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Ethan Shirts and Classic Chinos

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

Yesterday I promised to show you the other garments I sewed assembly line style when I made the Future Professional outfit for my kindergartener.  When you have 4 sons, it really does end up easier sewing like an assembly line to keep them in clothes!

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

Thomas also needed some new dress clothes.  I grabbed the same tried and true patterns in different sizes than the kindergartener, of course, and set to work.

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

His shirt pattern is the Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom Patterns .  I picked up two shirting fabric from JoAnn Fabrics, Plaid Shirting Checkered Fabric Blue and a saturated blue shirting not on their website.

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

There are 2 changes I made to the Ethan Shirt Pattern.  I added collar buttons, as I usually do because my boys prefer them.  And I made his shirts short sleeve because it was so hot when I sewed them for him.  With a sweater or jacket they’ll easily extend in to fall and winter wear.  And to give credit where credit is due, Allegra sewed on all the buttons on these shirts!

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

The Pants Pattern is Classic Chinos by Peekaboo Pattern Shop.  I sewed him two pairs, one in Sew Classic Bottomweight Stretch Sateen Fabric – Medieval Blue  from JoAnn Fabrics and the other a classic khaki twill, also not on their website.

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

Beside the standard size adjustments I make for Thomas’s tall and skinny frame (size 8 width, size 12 length) I did make one other small adjustment to the Classic Chinos pattern; changing the position of the belt loops.  As you can see in this photo, when centered directly over the pockets they cause some pulling open of the pockets while standing and even more while sitting.

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

So as you can see in this photo, we adjusted the belt loops to be on the outside of the pockets, and no more pulling.  You can also see wrinkles on these pants due to being worn for several hours before photographing, but when you can get a tween boy to stand still and agree to pictures, you take what you can get!

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

The khaki pants were not sewn assembly line style with the two blue pairs of pants, because I decided it would be easier to sew them separately than to change the thread color at every step.

Ethan Shirt and Classic Chinos sewn by Skirt Fixation

Thomas is delighted to have some new dress clothes.  His belt is his own creation, a leather working project for 4H this year.  He received high honors for it and wears it with pride, a blue ribbon and a reserve champion ribbon.

Affiliate links are used in this post so that our bank account has a fighting chance at keeping up with our fabric spending habit!  So far, one has vastly outpaced the other, but we’ll leave you to guess which one!

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Future Professional {Boy’s Mini Wardrobe}

Kindergarten mini wardrobe sewn by Skirt Fixation

Kindergarten mini wardrobe sewn by Skirt Fixation

Last week I shared the “Reach for the Stars” mini wardrobe I sewed for my son who is starting his kindergarten studies.  I promised to share more about each look, and today I’m expanding on the Future Professional look.

Boy's Kindergarten mini wardrobe sewn by Skirt Fixation

This was such a fun look to create, and also useful because David needed these clothes!  He wears them for our worship services and for nicer occasions.  This outfit was definitely the most labor intensive of all 5 looks.

Boy's Kindergarten mini wardrobe sewn by Skirt Fixation

First more about the Reach for the Stars shirt.  The Constellations fabric by Hawthorne Threads was the inspiration for the theme of the mini wardrobe.  I used in on two of the pieces and David really loves it too.  Hawthorne Threads offers this constellation fabric in 42 different prints and 10 color palettes.  Each zodiac sign can be ordered as a panel also.  That’s an incredible amount of choices for a really cute fabric!  We used the midnight color way.

Boy's Kindergarten mini wardrobe sewn by Skirt Fixation

The shirt pattern is our favorite Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom patterns.  Lately quite a few companies have come out with button up shirt patterns, but for now we’re sticking with what works for us, this pattern for boys and men and a quick review of our tips and Hey June Handmade’s tips for sewing button up shirt posts before starting.  The only change we made was to make the shirt short sleeves for summer days.

Boy's Kindergarten mini wardrobe sewn by Skirt Fixation

And then there’s those adorable pants!  They are the Classic Chinos pattern by Peekaboo Pattern Shop.  Yes, we’ve sewn this pattern quite a few times, but when it works, it works!  The fit is just perfect for David, with no adjustments needed.

Boy's Kindergarten mini wardrobe sewn by Skirt Fixation

You can see the constellations fabric that we used for lining inside the pockets.  We hadn’t planned on this as a design feature, but rather ran out of the blue stretch sateen fabric so had to improvise!  But now we’ve got a tutorial written for how to use contrast fabric for lining a welt pocket, so we can use this as a design feature in the future!

Boy's Kindergarten mini wardrobe sewn by Skirt Fixation

David decided to top off the Future Professional look with his Newsboy Cap we made him earlier.  He looks like such a little man in this outfit!

Boy's Kindergarten mini wardrobe sewn by Skirt Fixation

With the sweaters and vest we made for this mini wardrobe, he should be able to wear this outfit well in to the fall and perhaps even winter months.

Boy's Kindergarten mini wardrobe sewn by Skirt Fixation

Future Professional Shirt Details:

Pattern: Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom Patterns 

Fabric: Constellations in Midnight by Hawthorne Threads 

Future Professional Pants Details:

Pattern: Classic Chinos by Peekaboo Pattern Shop

Fabric: Sew Classic Bottomweight Stretch Sateen Fabric – Medieval Blue  from JoAnn Fabrics

Future Professional Cap Details:

Pattern: Newsboy Cap details here

Fabric: Sew Classic Bottomweight Cotton Twill Solid Fabric – Black  from JoAnn Fabrics

Now to make a little confession, I sewed each of these items in assemble line fashion, so and I’ll show you what else I made at the same time!  Now linked here.

Boy's Kindergarten mini wardrobe sewn by Skirt Fixation

Affiliate links are used in this post so that our bank account has a fighting chance at keeping up with our fabric spending habit!  So far, one has vastly outpaced the other, but we’ll leave you to guess which one!

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Forest Floor Adventure

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Stepping into the forest, on and off the path, in the dappled lighting we discovered quite an adventure.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

A deer bounded across the path and paused to stare at us with it’s great doe eyes.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Four squirrels nibbled corn a forbidden arms length away.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Something mysterious swam just beneath the water,  surfaced with a splash and dove down again before we came to a decision as to it’s nature.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Creatures rustled through the branches overhead as bird song lightened our steps.

forest floor 2 forest floor 1

The Forest Floor line of fabrics inspired my sewing creations like no other fabric has done for a while!  There are 20 fabrics in Bonnie Christine’s new Forest Floor line of fabric, and I used 7 of them in my creations.  I probably would have used even more if I could have gotten my hands on them!

Inspired by her experience of living in the forest, Bonnie creates a whimsical world where dreams of a magical place come to life.  Forest Floor hopes to ignite the exploration of forest curiosities, and take you on an adventure filled with green and oak flora and delicate berry tinted fauna that inhabits the wondrous depths of the mountains.

Explore the collection deeper: the collection | the lookbook | on instagram | about the collection 



Today is our stop on the Forest Floor Fabrics blog tour.   The previous stop was at My Crowded Nest with a darling hexi quilt.  (Hello quilting goals!)  Tomorrow the ladies from Sweetwater Cotton Shoppe will share their creations made with Forest Floor Fabrics.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

We started with Flourish Aglow fabric in knit and made an Uptown Downtown maxi dress for Annie.  The combination of fabric and pattern caused Annie to positively float through our forest adventure.  This is the 4th Uptown Downtown dress I’ve made for Annie.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

It’s not only that they are simply darling on her, it’s that they must be amazingly comfortable because she wears them constantly.  This pattern has been updated, but since I had Annie’s size already cut out (she just needed extra length from the last time) I used the pattern I already had prepared.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

When Baby is finished nursing, I totally plan to make myself an Uptown Downtown dress from Art Gallery Fabrics.  It is the softest, most floaty knit ever!

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

I also made Annie a backpack from Wild Posy Flora fabric and the FREE pattern from Sew Much Ado.   Later this week we’ll have a detailed post about the backpacks we made so this post doesn’t become epic in length.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

After Annie’s dress was completed, I sewed some button up shirts for my two youngest boys.  When I first saw (and fell in love with) the Forest Floor Fabrics, it struck me that there are several fabrics in this line suitable for boys wear.  Which always excites me.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

David’s shirt is made from Timber Nightfall fabric.  The pattern is the Sis Boom Ethan Shirt, my favorite button up shirt for boys.  He is wearing his Classic Chinos with this shirt.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Baby’s shirt is also from the Ethan Shirt pattern, and it’s made from Luna Rising Shadow fabric.  This is probably my favorite piece of everything I made!  It could be the way the fabric makes his eyes pop!

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Baby also got a new backpack.  I used Sew Much Ado’s FREE bunny backpack pattern.  On a cuteness scale of 1 to 10, this little backpack is definitely off the charts!  The main part of the backpack uses Capped Dim fabric and the straps are from Maple Mill Fog fabric.  More details later this week.

Skirt Fixation for Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour

Since David has a tractor backpack and also a Star Wars backpack he didn’t receive a new one this time.  But he did get to use 2 of the animal pouches I made by hacking the Forest Friends Pocket pattern from Violette Field Threads.  Tutorial tomorrow.  This is where I used all the remaining scraps not used in the clothing.  The deer face is from Laced Moss fabric,  the only fabric not seen elsewhere so far.

All photography credits go to my oldest daughter, Allegra.  Stunning as usual and captures the mood perfectly!

Many thanks to Bonnie Christine for creating another fabulous line of fabric.  To see the rest of the creations on the Forest Floor Fabrics Blog Tour, visit this page on Going Home To Roost daily.

Affiliate links are used in this post.  We might make a few pennies, but not if past performance is any indicator!  Oh well, we remain ever optimistic…


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Sewing A Button Up Shirt – Tips, Tricks, Tutorials & More

Everything you need to know about sewing a button up shirt.

Recently I took on the rather insane project of making 4 Marco shirts for my oldest son.  He has outgrown the 2 I made him last year, and requested some more.  Since I reviewed the Marco shirt pattern then, I thought I’d share things I’ve learned about making button up shirts.

Everything you need to know about sewing a button up shirt.

So here’s the post you need to read before you begin sewing a button up shirt.  If you love these tips, be sure to check out Adrianna’s post today over at Hey June Handmade for even more button up shirt tips not included here.

Tips for sewing a button up shirt:

  1. take it slow

Or maybe tip number 1 should be don’t attempt to sew 4 at one time!  After I got started on this project, I realized I would need sewing friends to cheer me on if I was ever going to finish, so I created the hashtag #thereallybigshirtevent on Instagram. But I digress.  Take it slow.  Don’t expect to get this done in one hour, one day or maybe even one week!

2. muslin

You really want a project this detailed to be one you (and the recipient) to love when you’re finished.  So make a muslin first.  This part IS really quick- you only need to cut the front, back and sleeve pieces.  Just whip them together and check the fit.  Make adjustments, and then get onto the good fabric.  (More on good fabric in a minute.)

3. pattern matching matters

Let's play find the pocket...
Let’s play find the pocket…

Before you cut into your good fabric, take a few minutes to think about pattern matching.  This is really important.  Pattern pieces you really need to plan before you cut: fronts to each other, fronts to back, button placket to front, pockets.

pattern matching on a button up shirt by Skirt Fixation

And if you get really, really crazy about pattern matching, you can get the button placket to match up.  Might need aspirin after this attempt though.

4. wide seam allowances

Be careful your seam allowances don’t get too narrow, even if your pattern recommends it.  You really don’t want to go back and restitch cuffs, collar, yokes after they’ve come apart because of tiny seam allowances.  Ask me how I know.  Once you’re done, you’re going to want to be DONE!

5. topstitch everything

Top StitchingTopstitching adds a professional finish, and reinforces those seam allowances to stay in place.  It also hold the seam allowances where they need to be for a clean cut while wearing.

Tools for sewing a button up shirt:

Recommended tools for sewing a button up shirt from Skirt Fixation

  1. glue stick

A glue stick will become your best friend.  Seriously.  Pins can’t hold those tiny fiddle-y pieces together half as good as glue.  It won’t gum up your needle, I promise.  Remember I sewed 4 at one time and experienced no gumming.

2. good quality fabric

I know I’m sounding like a broken record here, but you really want a project this in depth and detailed to last a long time.  Using good quality fabric ensures longevity.  When I couldn’t find a white shirting fabric good enough locally, I bought a high quality sheet with 600 thread count.  I really could notice the difference between this and the cheaper quality flannel I compromised on one of the shirts.

3. rolled hem foot

Those bottom hems are tiny, and a rolled hem foot will make your job lots easier.

4. good quality pattern

A pattern that teaches you as you go, with tips and tricks from a knowledgeable author.  Suggested patterns in a minute.

Tricks for sewing a button up shirt:

  1. pattern matching doesn’t matter

“Wait a minute, you just said…”  Yes, there are places pattern matching is pretty important, but there are also places you will not be able to match the pattern even if you’re a pattern matching genius.  These are those pieces: yoke, cuffs, collar stand, collar.

Fabric placement options for yokes

So what to do?  You have options; cut those pieces on the bias, a different direction, use fabric without a pattern, or just don’t sweat it.

2. add a tag

If you’re adding a tag to the yoke or collar stand on the inside, do this BEFORE you start sewing the pieces together, that’s the way the professionals do.

3. use contrast fabric

Possible contrast fabric placement on button up shirts

There are a couple of places you can sneak in fun fabric, the inside collar stand, the inside yoke and inside the cuffs.  Just pay attention to which way you are attaching them so they end up on the inside.  Not that’d I’d know anything about that. *cough*

4. Interfaced piece away from feed dogs

When you’re sewing two pieces together and one of them is interfaced, say the two collar pieces, place the one without interfacing down against the feed dogs when you are sewing.  It will be just a little bit stretchier than the interfaced piece, but if you have it against the feed dogs, there will be no puckers when you’re finished.

5. add tiny buttons

How to add collar buttons to a button up shirt from Skirt Fixation

Maybe your recipient prefers a button down collar.  Just add a small button hole at the corners of the collars.  Cut them open, poke through to make a mark in the desired spot, and sew on a small (smaller than 1/2 inch) button.  Follow the same procedure to add a button to the button placket on the sleeve.

Tutorials for sewing a button up shirt:

If you get stuck, or you just can’t visualize the next step, try these amazing tutorials:

Best patterns for sewing a button up shirt:

Once again, a good quality pattern makes all the difference in frustration levels and finished products.  Here are some we can personally recommend:

Beside these 4 button up shirts I sewed for my oldest son, I’ve made myself a couple of button up shirts this year.  It’s getting easier with the above tips, tricks, tutorials and patterns.  During the time I was sewing these 4 shirts, I became obsessed with all things button up.  All ready-to-wear button ups were fair game for my studies.  Mr. Skirt Fixation has been my biggest cheerleader all along.  He got me to sew my first button up shirt, and always encourages me to improve.  For example, he sent me this link.  Then I realized just how far I have yet to go…

To be continued!

Remember to check out Adrianna’s post today over at Hey June Handmade for even more button up shirt tips.  And leave your tips for sewing a button up shirt in the comments.

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Richie Rich 80s Cartoon Inspired Ethan Shirt

Ethan shirt

Ethan shirtI made another Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom patterns.  It was wonderful!  Actually, I made this shirt side by side with the black denim jacket Ethan Shirt flip I made, but it was still wonderful!

Ethan Shirt buttondownIf you make the Ethan Shirt, people will never believe you actually made the awesome shirt your child is wearing!  It’s really that tailored.  A while back, the males in our family challenged us to learn how to sew men’s clothing.  The really good, tailored stuff they like to wear.  Well…we’ve sort of been hesitant about doing that because men’s clothing is hard, and not as interesting or fun as women’s.

Ethan shirt sewn by Skirt FixationBut now that I’ve sewn up an Ethan Shirt, I’ve started noticing the way mens’ shirts are constructed and actually thinking, “Hey, I could do that!  I did that when I sewed the Ethan Shirt!”

tailored Ethan ShirtI decided to sew up the first tailored shirt for a male for my son, Thomas.  He has the enviable trait of managing to look really sophisticated in anything he wears.  Even those hole-y jeans and ripped up t-shirts he’s so fond of!  So I knew that when I made him an Ethan Shirt it would look great by default!  (Believe me, the Ethan shirt would look good on anyone, even if they aren’t amazingly suave and debonair like Thomas!!)

back of vestIn sewing them side by side, I would first sew the instructed step on Thomas’ shirt, then sew it on Aria’s denim jacket.  That way I could sort of test out the instructions.  I used a seersucker fabric from our stash for Thomas’ shirt.

Ethan Shirt back yokeI made all the hard options on his shirt, just so I could experience them!  Button placket, collar and collar stand, cuffs, cuff placket, back yoke, and pleats.  And they all turned out beautifully!

tailored Ethan shirt for boysThe only thing I did differently from the instructions was add buttons and button holes to the collar for a button down collar.  (Well, and there was the accidental way I sewed the button placket and pocket on the wrong side and didn’t realize it until Thomas put the shirt on to test the fit and he couldn’t figure out how to button it!  Ooops!  But that wasn’t on purpose, or the pattern’s fault!)

Vest from Ethan shirtYou can probably tell by all the exclamations in this post that I’m very happy with the Ethan Shirt!  So happy that I decided to use the Ethan Shirt pattern pieces to flip one more time, into a vest.  I’ll be showing you later exactly how I did that in a tutorial.  Why a vest if the Ethan shirt is already dressy?  To meet the current Project Run & Play challenge: 80s cartoon inspired.  Our cartoon inspiration was Richie Rich.

Richie Rich bow tie Growing up without a television, I just had Richie Rich comic books for entertainment, so when I made the outfit for Thomas, I made him a red bow tie since that was what Richie Rich always wore.  Then I googled the Richie Rich cartoon and he had on a blue bow tie.  Oh well, the challenge was specifically not supposed to be a costume, just inspiration!

Ethan shirt for boysRichie Rich was always very well dressed, but the shorts (in the comics anyway) still gave him a little boy appeal!  Thomas is in the tween stage between little boy and teenage boy, and seeing him this well dressed gives me a glimpse into what he’ll look like as a man. (Very handsome~ says the modest mother!)

Ethan shirt for boys by Skirt FixationI am simply on pins and needles waiting to see all the 80s cartoon inspired clothing over at Project Run & Play.  What was your favorite 80s cartoon?  How would you interpret that into fashion?  We’re also linking up to Sew Many Books.  A comic book is a book, right?

Project Run and Play 80s cartoon inspired Richie Rich by Skirt Fixation

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Black Denim Jacket Ethan Flip

Ethan Shirt Flipped to Black Denim Jacket by Skirt Fixation

Ethan Shirt Flipped to Black Denim Jacket by Skirt Fixation

We accepted Frances Suzanne’s challenge to flip the Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom.  Of course, first of all we had to sew an unflipped version of the Ethan Shirt, but we’ll get to that another time.  When we can get the boy convinced to show his face on a SKIRT blog!

Ethan Jacket Flip

I knew I wanted to flip the Ethan Shirt several ways in general.  Into something for a girl.  Into a jacket.  And then I remembered this oh so fancy black embroidered denim I’d purchased on time to make into a denim skirt.  So this post could be called The Skirt That Wasn’t!  But I digress.  So I showed the pattern to Aria, my tween, and she wasn’t impressed.  Then I showed her the fabric and she was more enthusiastic.  Finally I showed her an inspiration photo and she was totally on board..

Ethan Shirt Flip

Here are the little, technical ways I flipped the Ethan Shirt into a black denim jacket.

Black denim jacket

I changed the shape of the back yoke, sewed it only at the top and sides and added a button and buttonhole.

Black Denim Jacket by Skirt Fixation

I added a belt and belt loops top the waist.

Sleeve detail

I changed the sleeves by omitting the button placket and cuff and adding a faux belt and belt loops to the sleeve bottoms.  Also a button and button hole on each sleeve belt.  I’m sure there’s a more technical name for it than sleeve belt, but it escapes me at the moment.  Whatever!  All I know is Aria and I love this little detail!

Belt loops on black denim jacket

Here’s a secret little tip on easy belt loops instead of sewing a little tube and turning it, use seam binding.  I did!  It’s reinforced/top stitched to add strength and character.

black embroidered denim jacket

I changed the shape of the hem to be straight all around.

collar detail

I used a little stiffer interfacing on the collar and collar stand to accommodate because I was making a jacket, not a shirt.

denim jacket button placket

I omitted the button placket down the front, opting for a more jacket like closure.

Black Denim Jacket

We stopped the buttons just below the waist so for ease of walking and sitting.  But the jacket still looks format when standing without corrupting the straight shape.

Jacket with back tie

The belt can also be looped back around and tied in the back.

button down jacket

Or the jacket can be partially buttoned.

denim jacket with welt pockets

I added welt pockets!  Welt pockets, people!  This was my first time, and I was so pleased with the professional results!

Fortune Cookie fabric

For the pocket material, I departed from the sober feel of the jacket and used fortune cookie fabric!

Finished jacket inside

I finished each interior seam with either seam binding or a flat felled seam.


And topstitched every seam.  Sometimes twice!  But it looks soooo good, don’t you think so?

Wide shouldered black denim jacket

I did not change anything about the armholes or width of the Ethan shirt for the denim jacket.  The dimensions ended up being perfect.  I used the largest size, size 14.

side detail

Now I’ll tell you one tiny thing I’m not happy with about this black denim jacket.  Because of the large scale of the embroidery pattern, I had to decide whether to match the pattern at the front or the sides.  So I chose the sides.  But I still wish they all could have matched.  But that would have added about 14 inches to the sides of the jacket, so that wasn’t happening!

Belted in back

Did you know one of the themes for Project Run and Play Season 10 is Denim?  Guess what we will be entering?

Forest photo shoot

For this photo shoot we went into the woods again.  We took a different path from last time, but still got some great shots.

black denim jacket by Skirt Fixation

We had just seen the photo shoot by Babykins Magazine and were inspired to do the same theme.  Or maybe they copied our tulle skirt photo shoot!

Embroidered Denim jacket

This black denim jacket looks so good, coming and going!  Aria is so delighted with it that she actually said she hopes cold weather arrives soon!  It’s not usually easy to please a tween.

Embroidered Black Denim Jacket

I found those gorgeous buttons at Jo-Ann fabrics.  I had some that would have worked in my stash, but I wanted these to be special!  And I have a button weakness.  Sort of like my jacket weakness as evidenced here and here!

Black Denim Jacket Flip

Have you seen the other Ethan Shirt Flips?  They are amazing!  And I can’t wait to see what everyone else does with denim for Project Run and Play!  How about you, do you like to sew with denim?

Make it beautiful,