Quilting or garment sewing: What wins your valuable time?

by Nicole

When it comes time to sit at my sewing machine, I’m often torn between whether or not to sew a garment or work on a quilt. I often have way too many project ideas in mind, but only two hands and slivers of time here and there. I dream of a season in life when I have more than enough time to do both, but until then, I have to pick.

Since garment sewing gives me a quicker finish than quilt making, it oftentimes wins out.

This past weekend I chose garment sewing and made the City Gym Shorts. I’ve seen a few people post these shorts on Instagram and they looked so cute. I had to make a pair for my little girl.

I used some Loulouthi scraps for the shorts and some red twill scraps for the bias binding. The shorts came together very quickly. The main thing that took the most time was making the bias binding.

After sewing on the binding to the front and back, the front and back pieces are attached by overlapping the bindings and sewing along the stitching.

The waistband is the last part to attach and then violà! A new pair of City Gym shorts are born!

The fit was perfect! After my daughter tried on the shorts, she didn’t want to take them off. I’ll take that as a compliment!

When your time for making is short, how do you decide how to spend it? 

Nicole Neblett signoff Modern Quilting blog

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charlotte m. June 26, 2017 - 10:19 am

great fabric for those shorts. If I need instant gratification, I sew whatever will get me there. Sometimes it’s just a pin cushion. Sometimes, I want the garment done.

Nicole June 26, 2017 - 9:57 pm

Thanks, Charlotte! Sometimes instant gratification is what’s most urgent. I need to recognize those times when I need a quick finish!

Rosemary B June 26, 2017 - 11:41 am

I am a new gramma, and so far, I have not had any desire to sew cute dresses for 2 year old Sarah. She grows so fast, she might wear it for a month.
So, I make her pillows, balls blankets, hats. just stuff.
I did make her two crib sheets, and plan on making her another that will hopefully fit on a toddler bed as well.
She needs to get out of that crib for the next one
My other daughter is due with her first in two months. They want to be “surprised” so I do not know the gender, which if fine.
I would like to make myself some blouses

Nicole June 26, 2017 - 9:59 pm

Hi Rosemary, I know what you mean about not sewing for little kids since they grow so quickly. I held off for a long time before sewing for my girls, but after I made their Easter dresses about three years ago, I was hooked! It is so awesome to see them wear something I made. And as a bonus, they love wearing my makes! It’s a win-win! Congrats on your upcoming grandbaby!

Rosemary B June 26, 2017 - 11:41 am

oh, forgot!! I love these shorts.

Nicole June 26, 2017 - 9:59 pm

Me too!

Michelle June 26, 2017 - 11:58 am

so happy she loved the shorts, it must be so rewarding having the girls wear the clothes you make. They will remember it forever. I still have some items my mum made me when I was 10, 16, 17. My favorite piece is a strawberry dress she made when I was 5 and its in my school picture that year 🙂

Nicole June 26, 2017 - 10:01 pm

Hi Michelle, it is incredibly rewarding! I know it’s not so practical because they are growing so quickly, but like you can attest, there’s nothing like having mama make something for you! How special that you have memories of that dress. It shows how important her handiwork is to you. I hope my girls have similar memories of my makes.

Ellyn June 26, 2017 - 10:16 pm

lucky girl! those shorts are darling. I waffle back & forth between garments & quilts too… oh & bags and other small goodies! I find mixing it up works best for me…..

Nicole June 26, 2017 - 10:17 pm

Thanks, Ellyn! Yes, bags and pouches and such. They are also great for quick finishes. I’m with you on mixing it up. It keeps things interesting. Happy stitching to you!

Debbie June 26, 2017 - 11:16 pm

Darling! I don’t do much garment sewing obviously, but my sewing is often determined by deadlines of one sort or another – or what I want to blog about – or what I think I can accomplish in the available time.

Nicole June 29, 2017 - 9:03 pm

Thanks, Debbie! Deadlines are great motivators, aren’t they?!?

tisha @ quiltytherapy June 27, 2017 - 12:18 pm

Garments scare me and I haven’t made one since high school. Making a quilt for me can take an afternoon. I’m worried that a shirt should take an afternoon would take the entire weekend. I’m leaning toward making some clothes soonish.

Nicole June 29, 2017 - 9:04 pm

Wow, Tisha! You make a whole quilt in an afternoon! I’m impressed!

Laura June 28, 2017 - 4:04 pm

The shorts came out super cute! I don’t get a ton of sewing time, but I’ve made homemade Halloween costumes every year since my son was born. The one I did this past year, a saber tooth cat costume, is my absolute favorite thing I’ve sewn, and I love that at 4.5 he still wants a “Mama-made” costume instead of a storebought one. He’s already decided what he’s going to be and we’ve started purchasing fabric for this year’s costume. As far as fast projects – I like having drawstring bags and fabric bins to corral toys, and they are a nice, fast way to get to play with some fabric.

Nicole June 29, 2017 - 9:06 pm

Thanks, Laura! How sweet to make your son’s costumes every year! You are creating memories that he will treasure for life, I’m sure. I know what you mean about bags and bins – they are so quick and satisfying!

Finola July 5, 2017 - 1:27 pm

Those shorts are just so cute! How fun to be able to share that with your appreciative so cute kiddos. I’m sure some of their best childhood memories will be of you creating special things for them and the shared joy when they first model them for you!

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