Sewing for Others: Parental Edition

There’s something in the sewing community called “selfless sewing.” It’s a phrase I loathe as much as “selfish sewing” because the connotations of selfless vs selfish sewing leave a really bad taste in my mouth. I prefer to say I sew “for others” or “for me.”

Same concept, less baggage!

So with both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day just around the calendar corner, I thought this year I’d try to make my parents each something nice. Not to mention my mom’s birthday is just a few days before Mother’s Day so I wanted to gift her something of her choosing (instead of last year when I simply surprised her with something that didn’t quite fit right—newbie sewing!).

They came over yesterday and I felt just like Sira in The Time Between, a Spanish Netflix show about a dressmaker who moves to Morocco during the Spanish civil war of the 1930s. It’s fraught with all kinds of intrigue that has nothing to do with having my parents visit my home, other than Sira also lives in her workshop—or atelier, if you will. Oh, and we all speak Spanish, too! One of my parents is from Mexico, the others er from Puerto Rico so we all enjoyed the show (and Velvet Colección too–check it out if you haven’t!).

Once in a while my mom will vaguely mention that she wants a certain kind of top, so I had originally wanted her to come peruse my pattern stash. Well when my dad tagged along, he got to join in on the fun, too! I mean, it was probably less fun for him than me and mom, but you know how it goes. Once they chose their patterns, we proceeded to rifle through my fabric stash and it turned into a fun stash-busting afternoon.

My dad’s choices were simpler because I have fewer menswear patterns, but they were each wardrobe staples:

While I didn’t have any suitable fabric on hand for his choices, he did have very solid ideas of color palette. The shirt will be in a light lavender, what some may consider a surprising choice for a man but one I love. Louie Fontanez grew up in New York City in the era of Don Draper, so he’s not shy about color or dressing sharp. That said, he eschewed the bright red of the Burda pants and prefers the rest of his makes in various shades of brown: the hoodie in a dark camel, preferably in fleece lined faux suede (!!!), the pants in dark chocolate brown, and an exact replica of the chocolate fleece Finlayson I made for El Husbando earlier this year.
Mom, on the other hand, dove deep into the fabric stash and had a ball. Her choices are:
  • Simplicity 8337 View A in a purple/green/blue abstract floral on black ITY
  • New Look 6892 View E in white eyelet (which I don’t currently own, but she had seen it on one of our trips to the DTLA Fashion District)
  • New Look 6483 View D in hot pink floral quilting cotton
  • New Look 6808 View C in a gorgeous dark teal broadcloth
  • New Look 6891 View D in a floral cotton gauze
  • New Look 6086 View B in a pink and black floral rayon (from Hawaii!)
  • New Look 6414 View D in a silky painterly floral I didn’t even know I had
  • an A-line skirt to be upcycled from a watercolor floral shower curtain. I have juuuuuuuust enough for what she wants, yay! Possibly the Seamwork Jenna
Now I have a new Make 12 (#sewingforothersmake12?)! That’s not a thing, but I could turn it into one. I’m really excited to make them their gifts, slow going as it may be. In fact, my mom got to take home the Simplicity 8337 I made for myself so we’re using that as a wearable muslin for her.
You can see what it looked like on me (a little big in the armholes) on the Valentine Candy & Beer episode we shot for our YouTube channel:

If some of these patterns look familiar, it’s because some are also on my #makenine2018 or on my husband’s #menswearmakenine list. Since my mom and I are similar in size, I can batch cut and sew. My dad and husband are not so similar but I can still batch the makes, which will be nice. Whether or not I can get them to do twinsie shots for the blog post is another story!

And now to go get started!

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