Handmade for the Holidays.

I aspire to Becky made gifts for most everyone on my Christmas list annually, but this year felt like the first in a while that I actually succeeded in doing that, beyond handing out jars of pepper jelly and pickles and jam. Although this year, I outsourced most of the jam to my friend Daniel the jam god. Between the great canning jar shortage of 2020 and the dire straights of most small businesses this year, it was a no brainer way to support one of my favorite local purveyors while also handing out handmade gifts. Not only is he able to source things like Damson plums, he may be one of the only people I know who is at least as picky about where his food comes from than I am. I know, right? I honestly don’t know why I haven’t outsourced to him before, but I’m totally doing it from here on out.

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So pleased with myself.

Instead of throwing things away or donating them to say, Salvation Army, I seem to be rich in friends who instead think, Oh, I’ll give this to Becky and she can do something with it.  Over the years, I’ve been given an assortment of goodies- old aprons, quilts, quilt tops, shower curtains, sheets, duvet covers, and so on.  Some of them I pass along.  Some of them sit in a pile, awaiting inspiration.  And some, like today, actually get used.
I bought these black linen capri pants at Old Navy eons ago.  I loved them.  They were comfortable, fit well and went with everything.  I have worn them out, but can’t quite bring myself to part with them yet.  I have attempted several times to remake these pants with no success.  I can do skirts with no pattern, but anything else, forget it.
A friend gave me an old duvet cover a few weeks ago.  I dumped it on top of a pile in the happy corner and debated what to do with it.  The fabric was light and seemed like it might be really comfy during hot weather.  And there was alot of it.  Today, while trying to figure out what to do with myself (unemployed stay at home motherhood when your kid has been shipped off for 3 weeks is a strange place for me to be in), I decided I was going to attempt to make a pair of pants out of the duvet cover, using my treasured, tattered old navy pants as a pattern.
Voila!  The finished result.  I cheated and cut the pants out on the seam instead of the fold.  Same idea really, yes?  Since the original pants are a bit too big these days, I didn’t add a seam allowance, hoping that would fix the ‘baggy’ problem.  It did for the most part, but I definitely need to make some adjustments. However, for a new pair of lounging pj bottoms, they work.

I love this fabric – a floral paisley?  Yes please.  I had a pair of pants in high school out of a similar fabric that I adored, so I was really sort of excited about a new pair out of this fabric.  The duvet cover is pretty big – I think it’s a queen or a king, so I have alot more fabric to perfect my pattern.  They are as comfortable as I thought they would be.  I started and finished something in an afternoon – not such a rarity for me these days anymore I’m proud to say.  And, I successfully made my own pattern.  Yes, I need to tweak it, but it fit! I’ve not always had such successes with sewing without a pattern.  Hell, I’m not always successful with a pattern.  But that’s another story….