice sewing history to have. I can understand missing the little girls to sew for but the shorts are just so adorable. Love that cute print. I pretty much quit sewing kids clothes as my daughter got too big to want them and my son never did. Only made him a vest once to match my vest and my daughter's dress one Christmas. A little over the top matchy matchy when I look back on it now.

Kerry said...

Gosh, well it's easy to see that sewing talent runs in the family. Didn't your mum look lovely in her suit. Such a family resemblance between her, you and your daughter.
The boy's shorts are sooo cute. They will be very happy to get them on I'm sure. Nana's are the best.

Carla said...

I loved learning about your mother's sewing skills, Linda. Someday Jill will be writing about your skills I am sure! Those shorts are so cute..I don't know about Minions, but they look friendly!! Pat yourself on the back for your lovely challenge quilt, whether it won or not!

Nancy said...

Agree that you look like your mother. Make it Yourself with Wool- had forgotten about that competition. The shorts are perfect in that print!

Dar said...

You are definitely your mother's daughter, both in looks and talent. Not having any grand kids, I don't even know what Minons are. They sure look cute and the boys will love them.

Emily said...

I love the "Minion speak" video. So cute! We love the minions in our house too. Cute shorts!

Lynda D said...

As I read this blog, I kept thinking about a book I read many, many years ago: My Mother, Myself. Both you and your mom have an air of style and a real talent with needle and thread. Loved the shorts and may even try my hand at making shorts for my grandsons. Returned home yesterday to snow!! Oh for the warmer, sunnier days of The Villages...Lynda D.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Loved that photo of your mother! My grandmother was the one in our family that sewed garments. She didn't even need a pattern - she just looked at something and then cut it out. My favorite shorts outfit ever was a pretty involved sewing technique that I marvel at today. I wanted to wear it every day. :) blessings, marlene

OPQuilt said...

I loved this post and especially loved the photo of your mother in her hand-made suit. It's exquisite! (And yes, you appear to resemble her.) No wonder you can whip up all these little shorts so quickly!

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