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….

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

Baby maternity pants and more recent sewing

28 12 2010

With Christmas behind us, our advent activities over, and a mountain of new toys to entertain the boys, I finally mustered up the energy to do some sewing for LB.  He has a closet overflowing with clothes (ah, the life of a younger brother) but most of his pants don’t fit very well.  It’s largely due to the bulk of cloth diapers, but even in disposables most pants either drag on the ground if they’re big enough to cover his tush, or fail to cover his backside if they’re a good length.  So for a little bit of practical sewing I took an old and beloved pair of corduroys and used them to make some made-to-measure pants for LB.  I used a pair of pants that fit in the waist but were too long, and used that to make a pattern that was just a bit shorter.  I used the legs for one pair and the top for another.  In the process I had a very “duh’ moment where I cut two left legs, thinking for some reason that they were symmetric…nope.  So I ended up having to cut the waist very short, and I added a waistband of knit fabric.  In the end I was really happy with that pair, and even though my husband laughed that they looked like maternity pants, they fit really well and look so comfy.  I know I loved wearing maternity pants, it was one of the best things about being pregnant!


The other pair was made from the top of the pants, and it was a bear to sew because of the thickness of the layers.  They look a little goofy but I like them anyway.  Then I made a matching shirt that ended up not matching all that well…oops.  It was super quick though; I finally figured out how to do a blind hem on my serger and WOW it makes hemming so quick and painless!  The shirt took about an hour total.  I did the whole set in a day and a half, some while the kids were sleeping and quite a bit while they played with all the great new toys they got for Christmas.  I didn’t realize what a gift they would be for me, also!

12 December1

I’ve already cut up some jeans and an old corduroy shirt to make him some more “maternity” pants, oh boy!  So I currently have some enthusiasm for sewing boy stuff, but we are also expecting a NIECE so there will be some girl sewing going on around here!  Yay!

KCWC wrap-up

26 09 2010

Well, the week is over and I managed to sew at least an hour a day every day except for today.  I could be sewing right now, I suppose, but I had to watch The Amazing Race premiere (note: timing a weeklong challenge to coincide with the premiere week of fall tv…not a great idea.  So much temptation to watch tv instead of sew!).  Today I am a little burnt out with sewing and I did a little in the morning but didn’t finish the pants I started because I was out of elastic. 

What I did finish this week:


These cute Owl PJs for BB!  I think this was day 4.  The owls are a thermal fabric that used to be the bane of my existence but finally I learned that it’s manageable as long as you don’t even THINK about hemming it.  It’s not so hard to serge cuffs onto it, so once I leaned that I was able to use these owls, and the lobster fabric from my last post.  I don’t have a modeling shot, but they fit well and BB is sleeping in them right now.  (I washed them to get my marker markings off first!)

IMG_2631 IMG_2634

A pair of kneepatch pants and a LBB hoodie for LB.  I thought they would look good together but in the end I think he looks sort of like a tiny escaped convict. 

IMG_2638 IMG_2640

Well, maybe the prison break look will be in this fall?

What I didn’t finish:

  • Wool pants for LB (almost done, just need elastic)
  • T-shirt pants (same deal, so close!)
  • Converting short-sleeved shirts to long sleeve.  It was hard to work on that because it got so hot here that I was using short sleeved shirts and couldn’t even think about making them long sleeved. 

What I wasted a lot of time on rather than finish my boring sewing tasks I had hoped to complete:


Making cute tags!  Now that I make more and more clothes I really needed size tags, and rather than buy some, I decided to make some, and along with the size tags I made some labels.  The logo was from my etsy shop, I figure the clothes look more legit with a real label in them, haha!  I really wasted a LOT of time on these, mostly time spent on the computer and swearing at the printer.  Grrrr…  I love them though, and I think it was worth the time, even though I failed to finish everything I planned to do. 

All in all, I loved having the motivation of a challenge and looking through everyone else’s creations!

Kids Clothes Week Challenge

19 09 2010

Somewhere on the great wide internet, I read about the Kids Clothes Week Challenge.  I thought about it, and I was (and still am) a little hesitant to take on a challenge (or should I say another challenge, because most days are challenging enough), but what the heck.  I have a dozen half-started projects and another dozen ideas for projects so I’m going to commit to it and hopefully make some progress on the fall and winter sewing.  The challenge is hosted by elsie marley, read more about it here:

I have been following all the great ideas that go up every day, and thinking “Oh, I should make that,” and “Oh, that is ADORABLE!” but that’s why I am committing myself right now to finish the following extremely boring projects:

  • 2 bibs (is that even clothing?) that are essentially done and just need a snap
  • 2 pairs of pajamas for BB, in various stages of completion and wonkiness
  • 1 pair of fleece pants for LB (started for BB about a year ago, too small, hopefully salvageable at this point for LB)
  • 1 pair of wool pants for LB

If those projects get finished (wonder of wonders), then I will get underway on the following projects, working from most boring to least:

I am hoping that 1 hour a day is a realistic amount of sewing (it’s probably more than I’ve done in the last month total), and that having a list will keep me on task because I am terrible about losing interest or getting distracted or seeing some other pretty thing I want to make.  Like my cowl, which is finished now, and a SUPER CUTE baby hat that I will finish (i.e. sew a button onto) and take pictures of.  I’ll probably not post daily; maybe once mid-week and once again at the end, that is, if I have anything to show for the effort.  Good luck to everyone who is participating!


11 08 2010

Once again, I am behind in blogging my projects… all that pesky sleeping and whatnot gets in the way sometimes.  Anyway, in the midst of feeling frustrated about the lack of good patterns for boys, I bought the Lil Blue Boo Hoodie pattern, since it was the only one on You Can Make This that actually caught my eye.  It’s made using old shirts!  That’s perfect because I have a million old shirts that are embarrassing to wear!  And yet… I made my first draft out of fleece just to see if the sizing was good, you know, before I cut into my old t-shirts.  They are full of memories, in addition to stains and holes, after all.  And thanks to the generosity of a friend, I have a bolt of nice microfleece.  Here it is:


I modified it a whole lot, but left the size unaltered and was happy to find that 4T was very true to size.  Since I was not using old shirts, I had to solve my raw edge dilemma, and I hate hemming with a passion so I used cuffs of ribbing (a la 90 minute shirt, which I still have not made).  I also did a lined hood, working on using up those pajama-esque prints.  I’m pretty happy with it, but when I make the matching one for LB (matching outfits are always on my to-do list), I am going to try making a placket for the first time.  I didn’t even know what it was called, but Google has helped me out, and I’ll be giving it a try soon…

But still, I couldn’t quite cut into my shirts.  I actually went out and bought old t-shirts to try it again.  (Yes, my husband gave me a hard time about this.  Plus somehow I didn’t think a Girl Scouts or polymer science club shirt would be that great for a little boy.)  I bought 3 shirts and barely eked out 2 hoodies, one in 18 month and one 4T.


You almost can’t tell, but the orange one is the smaller one.  I had plans to dress it up a little, maybe some freezer paper stenciling, but I haven’t decided yet.  In the meantime I like it how it is.  I even broke out my double needle for the topstitching!  Fancy, eh?  I thought the Sesame street shirt would be fun for BB, but in the end I’m not crazy about it.  Ah well, it fits.  And it might look better if it wasn’t totally wrinkled…unfortunately I only iron while sewing.  🙂

One final unrelated thought.  The only thing I am growing with any success this year (besides crabgrass) is an upside down grape tomato plant.  It’s looking great!  Sadly, we are going out of town in a few days and I suspect our tomatoes will ripen while we are gone.  If the plant doesn’t die, that is.  What poor timing!


Frustrations with sewing for boys

4 08 2010

I enjoy sewing for my boys, really I do.  I started with diapers, which might sound crazy, but if you are into cloth diapers then you understand the pull.  Seriously, I bought my first machine 2 years ago now for $40 off craigslist for the sole reason that I wanted to make cloth diapers (and maybe wipes).  Ya, I know, crazy.  It’s only more recently that I have started even trying to make clothes; I always found it so intimidating.  But now that I’ve been through it a few times (and bought a serger, a snap press, a new sewing machine….) it’s not so scary anymore.  I would sew all their clothes!  But a few things stand in my way.  First and foremost, of course, is the fact that I just don’t have time to do anything so ambitious.  Then there’s the fact that their grandparents buy tons of clothes for the boys, to the point that they really don’t need much of anything.  And finally, the source of my latest frustration, is the fact that there is just not as much fabric out there, (or patterns, for that matter) for boys.  I was browsing You Can Make This the other day and out of pages and pages of children’s patterns there were like 3 shirt patterns, one pants pattern, a vest, and a couple of ties for the little gentlemen.  Boys are expected to just wear shorts/jeans and a t-shirt, unless they need to dress up, which is pretty rarely. 

Now, I even have a pretty good supply of boy-ish fabric, but lately I have had 2 separate people tell me that clothing made from it looks like pajamas.  *sigh*  My husband looked at the pattern I was trying and declared that it would look best in a solid color…so I should spend 2 hours making my son a plain grey t-shirt?  No thank you.  Is it just a lost cause?  Should I just accept that I will be buying them jeans and t-shirts for the rest of their childhoods?  And why is it that girls can wear 100 colors while boys should wear grey and brown?  Is there anything to make for boys that isn’t either completely boring or pajama-looking?

Anyway, it made me think I better use up my boy prints now, because LB can totally rock the cute prints.  As a onesie, I think it looks adorable, and not at all like pajamas. 

Another onesie with binding from Omi Creates


Now I’m not so sure what I will do with all the other yards and yards of fabric I have.  Make pajamas maybe?