Welcome to my stop on the all about boys week. For my destination, I wanted to make an outfit suitable for a summer evening picnic at the park. We have a great little downtown here in my town and spend a lot of summer evenings walking around the park and biking along the trails. We happened to remember this really cool Rock Quarry Garden near downtown that would be perfect for the photo shoot!
As mentioned previously, the goal for this week was to show you different outfits you can make using 2 free patterns: Dana’s basic tee and Oliver+S Sunny Day shorts. This was my first experience with both patterns, and I was looking forward to the chance to experiment with them.
First off, the tee. I used the free pattern that came with the tee tutorial- which is a size 4/5 (she also explains how to make your own tee pattern based on an existing tee of your child). For reference purposes, Oliver is normally a 3T. Before I made the tee, I put one of his other tees underneath it and used that as a guide to change up the pattern a bit- took the sides in about 1/4″ and lengthened the bottom about 1/2″. I got to use an old tee of mine for this tank so I used the existing bottom hem- yay, no hemming! I also free-handed the tank top portion by cutting in the arm-holes and neckline a bit more than called for in the pattern- used the front neckline for the back and cut the front down about 3/4″ more. Dana gives you a cut line for a muscle tee but I wanted an even skinnier look to match the current trend I’ve been seeing out there for guys. I also used 1.5″ widths of ribbing for the neck and arm bands.
I would say that this is a good basic beginning pattern for those who have never sewn tees before and need somewhere to start. You can use the sample pattern size and enlarge/shrink it based on your child’s size. In the effort of full disclosure, I want to point out that my favorite tee pattern is still the Flashback Tee you see me raving about all the time. It’s such a good basic tee pattern and best $10 ever spent in my opinion! Using a great-fitting pattern will eliminate a lot of struggle you might have getting a correct fit to your child by using a one-size-fits-all pattern.
I used freezer paper stenciling and an image found via the internet to make the batman graphic. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to get a good result with such an intricate graphic but I’m pretty happy with it. It’s batman without being too obvious about it, ya know? I mixed black fabric paint with white until I got the shade I wanted, then dabbed it on pretty lightly to keep the distressed look I was going for. Oliver is in a huge batman kick right now so I know that this is a tank that will actually get worn! And apologies that you are seeing it in a dirty form. It was perfectly clean up until the minute we went to take pictures, and he managed to get it all dirty in the middle of the shoot. Oh well. It’s a keeping-it-real photoshoot.
Next the shorts- this is an excellent free pattern resource! As with all Oliver+S patterns, the instructions are impeccable and the shorts fit great! I used Kristin’s tutorial to create pockets and a drawstring waist and I am so pumped that I know how to make pockets now. I can’t believe how easy it was and I kinda want to go put pockets in everything. 🙂 I used this amazing double cloth chambray that I ordered through Fabric.com a while back. (which they are currently out of but Rachael at Imagine Gnats has got some in her shop) I only got a 1/2 yard because it’s not cheap and I knew that would be enough for shorts for Oliver, but I am so sad that I didn’t get more because it is sooo comfy- I would liken it to double gauze in feel and texture. I so want to make myself shorts out of this fabric now. Seriously, I wish you could feel these through the internet to feel how nice this fabric is!
Oh and did you see the 3rd part of this ensemble? Yep, I made a hat!? Feel like I deserve a virtual fist bump or something for that. 🙂 This was a last minute addition as I felt the outfit needed just a bit something extra to make it more fun. I was super scared to attempt it but my sewing peeps gave me the encouragement I needed to go for it (thanks, girls!) and I am so glad I did it. I used this great Fedora pattern from Elegance and Elephants and it was surprisingly easy. I made the size L and it fits Oliver great.
The outer fabric is a heavy-weight chambray from a seconds bin that I picked up on my Asheville shopping trip. I only had sew-in heavyweight interfacing so I cut it 3/8″ shorter than the pattern pieces and fused SF 101 over it to adhere it to my chambray. That worked out really well and the hat is a great weight. Now if I can only get Oliver to wear it, we will be good. I told him it was a batman hat to bribe him into wearing it for the photoshoot. We will see how well that motivates him in the future!
I hope that you are enjoying this week so far! I was so happy to hear back from some of you about how this idea is encouraging you to sew more for your boys. Feel free to sew along with us and use the hashtag #allaboutboystheseries on Instagram so that we can see what you are sewing!