Category Archives: Crafting for Boys

Sewing for Boys Sew Along – Luka Hoodie

The Luka Hoodie was the August pattern for the Sewing for Boys Sew Along. I finished it a while ago (though not by the end of August), but I  hadn’t gotten around to taking pictures. Today we had an outing in the cold that offered the opportunity. Sewing For Boys - Luka Hoodie

I made this one out of a Michael Miller skateboard print that I had in my stash, a coordinating grey Kona cotton, and a lining of aqua flannel.

Sewing for Boys  - Luka Hoodie

For me, the pattern came together fairly easily. I did a careful read of the pattern before cutting and realized that the picture in the book does not jive with the cutting instructions, and I really did want my pocket to be in the skateboard fabric, so I had to account for that.

About half way through the project,  I bailed on on making the lining with no seams showing. I just wanted to get it done, and after looking at the diagrams, I couldn’t absorb the origami of how to make it work with no seam showing. Oh well. It’s on the inside anyhow.

Sewing For Boys - Luka Hoodie

Overall this is a really cute pattern. There are just a couple of things that bothered me about the finished product. One is the “v” on the chest where the bottom pocket joins the two top front pieces (just below the buttons.) It is hand stitched closed, and maybe it is just my hand stitching, but it shows horribly – where the machine stitching stops and the hand stitching starts.  It bothers me so much I might actually rip it out and find a way to machine stitch it closed. The other thing is that the elastic in the hood looks a bit wonky to me. I think I would like the hood better with a drawstring or no gathering at all. This may be because the only other hoodies I can compare to are either knit or ripstop nylon, none of which have elastic.  Other than those two details I liked this pattern.

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Sewing for Boys Sew Along – The Henry Shirt, Finally.

Okay, so I am a month and a half past the deadline for having this done for the Sewing for Boys Sew Along. But it’s done!

feeding my kid: the henry shirt

I ordered custom fabric for this shirt from Spoonflower. You don’t know Spoonflower? If you are at all addicted to fabric, don’t go there. No really. You will spend massive amounts of time, and possibly money, looking at all the gorgeous possibilities.

feeding my kid: the henry shirt

I had my eye on this VW bus print for a while. And then, the Henry Shirt pattern came up in the sew along. For some reason, the first thing that came to mind in looking at the pattern was retro bowling shirt. What better colors for a retro bowling shirt that blue and red? I had to buy the fabric, of course.  I paired it with a basic black kona cotton, and pearl snaps. My husband calls this shirt “Monkey’s hipster shirt”.

feeding my kid: the henry shirt

I actually finished this shirt at the end of July, but then we all got sick. Today was the first day that  I had an opportunity to photograph it. We went to a new (to us) playground, and Monkey was so excited that most of my shots looked like this:

“Bye Mom!”

I am surprised I got any decent shots at all.

This shirt was an advanced pattern, and I would say that it was correctly classified.  I have been sewing for 26 years (OMG – can I be that old?),  and have fairly advanced sewing skills (pattern alterations, matching plaids, etc.)  Still, there were a couple of points where I relied on the excellent tutorial by Thar She Sews. One was in attaching the side panels to the front panel – the shape of the pieces and the way in which it goes together is very counter-intuitive, and the figures in the book are not helpful on this point. Day four of the tutorial was very helpful. The other tricky spot for me was the collar. For the life of me, I could not tell which end was the bottom. Luckily, Krista’s day six tutorial  helped me out. The fact that she made this shirt in two high contrast fabrics was also helpful, because it allowed me to see how the front and side (and side and back) panels came together. This was something I couldn’t tell from the pictures in the book, which used two lower contrast fabrics. 

feeding my kid: the henry shirt

All in all, I liked the pattern a lot.  It took a lot of time to come together the first time, but I think if I made it again it would be quicker. Next time around I am thinking something more monochromatic.

Now, on to the Luka Hoodie to catch up with the sew along!

Like this post? Check out my other Sewing for Boys Sew Along Projects:

January – Raw Edged Raglan Tee

February – Kickin’ Back Pants

March – Easy Linen Shirt (okay, I didn’t make this, but the post is a round up of my favorites)

April – Treasure Pocket Pants

June – More Treasure Pocket Pants – yeah, I got a little behind in the Sew Along.

Sewing For Boys Sew Along – More Treasure Pocket Pants

Yeah, yeah. I know. The Sew Along pattern for June was the Henry Shirt.  I am working on it. But it’s not done yet.

While I was waiting for fabric to arrive in the mail for the Henry Shirt, I started thinking that all the items I have made so far have been for Monkey. This makes sense, because they will get handed down to Bulldog, and both kids get to wear them. But I felt the little man needed something handmade to call his own. Here he is, having stolen his brother’s Let’s Go Fishing Hat for pete’s sake.

So I made him a pair of Treasure Pocket Pants.

The car fabric has been in my stash for about two years. It is a Junko Matsuda print that I think I got on Etsy. I only had about a half yard, which is why the waistband on these is narrow, instead of the double elastic that the pattern calls for. I just ran out of fabric. I like the effect, though – we will see if that is enough elastic to hold them up. I actually had to use the pieces that I had cut for the pant leg cuffs, which is why these don’t have that either.

The green corduroy I picked up on sale at Joann. The original plan was to use it for a pair of Little Heartbreaker pants. When I saw the two fabrics together, they practically begged to be put together.

They are still a bit too big for Bulldog, which is just fine with me – plenty of time to grow into them.

Henry Shirt coming soon…

Toddler Bed Book Pockets Tutorial

I came up with this idea after seeing my son’s bed, day after day, look like this after his nap.

With a pile of books in the corner. I have actually found him asleep on top of books at times. I figured he needed a better system for keeping his books close at hand, yet away from his sleeping space. So I created these book pockets that hang on the side of his bed.  There are four pockets on the outside (see photo above) and one long  pocket on the inside, below.

Think your kid could benefit from some book organization? Here’s how to make this.

Materials

  • Double quilted fabric
  • Very wide (blanket binding size) double fold bias tape. I used black to match my double quilted fabric. You could choose to use a contrasting color as well.
  • Fabric for pockets (I used scraps from my stash in two different patterns)

Measurements are tricky for this, because not all toddler beds are the same size. I will give you the measurements that I used, but you will probably have to measure for yourself and create your pockets based on the size of your bed. 

From your quilted fabric, cut a rectangle that is the length and width you desire. This is the base to which you will attach your pockets. For mine, I cut a rectangle that was 31.5 inches long and 17 inches wide. Of that 31.5 inches, 21 inches was for the front piece, and 10.5 inches was for where it folds over the back for the inside pocket.

Make your pockets.  After testing a number of my kid’s books, I decided to make my pockets 6 inches deep. That seemed a sufficient depth to hold most of his books. Instead of making a front and a back to each pocket and sewing them together, I cut a piece that was 12 inches (2 x 6 inches) wide and 17 inches long (the width of my quilted fabric) Then, I folded my pocket in half to have a piece that was 6 x17. 

I applied a 12 x 17 piece of  interfacing  to the WRONG  side of each pocket piece so they hold their shape better.

Then fold in half RIGHT sides together, and stitch the long edge shut. That should give you a tube like this.

Turn it to the right side and press.

Next make your other two pockets. For these pockets you don’t need to make a tube. Cut two pieces of your pocket fabric, 12 inches x 17 inches. Apply interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric. Fold in half, WRONG sides together  to make a 6 x 17 rectangle. You don’t need to stitch it shut, because these end pockets will be covered with the blanket binding later, and you will stitch the bias tape, catching the pocket as you go. Nifty, eh?

Next, place your two end pockets on your quilted fabric and pin.

You want the edge with the fold edge facing toward the MIDDLE  of the quilted fabric, like this:

Next pin your middle pocket to the quilted fabric. I eyeballed it, using the position of the bottom fabric as a guide to determine placement. Then I measured to make sure that the pocket was level (I don’t think I had done that yet in the picture below – it looks wonky.)

Grab some books and check that your pockets are positioned well.

Stitch across the BOTTOM of the middle pocket (in my case, the stars fabric) close to the edge. You don’t need to stitch the sides, because the blanket binding will cover those too.

Next cut a piece of blanket binding the length of your quilted fabric.

Open it up, and pin it to the edge, covering all the layers of fabric, both the quilted and the pockets.

Like this:

Pin this really, really well. Blanket binding likes to twist. You will thank me later when you don’t have to rip it out because the twists and puckers are bothering you.

Edge stitch to attach the binding. Next, attach the binding to the other long side using the same method.

Next,  attach the binding to the short sides. Cut a piece of binding that is slightly longer than the edge. Open up the tape, and press under about a 1/4 inch to finish the edge. 

Pin to the short edges and stitch.

When you are done, it should look something like this.

Next you need to make ties for your pockets.

Cut four ties out of your blanket binding. They need to be about 4-5 inches long for easy tying. Open up the binding and turn under the edge and press, as you did with the short edge above. Stitch the folded, pressed edge shut.

Attach your ties. The best way to do this is to line it up on the toddler bed where you want it, pin it, and then pin and stitch your ties.

And there you have it, book organization for your toddler bed.

Sewing for Boys Sew Along – Kickin’ Back Sweats

The February pattern in the  Sewing for Boys Sew Along was the Kickin’ Back Sweats, a lounge pant you can make from either a knit or a woven. I opted for a dark blue knit that has been hanging around my stash since it was on closeout at the local fabric store.

 It is a darn good thing that February has 29 days this year, because I barely squeaked by getting these pants done by the end of the month. But done they are, and boy do I think they are cute. Since it’s February, it is snowing here today, so please excuse the low light in the photos.

They were super easy to whip up too. Even though I procrastinated until the last minute and barely got them done. The way I customized these was to add a reverse applique on the pocket. I saw a few people do reverse applique on the January pattern, the Raw Edged Raglan Shirt, and figured, why not.

Two stars in madras plaid (also on closeout –  I love madras plaid for boys and see a couple pair of shorts in my kids’ future). I just freehanded a star shape for this. And I used this tutorial to learn how to do reverse applique.

Then I just layered the plaid, the sweatshirt knit material, and the stars. I pinned them and stitched around the stars. I was careful not to get too close to the edges in my placement of the stars, because I knew that I needed to stich two layers together and turn it for the pocket, and I didn’t want the applique to run off the edge of the finished pocket.

Also, these ended up being too long for my 50th percentile height kiddo, so I did end up hemming the bottoms, even though one of the great details about this pattern is the unfinished hem.  What can I say – they are so cute that I want him to be able to wear them now. I’m impatient like that.

I see more of these pants in my kid’s future. He thinks they are super comfy. If you plan on making these, a few things you should know. They run big – as in long. I made the 2/3 for my 3 1/2 year old, and they were a good 2 inches too long. I think next time I will adjust the length accordingly, because hemming them did put the pocket at the very bottom of the pant leg. Also, the pant leg is very wide, almost like a bell bottom. I happen to think this is  adorable, especially since so many boys clothes look the same. If you don’t, then this may not be the pattern for you.

Sewing for Boys Sew Along – Raglan Tee

I have finally finished the January pattern for the Sewing for Boys Sew Along – the Raglan Tee. A while back, I was pondering what to make, and it occured to me that I had an old t-shirt that I wanted to repurpose. Only when I went to look for that t-shirt in my closet I couldn’t find it. But I did find this instead.

This shirt belonged to my dad. I stole it from him many, many years ago, because I love it. I actually wore it occasionally in college. It is a Hang Ten shirt and it is probably thirty years old, but I so love the brown yellow and blue stripes.

A while back,  there was some sort of mysterious laundry mishap that my husband still can’t explain, and this happened.

The Hang Ten feet melted somehow. Boo hoo! I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away, so it has been hanging in my closet for years. Until now, when I turned it into this:

The Raw Edged Raglan Tee from Sewing for Boys.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a three year old to be still while you try to photograph his shirt?

As part of the Sew Along, you have to make each pattern your own. So here are the changes that I made. First, I repurposed an old t-shirt (hello, Captain Obvious here) – but in doing that, I decided to save the hem of the old shirt for the new one. The pattern is a raw edged tee, and doesn’t have a hem, but since it was already there, I figured why not use it. I also decided to reuse the neckline ribbing from the old tee. I love how this turned out – the contrast between the dark and light brown.

In addition, I had this to contend with.

A tear, in the middle of the old t-shirt,  that made it impossible to cut around. I decided to do some “T-Shirt Triage” – explained in the book – and put the tear in the front of the raglan tee and use an applique to cover it.

Feet, of course! An homage to the Hang Ten logo. Made out of brown felt.

I had a blast making this. I can’t wait to see what next month’s pattern is.

Patching Boys Jeans with Style

Here is a sad little pair of Monkey’s jeans.

Patching boys jeans before

Truthfully, that hole was there when I bought them. At a thrift store for $1.50. It was smaller though, and I thought I could iron on a patch on the backside and keep the hole from spreading. Alas, I was mistaken, and the hole grew. And I knew I needed to figure out a way to get some more wear out of them. I REALLY didn’t want to do that dark blue square on the front that screams “My mom patched my jeans!”

Yes, there is some childhood trauma there.

Enter, the most excellent tutorial from Ashley at Make It and Love It, for the Boys UK Flag Jeans. Her tutorials are always so straightforward and easy to follow. The hardest part (well not really hard, but annoying) was that my jeans wouldn’t fit on my sewing maching arm, so I did have to rip the outside leg seam to be able to stitch the patch into the jeans.

These turned out awesome. And I used a pair of my jeans that were ripped beyond repair for the patch. I love free solutions.

patching boys jeans after

Here is a picture of Monkey in action wearing the finished product.

Awww.