kcw summer 2015: superhero shorts

superhero shorts (8 of 6)I’m back with another pair of sketchbook shorts to share with you. I know, I’m totally a broken record sometimes, but when you find a good pattern, you gotta squeeze the life out of it. I have been seeing superhero shorts around the internets for the last few weeks (check out these from Jane and then Tara’s got a great pair unblogged but you can find them on her instagram- @girllikethesea) and just knew the boys would love a pair for themselves. I took them to our local Joann and let them pick out the fabric they wanted and then I got to work. superhero shorts (6 of 6)
I used the same mods as the last version- blogged here. To recap: Oliver’s wearing a 3T and Eliot a 2T- with about an inch cut off his length.
superhero shorts (5 of 6)When I finished the shorts, Oliver decided he HAD to have a matching shirt. I wasn’t sure exactly what he meant until I realized he wanted something similar to the superhero pajamas I made him a while back. Because I’m a super nice mom 😉 , I decided to humor his request. We decided upon a white tank with a superhero pocket- he was very specific about the need for the pocket. The white (PDF to be specific) is more Kaufman laguna jersey. It’s the only color I have left actually so I’ve got to stock up on some more! I had this red ribbing that coordinated nicely with the superhero fabric so I used that to bind the arm and neck holes. I used the Titchy Threads Twisted Tank again for the tank top. Can’t say enough good things about how awesome that tank pattern is. Very highly recommend it. And I still have yet to try the twisted version but it’s on my to-do list!
superhero shorts (9 of 6)Eliot did not get a tank because I ran out of time…and that’s totally unfair, I know, but being the less verbal child does have its drawbacks… His tee is an old up-cycle I made for Oliver way back during a long time ago Kid’s Clothes Week.
My next KCW project is not shorts- imagine that 😉 but the week’s end is coming so quickly I’m afraid I won’t get to it! I’m going to start plugging away at it during nap time today though so we will see how much I can get done!
superhero shorts (10 of 6)Oh and I totally forgot about Rachael’s Shorts on the Line sew along going on, but head on over to Kollabora to view all the awesome shorts being made and link up your own if you have some. Quite serendipitous that I just happened to be in a shorts mood during all that! Don’t forget the Kid’s Clothes Week project pool either!


A Tank Top for a Two-Year-Old

Well we are back from our epic adventure (check out #CrooksEuropeanHoliday on IG) and just in time for Eliot to turn two. We were all having a bit of a rough re-entry this week between some digestion issues and general travel fatigue and I felt bad that Eliot’s birthday was going to pass without much notice. Thankfully, I got some energy back just in time to make him his birthday tee!

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I used the Titchy Threads Twisted Tank pattern (except in the non-twisted version) in a size 2T for this tank. The fabric is some Girl Charlee knit that I’ve had in my stash for a while. It’s super thin and not the best quality but it works for an easy summer tank top. I free-handed the TWO onto the tank with some fabric paint. At first, I felt bad that it wasn’t a more imaginative stencil but now that it’s done, I think it’s pretty cute.

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I’ve made some other tanks for the boys where I just hacked an exciting t-shirt pattern and I have to say this is so much easier! It’s so nice to have all the arm and neck hole pieces sized for you and not have to do any math or finagling about how much neck to scoop out. I only made the non-twisted version of the tank this time but I’m looking forward to trying the twisted version sometime soon.  two twisted tank (7 of 7)

I made the shirt during Eliot’s nap time and when he woke up, he kept saying “my shirt, Ah-ver (Oliver), my shirt.” Poor kid isn’t used to being the recipient of the handmades. Curse of the second child. Anyway, he was so happy to have his own shirt and had to try it on right away.

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We had a very laid back birthday today but it was full of all the things that a two-year-old could want- touch a truck at the downtown market, a visit to the train set at the toy store, ice cream at chick-fil-a…and his own bicycle! So excited to try out a balance bike and see if it lives up to its hype.

two twisted tank (1 of 7)Happy Birthday to my sweet little boy. Can’t believe you’re two already. The past two years with you have been so much fun and I’m so excited to see what this year holds!

Rowan Tee: Take Two

Rowan Tee Pattern Tour

Today I get to be part of the Rowan Tee pattern tour with my second version of this tee. You can see my initial, tester version here. Be sure to check out all the other blogs on the list above for some great tee inspiration!basic tee v2 (2 of 8)

Again, I made the 12-18 month size with no modifications. I used the shoulder stripe, sleeve cuffs, and kangaroo pocket option. Can I just tell you how much I love this kangaroo pocket?! Seriously it’s just so cute. I can’t wait to make another version with the kangaroo pocket and hood! Actually I have 3 or 4 tee variations rolling around in my head right now- just have to find the time to get to them. I mentioned it before, but I will say it again, the thing I love about this pattern is that Laura gives you so many modification and variation options with it. I believe she said there’s 144 different possible combinations! Talk about bang for your buck there!

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The triangle fabric I used for the tee is a now out-of-stock jersey knit blend from Girl Charlee. After the bimaa hoodie I made in this fabric got such rave reviews- blogged here-, I ordered several more yards of it in the various color ways. I really do love how it looks and what cute fabric it is. However, I have to say that this particular fabric does not hold up well to washing and drying- it gets pretty pilly and looks old already- which you can probably see in these pictures. It was my first experience with a cotton/poly blend, and I have decided from now on to stay away from any knits with poly in them.

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This is not to say that my overall Girl Charlee experience has been unpleasant. I have ordered several cotton and cotton/spandex knits from them and been very happy with the result. I just wanted to be honest with you and say that I can’t recommend anything with a poly blend to it. basic tee v2 (6 of 8)

The pocket, shoulder stripe, and cuffs are made from a 1×1 ribbing I picked up at Joann. I like this ribbing because it’s fairly thin and not so bulky as some of the other ones that I have found.

basic tee v2 (4 of 8)I definitely think that this pattern is a basic that everyone needs in their portfolio, if just to have some fun variations on the basic t-shirt. Laura does a great job both on her pattern instructions and in the pattern sizing. You can go buy it here if you are interested. FYI if you sign up for her newsletter, she will be sending out a special discount code for this pattern. I love the fit of this tee on Eliot. And so does he even though he looks fairly serious in these pictures. He takes his modeling job very seriously these days. 🙂basic tee v2 (5 of 8)

PS- I received this pattern for free as a result of testing and blogging about it but all opinions are, as always, 100% my own.

kcw fall 2014: rowan tee

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I got the chance to test this (just-released!) new pattern from Laura over at Titchy Threads. If you’ve been around for a while, you know my love for her small fry skinnies (blogged here and here) and so I was excited to try out another pattern from Laura. She has hit another home run with this t-shirt pattern. The best part about this pattern is that it has 144 different possible combinations- from a hood, shoulder stripes, sleeve stripes, kangaroo pouch, and much much more!! How awesome is that? I love patterns that give me lots of options for customization. Also love that I’ve gotten to the point where I can make a basic tee in about 30 min from start to finish. Really takes away the temptation to buy one!

basic tee (3 of 6) For my version I just chose the basic long sleeve tee because I knew I wouldn’t have time to do a fancier version, but I cannot wait to make one with a hood. Seriously, so cute! I see lots of these tees coming our way this fall and winter.basic tee (5 of 6)

Eliot got chosen to be my model because Laura needed testers in his size range. Kinda fun to make something new for the kid who doesn’t get too many new clothes! I had this fun dog knit from girl charlee saved for a special occasion and I love how cute it is on him. On a side note: While I love this dog print and the fabric actually washed up pretty well without pilling, this knit does not have very much stretch at all. You would definitely want to size up if you used it in a slim-fitting pattern. Thankfully this tee is a forgiving fit so it didn’t end up being too small for Eliot. Whew!

basic tee (6 of 6)I sewed a straight up size 12-18 months for this shirt. It looks a little long because I got lazy and decided I wouldn’t hem the bottom. It’s meant to be a casual play shirt so there was no need.  Eliot had fun dragging his doggie around the yard for our photoshoot. Kid loves his dog so this shirt is so perfect for him. He points to his belly and makes dog noises while wearing it. 🙂 However, photoshoots of 16 month olds are exhausting for the photographer! Gotta get this kid in some more practice so he can become a pro at it like his brother.

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I wanted to say a little word about this pattern versus my usual go-to one: the flashback skinny tee. I actually think that I love both equally and will continue to use both in my sewing. The flashback is a great basic tee especially if you want a vintage, slim-cut fit. The rowan is a looser fitting, more casual shirt. They each have their separate place depending on the kind of shirt you want to make. I think every children’s garment sew-er needs both of them in your pattern portfolio!

Vintage May

vintage may logo

I have followed along with Kristin and Jess’s Vintage May series since its inception so I was so pumped when Kristin emailed me and asked if I wanted to be a participant this year. Um, yeah! I had so many ideas floating around my head that I had a hard time pinning down just what I wanted. Then I stumbled across this pinterest picture and knew I had found my lightbulb moment- a 1950s inspired rockabilly outfit. The fact that it would involve several patterns I wanted to try- Bonus!

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Without further ado, here is Oliver in his 1950’s outfit: cuffed straight-leg jeans, white tee, and a plaid button down. I de-saturated the pictures a bit to give them a vintage feel. Not sure I was totally successful but I’m kinda digging the effect. He totally owned this photoshoot too- might be because we actually let him drink the photo prop. (please no judging- good pics were a must!) For any fact sticklers, I’m well aware that hubby’s bike is actually a 1975 cafe racer but it’s still vintage so it counts in my mind even if it’s not the exact era we were going for.Vintage May Redo (8 of 10)

My imaginary back story is that Oliver has brought his new motorcycle down to the local hang-out spot and is waiting for his friends to arrive so they can admire his new ride and take it for a spin. Meantime, he’s enjoying a refreshing RC Cola and chilling (like a villian- 😉 )

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Now for a little run-down of the patterns I used for O’s outfit:

Pants: Small Fry Skinny Jeans size 2T with 3T+ length. I knew that I wanted to copy Kristin’s idea of the big cuffs so I added several inches to the length. I bought some dark denim at Joann’s then had a moment’s freak-out when I got home because the pattern calls for stretch denim and mine did not have any stretch. I could have sized up to a 3T but I had already cut out the 2T pattern pieces and time was of the essence so I decided to just go for it. Glad I did because these fit great! Actually the waist is even a bit big now that O is potty trained because the 2T allows extra room for diaper bums. Vintage May Redo (10 of 10)

Like all the other reviews of these pants- they are definitely not a quick sew. But they’re not that hard either- her directions are excellent and walk you through each step so beautifully! The only really difficult section was the belt-loops. All those layers of denim almost didn’t fit under my machine foot. And soo much to sew thru! I was afraid I was going to break my machine. One broken needle later and we made it…whew! Note- I switched from a jeans needle to a top-stitching needle and that made a huge difference. When I finished these my husband commented that they looked like designer jeans and he wanted a pair- high five to me! (But I’m not planning on making him a pair anytime soon in case you were wondering 🙂 )

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Button-down: Oliver+S Sketchbook Shirt. I have been wanting to make this for O before he grows out of the size range that I bought it in! I went on a search for just the right plaid and found this great madras fabric at Hancock. Apparently I have been missing out because Hancock has a great selection of apparel fabrics. I am definitely going to be making a trip back there soon! This shirt reminded my of my grandfathers- one of which passed away when I was a pre-teen so it was a happy nostalgic time making this for Oliver. I hadn’t really thought of the fact that I was making something from their (my grandfather’s) generation until I was in the middle of this shirt construction but I’m so glad it worked out that way. Feels like a bit of a nod to my grandpa to have my son wearing something that he would have worn in his day.

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I used the 2T size because I had traced it back in the fall and never used it. Oliver really fits in the 3T size now but when I compared the sizes, it looked like I just needed to add some length to make it work. I added two inches to the length of the arms hem so that I could retro it up a bit and roll up the sleeves and also added an inch to the bottom hem. The neck is a bit small but I’m not planning on buttoning the collar so that’s no big deal. A very professional finish with this pattern- like all O+S patterns.

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T-shirt- I knew O needed a white tee to complete his outfit but wanted to add a little bit of fun to it so I added this motorcycle transfer (image found via google). I had been given some iron-on transfer paper a while back but actually didn’t pay attention to it until I was cleaning out my sewing room a few weeks ago and found it. Why have I not been using this? It’s so easy! And Oliver loves the motorcycle tee! I think it will become a summer fave. Pattern is the flashback skinny tee made in a 3T size with extra length added to arm and shirt hems. I wanted to be able to roll the sleeves up to add to the vintage feel of the shirt.

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Hope you enjoyed your trip back to the 1950s. I know I did! Make sure to check out all the other great Vintage May stuff happening on Jess and Kristin’s blogs over the next few weeks.

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