Two of my sisters are leaving next week on two different mission trips. Nancy is leaving Monday for India. Glenda is leaving Thursday, I think, for Guatemala. They both had requests for me. Nancy wanted me to sew her some skirts with pockets, as skirts are the appropriate attire in India and skirts with pockets are so much more practical. Glenda wanted some bolero jackets, as the mission team she's going with has a dress code that includes wearing sleeves (no sleeveless outfits), and she had three dresses she likes to wear that are all sleeveless. And.... seeing as I'm not working right now and as I do sew, could I sew for them?
I was actually quite pleased to be asked. It didn't take that long... once I got past the procrastination stage - which took much longer than what I'd like it to. Glenda had three dresses; a pink one, a blue denim one, and a brown one. She suggested a white bolero would do for all three and I went by Fabricland, thinking that I'd just pick up some white eyelet. Unfortunately, Fabricland didn't have anything like that, so I ended up purchasing three different lengths of fabric, and making three boleros - one of which is reversible. I also sort of drafted my own pattern, using an existing pattern I had that was for stretch fabric and for long sleeves. I was quite pleased with the way they turned out, but then had to worry about whether they'd fit. Glenda says they do, so I'm happy.
Unfortunately my serger isn't working right now (I need to take it in to be serviced), so I got to finish all the seams in other ways. I guess it's good for me, but I really think I need to get my serger fixed.
Nancy provided the material and patterns for her skirts. She had four different lengths of fabric; a paisley like print with burgundy and brown in it, a blue sari fabric (really light weight) border print, and two green chiffon-like prints to go together. Only one of the patterns had pockets, so I adapted the patterns to incorporate pockets and to change the openings omitting the zippers, and having them open in the pocket. The paisley print went really, really well. Nice and easy. I purchased some solid burgundy material for the yoke, making it a contrast yoke and I was really pleased with the way it looked. The green fabrics went together in a skirt that was asymmetrical and curved down. Also very nice, but because the fabrics were so light, the skirt had to be lined. I didn't have too much trouble with it until it came time for the hem - and I'm really not happy with the way the hem turned out (sorry, Nancy), but it's done.
Then there was the sari fabric. I had trouble with the sari fabric. First of all, because it's a border print, I cut it out carefully so that the skirt wouldn't be hemmed, with the border print at the bottom. However, because a skirt normally has a curved bottom print, it meant that the skirt had a fishtail hem at the centre back. It wasn't what I planned, but it seemed ok. However even though this was the pattern that already had the pockets in it, the skirt didn't work out and I had to rip out the side seams and try again. This took awhile, and considerable more muttering to myself and procrastination. Finally last night I took another try at it and sewed it up and I think it's ok but because I had so much grief with it, the whole thing just left a bad taste in my mouth and I'm not sure if it's good or just finished. Sometimes finished is good.
Because I felt like procrastinating with a purpose, I also sewed some tops for Nancy. She had planned to line the skirts with the same fabric and I lined them with purchased fabric so I had lots of fabric left over. First of all I made a batwing type top out of some of the green chiffon fabric. I had enough lining to line it (which was essential), and I think it turned out pretty good, but it couldn't be worn with the skirt, as the skirt really needs a top that can be tucked in, and the batwing top will have to be worn loose. However, it is a nice top.
I also purchased some really pretty solid burgundy fabric (from the clearance section of Fabricland, of course), to sew a top to coordinate with the paisley print skirt. It's a really lightweight fabric and the top will have to be worn with a camisole or something underneath it, but I'm very pleased with the result. I cut the top out a week ago, and sewed it up last night and finished it this morning. I think I'm most pleased with this top out of all that I sewed.
I also scraped together enough of the other green chiffon material to make a top. I had to cut the sleeves off grain to get them out of the remnant of fabric left, but I managed it. I whipped it up this morning. Finally, I attempted the sari fabric again, and cut out a blouse and managed to get it sewn up in under half an hour after Ruth and I finished our cooking this morning. Then we folded everything up really small and tucked it into a padded envelope and Ruth took it to drop off at the bus depot at at about 11 am this morning.
And.... I'm done! I'm hopeful that Nancy will send me photos because I didn't take photos of any of her skirts or tops. I'm glad I did it - I wish I didn't have to put everything off until the last minute, but that's the way it goes sometimes. If I get photos I'll add them to this blog posting.