Thursday, August 28, 2014

sewing for [little] boys

There's a pretty steady stream of tshirts & shorts that get made for my little man (3 yrs). They don't take much fabric, often I recycle old tshirts from myself & the Mister, and they take pretty little time. I don't usually blog them because they're too busy being worn! But here's a few I've made recently...

instead of continually self-drafting (can you call it that when you just copy a RTW garment??) I bought 2 of See Kate Sew's boys patterns - the Recess Raglan Tee & the AZTEC hooded vest. I debated on spending the $$ for two simple patterns, but the styling and longevity of the patterns (both go to kids size 8) means I'll get lots of use from these two. And they sew up great!!

Above: I've got the long-sleeve raglan in size 3T twice, with cuffs. Fully sewed on the serger except for the zigzag hem (seriously can't be bothered rethreading the double needle!). I scooped the hem on the blue/white one for a bit more style.

The larger short-sleeve top is a size 6T I made for gift. I used the sleeve tabs and added a pocket. Both the sleeve tabs & pocket use a woven, and I cut the pocket (just winged the shape) on the bias so it can stretch a bit with the shirt.

To be honest, I don't follow the instructions much that come with this pattern. I would much prefer to set the sleeves in flat before sewing the side seams, as well as the neck band. In fact for a beginner pattern I think that would be a much easier method to use. But there are lots of pictures in the instructions for you to follow if you need to.

The vest is the AZTEC hooded vest. Obviously I omitted the hood, and just drafted a neck band. I omitted the open welt pockets too. I didn't think either of those would be used much by my little boy. This pattern comes with a super cute topstitching pattern which totally won me over on this pattern. Although you can't see it very well (just normal thread getting lost in the beautiful french terry from The Fabric Store) it is there if you look.

I fully lined it (as the pattern has you) and instead of having to top stitch the arm holes which is where you turn it right-side-out I just hand stitched a small gap in the hem, allowing me to make the arm holes nice and clean. If i used a reversible zip this would be a fully reversible vest! It looks super cute on, although was a little bit too big (which i did on purpose). I just sewed up the side seams with a long stitch to take out as he grows a bit.

Both of these patterns are definitely in the TNT section of my pattern collection & I totally recommend them!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Darcy Boxer Shorts

I've read a few sewing posts lately about "fast sewing", and the shortcuts people take. While I do think it's great to streamline your sewing to suit yourself, I'm totally guilty of not reading/following instructions & not taking the time to fit properly. Even if I do make fitting changes I'm not very consistent in marking those changes on my pattern for next time. Add to that my growing baby bump and not wanting to make something that will only last a short while wearing-wise. 

All this is to say: I've had a few sewing fails lately that have just left me frustrated (and mostly at myself for cutting corners). So I needed a project to make me slow down... Something easy that I knew the end result would be totally "satisfaction guaranteed".

I downloaded the (free!) Darcy Boxer Shorts pattern from Measure Twice/Cut Once a few weeks ago and then saw Jo's make over at Jo-Sews. This was the perfect pattern just to make me focus on my sewing & finishes. 

A few notes
  • It's a great little pattern, giving varying instructions for female & male versions. I think the fly front is a cute addition even on the gals shorts.
  • I used a (stash piece) Japenese cotton from Spotlight. A cute print, and perfect weight/texture for sleep shorts.
  • I sewed the Large size and they give a roomy but comfortable fit (which is what you want in a sleep pant, right?)
  • While I made the shorts up almost to the letter, I did topstitch the fly closed & omitted the button holes as I wouldn't use that feature. 
  • I also made a casing for my elastic (just folded down the waistband) because I envisage altering the elastic length as this belly grows/shrinks). I also didn't have any nice soft elastic in my stash that would look/feel good enough in the exposed band suggested. I love this feature & totally want to make up a pair for The Mister. 
  • Next time for the next ladies version (there will definitely be a next time!) I'll cut two of the Left Front piece, (omit the Fly Facing piece) and just make a faux fly. I prefer not having the extra bulk that the (interfaced) fly piece gives when I'm not using that feature. But! I appreciated following the instructions and trying something different for boxers.

fly front

cute side hem detail

So, just a few hours of  sewing gave me a cute pair of sleep shorts & a healthy reminder that it's not a bad thing to be a bit more disciplined in my sewing :)

I'm joining in with the Shorts on the Line competition too :)