sewing for boys

Wedding pants for the baby (and my first TESTER call!)

We are headed to my lovely sister-in-law’s wedding this weekend. As I was gathering clothing for the boys and putting together outfits, I quickly realized that the baby had NO pants that didn’t have holes in the knees (hello, fourth child) or that were wedding appropriate. Bonus: it’s Kids Clothes Week and I actually sewed something!

So I whipped up a quick pair of pants out of some grey twill I had in my stash. These pants are (eeek!) my first pattern that I’m in the process of working on releasing!


They are flat front, elastic back and designed to fit over the fluffy cloth diaper booty. If you’ve been around the blog for awhile, you’ve seen me sew them many, many times for my boys. (You can see my most recent ones here)

DSC_0441I had originally added pockets, but as cute as I thought they were when I sewed them up, they were a little low. Plus, the blazer I had planned for him to wear with the pants was a bit too short, making the pockets look even lower. Then I decided the pockets didn’t match the sweater as nicely. So I ripped them off… they’re a work in progress, these pockets. ;)

DSC_0546If you’d like to be picked (heh… see what I did there) for testing this unisex pattern, apply to be a tester by entering your information here. The pattern won’t be ready for testing for a couple more weeks, and since it’s my first pattern, I expect my timeline to go a little slower than designers who’ve done this before. But the pattern is coming!!

Happy sewing, friends!

P.S. This pattern has no name yet… any ideas??

Charlie Shirt: a pattern review

Not too long ago, I came across the European pattern designer Zonen09. When I saw her patterns, I seriously could not peel myself away from her site. Not only are her patterns unique and stylish, but she designs for BOYS!

So when I contacted the oh-so-sweet Sharon who is the designer behind Zonen09, she was so gracious and sent me two of her patterns to review!
Charlie Shirt // If Only They Would Nap

The first one I sewed was Charlie. This was the first of her patterns that caught my eye, actually. The style reminds me of the vintage clothing that I tend to gravitate toward at the thrift store, that late 70s/early 80s style that my brothers used to wear.

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This collar!

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The cuffs and waistband, well, I always love a shirt with those features. When you sew for boys, you aren’t going to be adding ruffles or lace, so contrasting fabrics give your garments interest.

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The main body of the shirt is lined, so it’s nice and sturdy. All of the pattern instructions and pictures were really clear and easy to follow, so I really think that if you’ve sewn a couple of things with knits [or like to challenge yourself a bit!], you could easily graduate to this pattern.

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Also, argyle. I mean, seriously. [I don't know where the fabric is from, sorry to say. I got it from my lovely friend Alida, who has amazing style and taste in fabrics] photo DSC_0482_zps1594bdda.jpg

The only thing challenging about this pattern that a beginner might balk at is that seam allowance is not included. So keep that in mind if you don’t want to go through that extra step. This pattern and Jacob [which I'll be blogging about soon!] are both on my list of 15 must-have patterns for boys. These are also the only two patterns she currently has in English – so know that before you buy! Two of her patterns are currently only in Dutch.

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I’ll add a bit of length to mine next time, as my two-year-old seems to have gone through a recent growth spurt. If your kiddo has a longer torso, I’d recommend that. But other than that, the fit was spot-on and was a really quick sew… you know, other than my forty zillion interruptions.

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You can find Zonen09 here or on Facebook.

hangout hoodie robe

Today is the day! The day to vote for your favorite flip! It has been so much fun to participate in this series – the other competitors did such an amazing job. I’d really love your vote, so make sure you click over to Frances Suzanne to cast your vote for your fave [ahem, me]. Voting only lasts through the weekend!

I love a good think-outside-the-box challenge, and I had so much fun with this one! As soon as I saw the Hangout Hoodie pattern [affiliate link], I knew that it would be perfect to flip into a ….

hangout hoodie robe…hangout hoodie robe!

hangout robe 2I kept with the basic shape of the Hangout Hoodie [which can be sewn as either a dress or a shirt], but made some modifications to use woven materials instead of knits.

robe collageSince my fabrics have no stretch, I went up two sizes from what my son would normally wear. I used the dress pattern, but then shortened it back down to the size six. The front piece is normally cut on the fold. I instead extended those pieces a couple inches and cut them separately, creating those fabulous lapels in the front.
robe details

I also added long flannel cuffs, a belt, and belt loops on each robe

The robe is fully lined (with this super amazing fabric from A Walk in the Woods for Moda by Aneela Hooey – purchased from HB Fabrics). With the exception of the belt loops, which I didn’t put on the inside, the robe is fully reversible. No exposed seams! (Shirt can be found here)

robe profileThe flannel on the outside makes it super warm and cozy – perfect for our loooooong Wisconsin winters.

jump and relaxI love that it’s comfortable for jumping and playing, and yet so cozy for relaxing. What more could a little boy want? (pants from this costume)

I had so much fun flipping this patter, and I seriously adore how the robe came out. My other boys have each requested their own now too. :)

Now make sure you pop over to Frances Suzanne to vote for me!

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.

Purple and Pink – Calling All Kids

Today I’m bringing home a post that was a part of Alida Makes‘ Calling All Kids series. If you didn’t see it the first time around, be sure you pop over to check out all the posts – Alida challenged us all to rethink our kids’ wardrobes and not let gender define how they dress. It was a really cool series to be a part of!

When you ask my five-year-old what his favorite colors are, he will tell you “blue, red, purple, and pink.” I love that he doesn’t think that purple and pink are colors just for girls.

DSC_0886And since blue and red are pretty prevalent in his wardrobe already, I added a bit of purple and pink in a not-so-girly way.DSC_0914When I gave him the clothes, he said, “Did you make these because you know purple and pink are some of my favorite colors?!” Mom win right there, my friends.DSC_0932There are some little hedgehogs that peek out from the pocket of the purple cords, which is just a fun detail that I love.DSC_0920As the mom of a bunch of boy boys who love cars and trains and superheroes and being loud and getting dirty, we don’t have a lot of pink or purple in our house. But we also play with baby dolls and cook together… so who says boys can’t wear pink?DSC_0929A little blue steel…DSC_0908Kids are so much more confident when they wear what they love.DSC_0888

And while he’s already outgrown the shirt since I originally posted this [and the pants aren't far behind!], the pants are still a particular favorite.

Do your kids wear anything that’s a little out of the box? I’d love to hear about it!

Luke Skywalker Costume Tutorial

This weekend I wore jeans and a sweater, which can only mean one thing… it’s fall! And that means that we need to start thinking of costumes! For the third year in a row, I’m participating in the Handmade Costume Series at The Train to Crazy.

handmade-costumes-third-annualThis year, I decided not to ask my almost six-year-old what he wanted to be for Halloween [gasp!], but instead make something that I knew he would like – as a surprise. Luckily for me, it was a win!

luke skywalker costume tutorial

Because how can Luke Skywalker not be a win?

Let’s make one for your little Star Wars lover, shall we?


  • Blank Slates Cool Cardigan Pattern – affiliate link [you can certainly make this without it - if you have another cardigan pattern or if you use one of your little one's cardigans to draft your own pattern, but you may have to alter yours slightly, since mine is based on this pattern]
  • Ivory, Tan, and Brown knit fabric
  • Scissors, thread, sewing machine/serger


1. Trace and cut out two sleeves – extend the sleeve about 4.5in. and cut straight from the armpit, instead of tapering at the end. *I used the size six, so if you use a smaller size, you may want to alter these numbers*

2. Trace and cut out the back of the cardigan, extending the back about 8in.

3. Cut one front piece, extending about 8in.


4. Cut the other front piece – extend the side seam (from the armpit) 8in. Then cut the bottom to the same width as the back piece. As you cut down the diagonal for the front piece, continue down toward the bottom [see step five before you cut all the way down!]


5. Cut straight up from the bottom a few inches. Your diagonal cut will meet up with this straight side.

6. Sew the shoulder seams together with right sides together [RST]

7. Cut out the “button band” in the same ivory fabric. With RST, sew the “button band” beginning at the long diagonal of the front piece, going all the way around to the short diagonal of the other front piece.DSC_0794

8. Fold the raw edge under 1/4in. and fold the button band over. Pin all along the button band, then topstitch it down.

9. With RST, sew the side seam front piece with the short diagonal [sewing from the armpit down to the bottom]


10. Pin the opposite side seam, tucking the “button band” in between the two pieces. Sew together. This will make that button band go diagonally across the body.

11. Sew on the sleeves.

12. Turn the shirt right side out and topstitch down the button band, attaching it to the smaller front piece behind it, where they overlap. Trim away the excess fabric underneath the button band.

13. Hem the sleeves and the bottom.


14. Cut the waistband piece out of brown fabric. With RST, sew the short ends together. Turn the tube right side out. Fold the long raw edges under 1/2in. and press. This waistband piece is now the belt – pull it over the shirt and topstitch it near where the button band meets the side seam [you may want to try the shirt on your child to figure out exactly where you want it].

15. Sew pants – I sewed some quick knit pants, which you could easily do following my baby pants or rockstar pants tutorials. You could also use store-bought pants and add these “boots” to the bottom.


16. Cut two “boots” – the fabric should be the width of your pant legs and go up 3/4 to the knee [mine were about 12.5in x 6.5in. when folded]. Sew up the long side. As with the belt, fold the top and bottom raw edges 1/2in. under and press. Pull them over the pant legs and topstitch down.


And once your little Jedi tries it on, he’ll immediately transform into Luke Skywalker, sound effects and all.

Luke Skywalker Costume Tutorial 3And every Jedi needs a lightsaber…


You can find the lightsaber tutorial here.


Oh how we love dress up at our house!

Click on the photos below to check out my costume tutorials from the last two years…

Make sure you pop over to The Train to Crazy to check out the other costume tutorials over the next few weeks. You’re sure to find lots of inspiration for your dress up box!

Classic Oxford Button-Up [Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop Tour!]

Thanks for stopping by today! If you’re here from Naptime Crafters and the Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop tour, welcome!

Peek-a-Boo Patterns has such a wide variety of kid patterns – for boys and girls. [Hooray for boy patterns!] When I got the chance to be part of Amy’s fall tour, I knew I had to try out the Classic Oxford.

Classic Oxford // If Only They Would Nap

I’m not going to lie… I was a little nervous. It looked a little complicated, but I was up for the challenge.


It turned out so.darn.cuuuuuute.


This pattern is definitely not for beginners. There were a few times I got frustrated with it [the sleeves just did not want to fit properly into the armhole - but Amy has tweaked the pattern pieces, so hopefully the next time it will go much smoother] and it wasn’t a quick sew, but I really love how it looks in the end. And the fit is spot on.


I used this ridiculously fabulous fabric [Weekends by Erin McMorris for Free Spirit - purchased from Drawstring Studio], paired with some oh-so-lovely green linen fabric to accent.


My machine and I were in a fight while I was sewing [which I was losing...], so I decided to forgo the button holes and use KAM Snaps And hellooo, buttons + a three-year-old who doesn’t like to dress himself = my nightmare.


Overall, the pattern gives you a super professional looking shirt. And there are so many ways you can personalize it. [recognize the Rockstar Pants from jeggings fabric? Tutorial found here]


Seriously, how adorable is he in this shirt? I definitely need to make more of these. Hmm, I’m thinking some coordinating Christmas button-ups for all the boys?

Make sure you pop over to Naptime Crafters and check out all the other stops on the fall tour.

fall 2013 tour

On Saturday, head back to Naptime Crafters to enter for a 10-pattern pack giveaway! [free patterns!! lots of exclamation points!!!] Plus, you can vote for your favorite look on the tour. The winning look gets a prize, so obviously you want to vote for me. Please. ;)

And, as if that wasn’t enough excitement, the Hang Time Basketball Shorts are on sale for only $4 today.

Hang Time Basketball Shorts

Happy sewing, friends!

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. I receive a teeny percentage of any purchases you make through these links. I received this pattern in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

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

Coastal Craze Baggies and Lazy Days Romper [peekaboo pattern shop tour!]

Hi friends! Today I’m excited to be a part of Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop’s summer tour! Amy has an amazing stock of children’s patterns. There’s something for everyone in every season.

Disclosure: I’m an affiliate of Peek-a-boo Patterns. I received these patterns in exchange for my review. All opinions are honest and my own, and this post contains affiliate links.

coastal craze baggies and lazy days romper Click here to visit Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop.

As I mentioned in this post, my kids are in need of some more summer clothes. So I knew I needed to sew up the Coastal Craze Baggies for my older boys and the Lazy Days Romper for my littlest ones.


Find the Coastal Craze Baggies here.

DSC_0627My five-and-a-half-year-old is super tall and skinny, so I made his with a size four waistband and a size six length. They fit perfectly. I upcycled an old sweatshirt for the shorts and the stripe fabric [which matches his brother's romper!] is from Girl Charlee.

DSC_0638My three-year-old’s are made from a woven [Michael Miller that I got from Anna awhile ago]. The 3T size was a perfect fit for him. This pattern goes all the way up to size 12, so we’ll be able to use this for a long time!

DSC_0645The romper went together really smoothly. It’s a little bit time consuming, with all the little arm and leg bands, plus the snap facings. But it’s worth it, because it is seriously cute. My son will be two at the end of July, and he fits nicely in the 24 month size. He wears cloth diapers, though, so it’s definitely a little snug. Since that is the largest size, I’ll probably extend the romper a little bit for him next time.

DSC_0632And baby got a romper too! This fabric [also from Girl Charlee] you might recognize from my Sew in Tune rockstar look.

DSC_0679He’s three months and fits perfectly in the three month size [even with cloth diapers!], though I’ll probably size up for the next one, just so he can wear it for the whole summer.

You can find the Lazy Days Romper pattern here.

DSC_0597Don’t they look set for summer? [some more enthusiastic than others...]

Make sure you check out all the other stops on the Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop tour! These ladies have all been sewing up some lovely things for their littles!

And what would a pattern tour be without a super fun giveaway? Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop is giving away a ten-pack of patterns to THREE lucky winners! So fun! Amy has designed such a wide variety of patterns for boys and girls, and every one has clear step-by-step instructions with photos that are easy to follow.
Click here to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Submarine Pullover

If you sew kids’ clothing and you don’t know Shwin Designs, you are missing out. Shauna creates fabulous patterns for both boys and girls, and they never disappoint. One of my favorites is the Nowhere Man Pants, which I have made and used as a starting point for pants many times.

So when I had the opportunity to test another pattern from Shwin Designs, I jumped at the chance!DSC_0578 This pattern is part of an amazing collection of patterns called Pattern Anthology – eight patterns by four designers [who are all so.darn.fabulous!] – but available for just a limited amount of time, only until March 24th!DSC_0589And like the other patterns I’ve made from Shwin Designs, this one was awesome. Clear instructions, great pictures, and seriously – look how amazing it is when you’re finished? I upcycled a men’s linen button-up shirt for the main fabric and had this super cute outdoorsy fabric [from Jo-Ann's] that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas that I used for the accent fabric.DSC_0581Since I was part of the testing phase, there was some tweaking that needed to be done on the hood. So I added a band of fabric to the front of my hood [which is not in the pattern] to make up for that. I actually really love it this way, though, and would totally make it again like that in the future!
DSC_0588I loved how this pattern came together so nicely. I’d say it could be a bit complicated for a beginning sewist [but she has plenty of other patterns that would be good for you!] And despite my super uncooperative model’s face, he really loves it. He just hates to model for me. Even with bribery.

[See the Surfer Slacks here, which are also from the Pattern Anthology collection.]

and p.s. i was given this pattern in return for testing it and giving my honest feedback, but i don’t get anything for telling you how awesome it is – or for telling you about the pattern sale. i just know that you will definitely want these patterns. :)