Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sewing for Other People: My Mom

ThumbnailWhen I went to visit my family over the holidays I brought two pairs of jeans and a bunch of tops. I'm working on traveling light (and my suitcase was full of gifts). One of the tops I brought was Knip Mode 4/08 #13, the fabulous gather front top. It is so fabulous that even my mom noticed it (she's not one for fashion) and asked for the pattern.

When I got home I called her for her measurements and started tracing out the pattern. But then I realized that she would never get around to making it for herself, so I better just make her one. I chose an aqua colored slinky from stash (I think I bought it from Fashion Fabrics Club 2 or 3 years ago). Then I realized that she probably didn't have anything to wear with the top so I found a coordinating wool plaid from The Carol Collection. Purple is her favorite color and she seems to like plaid skirts. I wanted a pattern that had only side seams to minimize plaid matching and with some pleats for roominess. BWOF 10-08-103 was perfect. Here it is!

Outfit for Mom

She is allegedly going to get my dad to take a picture of her in the outfit and email it to me, but they have to learn several technologies before this can happen and I didn't want to wait. The top is my only contribution to the stash contest so I wanted to go ahead and post it and do the review!

I made the top pretty much as before, which is basically right out of the envelope (or magazine, I suppose). Because slinky is heavy and prone to growth spurts I used twill tape on the shoulders. I also hand sewed the collar together for a couple inches at the front. My mom dresses quite conservatively and is self conscious about a scar at the base of her neck from having thyroid surgery while she was pregnant with me, so she doesn't like low necklines. As I recall, she doesn't like V necklines at all, but she had seen the shirt and knew it was a V so I figured it would be ok.

The skirt went together well and easily. The pleat arrows didn't really work for me. The front has two sets of pleats, one on either side of CF. Both sets are supposed to be arranged sort of as a center extroverted pleat (opposite of inverted, I'm not sure what the real name is) with a pleat on either side facing in toward it. It didn't really look right so I had all the front pleats facing toward the closest side. The back pleats are supposed to be the same extroverted pleat with other pleats radiating but it would have poofed over her rear end (we are pretty much the exact same shape, just in different sizes), so I changed that to an inverted pleat with overlapping side pleats facing toward CB, as you can see here.

Mark Waistband I really like BWOF's wide waistband for skirts. They have a nice contour, which is flattering. My tip is that where there are similar shaped waistband pieces, I mark them with chalk on the inside. In the photo you can see that I've written "FF" and "BF" for front facing and back facing. The back and front were marked with F and B. This saves a lot of unnecessary trouble.

Baste Half Zipper I'm pretty proud of how well I matched plaid at the zipper/side seam. To get the skirt/waistband seam to line up perfectly, I machine stitched one side of the zipper and then hand-basted the other side in. As you can see, I cut the waistband on the cross grain after seeing how bad it looked to have a plaid waistband cut on grain in BWOF 09-2007-116 (I've since ripped the waistband out and inserted one on the cross-grain, just haven't taken pictures)

I kept the outfit a secret so she didn't know what was coming when she got a package from me. She said she was so excited that she cried, and when I talked to my dad later that week he said that my mom was pulling out the outfit for anyone who would look at it and had already worn it. She assures me it fits but of course I have no idea as I haven't seen a picture! I will look for more projects to sew for her. She is right on the cusp of regular and plus Burda sizes, so I will have a chance to sew some of those great Burda plus patterns I am always so envious of in the magazine.

All photos of the top are here and the review is here. The skirt photos are here and the review is here, and here she is in the outfit!

Mom in her Outfit

So now apparently I do sew for other people. I have two more people to sew for as yesterday--Jet and Marvel are now big brother and sister to twin brothers Cash and Fox, born February 24!

16 comments:

-E said...

Congrats, Auntie!

I have been reading the SFOP posts with great interest- I'm trying to recruit friends so I can practice sewing for other people, but no one is interested ("wait till I lose a few pounds!" is always the excuse).

I can't sew for my family. They always give the stuff back to me unworn (fur vest, anyone?)

Linda said...

What a lovely gift for your mom. My mom always wore everything I sewed for her and bragged about it also. Aren't Mom's wonderful that way?

Little Hunting Creek said...

I'm so glad she likes it! It is beautiful. I'm working on a shirt for DH now and after that one for our son. Still wrestling with that Butterick top - basically reinventing it. I am writing them a scathing rebuke. I sew for family only, I was going to say but then remembered that I made stuff for people at work - tote bags - and they loved them. So I only sew for selected worthy recipients - like you :)

judy said...

Great outfit! The shirt came out fabulous! Lucky mom!!

Jill B said...

I'm totally digging the names of your nephews and niece, btw.

Sue said...

Great combo for your Mum - I can see why she would be happy to recieve it. I have been considering sewing an outfit for my Mum so this just might spur me on. Congratulations on being an Aunty again!

Sew4Fun said...

Lovely outfit for your mom. I can see why she likes it.

Congrats on becoming an auntie again!

Sherril said...

You're such a good daughter. I hope we get to see a picture of her wearing it. You've made such a pretty outfit.

AllisonC said...

The outfit looks great, must have been a lovely surprise when the package arrived. Hope your parents can get to grips with the technology so we can see it being modelled soon!

Linda said...

Love the colors of the top and skirt. Nice gift for Mom!

melissa said...

Ohhh, your mom's reaction is so cute - my mom does the same thing when I occasionally sew for her! That plaid matching is awesome, too.

Byrdie said...

Nice outfit. The only person I can sew for is my father. He wears anything I make him with pride. I had made a pair of pajamas for my mother-in-law. She gave them back to me with a list of adjustments to make. They are still in my sewing room two years later. Pajamas for crying out loud! No one is gonna see you in them!

eword10 said...

That was such a sweet thing to do for your mom and she obviously loves it! They're beautifully made and a great color combo. I am in the middle of making my niece a halter top. It's definitely a labor of love! Congrats on the newest members of your family.

Lisette M said...

No wonder your mom liked it! it is beautiful.

Marita said...

WOW!!! I love that color combo too, you did fine, she'll soon have you done all her clothes:-)

Adelaide B said...

Ah, my nemesis the BWOF plus patterns will probably look great on your mom! What a nice oufit for her. I sew for my daughter occasionally, but she is hard to fit (she's a teeny tiny hourglass.) And, well, teenagers aren't maybe as grateful as you'd like them to be. I wait until she desperately wants something that she will never be able to afford. (I also like to sew for myself the most, and she gets irritated with how long it takes me to make her stuff.)