Sunday, June 23, 2013

Charity Sewing

It's been a busy time, so once again I have disappeared for a while. DH and I went away on vacation to New Jersey since my last post, and it's been full speed ahead since getting back. I'm also suffering with a little summer cold (ugh) which has affected my sleep patterns so I've been lacking in energy.  Such are my excuses.

On the plus side, I have been sewing. Not for me this time, although I have several items cut out and ready to go. This time it's Charity Sewing! Yes, I know I said in the past that I hate charity sewing but this time it's different. For one thing, it's not assembly line stuff. And it's for kids.  The local ASG chapter I belong to decided to make clothes for the APS Clothing Bank. Unfortunately, there are a lot of kids out there who are homeless or near homeless--and they literally do not have clothes they can wear to school! So we have targeted first graders at one of the schools and are making them clothes for their first day.

My workplace also participates in a clothing drive for the Clothing Bank each year, with a focus on shoes and underwear. Our team won the drive last year and had the opportunity to meet some of the ladies who run it--you could not meet a nicer bunch of volunteers.  I was definitely happy to lend a hand on this project.

Plus, on the selfish side, clothes for 5 and 6 year olds are pretty quick to make and so stinking cute! So far, I've completed the basics of one little girl outfit, and I'm well underway with a little boy outfit.  These are the patterns I'm using:

The girl pattern is Butterick 5776,

and the boy pattern is Butterick 3475.

I do have some gripes about the patterns (of course). In particular, the boy pattern. See those cute shorts? They have no fly front. According to my friends who are moms, this age really wants "big boy" pants. And these are just elastic waist pull down pants. Umm, no. I'm off to the store later today to see if I can find a kid pattern with a fly that I can at least morph onto the shorts. That shirt is adorable but that collar is probably more complex than it needs to be. If I make it again, I'll add a facing in the back so it looks more like RTW.  The goal is not just to make clothes, but clothes the kids will like and the other kids will not make fun of. And what's with the horizontal buttonholes? Not for a shirt!

The girl pattern is less problematic, but having made some peasant style tops, I have a more efficient order of sewing this type of garment together. Also the little casings are much easier to make with serger finishing instead of folding under the raw edge twice.

On the plus side, I'm using up some of the remnants I've generated on past projects. These clothes don't take much fabric at all. I am using cottons so far for comfort, durability and ease of care.

I'm hoping to make some more outfits before our July deadline, but want to have these two completed by then. Worse comes to worse, I'll buy some little boy pants (any hints on the RTW size a boy this age might wear?). And as I mentioned, the basics for the girl are ready. I'm planning on adding some trims so the outfit is a little cuter and more special.

I realize these clothes look like summer, but it's warm enough for these until mid-October here in Albuquerque.  I promise, you will see pictures of the outfits before they're donated.


theresa said...

Great that you are sewing for charity. I like the patterns. On the fly front, or lack thereof, it should not be too hard to add to the current pattern. If you have a pattern with a fly front in your collection use that and cut it down to fit a 6" zip. I made two pairs of cargo pants for my son when he was in grade school and adapted a pajama pattern that fit, added cargo pockets, the fly and the waistband.

Jodie said...

As someone who has a boy (now 14) I will say that elastic waists are lots easier for the littler ones to deal with. I would recommend a "mock" fly instead...which looks like "big boy" pants but has the quick up and down for little ones who get caught up playing and caught short (ask me how I know). AND the added bonus of an obvious front and back. However, whatever you do will be fine and so appreciated.

Mo said...

How about Simplicity 5581? It's a pattern for cargo pants, shirt and hat. I'm sure you could leave out some of the pockets if you didn't want them on the shorts but it has a zipper fly. Good luck with your projects. I am always drawn to sewing for kids, especially kids in need. I know they will be greatful 😊