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.
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.
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 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!
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