these outfits are the unexpected product of a confluence of events. it’s interesting tracking how a certain project comes to be. some of them we plan for exactly, obtain specific materials, and execute the idea thoroughly and precisely. others, many of mine, come about very circuitously, a combination of something i saw, something i already have on hand, the season, the occasion, any number of things. and existing ideas tend to morph significantly any time i take a long run, the single, unique time i’m left alone with my thoughts and in that rare silence, they finally have an opportunity to develop.
i have never been big on outfits and my children have never matched each other intentionally, but for a pair of apple hats i made them a year ago. but, when i started sewing, i decided maybe i did like the idea of them matching after all. really, this all starts with a two year or so crush i’ve had on the color mustard. though it has long been my favorite condiment. trends are never my own idea, and i’m so isolated from them that they’re already on the way out by the time i catch on. i’m sure mustard yellow is one of those trends. i have two shirts in that color (that i never wear because i only wear running clothes and old michigan tees), and picked up 1.5 yrds of mustard colored linen months ago, because i felt my wardrobe could use an even larger infusion that i would also probably never wear. i had previously purchased several skeins of mustard colored yarn with the intention of making myself a sweater. someday.
and there sat my growing trove of mustard textiles in the closet of my craft room as i pursued other whimsies. then, a few weeks ago, the inspiration arose to make bean a linen dress. i will go into the details of that dress in its own post, because i feel the creative collaboration deserves its own recognition. so for now, just know that i saw an oatmeal colored linen dress one day that i HAD to make her, and had the exact linen in plenty. but when i went to retrieve it, there was the mustard linen, smiling up at me in its not quite cheerful, but earthy and fall like manner. and the wheels started turning.
the dress came together incredibly quickly, but again, more details in an upcoming post. next, i went to work on reese’s vest so he’d be guaranteed inclusion in the color club before turkey day. of course, i went for the good old milo pattern, and worked one up in his size over just a day and a half. i adore everything about this magical little elfin child, including his keen fashion sense. unfortunately, my metro baby did not approve of this piece and ripped it off his body the second i finally wrangled it on. back on the skein winder it went. literally. i’ve never actually wound a ball of yarn from an existing garment.
so now what?! i have no other vest patterns to speak of, and really the only designs i make myself are for raglans without seams…what do i know about creating armholes and neck holes and the like? i just know how messy they look when i’m following a pattern from a legitimate designer. but, i did see these very cute little vests in the current martha stewart magazine that she made for her grandkids, with wool she sheared from her own sheep. of course.
so, i designed my first vest. i went moss stitch instead of seed for a more distinct texture, and a button closure (i cord loops) vs. the pom poms (really martha, let’s be practical). the finished product looks pretty 70s-grandpa at first glance, but somehow that look works for a 1.5 year old.
the problem with making clothing for your children only when they are sleeping is the measurement issue…i was halfway through the back which i based on his shirt, only to have reese wake up and see he was swimming in it. fortunately, and this is why i maintain knitting is far more forgiving than sewing, i made both the sides a little narrower and fudged the shoulder seams a bit with no major ramifications. so, while this is not a pattern i’d write up for others, i see more vest making in my future and after a few more trial runs, i could definitely post a little pattern here.
the vest fiasco brought us right up to tuesday, with a white cardigan for bean still on my list. however, my mother in law graciously volunteered to host thanksgiving this year, leaving my final 36 hours relatively stress free. with super bulky yarn, size 15 needles, and garter stitch, let it be known that a cropped toddler sweater (can we call this a bolero?) can absolutely be constructed in a single afternoon, even if you calculate the gauge totally wrong and have to start anew after already dividing for the sleeves. indeed, it can. that leaves you with enough time to make a pumpkin pie.
so these are our matchy matchy mustard outfits. it gave me an opportunity to don one of my existing mustard shirts, even if it dashed my plans to add more mustard to my wardrobe. i don’t know, maybe it is on the way out, but i still like it as a shirt as much as i like it on a sandwich.