Arrrrr, Matey!

9 03 2011

I asked BB at the start of my sewing spree, “If you could have anything on a shirt, what would it be?”  And he said “A Pirate!”  So I started work on this shirt.  It’s been in progress for a while; first I made the shirt, then he saw it and wanted to wear it, so it went into the laundry and out of circulation for a while.  Then I got back on task, drew a little pirate for it, and did a freezer paper stencil onto some matching interlock.  It was finished last night and I didn’t even get a picture of it before he saw it and wanted to wear it!  I wasn’t going to argue.  He went through a phase where he wouldn’t wear things I made him, so it was incredibly rewarding to hear “Wow, a pirate!  Thanks for this cool shirt, mom!”  (Hug).  OK, OK, twist my arm, you can wear it right now. 


The fabric is this $5/bolt stuff I got at Wal-Mart (used to make LB’s baby prisoner outfit) and in retrospect it’s pretty awful.  Why, why, why, did I buy this?  It reminds me of the joke about how the food at this place is awful but the portions are huge.  Well, this fabric makes me nuts now but I still have a ton of it left.  But, I feel like it manages to pull off the pirate look pretty well. 

The pirate fascination is kind of a funny thing.  He has asked me what wicked pirates are, and what scurvy pirates are, and why pirates have swords, and what the cannonballs are for.  These are hard questions!  (Although today he asked, out of the blue, if Santa is real or pretend, and that was harder.)  And it’s hilarious because most of what he knows about pirates comes from The Last Saskatchewan Pirate, and he goes around singing about stealing wheat and barley, and just in general has a very, very skewed idea of what pirates are.  It’s a very cute song, though, and we listen to it many times a day.  Maybe a matching shirt for LB should be next?  Coincidentally, there was a great pirate shirt on MADE today too!  Popular theme!


7 03 2011

I was browsing through Michael’s the other day and came across these cool iron-on transfers on clearance.  I thought it would be a fun way for BB to design his own shirt, and sure enough, he really enjoyed it!  I have yet more and more and more raglans coming out of my old t-shirt pile, so we took the plain shirt, the transfers, and BB picked the biggest eye, the biggest mouth, and put the arms as legs…hey, there are no wrong ways to make a monster, right?  He placed everything on, and then I ironed it on:


He is so excited about this shirt!  He can’t keep his hands off it!  “Mike!”, he says.  “I haven’t seen you in years!”  Mike, of course, being the monster from Monsters, Inc.  We did the transfers on Friday (onto the front piece of the shirt) and I finished sewing the shirts last night, so I guess he has been missing his monster friend.  I thought one of the best things about making our own shirts was avoiding the commercialism of store-bought ones, but I guess there is no escaping the Disney juggernaut.  He’s never even seen the movie!  I made a monster for LB using extra features from the kit (there was only one iron-on monster body so I sewed on a piece of green fabric to make his) . 


BB was very disappointed that this one didn’t look like Sulley.  I gave him horns, but when he starts out as a green blob, there is just no way he is going to look like Sulley.  LB, of course, doesn’t care about it one way or the other.  He looked at it and said “car!” which I guess is approval, since that’s his favorite word.  My little models workin’ those new shirts:


Bottom left is LB having a fit because he can’t play with BB’s cool spelling toy.  Upper right is BB “posing” for me.  He’s getting to be a real ham for pictures!  And LB sees the camera and says “cheese!” (middle shot); he’s a great little model!  LB’s pants are new too, I’ll be posting more about them soon….

Scavenger Hunt Bag

28 02 2011

Well, it’s finished.  19 pieces and 3 days later, it’s all assembled and ready for the big reveal.  I tell BB about it and he is excited; I explain that we can carry it with us when we go hiking and he can use it to collect interesting things he finds.  “Oh!” he says.  “Like leaves and rocks and…shiny rocks!”  At this point I’m excited too because guess who usually gets to carry all the rocks he finds on our hikes?  I’ll give you a hint: it’s not him.  Sadly, that was as far as the enthusiasm went.  He willingly tried it on, and it’s a great size (I was a little worried since the strap is not adjustable), but he didn’t want any part of it.  I was a little crushed because I worked really hard on it and thought he might be a little more excited, but then I should know better by now.  That’s why I like doing clothes; they don’t even notice them, they just wear them and I get to enjoy seeing them use something I made.  Handmade toys?  Forget it.  I think I’ll tuck this away until it’s warm enough to use it, then maybe it will be received enthusiastically again.  The tutorial was great, and I thank Steffanie at Sew grown for providing it.  The fruit of my labors:

02 February3

It started out as half a pair of jeans (the other half having gone into baby pants) and scraps of linen from a sling (plus some Alexander Henry 2D Zoo that I have been looking for an excuse to use).  I skipped the piping, which looks great, but I am sticking faithfully to my no-buy. 


The bonus is that the inside has pockets too, from the jeans, as well as one that I cut out and stitched onto the back of the bag.  Then I used the button from the jeans to make a closure for the bag.  Of course, that means BB will have to learn to open and close a button, but that’s a useful life skill anyway.



I can’t wait for warmer weather so we can get outside and try it out!  (Can you tell I am sick of winter?)  I read about letterboxing the other day and I was so excited to try it out that I almost dragged the kids on a winter hike (which we do occasionally), but then I realized that even if we could follow the clues to the right location, the box would be well and truly buried in the snow.  Then comes the season of unending mud, but by May we should be good to go so… 3 more months?  I hope we survive; we are all getting some serious cabin fever!

Refashioned Raglans

24 02 2011

Nothing fancy today, just a few shirts I have finished up this week for Celebrate the Boy!  I’m continuing to raid the giant box of old t-shirts I have retired. The pattern is the Patrick Raglan, which at first I thought was too complicated but now I can crank out in no time, and I really like the look.  Before:


LB gets plain white and grey (left), BB gets an old favorite of mine (and his), my “Free Cookies” shirt I got for donating blood ages ago.  LB’s shirt was sort of plain so I decided to try some decorative serging on the outside, and did a freezer paper stencil of a car, his favorite thing in the world:


I think he likes it!


Here is BB’s shirt:


Arrrgh, the neckline got puckered when I was sewing on the collar!  I didn’t see any good way to fix it so I just figured (1) BB would never notice and (2) it would probably be less noticeable when worn, which I think is sort of true.  A modeling shot:


I got these pictures first thing in the morning; I was so excited to try them on the kids.  Wouldn’t you know, by lunchtime they had both managed to stain them.  BB with blood (aack!) and LB with jam and poo (ugh! ick!).  As much as I loved the ideas for dressing up your little man on Made today, looking them over the outfits are $50-$100 apiece and it’s hard to justify that, no matter how adorable it is, when you know the outfit will be dirty (and possibly ruined) by midday.  Maybe my kids are messier than most?  Or maybe they’re just BOYS!  Anyway, it’s a nice feeling to make them an outfit that looks OK and that they like, and it was made of FREE materials, so when they bleed on it (*sigh*) you don’t have to panic about it!  (Well, maybe panic about the bleeding, but at least you don’t have to worry about the shirt.)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

20 02 2011

Never mind that about feeling blah.  The next day, what comes along?  CELBRATE THE BOY month!  The BEST month in blogland (at least for those of us with all boys!).  Like with the Kids’ Clothes Week Challenge, it was just the swift kick in the rear that I needed to get going again.  I am checking Made and Made by Rae daily (OK, more like many times daily, just in case), browsing the Flickr pool, and just generally feeling inspired.  I love it!  My house is a total disaster but I have already gotten quite a bit of sewing done and some prep work for more projects… it’s very exciting.  Fortunately I have little helpers picking up the slack:


Aren’t they precious?  They would sweep all day if I let them, but it often devolves into a brawl over who gets the big broom.  And there’s no reasoning with a 15 month old.  Anyway, on to the good stuff, or at least the sewing, I won’t presume to call it good.  Just done.  I had made a pair of maternity-waistband-style baby pants for LB and just fell in love with them, wondering why all baby pants aren’t like that.  So I immediately cut out 2 more pairs and then forgot about them for the next few months.  So, item number 1 on my CTB agenda: make dem pants.  I started with the jeans, which are cut from a loved-to-death pair of my old jeans, and decided to make them lined (inspired of course, by Made).  Well, I *ahem* skimmed the tutorial and decided to try it, but I wanted my serging on the inside and not the outside so that I could roll the cuffs and show the plaid lining, sort of LL Bean-esque.  And I don’t even know WHAT I did, but I ended up with 2 separate pairs of pants joined at the ankle.  Sigh.  Much cutting and swearing later, they were done, a little smaller than planned:

02 February1

They have a mock fly and everything, but I realized that with white thread, you can’t see it at all.  I might go back to these and add some detail, like back pockets and contrast stitching.  Or… I might be happy they’re done and call it a day.  With the navy waistband they really look like maternity pants, I didn’t love it at all, but with a shirt on, you don’t really see that part. 

Next up, I decided to tackle my overflowing box of old clothing.  I have kept a lot of this stuff rather than give it away once I started going to thrift stores to look for clothes to refashion, I figure I’m cutting out the middleman.  Besides, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t thing anyone would want most of these shirts… Huntsville space center, Polymer science club, GSUSA… they have sentimental value to me, but they are ratty and old, so finally I cut out the designs (to make a quilt from, a project for another day), and relegated the rest to the status of fabric.  I let BB pick 2 shirts and got started.  Of course he wanted blue and green, so I pulled out my Lil Blue Boo Hoodie pattern and got started:

02 February

Two ratty (and boy do I mean ratty) old t-shirts have new life as a super cool, super BOY hoodie!  Just in time too, that boy is rapidly outgrowing his 3T clothes.  Old t-shirts from the “reclaimed clothing” box, get ready… your day is here!IMG_3254