Posts Tagged ‘boys’

small fry skinny jeans

small fry skinny jeans on elsie marley

Today the Small Fry Skinny Jean pattern tour is stopping here at elsie marley. I didn’t make hot pink pants or harlequin pants or floral skinnies for the tour. I just made plain old gray pants. Well they might look like plain old gray pants, but to me they are a bit of a masterpiece.

small fry skinnies on elsie marley

I think I’ve made my fair share of pants at this point, but I learned so many new things making these pants! I sewed belt loops for the first time, I made a little coin pocket (you know that little tiny pocket on your jeans), and a full on half fly.


pattern anthology’s alphabet collection

disguise tee and dancing pants by elsie marleY

The talented women of Pattern Anthology have just released their fall line, The Alphabet Collection. I was honored when they asked me to take part in their blog tour. The coastal cargos I sewed for the spring pattern tour are still in heavy rotation around these parts, so I was excited to see what fall had in store. And it is pretty fantastic: four fall patterns, all designed for both girls and boys, and all a pleasure to sew.

dancing pants by elsie marley

Let’s start with the pants–the dancing pants! Actually they are the W pants pattern by Melissa Mora. These pants were a breeze to sew: the directions were clear, there were just enough details to keep it interesting, and I learned how to sew a zippered welt pocket! I used this lovely mocha chambray from Michel Levine that was sturdy enough for pants. The fabric definitely makes these pants a little dressy–for a night out dancing or the first day of school.

dancing pants by elsie marley

I chose the no-fly option, because honestly my son’s fly is usually down anyway :) Instead of leaving the front plain, I made a fake fly. To do this, I used the pattern for the yes-fly option.  Then I sewed up the front, tucked in the weird fly piece, and sewed a few lines of topstitching to make it look like a real fly. Volia!

fall jacket by elsie marley

I made quite a few more changes to the Study Hall pattern by Andrea Pannell. Sometimes you have a vision in your head and can’t stop thinking about it until it’s made. I wanted a simple, straight coat with a bright contrasting zipper. And really, I think it’s the bright blue zipper (from coats & clark) that makes this coat!

fall coat by elsie marley

Ok, the changes: I lengthened the coat a bit and left out the ribbing on the bottom. I also curved the hem slightly where it meets the zipper. The ribbing on the cuffs is gone too and I added some simple contrasting cuffs in its place. I made the collar out of matching fabric and lined the whole coat with this butter soft aqua cotton from Organic Cotton Plus.

fall coat and disguise shirt by elsie marley

In between the layers I added flannel, so this coat will be nice and toasty on chilly fall mornings. Oh and I added an inside pocket too. Mostly I did it to practice welt pockets, which I had never done before (I made the jacket before the pants). Good thing I did too, because I somehow managed to make the pocket upside down!

disguise shirt by elsie marley

This shirt was so much fun to make. The pattern is the Recess Raglan by See Kate Sew. Holy cow, is it crazy quick to sew! The fabric is from Girl Charlee, who along with Michel Levine, Organic Cotton Plus, and Coats&Clark, is a sponsor of this amazing collection. I have been a fan of Girl Charlee for a long time. They simply have great knits at great prices.

I am kind of crazy for this mint color on boys right now. But in the end, it was a little too much mint and I slapped a freezer paper stencil on it. Now my son always has a disguise.

anchors away shirt by elsie marley

I couldn’t leave my other kids out! So I whipped up another Raglan Recess tee for my youngest. The knits are again from Girl Charlee. I could not resist this anchor print. Paired with the stripes, he’s like a little french sailor in training.

anchors away shirt by elsie marley

adorable, right?

ikat vest by elsie marley

The last pattern in the Alphabet Collection is the BBC Vest by Shwin Designs. This pattern was so much fun to sew. I love it when a pattern is like a puzzle and looks likes gobble de gook until the last step. Then, suddenly, you have a beautiful finished garment. And this is a beautiful garment. The curved hem in front, the box pleats in back, the shawl collar, and the racerback all make this vest a stunner!

ikat vest by elsie marley

My daughter is way into accessorizing these day, so a vest is perfect for her. When I saw this ikat fabric at Michel Levine, I knew immediately it would become the vest. I like the grown up vibe of the ikat and the kid vibe of the polka dot-ness. Just right for my almost 8 year old, who wants to be a grown up, but is still very much a kid.

ikat vest by elsie marley

That’s it! Four patterns and so many possibilities! The Alphabet Collection will be on tour for another week. All of these patterns can go so many different ways. I can’t wait to see what everyone makes!


the alphabet collection

Join us along the Alphabet Collection blog tour to see just how versatile these patterns are. Bloggers will be sewing up all 4 pieces from the collection at girl. Inspired., Shwin & Shwin, Sew a Straight Line, elsie marley, Melly Sews, Happy Together, see kate sew, Elegance & Elephants, I Still Love You, kojo designs, Petit a Petit and Family, The Train to Crazy, Delia Creates and Craftiness is Not Optional


The patterns, fabric, and notions were provided to me for this post. I am also a Pattern Anthology affliate, so clicking the Alphabet Collection links will support me and my blog. Thank you! 

the making cycle

raglan tee


I get caught in this kid clothes making cycle (it’s a long cycle, so stay with me):  When the season changes, I get really excited about making my kids clothes and make them like crazy. Then usually burn out a bit and take a break from all the making. While I’m taking a break my children either A. refuse to wear the clothes I’ve made or B. destroy the clothes I’ve made by wearing them.

raglan tee

This sends me into a “why do I make their clothes by hand anyway?” downward spiral. Meanwhile my children have grown and now actually need clothes that fit–rather than “need” clothes for the new season.

raglan tee

Inevitably, I end up at Target, where the pants are on sale for 8 dollars. Pants, mind you, that have zippers and pockets and belt loops–all of which take time and patience and way more than $8 in effort. I swear off making clothes forever!

raglan tee

Despite myself, I see something (again probably at Target, damn you Target!) so stylish and so simple, that I think, “well, I could make that.” And the whole cycle begins again.

orange and blue raglan tee

the fabric: two old shirts from the thrift store. The blue one was a V-neck. See the little part of the V peeking out? Even though it’s super wonky, it’s my favorite part.

the pattern: Tee for Two. The good ol’ raglan pattern from Figgy’s. It’s in the book, Sewing For Boys.

the sewing: I sewed this at the beginning of winter and it came together super fast, but now it’s been worn and washed and loved so much it’s coming apart a bit at the seams. ARGH!

fail fridays

the pretty good

I’m over at a happy stitch today for her new series fail friday. I was so happy that Melissa asked me to contribute, because crafty/sewing blogs really need to talk about mistakes more. The pretty pictures are nice, but everybody screws up sometimes! Failures are hard to own up to, but honestly they are a lot more interesting and a hell of a lot funnier than perfectly perfect projects all the time. So go check out my post about my kcwc double fail!

kcwc spring 2012: day six

red stripes, red balloon

Sometimes the idea is much more exciting than the actual outcome. But still matching, stripy pants and shorts are pretty cute


the pattern: same as these pants, letter o from Happy Homemade vol 2 in two sizes. This was totally the wrong pattern to use for the shorts, but the perfect one for the pants.  The idea I had for the shorts was something more like this, but then I got all wrapped up in saving the pockets from the original pants (see below). The front pockets were nice, slash pockets, but the back ones, I discovered later, were fake. It was a waste of time and energy and screwed up my plan.

original pants

the fabric: those pants up there. They were mine, but I felt like a fool every time I walked out of the house in them.

dancing stripes

the sewing: I didn’t intend to get two garments out of one pair of pants. I was only going to make shorts and really to make the shorts I wanted to make–bloomers with a contrasting band–I shouldn’t have made the pants. Oh well. The little pants turned out super cute and the shorts are fine, I guess.

stripy pants and shorts

The flickr pool is bursting with amazing garments, many of them upcycled ones. Of all the discussions on flickr this week, my favorite has to be the one about all our mistakes and straight up sewing failures. Late at night, when I’m screwing up every possible way, it’s good to know I’m not alone!

kcwc day six mosaic

1. pinafore made reversible 

2. top naii

3. raglan tee

4. stripe and color block top