Monday, August 8, 2011

Back-to-School charity sewing

Project First Day was started by Susan Stewart to help give the children of Joplin, MO, a sense of normalcy in the midst of the continued devastation from the tornadoes last Easter. She remembered that as a child, she always got a brand-new outfit for her first day of school, and she wanted that for these children, despite all the struggles their families may have just to survive. So she put out a request for sewers to make and donate brand-new outfits for school children, with a note attached to tell each child that someone was thinking especially of them while making this special outfit.

I thought about it and decided to contribute two outfits - similar in style/fabrics to what my own boys will be wearing for their first day of school. I even enlisted my boys to help pick fabrics. For the first, I used B3475, my go-to pattern for boys' button-front shirts. The shirt is a size 5, and the shorts are a shortened size 4. Both are perfect for my DS#2 while still giving a bit of growth room. I used all stash fabrics for this, only purchasing notions as needed.

Because I used stash, my boys will not have identical items, but theirs will be very similar. The shirt fabric is one that I purchased several years ago - it may have been from WM or JAF clearance aisle. I'm not sure anymore. But it has a nice feel to it, so even if it was inexpensive, it wasn't a cheap fabric. I had just enough to squeeeze out two shirts, much to my DS's delight! And I enlisted my DH's help on choosing button colors. For this one to donate, I sewed an extra button on the inside of the button facing, at the bottom of the shirt - a RTW touch! ;)

The olive green shorts are a cotton twill, I believe. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough for two pairs, so my DS#2 will have dark brown shorts. The pocket flap is lined with the leftovers of the shirt fabric to tie the outfit together.

This outfit uses B3475 for the shorts (size 6) and Fishsticks Designs Patrick Curved Raglan shirt (size M). I didn't think in time about shortening the shorts, so they will be long. More growth room, I suppose! The shorts are a black stretch denim that I purchased with the intent of maternity jeans - five years ago....I used the rest of it recently for long pants for my boys - which should still fit next year - and I think there's enough left for KS SFC shorts for DS#1, but not for these cargo shorts. I lined the pocket flaps with a red tonal cotton print. DS#1 will have blue denim for his cargo shorts.

The shirt front uses leftovers from a shirt DS#1 wears at least weekly. I only had enough length to cut out the front, so I decided to use a solid black for the back and neckband and a solid red for the sleeves. I was afraid that if I used black for the sleeves as well, it might look like I just ran out of fabric, instead of a design feature. ;) It seems to have worked - DH thought it was great, and DS#1 was drooling over it, despite already having a very similar shirt with that print! (He's now picked out an ooga interlock in a different colorway for his back-to-school shirt!)
Thanks to health issues and then sewing room makeover, I didn't get started on these nearly as early as I'd intended - oops! Oh, well - I stayed up late Friday night and got up early Saturday a week ago to get these done and to the post office in time to make the August 1st deadline. Whew! Still working on the versions for my boys now.....

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