Tuesday, August 28, 2012

{Henry Shirt & More Elephants}

I'm a little behind getting this one posted!  The June patter in the Sewing For Boys sew-along was the Henry Shirt.  I was so excited to see that Stacy picked this shirt because I had just bought the perfect fabric I knew would make a fabulous Henry Shirt.  The fabric I used was from Ed Emberly's Happy Drawing line for Cloud 9 Fabrics.  On top of being cute it is 100% organic cotton and so soft to the touch.  I used the Elephant print for the front, back, yoke, collar and side pockets, Gray Scribbles for the side panels and inner yoke & Green Scribbles for under side of the collar.

I have learned many different techniques sewing the patterns from this book.  This shirt features a bias yoke.  I was a little confused at first but dug right in, followed the instructions and without much difficulty the shirt was done.  I love the side panels and the curved shape of the front panels.  The added top stitching just adds a more professional touch. 

The pattern calls for snaps or buttons.  I really liked the look of the snaps in the book photographs so I set out to find plastic snaps because the metal ones I've used before just wouldn't look quite right.  I ended up getting KAM snaps and they are SO easy to use, I want to use them on everything now.  I had a gift certificate on eBay so I headed there and found so many options.  The package purchased allowed me to get two different colors so I choose grey and green.  I decided that the gray snaps looked better but in the end added one green snap in the middle just to mix things up.  I also figured it would help my son get the snaps aligned correctly.

A note about the fit:  Like most patterns in this book this shirt tends to run wide. For my son (who wears a size 4 in commercially made shirts) I made the size 2/3 with the length of the 4/5 and could have easily added another inch or inch and a half to allow for growth.


 Luckily for us our local zoo was opening a brand new elephant/Asian animal exhibit this summer.  Milo loves the elephants but 2 who had been at the zoo for decades had been off display for the prior 6 months to get used to their new home and new elephant friends.  Decked out in his new elephant shirt we went on opening day to say 'Hi' to our old friends Mimi & Dolly and check out the new guys as well.

After finishing the Henry Shirt I had quite a bit of left over fabric and because it was a bit more expensive than I normally pay I was determined to use it all. I ended up making a pair of treasure pocket pants...

I made a matching Gone Fishing Hat..

I also made a flashback skinny tee (from Made By Rae) in white knit with green collar and sleeve binding that I freezer paper stenciled the elephants on...

Lastly, I made a pair of Made's basic shorts with a stenciled elephant.
A cute little elephant wardrobe inspired by son's love of elephants and my love of matching kids clothes (I've been ruined inspired by Gymboree).

Sunday, August 26, 2012

{Heartbreaker Pants}

July's Sew Along pattern was the Little Heartbreaker Pants.  I know I'm behind on posting this one but the pants turned out too cute to not post about them.
This one was an easy one!  I had a pair of Heartbreaker Pants that I had started last Christmas in a black corduroy but ended up abandoning them half done when I realized how much too big they were going to be.  When I the pattern was announced in July I dug through the project pile determined to not only finish them but give them a little extra pizazz too.  The pants now fit my little guy in length just about perfect however the waist is still quite big.  The feature of this pattern that I liked the most was adding an adjustable waistband.  The perfect solution for a skinny kid :0)

The pocket lining is a black cotton print that match the suspenders I made him last Christmas and will still work perfectly with these pants too.  I decided to add some octagon shaped knee pads in a back and white hounds tooth corduroy to give them a little more personality. 

I love how they turned out.  I think paired with a nice bright lime green button down shirt and maybe those black suspenders from last year they will be just perfect for the Christmas card picture this year!

A Toe Tapping Good Time

Saturday, August 25, 2012

{Luka Hoodie}

I've fallen behind in my post for the sew-along, hopefully I'll get caught up soon!
August's pattern for the Sewing For Boys Sew-Along is the Luka Hoodie.  The think the most fun part of making kid's clothes is choosing the fabric.  I've been holding onto this navy & white elephant fabric for a while now.  When I saw it on Etsy I knew Milo would love it but hadn't found the right project until now.  I paired it with some navy sweat shirt material that I already had.  The challange with having an almost 6 year old (who isn't much bigger than an average 3 year old) is using novelty fabric in a way that isn't too "little kid" anymore but still looks fun.  I love how it turned out!

Usually I make a size 2/3 in pattern from this book and add a bit of length but this time I decided to try the size 4/5.  The hoodie is definately big on him but I figure he can wear it for quite a while this way.  Choosing which fabric to use for each pattern piece was a bit of a challange because there are so many possible combinations.  I traced out the pattern pieces and then decided what fabric to cut each one out of to get the look I was going for.  The book refers to Main, Contrast, & Lining fabric but I just couldn't visualize it until I had all the pieces to look at.  Here is what I cut out of each fabric
Elephant Print Fabric:
1 Hood Back Panel
2 Hood Side Panels
Secret Pocket Flap
Navy Sweat Shirt Fabric:
2 Top Front
1 Hood Back Panel (used as lining)
2 Hood Side Panels (used as lining)
Bottom Front
2 Sleeves
Navy Flannel (lining):
2 Top Front
Bottom Front
2 Sleeves
Secret Pocket

During the construction I added a few details.  First is adding some white piping between the upper and lower front portions.  I also did quite a bit of top-stitching in white to add a more finished look.   I also added a strip of the elephant print to the flannel (lining) sleeves so they could be turned up. The biggest challange was to use a zipper rather than button closures.  I will say that took a couple of attempts and plenty of seam-ripping but I am pleased with the out come.  The last detail was to add a casing at the bottom.  I used a small button hole to add some elastic cording and a cord stop.  The hoodie was quite wide on my son and this brought it in just enough to be more functional for him.
Even though it is still quite hot for August, I know this jacket will get plenty of use through the fall, winter and spring here in Colorado!