Sometimes you just have to buckle down and get some things done and that's part of what I did this weekend.
First, I needed a shooting shirt. Yes, you read that right. Here's the backstory:
Chris is an avid hunter and I totally enjoy the bounty from his hunting trips. I like wild turkey better than a Butterball and I love pheasant and goose. But I have absolutely no interest in hunting. That means that there is a shotgun locked away in the house and in theory I could use it in an emergency but we have always laughed that the best I could do with it it to use it as a bat.
For a while I've had a mild interest in at least learning the basics of handling a gun just so I wouldn't be afraid of it. Then my friend said she wanted to learn to shoot. Last year was her 50th birthday so I gave us shooting lessons for her birthday. We had a lesson in sporting clays and a surprising thing happened. I absolutely loved it! I was awful at it, but I really liked it. I spend my entire day looking at things between 6" and 3' from my face so giving my eyes the challenge of focusing on moving targets at a distance, an occasionally being able to hit one, was a great change from a normal day.
So I wanted to start practice shooting and kept trying to get Chris to go with me. I was completely stonewalled. Then a couple of months ago another friend said she wanted to go so we set up a private lesson. Kate was our instructor and she is one of the best teachers on any subject that I've ever had. We had a great day. Kate figured out that I'm a left handed shooter and actually got me hitting clays. But again Chris was stonewalling shooting with me. Finally one day I assured him that there was absolutely no way in hell that I would ever go hunting with him. I'm not getting up at 0-dark:30 in the winter to do anything, especially sit outside in the cold and I wasn't going to stand alone in the middle of a dove field where there might be snakes. I'm happy to eat the harvest but I don't want to kill birds myself. I'm happy with the little orange discs.
The next day he brought home a case of ammo for me. Seriously.
Dudes are funny.
Back to the shirt. When I took the lesson with Kate I had some numbness in my left arm from the kickback of the gun. It's not the fault of the gun or anything. It's an ongoing problem I have with TMJ, tendinitis and muscle issues on my left side. Kate suggested a padded hunting vest or shirt. When I saw the prices, I decided that I could figure out how to make one myself. And I did! I wore it yesterday when I went to practice and it worked perfectly. I'll want to make more of them so I wrote up a tutorial if anyone else in interested.
I was feeling so pleased with myself that I moved on to these shirts. I love these sun protection shirts from Land's End. They are great for yard work or kayaking or just covering up in the sun. I put these on when I don't want to bother with sunscreen. But I wanted a couple of sleeveless ones. I can't put sunscreen on my neck and chest so I need to keep that area covered all the time. They don't have sleeveless versions of these so I decided to make them myself.
First I needed a pattern and found this sleeveless shirt that I like a lot. I chalked the curve onto the black shirt and then tried on the black shirt to see if I liked where it fell.
I added a little more shoulder width and then cut off the sleeve 1/4" away from the chalked like. I spread out the sleeve perfectly flat making sure the front and back were lined up exactly right before making the cut. Then I used that sleeve as my pattern for the 3 other sleeves.
I took one sleeve and cut 2 1" strips along the length of the sleeve. I got both pieces from 1 sleeve.
In this photo the armhole is at the top of the image. Look in the black shirt photo above and you can see that the white piping comes right into the armpit. At the bottom of the armhole I wanted that piped seam to be the bottom of the opening.
So now, back to the white shirt with the armpit at the top of the photo. I folded the 1" strip in half and pinned and basted it to the edge of the armhole opening. The cut edges are all lined up together. I did not take the new edging all the way around, only to where that shoulder seam comes into the armhole.
Then I folded the edge to the inside of the armhole and pinned everything in place. You can see on the back side of the armhole where I cut the facing piece and that it's hidden inside the armhole. Next I got out the serger and used a double needed cover stitch. You could also use twin needle on the sewing machine. That gives you 2 straight lines in the front and a zigzag in the back.
Here's a close up of the top stitching and the facing sewn down on the inside of the armhole. If I had knows that it would be so fast and easy I would not have procrastinated for a month.
I also made good progress on quilting this weekend but I would have been happy with my accomplishments with just these things!
Oh wow - another undiscovered talent! I'm totally with you in not wanting to get up at dark-thirty in the morning to go and stand in the middle of no-where, freezing my butt off, in order to maybe (or maybe not) shoot at a poor little bird. Clay ones are definitely the way to go. Leave the cave man hunter-gatherering to the guys.
7/3/2017 06:28:19 pm
Isn't it wonderful when we do these things we avoided out of dread and find out that they were actually easy?
7/3/2017 11:58:44 pm
You are so resourceful. Good for you!
7/4/2017 11:14:58 am
I don't know how people who don't sew get through their day.
7/5/2017 09:00:11 am
I didn't know Lands End had sun protection shirts, but now I do! Thanks for this post or otherwise I wouldn't know! I had a bad reaction to some sunscreen recently - Neutrogen SPF 70. I went to a organic grocery store that had some mineral base sunscreen on sale so I was going to try that. The young woman that worked in that area of the store came over and asked me if I needed any help. I told her my situation and she said not to buy what I was looking at, but to get the Badger zinc oxide sunscreen. I bought the tinted and so far no reaction. I hate the feel of sunscreen on my arms so I will be looking into a shirt.
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I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.