How I Got on with the Kids Clothes Week Challenge 2011
I started out ambitious, excited and heady with the possibilities that lay before me. Seven whole days dedicated to making clothes for the boy, supported by hundreds of other people around the world all making children’s’ clothes too, inspiring and encouraging each other to go forth and sew!
The week before the challenge I started preparations, sorting through the boy’s wardrobe and getting rid of all the clothes he had outgrown, digging out the shorts pattern I drafted a few years ago, buying fabric and checking that I had enough elastic and thread. I also wrote up the tutorial for the shorts, ready to post once I had photos of each step. I browsed through the KCWC flickr photo pool and felt awed, inspired and also a little bit intimidated, there are so many truly talented clothes makers out there, and I am such an amateur by comparison. I didn’t let myself get too intimidated our dejected by their talent though, instead I took the more positive attitude that with practice and experience one day I too could be as good as them!
Sunday 8th May 2011
By sunday the suspense was getting to me. I had already resigned myself to the fact that I would be putting in a lot more than the one hour a day required to take part in the challenge if I was going to complete all the projects on my list, so I got ready for monday by cutting all my fabric for my first pair of shorts and finishing writing the tutorial.
Monday 9th May 2011 – Day One
After a day at work, an hour of private tuition, supervising the boy with his homework, hanging up the washing, cooking and eating dinner, there wasn’t much time left in the day, but I just about managed to sew my first item of clothing of the week, the navy striped shorts with button and zip waistline. I added the photos to the tutorial and posted it on the blog. The shorts looked great and the boy was very happy with them. I felt proud and inspired and ready for the week ahead.
Tuesday 10th May 2011 – Day Two
Today my task was simple, to transform a pair of adult’s trousers to fit the boy. This was surprisingly easy to do, and I was very happy with the results. Blogged about here.
Wednesday 11th May 2011 – Day Three
Today was a very productive and satisfying day. Not only did I manage to sew a pair of elasticated waist shorts, I also included some cool pockets on the front. The original plan didn’t include front pockets, but while browsing the KCWC flickr group pool I was inspired by the pockets on the trousers Dana Made, and she had included such a clear tutorial that I just had to try them out. They are brilliant, I think the front pockets really finish the shorts off well, and stop them looking like pyjamas!
Thursday 12th May 2011 – Day Four
Today I managed to cut out the fabric for two more pairs of shorts and make the lined pockets. Some might say I was on a roll. There are dishes in the sink and washing to be hung up, threads and scraps of fabric litter the carpets in every room of the house, hitching lifts on our clothes and spreading everywhere, but I am on a roll, I have never started and completed so many sewing projects in this space of time before, and I am loving it!
Friday 13th May 2011 – Day Five
I know, it’s friday, but after a day at work all I wanted to do was get home and continue sewing! Because I had cut all the fabric for another pair of shorts yesterday it didn’t take me long to sew them together, and today is probably the only day that I actually only worked on this challenge for one hour. I’m getting good at sewing shorts now and threatening to make Mr. B some too! See the purple gingham pocket? That is actually the fabric I used to line the pockets, but somehow I managed to make two left pockets, so I had to turn one round for the right hand side, and the boy insisted he didn’t mind the pockets being different, so I went with it. Personally I would have preferred to have not made any mistakes and have both pockets the same, but as long as the boy is happy I don’t mind.
Saturday 14th May 2011 – Day 6
Today was a busy day for me, with guests visiting, but in the morning I quickly managed to sew together the last pair of shorts, which I had thankfully already cut out earlier in the week. Again, with all the pieces pre-cut, it didn’t take me long to sew these babies together. I think they are my favourite of all the clothes I have made the boy this week. The fabric was a bit of an indulgence, as at £10 per metre it was more expensive than the other fabrics. They are lovely and bright and fun, which doesn’t always happen with boys’ clothes.
Sunday 15th May 2011 – Day 7
I rested. I was done, I had made enough shorts to last the boy at least two summers (I made them long for a reason!), all had gone relatively smoothly, and I was happy to quit on a high note. So today I cleaned the house, hoovered up all the thread and fabric scraps, entertained friends with a long lazy drawn-out lunch, and then had a long afternoon nap! Ah bliss.
I have really enjoyed taking part in this challenge, there is no way I would ever have made four pairs of shorts and a pair of trousers in one week if I hadn’t been motivated by the commitment of joining the Kids Clothes Week Challenge, and been inspired and pushed on by seeing what everyone else was making. There are some truly talented people out there (who can sew in straight lines, lucky things!) and one day I hope to be as good as them. I’m looking forward to taking part in future Kids Clothes Week Challenges, and trying my hand at harder items of clothing next time.
Total hours spent sewing: About 15
1 metre red and green check fabric: £6
1 metre blue and purple check fabric: £7
1 metre turquoise and navy spotty fabric: £10
Navy and cream ticking fabric: about £6 (it was left over fabric from previous projects)
Adult trousers: free
Elastic: 30p from a charity shop
Lining fabrics for the pockets: scraps from my stash
Estimated cost per item: £6
And, to top it all off, I have at least a fat quarter of left over fabric for each of the fabrics I bought, so enough for some more projects!