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:

 photo BondTopTour_zpsfb3bb10d.jpg

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:


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.


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


I love that this jacket offers so many ways to mix it up. A little color blocking changes a look really easily.

There aren’t a lot of boy-friendly accessories out there, so hats are a must.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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!

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. ;)


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.

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.

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

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.


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!

Boys Will be Boys: a Roundup of More Handmade Gift Tutorials

As Boys Will be Boys, so Handmake Their Toys comes to a close, I wanted to share with you some other fun handmade boy gift tutorials I’ve found.


Click here to see all the other posts in this series!


Superhero Cape Tutorial at Skirt as Top


Skateboard Sling at The Boy Trifecta


Star Wars Finger Puppets at The Idea Room


Superhero Cuffs at See Kate Sew

_MG_6885 - Copy

Lego Belt at Delia Creates


Suitcase Puppet Theatre at Melly Sews


Car Race Game at Little Family Fun

DSC_0179Paratrooper Softie Tutorial at Chez Beeper Bebe


Kid Wallet at Melly Sews

Stacey and I have both been pinning to the board Boy Gift Ideas on Pinterest – it’s filled with awesome ideas for gifts for the boys in your life!

*** I decided to keep the giveaways all open through Monday. [mostly because I'm too lazy to figure out how to close the comments... ha! lucky you!] ***

The Fabric Fairy — $25 gift certificate

See Kate Sew — THREE softie patterns!

Sew Chatty — adorable elephant softie

Be sure to head over and enter… the only requirement for ALL giveaways is leaving a comment. How easy is that?!

And Stacey at Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy has one final tutorial – a magnetic hangman game that looks so fun!


Boys Will Be Boys: Cloth Light Saber Tutorial

It’s another day of our gift series, Boys Will Be Boys, so Handmake Their Toys!


Click to see all posts from this series!

Today’s tutorial is sure to win over the hearts of any boy who has a love for Star Wars. Or turning things into a weapon.

And for you, the lovely handmade gift maker? An easy sew, but one that your littles will love. And one that won’t actually hurt when they fight with each other. [not that my littles ever do that... *ahem*]

light sabers tutorial


  • Fabric with little to no stretch
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Poly-fil
  • Needle


1. Cut rectangle on the fold, approximately 18in x 2.5in (when folded).


2. Cut a second rectangle on the fold, approximately 7in. x 2.5in. (when folded)


3. Unfold and zig-zag the short end of the two pieces of fabric, right sides together.

sewing body of light saber

4. Fold the fabric again and zig-zag along the top edge and the open side.


5. Turn right-side out and stuff with poly-fil. You want it to be pretty well-stuffed, so that the light saber will actually hold up and not flop over. [that's also why it's best to use a fabric with little stretch - it will be much better for light saber fights]


6. Hand-sew the bottom of the light saber closed.


And now your boys have some safe, fun light sabers… that took you almost no time to create!

Now get yourself over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy to check out the super fun shop she’s featuring. And she has an amazing giveaway of a set of these:


And the Fabric Fairy giveaway from yesterday is still open, so be sure to enter if you haven’t already!