What do you get for your craft-obsessed wife when mother’s day comes around and you need to pick out a gift? Well, if you know her well you would get her a serger. And Ben does, and he did! I was so ridiculously excited when I opened it up because 1. I have been wanting a serger for months now and 2. I had no idea he was getting me one. I wouldn’t think he would want to encourage my frantic crafting behaviors 🙂 But he did get me one and it is one of the best presents I’ve ever gotten (actually he’s on a streak of super awesome presents, the watch he got me for Christmas is another “can’t live without” favorite gift)
I took it out for a test drive yesterday and what better to start with than a first attempt at the 90 minute shirt. I mostly make things for Amelia (with myself coming in second) but it’s hard to find patterns or ideas of things to sew for boys. This seemed like a perfect first serger project for me to start with.
I ended up taking close to four (yes 4) hours to finish the shirt, not even counting the freezer paper stenciling but it’s really all my fault. I didn’t pay close enough attention to the shape of the pattern pieces in the tutorial so I didn’t realize (until it was too late) that the neckline/armhole portion of mine was all wrong. I’m pretty sure that the issues started from me using a super teeny tiny onesie to cut up, instead of one that was closer to their size (since they don’t really have many onesies in their size anymore and I didn’t want to dismantle any of them that were still wearable). I did a pretty rotten job of sizing up the pattern so the pieces were just all wrong.
I was actually really worried about sewing on the knit and learning to use the serger, but those turned out to be the easy parts. As always the tutorial was very well written and illustrated and easy to follow. I was zipping right along on track to finish in just around 2 hours (not bad for a first attempt) when I got to the part where you pin the sleeve in to the body/neck. I did all the pinning, humming as I worked, and excited to flip it right side out to admire the effect of the almost finished shirt. Except when I flipped mine right side out it wasn’t a nice almost finished shirt, it was a shirt without a neck hole (certainly not going to work for Paul because he does indeed have a neck). You see my interpretation of the neck hole and sleeve holes were all wrong and way too long, meaning that when I wrapped the sleeves they overlapped (as envelope necks should) but they overlapped way TOO much and in fact SO much that the back and front covered each other entirely. Oops.
I realized pretty quickly that it was going to be a bit of a disaster to try to unstitch the neck that I’d already made so I called it a loss and just unpinned the sleeves and started cutting the entire neck line off, lowering it by a good few inches. I would snip, re-pin and check to see if it looked right. I had to do it a couple of times before I was pretty sure it was a suitable neck line. Unfortunately in making the neck line lower I also had to bring the shoulder line in (since there wasn’t any more fabric out to the sides) so I knew it was going to do some weird things to the sleeves but it was kind of too late to fix. I then made up all new pieces of ribbed edging for the neck hole and sewed it on (hey, more serger practice, right?) and finished up the shirt. It ended up a little funny looking (when it’s not on the arms stick out straight to the side due to the weird shoulder seams) and a bit like a mini muscle shirt (oops) but I still think it’s cute and good enough for a first try.
I also knew that I wanted to decorate it somehow, so I added on a freezer paper stencil of the word “pwease” since it is, after all, every other word out of Paul’s mouth.
I think it actually fits him pretty well (other than the weird muscle man sleeves) and since it’s made from an old one of Ben’s shirts (with one of my old tank tops for ribbing) I know it’s not going to shrink which is nice. Paul seems to like it too. He really wanted to put it on as soon as he saw it
And one more funny storry/picture. I really wanted to take a few pictures of him in one of our dining room chairs in the shirt up against a white wall just to show off the shirt… but he immediately got squirmy (notice there aren’t any of him just sitting straight on) so I had to take him down… but he wanted to get back up and was really sad that I wouldn’t let him (because he almost fell off it a few times already) so I decided to cheer him up with some bubbles. He was REALLY loving the bubbles, he was actually getting hysterical laughing at the dog eating them in the air. So hysterical he started drooling on his shirt and tearing up from laughing so hard (notice the drool on his shirt?) He was getting SO riled up in fact that I thought maybe we needed to put down the bubbles. But Paul didn’t agree. He wanted more bubbles. Pweeeeaaaaaaasssssseeeee?! And gave me this face. We had lunch instead 🙂