Many parents went out in July and August and bought their children new wardrobes to start the school year. I did not. One of my children got new shoes (because his were falling apart) and the other will continue wearing closed-toe sandals until the weather cools. It doesn't make sense to me to buy fast-growing children fall clothing in August that they won't wear until at least late September. Most of it will no longer fit! See, I've got tall kids. And they have a knack for sprouting up an inch or two overnight. There's no way I'm buying/making anyone pants until the absolute very last minute. Plus, by now, clothes are on sale in stores, so win-win.
I'm also not one of those sewing Moms who will create a fall collection for her third grader from scratch. That's nearly impossible with a family/home/business to run. But I do find this time of year refreshing and inspiring to start new projects. Labor Day signifies the start of a new year moreso to me than January 1. Maybe because I was a student myself for so very long making it all the way through graduate school. Maybe because so much else has changed in our house now that my youngest is in all day kindergarten. Or maybe it just seems that going from summer to a brand new grade makes my children seem older. My Mom always used to say that. Birthdays didn't make us seem older to her, but that first day of school always did.
Today I wanted to share some project ideas that are rattling around my brain this late summer day. Since I have more flexibility in my schedule and a bit more time to think about personal projects with school back in session, this is what I'm calling my Back to School Sewing List.
Casual pants for my husband. I've been following this indie Canadian pattern designer at Thread Theory for a few months, and I *love* that she designs for men. No one does that! Kids and women get all the sewing attention. This will be a challenging project for me, but I'm looking forward to learning some new skills and garment construction techniques. One day I may attempt her pea coat pattern, but cutting into all that expensive wool scares me right now.
The Staple Dress for myself, from April Rhodes. I think this dress will work for many seasons. As-is for summer, but layered with tights and a long sleeve tee or cardigan for cooler weather. The possibilities are endless. Hence the name, I suppose. Whether to make it in a neutral or bold print...or maybe even both! I think it's a flattering cut that will work on many body shapes. You can play with the hem and not make it so contrasting in length from front to back (you do know you don't have to follow a designer's pattern to the letter, right?)
As you can tell from the above two project ideas, there's more to life than Simplicity and Joann Fabrics. I have many posts brewing in my head about that!
Our children got a new desk this summer that is long enough for both of them to work comfortably side by side. My husband built it from something else in our house that he dismantled (I'll have a post about it soon). They need some chairs, and I plan to make really fun chair cushions. The playroom is evolving with the addition of this desk, and I plan to do some heavy re-decorating this fall and winter. The desk is step 1. Cushions are step 2, and buckets of white paint to cover the ugly walls are step 3. Maybe there will be a rug in there somewhere too, but one thing at a time. I have no idea what kind of cushion I will make them yet, but this is something that looks bright and colorful. The shape won't work for a chair, but I'm still in the gathering inspiration phase of this particular project.
Boy pants. My boy grows so very fast right now. Pants only seem to fit for a few weeks at a time. Since he's still just in kindergarten, I think I will be able to get away with making him a couple of pairs, adding cuffs as he goes vertical. Cuffs are still cool at his age. This is the tutorial I will most likely use to make the pants, and then this is a source for making fun cuffs to add length as the child grows.
One more project I would like to tackle before the weather gets too cold is a quilt for my daughter. It's a giant project, but we are both looking forward to it. I bought a copy of this magazine back in the spring, showed her the above photo and she loved it! I've got the cream yardage in Kona cotton ready to go, and the rest I plan to improvise from fabric already in my stash. I just need to get started.
What sewing do you have planned for the fall? Or spring...I might still be working on those men's pants in March.
As co-owner of Stitchery in Portsmouth, RI, I teach sewing classes to children and adults. Welcome to my blog Dancing Threads RI.