The hectic Christmas schedule at the kids’ school is heating up a bit now; there was the Christmas Bazaar at the weekend, I helped organise the grotto there (read: badger by e-mail) and was a Santa’s helper for a little while there to, all those sweet innocent believing faces were lovely. Mr. Lacer also helped Father Christmas out with his duties for a little while to; the first question he got was “How many reindeer do you have?”, “Um, eight?” ‘Father Christmas’ goes, “Name them,” replies the little girl. Who knew you had to swot for that particular role?
Today is Christmas concert day; we’ve had Girl Lacer’s this morning, she was a narrator, so was stuck behind the three wise men for most of the concert so I didn’t actually get to see much of her, but when she stood up and gave her line she was brilliant (biased I know), that girl has no issues with projecting. This afternoon will be Boy Lacer’s concert, for that he will be a reindeer and will be wearing (hopefully) the reindeer hat he was coerced into making (Boy Lacer doesn’t ‘do’ craft at nursery, he doesn’t like it, but it’s amazing what a little Christmas art symbol on his visual timetable at nursery has done, he’s now a lot happier about it, but when it came to making the hat at the beginning he wasn’t happy, but I had told nursery that his speech therapist reckoned he needed to be ‘persuaded’ a bit more heavily to get involved in some of the group activities). He also has to wear his ‘party clothes’, to which both me and Mr. Lacer went “Awww, but he doesn’t go to parties!”, hence no party clothes or anything really smart, so I decided to make him a shirt.
I actually knew the party clothes issue was going to come up a month or two ago and went and brought the fabric then but did I actually sew it then, no of course not, I left it to the day before, the muppet (but in my defence I have been non-stop making things since close to the beginning of November, so I haven’t had the chance). The shirt pattern is from Heather Ross’ Weekend Sewing, a beautiful book I’ve had for a while and only got as far as (on a number of occasions) thinking I need to make x, y or z, I know I’ll look in Weekend Sewing, opened up the book, thought this looks far too complicated and gone off and found a simpler looking pattern else where. Unfortunately for me, I only possess one boys’ shirt pattern and it’s in that book, called Kai’s shirt, it was a challenging make and although I’m now not adverse to challenging makes, I do wish I’d ‘challenge’ myself when the time scale wasn’t so pressing. I’ve certainly stretched myself and learnt a lot making it; I tried a new method of transferring the pattern to the fabric, using a tracing wheel and that paper stuff that leaves a mark, which I quite liked (I’ve used normal pattern tracing paper before, which is more of a faff but it was what I was used to, so I’m quite glad that John Lewis had sold out of that). I’ve learnt that collars are horrible things that require ripping out twice and then recutting a new collar and trying again before it looks anywhere decent (and if you look closely it still doesn’t). I’ve reminded myself about button holes and I’ve learnt how to put a sleeve into a shirt.
So, here’s the result.
The fabric is gorgeous isn’t it? (And detracts a lot from the sins of my sewing). It’s from John Lewis and is made by Their Nibs (this link goes to three of their fabrics from the Their Nibs online store, John Lewis, or at least my local branch, carries a lot more of their designs). The buttons are also from John Lewis and were chosen by Boy Lacer, so he’s very, particularly proud of them.
So, would I make this shirt again, maybe, but not until I have some more experience under my ‘collar’ (huh huh) sewing collars from different patterns, I feel like I need to do something where my hand is held a lot more firmly, during the construction of one. I know Oliver+S patterns are very good at talking you through things, so I may have a go at their shirt dress. There is also the thing that the shirt was already made in the largest size from the pattern (size 3 but it’s a generous size 3, shop wise, here in the UK, he normally wears size 4 – 5 on top), so by the time I feel the urge or necessity to make him another shirt, he may have grown too big. That (and I’m not just criticising Weekend Sewing for this) is what bugs me about a lot of sewing books, there’s a lot of patterns for babies and toddlers but nothing much beyond 4 or 5 in books, meaning you need to go to commercial patterns. If I were better at drafting patterns myself, I know where I’d be aiming my book pitch, it just seems silly to me, after all I don’t recall having much time to sew when my kids were babies and toddlers!