a little safari shirt

The first couple of projects after Padawan was born were rough. Two things that I cut out while still pregnant ended up not really fitting well. Another thing didn’t have finished garment measurements and ended up too big. But since all three involved navy blue thread, I figured this would be a good time to knock out a kid’s project before Hobbit outgrew the amount of fabric, so I could take a break from fitting myself. And since he’s turning 2 today, it seemed like a good day to  share!

20170618_112708So how do you  get a clothing-averse toddler to model? Bribe him with food. (I took these photos on my phone while we were out to lunch for Father’s Day on Sunday. This is about as still as Hobbit gets while awake! I’m just glad he kept the shirt on for these pictures, honestly. He’s begging for them to come off every chance he gets these days.)

This is the “Be Cool” tee from the Spring 2015 issue of Ottobre. Obviously, without the extra time of adding the applique. I’m on the hunt for a good, basic tee pattern that I can use as the boys get older, but I’m not convinced that this one is it.

20170618_113635 The pro: It was super-easy to make, especially now that I have a coverstitch machine. I was able to knock this one out in about 3 sewing sessions, which is really good for me these days. (My sewing sessions don’t even last 10 minutes sometimes, since I’m at the mercy of that lovely little Venn diagram of that time when both boys are napping.)

The con: Apparently I’m that stereotypical dumb American who can’t work the metric system. I had a printout that converted the centimeters to inches, specifically for their size chart. But either I measured something wrong, or my sleep-deprived brain read something wrong on the chart, because this thing ended up huge. It doesn’t look it here, because I learned from my mistake on a shirt that I haven’t managed to blog yet (ha!) and recut this down to size when I realized it was going to be ridiculously big on him.

20170618_113237 He’s currently right on that edge of outgrowing 24 month clothes/2T, so I figured I’d make this shirt about a 3T so he’ll get more use out of it before it gets passed down to his little brother. After initially cutting out a size 104 on the toddler chart– what I believed was one size up from his measurements– I compared it to a hand-me-down 3T shirt we were given and ended up cutting it down to the size 92. As you can see, the shoulders are still way too wide for him, with that shoulder seam falling a couple inches too low on his arm.

20170618_114857That being said, the length of the shirt overall is pretty good. He’s got his arms raised up here, and the waistband is still covered. So I don’t know if Hobbit is just skinny and tall for his age, or what?

The fabric is a knit of unknown origin, that my parents gave me for Christmas 2015 to make a shirt for him. Hobbit has been on an animal kick for awhile, and definitely recognized several of the animals on here, even if he still names them by the noise they make rather than what they’re actually called. I didn’t need to worry about him outgrowing my yardage, as it turns out, because I easily have enough of this left to cut the main parts of a raglan tee in a larger size. I thought about making something matching for Padawan, but we just have soooooo many baby clothes that I’d rather use my limited time to cover the larger sizes where we actually need things. At least, until he’s old enough to get jealous, if he even cares about getting new clothes vs. hand-me-downs.

As for the ribbing, I harvested it off of one of my tees after I realized that the navy blue ribbing I bought looks really purple next to the background of this fabric. Sadly, several of my favorite geeky tees are just too short/tight after two pregnancies this close together. So my plan is to recycle those into something useful so I can keep the graphics (eventually), and in the meantime, I got a much nicer contrast ribbing for free.

So my quest for the perfect basic boys’ tee pattern continues. I do have another one to try out, so stay tuned…

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this is the droid you’re looking for

Oh, hi! Now that we’re past Thanksgiving here in the States and the Christmas season is starting, I guess it’s time I actually write about Halloween, right?

I wanted to make a costume that would be easy for an active toddler to wear without much fussing, so an oversized hoodie seemed to be my best bet. And since Halloween in our house is basically just an excuse to make and wear the geekiest things I can, I decided (last December) to dress Hobbit as BB-8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I’m mostly pleased with the results, which is good, since this hoodie took me a solid 2 1/2 months to make!

The pattern is the “Block Stripes Hoodie” from the Spring 2015 issue of Ottobre. This was my first time sewing any Ottobre, but I’d heard great things about the kids’ patterns, so I was excited to see how it turned out! The first half of this project was really just prepping the fabric, because all of that print is hand-painted. It went a lot faster after I finished that.

Overall, I was pleased with Ottobre’s directions. I had to wing a few things, because the directions assume you have a coverstitch machine, and I don’t. This was mostly problematic on the hood– I probably spent a solid 45-60 minutes carefully pinning the ribbed binding into place and sewing with the walking foot, only to have it end up rippling and flipping the raw edges to the outside. Maybe I should have shortened up the length of the ribbing, because it’s definitely much floppier than the sample picture.

IMG_4445I made the 92 cm size, in hopes that he’ll be able to wear it for at least a second year. It’ll probably work, because as you can see (as well as I could capture him, because he was literally running in circles around my parents’ living room at the time), the sleeves and body are both a little long on him. But wearing it as his costume did work out well. He didn’t even fuss about having the hood up, which is really good for a kid that immediately rips hats off of his head.

My only Halloween shots were off my phone. I did a quickie Rey costume for myself, using a rolled up pair of hiking pants (plus a safety pin and belly band), the cream tee I made over the summer, my scrunchy grey boots, and some cut up cheap sweater knit. I paired his hoodie with a plain onesie and grey knit pants.

IMG_4453So there’s my October sewing, other than some bibs and burp cloths for a cousin. I’ve been spending most of my sewing time this month working on a Christmas shirt for Hobbit, and my own Grainline Archer shirt. And trying to figure out the best use of my sewing time for the rest of this pregnancy, considering that my sewing room will also need to be converted into a second nursery. We have found out that Hobbit is getting a little brother, but he still isn’t falling or staying asleep super consistently. So at this point, we figured that having them share a room wouldn’t be helpful, since the boys would constantly wake each other up. I am hoping that I can still make another thing or two in the midst of packing and decluttering. The current plan is to set up the machine in our bedroom so I can still try to work some time in. You know, if the boys ever nap at the same time.

On the plus side, at least I know that the handmade kid clothes that I have made so far will get some more use! If Hobbit doesn’t destroy them first…shortly after these photos were taken at my parents’ for Thanksgiving yesterday, of course he got the hoodie all muddy! But I’m pretty sure I got most of it out. I guess worst case scenario, BB-8 was a little dusty from all of the action, right?