Last week I had the privilege of helping with a local Fashion Camp. I teach kids to sew regularly, but this event was special since I taught 5 girls at a time to not only sew for the first time, but to make a piece of clothing as their first project. While most chose to make a simple skirt, two girls made shorts.
For the skirt pattern, I followed the tutorial of Dana Willard from MadeEveryday.com. She has such a simple formula for taking your waist measurement and multiplying it by 1.5, and that’s your skirt length. Then you measure from your waist to where you want the length of your skirt to hit, and add 3”. That gives you the width. The girls chose their material from a selection of calicos and solids. The only other notions you need are thread and some 1” non-roll elastic.
For the two girls making shorts, my go to pattern is from purlsoho.com. The City Gym Shorts are a free pattern, accurate to cut and wear, and fits from children through adult. I use it all the time! Their pattern for the shorts directs you to cut curved side seams and apply bias tape to the edges. I have made some like this and they are cute, but when I teach for a beginner, I omit the bias edging and square off the curved side edges. Download the pattern today!
Typically, when I am in my sewing room, it is to work on projects for others. Working on projects for others is a joy, but I find I don’t often leave enough room to make myself, or my kids, something fun!
After completing an alteration the other night, I went right into making a pair of City Gym Shorts for myself out of this amazing rayon blend my friend Debbie had given me. They are such a quick, 1 hour project, that my soul can often be satisfied! They are so comfortable in fact, that I wore them the entire next day!
If your wardrobe is lacking in shorts or summer skirts, I highly recommend you make yourself a pair!
Sewing a pair of shorts is one of the easiest sewing projects to get started with. I created this pair for my niece to wear in Paris last summer. The patterns are so easy to follow that my son made a pair for the neighbor down the street!
What are you waiting for? Go get started!
Hearing the Story
One day, my son’s teacher shared that she had lost her only daughter to a disease that took her life as a young adult. We were grief stricken for her. We became a listening ear, and a shoulder to cry on. Six months passed and she told me she had some of her daughter’s clothing saved and wondered if I’d be able to turn it into something she could hold onto in her daughters loss. What an honor to be asked to sew something like that. I listened to her talk about all the personality traits, favorites list, and core of who made up her daughter and how her husband and son were affected by her loss. Out of what she shared came a focus on three items that would become of sentimental value.
A Family’s Treasure
For the Mother, I wanted to make a memory bear out of her daughters favorite clothes. I supplemented extra fabric from some of her favorite colors and prints.
For the father, I made a custom pillow, cut out of his daughter’s t-shirts.
For the brother, I made a star ornament that he could cherish. As I got to work, I prayed peace and comfort over their family, and asked for wisdom for the Lord’s design on these projects.
Each special item came together quickly and before long I was able to present my son’s teacher with these three gifts. She cried when she saw each item. I cried too! It was such a memorable time that I will never forget! I consider sewing items like that a true honor! Nathan has since graduated a few years later from his speech classes, but we still see his teacher and love on her still. Deep rooted bonds are never disconnected.
For the bear pattern, I scoured Pinterest for the perfect looking, adorable bear. I came across the Joy bear and instantly fell in love.
- Easy to print out.
- Easy directions to follow.
- Easy to sew.
I matched up the pattern pieces to the T-shirt pieces that I wanted to incorporate and cut them out. I bought a little green flannel and zebra print at JoAnn Fabrics to compliment the daughter’s style and favorites.
I made sure there were pieces her daughter wore. I made sure he was soft and fluffy and large enough to cuddle on any night she needed to be held close, and I made sure it was a reflection of all their daughter meant to them.
Click on the image below to be taken to my Memory Bear Pinterest Page to get the pattern I used!