Posts Tagged ‘boy’

kcw spring 2014: outfit #1

kcw theme: mini me

Sorry I’ve been away from this space for a while. Preparing for KCW and entertaining my children during spring break ate up all my time. But haHA! I started my sewing early this KCW, so I’ve got outfit #1 all sewn up and ready. But why are there 3 stylish ladies up there? For this KCW, Dorie and I decided that we should have a theme: MINI ME. The theme is optional, of course, and you can interpret it however you like.

I looked in my closet for inspiration and found none. My clothes are rather basic: gray, gray, gray, and sometimes navy. But I like to dream about wearing stylish clothes, so I looked to my pinterest clothes board for inspiration. I picked these three images: a Merimekko dress, a J. Crew (I think) ensemble, and a Madwell outfit. The dress is inspiration for my daughter’s easter dress and the other two outfits I mixed and matched for my sons’ easter outfits.

spring kcw: outfit #1 on elsie marley

This is my youngest’s outfit. Originally I was going to sew the shirt with  black and white gingham just like the picture, but then I liked the grid print (like in the Madwell outfit) with this outfit better.

spring kcw: outfit #1 on elsie marley

I used the Johnny B. Good pattern from Shwin Designs and I absolutely loved it.

spring kcw: outfit #1 on elsie marley

It was my first time doing sleeve placket and cuffs and I have to say,  I’m pretty proud of them. Shauna’s instructions are great. She doesn’t coddle you, she trusts you. This means a little more thinking on my part, which in turn means I really understand the construction of the garment.

spring kcw: outfit #1 on elsie marley

I was going to make a proper tie. Then it got all nice and springy here and I couldn’t stand to go down in my basement studio and sew. I’ve used the little boy’s tie tutorial on Purl Bee before (here and here) and cannot recommend it enough. It takes more fabric then you think a tie would need (a whole yard!) and a fair amount of ironing, but in the end you have a beautiful tie. I used this quick skinny tie tutorial and it worked ok, but it’s really meant for a toddler. I did lengthen it. Still it was a bit too short for my 4 year old.

spring kcw: outfit #1 on elsie marley

I could not find any mint stretch denim anywhere, so I went with this sort of dark sea foam green stretch twill. The material is great for spring and for the pattern–Small Fry Skinny Jeans. I had a great time sewing these pants, but I think the rise is a bit too high for my kids. I noticed it last time, but though I just sewed a size too big. These come up to his belly button, but the fit is great everywhere else. I think if I take an inch off the yoke and maybe an inch off the front they will be perfect.

spring kcw: outfit #1 on elsie marley

 

Still not bad for an easter outfit. Pretty stylin’ even. What do you think?

winter kcw: outfit #1

upcycled jacob pants on elsie marley

Yes, I know, KCW is over–very much over. But hey I went in cold and started too many things (as per always) so I needed another week to finish things. Plus, dear Lord! the cold! and the sickness! Will winter ever end?!

upcycled jacob pants on elsie marley

No, it won’t. At least not for 2 more long months, which is why I made these warm pants for my son. They look like wool, but are actually polyester, and they’re lined with flannel. I used the Jacob pattern by Zonen 09 and some lady’s very stylish slacks from the 70s to make these cozy dancing pants. She must have been a very tiny lady, because the waistband practically fit my 7 year old!

upcycled jacob pants on elsie marley

I had to reuse the waistband, because I barely had enough fabric to eek out the rest of the pants. It looks a little weird with the [fake] fly opening one way and the [fake] closure opening the other. But I’m 99% sure no one is going to notice.

upcycled outfit on elsie marley

I had a different top planned for this outfit, but then I found this striped sweater I had cut out already. I realize he looks a little crazy…

upcycled flashback on elsie marley

…but he loves it (the crazy and the shirt). The shirt is upcycled from a ladies sweater and made with the Flashback Tee pattern. Both the pants and the sweater came from this crazy thrift store called the Dig&Save. All the thrift store rejects go there. You have to dig around in giant bins to find anything and everything is priced by the pound.

upcycled outfit on elsie marley

It’s an odd place, but a treasure trove of fabric. You really have to dive in (almost literally) and trust your instincts. I was drawn to these polyester pants, but as I was sewing them I had a moment of fear: Is he going to be teased because his mom so obviously made his pants.

upcycled outfit on elsie marley

Do you worry about this? Cherie from You & Mie started a great conversation on instagram about kids dressing themselves–do you let them? do you edit the craziness? do you encourage it? do you feel pressure to dress them just right? I think the hashtag was #realkidsrealclothes if you want to join the conversation.

I obviously encourage the crazy, but maybe it’s time I pulled back. Grade school is tough. As a parent, it’s hard to know when to lead and when to let your kids figure it out on their own. They are little, but they’re big, but really they’re little. Agh! All of this from a pair of polyester pants.

 

kcw: outfit #2

hoodie and crazy pants on elsie marley

Mr. Muscles up there is pretty psyched about his new outfit, and honestly so am I. One super soft hoodie and one pair of crazy town pants and kcw outfit #2 is done and dusted.

crazy pants on elsie marley

First let’s talk about the pants:

PATTERN: Jacob pants pattern by Zonen 09. Obviously I love me some crazy town super flares. This pattern is just fun to make. I made a faux fly again (like yesterday) with piped patch pockets. I omitted the back pockets, because I was starting to go blind staring at this fabric.

piped pockets on crazy pants by elsie marley

FABRIC: the fabric is home dec-y stuff from JoAnn’s. I think it’s made by HGTV.  It had some sort of coating on it, because it was meant for outdoor use, but that seemed to have come out in the wash. Unfortunately, it faded a ton in the washer too. But I think I can safely say this print still pops.

piped pockets on crazy pants by elsie marley

SEWING: The sewing went super smoothly. Patterns are just twice as fast the second time around.

hoodie by elsie marley

now for the hoodie:

PATTERN: flashback skinny tee by Rae. I made one size up (a 7 for my 6 year old) and it’s perfect. I added a hood, using Rae’s tutorial. I finished the edging around the hood and neckline in a different way and it’s eh. Okay, but just eh. Do it the way Rae wants you too. It’s a little fiddly, but looks better. I left the end of the sleeves raw, then rolled them up and tacked them with a few stitches. It’s a little half assed, but I like how it looks. I’ve noticed a few of the shirts I’ve bought lately do this. Hey they’re lazy like me!

hoodie and crazy pants on elsiemarley

FABRIC: oh this fabric is a dream. It’s a thin, but still cozy, sweatshirt material. It’s a beautiful dark teal color and a little loopy on the wrong side, heathered on the right. Ack! I love it. I think I got it from lowpricefabric.com, but I can’t find anything similar there now. I wish I could because I’d like to make myself something out of it.

hoodie on elsie marley

SEWING: the sewing went well. Attaching the hood was easier than I thought, but finishing it was a lot harder. I’m not happy with how the placket turned out. Next time I think I’ll make a bias tape tube (circle?) the length of the opening and sew continuously around the placket + the hood. Would that work? I’m not great with plackets. But! But! I did sew those buttons that are on the placket with my sewing machine. WooHoo!

Outfit #2 is done, I might just be able to eek out #3.

coastal cargos

coastal cargos

I can be kind of a tightwad. I can’t help it–it’s in my midwestern blood to pinch pennies. But maybe you already knew that, seeing as I make my kids’ clothes (and toys and sheets). And I learned to make all those thing from free tutorials on the internet.

coastal cargos

This little red flag pops up in my head when I see a price tag on a pattern or tutorial and my stubborn, Midwestern self thinks, “Well, I could do that.” So I won’t buy the pattern, but instead try to make the garment using what I already know and maybe a poorly lit you tube video or two.

lined pockets

Results vary. Sometimes I’m wildly successful: the garment fits, the details are just right, only a few mistakes are visible. A success like that produces a sewer’s high. I am a genius! I will never buy clothes again! I am completely self sufficient!

zipper fly, closed

Other times, it all goes to hell.  I don’t think I need to elaborate.

zipper fly, open

It has taken me a long time to realize that patterns are there to guide you through the entire process. Maybe I should revise that statement: well written patterns guide you through the entire process.

cargo pocket

Some of the commercial pattern makers out there tend to throw you to the wolves.  But all the indie pattern designers that have been popping up lately genuinely want to teach you how to make the lovely garment they designed.

costal cargos

It’s taken me a year, but when I see an awesome pattern for sale I don’t immediately think, “pshaw, I could do that.” Instead I try to think, “Give the lady a little money, she just wants to show you how to sew better.”

costal cargos

So who taught me to make these awesome pants?  Complete with lined pockets, tuxedo stripe, button tabs, cargo pockets, functioning zipper fly –let me say that a little louder, Functioning Zipper Fly!   Melissa from Melly Sews and Blank Slate Patterns, that’s who.

costal cargos

She and three other designers have come together to give you a group of spring patterns called The Sun & Surf Collection.  All the patterns are adorable and perfect for spring sewing. The collection is only for sale until March 24!

coastal cargos

So give the nice ladies your money, because they just want to teach you how to make awesome clothes!

Sun & Surf at Sew a Straight Line | Sun & Surf at It’s Always Autumn | Sun & Surf at Elsie Marley | Sun & Surf at A Girl and a Glue Gun | Sun & Surf at Mama Says Sew | Sun & Surf at Girl, Inspired | Sun & Surf at Groovybaby and Mama | Sun & Surf at The Cottage Home | Sun & Surf at Craftiness is Not Optional | Sun & Surf at Skirtastop | Sun & Surf at Straight Grain | Sun & Surf at Me Sew Crazy | Sun & Surf at Delia Creates | Sun & Surf at Max California

 

 

fire and ice birthday party

fire on the ice

February birthdays can be kind of a bummer. I know because I have one–and so does my son. So I try to throw parties for him that make people with summer birthdays jealous. There will be no awesome tail gate sledding party for you, Gemini. Ha ha!

6

This year, my son wanted a winter picnic party on the ice (take that, Cancers). Also requested were, marshmallows, glow sticks, a cake shaped like a 6, and popcorn. All birthday wishes granted! I wasn’t too sure how the cake would turn out, but it seems there is nothing more frosting can’t solve.

glow swords

I stumbled on these glow swords at Target, and wow! were they a big hit! I had planned to have some sort of balloon game with glowing balloons (a la pinterest), but you need 1. clear balloons (not just white ones), 2. super bright glow sticks (not the skinny, cheapy ones from target), and 3. actual pitch black, not 7pm.   Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

glow swords

The kids didn’t seem to mind.

roasting marshmallows on a frozen lake

Before the epic glow battle, we built a big fire and roasted marshmallows. By the way, roasted marshmallows in your hot chocolate is the best thing ever, which is also how my son described his party.  I have to agree–nothing better than turning 6 with a giant fire on a frozen lake!