Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kids Go Handmade: Tank and Skirt

The other night my family sat down to watch the first episode of Project Runway's newest spinoff, Threads. If you're not familiar with it, a quick Google search will immediately identify and define it for you as the biggest piece of garbage that has ever been inflicted upon the world, and that everyone involved in it (except Christian Siriano, because we LOVE Christian Siriano) should be exposed as the phonies they are and banished from their homes and loved ones forever.

I thought it was pretty cute. I will continue to watch it until its (inevitable) cancellation.

My daughter loved it! It immediately came upon her that she would be a perfect contestant for that show, and I would be a perfect sewing assistant for her. After all, all she needs to do is learn how to sew clothes, and she'll be brilliant!

And I think she's right, but I could be biased.

We started our fashion sewing lessons immediately, and here is what happened.

Rather than start from scratch with swaths of fabric, we decided to start simple: refashioning existing clothes into clothes that fit and look awesome. After all, that's what I do best, so it's what I'm best at teaching her (for now).

I grabbed this New York City t-shirt from my Goodwill box:

And she took out a tank top that fits her well, and laid it on top:

She traced around it with a washable marker:

Cut out along the line (through the front and back of the shirt):

And ended up with this!

At that point, she put the pieces right sides together, pinned along the sides and the shoulders, and sewed them together with a tight zigzag stitch:

What we WANTED to do was to attach a skirt to the t-shirt and make a dress, but my brain went OINVWOINDCNOWIENO*@&% and I couldn't figure out how to make it work. So she very tactfully and intelligently decided that it would be okay if the tank stayed a tank and the skirt stayed a skirt. They'll be separates - although they'll be intended to go together.

So we took this dress. Now, she's watching me type this so I don't want to be too critical, but I think this dress is a frilly mess. But she liked it and kept it for a long time. But MAN did she look like she stepped right out of a Victorian era Christmas card when she wore it, and not necessarily in a good way. Very, very old fashioned.

But dude. DUDE. That red tartan.

Pretty killer.

She cut the skirt off, which ended up being SUPER wide because the skirt was box-pleated in front and elastic-ruffled in the back.

Look at that beast!

She cut the skirt to the length she wanted, then folded over the top (unhemmed) edge an inch or so and pinned for the elastic casing.

She sewed the edge down, leaving an inch or so for threading the elastic:

She threaded it! She put it on! She put on the tank top!


It fit beautifully. Now she has a fully-formed outfit that she can wear to school or the playground or wherever. I couldn't be prouder!

Also I'd like to point out that I was 29 before I made anything that I could wear outside the house. So she's already doing a thousand times better than me.



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