Sunday, February 2, 2014

Clothing for Sam

One thing about having boys – it’s not always easy to sew for them.  There are no ruffles, no changes in fashion (not like with female fashion anyways).  There are fewer fabrics to pick from (that I think look decent).  Take a look at the kids section in stores – 80% of it is girl stuff, with a rack or two of boys stuff tucked in a corner.  Take sewing patterns and it’s even worse.  Understandable (because really, how many different versions of a button-down shirt can one make), but worse.  Depressing sometimes.  Especially if you have an average/tall skinny mini kid and all the patterns are for fat, short kiddos.  What does one do? 

I’ve sewed things for Sam occasionally – a Christmas outfit, his christening booties and jumper, two quilts, a few hats and a pair of knit baby pants – but as he gets older it gets harder.  You never want to have the kid with the obviously handmade clothes who gets the stink eye from his peers or, Heaven forbid, other moms. 

But my sewing skills improve with each project and each tutorial read, and recently I’ve done quite a few things for my oldest son. 

There have been several freezer paper stenciled t-shirts (I get the Garanimal or boys Hanes ones at Wal-mart for about $4).  Star Wars (from this tutorial and here), a tractor, a dinosaur for his birthday party last fall. 
(I'm not sure what this face is, but it's the only picture I have of the shirt.)

A hoodie – I can’t go to the fabric store with this kid anymore; he’s constantly picking out fabric for me to make him things – from microfleece he picked out at JoAnn’s.  He wanted pants (not pj pants, real pants), but I thought that would be a little obnoxious and made a hoodie instead.  I took one of his sweatshirt hoodies and made a pattern.  It needs a touch more room to get over his head but otherwise the fit is awesome.  And I’ve had several people who were impressed when he told them “my mommy made it.”  I used an old t-shirt for the hood lining.   

These tutorials were helpful:

And Christmas pants.  He found the Rudolph fabric on a different JoAnn’s trip, and he’s just too cute and knows that I can’t resist when he begs me to make him something.  These were the hardest.  I didn’t want him to get the stink eye (see above) with some homemade pajama-looking cotton pants, so I had to figure out how to make Christmas pants but still wearable outside our house.  After searching everywhere online and pinning a bunch of pants to my Sewing for Kids Pinterest board, I made these.  The Rudolph fabric is on the waistband, cuffs, inside of the front pockets, and the back pockets.

My brother gave me several pairs of old jeans a couple of years ago to use for patches and such, so I used that denim and the Rudolph fabric.  I tried to take extra time and finish the seams and do topstitching so they’d look nicer.  It took a few tries to get the fit right (he’s so skinny!) using my homemade pattern (again drafted from a currently fitting pair of store-bought jeans with some alterations from various online tutorials), but in the end he liked them and wore them a bunch.  He’d still be wearing them now if I hadn’t pulled them out to store in the holiday kids’ clothing bin.  I would do them differently if I made them again – I think I would like curved pockets better for jeans and would sew the cuff fabric a different way.    Here are some of the tutorials I mish-mashed together:

Don’t worry, I have Dusty Crophopper fabric in my stash now – he begged for a shirt from it.  Once it gets warmer I’ll find a button-down that fits him, measure that against some of the boys’ shirt patterns in my stash, and sew that up. 

It might not be as easy to sew for a boy, but Sam is definitely keeping me challenged, and as long as he (and Will) want me to sew for them, I’ll keep doing it.  And one day when it’s not cool anymore, I’ll keep doing it and begging them to wear things just to annoy them.  You never know, I might be good enough by that point that no one will ever know. . .

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