Striped Birthday Tank

Boy number three turned four yesterday. To celebrate, I made him a striped tank.

striped tank 1

The tank is self-drafted and upcycled from an XL men’s tank top.

striped tank 6

The stripes on this tank are so rad. I love finding t-shirts on clearance to use as fabric, because sometimes you can find some fabulous prints that you can’t find elsewhere.

striped tank 4

Tanks are quick and easy; I made this one in less than 20 minutes – including a serger re-thread!

striped tank 5

He loves this tank so much, he insisted on sleeping in it as well. Point one for mama-made!

striped tank 7

I used ribbing for the neckline and coverstitched the armholes. You can get this same effect with a double needle.striped tank 8
I love four. When they’re really out of toddler-hood, but not quite a kid. You can reason with them, but they still curl in your lap and need you to kiss their owies. So perfect. :)

Happy sewing, friends!



No Doubt inspired sewing: Sew in Tune

Today I’m letting the music be my muse, with one of my favorite blog series: Sew in Tune! I super love this series, put on by Stacey of Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts and Melissa of Melly Sews (you can see my looks from previous years here and here). Last year I came across an amazing pair of pants that were crying out to be upcycled, and as soon as I saw them I thought of Gwen Stefani.
No Doubt inspired sewing for Sew in Tune

If you’re a fan of 90s rock (and if not, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore. kidding. sort of.) you certainly know No Doubt. I was a huuuuge No Doubt fan in the 90s. In the Spiderwebs music video, Gwen Stefani wears these rad plaid pants:

So when I found a pair of red plaid pants at a thrift store, I knew they’d be perfect for this song. I mean, red.plaid.pants. What’s not to love?


 Communication, a telephonic invasion
I’m planning my escape…


In a nod to the old school phones all over the place in the video, I appliquéd one onto my little guy’s shirt and free motioned the phone cord. Of course, he has never seen a phone like this in his life. But 90s rock is educating in so many ways.DSC_3650

Sorry I’m not home right now
I’m walking into spiderwebs
So leave a message
And I’ll call you back


I re-used the existing waistband from the original pants, because I loved the three silver snaps. The fabric has a little bit of stretch to it, so they’re super comfy. I kinda wish I would have made this look for me instead, though I’m not sure I’d rock it quite as well as he does!DSC_3702

The pants have a little flare – I made them almost the same as these pants, and I’m thinking of drafting them into a pattern, because I love the fit.DSC_3782

The shirt? It’s a self-drafted top that’s upcycled from a jersey bed sheet. I love the stripe-plaid combo, and feel like Gwen would approve.


A likely story, but leave a message
And I’ll call you back

There are many more Sew in Tune posts that you have to see (and you’ll probably get a song or two stuck in your head)! Make sure you check them out over at Melly Sews and Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts. Plus, head over there this weekend for an awesome giveaway!

Happy sewing!

Striped Tanks

I’ve been trying to beef up my boys’ summer wardrobes. My oldest has grown out of most of last year’s shirts, and my almost two-year-old doesn’t have quite as many hand-me-downs as his older brother did. These boys are pretty tough on their clothes.DSC_0345

So I sewed up a couple tanks. Similar to this tank and this one I made last year.DSC_0385This one even uses the same fabric.DSC_0353The neckline ended up a little big on this neon one [um, neon stripes?! love.] But it’s still wearable. Just a little breezier… ;)DSC_0329This one started out as a T-shirt, but my boy had other plans. He asked for a tank top with a pocket. Well, how could I deny this adorable face?DSC_0397I may have a slight stripe obsession. Maybe. I’m not admitting anything.

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!

Stripes and Polka Dots – sewing along with PR&P

Have you been following along with Project Run and Play? If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s an online sewing/design competition for kids’ clothing. It’s super fun and introduces you to lots of fabulous kids’ clothing designers/bloggers.

Along with the competitors, they have a weekly Sew Along where those of us not part of the competition can enter our own outfits. The outfits should go along with the theme for the week. This week the theme is Stripes and Polka Dots.


If you’ve read my blog… well, ever… you probably know my love for stripes. For myself, for my boys. Especially for my boys. I have a ridiculous amount of striped fabric in my stash right now – especially knits. [seriously, someone may need to come over for an intervention soon]


The pants have both stripes and polka dots – the teeny polka dots are tucked away in the pockets and waistband. I love the two together.


The pants are loosely taken off Shwin & Shwin’s Nowhere Man Pants [which I’ve made before and love]. I say loosely, because I just traced this pair and made it a slimmer fit and didn’t pull out my pattern pieces at all. I also lowered the pocket pieces down a bit, to show off the polka dots a bit more.


The shirt is a self-drafted pattern, and the polka dots were painted on using a jelly jar. I kind of want to paint everything this way now, that’s how much I love how it turned out.


I’m also in love with the mustard knit I used for the neckline and cuffs.

DSCF7340I don’t think I would have paired stripes and polka dots together without the Project Run and Play inspiration, and I’m so happy with how it turned out.


Have you been sewing along? I think next week is Boy Week, so I’m hoping to have time to sew an outfit to join in on the fun again!


*Linking up to Make it Wear it at The Train to Crazy*

Comfy Overalls – the Naptime Pants!

Little boys wearing overalls. Seriously, can it get any cuter?

Well, he is my kid, so I’m probably biased.

But the one problem I have with overalls is that most of them are denim with all these buckles and whatnot – which aren’t always super comfortable for baby taking a nap. [and a no-napping baby makes for a no-happy mama]

So I made a super comfy pair of jersey knit overalls for my little guy.

I added some simple embroidered stars in yellow and orange – not blue, on the off chance [fat chance?] baby number four is a girl.

The T-shirt underneath is upcycled from a shirt that I loved in college and couldn’t bear to part with. And now I don’t have to. It ended up a little big [which is what you get for sewing and not measuring during naptime!], but this way it will last through the long, LONG winter.

I’m going to tweak my overall pattern a bit, because it didn’t turn out exactly how I pictured in my head. But hey – I did my first snap-crotch! [and seriously, can someone please tell me something else I could call that?]

Here’s to stripes and overalls that make babies nap! Or something like that…

KCWC: Color Block Striped Tee

I decided I needed a little quicker project, after the pants I worked on the past couple of days. One that wasn’t quite as detail oriented.

So obviously a striped T-shirt is the way to go!

This shirt is made with a combination of striped, knit fabric I scored from a rummage sale and an upcycled T-shirt. The tee is made from my own pattern [also known as “winging it”]

Here’s a shot of the back: a little color blocking to kick the stripes up a notch.

Despite the look on his face, he loves it. Put it on and wouldn’t take it off. And he wore it with yesterday’s pants… even though they didn’t match at all. He called the outfit his “sewing clothes.” Never grow up, little boy.

Linking up with Make it Wear it.

An Upcycled Slim Fit Tank

A couple weeks ago, I made my oldest this upcycled, striped tank.

It’s upcycled from a Target clearance tee [$2 for an XXL, if you’re wondering]. Once again, marrying my love of stripes and refashioning.

The ribbing was also upcycled, from an old tank of mine. It was WAY stretchier than the ribbing I used for the original tank, though, and even though I tried to cut it smaller, my neckline still ended up a little wonky. But not enough for me to rip it out and re-do it.

I said “show me your muscles!” Blank stare. Oh, four-year-olds… love ’em. ;)

The Slim Fit Tank

The weather around here is not quite summer… or even spring, really. But eventually summer will come, and a certain four and a half year old doesn’t have any tanks.

Well, thank you Kids Clothes Week Challenge, we now have the first tank of the season.

This is a self-drafted pattern [that I’m hoping to make available to you soon!] that I’m dubbing the Slim Fit Tank. It reminds me of the tanks from the late 70s/early 80s. The hubs even said, “I wore shirts like that when I was little” when he saw it.

*Edited: I originally called it the Throwback Tank, but then I remembered Rae’s Flashback Tee, and suddenly my name sounded like a cheap knockoff. And no one likes a copycat. ;)

The shirt is made of a striped jersey knit that I’m kind of in love with (purchased from but no longer available), with the ribbing up cycled from two different tees.

It’s perfect for my super skinny dude.

Yes, yes, there will be more Slim Fit Tanks in my future. And goofy four-year-old photo shoots.

Linking up to:

The Southern Institute

Short to Long Sleeves – a Quick and Easy Tutorial

Truth be told, long-sleeved shirts get much more wear around here than short-sleeved. While our summer season isn’t very long [insert sad face here], we do have a great spring and fall.

So when I found a grey polo for my two-year-old on clearance, I snatched it up, knowing that I wanted to change it from short to long sleeves. Partly for weather reasons, partly because seriously, a plain grey polo… well, it’s plain.change a shirt from short to long sleeves in 10 minutes

So, grab your plain old short sleeved tee, and get started!

I cut off and used the sleeves of a different shirt to make this quick fix… super quick. If you don’t have a shirt to use [but I know you do – check the back of your closet – you’ll find one!] you’ll have to make some tubes for sleeves. But by using existing sleeves, you don’t have to worry about hemming or much cutting.

Next, I used the sleeves of a shirt my little guy already wears as a guide for how long to make the sleeves. You want to cut your sleeve to be just above where you are going to sew it.

The shirt sleeve was a little larger than I needed it, so I just trimmed it down a bit. How much you trim will depend on how wide your kiddo’s shirt sleeve is and how wide the one is that you’re going to attach.

Now zig-zag stitch across the open side of the sleeve.

Then simply pin the shirt sleeves inside your short sleeves. Stitch with a straight stitch along the existing stitching. [say that three times fast…]

Bye bye, plain short-sleeved polo.

Linking up here