boys

Simply Summer Romper – Tutorial and Free Pattern!

This week is Romper Week over at Sewing Mama RaeAnna, and at our house we love a good baby romper. I have a super easy tutorial so that your baby can be as adorable as mine (well… I’ll still think mine is the most adorable, if that’s okay ;) as well as a free 12 month size pattern!

Simply Summer Romper - free pattern and tutorial

If you have a baby wearing a 12 month size, you can download my free Simply Summer Romper pattern here (affiliate link). If not, you can still make one. :) When sewing with knits, you can use a serger as I did, or you can use a zig zag stitch to construct the romper. This post is full of great resources for sewing with knits.

Making your own pattern pieces (if you’re using the free pattern, skip down just a bit, because you don’t need this part):

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Take a romper of your own and trace it – allowing for seam allowance. You could also put a T-shirt and a pair of shorts together and trace them as if they were one piece.

DSC_0306I like to cut out half of it and then fold it over to make sure the left and right sides are going to be exactly the same.

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I cut this romper out of an XXL T-shirt, so I left the sleeve hems in tact. If you don’t do this, make sure you leave some extra length for hemming.

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Make sure you trace the snap facings. Your back and front ones may be a bit different, depending on how the pieces look. You will want to cut two of the front facings.

Putting together your romper:

This pattern includes 3/8in. seam allowance.

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1. Put the two back pieces Right Sides Together (RST) and sew.

DSC_03112. Pin the back and front pieces RST at the shoulders and the side seams.

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3. Fold the sleeve piece RST and sew along the short edge (mine is hemmed in this picture, but yours won’t be, unless you are upcycling a T-shirt). Repeat with the second sleeve.

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4. With the romper inside out and the sleeve right side out, place the sleeve inside the arm hole. Pin the bottom point (where the sleeve meets the underarm) and the top point (where the sleeve cap meets the shoulder) then carefully pin the rest of the sleeve. Sew around to attach the sleeve and repeat with the other sleeve.

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5. Cut a 1in x 16in rectangle of ribbed knit (mine in the picture above is folded). If you’re upcycling a T-shirt, cut off the neckline and use it!

DSC_03166. Fold the ribbing with the short edges together and sew. Then fold the wrong sides together and press.

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7. Pin the ribbing along the outside of the neckline as pictured and sew.

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8. Then flip the neckline inside. You can topstitch if you’d like.

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9. Pin the back snap facing to the bottom of the back romper piece, RST and sew.

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10. Sew the two front snap facings together with RST.

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11. Interface one side of the front snap facing and half of the back snap facing.

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12. Fold the front snap facing with right sides out and press.

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13. Sew the front snap facing to the outside of the front romper piece. Press the snap facing down flat.

DSC_033214. Fold and press 1/4in. of the back snap facing down and then fold and press the whole facing in half toward the inside of the romper. The raw edge should be tucked in. Top stitch it in place.

15. Hem the bottom and sleeves.

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16.  Attach your snaps according to their instructions (I like KAM snaps for their ease of use, but I think that regular metal snaps give the garment a more ready-to-wear feel). That’s it – you’re done!

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Rompers in the summer are our favorite!

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This romper is a super quick sew, and is so comfy for these little playful bodies!

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Don’t forget to download your free Simply Summer Romper 12 month size pattern here! (affiliate link)

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Head over to Sewing Mama RaeAnna to link up your own romper and win some amazing prizes! But if you don’t have a romper to link up, you can still enter to win some great prizes :)

 Click here to enter the giveaway

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And make sure you check out all the other fun rompers this week! Like my friend Melissa at Sew Like My Mom who has something ADORABLE to share today!

 

Happy sewing, friends! :)

Oakley Shorts Pattern Review

Awhile back, my lovely and wonderful friend Melissa from Sew Like My Mom sent me her newest pattern, the Oakley Shorts and Capris. Since I loved her Kudzu Coveralls, I knew that I was going to love this pattern too.

Oakley Shorts

Being the fourth boy, this little peanut has gotten his fair share of hand-me-downs. But sometimes they don’t quite make it that far.

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Like all of Melissa’s patterns, this one comes together beautifully. It comes in sizes 12months – 8years, and has some adorable capri options for girls!

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I made the 12month size, and the fit on my little man is perfect. He’s wearing disposables here, and they are a little tight when he wears cloth. If you’re a cloth diapering family, I would size up or add a couple of inches to the rise.

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These are the absolute perfect summer shorts!

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You can find the Oakleys (and the rest of the Sew Like My Mom patterns) here. Come back tomorrow when I’m going to share some secrets about this photo shoot… including what the first one looked like, and the tips I used to improve it!

Happy sewing, friends!

Bond Top Pattern Tour [a pattern review]

Recently, my lovely friend Stacey of Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy [and my partner in crime for Handmade Gifts for Boys] launched her pattern shop Beatnik Kids! She has three super adorable boys, so she has a passion for unique boy designs.

I had the privilege of testing and now touring [if I say it like that, it kinda makes me sound famous, right?] with her very first pattern release – which can be for boys or girls – the Bond Top!

Bond Top // if only they would nap

This pattern is so unique, it combines knits and wovens, so it’s comfy but the collar and bib front dress it up a little.
Bond Top // if only they would nap

I lengthened the sleeves for the striped top, but kept the 3/4 length for the Star Wars top. [yes, even the two-year-old knows who Darth Vader is!]

Bond Top // if only they would nap

Because of the button placket, I wouldn’t suggest this pattern as your first foray into garment sewing. But I think even a confident beginner could handle it, as Stacey’s instructions and pictures are super clear. And once you get the hang of a button placket, the top comes together really quickly.

Bond Top // if only they would nap

I rounded the edges on one bib and kept the sharper corners on the other. Which way do you like better? I can’t decide..

Bond Top // if only they would nap

Pay close attention to the head circumference chart that’s provided in the pattern. My large-noggined kiddo may or may have contributed to her decision to put that in there… [have you ever tried to squeeze a too-tight shirt over a two-year-old’s head? no? it’s not pretty]

Bond Top // if only they would nap

I used one large vintage button on my six-year-old’s top, and I really love the added detail.
Bond Top // if only they would nap

We’re obviously Bond Top super-fans. :)

I am just LOVING all the Bond Tops [and Bond dresses!] that are on the tour. There’s so much you can do with this pattern! Hop over to Happy Stitch to check out her version today too, and all the other stops:

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If you want your own copy of the pattern [which of course you do] you can get it here for $2 off until Friday with the code BONDTOP

Disclosure: I was given this pattern in exchange for my honest review. And I honestly recommend it. :)

Boy Style: plaids and hats [Pattern Anthology]

Today I’m joining up with the Pattern Anthology tour to share a little Boy Style with you. Because who says girls need to have all the fashion fun?

Boy Style  If Only They Would Nap

The patterns from the Pattern Anthology collection [a limited time collection of 8 patterns by four designers that I know and love] have what every boy [or girl] needs to have an amazing winter wardrobe.

Here’s our style guide:

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Start with the Berkshire Blazer. Designed to tailor fit your child, it can dress up any outfit, but still be playful and fun. I sewed this one in a sweatshirt fleece. It still looks polished and put-together, but it’s comfy and great for play.

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Add a driver cap, skinny jeans, and suspenders, and you’ve got a six-year-old who’s suddenly going on sixteen…

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I love that this jacket offers so many ways to mix it up. A little color blocking changes a look really easily.
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There aren’t a lot of boy-friendly accessories out there, so hats are a must.

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So obviously the Winter Wonderland collection has a hat. Two hats, actually. This one is the Trapper Hat, which I made out of a felted wool sweater and a flannel sheet [because when you’re the oldest of four kids, the best styles are upcycled].DSC_0777

The whole feel of the jacket changes with the simple swap of the hat. Plus, we’re totally ready for Wisconsin winter now.

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Stripes are my go-to for my boys. And I have a serious love for plaids. The Johnny B Good top can be dressy or casual. And upcycled from a men’s shirt, like this one was. There are some great instructions for upcycling in the pattern, and I’ve given some tips for that here too.

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And with the back yoke and front patches built into the design, you can mix your prints.

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The faux-suede gives it a western vibe, but paired with the Trapper Hat, it doesn’t read “cowboy costume.”

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Toss that blazer back on, and you’ve “fancied” up your look, as my boys like to say.DSC_0824

Fancy clothes that are fit for relaxing. That’s how we roll here.

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We may be bundling up in the frozen tundra, but that’s not going to stop us from looking good while we do it.

A few Pattern Anthology details….

  • 8 patterns sold as a bundle for 40% off their retail price until November 18th – then they are all sold individually from the respective designers for full-price.
  • You can also purchase mini-collections [just for boys or just for girls]
  • These pattern designers are the real deal. I’ve raved about them all before [Go To Patterns, Shwin Designs, See Kate Sew, and Blank Slate Patterns], and none of these patterns will disappoint.

Style details….

  • Driver hat and suspenders: H&M
  • Skinny jeans: Target [Shaun White]
  • All other outfit elements: handmade

Fabric and pattern details….

  • Berkshire Blazer: grey and navy sweatshirt fleece from Jo Ann Fabrics. This blazer was a surprisingly quick sew for me, but it’s definitely not a beginner pattern. I strayed slightly from the pattern, since I didn’t line the jacket, but this blazer kills, you guys. It’s so well-done and gives you an incredibly professional looking garment. I sewed a size six with seven arm length, but next time I’ll do a seven length all around, so he can wear it longer. But it’s perfect for now.
  • Trapper Hat: upcycled felted wool sweater and flannel sheet. This pattern is SO fast. Like, get it done in less than one seven-month-old naptime fast. I really love how it fits, and my son finds it really comfortable. It would also be really easy to size up or down if your child falls a bit out of the size range.
  • Johnny B Good Hoodie: upcycled men’s plaid shirt, faux-suede from Jo Ann Fabrics [a really, really long time ago]. This pattern takes a bit more time, but the finished product is definitely worth it. Upcycling cuts down a bit – and you can avoid button holes, if they’re not your thing. The shirt has a collar or hoodie option, as well as short sleeves. It’s truly a year-round wardrobe staple.

Be sure to check out all the other Pattern Anthology bloggers on the tour. Ah-may-zing stuff – style, holiday photo shoot tips, tutorials, and pattern remixes that are so super awesome.

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Disclosure: I was given these patterns in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, as always.

Star Wars + Fedora = Awesome

Today I am SO excited to be a part of the Fedora Hat. tour with Elegance and Elephants. [Disclosure: I was given a copy of this pattern and am an affiliate of Elegance and Elephants. All opinions are my own.]

fedora hat // if only they would nap

First let’s just talk about how I made this. I mean seriously friends, I MADE a hat. A hat!DSC_0009

And look how awesome it turned out!
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This pattern is so incredibly well done. It came together pretty quickly and way easier than I ever expected. The only time I got frustrated was when I was attaching the two lining pieces and could NOT get them together. Theeeeen I realized I had put one of the pattern pieces on upside down. Um, woops. Perils of late night sewing…DSC_0194I also couldn’t find heavyweight interfacing when I was at the fabric store, so rather than drag all the kids to yet another fabric store, I just went with the midweight that I had at home. While it still works, it doesn’t maintain its shape as well as it would with the heavyweight. And I really think it would look nicer that way. So when you make it, you should use heavyweight. Like Heidi says in the pattern. ;)

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I lined the hat with Star Wars fabric, because well, Star Wars. And I wanted to balance out the serious main fabric with a fun lining. Also, note that there are no exposed seams. So super professional.
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I also used that same Star Wars print to make the “ribbon” – which I totally didn’t attach according to the pattern instructions. I just used some liquid stitch to tack it on, so that it could be pretty easily removed, should we want to in the future. I also put it on a little higher than instructed… which I’m still on the fence about.

DSC_0204I don’t know if I’ve been quite so impressed with a pattern before. It’s a freaking hat, you guys. It’s ah.may.zing. And looks good even while eating your breakfast in your camo jammies.
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Since I know you now need to have your own Fedora Hat., you’ll be happy to know that you can use the code FEDORA15 to get 15% off your copy of the pattern until tomorrow, September 27th.

Make sure you hop over to Elegance and Elephants and check out all the other stops on the tour. These ladies pulled out all the stops on this one. Hats for girls and boys, in all different styles. It’s seriously such a versatile pattern!

When pajama pants make you feel successful..

I know I’m not alone when I say that getting to my sewing machine these days is work. Sometimes life takes over and babies don’t sleep and two-year-olds dump out every box in the cupboard and your sewing table becomes the catch-all for everything.

But when days like that come, pajama pants will rescue you. They will make you feel like successful and productive and like you do something other than wipe noses and bums.

DSC_0670These pants, upcycled from a tee that I loved for years but no longer fit, I had begun sewing months ago. [constructed using the DIY baby pants tutorial]DSC_0669Sometimes it’s the quick and easy projects, the ones that are practical and don’t require details, that give you the most satisfaction.
DSC_0229Because I may not sleep at night or have time to take a shower every day, but I made pajama pants. And that, my friends, makes for a good day.

**Psst… Peek-a-boo Patterns has a sweet Thrifty Thursday deal today! The Varsity Cowl Sweatshirt is only $4! [affiliate link]**Varsity_Cowl_Neck_Pullover

Whale pants!

DSC_0204 I’ve been sewing up a lot of pants lately, especially for this little man.DSC_0206 I may or may not have something in the works with these…DSC_0217 Cloth diaper booty!DSC_0221I whaley love them. [heh]

whale fabric from Drawstring Studio

K.I.D.S. post on Me Sew Crazy!

Today I’m sharing an outfit my five-year-old and I designed together as part of Jessica’s K.I.D.S. series at Me Sew Crazy!

DSC_0513So come on by to check out my son’s inspiration drawing and a little pocket tutorial!

Sew in Tune: Sunglasses at Night

Today I’m over at Melly Sews, sharing the rockstar look I talked about yesterday, as part of the Sew in Tune series.DSC_0367Click over to see a fun tutorial for the shirt I made for my little rocker. And to check out the rest of the awesome song inspired looks!

Cool Cardigan… with mix and match patterns

Have y’all seen Blank Slate Patterns by Melly Sews? This girl is a fellow boy-mama and a pattern making machine.

I recently sewed up the Cool Cardigan for my oldest. And seriously, this pattern is fabulous.

DSCF7507I used the size 5 and it was mostly a good fit. My dude is RIDICULOUSLY skinny, so when I make it again, I’ll for sure take in the sides.

DSCF7509I had ordered both knit fabrics from Girl Charlee, and I really like it a lot, though the sweater knit turned out to be much thinner than I had anticipated [only because I failed to read where it said “lightweight” – woops!]. So I upcycled an old sweatshirt and lined the cardigan.

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I love the combo of the argyle and stripes. The contrasting bands and pockets are a great feature. I omitted the buttons on the pockets, because I knew my 5yo would never use the buttons and they would end up just driving him crazy. Plus I only used three buttons instead of four, like pattern called for, because… well, I only had three matching buttons. ;)DSCF7525

As long as you don’t have prego baby brain like me, this pattern is a pretty quick sew. If you do have prego baby brain, just expect it to take a little longer, as you stare at the pattern instructions without understanding even the simplest of steps. [cut on the fold.. what does that even mean?! kidding. sort of.]

And p.s. don’t forget, today is the last day to buy the Sew Fab e-pattern bundle! I’ve never seen a pattern deal like this before, so if you haven’t scooped this one up, be sure to do it today!