sewing for boys

FREE Summer Breezy Shorts Pattern for Boys!

For many of you, summer is starting to wind down. Here in Wisconsin, though, this is the time of year that keeps us going all winter long. So we are living it up outside as much as we can! My boys have been pretty rough on their wardrobes this summer – and have grown a LOT. So they were in need of some new play and sleep shorts. This FREE pattern, The Summer Breeze Shorts, is perfect for both! It’s a really quick sew (those are kind of my jam, in case you’re new here), and it’s also great for upcycling old pants!
My boys love to wear comfortable pants that they can move around in when they’re playing outside. They want to be able to jump, play basketball, and climb trees. But they’re also at the age where they don’t want little kid pajamas anymore (I can’t talk about it… I’m in denial that they’re that old). They love pants and shorts that double as lounge wear or pajamas, and these shorts fit the bill. Depending on the fabric you use, they can easily be sleep shorts, play shorts, athletic shorts… whatever your kiddos need!

These shorts are drafted for boys, but you may find them appropriate for your girls as well. For the pants above, the black pair is upcycled from a pair of my husband’s old athletic pants (I reused the waistband and pockets) and the grey pair is made from sweatshirt fleece. They are made to be a little more relaxed fit, longer shorts.

Materials:

  • knit, athletic fabric, sweatshirt fleece, french terry
  • 1inch non-roll elastic
  • sewing machine, thread, etc.

You can download your FREE copy of the Summer Breeze Shorts in my Facebook Group. The instructions will remain here on my blog. The layout of the pattern pieces is shown below:

Let’s Sew!

1. Cut out two front and two back pieces of your fabric. Put one front and one back piece right sides together. Sew down the long side and sew up the inseam (as shown by the pink lines). Repeat with the second leg.

2. Put one leg inside the other, right sides together. Sew along the crotch seam (shown in the picture not sewn).

3. Measure your child’s waist to determine elastic length. I used 1in. elastic, but if yours is slightly bigger, you will be just fine. Sew the ends together so it forms a circle.

4. I use a coverstitch for my waistbands, so I simply fold the waistband down over the elastic circle and sew the raw edge down. Do not sew over the elastic. You could also serge the edge of your fabric and sew it down with a stretch stitch for a similar effect. See the next photo for what to do if you don’t have a coverstitch.

If you don’t have a coverstitch, you could use a double needle or simply fold the raw edge under, pin in place, and sew the fabric in place. Do not sew over the elastic.

*You could also create a casing in the fabric and insert your elastic, but I much prefer to sew waistbands like this.

5. Hem your cuffs with about an inch hem (I recommend trying them on your child first).
So easy and Summer Breezy!!

Like I said, these are perfect for jumping. Ready, set…

…GO!

Don’t forget to head over to my Facebook Group to download the free pattern! This pattern would pair perfectly with the free Surfer Tank pattern, so grab that one if you don’t have it yet. 

This post was part of the Summer Fun series hosted by Emily of Life Sew Savory. I love this series, and it was so fun to be a part of it again! You can see the fun pool noodle boats I made for this series two years ago here!

Be sure to check out all the other summer fun posts over at Life Sew Savory!

Handmade Fish Toss Game by Patchwork Posse

Kids Hat Pattern/Tutorial Round Up – Made by Sara

Cute Dolls – Sprouting Jube Jube

Ruffle Knit Play Dress – Bonnie and Blithe

Cactus Cross Stitch by Story Piece

Free Boys Shorts Pattern by If Only They Would Nap

Travel Tic Tac Toe – Straight Stitch Designs

Dollhouse Rag Rug – Once Upon a Sewing Machine

 

10 Things to Sew for Baby from a Flannel Sheet

We’re in full-on baby prep mode over here, and I always have a few projects I want to sew before baby arrives. So when Dana of Sew Thrifty invited me to be a part of her Thrifty Baby Celebration, it made perfect sense to participate! I love to upcycle, and baby clothes and accessories are PERFECT for this, because they’re so small.  So I’ve collected a list of 10 things you can sew from a flannel sheet.
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Flannel is great for fall and winter babies, and flannel sheets are excellent for getting lots of yardage for little cost. Between thrift stores and clearance sales (and your linen closet!), you don’t have to spend a lot of money on flannel. Sewing for baby can be super inexpensive!

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1. Prefold diapers – this is one of my most popular tutorials and one of my most-used baby items. Because babies use a lot of diapers. ;) I’ve sewn quite a few from flannel sheets as well as flannel remnants.

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2. Bandana drool bib – some babies are super drooly or spit up all the time, and these little drool bibs are so cute and perfect to catch the mess before it gets on their clothes.

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3. Cloth wipes and burp rags – if you’re cloth diapering, cloth wipes make total sense and are super cost-effective. If you aren’t using cloth diapers, these are the perfect size for wiping little baby noses or cleaning up after a meal. And of course, burp rags are a must-have for every household with a newborn!

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4. Changing pad cover – the vinyl changing pads (affiliate link to the one I personally own!) are great places to change baby’s diaper, but they aren’t super comfy. Especially with a fall/winter baby, I hate to put baby down on a chilly surface. This same concept could also be used to make flannel crib sheets!

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5. Easy baby blanket – of course, every baby needs blankets! The yardage that you get in a flannel sheet is perfect for making extra blankets for gifts or for when your baby spits up all over his blanket and you need a clean one.

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6. Baby blanket with piping – the piping adds an adorable accent to a flannel baby blanket!

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7. Ragged baby blanket – how great would this blanket be to lay on the floor for baby to play on? Or to throw over the carseat when the weather is cold? It’s also perfect for the scraps leftover from all your flannel projects. ;)

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8. Flannel pants – While itty bitty babies probably aren’t going to use flannel pants as jammies, they’re still so cozy to wear on chilly fall and winter days. Plus, baby pants take so little time and fabric to sew!

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9. Seatbelt covers – since flannel is absorbent, these would do a great job at soaking up baby’s drool in the carseat. Not to mention how soft they are! Make sure these don’t interfere with the use of the chest clip, and use your own judgment as to whether or not adding this to your carseat is safe or not.

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10. Baby bibs – whether you’re soaking up drool or baby is venturing into the world of solid foods, bibs are a must-have. I’m pretty sure we have zero cloth bibs left in our house (because after four kids, they’ve all long since bitten the dust!), and I will be making a bunch of these from this free pattern.

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There are SEW many things you can make from a flannel sheet! Happy baby sewing. :)

Free Newborn Baby Hat Pattern

If you’ve been around the blog lately or following me on Instagram, you know that we’re just weeks (days??) away from welcoming baby boy number five. So I’ve been cooking easy meals and making last minute baby items. Baby pants are among my absolute favorite things to sew for babies, and I decided baby also needs some matching hats! I have a free hat pattern to share with you, so all the babies in your life can be covered from head to toe. :)free-newborn-baby-hat-pattern

Baby hats are a necessity for a fall or winter baby, and knit hats are just so cute and cozy.

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This pattern is super quick and easy to sew! It takes less than 1/4 yard of knit fabric, so you can use up some scraps.

Supplies:

  • less than 1/4yd knit fabric
  • thread
  • serger or sewing machine that can zig-zag
  • scissors or rotary cutter

Download your FREE Newborn Baby Hat Pattern

1. After you’ve taped the pattern together, cut out your fabric. This is how the fabric looks opened up:

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2. Fold the fabric right sides together and sew along the long curved side, leaving about 3 inches open on each end.

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3. Fold the fabric in half, wrong sides together – this will put your seam on the inside. Fold the hat as shown in the photo below, matching up the points. You will have four layers of fabric together. Sew all four layers together from one point to the side, using either a serger or a zig-zag stitch. If you are using a serger, leave the tails long. If you are using a zig-zag stitch, be sure to back-stitch at the ends.

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4. Turn the hat and sew together the next four layers of fabric. Again, leave the tails long if you’re using a serger.

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5. Continue to turn the hat, matching up the four layers of fabric, and sewing them together. All the seams should be coming together at a point at the top.

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7. When you’re finished with all the seams, it should look like the photo below. If you used a serger, tie all the tails so they don’t unravel before cutting them.

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Now turn your hat right side out and cuff!

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Since I don’t have a baby to model this hat yet, this old baby doll of mine will have to do. ;)

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It’s obviously a little big for the doll, but will be perfect for baby!

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This baby hat pattern goes perfectly with my free newborn baby pants pattern!

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I mean seriously… how cute is this??!! I think baby might be coming in home in one of these outfits!

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The brown striped pants were upcycled (which is also why they’re longer… since my babies tend to grow longer instead of chubbier, I didn’t bother to cut the pattern shorter to account for re-using the hem). The arrows came from Raspberry Creek Fabrics, and the plaid from Girl Charlee.dsc_8291-copy

Don’t forget to download your FREE Newborn Baby Hat Pattern!

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Happy baby sewing!

15 Minute Pencil or Make-Up Pouch Tutorial

With school starting again, your kiddos are probably in need of a place to keep all their school supplies. Even homeschoolers like us need a spot to stash our pencils and markers. Don’t have kids in school? This zipper pouch is perfect for make-up, your secret chocolate stash, or even carrying a couple diapers and wipes! And the best thing is that it only takes about 15 minutes to make!15 Minute Pencil or Make up Pouch

This project is so simple, all you need is a small scrap of fabric and a zipper. What size zipper? This depends on what you want to put in your pouch! If you want to put school supplies in it, make sure it’s long enough to fit your pencils. Just make-up? Use a shorter zipper!

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While you can make this with regular quilting cotton, I recommend a heavier weight fabric to give the pouch some stability. I used a home dec weight fabric (I’ve had both of these in my stash for awhile, so I’m not exactly sure what they are).

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The longer (blue/green) pouch: 12 x 14in. fabric, 11in. zipper (cut from a longer zipper)

The shorter (grey/white) pouch: 9 x 14in. fabric, 7in. zipper

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Ready to get started?

1. Cut the fabric to your desired size. Serge or zig-zag the edges to prevent fraying.

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2. If needed, cut your zipper to fit your pouch. Zig-zag a short stitch where you’d like the zipper to end.

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3. Press the short ends of the fabric over (wrong sides together).

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4. Pin one folded edge to one side of the zipper. Using your zipper foot, stitch the two together.

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5. Open the zipper and repeat with the other side.

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6. Turn the pouch inside out and fold it so the zipper is in the center.

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7. Push the zipper down a small amount. Beginning at the folded edge, zig-zag across the entire end of the pouch (making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end). Be sure to keep to the right of the metal zipper stop.

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8. Reinforce the zipper by sewing back and forth several times across the zipper.

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9. Open the zipper halfway and repeat step eight to sew the other end of the pouch closed.

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Turn the pouch right side out and fill with your favorite pens (affiliate link… because seriously, these are my favorite pens!)

Simple Pencil Bag Tutorial

How much would your kiddo love to take his or her school supplies in a custom made pencil bag? Plus, you can make this faster than you can drive to the store to buy one. ;)

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The possibilities for these pouches are endless! These would be perfect for a teacher gift, don’t you think?

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I’m going to fill one with our art supplies for when the kiddos and I go on nature walks. We can keep it with our art journals for a quick grab-and-go! And that grey one has already been claimed as my new make-up bag. ;)

DIY Pencil or Make up Pouch

What will you fill your pouches with??

Happy sewing!!

Preparing for Baby: Portable Diaper Changing Mat Tutorial

We’re preparing for baby number five over here, and while we have most of the big things, there are a few things I’ve had on my to-make list. Somewhere along the line, I lost our portable diaper changing mat, and I really missed it with my fourth baby! And since you spend about thirty trillion hours changing a baby’s diapers, I had to make a new one.
Portable Changing Mat Tutorial

 

I just hit my third trimester, and I’m in full baby prep. I still have a ways to go before baby arrives, but you just never know when he will arrive! So I’m stocking up on everything we might need: clean onesies, pacifiers, nursing pads, and of course, DIAPERS! Walmart Neighborhood Market has everything we need for baby and more.

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When it comes to a portable changing pad, I wanted to have something that I could grab from my diaper bag and have everything I need. I don’t always like to take the diaper bag everywhere, so having a pocket for diapers and wipes was very important to me.

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One side of the changing mat is waterproof PUL (I also used that when making this wet bag), the other is cotton, with a layer of fleece in between.

Supplies:

  • 1 piece of cotton, fleece, and PUL fabric, each cut about 29x12in. (You can change this to suit your needs, of course)
  • 1/2in wide double fold bias tape, approx. 66in.
  • 1 small lingerie bag
  • KAM snaps
  • 1 button
  • 1 small piece of 1/8in. elastic
  • pins or Wonder Clips

1. Cut your three pieces of fabric to about 29x12in. My PUL was not long enough, so I pieced it together to get my desired length.

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2. Stack all three layers together. The fleece should be sandwiched between the cotton and PUL. The wrong sides of the PUL and cotton should be facing the fleece. Fold the fabrics in thirds as shown:

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3. Decide where you want your snaps to go – these will hold your mat closed. Unfold one third and mark where you’ll place your snaps.

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4. Apply your snaps. The snap in the PUL layer should ONLY go through the PUL. The snap on the cotton should ONLY go through cotton and fleece.

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5. Round out the four corners of ALL layers.

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6. Clip or pin the layers together.

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7. Take your lingerie bag and cut a few inches off the bottom (this will depend on how long your bag is and how large you’d like your pocket – you want it to be no bigger than 1/3 of your changing mat)

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8. Lay the lingerie bag down on top of the cotton side of your mat – the end WITHOUT the snap. Cut around the edges to round it to the same shape. You will cut off a small bit of the zipper on each side, so make sure your zipper is open slightly.

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9. Sew a small loop of elastic to the center of your lingerie bag (don’t sew onto your changing mat fabric, though!!)

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10. Hand sew one button onto the cotton/fleece fabrics. Do NOT sew through to the PUL.

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11. Now begin sewing on the bias tape around the edges. The bias tape and the mat should be right sides together. Fold 1/4in of your bias tape back as shown, and begin stitching it down along the first fold.

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12. Sew all the way around, taking care to sew the edges of the lingerie bag too, until the ends of the bias tape overlap 1/4-1/2in.

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13. Now fold the bias tape over the raw edge of the mat, clipping or pinning it together. Stitch it down carefully.

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Now you have a changing mat with two pockets, ready to be stuffed!

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Here it is, folded up and stuffed to the max with Huggies diapers, Huggies wipes, and anything else we might need.

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Over the years, we’ve used just about every type of Huggies diaper there is – we currently have kids wearing Good Nites to bed and one nearly-completely-but-not-entirely potty trained kiddo using the occasional Pull-Ups. And in a few months, we’ll be adding a newborn to the mix. Goodness…. so. many. diapers. I’m so thankful for diaper coupons!!

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Your Walmart Neighborhood Market has coupons for Huggies Diapers and Wipes, because with as many diapers as these babies use, we could all use a few coupons! But Walmart Neighborhood Markets have great prices to begin with, so the coupons are a bonus.

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I forgot how teeny baby diapers are! Eek!!

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Is it weird to be excited about changing diapers again?? Probably. ;)

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I’m so glad I have a portable changing mat again! It will be perfect for throwing in the diaper bag or stroller and giving me a nice clean, soft surface to change baby wherever we are.

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I love that I can stock up on all our baby diapering needs at Walmart Neighborhood Market, grab GoodNites for our bigger boys, and find whatever else we might need for all the kiddos – all at the same spot. One stop shopping is a busy mama’s dream!

Portable Diaper Changing Mat Tutorial

Before I know it, there will be a real baby lying on that mat!

Another Basketball Jersey!

Another day, another basketball jersey! My oldest participated in a library reading program a couple months ago that sent him to see the Milwaukee Bucks for free. His first NBA game! He was SO ridiculously over the moon, but he didn’t have any Bucks gear. I couldn’t let this happen, so I whipped up another DIY Basketball Jersey for him to wear!
Another DIY Basketball Jersey

This one was a little easier, since it’s made of knit. I didn’t have to modify the neck at all, and I didn’t add a side panel.

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I took the shoulders in a little bit more than the one I made of mesh. And since the original pattern has the yoke and sleeves all in one piece, I rounded out the armscye to make an actual hole for the arm to go through.DSC_6467 copy

This pattern goes up to a size 8, which was perfect for my skinny man, with a couple inches added for length.

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It’s super easy to add heat transfer vinyl (affiliate link) to knit, so I asked him the number of his favorite player and used the number templates that come with the pattern. Just don’t ask me who the player is… I have no idea!

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Two jerseys down… probably at least 30 more to go in my lifetime! ;)

DIY Basketball Tutorial and Pattern Hack

Back in March, my boys were gearing up for March Madness and we were living and breathing basketball around here. My boys are huge basketball fans, and my four-year-old is always stealing his older brother’s Wisconsin jersey. So I made him his own! I grabbed my copy of the Just a Jersey T-shirt pattern from Blank Slate Patterns and hacked it into a basketball jersey.DIY Basketball Jersey

This pattern is designed for knits, but I used an athletic mesh fabric without any stretch. Before putting the pattern together, I widened the neck and lengthened the neckband to account for the lack of stretch. (And I made sure it would fit over my son’s head before I sewed it all together – don’t skip that important step!)

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The Just a Jersey pattern has sleeves built into the yoke, but I wanted the jersey to be sleeveless. To do this I simply cut off the pattern piece after the seam allowance notch (where you’d sew down the side seams).

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After sewing the yoke, neckband, and the front and back pieces, I also wanted contrasting side panels. To do this, leave about an inch free on either end, when sewing the front and back pieces on (you can see that on the red fabric above). Cut a side panel that was the same length as the front and back pieces. Then cut out a scoop for the armhole.

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Sew one side of the side panel to the back piece.

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Then line up the yoke and back pieces, and finish sewing across through to the side panel. Repeat with the other side of the side panel and again with the next side panel. Fold the raw edge of the armhole under and hem.DSC_6063 copy

I had hoped to add a number to the front and back of the jersey with heat transfer vinyl, but I could NOT get the vinyl to stick to the athletic mesh. But we can still root for our Badgers without it. ;)

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All my little basketball loving boys are asking for their own jersey now, so it’s a good thing I ordered lots of this fabric!

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This jersey has gotten a lot of wear in the last few months, and now it’s the perfect lightweight shirt for summer!

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Hooray for sewing!

Surfer Tank – FREE tank top pattern!

Today I’m over at Our Chez Nous, helping Julie celebrate Boy Sewing Week! We all know how much I love sewing for boys, so I couldn’t pass this one up. Head over there to hear my thoughts on summer wear for boys. And as part of Boy Sewing Week, I have a free tank top pattern to share! The Surfer Tank is available in sizes 3-6. While it’s drafted for boys, you may find it appropriate for your girls too!Surfer Tank

The Surfer Tank is a pretty quick sew. I sewed these three tanks, as well as the three pairs of shorts in the picture, in a day and a half (while somehow managing to not ignore my children in the process ;)

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It’s been pretty warm lately, with a few really HOT and humid days, so my boys have been in need of some more tank tops.

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For this pattern, you’ll want to use a knit fabric that isn’t super thin. While that’s comfortable to wear, that can make the binding trickier to sew, so I don’t recommend it. Because the tank is a slightly looser fit, you can use a knit that has between 10-30% stretch. You can use ribbing for the bindings, but I like to use a fabric that’s similar to what the tank is made of.

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Are you so excited to sew a Surfer Tank?! :)

Download your FREE Surfer Tank Pattern here

1.Cut out the front and back of the tank top – these will use the same pattern piece, but the front of the tank will use the lower neckline.

2. Put the front and back pieces right side together. Sew the shoulders together.

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3. Sew down the side seams.

4. Cut out the binding pieces. Measure around the armscye/neckline. Take 85% of that number to get the length of your binding. The stretch of the fabric should go lengthwise. (If your fabric is super stretchy or a lot stretchier than the main fabric, you may have to use 80%) Each piece should be 1 1/4in. wide. Take the bindings pieces and fold them right sides together, sewing the short ends together.

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5. With right sides together, pin the binding to the armscye/neckline. You will slightly stretch the binding.

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6. Serge or zig-zag the fabrics together.

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7. If you are not using a coverstitch, you will bring the binding to the wrong side of the dress, folding the raw edge under. Use a double needle to stitch it in place.

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If you are using a coverstitch, it’s not necessary to fold the raw edge under.

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Repeat these steps with both armholes and the neckline.

8. Hem the bottom of the tank top using a 1/2in. hem.

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And show off those pipes!!

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My boys are ready for summer fun in their Surfer Tanks!

Download your FREE Surfer Tank pattern here

Duds for Dudes Tour

Today I’m joining up with the Duds for Dudes Tour with Mabel Madison fabric shop! If you’ve never purchased from Mabel Madison, you are truly missing out!Duds for Dudes If Only They Would Nap

Disclaimer: I was given a discount for my purchases for being part of this blog tour, but all opinions are my own.

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Sometimes finding boy-friendly fabrics can be tricky. But what I love about Mabel Madison is they have such a wide selection!DSC_6312 copyLet’s talk first about this knit. Sewing knits is my jam, and ohmygoodness I’m in love with this Adorable Animals Euroknit! It is luscious. The perfect thickness, and this print! I can’t even handle who much I love it.

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This print is available in a pink colorway too, and if I had a girl, I would totally buy them both. The tee is self-drafted, and is my favorite style of tee to make for my littles.

DSC_6295 copyNow onto the pants! I adore these pants. I used the same self-drafted pattern for the pants I made for Project Run and Play  (you can also see I made the same style shirt… see? I told you how much I love it!). I adore flared pants on little boys.

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The denim twill in fire red from Mabel Madison is absolutely amazing. I often find twill to be stiff, even after it’s been washed, but that is NOT the case with this twill. It’s soft – but not too soft – and sturdy.

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It’s perfect for pants! My little guy loves to run and jump and climb and play in the woods around our house, and these do not hold him back. They’ll definitely take awhile before the knees bust out (which is an inevitability in our house).

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Psst: the pockets have some Spiderman fabric from my stash in the pockets… that was a big hit. ;)DSC_6372 copy

The vintage piping is the perfect touch. I really do love piping on pants. :)

DSC_6380 copyBoth the shirt and pants will eventually be patterns – I have about five in my queue right now. Moving threw me off schedule a bit, but I have some coming soon. Make sure to join my Facebook group, because I’ll be looking for testers for my next patterns within the next few weeks!
DSC_6321 copyI’m so glad to have been a part of the Duds for Dudes tour! I love supporting indie fabric shops, and Mabel Madison carries such high quality fabrics and have such fabulous customer service that I can put my firm stamp of approval on their brand.

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Make sure you check out all the other stops on the Mabel Madison week-long blog tour focused on sewing for BOYS!

Sew Happily Ever After

handcrafted by RED

If Only They Would Nap… (you’re here!)

Mabel Madison

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Tie T-Shirt Tutorial and FREE appliqué pattern!

If you ask me, there are few things cuter than brothers in matching shirts. For Valentine’s Day this year, I made my boys these super adorable tie t-shirts, but how great would these be for Easter as well?! You can whip one of these up with this free tie appliqué pattern!

Tie Tshirt TutorialThese t-shirt ties are easy to make and you can make them for any holiday – or even everyday wear!

tie shirt tutorial for boysSupplies:

  • t-shirt
  • woven (non-stretchy) fabric
  • sewing machine/thread
  • scissors
  • pins
  • optional: Wonder Under (affiliate link)

1. Download and print out the Tie Tshirt Pattern. Use it to trace and cut your tie(s).tie tutorial step 1

2. Pin the fabric onto the front of the t-shirt. The top of the tie pattern has a curve that follows the neckline, so you can pin it right underneath the neck. Optional: fuse your tie fabric to the front of the T-shirt using Wonder Under – this will help your tie to stay in place without shifting.tie tutorial step 2

3. Using a wide but short zig-zag stitch, sew along the outside of the tie. Keep the tie fabric flat. I like to go over my stitching a second time to make sure the fabric is secure in place.tie tutorial applique step 3

Tip: when stitching the tie, you’ll have to finagle your shirt a bit. I recommend beginning on one side, sewing down to the bottom. Then, start back at the top and sew to the bottom along the opposite side.tie tutorial step 3

I used the same pattern for both my two and four year olds, without changing the size, but you could easily scale the pattern up or down to make it suited for an older or younger child.boys valentine shirt

Then pop those shirts on your little cutie patooties! And share your photos with me on Instagram, so I can see your sweet boys in their tie tees.free pattern for boys tie tshirt

Brothers in matching shirts – seriously, is there nothing quite so adorable?!boy valentine tie shirt

DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE TIE PATTERN HERE

Now go make your little men some adorable tie T-shirts!Tshirt Tie FREE pattern and tutorial

Happy sewing!