My spring Kids Clothes Week sewing went all the way through Sunday night, and then a little bit of “corrective” sewing spilled over to this morning. The KCW challenge is supposed to last for a full seven days – Monday through Sunday – but I’ll admit I’m not always good at putting in my KCW sewing hours over the weekend. Sometimes it’s because I’ve sewn like crazy during the week and feel satisfied that I’ve accomplished my personal KCW goals, other times I’m just ready for a break because the sewing didn’t go as planned, and then still other times life has different plans and the weekends end up hectic and without much time to sneak in some sewing.
These short pants (which were originally envisioned as shorts and turned into these “clamdigger” length pants) came out exactly as I had hoped they would. I am particularly happy that my stripes lined up; the striped fabric was a bit slippery so I pinned it like mad to keep everything in place. My inspiration was drawn from this photo I saw on Pinterest and pinned to my KCW Planning board. I used Made by Rae’s Parsley Pants pattern as the base for these pants. While Eli would typically wear a size 5T in the Parsley Pants pattern, because I was using stretchy knit fabric for these pants, I used the size 4T pattern to compensate for the fabric choice. Using Rae’s tutorial on how to make shorts from a pants pattern, I altered the pattern for the shorter length. I also needed to modify the pattern to allow for the two different fabrics (the striped top and the solid bottom). I handled this modification the way you typically would to insert colorblocking in a pattern. Lastly, I added elastic to the bottom hems. The knit fabrics were both purchased from Girl Charlee online.
As happy as I am with the end result, I have a KCW confession to make — these pants took way, way, way longer to make than they should have! The pants were not technically difficult and I’ve used the Parsley Pants pattern enough times to feel comfortable with it. Instead, this KCW Spring project was befallen by certain filial distractions and my own perfectionism. Thankfully both the pants and I have lived to tell the tale!
I started the pants on Saturday during what was supposed to be naptime. Daisy napped. Eli did not. But I was obstinately intent on sewing. If we were watching an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine, this is when the narrator would announce, “And then there was trouble.” I convinced Eli it would be fun to help his dad with spring cleaning in the yard, but that only lasted long enough for me to modify the pattern and cut my fabric. By the time I was sitting down at the sewing machine, he was sitting in my sewing studio, asking a million questions and touching everything he could reach. My sewing room is typically off limits to the kids, so this was causing me to sweat. But did I stop sewing?? Nope. Well, not until I realized that in my distraction I had sewn the striped top portion upside down onto the bottom half. Grrrrr… So, it was back to the cutting table, because I was determined not to pick out all the stitches. At that point I decided to lengthen the pants legs to just below the knee. I love this clamdigger length on boys’ pants. I think it works perfectly for spring and summer, and I’m glad I made the change to lengthen these. (How’s that for finding the silver lining!?)
I picked up the project again on Sunday and it was smooth sailing until at the very end I decided I didn’t like the way some of the waistband stitching looked. In my first version some of the stitching appeared on the white portion of the striped fabric and some on the black portion. Although the seam was straight, it ended up looking sloppy because the line was visible in some parts but not in others. And so, as much as I sincerely despise ripping stitches out of knit fabric, I ripped out the entire waistband seam (zigzagged stiches, no less — ugh!). Let’s just say that’s an hour of my life I won’t be getting back! By then it was late, I was annoyed, and thankfully made the decision to go to bed and re-do the waistband casing this morning! Today’s efforts resulted in a much cleaner waistband seam. Even though it was completely annoying to pick out a million little stitches, if I hadn’t fixed it, it would have made me insane to look at the messy seam every time Eli wore these pants. (Who am I kidding? I probably wouldn’t have let him wear the pants if I hadn’t fixed that seam!!)
Seam neuroses aside, I had a fun Kids Clothes Week. I just may not be able to look at my seam ripper for a week or so.