Posted on

Sewing for Tweens – Pattern Choices

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

Today we’re going to share some things we’ve learned about sewing for tweens.  We’re going to focus on pattern choices; what’s available, what they’ll wear!  You can also check out our thoughts on fabric choices over at the Cali Fabrics blog, later next week.

We’re joining the Growing Up Handmade blog tour.  It’s all about handmade clothing for tweens.  This is the age when my kids really start to express themselves.  Their unique style begins to shine.  I have 2 kids in this age category, so it was fun for all of us to plan and sew up 7 items for them to add to their wardrobes.  Yes 7!  That’s quite a lot of things to talk about, which is why this post is going to focus on patterns for tweens, and another post will focus on fabrics for tweens.

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

First of all, we sewed up black themed outfits.  While kids of this age don’t clamor to be dressed in matching clothes, they still tolerate coordinated ones.

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

There are definitely less patterns for boys in the sewing world than for girls.  So patterns for tween boys are even scarcer!  After looking through all my patterns for boys, I decided to buy 2 new patterns for Thomas’ black outfit.  The t-shirt is the Lennon Tee by Shwin & Shwin, a pattern designed specifically for tween boys.  It’s a fast and easy sew, and comes in sizes XS to XXL which is a 26” chest to 33.5” chest.  We made view A, the plain Tee, but there are 3 more versions we’ll be trying out.  We sewed a size L for Thomas.

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

His pants are the Adventure Cargo Pants and Shorts by Pattern Emporium.  This pattern is very detailed, but not hard to sew.  There are so many different options for pockets, and pants and waistband and flies, that it’s a good idea to plan out exactly what you want first.  Thomas and I went over each option carefully and he told me exactly what he wanted.  The Adventure Cargo Pants can be made in sizes 2 to 14.  This was my muslin pair, and I made size 14 for Thomas, but the waist was 4 inches too big!  Good thing it has waistband elastic and he always wears a belt.  We added belt loops to these pants, made a zip fly, and allllllll the pocket options!

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

Annie is just starting to go into tween sizes.  She also is starting to put in more requests for certain items or details or patterns.  For the black theme, Annie got a mash up of 2 of her favorite girl tween patterns, the Camden Raglan by Hey June Handmade (affiliate link) and the Uptown Downtown Dress by Sew Straight and Gather.  You could also use this tutorial to do the same thing.

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

Annie particularly loves the pockets which come from the bottom half of the Uptown Downtown Dress and the shoulder stripes which come from the Camden Raglan on top in this dress.  The fabric is bamboo rayon from CaliFabrics, a perfect lightweight and soft fabric for summer.  The Camden Raglan can be made in sizes 6-16, and the Uptown Downtown Dress can be made in sizes 2-14.

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

For the next set of outfits, we actually went closer to matching than coordinating, but when it’s camo, who will notice?

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

For Thomas we used the same patterns, because they worked out so well.  On these I adjusted the waist area and took out 2 inches for this second pair of Adventure Cargos Pants.   This kid is actually very lucky that I sew for him because RTW (ready to wear) clothing does N.O.T. fit his tall and lanky frame!

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

The fabric is real, true Carhartt canvas from Cali Fabrics.  He’s pretty pumped about a real pair of Carhartts…that fits!  We promise a post really soon about how amazing it is!  And the desert camo jersey fabric from Cali Fabrics is perfect for t-shirts.

Click on the links below to see our reviews of other patterns we have sewn in tween boy sizing:

Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom

Big Little Wild Things vest by Twig & Tale

Classic Chinos by PeekABoo Pattern Shop

Which Way Out Jacket by Fishsticks Designs

Knight Hoodie by Charming Doodle

Newsboy Cap by Waffle Patterns

Small Fry Skinny Jeans by Titchy Threads

Everyday Tie by Made Everyday

And 2 that are next up on our sewing list:

Spring Showers Jacket by E&E Patterns

Parachute Polo and Sweatpants by Oliver+S

 

For Annie’s camo outfit, we planned a look that uniquely expresses who she is!  Girly and tomboy all mixed together in one.  She loves to dress up and look nice with a cute hairdo styled by one of her teenage sisters.  And she also loves to tear around in the woods with her brothers, playing hide and seek.

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

 

We made her the Laramie Shirt by Hey June Handmade (affiliate link) using the most amazing Indigo Ranchero Rayon Chambray from Cali Fabrics.  The Laramie Shirt is the little sister pattern of the Cheyenne Tunic, and you KNOW how much we love the Cheyenne Tunic around here!  It is just as wonderful of a pattern, in sizes 6-16.  Plus there is an extra option for a dress, which we’ve already promised to make for Annie.  We made 2 changes to the Laramie Shirt pattern, we added the ruffle down the front by cutting out 2 extra button plackets at 2x the normal length along the selvedges of the fabric.  Then we gathered them and sewed them inside the button placket as we topstitched it in place.  The other change was to make short sleeves, but still add the cuff and placket from the 3/4 sleeve option.  We had to make the cuff a little narrower in width and gather the sleeve a little bit to fit accordingly.  Plus we added 2 buttons instead of one on the cuffs.  For the girly factor!

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

Annie loves pencil skirts, and this one is the Jocole Girls Pencil Skirt which can be made in sizes doll and newborn to 14.  The only change we made was to add a pair of shorts underneath so Annie can stay covered during those rambunctious games of hide and seek with her brothers in the woods.

Click on each link below to read our reviews of other patterns we’ve sewn in tween girl sizing:

Polina Peplum by Coffee & Thread

Ila Dress by Coffee & Thread

Uptown Downtown Dress by Sew Straight and Gather

Miss Marlene from the Naeh Connection Shop

Molly Jacket by Violette Field Threads

Girl’s Yoga A-line Skirt by Jocole

Aster Cardigan by LBG Studio

Wild Things Vest by Twig & Tale

Longihood from the Naeh Connection Shop

City Park Tee by Hey June Handmade

Cabana Swim Bottoms by Peekaboo Pattern Shop

Just Keep Swimming Rashguard by The Wolf and the Tree

Classic Malliot by Call Ajaire

Slim Trousers by Lil Luxe Collection

#106 by Thread Faction

Rachel by Modkid

Whew!  If you’re still with us, please visit all the other great moms who are sewing for their tweens on this blog tour.  I’ve picked up so many helpful tips!

Monday – April 17th
Handmade Boy  |  Paisley Roots   |  Cucicucicoo: Eco Sewing & Crafting

Tuesday – April 18th
Beri Bee Designs   |   Phat Quarters   |  Sewing By Ti   |   Sew and Tell Project

Wednesday – April 19th
Courtney Zadik   |   Rebel & Malice   |   Vicky Myers Creations

Thursday – April 20th
Pattern Revolution   |  

And enter the giveaway too!  It’s a great one.  Plus if you’re sewing for tween, link up here, for another chance to win some great prizes.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sewing for Tweens: pattern advice from Skirt Fixation

Posted on

Fiesta Fun, Fun, Fun!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

Today we get to show you all the fun we’ve had with Fiesta Fun fabrics.  Put on some sunglasses and prepare yourselves for the party!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

Recently we got the exciting privilege of using some Fiesta Fun fabric designed by Dana Willard of Made Everyday for Art Gallery Fabrics.  Today is our stop on the Fiesta Fun fabric blog tour and we get to show you how much fun we had with this fabric, and how we tried to keep true to Dana’s sense of fashion and fun!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

We started off by making a statement dress for Annie in Art Gallery Fiesta Fun Mexican Dress Midnight Fabric.  We used her very favorite maxi dress pattern to make her an Uptown Downtown Dress.

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

But we just HAD to add a sash of embroidery, hand sewn by Allegra, because it’s awesome and also Dana’s been embroidering on this fabric too!  She chose some of the flowers from in the design of the fabric and copied them onto the linen sash.  (Since the sash is from woven material, it only spans across the front of the dress to allow the dress to still stretch over her head.  Also, it is a lined so that the back of  the embroidery is protected from wear and tear.

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

This (as with all Art Gallery Fabric knits) was an absolute dream to work with and Annie is deeply in love with this dress.

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

The next fabric I got to work with is Art Galllery Fiesta Fun Florita Azul Fabric and I had in mind to make Dana’s Everyday Tie pattern with it for 2 of the boys.  But that was before I realized the tie is cut out on the bias, and the flowers would end up at a 45 degree angle all down the tie.  Still wanting a tie of some sort, I decided to make a bowtie.  I used the free pattern from Sew Like My Mom and shortened it enough to fit a boy.

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

The original plan was for the youngest of the boys, Lowell, to wear the bowtie with the white shirt.  But when the time came to put on the ties, he cried that he wanted a “hang down tie!”  So David sweetly agreed to swap shirts and ties for the photoshoot.  He also smiled and laughed and posed like a trooper the whole time!  Incidentally, since then Lowell has been begging to wear the bowtie every single day!  It figures.

http://sewlikemymom.com/mens-bow-tie-tutorial/

When I realized the Art Galllery Fiesta Fun Florita Azul Fabric wouldn’t work for the Everyday Tie pattern I turned to the expert for advice.  (That would be Dana herself!)  She said that one of the Papel Picado prints would look awesome for the tie, and so I ordered some more fabric!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

I sewed both a boy size and a tween size, and they are both so cute!  Thomas is just the right size for the tween Everyday Tie in Art Gallery Fiesta Fun Papel Picado Mesquite Fabric and the boy one fits either David or Lowell, depending on how it’s tied.  And the boys love to be matching too.  I never would have guessed that a quilting cotton would work for a tie, but as silky soft as Art Gallery Fabrics cotton’s are, they make lovely ties!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

Since baby clothes don’t require very much fabric, and I just HAD to, I sewed up a Virginia Beach dress in some leftovers of the Art Gallery Fiesta Fun Mexican Dress Midnight Fabric.  I used some of the Art Gallery Fiesta Fun Florita Azul Fabric leftover from the bowtie to create an accent yoke in the front, and added a strip of white piping for good measure.

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

Then I had just enough Florita Azul fabric left to use Dana’s free Perfect Diaper Cover pattern to make a matching diaper cover with orange bias tape trim along the edges.  And David was super happy that he got to match the baby for the photoshoot!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

The final ingredient for a Dana-esque event was to find a brightly colored wall for the kids to stand in front of in their Fiesta Fun Fabric clothing, designed by Dana, using patterns created by Dana!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

So after driving around town I found one very, very brightly colored yellow/orange wall which we decided was the one!  (In fact, it was the ONLY brightly colored wall in town, so we lucked out!)  If you’ve spent much time over at Made Everyday, you know how much Dana loves color and brightly colored walls to pose in front of!

Fiesta Fun Fabrics sewn by Skirt Fixation

Check out all the other stops on the Fiesta Fun blog tour:

 

Some affiliate links are used in this blog post to some really awesome products.  We’ve included them because we think you should have them, but the legal powers that be want you to be informed that if you click on one of our affiliate links, we MIGHT make a few pennies…

Posted on

3 Knight (Hoodies) To The Rescue

Knight Hoodies sewn by Skirt Fixation

Having boys is so fun!  Our youngest boy, Lowell, has started to notice what his big brothers and Dad wear.  And so naturally, he noticed that both David and Thomas have Knight Hoodies and he didn’t.  This was easy to resolve…I just sewed him up one.

Knight Hoodies sewn by Skirt Fixation

I’ve reviewed the Knight Hoodie pattern when I made one for Thomas.  It’s a great pattern.  Then I made one for David and included some tips for a wavy zipper fix.  Next I made one for my nephew for his birthday, and included tips on lining up the pockets and hood across the zipper.  And finally this one for Lowell.  Each time I make one, I feel like it gets a little easier.  I lined up the pockets more carefully, than I did the 1st time.  Also, that curve around the face of the hood/helmet is probably the hardest part, but it too is getting easier!

Knight Hoodie pattern sewn by Skirt Fixation

Although it ended up a little oversized, I made Lowell the same size as I had for David for 2 reasons; 1: the pattern was already printed out and tiled, and 2: I wanted it to last all winter!  Lazy, but effective…

Knight Hoodie pattern sewn by Skirt Fixation

For the fabric, I used some Sweatshirt Fleece Fabric-Black (affiliate link) from JoAnn Fabrics.  It was actually left over from the Knight Hoodie I made for my nephew.  On this one, I used a plastic zipper instead of a metal one like on the other boys’ and it works out great.

Knight Hoodie pattern sewn by Skirt Fixation

The buttons are probably the most expensive part of making a Knight Hoodie, but I used my new-found button source, the thrift store!  These buttons came off of a stinky denim shirt with suspicious stains under the arms.  But for $2 it was a steal because of all the buttons on it!  (23!!!)

Knight Hoodie pattern sewn by Skirt Fixation

For this photo shoot, all the boys wanted to be together in their Knight Hoodies.  The best lighting is outside, but the day was frigid so Allegra, our chief photographer, decided to head for the greenhouse.  It turned out to have the perfect temperature and great lighting for our purpose.

Knight Hoodie pattern sewn by Skirt Fixation

Now there are 3 knights in shining armor er hoodies to rescue fair maidens!  Be warned, o ye fair maidens, these boys have a good dose of mischievous up their sleeves!

Want to make your own Knight Hoodie?  Find the pattern here.

Posted on

My First Jeans {Sewing for Boys}

Sewing jeans for the 1st time - Skirt Fixation

I. DID. IT.

 When I started on my sewing adventure, sewing jeans for my boys I was certain I would never be able to sew jeans for my boys.  In fact, it never even crossed my mind, it was such an unattainable goal.  But then I started seeing more and more people in the sewing community sewing jeans.  At first I just stared at these posts in awe.  And then I began to question if I could do something like this too?  Finally, the idea just wouldn’t let me go and I had to try it.  I posted about the whole process on Instagram; if you want behind the scenes sewing info, follow us on Instagram!

Sewing jeans for the 1st time - Skirt Fixation

Like the mad seamstress I am, I couldn’t just sew 1 pair at a time.  I ordered enough denim from CaliFabrics to sew 2 pair of jeans for 2 of my boys.  I contacted one of my sewing friends, Karly from Paisley Roots, who just happens to be a master at sewing jeans and asked for her advice on a pattern.  She suggested the Small Fry Skinny Jeans by Titchy Threads.  For a first time sewist of jeans, this was a perfect pattern!

Sewing jeans for the 1st time - Skirt Fixation

With fabric and pattern in hand, I set out to sew jeans.  You can read all about what I learned in my post on the CaliFabrics blog, So You Think You Want To Sew Jeans?  It’s where I suggest a 1st time sewer of jeans begins.

Sewing jeans for the 1st time - Skirt Fixation

Biggest confession: I didn’t make muslins, and the pair I made for Thomas didn’t work out.  He is not a fan of skinny jeans, and these turned out way too skinny for his liking.  Next time I will adjust the width of the legs to his liking.

Sewing jeans for the 1st time - Skirt Fixation

But not all was lost because I happen to have another sewing friend, Sabra from Sew A Straight Line, who has a very tall skinny son and also has sewed lots of jeans so she can appreciate the amount of effort required to sew jeans.  She posted the above photo on Instagram after she got my package in the mail.

Sewing jeans for the 1st time - Skirt Fixation

Fortunately, the jeans I sewed for my 2 year old son fit great.  (And he’s too little to have a preference about skinny jeans or baggy jeans, so…..)  This pair is actually made from the free size 2T pattern.  So if you’re interested in making jeans and have someone that fits that size, you can try it for free first!

Sewing jeans for the 1st time - Skirt Fixation

This size has patch pockets on the front rather than the standard pockets and coin pocket.  Perfect for small chubby hands.  I did make the traditional pockets and coin pocket on the larger size.  Just so I could try that version too.

Sewing jeans for the 1st time - Skirt Fixation

One amazing thing about sewing jeans is all the topstitching that goes into them.  In a tribute to that, for the back pocket designs, I sewed 3 lines of topstitching across the pockets.  Sort of tongue in cheek, sewing joke.

Sewing jeans for the 1st time - Skirt Fixation

My goal in sewing jeans for my boys was to make them NOT look homemade.  Sort of another funny sewing joke.  Spending hours and hours making something not look like you made it!  But I think I succeeded and the topstitching and hardware play a large part in the not-homemade look.  What do you think?

Sewing jeans for the 1st time - Skirt Fixation

Allegra and the Baby had fun with this photo shoot.  Baby got to hold his long suffering kitty and Allegra just snapped away.  A boy, a barn, a kitty and new jeans.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

Sewing jeans for the 1st time - Skirt Fixation

So what’s the verdict, you ask?  Will I sew jeans again for my boys?  Most likely yes!  I have a great pattern, CaliFabrics has great denim fabric, and I know what sizes to make.  And not make…

Leave me a comment and tell me what a superstar I am for sewing jeans for my boys!

Posted on

Lumberjack Shirt

Buffalo Plaid Lumberjack Shirt by Skirt Fixation

Denim quilt made by Skirt Fixation from old jeans

When my oldest son chose the backing for his denim quilt, his younger brother got a case of jealousy.  He informed me that he’d ALWAYS wanted a plaid lumberjack shirt in just exactly those colors.  Well, he lucked out because there was enough fabric leftover from the edges of the denim quilt backing to make him his long coveted lumberjack shirt.

Buffalo Plaid Lumberjack Shirt by Skirt Fixation

By his good fortune, the fabric had been cut crookedly across the plaid checkss instead of along them, and I even ended up having to order more to make up for this.  I’ll never, ever understand why the cutting people don’t use the lines that go across the fabric as cutting lines.  But I digress, and Thomas was delighted at the amount of fabric left over.

Buffalo Plaid Lumberjack Shirt by Skirt Fixation

I used my old standby button up shirt pattern, the Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom patterns.

Buffalo Plaid Lumberjack Shirt by Skirt Fixation

Buffalo plaid is all the rage right now.  In fact, the buffalo plaid flannel fabric I got is sold out and so are most other places!  But your lumberjack might like this Kaufman Mammoth Flannel Plaid Red Fabric By The Yard. (affiliate link) I’ve heard it is a really nice flannel to work with.  Mine was thick and didn’t shift around or stretch out of shape like some flannels I’ve worked with.

Buffalo Plaid Lumberjack Shirt by Skirt Fixation

With big plaid, pattern matching was easy.  It is even lined up across the placket!  And of course the pocket had to be “invisible” so pattern matching horizontally and vertically was a must.

Buffalo Plaid Lumberjack Shirt by Skirt Fixation

Before I began, I ran through my tips for sewing a button up shirt.  Because this shirt is flannel, Thomas plans to wear it all winter.  And so far he has worn it every single day.

Buffalo Plaid Lumberjack Shirt by Skirt Fixation

This post should probably have some sort of disclaimer about axe safety or no trees being hurt in the process, but Thomas has been the chief lumberjack around here for several years, and never hurt himself or anyone else.  In fact last year I even quit trying to chop kindling myself and just ask Thomas when I need some.

Buffalo Plaid Lumberjack Shirt by Skirt Fixation

The only problem with Thomas’s lumberjack shirt is that now I’ve got a case of jealousy and want one for myself.  And Mr. Skirt Fixation keeps asking me when I’m going to sew a button up for him..

Posted on

Future Dreamer Pajamas {Sewing for Kindergarten}

Kindergarten mini wardrobe sewn by Skirt Fixation

Kindergarten mini wardrobe sewn by Skirt Fixation

The final outfit from our Sewing For Kindergarten mini wardrobe is these pajamas.  I’m not sure why a simple pair of pajamas was so fun to make, but this ended up being one of my favorite pieces from the wardrobe.  This outfit was actually the fastest sew of the whole group.  Maybe it was because the photo shoot was so fun.

Future dreamer pajamas sewn by Skirt Fixation

When I made the shirt for the pajamas, I intended that David would wear it with all or any of the other clothes in the mini wardrobe, and boy does he ever wear this shirt!  I used the Field Trip raglan t-shirt pattern by Oliver + S, and the only change I made was to widen the neckband.  This is my usual change to this pattern as I found the original neckband tended to fold over after wear.

Future dreamer pajamas sewn by Skirt Fixation

David spent a long time choosing which of the constellations to have featured on the pocket.  He didn’t know what each of the animals were, but after I showed him some photos, he decided the bobcat was the one!  It’s really fun to use the pocket as an accent feature because of the cute rounded pocket shape.

Future dreamer pajamas sewn by Skirt Fixation

The pajama pants are Made Everyday’s Kid Shorts pattern and I was so glad I had enough fabric to lengthen them to pants.  That will make them more suitable for fall and winter sleeping.

Future dreamer pajamas sewn by Skirt Fixation

I added a little piece of tractor ribbon to the back of the pajama pants so David can tell which is the front and back of them.

Future dreamer pajamas sewn by Skirt Fixation

Future Dreamer Shirt Details:

Pattern: Field Trip Raglan T-shirt by Oliver+S 

Fabric: Grey double knit and Sew Classic Knits Ponte Roma Solid Fabric – Navy  from JoAnns (affiliate links)

Pocket:  Constellations in Midnight by Hawthorne Threads 

Future Dreamer Pants Details:

Pattern: Made Everyday Kid Shorts lengthened to pants

Fabric:  Constellations in Midnight by Hawthorne Threads 

Future dreamer pajamas sewn by Skirt Fixation

As I mentioned before, this photo shoot was a very fun one!  In the afternoons, the lighting is just perfect across the bed where my oldest son sleeps.  I made him this stunning quilt from his old jeans, and you can read more about the whole thing here.

Future dreamer pajamas sewn by Skirt Fixation

The combination of the quilt, the pajamas, and a 5 year old alternating between trying to pretend he was sleeping and trying to play the harmonica as he was jumping on the bed made for a super fun photo shoot.

Future dreamer pajamas sewn by Skirt Fixation

What simple thing have you made lately that pleased you greatly?

 

Posted on

Where the Wild Things Play {Twig & Tale Blog Tour}

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Wild Thing vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Sometimes you get to be part of something that is just plain fun!  That’s what today’s sewing is about…Where The Wild Things Play.  Warning: it’s a picture heavy post, but I think you’ll see why.  And if you make it to the end, reward yourself by entering the giveaway!

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Recently an Indie sewing company decided to change it’s name.  The former Big Little pattern company changed their name to Twig + Tale.  It perfectly describes what this company is about.  Fun, nature, wild things, upcycling, and did I mention fun?  You simply must go over and check them out.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

To celebrate the name change, Twig + Tale decided to host a blog tour.  We chose to use the Pathfinder Vest pattern and use the Wild Things upgrade to embellish the vest.  You can buy these two pattens bundled here.  We ended up sewing 4 Wild Thing vests.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

There are 14 different animals you can make using the Wild Things pattern.  Of the 3 different wild thing vests the kids chose, only 1 of them has specific instructions, so that gives you an idea of how good this pattern is!  Only the panda is included, so we used the fox to create 2 wolves and the dinosaur to create a dragon.  Let’s go over the dragon first.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

There is a free dragon upgrade, but it wasn’t released yet when we made the dragon as part of our Sewing For Kindergarten mini wardrobe.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

If you look at this photo, you can see the horns were originally made from heavier weight leather.  But they flopped over, and so I changed them out for faux leather that matched the dragon’s spikes.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Then I added the wings, of course, as soon as they were released.  Since I was adding them after the vest was already sewn, I added some pipe cleaners in the “bones” of the wings to give them structure.  Then I turned under the part of the wings by the spikes and stitched them down there and at the shoulders.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

When I showed David all the animal choices he wanted to be a dragon, so a dragon it was.  The outside of this dragon vest is some green fuzzy fleece from our stash, and the lining is Luminaries Gold by Maureen Cracknell’s Nightfall line for Art Gallery Fabrics.  This was a nod to the “Reach for the Stars” theme of the mini wardrobe.  I added a zipper to this vest instead of using the button and loops at the top.  There is a tutorial for how to do this here.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

David had so much fun during the photo shoot playing the part of a dragon wild thing.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

The original plan was to sew a wolf vest for Baby to go with David’s dragon vest.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

These boys love the book “Where The Wild Things Are” and Max (the main character) puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief.  So Baby had to be a wolf.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

The outside of this wolf vest is Golden Husky Faux Fur from Cali Fabrics.  In a nod to the line from the book, “That night in Max’s room a forest grew, and grew, and grew!”  We used Mystical Woods fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics designed by Maureen Cracknell.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Every time Baby put on this vest for a fitting and then for the photo shoot, he would begin to howl like a wolf.  A very cute, baby wolf.  Serious cuteness to see Baby trying to act tough and scary like a wolf.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

I used the fox ears and tail to create the wolf vest.  I inserted pipe cleaners into the ears to try to make them stiffer and stand up better.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Also, the pockets were omitted from this vest, simply because the sewing with faux fur was complex enough without trying to figure out pockets!

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Because I ordered a yard of the wolf fur, Thomas asked, and I acquiesced to making him wolf vest.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Simply because wolves travel in packs, I had enough to make them both, and making two was about as easy as making one.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

This was not the original plan, so I didn’t have any fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics for the lining.  But Thomas just wanted black anyway, so a black lining fabric from the stash (leftover from a skirt refasion!) it was.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Even though I put pipe cleaners inside the ears, they are larger than the small wolf ears and ended up a little floppy, probably due to the heavy weight of the faux fur.  Thomas is cool with it, deciding at times to be a bear, a wolf, or various other creatures!

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

He’s just pleased to have gotten a vest out of the deal.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

At his request, Thomas’s wolf tail is detachable.  It attaches to the lining with a snap.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Also, he is much more realistic at playing the part of a scary wolf!  I used a toggle button and some hair elastic to make closures for both the wolf wild thing vests.  Buttons or zippers just weren’t an option with fur that has this long of a pile.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Sewing with faux fur was a learning experience for me, and I’m sharing 30+ tips (so you don’t have to make the mistakes I did!) over on the Cali Fabrics blog.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Probably because there were so many cute options, and I had the outer fabric in my stash, I decided to sew a 4th wild thing vest for Annie.  She was overjoyed when she discovered she was getting a Wild Things vest too.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

After looking for the options, she decided to be a panda.  I knew there was only one possible fabric to use for the lining, so at the last minute, and relying on her notorious super fast shipping, I ordered some Pandalings Pod Shadow knit fabric (designed by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics) from Imagine Gnats.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

The Wild Things add on (which by the way is meant to be added onto a coat, but it’s very easy to add onto a vest, obviously!) included instructions and all the pattern pieces for a panda.  It was pretty easy to make.   Annie made the pom pom tail herself by following the directions included in the pattern.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

The pockets have a fun paw print detail on them.  Using knit for the lining is not one of the recommended fabrics, but it worked out fine.  I just made sure to keep the knit fabric against the feed dogs when sewing the lining to the vest, to help pull along the knit fabric.  The knit fabric also makes this a very, very soft vest inside and out!

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Instead of the button loops and buttons recommended in the pattern, I made actual buttonholes since the fur I was using has a low pile and isn’t too thick.  For the photo shoot, Annie wore her Uptown Downtown maxi dress made from Art Gallery Fabrics.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

She didn’t think panda bears are very vicious, so had fun playing the part of a more gentle wild thing.

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

Here is a closer look at each of the fun linings.  It was really fun and rewarding to sew these Wild Things vests.  The dragon and smaller wolf vests are the same size, and so the boys will be able to interchange them.  Then when they outgrow them, they will have the opportunity to play panda, and wolf all over again!

Wild Things vests sewn by Skirt Fixation

As for me, I think it’s time to retire from the Wild Thing sewing business.  For a while, anyway, at least until I get all the fur cleaned up out of my sewing room!  Although there are still quite a few animal variations I haven’t sewn yet.  Which one would you make?

 

What would a Blog Tour be without a giveaway!

Art Gallery Fabrics is kindly sponsoring 2 yards of Art Gallery fabric of your choice. To make the prize extra sweet, we are also adding a collection of 5 Twig + Tale patterns of your choice.
International entries are very welcome. Our bloggers come from every corner of the world to celebrate the global nature of Twig +Tale too.
Enter using the rafflecopter below.
(The winning entry will be checked to ensure all criteria are met).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted on

Bethiouas for Everyone!

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

I’ve been on a mission to sew everyone sweaters for fall.  And I’m getting pretty close!  First I sewed one for myself, then I made David one as part of his Future Explorer look for Sewing For Kindergarten.  I used leftover Beckery Cable Knit Fabric from my cardigan to make his, but a different pattern.   As I was sewing it, I just fell in love with the clever details of this simple raglan that I knew I had to sew another, and another, and then another!

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

The Bethioua is another German pattern made possible by Annika from Naeh Connection.  If you were here Tuesday, you remember me raving about how she’s pretty much singlehandedly making sewing a universal language by translating English patterns for German seamstresses and German patterns for English seamstresses.  She currently has 17 patterns available in her Naeh Connection English shop, and rumor has it there are many more to come!

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

We took note of the Bethioua when it was first published, but didn’t purchase it because I already had a raglan pattern that I loved and didn’t need another pattern.  Or so I told myself.  But now that I’ve sewn the Bethioua, I’ve realized how silly my delay was…I will continue to sew BOTH of my raglan patterns…often!

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

 

The Bethioua pattern comes is women AND children’s sizes.  It is created by Elle Puls.  One of our favorite things about the Bethioua pattern is the back.  That curved seam is just too pretty!  And the seam on the back of the sleeves offers a really unique opportunity for stripe pattern matching (photo tutorial included in the kid’s pattern.)

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

Allegra loves the batwing sleeves due, which make the Bethioua pattern perfect for layering.  This pattern can be made in sizes 34-54 for women, and sizes 104-134 for kids.  (Don’t worry about not knowing your European size, the pattern has handy measurement charts to figure out your size in both centimeters and inches.)  The largest sizes in the women’s pattern have optional bust darts.  Another unique feature of the Bethioua pattern is the darts at the top of the sleeve.  This makes the shoulders lay sooooo perfectly, even in thicker fabrics like I was using.  The instructions are short and sweet with drawn illustrations.  Both patterns have options for a straight hem, a curved hem, and a hem band.  The sleeves can be finished with a cuff or simply hemmed.

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

I tried to include different elements of the Bethioua patterns in each of the Bethioua sweaters I sewed.  David’s was sewn first, as part of his Future Explorer look.  His has a straight hem and hemmed sleeves.  Here’s the nitty gritty on that Future Explorer look:

Shirt:

Pattern: Kids Bethioua Pattern from the Naeh Connection Shop

Fabric: Nautica Beckery Cable Knit from Cali Fabrics  and Sweatshirt Fleece Fabric-Navy from JoAnn Fabrics.  Jersey is used for the neckband due to sweatshirt fleece not having enough stretch for a neckband.
Sweatpants:
Pattern: Parachute Sweatpants from Oliver + S
Fabric: Sweatshirt Fleece Fabric – Light Gray Heathered from JoAnn Fabrics

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

Next I made the Women’s Bethioua Aria is modeling.  But a  disclaimer here, the Bethioua is not hers, it is a gift for someone a few sizes larger than her, just so you know about the way it fits accurately.  The women’s Bethioua pattern can be found here in the Naeh Connection shop.  The top part of the sweater is athletic french terry, and the bottom is argyle sweater fleece, bought at the Hancock Fabrics going out of business sale.  There are 2 similar at JoAnn Fabrics, one green and navy and one pink and navy.

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

This Bethioua has a curved back hem and cuffed sleeves.  The argyle was a bit tricky to make the pattern match across the side seams, but I came close enough to be happy with the end result!

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

Next I cut out the other Women’s Bethioua pattern that Allegra is wearing.  The top part of her sweater is fabric leftover from making this skirt, and the bottom is sweater fleece, also from Hancock Fabrics.  These stripes were much easy to pattern match across the side seams than the argyle!  This Bethioua has a curved hem in back and cuffed sleeves.

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

After I cut out Allegra’s Bethioua pattern I saw that I would have just enough fabric left to make a kids Bethioua for Baby!  I made both the boys the smallest size of the kid’s pattern…which means I’ll be able to sew this pattern for them for years to come!  The top of his sweater is Sweatshirt Fleece Fabric-Black from JoAnn Fabrics also.  I made his with a curved back hem, and hemmed sleeves.  I used black jersey fabric for the neckband since sweatshirt fleece doesn’t have good stretch.

Women & Children's Bethioua Pattern Review by Skirt FIxation

And then we had one of the cutest, most crowded photo shoots ever!  I just snapped away as quickly as I could trying to capture that laughter, playfulness and delight of my children in their new sweaters!

Now don’t be silly like I was and delay buying this fantastic pattern… naeh-connection-opening

Affiliate links are used in this post because I love fabric, and fabric isn’t FREE!  If you click on an affiliate link, I might make a couple of pennies on a sale.  Heavy emphasis on the might…

Posted on

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!

Posted on

Boy PJs for (almost) FREE!

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation

The other day I was at JoAnn Fabrics because I had a little time to spare.  (What, don’t you spend your spare time there?)  I needed a couple of zippers and some elastic, so had a good reason/excuse to be there.

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation

On my way to the zippers I spotted a sign that read 70% off.  So I made a detour.  It turned out that flannel was on sale for 70% off, and since my boys had outgrown the boy pjs I made them in February, it was perfectly reasonable for me to grab a bolt.

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation

After all, $6.99 a yard at 70% off brought the price way down to $2.10 per yard.  When I got up to the cutting counter, there were only 2 yard left on the bolt which meant the 2nd yard was considered a remnant and was available for an additional 50% off, did I want it?  $1.04 per yard, yes please!  That brought my total up to $3.15 for two yards of flannel.

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation
Pretend like you’re sleeping!

At the checkout I pulled up my weekly coupons and found one for 25% off my total purchase.  So I ended up paying $2.36 for 2 yards of flannel.  Totally doable.

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation

After that, it only took me about an hour to whip up each of these boys a pair of pajama pants.  It would have taken even less time if I’d have used a pattern instead of trying to draft my own and messing up.

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation

I originally intended these boy pjs for my middle two boys, but mistakes happen, so the two youngest boys are the delighted recipients.

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation

Sometimes we’re asked if it’s cheaper to sew, and while it’s not always true, we sure do love it when we find good deals like this.  Other examples of cheap sewing can be found in our Buy or DIY Skirt series.

Boy PJs sewn by Skirt Fixation
Okay boys, thanks for letting Mommy take your picture. Who wants another cookie?

How about you, got any good fabric sale stories?  Share them with us below!