Tag Archives: crafting for boys

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…

Sewing for Boys Sew Along – Treasure Pocket Pants

The April pattern for the Sewing for Boys Sew Along was the Treasure Pocket Pants. This made me happy, because I bought fabric for these a while back, and was anxious to get started on them. I think they turned out adorable.

I love the details on these pants. The side pockets, the faux fly, the cuffs, the double elastic in the waistband, the seam finishes.  This pattern is actually one of the reasons I bought the book.

A view of the waistband and faux fly is below. I didn’t get any pictures with the cuffs rolled up, darn it.

So let’s talk about the pattern.  If you plan to sew these, there is a pattern piece that is incorrectly sized  in the book. Go to this website (under the downloads tab) to print off the new pattern piece.

These pants have the most unusual construction techniques. There is the strange looking pattern piece for the front that had me wondering, “what the…?”  but eventually lead to the genius, and so very cute, faux fly.

And then there are the pesky side panel pieces, one of which is the incorrectly sized piece. I don’t think my problem was so much the pattern pieces, as something strange in the way that I read the instructions about attaching the side panel pocket to the side panel top. This is what I ended up with.

Grrrr. My completed side panels were about 1 to 1 1/2 inches too short. I ended up lining all the panels up at the waist, and using a rotary cutter to even up the bottoms, which isn’t a problem for me because my kid is short. But it did lead to problems down the road with the circumference of the hem facing piece being way too short.

But overall, I adore these pants and already have the fabrics picked out for a pair for my younger son. I think I might mess with the pattern pieces for the side panels, though, and create a piece that runs the entire length of the pants, and a pocket piece which attaches on top of it, which seems more intuitive to me.

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)

Sewing for Boys Sew Along – Easy Linen Shirt

So March was a crazy month for me. It was geared up to be crazy anyway, and then my dad died. I didn’t get a project done, or even started, for the sew along.  But others did, and here are some of my favorites.

This one from Melly Sews. LOVE the orange contrast stiching and the button tab.

Melissa (Melly) blogged about making this shirt here.

This one from Anna at Peachy Seam. Love the contrasting collar color, and the pockets. So creative!

You can read more about it  here.

This one from Rebecca at Threadbias. I really love the contrasting hem binding.


Rebecca blogged about it here.

This one from Laura at Craftstorming. I am so jealous of the awesome fabric she finds!

'Bike and Scooter' shirt

Read more about it here.

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.


Fabric is My Weakness

Really, it’s sort of like my kryptonite. Especially when I get inspired. Which I did, because my copy of Sewing for Boys just arrived in the mail. And because the Sewing for Boys Sew Along has started. For the January project (the raglan tee) I plan to repurpose this t-shirt.

Yes, that is a really big stain/mess on the front. More about that later.

I needed to pick up some contrasting knit fabric to go along with it. And then this happened.

The rest of the fabrics are for other projects from the book: 2 pairs of little heartbreaker pants (the striped linen and the green courderoy); brown and grey knit (one for the contrast to the above t shirt, one for another raglan shirt); and the denim and the print for the treasure pocket pants.

New fabric in a stack like that just makes my heart sing. Oh, the possibilities!

A (Mostly) Recycled and Handmade Christmas

Here is some of the stuff that I have been working on for the boys for Christmas.

Two toys for Bulldog, who is one and likes to sit and figure out how stuff works. A roller xylophone from the thrift store,  $1.99 and a Playskool pop-up toy from a consignment sale, $5.00. A little soap and water and some disinfecting spray, and they are good as new.

Felt food for Monkey, who is three and likes to play kitchen. I found the basket at the thrift store for 99 cents. I made all the food, which includes strawberries, a banana that comes out of the peel, lettuce, tomato slices, a fried egg and two pieces of bread. Other food is in the works, but I just didn’t get it done before the holidays.

Wooden blocks for both boys to add to our collection. This is a combination of two sets. One I found at a consignment sale for $4.50 – that one includes quite a few (if not all) HABA blocks, with interesting cylinder, bridge, and stair shapes. The other set I found at a thrift store for $2.99. It includes most of the primary colored blocks. I gave them a good wash/soak in the sink, then sprayed them with disinfectant.  Just for fun, I counted these before I wrapped them, and there were 99 blocks, which struck me as funny. Where did that last block go?

A dress up set for Monkey. I made the construction, king, and firefighter costumes. More on how to make these here. I found the firefighter and construction hats at the thrift store for 99 cents each. 

A bead maze for Bulldog. This is an IKEA bead maze, which I didn’t notice when I bought it at a consignment sale for $6.00. Now that we have an IKEA, $6.00 seems overpriced. But it was the “best-for-the-price” of the many bead mazes at this particular consignment sale.

It’s unfortunate that I am too frugal to buy new toys for my kids for Christmas. They are really deprived, don’t you think?