My Mom's birthday is coming up at the end of October, and I really wanted to make her something awesome. I took her basic measurements back in June in anticipation of wanting to make her something someday, and I was pretty confident that I would be able to make her a well fitting knit top of some sort. But then I fell in love with Archer, and I knew she would love to have one too (she made a huge fuss over my first one). I was a little nervous, because Archer requires a bit of fitting and I wanted it to be a surprise so I didn't want to have her try it on before hand. So a bit risky, but I figured worst case scenario, it would fit horribly and then I could just make her another one. It's just fabric, they will always be more. [I used to work as a dental assistant and I remember the dentist that I worked for (who was a really good guy btw) used to say, the great thing about being a dentist is that it's just teeth, at the end of the day, nobody dies - so much better than being a doctor. So at the end of the day it's just fabric, the world won't end if it doesn't work out. Okay, I'm getting off the soapbox now.) But lucky for me (and her), it fit!
Now, wait a minute...if my Mom's birthday isn't until the end of October, why is she wearing her Birthday Shirt now? Well John and I are going to be in London on her actual birthday and I was so excited to give her this gift; I gave it to her over Thanksgiving when we were together. She was thrilled with it, and was kind enough to pose for some blog photos. Isn't she cute?
For this baby, I made a straight size 18. I picked the size based on the my Mom's bust and hip size. I shortened the sleeves by about 2", but she probably need them a bit shorter still. I inherited my petite-ness from her as you can see.
This gorgeous blue floral cotton screams my Mom. I had planned to make a sleeveless shirt for myself with it, but when I was looking through the stash for something to use for my Mom, John and I both knew she would love it (he's my design consultant). Plus it washes and wears really well. This gem was part of my Goldhawk Road haul last Spring. I also used scraps leftover from my second Archer for the inside yoke, inner collar stand and the sleeve plackets. Have I mentioned that I love all the little details that sewing your own garments allows you to add?
As you can see the fit is not perfect, and if (when) I make her another one, I will make some adjustments to make it fit better. She could use smaller shoulders and an FBA (I'm getting better at those), and the sleeves are a bit too long too. I love that I am starting to recognize fit issues more easily and also that I have some idea of how to fix them. If you can't tell from her grin, my Mom is super happy with this shirt. It was funny while I was taking photos of my Mom, I was like come on Mom work it, and she did all the same silly poses that I do, when John takes photos of me. It was pretty funny (I'll save my Mom and not post all the crazy shots). Like mother like daughter I suppose.
It's hard to see because of the busy fabric, but I actually used pearl snaps for the closures on this shirt. I was shakey and sweaty setting them, because of my Nettie experience, but by the time I set the last 3, I felt like I knew what I was doing. And I am so glad that I took a chance and tried again, because the snaps look so good! Here's a photo I posted on Instagram that I think shows them a little bit better.
I love the pearl snaps, they look so nice. I ordered them from Snap Source (which I heard/read about from A Fashionable Stitch - Sunni has a wealth of information on her blog, seriously (yay sewing community!), which I never would have discovered without the Sewing Affair podcast - so Hooray for Corinne too!). I actually ended up getting their tool for setting to, and it works really well. Once you set two or three, it's pretty easy, plus if you have a small flat screwdriver (coincidentally like the one that comes with your sewing machine) you can carefully remove any snap mistakes without too much fabric damage, and re-set. So yay for snaps!
So there you go, that's my unselfish sewing for the year LOL. Seriously, it's so nice to make something for someone, and have them love it. My Mom wore this shirt for 2 days straight (she and Anne were visiting us in BC for the Thanksgiving weekend, so I know what she was up to).
Do you make things for other people? How do you go about keeping it a surprise, or do you?
Happy Birthday Mom! I love you bunches!