Sewing for boys: My Little Jedi

I have a feeling this is going to be a sporadic, ongoing series, at least while Hobbit is in the age range that I can sew things for him without him protesting. Because one of the first things I’ve learned about being a (future) boy mom who sews is that it’s a lot harder than it should be to find cute patterns/good fabric with boys in mind. I’m more hopeful about the patterns than I was initially, since recently finding an Ottobre magazine at the local Barnes & Noble/joining a Facebook group specifically focused on sewing for boys. But the fabric is still tough. Especially if I’m looking for anything that isn’t quilt cotton or doesn’t cost over $10 for just half a yard. (Which is all the fun prints I’ve found so far.)

Yoda shirtAll that to say, I made a baby shirt. And it’s geeky. Because that’s how I roll. (Though, for the record, I think this totally counts as gender-neutral. After all, girls like Star Wars, too!)

My fabric stash is going to be challenging to shop for boy clothes, because frankly, I don’t have a lot of stuff that suits–if the color is right, the fabric is usually wrong (too delicate/drapey/etc) and so on. So I was quite pleased that I was able to construct this shirt completely from my scraps! The black is leftover bamboo-blend rayon pieces from the maxi-dress I recently made, and the cream is some leftover scraps from a knit top I made years ago. I guess I’d been thinking they were large enough scraps that I could use them to attempt to make undies or something, and that’s why I still had them? But both pieces are very soft, which are perfect for baby wear. And since I used the same multi-piece pattern that I used for those hockey pants, this shirt was essentially free! I’m happy that I finished it within the SHB Sewalong timeframe, too.

Stencil closeupAs for the stencil, I remembered that I have a scrapbook cutting tool that will use any True Type font that I have on my computer to cut shapes. (Why didn’t I remember this when I was making those bibs last fall? Oh well…cutting those stencils was one of the only crafty things I was feeling up to at the time, anyway.) So I used that and some freezer paper to cut this Yoda quote out of a Star Wars-looking font. It worked pretty brilliantly, other than my evil, possessed ex-iron deciding to spew water all over the stencil when I ironed it on. The result was a little bleeding here and there where the fabric was still damp when I started working. It ended up being for the best, though– I used some other paint in my stash to outline the letters in yellow to help cover the messy bits up, and ended up liking it so much better with the pop of color than I did when it was plain black! I can still sort of see the parts where it had bled, especially around that comma, but it looks a lot better than it did.

Neckline detailThe one major change that I made to this pattern was the shoulder edging. The original instructions called for turning those little curved edges under and hemming them. That seemed rather fiddly to me, and like I’d just be setting myself up for rippling and frustration–especially given the state of my iron. So I cut an extra 1/4″ off each edge instead, cut some bias strips out of the black knit, and treated it more like a binding. So much easier, even with trying to stitch in the ditch around tiny curves to get the underside to stay in place, and I like the contrast better than I think I would have liked the plain cream.

I made this in the medium size, which looks like it corresponds roughly to somewhere in the 6-12 month range. Baby clothes sizing still baffles me, to be honest. I’ve actually resorted to hanging the onesies that I currently have in the closet by length, because they’re all supposed to be the same size, but they don’t look it at all! So I figured that if I go by length, I might be able to make faster guesses at what might fit him vs. not. Anyway, the point of all that is that I’m hoping this means he’ll still fit into this shirt next May 4th. Yes, I already made him a shirt for his first Star Wars Day. I already have his first Halloween costume plotted out, too. What’s your point?

On a side note, I’ve also learned that it’s almost impossible to find boy clothes with a sports theme that actually reference hockey. At least in the US–it’s all baseball and football and occasionally basketball. Since Doug only cares about hockey and especially dislikes baseball, we’ve actually been passing the sportsy hand-me-down clothes we’ve been given to a good friend of mine who’s due to have a boy about 6 weeks after me–clothes are all she’s needed, since she already has a young daughter, and her husband is a lot more into sports in general. Also, now that Doug knows I have a machine that will let us make custom stencils, he requested that I help him decorate one of the plainer onesies that we’ve had passed on to us. The result?

https://igcdn-photos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/t51.2885-15/11085068_1558879861044348_2079045648_n.jpgAccording to him, this font is one that gets used on some professional hockey gear. I did the machine set-up/ironing, he stenciled the black, and then I outlined it with the gold again so it would be closer to Pittsburgh Penguins colors. He had a lot of fun showing this one off to various local friends–we live in Flyers country, of course, and he likes trash-talking them–and I have a feeling he’ll want me to make more hockey-themed clothes in the future!

(Completely unrelated side note: Blogger is telling me this is my 900th post on here–crazy!)

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3 thoughts on “Sewing for boys: My Little Jedi

  1. ha ha, love them. Baby clothes sizes can be a bit random, in the UK I found that ones bought from supermarkets came out a lot bigger than those bought in a clothes shop, so going by length seems sensible. Also look out for ones roomy enough to take a real nappy.
    And if he's in those stencilled ones after he starts weaning, you're never going to notice any smudges on the lettering under the food stains!

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  2. Haha–I guess I'd better start researching how to remove random stains from laundry! I actually did end up with an entire bag of hand-me-down clothes that I'm just passing straight to the thrift store, because I do feel weird about dressing my kid in mystery-stained clothes. Even if it is from one of Doug's relatives. I'll just let them decide what to do with those.

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  3. Pingback: Sewing for Boys: a birthday shirt for Hobbit | sew adagio

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