Promises kept

Machine quilted blanket

I remember promising to show you this little quilt I made a while back and so here it is. My first attempt to do a “Quilt as you go” project. I used blocks left over from another quilt to make this and it worked up surprisingly fast.

Gift items made this holiday season:

Hand quilted bread blanket

To accompany this:


and this-

Mango Jalapeno Jam

Which brings me to another promise that I finally kept. A year ago I gave a gift certificate, for two custom made shirts, to a dear friend of mine who can never seem to find the perfect shirt. He is very particular about pockets and fabric, as well as fit. I searched high and low for a shirt pattern to accomplish this and finally purchased a basic pattern that I had to alter substantially.

I  added french cuffs to the pattern and removed the seam that ran down to the elbow in the sleeve. I added a true yoke plus an additional fold of fabric down the back for ease of movement. I enlarged the pockets and added pocket flaps.  I ended up making three shirts since the changes were so extensive. Parts of two of them can be seen below in the sample photo illustrating a french cuff.

French Cuffs

Gift shirt

Someone please stop me from making a promise of this sort again!  I found myself quite annoyed that pattern makers  dumb down the patterns until they are practically useless.  Rather than showing how to make a french cuff they cut the sleeve into two pieces so that you could use the seams to bind the cuff opening.  This makes a very weak point in the shirt.

I know that we don’t always have the luxury of time to make things right so it means taking shortcuts to speed up the process. I do it myself! But why make something that ends up looking homemade, has weak seams and costs more that a shirt off the shelf? This is the primary reason I quit sewing for myself. I can get it cheaper and quicker off the shelf. The cost of fabric these days is pretty high unless you are fortunate enough to get it on sale. The fabric (alone) at regular price would have cost twice as much as the cost of new shirt.  And what about the cost of labor?

I am truly happy to have finished what I promised. I just can’t help thinking about the time spent on this project. I do not begrudge it. But I do wonder how I would have charged for my time were I sewing this for money. If the cost of the materials and the pattern and the necessary supplies already far exceed the cost of a similar garment, how does one recoup the cost of time?


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