Sewing a Baseball Tee in a Night

I made Zach a shirt overnight so he could rock it to his annual Art in the Yard show in Arizona.

A couple weekends ago, Zach & I were in Arizona for the annual Art in the Yard show that he participates in each spring. Lots of family came out to support him & we spent the weekend in a very full house of parents, aunts, uncle and sister.

Zach rocked his new shirt at the Art in the Yard show we drove to Arizona for.

We drove out this time around in order to try to enjoy a little bit more of the trip. I have a whole other post planned for that since I got some gorgeous pics during the drive home.

However, with four jobs it is very difficult for me to take an actual vacation. I almost always have some kind of work I need to do during my time off. It’s usually a report I need to generate, an invoice I need to send, or a post I need to publish.

This trip it was creating the curriculum for an upcoming class and sewing the sample. Thankfully, Zach’s mom is a phenomenal sewist and has a well equipped sewing room ready for use at a moments notice.

Second day there we went to Joann’s and got a fat stack of fabric. I may have broken my no buying new fabrics rule for an absolutely gorgeous embroidered, black nylon fabric. I really couldn’t pass it up and am adding it to my upcoming makes pile pronto.

Zach had already agreed to model the shirt I wanted to make if he got a new shirt out of it. Valid, since I still owe him a finished shirt from years ago, so he picked out a couple fabrics. A solid for the torso & two different sleeve options so I could get a few rounds of practice in before teaching the class.

From there we got a little carried away in our fabric excitement. Zach asked if I thought I could make the shirt in time for him to wear to his art show. I tend to get a little cocky when it comes to my sewing abilities and said yes without hesitation.

I then had less than 24 hours to make a shirt from a brand new pattern I had never used before. Ooof.

I took up all of the kitchen counter space with fabric while Zach cooked down some onions for a batch of his tasty chip dip to bring with us to the show.

Thankfully by the time we were done running errands for everyone the kitchen was cleared out & I was able to jump right into cutting fabric. We bought enough solid white jersey for three different shirts, so I wanted to cut all those pattern pieces out in one go to prevent the fabric from stretching odd in between the first cut & traveling home.

This project definitely reminded me why I don’t often trace my patterns onto my fabric before cutting into it.

This meant I needed to trace my pattern pieces onto the fabric instead of just cutting. It was made a little slower by me having to use a fabric marker instead of tailor’s chalk. I’m not a big fan of markers since they often dry out quick, leaving you hanging halfway through a project. Zach’s mom doesn’t often use chalk though, so she only had the marker. I made it work, just took a little longer than expected.

Once the torso pieces were cut, the sleeves went super quick. The pattern was made to have different fabrics for each sleeve so they provided two pattern pieces. Score, I didn’t need to trace those guys!

I was however delayed further by the discovery that Zach apparently picked a really slippery, bitchy stretch for his sleeves. Fun.

I recently learned a new trick at Sips N Sews to help with this very problem though! If you put tissue paper (or the left over scraps of tissue paper from cutting out your pattern) on either side of the fabric the machine won’t eat your project! It acts as a stabilizer to prevent your feed dogs from scrunching everything up.

The neckband was the only real bitch though. It needed to be stretched & tissued in some spots. It was a snag I wasn’t expecting but still glad it happened since now I know how to handle it if a student shows up to my class with a similar fabric!

By 1 a.m. Zach’s mom came out & told me it was time to go to bed. She didn’t want me overdoing myself. Due to anxiety I still woke up early the next day ready to get back to work.

Thankfully, by then all it was missing was a couple trips to the ironing board & some hems. I finished it off just in time for Zach to wet & dry it so it could shrink a little. I don’t like that fresh sewn look. Washing & drying gets rid of that overly crisp feel.

Zach rocked the shirt to his art show & got lots of compliments! We got lot’s of pics for my class promos and he got to show it off for me. He makes a good model!

My favorite part was getting to make the shirt though. Even with all the stress of a tight deadline, I loved being able to make a project with Zach’s family around.

Zach’s mom & aunt both sew but only quilts and crafts. They stay away from garments so they took advantage of me being around to ask questions. It was awesome!

Nothing makes me happier than getting to share sewing with people I care about. It’s a very special experience to me. I can’t wait to send them pics of the other two shirts when they are done!

The finished shirt turned out great & fits Zach perfectly. Can’t wait to see it become a regular part of his wardrobe!

You can sign up for my baseball tee & other classes right here.

Pattern used: Simplicity Pattern 8613 Men’s Knit Top by Mimi G Style


Teaching Update

Alright y’all, last Tuesday marked exactly a month since I taught my first class at Sips N Sews. Figured that meant it was time to update everyone on how it’s going!

Update 1: I love it! I absolutely love it. It’s so much fun and exciting every class.

Update 2: I am absolutely exhausted. I am passing out hard at the end of each day and am yawning every 30 seconds while typing this.

Update 3: I am sewing all the time now and I love that even more!

Update 1: Why I love, love, love it!

As of now I am focussing on beginner level classes. That means most of my students have never seen a sewing machine before or are very shaky in their understanding of how to operate one. I get to help change that!

By the end of a Bootcamp class, everyone can operate, thread and troubleshoot a machine. We cover all the starter basics and I get to learn more about what brought my students in to begin with.

The classroom I teach all my future sewist in. Did I mention I love my job?!

By the end of an Introduction to Construction class, students have learned how to buy supplies for their own projects and properly read a pattern they pick out. We also make a pillow case for them to keep or donate!

By the end of project based classes, each student has a finished product and skills that can be applied to other projects in the future.

And by the end of every class I have helped a room full of people start or grow their sewing journey! It’s rewarding as hell and leaves me feeling like I am making a difference in preventing the skill from dying out in future generations.

Update 2: I am fucking tired.

Teaching is now my fourth job. I often work 10-14 hour days split between multiple locations. I rarely eat a meal at home and probably need to shower more often than I currently do. I pass out without washing my face or brushing my teeth most of the time. My mental capacity is shot outside of work hours because I just can’t do it by the end of the day.

This blog post itself has taken me a week longer than I expected it to because I keep zoning out while typing it. I’m finally finishing it with the aid of coffee and forced concentration.

Update 3: I am sewing again!

I took a break from sewing for quite a while. I’d work on projects occasionally but I wasn’t very creative or inspired. I also almost never finish a project because I’d lose steam halfway through it.

Being in a sewing studio, talking about sewing, teaching sewing and seeing other people sew kind of makes you want to sew. Like, all the time.

And I am sewing all the time! I feel creative and inspired and motivated. It makes the extreme exhaustion worth it. After years of working hard for other people, I am happy to working hard at what I love for a change.

Update Roundup: I am really, really happy and can’t wait to see what comes next with this wonderful new job!

Sign up for one of my sewing classes here.

Giant letters of inspiration keep me motivated at the studio every time I look up.