Whew! We had a big day. Chores, school and then errands in town. We had several stops to make and I was surprised I wasn't bushed when we got home.
For dinner, I made Thai Peanut Chicken Skewers with couscous and fresh fruit salad. And to keep with the peanutty theme, we had peanut butter balls for dessert. Yummy!
Now I'm bushed!
I wanted to talk about how I make my children shorts out of fat quarters. A fat quarter is the result of a half yard of fabric cut horizontally. In other words, it is cut in the opposite direction of how they normally cut when you purchase yardage. Before I figured out that a fat quarter was the perfect size for making my children shorts, I would buy a yard of fabric to make shorts for my children and then I would have waste.
A fat quarter may or may not be a good deal depending on how you look at it and where you shop. It probably isn't the most economical if you buy them from the quality fabric store, but it is quality fabric. If you buy them at the discount fabric store, they might be a good deal. I don't know how cheap you can get fat quarters for at a discount fabric store, but they may not be quality fabric.
Fat quarters save me time (which equals money), because there is minimal cutting involved and little waste. Two fat quarters make one pair of shorts. I make the shorts to go below the knee, because, with our daughter especially, modesty is a concern. Also, I might buy a very loud looking fat quarter where I would never actually choose to have the same fabric cut. My first son has very flashy taste and I can accommodate this using a mixture of fat quarters to make his clothing. I have made him chili pepper, flame and just plain silly shorts and he loves them! I also do half and half shorts, half one fabric and half another coordinating (or not) fabric. These shorts are always walking length and very modest.
I normally shop at the quality fabric store for a couple of reasons. One is the quality of the fabric. As a friend explained it to me, all fabrics are not created equal. You may find the same print at Walmart for half the price, but it is the second run of the print which is run on a lesser quality fabric. So be aware of the difference and feel your fabric. I'm not saying Walmart fabric doesn't have a place because it does! I buy it, too.
The other two reasons I shop where I do is I am supporting my downtown merchants and we have relationships with the clerks in our store. My children have their own chairs there and are given pencils and paper to draw with while I shop and they're given gifts on occasion. They get hugs from one clerk especially who treats them like her grandchildren. Interacting with people of all ages is part of what I love about the homeschooling experience, and this is a prime example of that.
Anyway, I end up paying about five dollars per pair of shorts. I realize you can get shorts cheaper at Walmart and I do get some of those, too. But when I make my children clothing, I make it to reflect their personalities, I make them modest, and I make them well with quality. They can always be passed on to the next child. And, they have very original clothing and I like that. Plus they often get matching clothing and I like that, too, especially for my boys!
If you click on the first link, you will see a site that has instructions for making children's pants out of dad's old T-shirts. This is an excellent idea! Think about how much fabric you are throwing away when you toss a bunch of clothing out or donate it. That's a lot of free fabric. What a great way to recycle and be good stewards of what the Lord has given us. I already use knit to make my children's pajamas. I might as well use the knit we already have hanging around instead of buying more. Nice, soft knits are hard to find in the stores sometimes.
Her instructions are similar to how I make shorts from fat quarters, except I normally lay another pair of shorts out to make my pattern from. I did not have time to take photos (I actually haven't sewn since Friday) but her photos are pretty good. Let me just add that I measure my children's waists and cut the elastic about 1/2 inch bigger. Then I sew the elastic together end to end, pin it in place with four pins to the inside of the shorts once they are sewn together. One each in back middle, front middle, and at each side. I then zigzag the top of the elastic, while stretching it the fit the fabric all the way around the shorts. Then I turn the elastic to the inside and stitch along the bottom of the elastic, stretching as I go. That finishes the top.
Check out the links and let me know what you think. Happy sewing!