Monday, June 11, 2018

Dare to Wear

It's been such a long time since I sat down to really write anything that my fingers feel a little rusty! The kids are out of school now and they all actually ended the school year on positive notes. I had very few mental requests and that was one of them: Can we please start the summer feeling good about school?

Everyone here has been struggling with various levels of anxiety. We're taking a few different approaches to treating it. I've been doing a lot of advocating for my kids and making sure all the bits and pieces are where they're supposed to be.  Frankly, it's exhausting! The good news is that we are making positive progress. Also somewhere in the middle of this I was able to take some steps for self-care.

I've been taking ballet classes for fun and exercise.  No, I don't wear a leotard. No, I don't have a recital. Yes, it is fun and I've enjoyed getting to know my classmates. It gets me out of the house by myself once a week. That's important!

The other thing I finally did was cave in a buy a new power pedal for my sewing machine. Mine got lost in the move and I've been borrowing machines for the times I really had to sew something. But, man, it feels good to be back on my own machine! It feels so good that I bought a bunch of fabric to try out too.

I bought fabric to make a skirt for Frances and one for myself. I also bought fabric to make Henry's birthday shirt. I brought it all home and threw it in the wash so that when I was ready to sew that step wouldn't hold me back.

Memorial Day weekend I ignored some house chores I needed to get done and sat down to plan out my skirt. I didn't really have a pattern, but I had an idea about what I wanted. I decided to just jump right in!

See one of the issues that comes up as a result of the anxiety in my house is that everything has to be planned out to a "T." Anticipation of the unknown is a big trigger here, so days go better when every detail is meticulously plotted out. The problem is that not only is that exhausting; it's not my style. I enjoy "flying by the seat of my pants." I like to go for drives with no destination in mind. I like to jump in feet first and figure things out as I go.

So that's what I did for my skirt. I ironed and cut out the pieces. I pinned them together and I started sewing. I messed up on a few parts, so I had to rip out some seams. NO BIG DEAL! People make mistakes. I got really close to finishing and we had to leave for our Memorial Day trip. I ended up taking it with me just to look at it and critique it. I finished it up when we got home and actually wore it to work the next day.

My skirt didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted it to. But I still had Frances' to make so I figured that I would use what I'd learned to make it better. This one had a few snags too, but I turned out much better and my 8th grader actually wore it to school!

I've since made another skirt and started a plan for a costume for VBS this summer. I also sewed Henry's birthday shirt. I didn't realize how much I had missed sewing. I didn't realize how therapeutic it was to sew. I've missed being able to create things and now that I've reminded myself, I'm going to try not to forget again!

3rd skirt
Henry's birthday shirt

Wanna make a skirt like this?

Here's the "plan."

Pick out 2-3 different fabrics that go well together.  I cut one fabric about 6" wide and the other 3" wide. The length will depend on how long you want your skirt to be. Don't forget to plan for a hem and a waistband.

Sew your strips together, alternating wide and narrow strips. Put enough together that it will fit around your waist only counting the 6 inch strips. (If you have a 30 inch waist, you'll want at least 5 six-inch strips.) Once you have all the strips sewn together, it's time to go back and make the pleats. I think these are called inverted pleats. I made them by folding the 3" fabric in half and sewing about 5" straight down. That means the 3" fabric is hidden at the top and peeks out lower down. I did this all around the skirt before I sewed the two ends together. (That's why you have to make the waist by only accounting for the 6" fabric.)

Once I had the two ends sewn together, I added an elastic waistband and hemmed the bottom. For my skirt, I cut my fabric in the wrong direction and it turned out shorter than I was comfortable with. I ended up adding another strip of fabric around the bottom. It wasn't exactly as I had planned it, but I still like the skirt! Frances' turned out perfectly and she LOVES it!

Here are some other "Truth or Dare" projects to check out!

Karen of Baking in a Tornado has these delicious looking Onion Poppy Bagels.

Lydia of Cluttered Genius has some tips on how to survive the beach with kids

And Tamara of Part-Time Working Hockey Mom has a Blast from the Past vs Present Life

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