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A Labor of Labor-Day-Weekend Love

September 1, 2014

So much for barbecue and pool parties! Apparently, what I do on Labor Day weekend is design and sew. I am now officially finished with all six of the renaissance fair costumes (we’re going as the “Merry Folk of Fulshear,” in a sort of fantasy Robin Hood theme this year), and I spent Saturday turning 3 ¼ yards of fabric into three dresses and two shirts. Now I know many of you out there who sew are thinking “the heck, you say?” but let me clarify: Two adult-size-8 sundresses, one adult-male-medium shirt, one kid-small shirt, and one size 6T dress. Aaaaaaaand I will be the first to admit that the adult shirt turned out certifiably weird, because I made it last, and by that time, I had a motley assortment of scraps, and even those were not in consistent and easy-to-use shapes. I think that perhaps the only reason I pulled it off was that I didn’t use a pattern for any of the above (at least not a paper one… I basically used a marker and a clear-view ruler and drew straight onto the fabric), and that freed me up to go a little crazy with shapes. Also, almost everything wound up roll-hemmed, so I didn’t need much seam allowance. The real challenge throughout the project, in the end, was in keeping the lines on whatever bits of fabric I was using up-and-down and side-to-side (3 yards of the fabric was woven in a grid pattern), because I decided that I didn’t want any of the final pieces to look like a crazy train-wreck. All five pieces wound up looking neat and tidy, even if the adult shirt is interestingly colorful.

The only reason I am writing this post at all, and I know some of you are wondering, is that I did a load of laundry today that included the shirts and dresses, and when I hung them up to dry in my apartment, they made a pretty neat picture; so much so that I grabbed my camera and took this shot:

Drying (photo and clothing by E.G.D.)

Drying (photo and clothing by E.G.D.)

If you are wondering, as anyone who sews should be, why I was washing the finished products when I should have washed and dried all the fabrics before using them… erm… well… I’m in a coin laundry situation, and I am saving to buy a house. And all three are non-natural fibers, so they were unlikely to shrink. And yeah, I know, I’m still lucky they didn’t turn into misshapen and color-bleeding lumps. Moving on, after I took that initial shot, I rearranged the clothes so the colors balanced better (at least in my mind), and took this shot with my camera in portrait-mode:

Still drying, but re-arranged!  (photo and clothes still by E.G.D.)

Still drying, but re-arranged! (photo and clothes still by E.G.D.)

And because I am still amazed I pulled this off, I gathered up the sum total of the scraps left from these fabrics and took a picture of me putting the lump on my coffee table. And yes, all the scraps fit easily into my left hand before I started to let it go:

Scraps

Scraps

Finally, in my defense, my family and friends are out of town this weekend, and I am not. I am not a totally crazy, anti-social, Labor Day party pooper! I’m just not very good at not doing anything, and I recently cut back to three jobs (gasp!). Aaaaaaaanyhoo, happy Labor Day, everyone, and welcome to the unofficial start of fall! I finished a batch of summer clothing for my family just in time, right? Yyyyyyeah –E.G.D.

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