I completed my own self-created Pinterest Challenge this weekend....this time, I first identified what I needed and then found ideas, rather than my usual method of finding projects I loved and then trying to fit them into my life.
I love wraps. I love the food kind, the dress kind, the skirt kind, the shirt kind...love 'em. I ran into a problem while preparing for vacation, however, because the two that I have are long sleeved and pretty heavy fabric. It works for an overly-air-conditioned office in Phoenix but not so much for a Caribbean island. I couldn't find any on sites like H&M and Forever 21, but I already had about three yards of jersey fabric that I bought at the bulk fabric store for a grand total of less than $10 so I turned to the Pinterest Gurus for inspiration.
I like this idea - mostly because it involves no sewing and looks like even I can do it. But I don't want a sleeveless wrap, I want short sleeves...and I didn't know if I could manage to make sleeves to sew into this:
SOLD. I ignored the maternity part and figured I could work around that...and I didn't even need to try to figure out how to print out a pattern because these measurements told me how to cut the pieces:
I won't recap the tutorial but here are the things I learned:
Seams matter. I don't know why I always seem to sew something inside out, but this project was no exception. Sleeves are tricky. After sewing the sleeve perfectly to the body of the garment, I had to tear out the seam of the sleeve itself and resew it so the seam was inside. Lame, but it did work out eventually. And my seam ripper felt loved again.
Measurements matter. Perhaps it was the stretchy nature of the jersey fabric...or perhaps I was far too lackadaisical in my approach to measuring the pieces. But somehow I ended up with pieces that were larger than the sizes outlined. I made it work, but it meant that the sleeves are a teensy bit bumpy because the front pieces were large and therefore the sleeve holes were bigger than the actual sleeves.
Maternity matters. News flash: I'm not pregnant. It was very naive of me to think that my body would need the extra fabric necessitated by those who are. So when I'd completed the wrap, the front ends hung well over a foot lower than the rest of the wrap...they came to my knees! A reasonable person would have calmly figured out adjustments to the pattern above, carefully marked a new line on the front and cut carefully. I am not a reasonable person.
I grabbed a handful of fabric that hung too low and cut through it with scissors. There is no explanation for my behavior except wait, yes there is. I was tired, I was ready to move on and I thought I was invincible because every mistake I'd made already on the garment had been somewhat easily fixed. Fortunately, I was right. The edges of the new front pieces were jagged so it temporarily looked like a Curella Deville costume, but I just used scissors to smooth them up and whew! It came out okay.
The sleeves aren't as short as I thought I wanted them but I like the elbow length, and the fabric is super, super thin and lightweight so I think it will be perfect. I hope it will, anyway, since it's already stuffed in the bottom of my suitcase.
P.S. After gloating about my sewing success, I realized that I had broken the cardinal rule of the seamstress: ALWAYS CHECK ROSS FIRST! I found a wrap just like this one except with cute ruched sleeves yesterday at Ross for $7. UGH. It's still on the rack, though, since I'm perfectly happy with mine.