In which I do battle with my sewing machine’s buttonhole foot, and win

This has been a good week for sewing projects. I finished a shirt each for me and Griff, and ended up with two actually wearable projects!

One of the problems I’ve found with sewing clothes is that unless you live in NYC and have access to real fabric stores, almost all the affordable “apparel” fabric available locally or online is, to be blunt, ass-ugly. On the other hand, there is a huge range of good-quality quilting fabric available just about everywhere for under $10/yard in a dizzying array of great novelty prints, florals, geometrics, kids’ prints, etc. The problem is that quilting cottons are on the heavy side and don’t drape well. Well-made, soft, drapey, shirting-weight fabrics (voiles, gauze, lawn, etc) aren’t cheap. Liberty of London Tana Lawn (*drool*) runs over $30/yard, and imported Japanese double gauze costs around $20. So I use quilting cottons and try to enjoy the fun prints while ignoring the fact that the stuff I make never quite drapes right, is heavier than it should be, etc.

This is all said to introduce the shirt I made myself from some old Kaffe Fassett quilting cotton that’s been marinating in my stash since before Sean and I moved in together, which is to say, a while. It’s the tank top variation of New Look 6871. I wish the fabric wasn’t quite so stiff, but I don’t think it’s bad enough to take this into maternity-wear territory (but if it looks that way to you, no, there’s nothing I need to tell you). I like the end result and I’ll be making more. I have an idea involving some cheap white cotton gauze and fabric paints percolating in my head.

Here I am in some of my favorite catalog-model poses.

The Waving At The Plastic Bag Caught In the Tree Branches.


The Thinker.


The Thinking About the Plastic Bag Caught In the Tree Branches.

My new shirt

And of course, The Superman. (Superman likes a Shiner Bock now and again, OK???)


Griff’s project was made from the Fishsticks Designs Everyday Camp Shirt Pattern (I used the Big Kid version of the pattern and made the smallest size, a 5). I found the pattern easy to use and the instructions clear and thorough. (Why can’t the big commercial companies’ patterns be this nice to use? Sigh.) The boys’ size 5 turned out to be a perfect fit for Griff, who has graduated from toddler sizes in shirts to a big kid XS-S and now takes a 4T pant. Griff picked out the rocket ship fabric at Joanns, and I picked a coordinating fat quarter for the pocket. My machine’s buttonhole feature isn’t the most intuitive, but I got it figured out and managed to get them all cut without ripping a gaping hole in the fabric. And the buttons all fit through the holes but don’t pop out randomly, so hooray for me.

He seems to like it, and it fits perfectly. I’m currently fighting the urge to buy every cute cotton novelty print I can find to make him a whole batch of these things.

Here’s what you get when you ask Griff to smile for photos these days. Erk.


Not much better:


Approaching normal!



It wasn’t all modeling clothes this weekend, though. Among other things, we got our pole bean teepee set up and laid down cardboard and mulch underneath. I still need to do more digging/amending around the base and add some wires or strings between the poles.


Griff got a Stomp Rocket for his birthday last month, and today he just totally clicked on figuring out how to tromp on the air bladder to get the rockets to launch. He had a great time shooting rockets across the yard this afternoon.




The spring garden is doing well (we had our first spinach and lettuce salad this weekend).


The tomato plants will be going in the ground next weekend unless it actually snows, because they are getting HUGE.


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