Railroad pants

As a mother of an adorable little boy, there will never be enough quality boy patterns out there to satisfy my inner sewing nerd.  However, Oliver + S does a pretty good job.  I most love how all of their patterns mix and match.  You could almost stack up your fabric and draw your outfit combination out of a hat with good results.  This time I chose the sailboat top paired with a pair of field trip pants.  It’s a winner!

DSC_0088I stuck with some pretty basic design choices for both pieces, because I intend for them to be able to work with other things he already has.  I try to make K’s wardrobe as “mix and matchable” as I can without getting too boring.  He still often requires a wardrobe change in the middle of the day for one reason or another.  For the pants I used a cotton/lycra denim in railroad stripe.  I thought I was ordering Kaufman’s new railroad denim, but I don’t think that is supposed to be a stretch.  I’m not sure what this is.  For the top I used Kaufman oxford in solid white.

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Since it is time to size up his clothes I went with a 3T for the top and a 2T with extra hem length for the pants.  I seemed to have overshot, and he is swimming in both pieces.  Next time I’ll take some width off the side seams of the pants pattern, as the rise seems to fit about right.

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The only change I made to the shirt was adding a pocket.  I used a shortened back pocket from the fieldtrip pants because I happened to have it sitting on my table when I was cutting.  I think the proportions are about right.  This shirt is such a quick and satisfying project!

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Though well worth the trouble these pants seem to take a while to sew.  They aren’t difficult but there are quite a few steps.

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There are six pockets and cargo flaps to boot!  They are a big sell with a 3 1/2 year old boy.

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I like to add tiny buttons at the corners of the pockets when I make these pants.  They are dual purpose as they look cute and add a little strength for when he loads them up with his matchbox cars.

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Once I realized how big the pants were looking I also added a hem facing, so I can cuff these and get longer wear.  I turned my knee pieces and my hem 90degrees for a little interest.  I won’t tell you how long I agonized over the direction I was cutting the knees!

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So there you go….one little boy in a new outfit!
DSC_0116And, I should buy stock in oxyclean.  I turned my back for a second, and he didn’t waste any time getting his new outfit filthy!

Little boys look good in Liberty

Back when I made G’s birthday party dress I cut out a shirt for K at the same time with plans for coordinating sibling outfits.  This is the outfit….

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For the shirt I used Liberty Castille and my same old adjusted Kwik Sew 3146 pattern.  If you want info on the shirt pattern just ask, and I can direct you to my flickr feed.  Several weeks later, when I pulled out my ufo, I was crushed to realize that I had cut his first all liberty print shirt with the placket backwards and not enough fabric to re-cut it!  I made it anyway because really who is ever going to notice but me?

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I used a crisp pima check for the inner collar stand and placket to tone down the crazy print a bit.  I even went as far as changing bobbin threads for the stitching on the collar stand!  The buttons are thrifted mop that could use a good trip through the wash as I didn’t see the point in scrubbing them too thoroughly.  This was my first time using the interfacing sold on the o+s website.  It is nice and light and great to work with.  I’m still trying to find a personal favorite interfacing.  So far, I really like pellon interfacing meant for knits best.  I’ve had quite a few that crinkle and do weird things in the wash.

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For his pants I used o+ s new art museum pattern.  I had already made a quick brown twill pair this weekend to work out the kinks in the sizing and new skills.  My second pair went much quicker.  They are made in Kaufman interweave chambray (not sure the color name?).  I ended up making the 18-24m with a 2T minus ½” at the hem length.  (he is 19” at waist, hips, and outseam for anyone wondering about sizing their kids) I could have hemmed them even shorter but just love when my kids wear their clothes out before they outgrow them.  I also left off belt loops and ran 1″ elastic all the way around the waist.

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My welts aren’t perfect but certainly the best ones I have ever made thanks to clear and thorough directions.  Something I did the second time around was switch to a woven iorn-on interfacing for making the welts.  I used the fuzzy type the first time around.  While either would work…the woven kind didn’t require a pressing cloth so was less fiddly.  There are times during assembly when you are ironing on top of the interfacing.

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I did some satin stitching on the corners after looking at the welts on all of my Ann Taylor pants.  I’m not sure I like the way it looks on this two color thread chambray, but I’ll live.

DSC_0051I also added some strength to the pocket corners with a tiny satin stitch.  My kids can really put a garment through its paces.

As expected, three year olds make crappy models.  Here a few photos of K running away from me and a few blurry ones of him facing the camera.  It seems I sew most on rainy days so bad lighting is a common problem for my sewing photos.

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DSC_0041 DSC_0046And, if you are wondering what those pant’s fit like under that shirt tail…here you go…

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Croquet remix

Ever have one of those projects that you absolutely must tackle before you can move on to the next?  Something about the creative process I guess…

My inner sewing nerd has been racking my brain over the past few months for how to make the croquet dress sleeveless and still get a nice finish on the arms.  Tell me I’m not the only one who thinks about these things during all the mundane daily tasks?  (stuck in traffic, brushing teeth, cooking dinner…)  I love the croquet dress, but am just not a big fan of the sleeves in the pattern.

Well, The other day I shared my conundrum with my almost six year old.  She says, “What about angel sleeves?”  (Is it weird that my six year old knows what angel sleeves are?)  “Of course!”  I say.  “What a fantastic idea!”

Over the next few days, I never could find the time to get it done.  Last night, I broke one of my rules and stayed up ’till midnight sewing a frenzy to get this finished.

And….I’m in love!

DSC_0013I made the Oliver + S croquet dress in a size 6 but cut a size 7 length at the waist and hem.  I did this last year with the sizes 5 and 6 and it worked well.  We like the way it blouses at the waist.  I’m pretty sure this one will be a little big to start, but am hoping for some wear next spring also.

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I used the sleeves from Children’s Corner Hilliary.  I’m not sure I adhered exactly to seam and hem allowances.  I’m only slightly annoyed that I cut one sleeve with a black edge and one with a white.

DSC_0014I used a lightweight, stretch, gingham shirting I picked up on sale (3.59/yard) from fabric.com a while back.   I used some of the neon pink twill tape I bought this summer on vacation in Miami for the tie.  In retrospect, I should have lined the skirt.  I was planning on picking up some neon pink leggings I spied at Walmart last week, but I think they will show through the white squares.  I tried to run my twill tape all the way through the elastic casing.  It showed through as well.  In the end, I just tacked it in place and tied a knot.  I also moved my tie to the center after something I liked on pinterest.

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There was some seam ripper love on the side of the back placket with the button band.  Things are still a little wonky back there, but I’m just glad I got all those little stretchy squares mostly aligned at seams and hems.

G took a peek at it on her way out the door to her FIRST day of school.  She gave it two thumbs up!

Now, what does anyone think about adding this skirt and casing to the oliver + s picnic blouse?  You think you would need some sort of placket or opening to get it on?

School dresses


When my husband asks tonight why we are having leftovers for dinner AGAIN, I’ll have to show him this dress.  I spent the bulk of the day cutting out and sewing G’s last school dress.  Our county has somewhere between a dress code and a uniform policy.  Any color is allowed as long as it is solid.  Blouses must have collars.  Dresses that aren’t jumpers must have sleeves.  And, the expected modesty rules apply.  This item was the last on my “to do” list that I started working down in June.

DSC_0018I made the Oliver + s jumprope dress in View B but with short sleeves in a size 6.  The only change I made was to use a deeper hem.  I used Kaufman Interweave Chambray in Strawberry.  The “interweave” appears to be a new line of fabric for them.  It seems very similar if not the same as their Carolina Chambray I’ve always loved in the past.  But, it looks to come in dozens of great colors.

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I used my last five heart shaped shell buttons.  Truth be told…I’m not a fan of hearts.  But they are a favorite of my girl and seemed perfectly suited to a red dress.  The jumprope collar gives me fits.  I always end up adding bar tacks at the corners for strength and am never quite happy with my topstitching.  The other qualities of the pattern always make my dissatisfaction easy to overlook, though.  What is your favorite?  The pockets, perfect placket, or button tabs?

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Since their uniform policy allows for “manufacturers logos” I made a little snail tag from yesterday’s liberty scraps.  G said, “Why did you put a snail tag?”  My answer to her was, “Because, it made me happy.”  She said, “I think it will make me happy too.”

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So, there you have it….modeled and with room to grow.DSC_0014

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And, you can always count on Oliver + S for a well drafted pattern with perfect proportions!

While I had her in a rare cooperative moment…I got her to slip on the two other dresses I have made for her school wardrobe.DSC_0031A view A jumprope in lilac oxford.
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It is my personal favorite.  Though, I’m nervous about her being able to make it all day without getting in trouble for playing with the belt.
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I also made a short sleeve version of the Oliver + S book report in orange mystery chambray/oxford.  She says this one is her favorite.
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School starts on Monday.  I wonder what she will pick to wear first?
In full disclosure tonight’s “leftovers” are homemade crab and corn bisque.  Everyone will be going to bed content.

My first collar stand!

I’m still here, still sewing, and mainly posting on flickr if you are interested.  This one I wanted to review b/c it is a new pattern for me.  Mom bought this pattern for me at least a year ago.  I’ve been patiently waiting for K to grow into the smallest size.  There really aren’t as many decent shirt patterns for little boys out there as you would think.  I love the oliver + s sketchbook shirt.  But, after making multiples this summer…I needed a change of scenery.  Insert, Kwik Sew 3146.  It also has the added bonus of a collar stand so you can have fun with contrast fabrics.  I made more mistakes than you can count.  Whoops! But, my mistakes having nothing to do with the pattern.  It is great pattern, and I’ll be making it again soon and probably many times after that.  I measured it against my Sketchbook pattern (currently the 18-24m size for us) and made a size T1 with 1″ added to the body for my two year old.  And, the fit is pretty similar.  The armholes are a little deep on this pattern.  You can even tell that from the pattern drawings on the front.  But, I don’t know how to adjust that easily.  I think it is just the style of shirt.  Otherwise, I ended up with a decent fit.  I’ll add a modeled shot if that ever happens.  But, with my 2 year old boy there are no guarantees.  Right now, he is wearing socks on both hands and feet and a diaper.

If you are interested… the right and left fronts are cut from different pieces.  The is an interfaced placket on one side and the other is a self placket.  Notice my big mistake?  I flipped my pieces and had to button this one the “girl” way.  The pattern went together great.  My stand is a little “baggy” on the inside in the photos but you can’t tell when he is wearing it.  The gingham I chose has a lot of stretch in it and wasn’t the best choice for my first stand (at least not when I interfaced the opposite piece).  I’ll also remember to prefold my seam allowances before putting the stand together.  The sleeves are serged, turned up once, and hemmed.  Other Kwik sew patterns I’ve made are finished like this.  I like to turn mine twice for a nicer finish, so I’ll add more hem allowance to the sleeve pattern piece next time.

I added a few details to make it a fun shirt like this little bias tag on the pocket.

I also added some corded piping and a bias cut detail to the bottom of the placket.  Never mind that it was b/c I forgot to add the 1″ to the placket too.  I love the way it turned out.I added a little green tag to the back of the shirt too.  I’m not as wild about this detail, but was worth a try.

I’m excited to have a new shirt pattern to love!  I’m planning on cutting out a few more if I can get him to wear this one a bit first to double check the fit.

I’m adding some shots I caught of my heathen on the run….

the ubiquitous drool five minutes after getting dressed!

nice fit