Then and now… some summer fun for the kid in me!

Greetings pygmy goats! I think I’m a day late, but I decided to play along with last week’s Sew Weekly challenge “Kidding Around” and make an outfit based on a childhood photo of me. I posted the inspiration photo a few days ago, but here it is again with my ‘now’ photo – 1980 versus 2011. Sigh… nothing like typing that to make you feel your age, right my hoppy small goat friends?


I think it’s pretty funny that it’s my ‘now’ photo that’s sporting the rick rack, don’t you?

I noticed the sew weekly challenges mentioned a few times recently, and for whatever reason the apron challenge from a week or two ago really caught my eye and I wanted to play along! THEN when the Kidding Around challenge came up, I couldn’t resist! I clearly remember getting the ‘then’ picture taken. It was in a park by my grandma’s house and she made the outfit AND the sweater. Even though it’s hard to see in the photo, the fabric was a stiff polyester – VERY 70’s! Let’s go inside, shall we? It’s freezing out here…

I wandered around Joann’s looking for some likely dark blue fabric and came home with two yards of a linen/rayon blend for the shorts. For the shirt I found two yards of a terrible floppy, thin, slippery, manmade jersey – also dark blue, with a half yard of white for my ruffle.

I used Butterick 4685 for the shirt. I had chosen the nasty slippery navy jersey so it would have some nice drape. Butterick 4685 lists woven and knits as appropriate fabrics, so I soldiered on. I cut a size 20 and it fit fine, although I’m not sure I’d like the fit as much with a woven.

I included the wide gathered band at the bottom of the shirt as a nod to the tummy-baring charm of the inspiration photo. Without baring my tummy, of course! I considered using elasticized thread to try out my shirring mojo. Turns out, mojo was unaware it was supposed to turn up at my house today! I couldn’t get the tension adjusted well, although it seemed that the steaming helped out a lot, but I still didn’t love it and used an entire spool of white elastic thread just testing it out! Instead I used quarter inch elastic for the same effect. I cut two strips of fabric (one for the front, one for the back) that were 14 inches tall by the width of the bottom edge of the shirt. Then I sewed them together at the side seams and folded so that the folded edge is bottom hem and the double raw edges attached to the bottom of the shirt. I sewed channels 1/2 inch apart and threaded the elastic through every other casing. I used five pieces of elastic and gauged the length by wrapping around my middle. I’m very pleased with the result! Prepare to see more of these in the future!

update! I added my review to Pattern Review – there’s a lot more specific construction information in the review!

Oops! I used a metal zipper intended for jeans on the back of the shorts in a simple centered zipper. Ummmm… perhaps a dark blue plastic zipper would be a bit better, hm? For the shorts, I used the muslin from my trouser adventure as the pattern. Thank GOD for this project! I’d just cleaned out my sewing room and had a whole bag of scraps lined up for the garbage man. MY MUSLIN WAS IN THERE! Talk about misplacing a piece of fabric!! I like the shorts, although shorts aren’t my favorite garment in the world… I attached rick rack to the hemline of the shorts. It’s GIANT rick rack – probably an inch from one side of the rick to the other side of the rack…

It’s time to see the shorts and the shirt mixed up into a few different looks. I wasn’t feeling overly inspired, although I was happy to don my mondo shirt. I put red knee highs (actually, thigh highs or over the knees from Target, but they fit my healthy legs like knee highs) and boots, but was yearning for a pair of mustard yellow tights. And a jaunty little newsboy cap. And a military style fitted jacket made from greige canvas.


I also like the shorts with my polka dot T. See how happy I look? I imagine this will be an often-worn combination. If it ever gets warm in Minnesota. I probably won’t tuck in the shirt – I just wanted all ya’ll to see how high the waist is on the shorts.

Moving on to some shirt combos. I love yellow and blue and white together. And the ruffle works well over the cardi!

Here’s a couple of the shirt with a  simple white skirt, just because I love the silhouette!

The wide band at the bottom of the shirt makes for a nice side view. I trimmed the shirt before I attached the band, making the back a bit shorter (a totally reverse FBA – really, I was adding length to the front.)

I just LOVE how the back sort of poofs out! Also, the sleeves were meant to have elastic on the hems, but I liked them free flowing instead of puffy. I left the hems unfinished, as this fabric is really awful to sew. I went through three ballpoint needles and nearly dulled my seam ripper to a point of no return while trying to hem the ruffle. 

The shirt is also prone to age-inappropriate shortness. I was too zealous when I hacked off that five inches from the bottom before attaching the elastic band. I tugged it down while taking pictures, but this picture cracked me up! My belly managed to make an appearance after all!! Check out that mischievous look in my eye!

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  • Marie @ Lemondrop Vintage
    June 20, 2011

    I love rickrack! That shirt is precious with the little sweater too.

    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge
    June giveaway

  • Alicia P.
    April 30, 2011

    Oh, that is seriously awesome.

  • Heather
    April 21, 2011

    Boy you take good (and fun, and a little funny!) pictures. :D I love how you took inspiration from an outfit from your sprogy years. It turned out super cute! I hope you get some use out of it.

  • angie.a
    April 20, 2011

    Me too! I feel a little stupid since I rarely have trouble with sites, but my brain just cannot navigate that site. I sort of click around trying to find things and eventually just get disgusted/give up. :D Good to know I'm not alone! ha!

  • [patty the snug bug]
    April 20, 2011

    Mommy en France! Thanks for delurking!! Confidence is easily fakeable until it feels totally natural :-0)

    Angie – i KNOW – that site is totally confusing. And I've signed up for the newsletter twice, but never received one. I posted the before/after picture to the photo pool, but didn't do anything else. The whole site is so pretty, but stuff is hard to find – at least for me :-(

  • angie.a
    April 20, 2011

    I always miss the sew weekly newsletter in time to participate. Not that I understand the Sew Weekly site AT ALL. The entire thing confuses me.

    ANYWHO…love your before & after. SO cute. You're always cute though. ;)

  • Mommy en France
    April 19, 2011

    I have been lurking on the site for a few months now and I just want to say that you ROCK. Your sewing skills are so impressive, your fashion sense is great and your confidence is something I want to have. -

  • Susan
    April 19, 2011

    You were workin' it then, and you still have it now! Great photos.

  • [patty the snug bug]
    April 19, 2011

    Thanks guys!

    Alessa – they're black wedges – I think navy is a very unnatural color for shoes, which is probably why there's so little of it in my closet! A pity, as the color seems to go nicely with my eyes and hair! I was thinking a pair of RED wedges would be perfect, as I'm not a huge fan of mixing navy and black…

    Debi! I was totally into the challenge, but was concerned I'd end up with more of a fun/costumey outfit (which is totally up my alley sometimes!) I was so please at how workable both of the pieces are. The shirt is SO COMFY and casual! It's almost like a built-in-girdle for the midriff!! Your blog is where I got super interested in Sew Weekly! Thanks! If I have time, I'll be making a hot lips houlihan homage outfit this week, but I suspect I'll have to sit this week out :-(

    Andrea – you would rock this shirt. Make one! The elastic band didn't take much longer than just a plain ole' tshirt hem.

    Nikol – I know. Apparently, I've aspired to be a superhero since a young age…

    P. Sue – oh, you'll prolly see more gams. It is difficult for me to cover up in the hot months!

  • Psycho Sue- Sew Misunderstood
    April 19, 2011

    wooooo wooo! Snuggy Buggy what a hottie you are! You have been hiding those GAMS! I object! Really really cute post!

  • helen ethel studio
    April 19, 2011

    This outfit is adorable! I love all of the combinations and I especially love your young/adult photos! Great job!

  • Nikol
    April 19, 2011

    I love the before/after picture! Your 'stance' with your hands on your hips hasn't changed over the years! LOL Great outfits! I especially love the shirt – it's pretty and versatile! :-))

  • Andrea
    April 19, 2011

    I LOVE the shirt, very cute!

  • Debi
    April 19, 2011

    YAY! I LOVE it! The then and now pics are so great!! I love how you replicated the pose!! And it's fabulous how both separates go with so many other garments–major score!

  • Alessa
    April 19, 2011

    Both look very cute and versatile! I'm especially in love with your shorts and those navy wedges… I saw similar ones a while ago and I think I'll have to investigate if they're still there… :)

  • LAP
    April 19, 2011

    That shirt turned out fantastic! I think kidding around looks great on you, and so does navy.

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