Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sewing For Teens...


Yeah. And then it'll be SILENT again. LOL! Friday was my predecessor's last day. So now it gets real! I am so excited :-D


My daughter's school has contracted with a local photography studio to have every senior take a headshot for the yearbook. I love and hate this; love that every kid will then have a professional photo done...hate that then there's little option for originality. 

(My parents were all O_o over my decision to use one of my photos, wearing a NY Knicks sweatshirt, as my yearbook photo! haha!)

Anyway, she NEEDED a t-shirt dress. And it should be white. And "ooh, here's some white fabric!". And then she got some major side eye from me because uhmm, hello, that's MINE. But of course, she got it...

In case you haven't noticed, I don't do "self drafted", I don't do "tutorials"...I pretty much sew patterns and have that one RTW rub off top that I lurve.

I was perusing the stash and thought, OH! I bet that t-shirt can be made into a dress! So I did some Google'in and found this tutorial: Here


I sewed a size 10 which is customary in Big4 for her. If she liked a more fitted garment she would be an 8 with broad shoulder adjustment...but she likes a looser fit. I sewed 1/2" side seams once I realized this knit isn't that stretchy, again, because she doesn't go for fitted.

The neck binding was absolutely perfect. It was the right length and I like the width and it just went in BAM, no problems! Swoon!

*I bought these labels from a now closed Etsy shop soon after I started sewing. I would often find them shredded in the wash. They are printed on satin ribbon and I'm pretty sure the act of sewing through them was just making them ripe for falling apart. Now, I interface them before using them. Seems to work! I keep making up an order for woven ones but I just can't bite the bullet when these are perfectly usable...Soon!


I was totally going to start on my Burda 6/2015 dress seeing as how I forgot to pickup the PDF pattern I'm testing. Yeah...that's kind of necessary...I pass the UPS store every day and on Friday, RIGHT by it. Didn't even look in that store's direction!

I was a little intimidated by the Burda because it is fitted. And when Burda shows a fitted garment, they mean it. 

I decided my son's shorts would be a good distraction. 

Never tell yourself that something with pockets and welts and a fly front is a "distraction"...

I traced them Friday and spent far more time sewing on Saturday and Sunday than I have in a long time. It felt good too! I like this kind of "no stakes" sewing. I knew that there was a chance he might not like them; especially since before I even started sewing he called the fabric pink. It's red. Chambray. My daughter warned me "quit now". 

I figured getting bogged down in the details of this sew would be "good" :)

1) He was being a total toddler today and I knew I shouldn't have even had him try them on
2) He whined that they would be "way too big. Just LOOK at them!". Yet when I went to take his measurements he said he would do it himself.
3) I think they look fantastic on him and will see if he comes around. Maybe he wants to pick out a nice khaki or navy or something.
4) I might just bop him upside the head...

That's a nice pair of shorts, man!

I was very careful with everything!

Although, that reversed fly front kept messing me up!

I used a crinkle cotton gauze for the pocket bags


I cut into my fabric! I did it!!!

Okay, so welts are not "hard" but requires precision. Precise stitching = a nice welt. Wonky stitching = wonky welt.

This one is better than the other, but do you see right in the center of the bottom how the opening is slightly smaller than the rest of the welt? Yep. That'll mess you up! And my opening is 1/2" but my ends are just under. It is ALL about starting and stopping PRECISELY at the marks. 

I know I'll get better at this. I live for technical stuff. I'm ready to welt pocket everything!

Double stitched  hem (I did 1.5", the pattern called for 2")

Details :)

I love this pocket opening <3

Lastly, I do get some newer sewers asking for details on how I do certain things. 

I am just not a teacher-type. I just DO. And it is often really difficult for me to slow down and really, try to think through what I'm doing in a way that someone else may understand.

And, my mom has always called me her little "bunny rabbit" and funnily, my former coworker (who is 10 years my mom's senior), called me a "bunny" one day when we were training! LOL!

I move fast and the idea of taking photos along the way of things?? Bleh.

HOWEVER(!) I did stop to take this photo of the fly zipper insertion. :)

Some people don't baste. I find basting to be a REQUIREMENT. Even with my wonder tape (helloooooo Wonder tape!).

I line up the edge of the fly *just* on the other side of the zipper teeth. I apply wonder tape to the zipper tape. I sew that side of the zipper. I line the other edge *just* to the left of the zipper tape and topstitch in place (many do not topstitch here but it works best for me). 

I then line the edge of the fly RIGHT over that line of topstitching and baste in place. Then I do my topstitching on the fly side.

It sounds like a lot but it seriously takes me mere minutes to insert a fly zipper now. 

 Until later!


Fabric Mart

I really enjoyed participating last year! It was fun!!!  If you are even thinking about it a little bit, you should submit!


  1. That dress is cute, cute, cute! And, the shorts are awesome! I'm impressed and inspired by your precise sewing. Although, you might have to come over to help me with welt

  2. That welt pocket is perfect! And those shorts are awesome, so is the dress. You have some very lucky kids!

  3. Both projects look great, and I really admire sewing for teens...I got major eyeroll once they hit 14 or so until about 22. I love reading your blog!

  4. You are very lucky to have two teens that will allow you to sew for them. My two stay clear of the sewing area, afraid I will come at them with my tape measure. They run in fear!!!! Your daughter looks beautiful in the dress, well done! I also love the shorts, you're giving me ideas......Kids come here, I have my tape measure ready.................!

  5. Love the dress on your daughter! Beautiful girl. Hope your son comes around to the shorts because they look great!

  6. Wow, your technique is amazing! It is amazing your kids want you to sew for them. They must admire your skills too!

  7. Yep, as the mother of two teens, I 100% understand the thought that you might just need to bop someone upside the head. Back to sewing - your techniques look great! Thanks for taking the time to photograph some of your sewing progress.

  8. Great pieces, both. The shorts are fabulous and they look great on your son - hopefully he will realize it too.

  9. Oh wow, both of these are great! I love how your daughter has styled her dress - the shoes, the purse:) Those shorts are awesome. They look great on your son.

  10. I love the dress and shorts - thanks for all the detail shots. :)

  11. When my daughter was a teen, I gave up sewing for her. I just sewed for me and she took the things she liked. She was one size smaller than I am so it worked fairly well. I have senior pics of her in dresses I made. As an adult, she loves everything I sew her and all her friends want to be my daughter.

  12. Are the students required to use the professional pics? We had the same thing at my school, eons ago, and I ended up using a selfie I took on my 35mm camera, with my favorite posters in the background. (Do kids nowadays hang posters of their favorite bands in their bedrooms anymore?)

    Also, masterful job on the shorts -- even if they're not your son's style, no-stakes sewing is a great palate cleanser. And my mother would love your speed! She's like you, but everyone else in the family (including my dad, yay) is super mellow and slow moving.

    Good luck on the next phase of things at work. :)

  13. My son refuses to wear his fox coat I made him. I nearly bopped him for that one. He grunted a salty thank you after making him a pencil case. I made his grandpa bop him that time.

    He was definitely more appreciative for his Communion suit. I would have run away from home if he hadn't been grateful that time, lol.

    Wouldn't it be nice if those shorts fit you? They are awesome. I LOVE them so much, but I know my big ole butt can't fit in them, otherwise I would offer to buy them from you. ;-)

    Your daughter looks beyond adorable. LOVE that dress on her!

    1. Oh and by fox coat I mean the coat looks like a fox, not that it is made from fox pelts.

  14. Those both turned out great! I am sure your kiddos will love wearing them!

  15. Omg, I have satin labels too, and they fray in the wash too! Maybe we got them from the same etsy vendor. I'll try your interfacing trick.
    The shorts look great, they really do. My son would be the same way though. He doesn't like me to measure him either! hahaha.
    And don't you just love when the neck binding is perfect! YES!

  16. I really like the texture on the dress fabric. And WOW to the pants, just WOW. The finishing on that is amazing. And congratulations on your welts! I've only done them a few times, but I always watched a different video or read a new tutorial each time to guide me through them. I guess I'm worried about missing something lol.

  17. I think both pieces are amazing, and look wonderful! You are a great mom to sacrifice your fabric, LOL! Also, your son's pants are AWESOME! They look so well made, because they are!!

  18. I do not understand why males are allowed to be stupid, just because they are adolescent! EVERYDAY I face the internal battle of wanting to head slap the lad & managing to not. Aagh!

    Shorts=awesome! I made my son the requested pair of black shorts & Fire tops & pencil case. He flatly refused to let me make him black trousers - no idea why. Meanwhile my elder lass has chosen a very tricky pattern for her formal dance thingy at school. I've got six months!

  19. Both garments are so nice. And I love your daughter's accessorizing!!


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