This time of year, I often do “sweatshop sewing” for my family. The clothes they like are boring -eh- simple, so it’s easy to cut several at a time and get some bulk sewing done. The Oliver + S Ice Cream Social dress is a favorite with my daughter- it’s a very easy to wear dress. I keep an eye out for fabrics she would love, in “Lila” colors, stockpile them for a while and then sew three or four garments at a time. The cutting always seems to take the longest, it’s perhaps 1/3 of the total time investment.
Once I cut everything, I went into the sewing room to set up my workflow. Lila proudly brought me a sliver of apple fabric (“Mommy! I cut the fabric, too!) and I knew she must have cut it from one of her dresses. I didn’t have any more apple fabric.
I couldn’t be upset with her, she was so pleased with herself. Though we did discuss the difference between scraps and clothes. I figured out how to repair the damage. It’s just a little girl’s dress, after all. I put the cut edges together, and sealed them along the wrong side of the fabric with some fusible bias tape. Any interfacing would work.
She sat on my lap and helped put in the gathering, and with some of the simpler serging. She considers sewing a very serious business indeed, I’m amazed at how well she can focus for such a small person. Sweatshop sewing always seems a slog, until all of a sudden I have a pile of finished garments.
My brain tells me this is… well… obnoxious. The pandas were never going to be subtle; then she and I spent some time in the fabric shop picking coordinating prints. She wanted rainbows and flowers, and for such a little bit of fabric I’m happy to indulge her fancies.
Now to focus on my husband’s sweatshop sewing, though we’re all aware it will be more like “New Year, New Clothes” rather than “Merry Christmas, have some ethical stencilled t-shirts and tencel shorts.”
What are you working on? Have you given up on any deadlines like me? :)