Saturday, February 26, 2011

One More Boy Tee

I just wanted to share one more bigger boy tee shirt during boy sewing month.  This one is from otto 1/2010.  Its fun to make, they tell you where to cut the front and back for the color blocking, and you can use lots of fabrics.

The front print is a pirate ghost comic stripe print that I ordered from Top Shelf Fabrics.  She imports lots of neat prints from Japan.  They can be pricey but she finds some great boy prints.  This was just a large diaper cut so it was only enough for the shirt front but that's OK because it would have looked like a pj top all over anyways.

The applique is from another otto.  I used the techniques from the Alabama Stitch Book.  I've actually made a skirt from the book but haven't gotten good pictures of it yet.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Easter Shirts

This post could also be called 2 down 3 to go. These are the only two Easter shirts mind you but I still have 2 dresses and one pair of shorts to go. Thankfully I also have plenty of time. Still to come are Elijah's shorts, Emily's dress, and my dress.
Here's the super happy father son on the back porch shot. Fabric is 100% cotton fashion avenue shirting from No link though because I bought the last of it. Elijah's shirt is the Oliver and S sketchbook shirt. Daddy's shirt is Kwik Sew 3422.
I've blogged about both before so there is not much more to say there. I do still really like both patterns though. I had to really make myself pay attention since I mostly remembered the directions but not completely.

I tried to get some better pictures of Elijah this time but it was cold outside so he wouldn't stay out for long. I've decided that I'm a big fan of the band collar on him though.  I wasn't sure at first but it seems like a great solution to the fact that he simply can't be bothered with properly folding down a regular collar.  At least until the Miami Vice look comes back in.  Believe me he is ready for that.
I'm so glad I took the time to learn how to make shirts.  I love how the shoulder seems are done in these so they are concealed.  I'll try to take some pictures next time I make one.  I'll try to get some more sew a longs done soon.  Don't worry about Neil and Elijah they like matching.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Pajama Top Problem

Below is the first tee I ever made for Elijah.
Its great right? Best shirt ever? or just maybe It looks like a pj top and I should have made cute little matching shorts and let him sleep in it.

The truth is making a print shirt for a boy or girl for that matter that does not look like a pj top can be a bit of a challenge. Its a topic that comes up on my favorite sewing board regularly so I thought I'd post some tips and some examples.
  • Avoid using a print for the entire shirt.  Honestly, I would also avoid using a print for everything but the cuffs and collar.
  • Beware of white back-rounds.  As you will see in the examples I use them some but you have to be even more careful.
  • If you think a print is too babyish for your son it probably is so don't use it.
  • Add details like hoods, collars, and double sleeves.
  • Try color blocking.
  • Add pockets, patches, and freezer paper stencils. 
  • Upcycle xl shirts with pictures that they like.
Add solids and coordinating stripes.  For girls dots are nice as well but I don't do dots on my boy.

Now on to some examples.
I don't remember what pattern this one is but he has worn it into the ground.  The fabric is David and Goliath "This is how I roll."  I'm pretty sure the hood came with the pattern then I added the picket for an extra detail.

This is and Imike from Sewing Clothes Kids Love.  It was my first attempt at freezer paper stenciling and faded quite a bit because I didn't add textile medium to the paint but its still cute.  I also did double sleeves and a hood.  He liked the golf fabric but I new it would not work as the body of the shirt.
This is another otto shirt using 3 different fabrics. 
Here is a v-neck with some color blocking and a Sonic patch.  The patch was only a few dollars but it added a character he really liked to his shirt without a whole lot of extra work for mama.

He picked this David and Goliath print.  This was the second shirt out of it so there was not much left.  The stripes are from the same cut as the space shirt.

Twin Ooga Booga shrits for best friends.  Imike's again with double sleeves but no hoods this time. 

Hope that was a bit helpful. I probably make more knit shirts for my son then anything else.   There are a few more in his wardrobe that I can't find pictures of so I'll have to show you some more another day.  I also wanted to add that this gets easier as you develop a bit of a fabric stash.  Many of these solids and strips have appeared in more then one project and some undies, but buying 3 fabrics to make one shirt can seem daunting at first.  Hope your projects are going well.  Look for an Easter shirt post later this week.  They are both done I just need to get pictures.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Boy Girl Matchy

These pictures are from almost 3 years ago when my son still thought it was fun to match his sister. I don't do much matchy matchy sewing anymore because he is rarely willing to match with her anymore. That said I think the biggest rule when doing matchy outfits for a boy and a girl is to make sure the fabric is boy fabric. Yes, I think a man can look great in a flowered shirt but good luck getting your average 5 year old boy into one. Plus, even when he was a baby it always bothered me when people asked it he was a girl.

My first offering is made from dragon fabric that I found at JoAnns. It was just quilters weight but I decided to go ahead and make him wild print shorts. Then I added dragon iron-ons to a ready to wear tee. The shorts pattern was Otto 3/07 design 22. He had several pairs of these and and it was my go to shorts pattern until he outgrew it.
Emily has a basic tunic length jumper and black cotton knit shorts.
My second example was what my kids wore to Elijah's preschool graduation. The shirt was a big 3 pattern that I would not recommend. If your looking for a go to here I'd buy the Oliver and S one. That said I think a camp shirt and a jumper are a great way to have a son and daughter match without either one looking silly.
Emily is in a baby deer pinafore from otto 1/08.
Its hard for me to believe how much littler Elijah looks in these pictures. Also hard to believe that they were taken more then 3 years ago. Hope you enjoyed the flash back. More boy sewing to come. Hopefully I'll also be able to show you the Easter shirts this week.

Friday, February 18, 2011

His Favorite Ever

So far this is my son's favorite thing that I have ever made him. It is his Pikachu hoodie. As he has gotten older I've found that if I want to make things for him I have to be sure I think about what he likes. This year is all about Pokemon. I saw a grown up woman's version on etsy but his is really pretty different.
I started by making the anorak from otto 1/2010 out of bright yellow fleece. This pattern runs big so I did a smaller size with added width. I also left of the pockets. The rest is just appliqued simple shapes out of knit scraps with just a touch of hand embroidery for the whites of the eyes. I also left of the tail so he could wear it to school.

I'll be honest and tell you that I kept him in Peter Pan collars and such for as long as possible and this really isn't my style. It is his though and he loves it and wears it quite often. So stay tuned for more boy sewing throughout the month.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Shoe Shirt

Its Celebration of the Boy month over at Made by Rae so I decided to play along. After all I don't just have a boy but a school age 7 almost 8 year old boy. This will also give the the chance to keep sharing some things while I am working on getting Easter sewing done around here.
My first offering is actually a trial run for his Easter shirt. It is the Oliver+S Sketchbook Shirt. I choose to do the band collar because Elijah does not like fussing with folding down collars. This is a size 8 with 3in added in length. I actually wanted a longer finished length then the size 12 but his width was a 7. I settled on an 8 because I would like for it to fit all summer and he tends to like a looser fit in his shirts. Ignore the look on his face. He does not like getting his picture taken anyways and I had interrupted his very limited video game time.
I really like the way the back of this shirt looks. I also really like that it has an actual button placket. Don't be scared though the directions were wonderful as always. That is really what makes Oliver+S patterns worth the price.
Lastly here is a picture of him in his natural environment. As soon as I snapped the second picture he asked if he could just wear the shirt till bedtime and got back to his game. He does not want to wear this one to school but is looking forward to wearing it to church this summer.

I am looking forward to sharing some of my previous boy sewing projects this month so please check back by.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Emily decided she liked Snow White after riding the ride in Disney. We have since gotten the movie and watched it about a million times. So of course she needed the dress. I had the big 3 pattern but was not looking forward to figuring out its sizing and whatnot. Turns out I didn't have too because I got to test this version of the princess dress pattern. Its great and I really like it. It went together in an evening. I made the 4-6 this time so its a bit big but that's OK with me.

Monday, February 14, 2011

From Hanna With Love

I always look forward to the arrival of a new season's Hanna Anderson catalog. Not so much for shopping though their kid's clothing is high quality and I'd be lying if I said we never bought any. No, what I enjoy most is picking some cute little dresses that I can recreate in my own way. This year the Waterfall Dress really caught my eye. Both because it is a nice twist on a simple knit play dress and because it is really just a lengthened t-shirt with ruffles.

I found two red boy's t-shirts on sale for $1 each so I decided to upcycle this dress for Valentines Day. This worked out well too because it gave me a chance to play along with Project Run and Play last week. I'd probably get eliminated right away if I were in the contest but its still fun to play along for a week.
I started by carefully removing the neck ribbing with my stitch ripper so that I could use it on the dress.

Then I used the back of an otto tunic patter to get the basic shape. I used my big clear ruler to make the a line a little less wide so that it would fit on my shirt. A tee pattern would work for this to you would just use your ruler to make it a bit more of an a line in the same way. I used the back to cut the front just making the neck line a bit lower.
I cut the sleeve so that I could use the hem from the tee.
I cut strips horizontally across the bottom of the other shirt then cut the side seams out making 6 strips.
Next, I used my overlock stitch to make the edges scallop. I did this by pulling the strips so the edges rolled and sewing so that the overlock went right over the edge. Your blind hem stitch should work here too. Technically the fabric is wrong side out but its much easier to let this kind of jersey roll in the direction it wants to when possible. Then I gathered them with my gathering foot.
I pinned the strips like this. I wanted the tops to be closed into the seams and neck binding. This would also be a great place to use wounder tape but I couldn't find mine.

This is what the shoulder seams look like.

I didn't want the outer most ruffle to get caught when I put the sleeves in so I had to pin them out of the way. Don't put them through your serger like this though and be careful when you use your sewing machine.

This is my finished product. The hearts around the edges are a stitch my machine does. I've been trying to remember that I have decorative stitches lately.

Emily wore this to school on Thursday when her class had their party. Their was just a little bit of snow on the ground so she had a great time doing the outdoor pictures.

Hope you like it. I've really got to get going on our handmade Easter so I may not do as many of these for the next month or so. I'll give you updates on the Easter stuff though and probably at least one more tut. There are so many things that I want to do. To bad they all take time. If you have a request though feel free to let me know I'd love some suggestions.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Clover Top + Heather Ross

This is the Clover Top from otto 1/2011 made from the lovely bit of Far Far Away unicorn fabric that I got from the Heather Ross studio sale. It is a 98 width wit 104 length plus a little extra. I did a few things differently from the directions on this one so here's how I did it.
1) No picture of this but I put about 2in of interfacing on each back placket piece so that I would not have to worry about my KAM snap ripping my fabric.
2) Gather the lower front between the arrows with a basting stitch. Pin to upper front piece while gathering to fit. Sew the pieces together. Iron seam toward upper piece and top stitch.
It should look like this. Then I went ahead and basted my lace to the front neck line bc I only had enough left for the front and wanted the ends to be caught in the sholder seams.

3) I decided to do a bound placket in the back instead of following the directions. I think it gives a more finished look. I tried to take pictures of the exact way I did it but you may want to check out these directions as well.

Cut a 2in wide stripe of fabric. Then cut a slit in the back of your shirt. Sew it onto the back of your shirt with right sides together and shirt on top so that it looks like the following picture.

Fold the strip over twice so that both raw edges are concealed and top stitch from the back like it the following picture.

I like to sew diagonally across the placket corner to help things lay properly. You can sort of see it in this picture.

4) Mark where the placket should fold over on your top back pieces. Then gather the bottom back piece only to this line.
5) Fold a 0.5in in on each back placket piece. Then fold the whole piece over the bottom pieces so that the bottom piece is sandwiched between the placket pieces like it the following picture and sew them together. Iron seams up and top stitch.

6) Gather the sleeve caps between the arrows using a basting stitch. Pin the sleeve into the whole distributing the gathers so that it fits. Sew the seam.

7) I decided to do my armhole elastic in the flat. Finish the end of the arm hole with a serger or zigzag stitch. Mark the elastic. I started a few inches in to give me something to hold onto. For my this size it was 24cm. Carefully sew the elastic to the sleeve stretching it so that the entire sleeve is between your start and stop mark.

8) Sew and finish the side seams. Then flip the arm elastic over and sew just on the inside of the elastic to cover the elastic.
9) I used picot elastic for my bottom edge bc I thought it would be cute. Sew the elastic into a circle. Baste it to the bottom of the shirt. Disengage the serger blade and serge around the bottom of the shirt.

10) Bind the neckline. Fold the neck binding a little bit over each placket just like in the picture below with right sides together. Sew it down. When you pull it up the edges will look nice bc the raw ends will not show. Then turn the binding down and under so that both raw edges are covered. Stitch in the ditch from the outside making sure to catch the binding on the inside. I like to pin all of these steps to be sure everything comes together nicely.

Wow that's a lot of words. Hope its helpful though. Here's the finished product. I'll have to make a skirt to go with it bc Emily still does not wear pants.