Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Boy Clothes-- Brooksy-boy Overalls!

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It's been a little rough around here, health-wise.  This weekend, I finally picked up the cold that's been working its way through our family for the past three weeks.  Ugh.

What's driven me (the most) crazy, though, is that I've been so pumped about making these little overalls for Brooks, and I've been too out of commission!  So now, FINALLY, here they are!!!

I'm pretty excited about this new adventure into the world of boy clothes.  My first thought about the whole matter is that there are fewer shapes to make for boys.  Let me explain.  For girls, you can make skirts, shirts, tunics, dresses, pants and shorts in any number of shapes and designs.  For boys, you don't want to add too much frilliness or poof.  I mean, my little man is going to be manly. :)  So here's where I thought I'd start: overalls!  Who can resist a kid in overalls?  I can't.

So here's my first real piece of boy clothing!  Hope you love it and it gives you one more boy pattern in a clothing world littered with girl tutorials! :)

As for the fabric, I wandered Jo-Ann's, trying to find something fun and a little different.  I thought about some train or monster fabric, but I wanted something a little less kid-ish.  I wasn't actually planning on going with a knit, but then I saw this fun gray-colored knit (which just so happened to be super-soft).  And then I saw that said knit was "dirty" and, therefore, 75% off.  Well, please and thank you, Jo-Ann!  Plus, the knit allows me to give it a little rougher look, with exposed seams.

Now, even though knits stretch and woven cotton doesn't, I made my pattern big enough that it will work with a stretch-free fabric, so you have some flexibility.  (You'll just have to finish your seams a little more.)  You're welcome. :)

1/2-1 yard fabric, depending on size (mine is just 0-6 months-- not much fabric required!)
2 snaps and/or buttons
basic sewing stuff


If you want to make a larger pattern, here's how I did mine...

First, cut your pattern pieces.  Sorry!  No pictures, but here's what I did.
1. Find a onesie/shirt that fits Little Man.  Use this to get your width.  Mine (with seam allowance) was 10 inches.  You want the bottom of your bib piece to be this width.  You can see that my bib is 10 inches wide and 5 inches tall (top right in the pic).
2.  To make the legs, find a pair of pants that fit your guy.  You're going to use these for the length and the curve that goes under the bum.  The width of your legs will depend on that first measurement (my 10 inches).  The top of the legs, after you've cut the curve, should be half of that.  So, mine is 5 inches.
3. Cut four strips, 2 inches by your first measurement minus 1 inch (9 inches).
4. These aren't shown, but also cut four strips for your straps.  Mine were 1.5 by 9 inches.

Once all your pieces are cut, start with your legs.  Sew the curves of both your front and back pieces.

Then put them, right sides together, and sew up the sides and from the bottom to crotch.

Hem up the legs.  I used this stitch.  You could also use a straight stitch or zig-zag.  It's up to you.  I'm going to use this stitch for other parts of the overalls, so I wanted consistency.

Here's what you have so far.

Now take your bib pieces, sew them together and clip the edges.

Turn and topstitch (again, using whatever stitch you'd like!).

Now stitch all four waistband pieces together.

Flip them, right sides out.  Now treat them like the two are one strip.  Slip them over the pants and pin in place.

Stitch the waistband on.  Now we're getting that worn-in, exposed seam looking going.  Oh, so boy. :)

Take your shoulder straps and stitch two together.  Again, I went for the rugged look, opting not even to finish off the bottom side.

Now center your bib on the front waistband, placing it in between the two front waistband pieces. 

Insert your shoulder straps into the back waistband, so they'll fold over and hit in the right place on the bib.  Pin them all in place.

Stitch the waistband to the bib and the straps.

Get your snaps and put them on, as indicated by the manufacturer.  (If you prefer, you can also do buttonholes here.  Snaps are quicker for little ones-- that's why I went with them.)

Then, for an added touch, grab cute little monster buttons that you've been saving just for this moment and stitch them on over the snaps.

Poor Brooksy-Boy had just finished a particularly grueling tummy-time session... thus, the watery eyes.

Mmmmm!  Look at those comfy pants!

A little rough around the edges.  Love it.

Featured here in a 101 list!  I'm honored to be included with such amazing crafters!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What We're Reading

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I thought it might be fun to include a little ol' post on our favorite books of the moment.  Who knows... maybe we'll make this a regular segment.  Then again, I may forget to do that.  I forget things sometimes, if I don't have them tattooed somewhere on my body (or saved, with an alert, in my phone).

We're big readers in this house, so I may have some of these memorized.  Just so you know.  Have I succeeded in impressing you? :)

My dad recently sent this one to us, and oh my word, it's hilarious.  I love that little red chicken.  She's very conscientious, that one. :)  And this is really really fun to read aloud.

I've read this dozens upon dozens of times, but I still almost laugh out loud at the last words.  Hilarious. 

We're huge Mo Willems fans around here.  This book is another one that Granddad just sent us... as a follow-up to Time to Pee (for real).  The girls love this one, and I'm not going to argue with a book that encourages manners!

By the way, this is by no means my favorite Mo Willems book, but that's a post for another day.

Any books out there that you'd recommend?  We clearly gravitate towards funny, mostly so Mommy doesn't go insane when reading them over and over and over and over...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Vintage-y Rosie Dress

All of a sudden, I'm in love with vintage patterns and clothing. I can't get enough. Seriously, I just went on Etsy and "heart"-ed about 842 different vintage patterns. (Note: that may be an ever-so-slight exaggeration.)

Couple that with the fact that my lovely and stylish friend, Megan, just had an amazingly gorgeous little girl, and you get the Rosie Dress!

In case you're wondering, the fabric is Michael Miller's Children at Play. I thought it was so sweet and would fit well with the dress I had in my head.

Speaking of the idea for the design, I changed my mind quite a few times. First, I was going to have a square collar, but I thought that since I was making a 6-month-old size, she may be rolling and lying around quite a bit, and I didn't want the collar constantly flipping in her face. So faux collar it was.

I also originally was going to make a super wide A-line, but then I had visions of little Rosie, sitting with her skirt flared out all around her, and I couldn't very well pass that up! Full skirt!


Then I saw this adorable pattern with a drop waist and thought it was too cute.

And I just really wanted puffy sleeves. I just did.

So there are all the details on how it came to be. Sorry to bore you. I just had to get that out. :)

Dearest Rosie (and your mom),
I hope you love it!  I can hardly wait for you to get a little bigger, so you can wear it.  Six months seems so far away! :)

P.S.  I can't decide; should I add buttons down the center of the faux collar??

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine's Day Dress

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Since I spread this tutorial out over a number of posts, here's everything you need to make Riley's Valentine's Day dress, all in one post. :)

Whew!  There it is!  If you're inspired to make something, please share pictures at the Flickr group!!  Link is to the right! :)

Heart Pocket Tutorial

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Oh, pockets.  We love you so.  Here's the final little detail that I added to Riley's Valentine's Day dress.  In case you missed them, here are the tutorials for the basic A-line and the wavy hem

The heart pocket is SO EASY, but it's a nice little embellishment.

First, place two pieces of fabric, right sides together and cut out a heart.  I pinned them while I was cutting, to make sure they stayed put.  Why did I take the picture with the pins like this?  No clue.  Oops.  Those are pins, not staples. :)

Stitch around the heart, leaving an opening, so you can turn it right side out.

Cut little slits around the heart, making sure not to clip your stitches.

Turn and press.

Mark (with fabric marker or a pin) on each side of the heart where you want it to open.  It's tough to see, but then top stitch from one mark to the other, close to the edge. 

Now pin your pocket on to the dress.  

Starting where you stopped top-stitching, stitch around the pocket.  The idea is to try to make it look like one continuous stitch, even though the pocket will actually open at the top.  Make sense?

And you're all done!  Time to stuff some toys in that pocket! :)

Crazy Wave Hem Tutorial

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Here's how I did the fun hem of Riley's Valentine's Day dress.  For how I did the dress, go here.

Cut two strips of fabric, 6 inches tall.  Make them just slightly wider than the bottom of your dress.  Mine are about 1.5 inches wider.

Fold your strips, right sides together. and pin along one side.

I tried to get a good picture of this next step, but my fabric marker was too light.  All you do is freehand draw a wave pattern.  You'll see what mine looks like in a few steps.

Cut out the wave.  As you're cutting, move the pins to hold the wavy parts together.

Here's what it looks like.  Now stitch along your wave.  You may have to put your needle down and lift the presser foot to get around some parts.  Since the wave is random, this is pretty forgiving!  Yay!

Clip the tops and make little slits in the "valleys."

Then turn it right side out and press...

... then top stitch along the wave.

Now you'll pin the wave to the bottom of the dress, so all the raw edges are lined up.  I wanted mine to start and stop off-centered like this.

Pin all the way around, overlapping the beginning and the end.  Sew and zig-zag stitch to finish off the edge.

Press your finished edge up toward the top of your dress.

Then (oops!  no pic) top stitch close to your seam, on the main dress.  You'll catch that finished edge, you know, to show it who's boss. 

Ta-da!  A super fun addition to your little dress!