handmade

DIY Boxy Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Zipper pouches are perfect for basically everything… and a boxy pouch that can stand up? Better than perfect. It’s easily a naptime sew (you know how I love those), so let’s get making!
Make your own boxy zipper pouch

Supplies:

  • outer fabric
  • lining fabric
  • zipper

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1. Cut two outer fabrics and two linings. I made mine 8in x 8in x 8in x 10in. to make a trapezoid – but you can adjust the size as needed.

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2. Sandwich your zipper (mine is 7in) between one of the outer and lining, right sides together, and sew using your zipper foot. The outer fabric should be on the top of the zipper.

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3. Flip the fabrics back, press carefully (without melting your zipper!) and topstitch.

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4. Now repeat with the other set of fabric.

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5. Open the zipper (don’t skip this step!)

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6. Lay the lining and outer fabrics right sides together. Carefully pin together. Sew along the edges, leaving an opening at the bottom of the lining.

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7. Flatten the bottom of the lining and the outer fabrics. Sew across the corners and cut off the leftover triangle.

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The bottom should look like this when you’re done.

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8. Turn the pouch right side out, using the hole in the bottom of the lining. Then sew the lining shut. I like to hand sew this with a blind stitch, because I think it looks cleaner, but you can also straight stitch along the entire bottom seam with your machine.

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Then rejoice in your beautiful standing zipper pouch!

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Fill it with make up or hand sewing projects or throw it in your purse to hold all that random junk that doesn’t have a place.

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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!

Adelaide Top

I’ve kind of switched gears a little bit in my sewing and have been sewing a lot more for myself. And it is so fabulous! I had the super honor of being an early tester for one of See Kate Sew‘s new pattern – Adelaide. Friends, I’m in looooove.
The Adelaide TopThis pattern is oh so lovely. It is a really fast sew, and like every one of Kate’s patterns, it’s incredibly well put together.

adelaide3This yoke detail is so fantastic. The pattern comes with a ruffle piece for the yoke, or you can use a pre-made trim like I did. I used a vintage eyelet trim and these fabulous vintage yellow buttons. The fabric is also vintage – a linen that I found at a thrift store awhile back. I basically love everything about this top.

adelaide2The darts on this early test version are a little high, and they’ve been adjusted in the final pattern.

adeladie4I hand sewed the hem with a blind stitch … and my six-year-old photographer got this excellent shot of it. ;) I am seriously addicted to sewing for myself now. And between this one and the rest of Kate’s new Garden Party line, I could be busy for awhile.

adelaideYou will adore this pattern as much as I do. The sleeves, the yoke… sigh. Perfection.

Sew-a-bration of Women: shoreline boatneck tunic (take two)

When I’m shopping and I find something like a t-shirt or a cardigan that fits my body and I feel great in, I like to buy more than one. The same thing goes for a handmade wardrobe, which is why this is take two of this gathered tunic.

shoreline boatneck tunic

The first gathered tunic I made was a modified Shoreline Boatneck (affiliate link) from Blank Slates, and this one is too. (Though the pattern is fantastic without modification, as all Blank Slates Patterns are :)

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Today I’m posting as a part of the Sew-a-bration of Women at the Shaffer Sisters and Call Ajaire. It’s an awesome celebration of sewing for women – no matter your body type or age. Celebrating YOU!

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I’m still carrying a little post-baby love around my middle from my sweet baby number four, and this style of tunic is super flattering and hides that problem area better than some others. If you’re hesitant to sew for yourself because you haven’t lost the last ten pounds or are still nursing or whatever… just think of it as practice. Try out different styles to see what works for you, and the more you try, the better you’ll get.

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This tunic is long enough to wear with leggings (because leggings are not pants, my friends… cover up the booty is all I have to say), and the fabric from Girl Charlee is the perfect weight for summer, even with 3/4 sleeves. And pasty white legs, but you know, it’s spring in Wisconsin, these things happen..

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You can find the full tutorial for this tunic here and can use it to alter any shirt pattern to this style of tunic.

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You can gather it more if you like a fuller skirt, but I love just a little bit – and also, I hate gathering fabric. It’s a good thing I live in a house full of boys. ;)

Check out some more Sew-a-bration inspiration at these other blogs and get excited to sew for yourself!

Sharp as a Shark – Project Run and Play week one

Friends! Today is the day! Project Run and Play season 9 is starting today! (let’s just pause a moment while I squeal a little and try to catch my breath!)

The theme for week one is “Put me in the zoo” – looks inspired by animals. I pretty much knew immediately that my inspiration animal would be a shark.

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I’m not going to lie – I love every.single.thing. about this look.

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My goal with this outfit was to have pieces that were very wearable and that could be worn separately. I also didn’t want to be super obvious with my inspiration. The hood of the jacket, of course, is the most obvious – shark’s teeth! – but there are hints of inspiration throughout the whole look.

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Boy looks are all about the details – especially if you aren’t using a lot of prints.

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Since we’re right in the middle of the Straight Lines and Angles series, I had the geometric trend on the brain. So I used some iron-on vinyl to add these triangles. They also reminded me of fins or shark’s teeth.

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The jacket is made from a black denim that has some stretch. I based the jacket very loosely off of the shape of a raincoat we have in our house. There are a lot of pieces in this jacket, and a lot of seams. It was definitely a labor of love!

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The jacket is fully lined, and because of the stretch in the denim, I cut the lining on the bias, matching the stripes to match the lines of the fins.. or the waves. Or both. The pockets are set in the front seams, and peak out just a little.

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I love the contrast of the front zip.

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Speaking of zippers. How pretty is this zipper fly?? So pretty. After my last zipper fly (or should I say my only other zipper fly!), I might be addicted to making them. My pants are never going to be the same!

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The pants were drafted from a pair of ready-to-wear pants, with a lot of changes in the fit and style. The grey twill is super comfy, and I love how it looks with the red piping and top stitching. There also seemed to be something fitting about using red with a shark look…. am I right??

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In addition to the zipper fly, the pants have an elastic back waist, inset front pockets (with a super fun whale print, just because I could!), and back patch pockets (some of those aforementioned details!)

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The tee is made of a super stretchy and comfy knit, self-drafted to be more fitted and with longer short sleeves, because I love that 70s T-shirt look.

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Funny photo shoot story: I took the kids to a park on Lake Michigan to play and take pictures (because you have to take shark inspired pictures by the water, obviously!) I wish someone was taking pictures of me, because I’m sure it was hilarious. Picture me with a baby strapped to my chest, chasing my two-year-old out of the water, all while taking pictures. Sounds fun, right? :)

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It was a little bit, actually :) He really loves this outfit, and he had no problem running and playing on the beach (well, as much as you can do in 40F weather). And I really love this look too. It really is exactly what I wanted it to be!

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Okay, now run – don’t walk – over to the Project Run and Play blog to vote for my look!
Please and thank you :)

 

Fabric sources:

grey twill/black stretch denim: JoAnn Fabrics
blue and white stripes: thrifted
white knit: JoAnn Fabrics
ribbing: upcycled

Alter a shirt pattern to a gathered tunic [a tutorial]

One of the great things about sewing your own clothes is that you can make them how YOU want them to be. Have a great shirt pattern? You can make a tunic from it really easily!

Alter a shirt pattern to a gathered tunic  If Only They Would Nap
When Melissa of Blank Slates Patterns offered to send me her Shoreline Boatneck Top and Dress  [affiliate link] pattern, I was super excited. I love her children’s patterns, but I have yet to sew one of her women’s patterns. This pattern has both shirt and dress options… but I’m a girl who likes to have it all ;) so I decided to make it into a tunic.

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You can do this with pretty much any shirt or dress pattern you own [or you can even alter a shirt you have in your closet!], and it doesn’t take much.

step 1
1. You’re going to cut the front and back bodice into two pieces. Firs, cut the top portion, both the front and the back bodice piece – but cut them about where you want the gathering to hit. Measure down from your armpit. The Shoreline Boatneck has a line on the pattern piece to lengthen/shorten, and I cut my bodice piece about an inch lower than that. The front and back bodice pieces should be the same length.

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2. Cut the bottom of the back bodice the same width as the pattern piece, but slightly longer. Measure down from where your gathering will hit down to where you want the tunic to end. [I ended up shortening mine after trying it on.]

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3. Now cut the bottom of the bodice front. You want it to be longer [the same length as you cut the back piece] and wider, to account for the gathers. I made mine about five inches wider, cut on the fold.

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4. Gather that front lower bodice piece you just cut. There are several different ways to gather. In this picture, I stitched a basting stitch and pulled on the bobbin thread to gather it. It’s more “proper” to use two lines of stitching.. but I tend to break the rules. ;)

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5. Gather your lower bodice piece to match the top of the front bodice. You want them to be the same width.

6. Sew the two front pieces together, then sew the two back pieces together.

7. Continue to follow the rest of the pattern instructions to complete your tunic!

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This mint green and cream striped Ponte de Roma fabric from Girl Charlee is amazing. I may or may not have snuggled with it after it arrived, it’s that soft. Don’t judge… you’ll do it too. It drapes really well and has a great weight. It has pretty quickly become one of my favorite knits to work with, I think.

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One of the things I love about Melissa’s patterns is her sleeves. They’re always perfect! I also added pockets to the tunic – because everything is better with pockets.

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Now excuse me while I go fill my entire wardrobe with Ponte de Roma tunics… :)

This post is sponsored by Girl Charlee, who provided the fabric for this tutorial. [Thanks, Girl Charlee!] All opinions are my own.

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Counting Stars and adding a tuxedo stripe to pants

The lovely Melissa and Stacey, fellow boy mamas from Melly Sews and Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy are in the middle of their Sew in Tune series. It’s super fun – sewing that’s inspired by music!

Confession: I don’t listen to a lot of pop music. I get a lot of my modern day musical education from The Voice. Or random songs I hear on Pandora. Which is actually where I found this one: Counting Stars, by One Republic.

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This song has a really catchy tune, and I find myself singing it throughout the day. Okay, and dancing in my kitchen with my boys. When I first heard this song, it made me think of my oldest, because he loves – I mean LOVES – anything that has to do with stars and planets.

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One of my favorite lines of the song says “I’ve been losing sleep, dreaming about the things that we could be.” And that’s one of the best things about my boy – he dreams big.

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The pants are self-drafted, with this super soft neon green corduroy [I believe it's Limeade 21 Wale from Robert Kaufman] and tuxedo stripes out of a fabric that looks just like a sky full of stars.

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They have a slight flare to them and are flat front, with pockets in the back.

how to add a tuxedo stripe to pants

I added tuxedo stripes to the pants, which is really easy to do to any pants pattern.

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1. Sew each pant leg together at the outer seam. Cut a long rectangular strip of fabric the length of your seam. How wide you cut the strip depends on the size of your pants and how wide you want the stripe to be. Remember to leave room for your seam allowance.

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2. Fold over and press the long sides of the strip. I folded mine over about 3/8 in.

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3. Pin the fabric along the seam and sew in place with a straight stitch on either side. So easy!

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I used the Bond Top from Beatnik Kids for the shirt, modified without a collar and with an exposed zip. This is my third Bond Top now, and I really love this pattern.

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I upcycled a black tee and used a fabric that reminded me of planets.

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This was his “make my mouth the same shape as a planet” face. :)

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An outfit perfect for dreaming about all your future could hold… like jumping on the moon.

Make sure you check out all the other amazing looks in the Sew in Tune series at Melly Sews and Boy, oh Boy, oh Boy!

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Lullaby Line Pattern Tour: overalls and bodysuit review [and a giveaway!]

Today I’m joining up with the Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop lullaby line tour! I’ve blogged about many Peek-a-boo patterns in the past [Coastal Craze shorts and Lazy Day rompers here, the Classic Oxford here, just to name a few], and I haven’t met one I didn’t like.

The Lullaby Line is no exception. I sewed up the bodysuit and the overalls [affiliate links], and well, they make this cute baby even cuter, if I do say so myself.

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The Lullaby Line is sold as a bundle [affiliate link] with every pattern you could need for baby basics or you can purchase each pattern individually. The patterns include the bodysuit and lap tee, shorts/pants, hat/mittens, gown, baby and toddler sleepsack, and the overalls. A couple are just for babies [like the gown and the hat/mittens], but some of these patterns go up to size 4T, and the sleepsack goes up to a 5/6.

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I was pretty psyched to sew the bodysuit. I mean, babies pretty much live in these things. And if you don’t have a baby, you probably know someone having one who will need like fifteen million bodysuits.

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I upcycled one of my hubby’s old shirts, and it came together super quickly and easily. My almost 11month old is a little peanut, so I sewed the 9month size, but used the 12month length, since he wears cloth diapers. I also added longer cuffs to the sleeves.

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The overalls are fantastic. They can be made in nearly every fabric [knit, woven, fleece, corduroy...] and have some options to girly them up too. And I think even a beginning sewer could sew these up with Amy’s clear pictures and instructions.

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He’s pretty content to be ruffle-free, though. I sewed the 9month size again, but with the 12month length, so he has some room to grow. I will probably add another snap setting on the strap, because the top is a little big on him. But like I said, he’s itty bitty. :)

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They have these great side vents and you can add pockets in the front and/or the back. I think that overalls are a great way to showcase a super cute print. Like this mushroom fabric. Mushrooms! So adorable. [I got it from Drawstring Studio, though she doesn't have it in stock right now]

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I love sewing comfy clothes for my kiddos, that they can nap and play in without being restricted. I love that about Peek-a-boo patterns!

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Who can look at a baby post without a close-up of baby toes??!

Make sure you pop over to the Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop blog to see more Lullaby Line reviews and adorable outfits! You can also click on the graphic above to go directly to the participating blogs.

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But wait, there’s more! Three super lucky winners will win a $50 gift certificate to Peek-a-boo Patterns! Woot!!

 Click here to enter the giveaway

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Sewing a Secret Sunglasses Pocket

Did you see the announcement that the Sew In Tune series is coming back to Melly Sews and Boy, oh Boy, oh Boy? I had so much fun last time, and I’ll be back again this year! As I’m prepping for my post, I realized that I never shared my full post here on my blog! Woops… so a year later, here it is. :)

The first song that popped into my mind for this series was Sunglasses at Night, sung by Corey Hart. Classic 80s, my friends. Oh how I love the 80s.

DSC_0363My three-year-old adores wearing sunglasses. When he wears them outside, he usually insists on keeping them on when he comes inside too, so I thought this would be a fun one to design for him.

DSC_0337I grabbed some fun rockstar knit fabric for the shirt and added a sunglasses applique that has a little secret to it. Keep reading for details on that. I also have a tutorial on the pants, made out of an unlikely fabric choice for a boy!

DSC_0365The jacket is upcycled from a pair of pants [that attract a LOT of lint] and is a self-drafted pattern…

5133X4BYPYL._SL500_SS500_…inspired by this Corey Hart album cover. Every rockstar needs a rockin’ jacket, I say.

 photo 6a97ec03-a08e-4928-a91b-47c1ae401877_zps60687158.jpgNow, a tutorial for the tee! Sew up a T-shirt using the pattern of your choice (I drafted my own by tracing a tee that fits my son well). I like the look of shirts that are more fitted and have cuffs at the wrist and a matching neckband, particularly when they’re in a fun color to add a bit of pop to the shirt. If your pattern doesn’t call for them, they’re super easy to add.

DSC_02981. Cut two pieces of knit fabric the width of your sleeve and double the length you want the cuff to be. Mine measured about 4in. x 8in. when folded (like seen in the picture above). The stretch of the fabric should go left to right when your fabric is folded like mine.DSC_0301

2. To add a matching neckband, cut a strip of fabric that is slightly smaller than your neck opening. Mine was about an inch and a half wide before it was folded.DSC_0314

3. Sew up the long, unfolded sides of the cuffs and the short sides of the neckband.

DSC_03334. Fold the wrist cuffs so the seams are on the inside. Attach them to the ends of your sleeves using either a serger or a stretch stitch.

DSC_03355. Do the same thing with your neckband. You can also topstitch over your neckband with a double needle.

DSC_0294But wait… we’re not done yet! The sunglasses! Because three-year-olds love surprises, these sunglasses also double as little pockets for holding treasures and cars and all the random things that three-year-olds love so much.

DSC_02856. After cutting out two of a simple sunglasses shape, fold over the top edge and straight stitch it in place.

DSC_02867. Place the sunglasses right sides together and stitch around the curved edges.DSC_0289

8. Use pinking shears to trim the seam allowance.

DSC_02909. Flip the sunglasses right side out and stitch them onto the shirt, leaving the top-side open.

DSC_029610. Carefully stitch down the back side of the sunglasses as well, to make your little one’s secret pocket!

DSC_0369I also ended up stitching a small line in between the two lenses, just to keep the front of the glasses from flopping over when there’s something in the pocket.

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Between this dude’s hair and the way he sings the Thomas the Train theme song, he may just be a future rockstar. ;)

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. :)