All About Boys: Picnic at the Park

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. šŸ™‚ I used this amazing double cloth chambray that I ordered through 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!

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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. šŸ™‚ 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.

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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!

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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!Ā new aab (11 of 12)



22 thoughts on “All About Boys: Picnic at the Park

  1. as always your pics are super beautiful! and those shorts – ah, to die for!
    plus the hat! just last week i sewed my first hat (also for my son), too and just like you i was surprised that it was so easy! i already had it in my mind that the next one to try might be the e&e fedora and after yours here, it’s settled. a fedora is soon to be sewn šŸ˜‰

    • Thanks so much for your kind words! Glad you also found the hat process easier than expected. You must try this fedora next. If you’ve already sewn one hat, this one will be a cinch!

  2. This outfit is just so so awesome!! I love the distressed batman image, it’s perfection. And the changes you made to the tank to make it skinnier gives it just the right look! And can we talk about those shorts!? I wish too I could touch them, they LOOK so comfy! And the hat. It’s just the perfect finishing touch šŸ™‚ I’ll fist bump you on IG, lol!

  3. Huge fist bump from me on that hat! And you pulled it together so quick. Glad you sewed it and I really hope he will continue to wear it. I love the more narrow cut of the tank, I’m going to have to try that soon. And I want a pair of those shorts for myself-so good!!

    • Thanks for the encouragement of the hat! I couldn’t believe how well it turned out! I’m crossing my fingers it will actually get wear. Kids are so funny about these things!

  4. It’s wonderful Brooke! That graphic turned out perfectly (very vintage Batman) and pops with the arm hole binding. I think you’ve sold me on the Skinny Tee as well. You can only hear people rave about a pattern so much before you have to try it for yourself, am I right? šŸ™‚

    And I adore those shorts!! I want them too!! And I clicked through and pinned that link for adding pockets to those shorts. I don’t know how I missed that when I was looking for free pocket tutorials. The fit is great on him too. It has that perfect “slightly boxy” thing that is adorable on boys’ shorts.

    And the hat!! The HAT!!! Bravo. šŸ™‚

    • You definitely need the skinny tee! You will wonder why you waited so long once you try it. And yeah I’m loving the fit of the shorts too- perfect boy style. Thank you kind lady for your nice words. šŸ™‚

    • I couldn’t believe how easy the pockets were to make! I’m sure I could have figured it out but it was nice that someone else did the thinking for me:) And thanks- he really does do a good job with the modeling thing when he feels like it- or knows he’s got a good reward coming to him. lol.

  5. Oh yes that double cloth is FANTASTIC, right?!! I’ve got more that I want to use for myself too…but I also feel like I want everyone in the family to have a pair b/c it’s SO nice! I had already been thinking about making Henry a pair of Sunny Days shorts with it. I love your muscle tee…and freezer paper stencil! And awesome job on the fedora!

    • Thanks! Oh I’ve been totally eying your Juba shorts you made for your husband. Mine would love those but too bad the fabric’s all gone! And I am on a fabric diet so no more coming in. boo! You should definitely make Henry some shorts- I’m a big fan of the SD shorts now.

  6. Ha, a slightly dirty tee just screams little boy to me – we all know that’s how it is with boys:) I’m loving these outfits you clever ladies are making, would love to sew along, but it’s winter here šŸ˜¦

    • Oh so sorry! Maybe you can sew along in the fall when it’s spring? The opposite seasons thing gets a little tricky sometimes…We’ll try to balance it out more for the next one so everyone can jump in!

  7. Pingback: kcw spring 2015: sunny day shorts | oliversfancy

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