Completed: Simplicity 5110 (and a Renfrew!)

12 Apr

See also: Sewing to soften a bad mood.

Khaki Shorts & Green Striped Renfrew

I made these shorts last night (well, cut the pattern & sewed the pockets down on Tuesday evening, if we’re being totally honest here), the Renfrew was thrown together over the weekend. Both of these pieces are significant in the sense that I made them when I was stressed & stewing up a terrible mood. I know lots of us prefer to knit or clean or whatever tv when we’re stressed, but personally I like to sew! I find the strict attention to detail – even on something totally quick’n’dirty like a pair of shorts & a knit tshirt – to be very calming & it definitely puts me in a ~zen~ state. Being able to focus all my energy on something that is completely unrelated to whatever may be stressing me out is really beneficial in getting me to take a step back and drop my bad mood. Always works like a charm, too!

I will point out that sewing when you’re in a bad mood really isn’t a good idea if you’re working on something that tends to stress you out even in the best situations – hence, why my Bombshell dress is still sulkingsitting on my dress form. Actually, the Bombshell dress is a big contributor to my stress (the other big one is that I’m STILL SICK – although now I sound less like a man and more like a boy in the middle of puberty – and still carrying around a hacking cough that sounds suspiciously like the dreaded Smoker’s Cough). I chose to put it aside for a few days & focus on something that I know is going to be easy & fit the way I like it without a lot of fuss. It’s good to have a few TNT patterns just for this reason! And in the meantime – I filled a gap in my summer wardrobe! Double win!

Khaki Shorts & Green Striped Renfrew
These are my TNT patterns – Simplicity 5110 (shorts!) and the Renfrew top. Both are pretty quick to sew up and have already been fitted to my liking. I made the shorts up last year in red and they get a LOT of wear – so comfy, and I think they’re flattering 🙂 I made them in the same manner this time, except in khaki, which is something I’ve been meaning to do for about a year now. The green stripey knit for my Renfrew has been in my knit stash for god knows how long – I think I bought the original yardage at Walmart actually. It’s nice & slinky and feels good against the skin. I decided to keep the stripes on the neck & arm bands, although I did not sew on the hem band because I wanted this shirt to tuck in without a lot of bulk. The hem is stitched with a double needle on my sewing machine, and I did a terrible job & no I’m not going to show you a picture. Sorry.

Khaki Shorts & Green Striped Renfrew
It’s actually not warm enough to even wear this outfit – we got another cold snap, ew!, and I was FREEZING in these pictures. The things I do for y’all!

Khaki Shorts & Green Striped Renfrew

Khaki Shorts & Green Striped Renfrew
The pockets are lined with that mystery polka dot fabric – I love a fun lining!

Khaki Shorts & Green Striped Renfrew

Khaki Shorts
The only thing I’m not happy about is how weird the waistband is sitting – what’s up with that little pucker at the top of my zipper? Also, I need to push the closures over closer to the edge of the waistband, so it doesn’t stick out like that.

Khaki Shorts
Other than that, the zipper went in without a single hitch! I have always had issues with my front-fly zippers going in wonky (or backwards, or sewn completely shut lol), until I sat down & sewed a bunch up & figured out the most efficient way to get them in the pants. Here is my tutorial on front-fly zippers, if you want to benefit as well 🙂

Green Stripey Renfrew
I love how the green stripes look with the khaki. Such a nice color combination!

Khaki Shorts

Khaki Shorts
The zipper is just something I had in my stash… as was the fabric and everything else. Free shorts, yo!


Renfrew - yellow twill tape :)
Here is my favorite part about the Renfrew – the twill tape on the shoulders is yellow! NEON yellow!

I think I’m ready to re-asses that Bombshell dress – just needed a few days to step back & think about something else (something easy!). In the meantime, I have cut out the pieces for my next Renfrew –
next Renfrew - red & grey stripes!
You know, in case I hit another stumbling block 🙂

Khaki Shorts & Green Striped Renfrew

What about you? Do you find it relaxing to sew when you’re stressed, or does it drive you completely mad? What do you like to do to calm yourself when it’s desperately needed?


32 Responses to “Completed: Simplicity 5110 (and a Renfrew!)”

  1. Sue April 12, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Cute! Thanks for facing the harsh cold snap to share these photos. 🙂
    I’m especially liking those shorts, they’re really flattering (which surprised me b/c they have pleats?) and also your green chucks, as I have a pair just like ’em!

    • LLADYBIRD April 12, 2012 at 10:18 am #

      I know! You’d think the tucks – especially paired with khaki – would be super mom-jean-unflattering, but I think the short inseam & high waistband really help!
      I love my chucks, I just wish I hadn’t worn them to mow the lawn lol. Now the rubber is stained grass green haha

  2. neeno April 12, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    I love that whole outfit!!

    • Mariló April 12, 2012 at 10:29 am #

      I love this outfit! I think I have to try a high waistband on my next shorts.

  3. Smash Knits April 12, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Cuuuuuuuuuuuute!! I am continually amazed by how quickly you pump out all of these gorgeous pieces. You are a machine!! Love the green/khaki combo, especially topped off with the Converse sneaks!

    • LLADYBIRD April 12, 2012 at 10:19 am #

      Well, to be fair, these are pretty quick patterns to sew up! Not a lot of pieces or fiddly seam work to mess with… and I’ve already altered the pattern as needed, so I don’t have to fit as I sew 🙂

  4. Andrea April 12, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    The best way to calm my nerves is to go fabric shopping! (Until I get to the cash register and realize what I’ve done to my bank account). It’s nice to be out of the house but still having alone time, soaking in the creative inspiration from all the fabric. Sewing is a stress release for me, too, depending on the project, but sometimes I go on these mad day-long sewing sprees that leave me exhausted and burnt out and ready to snap. Oy.

  5. sewing galaxy April 12, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    Very very good fit!! I love your shorts!

  6. Marie April 12, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    How do you sew such perfect clothes, even when you’re stressed!?! Darn you!!! When I’m stressed I usually do nothing (or knit a little) and then get upset that I’m wasting time! LOL! I love these shorts and I remember your red ones last year very well – they sent me on the hunt for that very pattern, but I’ve never found it in my size sadly :o( And of course your Renfrew’s another great top!

    • LLADYBIRD April 12, 2012 at 10:53 am #

      I focus pretty hard on my sewing when I’m in a bad mood – it makes my sewing pretty precise, and gives me something else to think about. The downside to this is that if someone walks in the room, or calls my phone, or my cat knocks over something – it scares the shit out of me! I actually scream every time Landon tries to talk to me when I’m in this state lololol

      I used to get upset when I’d not do anything crafty one night – I felt like I was wasting time too! But I’m not beating myself up over it anymore because, honestly – if you don’t feel like sewing (or knitting, or whatever) then forcing yourself to do it is just going to make a big mess! Sometimes it’s ok to be lazy & do nothing if that’s what you feel like doing 🙂

  7. CGCouture April 12, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Cute outfit! I wish I knew what to tell you to do to fix the zipper, because I’ve had this happen before too, but I don’t know how to fix it. Hopefully someone else will and we can both learn something! Until then, just wear the shirt untucked since you don’t have any belt loops.

    And sometimes I sew to de-stress, but only if I’m working on something that is easy and won’t make me more stressed or witchy.

  8. Ruth April 12, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    I love your stripey Renfrew. I think I need to get that pattern!

    I don’t know how you manage to de-stress by sewing clothes. I have to wait until I’m extra calm before I start so that I don’t end up throwing things.

  9. Elisalex April 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    Supercute shorts! And I totally agree with you – I pretty much always hit my sewing machine to forget about whatever is pissing me off. Blissful distraction. But oddly enough I can’t knit/crochet/handsew certain things when I’m in a bad mood as I’m convinced that I’ll infuse my mood into my project with each stitch!!

    My go to projects are almost always skirts – no need for a pattern, I just get cutting and pinning and am always so delighted with the finished piece that I usually forget what was upsetting me in the first place!

  10. Burke April 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    I had a minor freak-out last night trying to get patterns to fit my ample bust – so I just stopped. I turned off my lights in the sewing room, re-holstered by Gingher’s and just stopped. I figure I may pick back up on Sunday when I can use a 50% off coupon to finally get a bolt of muslin at JoAnn. Until then, maybe some wine?

    • LLADYBIRD April 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

      I find myself doing the same thing from time to time. Sometimes you just have to put everything down & leave the room or you’ll go mad!

  11. misscrayolacreepy April 12, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Love the shoes with that outfit!

  12. Seraphinalina April 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Great outfit. The back of the shorts is really flattering, I can see why it’s a TNT For you.
    I like the step by step focus required for sewing when my brain is in a negative thought process. I just have to take things one step at a time and focus on the next stitch rather than listening to whatever crap is going on in my brain. However, it’s not a great mindset for tackling a project that needs fitting or changing or whatever.
    I have a cold too and it’s lingering something awful. Getting better for sure, but not 100% yet.

  13. oonaballoona April 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    yep, i’m with ya. only i usually go OCD on my sewing area and reorganize EVERYTHING first, usually with much slamming and stomping.

    that outfit is perfect summer. now get your recuperating ass indoors and stop taking cute cold weather pictures!

    • LLADYBIRD April 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

      Oh man, I love reorganizing my sewing room! The feeling you get working in a clean space? BEST FEELING!

  14. Portia April 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    I just have to step away from the scissors and the sewing machine when I’m stressed,lol! It would just get messy. I like to tidy and organise. That clears my head space so I can sew.
    Sheesh, I wish I could get away with shorts like that. What a great pattern and luuuuurve the khaki. Underated as a wardrobe basic I feel 🙂
    Keep smiling hun.

  15. Trice April 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Very Cute.
    I tend to sleep and watch sci-fi or drama tv shows.
    I hope you feel better soon.

  16. uglybeat April 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    Very cute outfit! Now I’m scared, cuz I’m getting ready to make the Bombshell. Or, at least, try!
    Hope you feel better soon!

  17. Rochelle New April 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    I totally agree that sewing is a great de-stresser, but only if you’re sewing something that isn’t stressful. Usually if I get stressed out with a sewing project, I sit down on the floor with my dog and do nothing. Well, close to nothing. I usually play a word game on my phone (7 little words more specifically because it’s a one player game) and I concentrate on that to re-boot my brain. I try really hard not to ditch a project for another one, even temporarily, because I usually NEVER go back and finish it!

    Great shorts! And I totally heart all of your Renfrews and I need to make one, or 12, like now.

  18. Helen's Sewing Adventures April 13, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    I’m with you on the simple projects when you’re stressed – sewing something straightforward and uncomplicated is such a pressure release for me too!

    And if that doesn’t work – I find a large glass of wine works wonders!

  19. Sarah D. April 13, 2012 at 5:15 am #

    When I’m stressed out, I have to do something creative: sewing, knitting, woodworking, violin playing. Lately I’ve been fixated on sewing but last term to keep my sanity I made 90% of a dining room table from scratch at my school’s wood shop! I never ever wear shorts because I have fat legs, but I love these. I think I might try this t-shirt too 🙂 I love your blog. It suits my old punk sensibilities and doesn’t conflict with my new vintage ones 🙂

  20. grenouille78 April 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    I like the green-khaki combo, too. It looks really fresh and summery. My mental detox is usually crochet. In another place and another time, it could be sewing, but I currently live in a log cabin (f’reals) and it’s not as fun when I’m constantly worried about my fabric getting contaminated with dirt, soot, and mouse poop. :p Sometimes I brave it anyways.

  21. Mary April 13, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Oh yes, sewing is great therapy!!! I’ve sewn through many a bad mood. Love your outfit–especially that nice wide waistband.

  22. Maddie Flanigan April 14, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    I don’t sew when I’m stressed; I sew when I’m anxious. I actually avoid sewing when I’m stressed because I’ll try to rush through things. Sewing actually relieves my anxiety, especially hand sewing. Something about the repetitive motion is very cathartic and slows down my mind.

    I love your khaki shorts and green combo. I also have been craving khaki but have hesitated because it can be so unflattering. But the shorts look great on you!

  23. Frances April 16, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Hi, i love your blog, you are talented and i appreciate how you share the nitty and the gritty;). i have to say that i don’t like the pleats on the front of the shorts. You are thin and they poof out a bit, imagine what they would do to larger girls (even slightly larger). That is really a pattern issue, not a reflection on you. Thanks for another great show and tell;)

  24. khaki pants for men June 3, 2012 at 6:23 am #

    I love your whole outfit!!


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