If you’re anything like me, May is driving you a bit crazy, right? End-of-year parties, finding or making those well-earned teacher gifts, First Communions, Confirmations, Graduations, recitals, field days, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. All of these awesome holidays and milestones are crammed together right when it is warming up and looking pretty where I live. I’ve had to work hard to stay focused on the things that take priority in our house even though I often just want to curl up in my sewing room while the kids play in the back yard now that our cold spring seems to be disappearing. While I haven’t had time to do some of the more labor intensive sewing projects I enjoy, I have been able to squeeze in a couple hours here and there to sew some simple projects to keep me sane (and well-dressed) through the upcoming weeks.
As I shared when it released a couple months ago, I tested the Sun Kissed tee by Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop. It is such a simple and basic pattern that can be remade over to get different looks just by using striking prints. I have made Sun Kissed tees in cotton lycra solids, a thin french terry, and in Art Gallery prints, and they are a staple in my wardrobe. I knew that this would be the perfect pattern for me to use the bold and vibrant prints that draw my eye from Art Gallery Fabrics.
As I’ve mentioned here before I’ve only been sewing for nine years. Until about two years ago, I really thought the best way to get fabric was to hit the closest big box store and find something pretty. No wonder my first knit projects were disasters that didn’t drape well, got sucked into my sewing machine’s feed dogs, or were just too thin! When I decided that I really wanted to learn how to make clothes that I would actually wear, I started doing more research on fabric types and how to successfully sew them. I soon learned that it was likely that many of my projects were disastrous because I either wasn’t using the right kind of knit, or because it was too thin and too low quality.
I still remember the first time I saw this Paparounes Crimson print from the Skopelos line. It was the first time I thought “I can find fabric that I love to make clothes for me.” I usually prioritize sewing for my children as they are more in need of handmade clothes than me, but when the Sun Kissed tee released and I saw how beautifully the Art Gallery knit I used during testing draped, I placed my order finally for a few of my favorite Art Gallery prints from the Peek-a-Boo Fabric Shop including the Paparounes Crimson that caught my eye several months ago. I was so thrilled with the results that I asked for some more yardage (and received it) for my recent birthday.
I made an additional one with Art Gallery Tomahawk Stripe. It is a fun variation on traditional stripes but not so crazy that it will be hard to accessorize. I have a few other prints I will share with you later this summer as I complete them as well!
High-quality knit prints such as Art Gallery, Riley Blake, Birch, etc., are definitely more expensive than what you can pick up on sale or with coupons at Big Box fabric stores. However, a yard of knit goes a long way and because it is quality fabric, it will withstand the regular washing and drying I subject all of our clothes to. With laundry for six people I don’t have time to separate RTW from handmade, so I wash it all together!
Each of these shirts used about 1 1/4 yards even with my usual 2″ additional length for a material cost of $20 plus under an hour of my time. Because I still have tiny people in my house, I have plenty of scrap left over to make bodices for knit dresses this summer and bindings and cuffs.
Finally, while May is a hubbub of events, it is also a month I love. Here in the upper Midwest we finally come out of our cocoons to spend relaxing time outside with one another. A large portion of my children’s wardrobe is handmade at this point, so we all dressed up on Mother’s Day to take pictures before getting Strawberry Butter ice cream cones. I am wearing my beloved Crimson Paparounes Sun Kissed tee, my middle daughter is in an SLPco Adelyn, my oldest daughter is in a Paisley Peplum by SLPco, my son is in a Classic Oxford, and the baby is in an SLPco Molly.
Just a heads up – the Riley Blake Idlewild Floral in the pink colorway is out of stock at PAB but the popular multi colorway is being reprinted and is available for preorder here.