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Kids Clothes Week April 2014: The Second Half

My spare sewing time ran really short over the weekend, so I cheated a bit and wrapped up my Kids Clothes Week sewing this morning! Shhhh … I didn’t do the Easter sewing that I mentioned in my last post. Instead, I opted for two really quick Charlie Ringer Tees! I finished shorts for my two little guys to go with these a few weeks ago, but since the shorts are from a not-yet-released pattern, modeled pictures will have to wait just a little bit.The Ringer Tee from the Charlie pattern is my go-to when I’m in a hurry. Because I serge most of it, it’s so fast! I only pop over to my sewing machine to hem the bottom of the front and back and topstitch the neckline. Everything else is done on the serger. (Of course, you don’t have to have a serger to sew this pattern. You can totally make it using your regular sewing machine!)Kids Clothes Week netted us five pairs of boxer briefs and two tees. That’s not too bad for seven-ish hours of work, is it?

Kids Clothes Week April 2014: Tuesday & Wednesday

I’m squeezing in time this week for Kids Clothes Week! Usually, when I join in, I plan what I want to sew and just do it, but this time, I’m working on new patterns and prepping for Quilt Market so I’m really just doing the suggested hour a day. I’m excited, too, to see how much I can do in just that much time! Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s hours combined were enough time for me to sew up all five pairs of the Undercover Bottoms Boxer Briefs that I cut out on Monday.

I had a little company this morning while I was working. I posted this picture on Instagram of Charlie and his “guys” hanging out on my sewing table:My kids don’t just have to be in the same room with me. They need to be as close as possible to me! It’s a good thing that it’s a big table.

I used the plain front option without a fly opening on these. It’s not as cute, but it’s faster and my boys don’t use the opening anyway. I also did the no-elastic waistband following the instructions that I added when I updated this pattern last month. Basically, you use a cotton/spandex blend fabric and cut the waistband a size smaller, then just stretch it to fit when you attach it. Voila! Super comfy undies that stay put – easy peasy!I was going to do a couple of tees for the boys with my remaining time, but since Easter is in less than two weeks, I think I might change my mind and sew up some Easter clothes instead!

Kids Clothes Week April 2014: Monday’s Prep Work

Kids Clothes Week starts today! Are you sewing along? There’s a theme this time, but you don’t have to follow the theme. My creative juices are all tied up in new pattern work right now, so my boys are getting some handmade basics this week, starting with Undercover Bottoms Boxer Briefs for Jamie. My first KCW hour was spent cutting out five new pairs!

If you’ve followed me for a little bit, you’ll probably recognize these fabrics from PJs and tank tops. I love how easily underwear uses up all those little knit pieces in my scrap pile!

KCW Summer 2013 – Days 6 & 7: Lorax Jammies

Wrapping up my Summer 2013 Kids Clothes Week sewing are Lorax jammies for both of my boys! The Lorax is a favorite book and movie in our household, and these two have been anticipating these PJs since the fabric arrived on our doorstep.I don’t mind admitting that I struggle not to cry when I read the book or watch the movie . . . when that last truffula tree falls. I want to jump into the story, grab the Once-ler by the shoulders, look into his eyes and scream, “Listen! Look around you!” My kids sing the songs and giggle at some of the silliness in the movie (are you singing, “Everybody needs a thneed . . . ” yet?), but I know they see that doing our part in taking care of Creation is an important subject to me. I love the hope that springs forth at the end of the story in one tiny little seed. Life can be like that, can’t it? Just when we feel like there’s nothing that can be done, a little ray of light shines through.Back to pajamas . . . that’s what this post was supposed to be about, wasn’t it? These PJs were sewn using my Pajama Party PJs pattern, and the fabric is a lovely soft organic cotton. (How could it be Lorax fabric, and not be organic cotton?)My little guys loved wearing their pajamas into the backyard to read together and to look up at all of the trees in our yard!They were happy to curl up back inside and watch the movie together before bedtime, too.

I’m calling this first Summer KCW a success for me! I’m thrilled that I managed to get three pairs of jammies done for each of my two youngest boys. These have been on my list for a while, and they will definitely get plenty of use!

KCW Summer 2013 – Days 4 & 5: Viking Jammies

How did your Kids Clothes Week sewing go? I hope you managed to make a good dent on your little ones’ sewing lists! I didn’t finished everything that was on my list, but I did get quite a bit done, and I’m excited to have some new PJs in my boys’ dressers. I’ve got one more KCW post coming later today or tomorrow morning, but first here are Jamie’s new Viking jammies!I used my Pajama Party PJs pattern for these pajamas. It’s my go-to when I’m using quilting fabric. This organic cotton fabric, by the way, is amazing. Sadly, though, there’s not much of this Timeless Treasure Vikings fabric left out there online. (I had quite few people ask me about it when I showcased it in my Legos-on-the-Go Bag a few weeks ago.) I love the soft feel of it, and I feel good about my little guy sleeping in organic cotton. This tough guy, however, just loves that the fabric is covered in Vikings! He even showed off his best Viking poses for me in our little bedtime photo shoot.

KCW Summer 2013 – Day 3: Mickey Mouse Jammies

So, Charlie got his Mickey Mouse jammies, and as you can see, he’s quite happy about it! This kid knows what he wants, and he has no trouble explaining it.These retro Mickey and friends cotton sweatshirt fleece prints have been in my stash for a couple years now. I purchased them from an online friend with plans to make hoodies for a Disney trip that never happened . . . so they just sat. A few weeks ago, though, Charlie saw them and asked if I would make him Mickey Mouse jammies. I had no other plans for them, so I said, “Sure!” and promptly forgot. If you read yesterday’s post, though, you know that I was abruptly reminded about the Mickey Mouse jammies when I presented my little man with Fantastic Four pjs that I was certain he was going to love. His tearful melt-down because they weren’t the promised Mickey Mouse jammies, almost made me cry along with him! Thankfully, these were a quick sew, and now all is well in his little world.Sweatshirt fleece is a knit but it doesn’t have much stretch. It’s important to keep that in mind when choosing a pattern for it. My Lazy Days Lounge Set has this great cross-over v-neck that opens wide for pulling on, so I knew it would be perfect!I don’t know if I ever would have paired these fabrics up like this if it hadn’t been for the three-year-old who insisted that they must go together. Even as I was sewing them, I wavered back and forth between thinking that these pajamas were really adorable in their vintage-ness and wondering if the combination of fabrics might just be way over the top in its dated-ness. In the end, though, it doesn’t really matter since Charlie loves them, and they are, after all, just pajamas. I happen to think that pretty much anything would look cute on this little guy, though.I’m curious if you tend to sew what you want to sew or if you let your kids make more of the decisions about the fabrics and patterns. Not including sewing that I do specifically for business reasons, I think I’m somewhere in the middle. I tend to buy fabrics that I know my boys will like, then I let them choose which they’d like from a limited selection.

KCW Summer 2013 – Days 1 & 2: Upcycled Jammies

The first ever Summer Kids Clothes Week started on Monday! Are you sewing?! It’s not too late to join in. Just pop over to the brand new Kids Clothes Week site to read all the details, sign up and be inspired!I’m focusing the first part of my week on pajamas for my two youngest boys. They’re both wearing pjs that they’re about the bust out of. Projects #1 and #2 involved turning these two pairs of x-large mens lounge pants that I purchased on clearance at Walmart a few years ago into size 4 and size 6 pajamas.

It’s no secret that I don’t care for the chemical-laden flame-retardant pajamas that they sell in stores for my little ones. It’s not that I don’t understand the law. I do. It’s just that in my house, it’s not likely that my kids are going to come into contact with open flames during the night, and keeping them sleeping as chemical-free as possible is important to me. (I’m not offering advice, in any way, though! And, I do see the irony in the fact that the remainder of these pictures are taken with my kids playing on, around and in our never-been-used, it’s-only-there-for-looks fireplace.)Jamie picked the Star Wars pants to become his jammies, and he absolutely loves them! I used my free tank top pattern that you should see to the left for the tops and my new Runaround Pants pattern for the pants for these. Both are really simple and straight-forward patterns!Instead of leaving the hem raw like the Runaround Pants pattern instructs, I just reused the hem of the original pants. I also made the shorts a little longer. We live in Florida, so we can really use these PJs year-round, and the slightly longer shorts will give us even longer wear time.I had plenty of fabric to make Charlie’s entire outfit, but as you can see, I had to use some creative color-blocking for Jamie’s top. (Jamie’s tank is a scaled-up version of the tank since it’s only available right now in sizes 12 months to 5T. I do hope to get it scaled up to the larger sizes eventually.)I’d love to say that Charlie isn’t as angry as he looks in that picture, but the truth is, he was really mad. Apparently, I was supposed to make him Mickey Mouse jammies, not Fantastic Four . . . It took lollipops, a pacifier, encouragement from everyone in the family and a promise of a brownie when we were done to get him to somewhat cooperate for pictures. When you’re blogging about kids, you sometimes just have to do what you have to do.However, with the help of big brother’s antics which included searching for Florida on one of daddy’s vintage globes . . . . . . and checking out the inside of the chimney for whatever might be hiding in there . . . . . . Charlie did eventually decide that these PJs were worthy of a little superhero-style posing.He even wore them to bed last night. He did, however, strip them off first thing this morning and ask if I’d finished his Mickey Mouse jammies yet. I guess you know what’s on today’s list!

KCW Days 2 through 5: Hoodies for Travel & Some Secret Sewing

I know I said I was going to be working on shirts for my two little guys during this season’s Kids Clothes Week, but I got a little sidetracked.  These are at least tops, right?  I mentioned before that we are heading out on a family trip soon.  We’re off to visit a few places that are normally fairly warm this time of the year, but with highs currently hanging out in the low 60s and high 50s, my Florida babies just might be cold!  I’ll admit that I agonized a little over the idea that all of our outdoor sightseeing pictures were going to show jackets instead of the cute handmade shirts that I’ve been working on. Enter the handmade hoodie, and that problem is solved! This light blue stretch french terry has been in my stash for longer than I remember.  It’s got a nice weight to it, not too heavy, not too light, and it made the perfect backdrop for some of the jersey knit stripes that I love for my boys!

I used my Charlie Tee & Hoodie pattern for these sized up one size since these will be worn over clothing.  I modified the pattern slightly by rounding the pocket openings.  I’m really loving pockets with a little bit of a curve mixed in with the sharp right angles. The hoods on both tops are lined with the same stripe as the pocket and the sleeve- and waist-bands are done with scraps of chocolate brown french terry.  The brown french terry doesn’t have a stretch to it, so I increased the width of the bands to equal the width of the part I was sewing it to. I also had a blast playing with raw edges again!  I am generally a little bit obsessive about the way that my seams look, but the reckless nature of these raw edge finishes makes that totally unnecessary.  You really don’t know how the fabric is going to curl along the seam allowance until after it’s washed and dried, so slightly wiggly stitching is no big deal!  It just adds more character.On Tuesday and Wednesday, I worked on another project for my kids.  One that happens to also include raw edge jersey knit sewing.  I’m not quite ready to share the whole thing yet, but I’ll share a little picture of some fun pockets . . . lots of fun pockets.

KCW Day One: Earth Day!

Since the first day of this season’s Kids Clothes Week happens to fall on Earth Day, I felt it was quite appropriate to recycle some old grown-up wearables into a few new little-one wearables!

I started with this pile of polos that I picked up recently at a thrift shop.  One of the things I love about upcycling thrifted clothing is that it’s already been washed and dried multiple times, so there’s no guessing about how the fabric will wear.  The fabric in these polos was all in great condition, so I don’t worry that I’m going to put time into sewing something with it, only to have it pill after being washed and dried a few times.I fell in love with the vintage look of this first polo with its vertical stripes, and I was so excited to find that they fit perfectly on the Charlie Tee pattern in Jamie’s size.  Normally, when I upcycle a cotton knit shirt, I reuse the hems to save time.  The hem on this shirt was so crooked, though, I didn’t really want to use it as is.  That was the first sign that something just wasn’t quite right with this shirt. Without the hem allowance, there wasn’t quite enough fabric below the placket on the original shirt for the new one, so I had to sit and seam rip the original hem.Once I had the pieces all cut out, including the back and the sleeves with their original hems intact, I sat down to re-hem the front of the shirt.  I noticed upon close inspection that this knit looked quite strange.  That would be because the shirt was sewn with the stretch going up and down, rather than around the body.  So weird!  But, I wanted those vertical stripes!  I’d invested enough seam ripping by that point that I felt it necessary to just move forward.  It’s a good think I was determined!  A broken serger needle and a little bit of sewing-machine-eaten fabric later, that old polo has a sweet new life as a vintage-look striped tee for my 6-year-old.  (And, it fits perfectly, even with the front of the shirt turned the wrong direction!)Charlie’s tee was so much faster and easier!  I grabbed this pique cotton polo that was formerly sold at a high end men’s store.  That means the fabric must be great, right?  I definitely didn’t have to worry with crooked hems or fabric turned the wrong direction!This tee took less than 30 minutes from cutting to done.  I was able to use the existing hem from the old polo for the front and the back of the new tee.  Rather than re-hem the sleeves, though, since the originals were trimmed with ribbing, I used the Charlie Ringer Tee sleeve option.   Voila!  A cute little ringer tee for my youngest from what started the morning as a used and tossed aside polo. (I’m going to put off sharing modeling photos of the things that I sew for KCW until we’re on our family trip in a few weeks. I’m taking advantage of KCW this week and sewing up tops so that my youngest two will have plenty of handmade shirts to take with the jeans — and possibly winter coats — that we’ll be packing!  I really hope that it warms up a bit north of here soon!)

R’s Birthday Dress

This is the little dress that I mentioned sewing as a birthday present during KCWC. I think it’s so cute, and it was really easy. I started with my free The Tank pattern. I lengthened it and added some flare to the “skirt”. I grabbed the hood from my Charlie Tee pattern and used it in place of the neckband. Finally, I added a second layer just under the hem and used the rolled edge setting on my serger to make a lettuce edge on both hem layers.

The birthday girl wore her dress to our house last week, and I was able to snap a few modeled pictures to show you! It works well for chasing bubbles with big sister.

It’s perfect for sliding, too!

I also just have to show off the gift that Samantha made. She’s really becoming quite the accomplished knitter. Is this the sweetest little doll you’ve ever seen?

Today, I’m back to work on those summer wardrobes for the boys. Officially, June 21st is the first day of summer, and I have every intention of being done before then. It’s really been summer here in Dallas for quite some time, though, so I’d like to finish sooner rather than later!

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