Author: Jess

I sew, I mom, I wife, I drink coffee.

Boy Sewing: Inspiration + Tips

When it comes to sewing for boys, one of the top complaints I hear in sewing circles is that it isn’t as fun as sewing for girls or that you can’t find good patterns and inspiration. Well, as a boy mama, I completely disagree. Sewing for boys is far from boring, and to show you what I mean, I’ve got a roundup of boy sewing inspiration that is sure to get your creativity flowing! Plus, you may find a new blog or two to follow!

boy sewing inspiration and tips

(And P.S. I know that many of these tips and ideas would be equally lovely for girl sewing, so you girl mamas can get inspired too! But because the point is to inspire some sewing for boys, forgive my gender inequality today please.)

1. Costume turned everyday

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One of my favorite blogs to follow for boy sewing inspiration is Sew a Straight Line. Sabra knocks it out of the park every single time. and her details are amazing. She recently sewed the Knight Hoodie pattern by Charming Doodle. It veers toward costume-y, but still make something suitable for everyday play. Plus, is this not the coolest thing you’ve ever seen in your life?

2. Root, root, root for the home team

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Have a sports lover in your house? Sew up a jersey, or a t-shirt that looks like one! Melissa of Melly Sews sewed her boys these jerseys so they can show their school pride.

3. Create your own graphic tees

graphic tee inspiration

 1. Delia Creates         2.  If Only They Would Nap      3. Shwin&Shwin

I think both Delia and Shauna do graphic tees really well (among so many other things). I’ve seen them both share a variety of techniques and graphics that any boy would love. Plus, this one doesn’t actually have to involve sewing – you can add graphics to a T-shirt you buy at the store.

4. Color blocking

Kids can get away with some pretty rad color combos, so don’t be afraid to mix it up.

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Color blocking can really crank an outfit up a notch, as Monica from Adirondack Inspired shows with this fantastic chambray outfit. Plus, this is stunning, am I right?

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Color blocking + exposed zipper =  See Kate Sew is a genius.

5. Bring out your inner animal

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Adding ears, spikes, wings, etc. makes your little animal lover happy. Also, a baby in a bear hoodie is just too.much.cute. Marissa at Raegun Ramblings is a new boy mama, and I think she’s already got the boy sewing down.

6. Layer it up

vests and cardigans for boys1. If Only They Would Nap   2. The Crazy Tailor   3. Sew Much Ado
4. Quietude  5.  Lady and the Gents

 Since boy mamas aren’t adding ruffles and gathers to their clothes, add interest with layers – vests and cardigans! They can be dressed up or down to fit your boy’s look.

7. Pattern Play

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Don’t let the girls have all the fun when it comes to using prints. Whether hiding in the lining like Sharon at Zonen09 and her amazing Lars jacket…

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..or used as your main fabric like Stacey from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts did with this rad houndstooth Bimaa. Her boy rocks the prints!

8. Add accents and bright colors to pants

add accents and bright colors to pants

                      1. Piping           2. Neon + Tuxedo Stripes          3. Neon Color Blocking

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No more boring clothes excuses here! Adding accents to pants is one of my favorite ways to personalize boys’ clothing. Whether it’s piping or patch pockets, your boy’s pants can match his style. Caila at Caila Made added these awesome patch pockets in this geometric fabric, changing the entire look of the shorts.

DSC_2271The subtle color additions to these pants from Laura at Craftstorming is a perfect touch.

9. Embrace the Overalls

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Okay really, is there anything cuter than a little boy in overalls? I’ll tell you. No, there is not.

10. Be a Hero

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Adding a little super hero to a boy’s wardrobe is nearly always a win and super fun. (See what I did there?) I love the way Max California used Green Lantern as her inspiration for her son’s motorcycle vest.

Are you feeling inspired for some boy sewing?? I know I am! If you’re looking for some boy patterns, make sure you check out this Mega List of Boy PDF Patterns from Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts.boy megalist pinterest

Cars + Arrows for the baby

Sometimes, when you’re immersed in the beginning of a new school year and working on things that aren’t ready to be shared yet (read: I’m working at a snail’s pace due to all.the.children), you sew up a quick outfit, just for the fun of it.

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The shirt was a quick pattern-less draft that I eye balled while the babe slept, so not perfect, but good enough.

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The arrow is painted on with fabric paint and I totally love it.

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I love a little cloth diaper booty.

DSC_0194Seriously, this face! He has my heart.

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I’ve got some good things coming in the next few weeks, so make sure you follow on Bloglovin’ or Facebook, because exciting things are in the works (oohh mystery and intrigue! ;)

 

DSC_0112And baby toes… just because.

Thrifty Sewing – some PDF pattern sales!

Happy almost weekend! I just wanted to pop in and tell you about a couple of deals I’ve seen floating around the online sewing community. (Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with these deals, but good sewing friends enable help each other out, right? ;)

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The Perfect Pattern Parcel is a bundle deal where you get to pick your own price, and the proceeds go to charity. I have sewn two of these patterns (the Zippy Jacket and the Skinny Jeans) and they’re must-haves. The deal ends today, so if you’re looking for deals on patterns good for boys or girls, hop over and check this one out.

September-Pattern-MemberHave you heard of Pattern Member? This is the brainchild of the amazing Jess of Sewing Rabbit fame. When you become a member, you get three patterns each month at a steal of a price. This month’s pattern bundle includes two patterns that I’ve sewn and love – Surfer Slacks and Sally Dress, along with another pattern – for only $10!

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The lovely ladies at Frances Suzanne have been hosting a super fun Flip This Pattern competition (you may remember my flip), and this month they are doing a September Showcase! They are featuring patterns from indie designers who have five or fewer kids’ patterns. They have a pretty sweet giveaway, but also they have a HUGE list of discounts from the participating pattern designers. So scoot on over there to see the list and find the discount you maybe didn’t even know you were waiting for.

Have you spotted any good PDF pattern deals lately? Leave a comment if you have, I’d love to hear about them!

 

Win $50 of fabric from The Fabric Fairy!

You may have seen already, but there are a bunch of giveaways going on all over blogland today. That’s because it’s Super Saturday over at The Daily Sew Facebook page!! Every hour there is a new giveaway posted. If you don’t already like that page, click over there now and like it. Then come back and enter to…

win 50 of fabric

 

I’m teaming up with The Fabric Fairy to bring you an awesome giveaway. One of you will win a $50 to her shop! She has amazing fabric. Her knits are gorgeous. I’ve posted about them before here.

DSC_0056This retro cars print is one of my faves!! She has such a great fabric selection at great prices.

 

Click here to enter the giveaway!!

And remember, there are giveaways going on every hour on the hour today, so visit The Daily Sew to win lots of really great stuff!

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Thanks so much to The Fabric Fairy for sponsoring this giveaway!

Personalize a bridal shower gift

Last month, my sweet sister-in-law had a bridal shower, in anticipation of her fall wedding. I wanted to purchase her some necessities from her registry, but I also wanted to add a personal touch to her gift.personalize a bridal shower gift with embroidery

So I made a quick zipper pouch with brown linen, and embroidered her soon-to-be married name on the front.

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She can toss her wedding make up in there or throw it in her purse for her honeymoon. Or just stare at it and imagine how she will soon be a Mrs. I so remember how that felt to see my married name for the first time! :)DSC_0306Throw it in a cute basket with some registry items: bathroom rug, hand towels, etc. and you have a personal and functional gift!

Happy sewing, friends!

 

10 T-shirt Patterns for the entire family

If your family is anything like mine, T-shirts are a wardrobe staple. Great for school, play clothes, exercising, or even with a pair of jeans a heels for a night out! Here are ten T-shirt patterns for your entire family.

10 t-shirt patterns

 

1. Anytime At All Tee from Shwin Designs

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This kid’s tee is super versatile – the smaller sizes come as a bodysuit, and the larger sizes have plain or ruffle options, as well as a couple different sleeves. It’s available in sizes 3mos – 8yrs.

2. Union St Tee from Hey June Patterns

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This women’s pattern is next on my to-sew list. I basically live in this type of tee, and you have four different sleeve options and can make a scoop or v-neck. It’s available in sizes XXS – XXL.

3. The Trifecta Top from Kitschy Coo

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Amanda is a knit sewing genius, so when she makes a pattern, it’s going to be good. It’s available in 8 different sizes.

4. Free Men’s T-shirt pattern from Melly Sews

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Because the man in your life needs T-shirts too, right?

5. Easy Tee free pattern from It’s Always Autumn

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This free pattern is available in a size large, and Autumn shows you lots of ways to make it just the way you like it!

6. Recess Raglan from See Kate Sew

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I’ve made the Recess Raglan a bunch of times (see more of my version above here), and each time I love it more. There are quite a few option for this one too, and it’s available in sizes 18mos-8yrs.

7. The Tumble Tee from Imagine Gnats

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The Tumble Tee is a super cute color block tee, and even has a dress option. It’s available in sizes 6mos-10yrs – as either a PDF or a paper pattern.

8. Day Camp Set – a free t-shirt and shorts pattern from Peek-a-boo Patterns (affiliate link)

IMG_1503__98004.1406729833.800.1000This is a great basic t-shirt, and bonus – it comes with shorts too! It’s available in sizes 2T – 5T.

9. Vintage V-neck from Blank Slate Patterns (affilate link)

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This tee, in true Blank Slate Patterns form, comes together beautifully. I love a good v-neck, and the instructions make it easy to do. This one is available in sizes 18mos – 8yrs.

10. Casual Lady from Go To Patterns

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This is one of my favorite for-me patterns, and I’ve sewn it ohsomany times. You can see a few of my versions here.You can make it a top or a dress (which I’ve also sewn, but have yet to blog), and it’s so comfortable! It’s available in sizes XXXS – XXL.

 

This really is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to T-shirt patterns – I had a hard time choosing just ten! Many of these designers have others so you can make your perfect tee, so click around their shops to find what you like. If you have a favorite t-shirt pattern, leave it in the comments so we can all check it out!

Happy sewing, friends!

 

Some news!

I’m super excited to share some news with you! Not long ago, Melissa of Melly Sews and Blank Slate Patterns asked me to join a team of (amazing) bloggers to contribute to her blog. When I read the email, I didn’t even have to think about it before I replied yes. If Melissa wants me on her team, it’s pretty much a no-brainer. :)

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The sewing team she put together is awesome – I really feel honored to be among them. We will be sewing up Melissa’s own patterns, and I’ll be sharing my first post over there in just a few weeks. If you’ve been around here for awhile, you know I’ve never met a Blank Slates pattern I didn’t love. I’m really excited to share more of them with you!

So head over to Melly Sews to read all about the rest of the team.

Happy sewing, friends!

Upcycled Adventure Tee: pattern anthology make (believe) collection

Today is the last day of the latest Pattern Anthology collection, Make (Believe). I sewed up an Adventure Tee, and I can’t wait to sew the rest of the collection!

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The Adventure Tee has a bunch of different options, and it’s perfect for boys or girls — the whole collection is! Short and long sleeves, button placket, layers… it’s a perfect t-shirt pattern to have in your stash.

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The Adventure Tee is designed by Andrea of Go To Patterns, and like all her patterns, it’s beautifully put together. I sewed the size 6 with the size 8 length for my super tall boy. And it’s great for all of his tree climbing adventures!

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Using one of my husband’s old T-shirts that had shrunk, I sewed this one up in about 20 minutes. I have a deep love for quick-sew projects. ;) I re-used the neck band from the old tee, but I was lazy and didn’t unpick the stitches, and just cut it off. So it ended up a little small (smaller than it would be had I followed the pattern piece).

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The ladies from Pattern Anthology were so sweet to send me their new patterns to sew, and I’m super excited to make the rest of the patterns from the Make (Believe) collection – I already have the Explorer Hoodie printed out. The really neat thing about this collection is that it’s four unisex tops – a button-up shirt, a t-shirt, a hoodie, and a jacket. You can get a super steal on those four patterns together, or you can also bundle with four pants patterns (including the Nowhere Man pants, which happen to be some of my absolute favorite pants, you can see one of my versions here) and get a really amazing deal on all eight patterns.

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You can check out the Make (Believe) collection here. The sale ends today, and then the patterns will be available in each individual shop at full price.

DIY Extra Large Beach Tote + the most stylish baby wipes I’ve ever seen

When you head to the beach (okay, when you head anywhere) with kids, you end up bringing a lot of stuff for all the inevitable messes and disasters. Diapers, wipes, sunscreen, snacks, extra clothes, sunglasses, water bottles, towels, toys… basically everything you own. I knew I wanted to make an extra large beach tote for these occasions – one that you can stuff to the brim with all the necessities – and bonus points if the necessities look super cute, like these ridiculously stylish baby wipes from Huggies. Because just like I can’t pass up fabulous fabric, I love when the things I have to carry with me look adorable.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Huggies. I received compensation for this post and these products. All opinions are my own.

DIY Extra Large Beach Tote

Making a tote bag is super easy – it’s similar to my simple tote bag tutorial, but I’ve added a lining and an extra long strap. And pockets. But you can make this in any size, for whatever toting needs you have… farmer’s market, weekend trips, anything!

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I have yet to meet a mama of little ones who doesn’t use baby wipes on a daily basis. I take these everywhere – I even find myself using them when I don’t have my kids with me. But the regular crinkly plastic that wipes come in is not my fave. So when I first picked up this new Clutch ‘n Clean from Huggies, I was super impressed with the durable non-crinkly material. Hello, who hasn’t cringed as they’ve pulled out the noisy wipes in church?? It’s reusable, so you can leave the not-so-stylish containers under your changing table and refill this one when it’s empty.

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There are several designs to choose from, and I actually stood in the aisle for a full five minutes trying to decide which one was cuter. But in the end, I’m always drawn to the stripes! I also really love that the colors are bright, so I can easily spot them in my bag for those wiping emergencies. We have a lot of them, friends. And then when you need to run to the restroom, they have a super convenient strap, so you don’t have to bring your entire tote with you.

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Now grab some sturdy fabric from your stash so you can make an extra large beach tote too. :)

Bag dimensions

1. Cut your outer and lining fabrics (two of each). My approximate dimensions are in the photo above. You can make it any size you want, really, just be sure to make the lining an eensy bit smaller than your outer fabric. I suggest using a more durable fabric.

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2. Cut out your straps – again, the length is up to you. I made mine extra long to accommodate my tall husband, in case he needs to carry the bag also. Cut a strip of fabric that is double the width you want. (Mine was about 70in. long and 6in. wide, before it was folded.) Then sew the long end, with the right sides together. Then turn it right side out, press, and pin it to the outer fabric as seen in the picture above. Repeat for the second strap and second outer fabric piece. (you can see detailed pictures on how to make a strap in this tutorial)

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3. Stitch down the sides of the straps (you are only sewing through one layer of outer fabric at this point). Stop sewing about an inch from the top. Repeat for the second strap.

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4. Pin the two outer layers together – right sides together. Sew all around the three edges (not the side where the straps stick out).

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5. If you want to make pockets, now is the time to do it. Whatever size you want your pockets to be, cut your fabric twice the size of the pocket. Then fold it in half (right sides together), and stitch around the edges, leaving a small opening to turn the pocket right side out.

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6. Turn the pocket right side out, press (folding under the little section that you didn’t sew), and stitch down the three sides onto the right side of the lining fabric. Repeat this for any more pockets you want.

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7. If you want to divide a pocket into two, simply stitch down the center, making sure to back stitch at the top and the bottom.

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8. Now place your lining pieces together and stitch the three sides, just as you did with the outer fabric.

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9. Press down the top of both the outer fabric and the lining. You can finish the edges with either a serger or pinking shears (I would actually recommend doing this earlier, but if you do it now, make sure not to cut through your straps!)

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10. Pin the lining inside the outer fabric and topstitch along the top. You want to stitch over the straps, otherwise you’ll have a gap between your straps and your outer fabric.

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Now pack your bags and head to the beach!

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I love having everything I need all in one spot.

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The one thing I can never have enough of is tote bags. Okay, and fabric…

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You can find Huggies Natural Care® Wipes in stylish packaging in grocery stores and mass retailers nationwide.