I'm sorry this is coming a bit late, but somehow April slipped away without me realizing it. Seriously, how is it possible that Mother's Day is right around the corner?
Anyway, I had planned to make the Treasure Bag from Amanda Blake Soule's Handmade Home in April, as a fun and useful treat for the Monkey (so that I would no longer have to hold the many rocks and pine cones he seems to drag home after our walks). I was all set to start working on the bag, too, with the pieces cut out and ready to go. And then I went Spring clothes shopping for my little guy, only to come home disappointed that stuff was either a) too adult-themed, b) too expensive, or c) too generic looking.
So I decided that this was the right time to dive in to try to achieve one of my goals for this year: learn to sew clothes. I had a yard of this really cute squirrel fabric, which the Monkey loves to drag around the house. It occurred to me that the little shirt from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing would be just the place to start.
The pattern is incredibly easy to follow, even for a newbie at sewing clothes, like myself. I was scared that attaching the collar would be a horrible, tedious task, and though it was the one part of the process that took the longest, it was not bad at all. The buttonholes were a little intimidating and they turned out less than perfect, but overall, I'm very happy with how the shirt turned out.
Since I don't have a serger (yet), I used french seams throughout, to make the inside as neat looking and comfortable as possible. The only place I didn't use french seams was at the arm holes, mostly because I couldn't figure out how to do it without getting puckers or stretching the fabric out. There, I simply zigzagged the edges. It hasn't been washed since I finished it, so I'll let you know how those edges hold up.
Like I said, I'm really happy with how the shirt came together, but I think the fabric choice was a total miss. The Monkey loves it, and I guess that's all that matters (he's calling it his "digging shirt", which I think means it's his "gardening shirt"... either that or he thinks this is a construction worker's uniform). I'm hoping that paired with the right color shorts and worn outdoors on a sunny day, it will look better. Right now I think it looks more like the uniform at a cheesy restaurant or a pajama top than the whimsical, cool toddler shirt I was going for.
Still, I'm hoping to make a couple more of these little shirts for the Monkey's summer wardrobe. I'm thinking maybe some linen, maybe a gingham, or even some stripes; just have to make sure to really think through my fabric selection before cutting and diving in the next time. The sky's the limit on this one: it's so easy to make and fun to wear.