Thursday, July 29, 2010

T-shirt Undies and comparison to RTW

My sister turns her old t-shirts into rags. I turn mine into undies, shorts and bras for the girls. They don't turn out cute because I don't have cutsie t-shirts. But I'm going after function anyway. I did consider letting Naiobi draw on them with fabric markers but she wore them before I got a chance to offer that to her.

The pattern above is That Darn Kat's Children's Undies pdf pattern. I don't see the pattern on her blog but you can get it from Pink Chalk Fabrics. This is the first time I make these although I've had the pattern for at least a year now. I would say these did not sew up quickly for me. Keeping the cotton/lycra bands folded in half, even after I ironed them so, was too fidgety for me. I sew elastic on much faster. One thing I didn't quite get, were the curved seams in the front where the panty is joined. I could not get them to fit well together. I had to stretch the front piece a LOT to get it to reach the side piece. I don't understand why it's not just 2 straight lines. I started out using just a straight stitch, but when she put them on, the stitching busted. I had to go back and use the straight stretch stitch. Of course, that won't be a problem if you use a serger. The dark green pair is topstitched as suggested, but I found it to be unnecessary.

Naiobi made a face when she first saw them but she didn't give me one complaint about them once she wore them. She says they're comfortable and she likes that they cover her crotch. I'll compare them below. Here's how they look on. Ignore the little hole. These were made without a serger.

You can tell how the fit is affected by the type of fabric used. The dark green ones are cotton/lycra and they fit more snugly. The light green ones are just a cotton ribbing, looser. I think she likes those better.

Next up, my staple undie pattern: Ottobre, Winter 2004. I've placed them next to the other one's for comparison. The crotch width is comparable. You can see here what I'm talking about where the seams are joined in the front. The Ottobre pattern is has the straight seam. In terms of wearability, I don't think adding the curved seam makes any difference.

And here is why Naiobi prefers the undies I make her. Granted, not all panties are made this way. The Fruit of the Loom and Hanes girls' panties both have a very good fit in the crotch area. I can't remember where I got these particular RTW ones. I think it was either at Macy's or JC Penney's. She HATES these underwear. The crotch is just too narrow and they don't feel comfortable to her. She never wears dresses or skirts without shorts underneath, but these would not provide much coverage for those little girls who do. You can see in the pictures above that the ones I made fit well below the belly button. The RTW ones are even lower than that! Mommy likes handmade better for that reason too.

Omari didn't want her face in the picture. The bra is from Jalie 2564. These are super easy to make. I didn't use any pattern for the shorts. Just used something she already had to cut them out. These were from an extra large t-shirt. I used to use all her dad's old t-shirts to make her shorts but he's not extra large anymore. I guess I'll have to start buying fabric for this purpose.

The one on the right is awaiting the purchase of more bra slides.

First Muslin

Oh I'm so glad I muslined this top. It's waaaay too small. There's no way it can slide over my hips. But overall I like how it makes my boobs look bigger. I will work on making this fit better.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 18, 2010

GI Joe

David and I met when I was 14 and he was 16. I remember him, Tall, Bright, Eager, Confident, Nice smile. The following year we had Trigonometry together. I was a smart girl. :) In this picture we are 20 and 22. We had lunch this day because he'd enlisted in the Army and was leaving for training camp. I was liberally angry with him for this choice. He had a college degree after all and to me this was a path taken by those with no other options.

I was enamored with him my entire adolescence. He was a good looking, confident man-boy with a chiding manner, curiously driven and focused. This boy had a plan! I looked up to him and he was a good "big brother." When I was in college we became pen pals and good friends. I was still in college when he graduated and started his life as a military man. We remained pen pals. I could turn to him with any problem and he was always patient, motivating, understanding, comforting, pushing me. We were devout writers. I kept every picture and postcard he sent.

Here we are during one of his visits to California from wherever he was. I am in graduate school and he's on his way to becoming a pilot. We are 23 and 25 now.

I saw him one more time after this, the following year. Then I turned 25 and later that year got engaged. His response to that letter was to tell me he himself had gotten married and I was crushed! He'd concealed it for 4 months! I felt betrayed. Discarded. Unimportant. And that was the last exchange we had.

8 years later I received a postcard with no return address that enraged me!!! I wrote him letters, full of reproach, for which I had no mailing address. I'm a pretty good private investigator and tracked him down a couple of months later. I nervously dialed his number. I wanted an explanation. We met and talked for 3 hours and I was satisfied. And my heart was joyful. Here was my friend again! The one that I crushed on forever, through all boyfriends, through his deployment, through his silence. I wish he'd been around for my marriage. He would have told me a thing or two. Here was the boy I'd admired, that loved me as a girl, that listened and counseled. The boy with the lovely lips (you see them right?) who quickened my heart and put butterflies in my stomach. Puppy love. Unchanging.

And here we are now, 37 and 39. We had a helluva time trying to take a picture together. How did we do it before digital cameras?! I suppose we are a tad more vain now. I had to piece this one together from 2 different pictures (all on my iPhone thankyouverymuch).

I do not know his religious beliefs. His politics are a mystery to me. I don't know of his loves or relationships after his divorce. Of his family I know little. I don't know what he has for breakfast or if he drinks coffee. I unconditionally adore him. He is a single father of 4 children. A good father. Dedicated, committed, involved and his children are lovely people for it. He lives close by yet I've seen him only a few times since he came back into my life. A random phone call to him this weekend revealed that he is leaving for Iraq. For a year. And my response was grief. I am so, so sad. I am sad for his children. For his parents and selfishly, for me. I had to see him. Being in his busy home, with the kids, and talking and laughing, just made me miss him more. For him, leaving again is just an inconvenience.

Why is it that knowing that someone is not close by anymore makes you miss them more? Is that just me? I mean, I haven't been missing him. I am suddenly aware of the time I've taken for granted. When he came back into my life I suddenly felt at ease. I was relieved of an anxiety I hadn't realized I held over his safety. My heart feels tight and heavy. A little worm of worry has already started to invade.

And so I look forward to his return that we may continue taking pictures until we are 100 and 102.

Be safe my friend.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Unplanned Project

I spent the weekend dusting and organize one corner of my house. Just one corner! It's the corner with the bookshelf and the game box. Both were things that I"ve been meaning to get to because they just looked horrible. Here's a before shot:

Eeewww. So dusty! Every time I looked at it I would just feel disgust but would also get overwhelmed. So, I ignored it. I suffer from allergies to rabbits, cats, dust and pollen. I have different reactions to all of them. I hate dusting because that one gets everything going! I start itching in my throat, nose and eyes. My nose starts running and eyes start tearing and then it makes my asthma act up. I made sure to take an allergy pill before I started and wrapped by nose and mouth in a bandana. Here's the after shot:

Aahhhh! It's amazing how much tranquility and relaxation a little organization and cleanliness brings. What's that saying? Cleanliness is next to godliness? I need to try that more often. I got rid of books that will be headed to the library for donation and vowed to reread the ones I decided to keep. I moved the scrapbooks down to where Naiobi could reach them because she loves looking at them. I raided the girls' bookshelf in their room and brought all the books that I love over.

The problem with the game box is, as you can see, it's full of holes. Those little holes let in all kinds of dust so that when we go in to retrieve a game (after we've removed everything that has accumulated on the lid) dust flies all over the place.

I'd had the idea to make a sack for it for a long time but never got around to it. So, with the girls being gone and already starting the mass dusting, I decided to just go for it then and there. And here's how it turned out:

It didn't fit perfectly and I could have used a couple more inches to go over it but it will certainly do. The top is unfinished. It needs to be quilted and backed. Hopefully it won't take me an eternity to get to it.

No fourth of July show for me this year because, like movies, I enjoy them better with company and I had none. I could hear all the fireworks going off as I relaxed with a book in my bathtub.