Posts Tagged ‘sewing for boys’

Did you sew along last week?


I’ve had my copy of Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids (the English version of Happy Homemade, Vol.2) since Christmas, but despite the translation, I’ve been too chicken to try anything. The hoodie was number one on my list, and as with every new pattern I make, a thorough inspiration-seeking Flickr image search was performed. I discovered through some comments that the neck facing had tripped a few people up, so I emailed Shelley of Bartacks and Singletracks for some pointers. She kindly passed along all her helpful notes, and then a week or so later, Cherie and Meg announced they’d be hosting a Happy Homemade Kids sew-along with that very pattern. And so, no more excuses, here I am.

I actually sewed a little bit each day, right along with their schedule. It’s rare I sew that way, but I really enjoyed pacing myself.

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I wasn’t sure I could sell Lila on this pattern, so I made the hoodie for the less opinionated of the two.

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The fabric is from Dear Stella’s Sunburst Stripes collection. I really like these stripes – the range of colors is great, and basics like this are so useful. Mine came from LiMa Sews, where you can find four of the colors – I used Smoke.

Both Meg and Cherie added kangaroo pockets to their hoodies, and they obviously know what’s up, so I did the same.

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I cut the pocket with the stripes going in the opposite direction, but it’s not very noticeable since they’re so thin. Please go ahead and notice it, though, because the whole thing came out a little plain in my opinion.

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The hood didn’t end up being all that functional – it doesn’t come forward far enough to fit properly, and it pulls at the back of the parka when it’s up. Meg angled hers forward for more coverage, which I’d recommend if you want it to serve as an actual hood. I don’t so much mind a decorative hood, though – it looks pretty cute just hanging there.

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I probably would’ve lined my hood had I used some other fabric, but I couldn’t come up with a good match for the stripes. Plus, I finally got my serger going (another Christmas gift that went too long unused), so at least the inside is properly finished.

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The patterns in this book are made for kids aged 3-9, but the smallest size (2) fits Oscar, who’s an over-sized 19 month-old, relatively well – it’s definitely on the big side, but totally wearable.

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I love the designs in this and other Japanese pattern books, but I have to say, I’m not a huge fan trying to make sense of sparse directions – I’m pretty sure Liesl has completely ruined me for sewing with Japanese patterns! And I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me why any pattern wouldn’t include seam allowances. So yeah, I’d have to be really motivated by a great design (of which there are many, admittedly) for this type of sewing to become a regular thing. Or maybe I’ll just join in on another sew-along – hopefully there are more to come!

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Anyway, thanks to Cherie and Meg for walking me through my very first Japanese pattern! Check out the Happy Homemade Kids sew-along if you’re like me and don’t want to bumble through these cool patterns on your own – it was really helpful and fun to join in!

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Today is my stop on the Willow & Co. Glamping Tour!

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Laura (of Craftstorming and Titchy Threads) kindly invited me along, and anything she’s involved in is automatically legit in my book. I’ve been so impressed with her patterns (Small Fry Skinny Jeans!), and I figured she’d only take part in the most awesome of pattern collectives. And once I read more about Willow & Co. and looked through the collection, my assumption was confirmed.

Choosing from all the patterns wasn’t easy, but I thought Oscar would look pretty cute in the Hawthorn Zip-up Sweatshirt.

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The Hawthorn jumped out at me as being both practical and stylish, and that it happened to be Laura’s pattern was the icing on the cake.

hawthorn sweatshirt -- probably actually-14It’s a perfect little collared sweatshirt that can be made in a full or half zip, with options for side seam pockets or a split side-seam with lower back hem. A basic, well-designed zip-up sweatshirt is such a useful pattern to have in your collection. The fit is great, the details are professional, and what kid wouldn’t want to wear it? This one is a total crowd pleaser.

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And back to those details – Laura does them so well. I’m somewhat of a zipper novice, and I really appreciated the directions for inserting the zip – the Wonder Tape (I used this stuff) really did work wonders, and the interfacing kept everything hanging straight.

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I did the full-zip version with the pockets, and used a soft, lightweight french terry (smooth on one side, loopy on the other) from a men’s Target sweatshirt.

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I have such trouble finding good knits locally, and I hate ordering online without seeing and feeling the fabric first. I always check Target and Old Navy for pieces to re-purpose, but I’ve noticed lately that a lot their sweatshirt and jersey knits are cotton/polyester blends. You really have to search for the 100% cotton stuff, but that’s what I prefer to use when I sew for kids. This one fit the bill – the quality was surprisingly good, and I liked the minty-jade color. For the pockets and facings I cut up an old hoodie of Lila’s from Old Navy.

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One nice thing about using a ready made sweatshirt is that the existing ribbing could be re-purposed for the cuffs – and it all matches. That’s my other gripe about knits – every variation of every hue is available when I shop for woven solids, but when I’m pairing up knit fabrics, I usually feel pretty lucky if I find a random contrast color that doesn’t totally clash.

((Oh hi, Lila. How’d your dress get so short?))

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Anyway. Can we talk about “glamping” for a moment? That’s glamorous camping for those like me who were not in the know. I am not in the know about 7/8ths of all pop culture references, so it was no big surprise that I had to turn to the Google for guidance. I must say though, I can get behind glamping. I grew up in an Indoor Family. We read books and played Boggle and we were all proficient with rubber stamps, but we did not camp. Roughing it is definitely not in my blood. I did marry a camping enthusiast though, and we recently acquired a pop-top camping van. Sleeping inside this hunk of German engineering has to be more glamorous than the hard ground in a tent, right? Now that we’ve got the van AND proper glamping attire for the boy, I think we’re set for the summer. See, Oscar says, “Let me in! Let me glamp!”

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Okay, enough already. Go check out Willow & Co. if you haven’t already. The lookbook is overflowing with Vanessa‘s beautiful photography, and it’s sure to inspire you. So many patterns, so little time. The Fawn Lily dress and the Senna Tote are next on my list.

And for even more inspiration (just a few days in, and so much gorgeous stuff already!), here’s the full tour schedule:

glamping tour

Happy sewing, happy glamping, and thanks to Laura for having me along!

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1 small fry skinny cords -- probably actually-3

I’ve been following along with Laura (of Craftstorming and Titchy Threads)’s Small Fry Skinny Jeans pattern tour this week, and the theme I’ve noticed among participants thus far seems to be “Holy #@!%, I just made JEANS!” Well I’m here to echo that same statement – I can’t believe I made these puppies.

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I really can’t take any credit, though – Laura has created a pattern with all the professional details and finishing techniques of store-bought jeans, and she tells you exactly how to make it happen. It’s a commitment, but it’s so completely worth it. The whole process was kind of exhilarating, and I feel a little giddy just thinking about those flat-felled seams. Granted, I haven’t accomplished a whole lot in my life – but I’m telling you, finishing these pants felt kind of huge.

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Don’t worry though, there was nothing inherently difficult about making them – it’s all very approachable, and you can dial in your own difficulty level by choosing from the multiple options included with the pattern.

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I went with the half-fly (zip fly is another option), the inset and coin pockets (patch pockets are also included), belt loops, and all the top-stitching. BTW, I came dangerously close to running out of top-stitching thread. Listen to Laura when she tells you to buy two spools.

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Anyway, yes, these were time-consuming. Cases in point: I marked a lot of my top-stitching lines with a fabric pen to get them even. I performed a multitude of thread changes between regular and top-stitching thread. I pulled to the inside and tied off my top-stitching threads to avoid back-stitching. I stayed up very late.

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I know this type of thing is probably not for everyone, and that a lot of people might say it’s ridiculous to spend three nights on a pair of pants you could buy for $12 at Old Navy. But I can’t help it, this level of detailed sewing makes me happy. I caught myself smiling and feeling all accomplished as these came together, and I’m pretty sure no Old Navy jeans that could evoke any of that.

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I don’t have any details about the fabric – it’s just some plain old brown corduroy with a little stretch. And I made them in 18-24 months to make sure there was plenty of ease around his chubby belly and thighs. I love how they fit.

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Oh – and one last brilliant feature of this pattern is that you can now print each size separately (here’s how).

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Laura is offering 20% off the Small Fry Skinny Jeans pattern during the tour – enter TOUR20 at checkout to get your discount. Personally, I think this pattern is well worth it’s $10 price tag, so I’d cash in on the discount while you can!


Paisley Roots RebekahSews Handmade by Brienne If Only They Would Nap Mingo & Grace La gang à Nat Lexi Made Sutures & Sandpaper Elsie Marley Probably Actually Groovybaby and mama 2 Little Hooligans Sew Jereli Kitschy Coo Sew a Straight Line A Jennuine Life Lauren Dahl Miss Matatabi Welcome to the Mouse House Things for Boys Skirt As Top sewpony Charming Doodle EmmylouBeeDoo Caila Made Heidi and Finn Max California Petit à Petit and Family Sewing Like Mad I Seam Stressed

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Oscar is making a triumphant return to boy clothes today:

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And the elk are back! I was sure the (new to me) Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan T-Shirt would be a pattern worthy of the yellow Elk Grove knit I’ve been hoarding since last Kids Clothes Week. It’s true, I almost never cut into the good stuff on my first attempt at a pattern unless it’s Oliver + S.

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This pattern is now available on its own in digital format, so if you’re looking for a great raglan pattern but aren’t interested in the accompanying cargo pants, you can buy just the T-shirt portion of the pattern. Same goes for the Playtime Leggings and the Seashore Bloomers – both are available as stand-alones. I love the idea of splitting up the patterns this way so you can pick and choose just what you want to sew. Of course, you never know – I’ve purchased a few patterns for just one garment and ended up loving the one I thought I’d never make (Class Picnic Shorts!). But still, this is a great option to have.

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Anyway, Lila’s elk Hopscotch shirt ended up on the small side, and I think I may have overcompensated with this one. It’s an 18-24 months and it’s all-around pretty big on him. It’s definitely a more relaxed fit than the one other T-shirt pattern I’ve tried, so I think lengthening the 12-18 month size would’ve been fine. He’s suddenly a huge kid though, so I’m glad this one will fit for awhile – this fabric really is an all-time favorite.

Oscar still walks like a drunk man, which means a lot our photos looked like some variation on this:

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We called it quits after four minutes, and he already had wet hands, wet knees, and a wet behind. His modeling skills are still developing.

P.S. My elk came from LiMa Sews, but it looks like she’s down to a couple Elk Grove Chevron knits. The Flight knits are coming soon though! And thanks to Liesl for providing this pattern – my opinions are, as always, my own.


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I’m not sure what it is about coats and jackets, but they’re among my very favorite things to sew. I knew I wanted to make Oscar a coat as soon as he started walking – there’s something about being upright that raises the cuteness factor on a little coat like this. He’s still pretty tentative and falls down every seven steps or so, but he’s earned his big kid coat!

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The pattern is the Dear My Kids Unisex Trendy Pea Coat. I don’t see this one in their Etsy shop anymore ((update: it’s available! Thanks, Ashley!!)) – I bought it over three years ago to make for Lila, after seeing this version from Adelaide Lemonade. And since then I’ve admired Tara’s coat from Girl Like the Sea, as well as the many versions sewn by Ashley of Everything Else We Do.

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I was finally ready to make it myself after coming across some Robert Kaufman Chamonix Cotton Moleskin at my local Fabric Depot – this stuff feels downright amazing. It’s an unbelievably soft, sueded cotton with a very substantial weight, all of which made it seem like a good candidate for coat fabric. Plus it came in gray, which is probably what put me over the edge.

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I picked up the lining from LiMa Sews – it’s from Eloise Renouf’s Bark & Branch collection for Cloud 9 Fabrics. The whole line is beautiful and I was immediately drawn to this print (Passing Clouds in Gold). You know, because of the clouds and all. This coat should go well with the weather around here – we’ll see plenty of gray and cloudy for the next six months. Hopefully it fits him that long.

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Speaking of which, I made the 12 month size and added an extra 1/2 to the length, based solely on the fact that I live in constant fear of things ending up too short. I think it came out about right.

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The pattern itself was good, and everything came together pretty easily – there’s a lot of great detail and information included in the directions, but it’s missing a few little things in my opinion – like notches (I can’t help it, I miss notches when they aren’t there!), and basting stitches on the sleeve caps to ease the sleeves into the armholes. No big deal if you’ve set plenty of sleeves in your day, but if it happened to be your first time, you might be a little confused.

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And one thing I might change next time – it has a sort of flared, swingy shape, and I think I would cut it straighter next time, for Oscar anyway. Lila says he looks like a girl in it, but I think it’s plenty masculine for his 14 month old self. And overall I think it’s a pretty adorable coat – I love the wrist bands and the big, boxy collar, the fit is great, and the construction was really simple and straightforward. Plus, I used a pattern purchased 40 months ago. Based on that fact alone, I’m calling it a success!

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Many many months ago I tested the Keep Clean Bib pattern for Jen of Lea & Lars. Oscar wasn’t quite ready for bibs back then, and it somehow got lost in a mountain of unfolded fabric until just recently. But the timing is perfect – it fits, he’s a slob, and this thing has full coverage!

keep clean bib -- probably actually-1721We had a similar bib from Ikea when Lila was a baby, but this one is better – the front is lined with flannel, and it’s so long that it doubles as bib and napkin-in-your-lap. Which is perfect, since it eliminates the need for the dishtowel I’d been using protect those fancy trousers he likes to wear.

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I bought the Kokka cars when I found out I was having a boy…you know, because I’d heard that boy babies like car fabric. And the green stripes are Sunkissed by Sweetwater for Moda. Luckily it all coordinates nicely with the new high chair cushion.

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Anyway, the pattern is quick and simple-to-sew, and I think we’re going to get a lot of use out of this bib now that it’s been unearthed from the pile!

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P.S. The winner of the Gingercake On the Go Organizer pattern giveaway is Nichole (#52) – you should receive your copy of the pattern soon!

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The calendar indicates that Oscar will be a year old in 11 days. So I made him some birthday trousers.

corduroy art museum trousers -- probably actually-0144Do you recognize those pockets?

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The pattern is the Oliver + S Art Museum trousers. I made them in railroad stripes last month, and that pair ranks as one of my favorite items ever sewn. For real, those pants make me so happy. It’s hard to say just why – the miniature grown-up details, the fit, the fabric – but it might also have something to do with starting to love boy sewing just a little bit. Anyway, another pair was in order.

These are made from Robert Kaufman’s soft, lightweight 21-wale corduroy in tan. I bought mine at Fabric Depot (and it’s all 40% off this week). I’ve sewn with this stuff a lot, and the quality is really nice.

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I did the top stitching in orange to spice things up a little, and used Heather Ross’ guitars for the waistband facing and welt pocket lining. It’s pretty much impossible to get a photo inside those tiny welt pockets, and the insides will never be seen, but I can’t help it, I like knowing it’s in there anyway.

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If you’ve never made a welt pocket, this is the place to learn. I’ll warn you though – if you’re making these for the first time and you haven’t made the vest, the welt instructions and diagrams are in the vest section, so you have to do a little extra thinking to transfer it all over to the pants. But it’s well worth the effort.

See how happy they make him?

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That’s it for now. Next up is a little Halloween sewing. See you tomorrow!


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1 art museum trousers -- probably actually -8044More from the new fall Oliver + S patterns!

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And no surprise, it’s another great one. The Art Museum pattern features both trousers and a vest – I wasn’t sure Oscar could pull off the vest at the tender age of 10 months, so I just sewed the trousers (for now!). And oh how I love these tiny, detailed trousers.

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Having nothing to do with my sewing and everything to do with the pattern, these pants look so pro. And there was something extra satisfying about making them in the smallest size….grown-up details on tiny clothes are just so cute!

It’s funny – it’s just a pair of pants, and in a pretty basic fabric, but these little trousers make me so happy. I love watching Oscar’s little diaper butt crawling around in those welt pockets!

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Speaking of which – I’d never made a welt pocket before, and I’m so glad Liesl was the one to teach me how – I knew she wouldn’t fail me. And of course, the directions were flawless. The first pocket took me quite a while (I’m pretty slow with new stuff), but the second one was a snap. The best part was a couple steps into the welt-making process, where there’s a line in the directions that says “If you check it from the right side, it will look rather impressive already.” She isn’t kidding! When I flipped that thing over I was pretty pleased with myself 🙂

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And there are so many other little details, too – side pockets, belt loops, a faux fly, a lined waistband – these pants are the real deal.

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And because of that they took some time – nothing difficult, but a good night’s work. And in my opinion, totally and completely worth it, even if he outgrows them in a few months. Which I don’t think he will, because as you can see, they’re long!

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Based on his beanpole measurements, I cut out the 6-12 month size and lengthened the legs to 12-18 months. But I ended up cutting off the extra length at the end. I also hemmed them an extra 1/2 inch, and then rolled up the entire hem! It’s good though, they’re meant to be long, and he’s in the 96th percentile for height. I’d be happy if these fit forever 🙂

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The fabric is Robert Kaufman’s railroad denim in Indigo, purchased locally (I think at Bolt). I was really excited when this line came out – any variation on chambray ranks high with me, and the railroad stripes have such a classic kid look. Goes well with dirty toes 🙂

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Kristin and Cherie also sewed up the Art Museum pattern, so be sure to check out their versions, you’ll love them! And Jessica will be posting her ensemble on Monday, so visit her then. Many thanks to Liesl for providing us with the patterns!

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

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First, thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway – I just loved reading all the names and picturing all those sweet little girls wearing crickets and clover. I wish I could make something for all of you, I really do! In some other lifetime, maybe…

Anyway, the winner, chosen at random, is

#84, Einat!

That little Ice Cream blouse is traveling all the way to Israel to be worn by Einat’s daughter, Noa! 🙂


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And now, on to the Quick Change Trousers. The pattern is from Anna Maria Horner’s book, Handmade Beginnings. These have been on my list forever, and now I just wish I’d made them sooner – they were so fast and easy, and deciding which fabrics to put together was really fun. It’s a great pattern, and I love that the finished product is two pairs of pants in one.

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Oscar is a string bean of a 9 month old, and I made these in 9-12 months – the fit is very generous, especially since there’s so much built in length for the roll-up cuff. These are double rolled, so they should fit for a nice long time.

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And while babies can certainly pull off a contrast print on their backside, I tried not to go too wild with my fabric selections. Side A is Essex yarn dyed Indigo (a slightly more muted version of my all-time favorite Essex Denim), and after seeing these pants from lea & lars, I couldn’t resist pulling out my Joel Dewberry Herringbone.

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And for Side B, more of Violet Craft’s Bridgetown (as seen recently on Lila in skirt form…I can’t get enough of this fabric!) and some Lotta Jansdotter stripes.

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I found the Essex locally at Modern Domestic, and the other three prints came from Llama Fabrics.

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That’s all! More of these pants to come, for sure. And some back-to-school sewing, too!

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When I found out I was having a boy this time around, one sewing-related thing I was genuinely excited for was button-down shirts. Little boys just look so sweet in button-downs, and I’m glad for the opportunity to make one – and many more down the line, I have a feeling – for my little Oscar.

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This one was inspired by the Milo Shirt from Bobinette, which I found on Pinterest almost a year ago. I immediately thought of the Oliver + S Sketchbook pattern, a must-have for boy sewing. I got my copy last summer when I sewed the Sketchbook shorts for the Shorts on the Line series, but this is my first attempt at the shirt. It came together really nicely (of course it did, being an Oliver + S pattern and all) and there’s something that feels all professional about making a shirt like this, even though it’s really not difficult (it’s just a two scissors pattern). Hand sewing the collar is the only tedious part…I’m so impatient when it comes to hand sewing!

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I added some of the same details as the Bobinette version: snaps in lieu of buttons (though I used pearl snaps, because like silver thread, I think the world needs more pearl snaps!), and a bias-cut pocket, placket, and yoke.

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And then some orange top stitching and a matching twill tape tag – because orange and gray are nice together.

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The gray gingham is from Hawthorne Threads – look at all their Riley Blake gingham options! There will most certainly be a version #2 of this shirt in one of those other colors.

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I had this all cut out and ready to sew for KCW this spring, but it got bumped down the list since I knew it would be awhile before it fit. The 6-12 months size is still big on Oscar, but I couldn’t resist trying it on for a photo. And while I’d love to keep him tiny forever, I can’t wait for this shirt to fit!

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And….we have a winner! A copy of the Fancy Pants Leggings pattern goes to nurturemybaby.  Laura will contact you by email very soon!

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