Anyone who knows Kelly of Sewing in No Mans Land, knows just how absolutely fabulous she is. When she e-mails you asking to be a part of a fun Sewing Series, the answer is always YES. I have been a fan of Kelly’s for years now, ever since I saw her in the very first Season of Project Run & Play. I have followed her on-line photography journey, seen and sewn most of her sewing patterns and tutorials, and watched her family travel from afar in awe – always cheering on this woman who seems to be able to do it all with a smile on her face and 4 children in tow. She is a true inspiration. As she packs her bags from France gearing up for the next adventure in life, I am honored to take part in her farewell to Paris Sewing Series.
In the Summer When it Sizzles (DIY below)
Most people who live in France probably do not walk around dressed in navy and white stripes all of the time. Lol – wishful cliche thinking? But with stripes being my favorite geometric shape on any textile of all time, I simply couldn’t help myself. I ADORE how this whole outfit turned out. I love pairing florals and stripes together, add to that the wonderfully French chic ‘Bonjour’ on the front of the Tee – and it true wub (parents of toddlers unite).
Once the Bonjour Envelope Tee was finished, I decided to pair it with a classic pleated skirt made from basic Kona cotton and a floral head scarf / headband wrap thingy made from Kaleidoscope Denim fabric by Free Spirit. I purchased that fabric a year or so ago, and it is still one of my favorites. I hoard it I tell you, HOARD.
I had an ‘Aha moment’ as Oprah would say after sewing this outfit.
I was thinking about the photoshoot, and picked up Chloe the tan purse from Target in the kids section. I knew she would love it, as she is getting to be such a big girl. It kills me how big she is getting, she can just stop now. But one of the things I do not like when shopping at these stores is some of the clothing they gear towards the pre-teens. My daughter is only 7 years old, but has to shop in the clothing section meant for kids 7 thru 16. That is a huge age range, a lot of the clothes there may be fine for a 14 year old, but for my younger 7 year old…not so much.
Anyway, I made her this ‘French’ outfit, and when I showed her the whole presentation…she flipped. She loved it so much, and it was my ‘aha moment’ of realizing what a big girl she actually is becoming. She immediately put her belongings in her purse, of what she wanted to carry around. And as we were out at the restaurant a few days later, she pulled out a pen and paper to give to her younger brother and sister to color on. She did this, because I DO this. She had band-aids, money, and chap-stick in her purse as well. It was a HUGE reminder of just how much they pick up / learn from us, even when we are not looking or trying. She still loves playing with her toys, but she is yearning to do more. She is looking UP. And it is MY JOB to help her understand what that means.
Of course this is so much bigger than just clothes, but when I realized she was asking to wear this French outfit EVERY DAY for the rest of the week upon receiving it…it was my thankful heart that praised God that I had the ability to start sewing her more grown up clothes that would suit her taste – while still being age appropriate (in my opinion). To embrace her growing age, and know that she is learning it from the home, and not letting the world tell her what is expected of her.
Since that ‘aha moment’ I have since made her a couple of more ‘age appropriate’ clothes…things I haven’t posted here, but that made her leap for joy. I finally cracked and made her the maxi dress she has been begging me for. Always seen as ‘too old’ when at the store, but by sewing my own I was able to make a simple tank top version that she LOVES. I made her a more grown up tutu, something she can wear when she wants to dress up – and not look like a toddler. And that is just the beginning. My baby…is no longer a baby.
Love the look of the Bonjour Envelope Tee? Get the sewing tutorial below…
Bonjour Envelope Tee DIY
- 1 yard knit fabric
- Classic T-Shirt for Pattern Fitting
- Basic Sewing Essentials
- *Optional – Fabric paint
- *Optional – sponge brush
- Place a well fitting T Shirt on your knit fabric, on the fold. Cut around the side seams, adding in 1/2″ seam allowance. Fold in the sleeve to cut the armsyce, also adding in the seam allowance. Do not cut shoulder yet.
- Cut around the neckline, but when you get to the shoulder, cut upwards on an arc extending the armsyce approximately 1.5 – 2″ higher. Repeat this for both the front and back shirt pattern, altering the neckline as per the basic T Shirt pattern for Front and Back.
- Lastly, following the sleeve pattern on your T Shirt cut out the new sleeves from your fabric with the top of the fabric being on the fold. Extend the sleeve to your desired length.
- Cut out (2) 1.5″ wide x approximately 17″ length strips of fabric.
- *Optional, using your fabric paint and sponge – add text as desired to the front pattern piece of your shirt. I used the freezer paper stencil method. Allow paint to dry.
- Take (1) fabric strip, and add around the front of your shirt neckline and arced shoulders, like you would for bias tape.
- Fold over to the wrong side of the shirt, pin fabric strip in place, and sew. Repeat for the back shirt pattern neckline.
- Fold the back shoulder over the front shoulder, until the armsyce is the proper length. (You can measure this up with your basic original T Shirt if needed). Pin in place and baste stitch to secure. Repeat for both sides.
- Place the sleeve curve right sides together with the armsyce, pin and sew. Repeat for other side.
- Fold shirt right sides together, pin and sew the under sleeve and side seam. Repeat for both sides.
- Hem sleeves and bottom of shirt as desired.
Thank you so much to Kelly of Sewing in No Mans Land for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful Series, which ended up giving me so much more than just a new outfit for the closet. We are wishing you many blessings on the next move, and are so excited to continue following your sewing adventures!
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…