Tuesday Tutorial, sizing down a t-shirt

Hello friends and happy 2016! It’s been a (long) while since I’ve posted. Quick recap, we moved the week of Thanksgiving, and life has been crazy ever since. I’ve used the past few months to catch up on a few projects that have been pushed to the side, and I can’t wait to tell our story of the move, and show pictures of my new sewing space. Until then…

Zac is now obsessed with Star Wars. When he started to see previews for the new movie in December he asked to watch it. My husband jumped at the opportunity, so we ordered the original trilogy off Amazon, and watched episode 4, 5, and 6 over a long weekend. He was hooked and has probably watched them 100 times since then.

Last week, I was walking through Khols and they had adult t-shirts on sale. I thought, how cool would it be to get matching shirts for Zac and Patrick. To my surprise, my husband thought that was an awesome idea. Only problem, the smallest size they had was an adult small, and my son is a 4t.

Sizing down the shirt seemed easy enough, but this is the first time I’ve attempted to do it. First, I cut the shirt down the side seams, but left the neck intact. I cut the sleeves around the seams as well, and you can see that beside the shirt. IMG_6172.JPG

Next, I used an existing t-shirt pattern to ensure I sized down appropriately.

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This would actually make an adorable tank top. I’ll have to remember that for summer… After I cut the body of the shirt, I did the sleeves. I used the sleeves I had cut off from the t-shirt, and kept the existing hem. Because my pattern had you hemming the sleeves, I just folded the bottom up about an inch to account for the difference.

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Once those were cut, I assembled my shirt just like you would if you started from scratch. I attached the sleeves with my serger, and then stitched the sides together. Finally, I hemmed the bottom. I love how this turned out, and using the existing neck binding saved me time. My son woke up this morning and even though it’s currently snowing outside, insisted on wearing his new Star Wars shirt to school. I can’t wait to get a picture of him and his daddy in their matching shirts when my husband gets home tonight.

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I hope this inspires someone else to tackle this quick sewing project. ūüôā

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UP

As a family we started Saturday evening movie nights with Zac. For my husband and me it’s been a great chance to catch up on children’s movies we’ve missed over the past decade. A couple weeks ago, the move we watched was¬†Up. Seriously- this movie needs to come with a warning to parents that it’s a tear jerker, and now in the typical Disney movie way. If you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading now- spoilers ahead! From watching previews I knew the old man’s wife wasn’t going to make it, but was not prepared for the topic of infertility/miscarriage. Before Zac was born, we suffered two losses so this part of the movie¬†(while brief)¬†hit close to home. Thankfully Zac didn’t ask questions about why the¬†couple was decorating a nursery and then the wife was crying in the doctor’s office. My husband and I just glanced at each other and then he went and got me some tissues.

The next morning, I was going through my stash of knit fabrics, and Zac saw my Up fabric. He was pointing out the balloons and characters and he asked me to make him a shirt. How could I say no to that? Zac always gets excited when I make him outfits or pajamas out of character fabrics, but I think this is the first time he specifically asked for something. I got right to work.

I decided I wanted to make a hoodie. Previously, I have made the all ears hoodie by Max & Meena and knew I could do the hood easily (not sure why that was intimidating to me), but I wanted to add a pocket and this pattern doesn’t offer that option. I then remembered I had a hoodie pattern from Brindille & Twig¬†(free btw) and decided to merge the two. The Up fabric is really colorful, so I wanted to use it strategically.

I decided on using grey fabric for the body of the shirt and the Up fabric for the pocket, but first I added an appliqué. IMG_3668 IMG_3676

I decided to do the arms and the inside of the hood out of the Up fabric, and make the outer hood grey to match the front (and back) of the shirt. I went back and forth on what to do for the arm cuffs and the waist band, and decided on a dark grey and I’m glad I did. I absolutely love how this hoodie turned out, and Zac does too.IMG_3682 IMG_3689

The following day was Columbus Day and there was no school. My friend and I decided to take the boys to the Yellow River Game Ranch. The weather was gorgeous and it was a great opportunity to take some pictures of Zac in his new hoodie. Earlier this year my husband and I purchased a Sony a6000 camera and a 50 mm lens.¬†It was a splurge, but I absolutely love this camera and the pictures I’m able to capture with it._DSC3092¬†_DSC3101 _DSC3127 _DSC3092

Got Dirt?

Recently, I discovered the wonderful world of knit fabric, and the secret society of knit Facebook groups. In these groups, you get fabric for cheaper prices by placing (and paying) pre-orders and then waiting anywhere from 4-10 weeks for your fabric to arrive. These groups sell fabric by the yard, but many also sell panels. I wasn’t sure what these panels were at first, but OMG- they are fabulous, and compliment the fabrics they’re designed to match perfectly. Last month, I ordered a yard of the mighty machines fabric from Peekaboo Pattern Shop¬†and a matching panel. The panels from this shop are different from most others because they’re twice the size of most (20″ by 28″), providing fabric for the front and back of a shirt.¬†IMG_0515 I mentioned this shop in a previous post, and if you haven’t checked it out yet, you must. I purchased the Maui Muscle Tee pattern to use and both Zac and I are in love with the finished product. The shorts are from Brindle & Twig, and are one of my favorite patterns at the moment. They work great for boys and girls, and use no elastic- only lycra/cotton jersey fabric. Super comfortable and I think we’ll get 2 years wear out of the 3t/4t size for Zac. IMG_0474 IMG_0477 (1) If you want to try out any of the patterns from Peekaboo Pattern Shop, use my referral¬†link for 15% off your first purchase. Happy shopping!!¬†IMG_0512

Shop Small September

When I was pregnant with my son, I discovered Etsy. I loved the idea of getting unique one-of-a-kind items that you couldn’t find in retail stores. Some of my first purchases were knit hats that we used for Zac’s newborn photo session.¬†399436_10100252257321431_856788793_n 381116_10100252259691681_1861366990_n

As he grew, I continued to shop on Etsy (especially for photo session outfits). It wasn’t until I opened my own Etsy shop I realized how important shopping small really is, and the value in supporting small businesses.

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These days, I make a lot of Zac’s clothes, but I LOVE buying items from small shops too. I’ve also had the joy to participate in a few trades and love swapping items with fellow Etsy shops.¬†Recently, I got the idea to challenge myself to dress Zac in only items made either by me, or from other small shops. It will take some planning, so I’m starting now- today actually, with this blog post. This year, I want to make the month of September, the month to encourage myself, friends, family, and followers to shop small. I’ll be using the hashtag: #ShopSmallSeptember on Facebook and Instagram to help advertise, and I encourage you to do the same.

I realize that a month is a long time,¬†but you have time to plan. Can’t commit to a month? I get it- try a week, or maybe just the weekends. This summer we are in survival mode, but once school gets started again I plan on offering some coupon codes and promotions for Shop Small September, so stay tuned!

Here are some of my favorite shirts from some of my favorite small shops. Miracle Baby tee is from Tink & Key, Why fit in? and Forever Young are from The Blue Envelope, and the Independent tee is from Riverband Threads. The Pete the Cat pants, triangle pants, and stars and stripes shorts are made by me. ūüôā10553695_10101677430537881_1723020070927117835_o-1

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Tutorial Tuesday, how to make a hooded towel

Happy Tuesday friends! Life here has been busy, hence the lack of blogging. Today I was finishing up some towels and thought it would make a great tutorial, so here we are.

Right around the time my son turned 1, all the cute hooded towels I got when he was a newborn magically shrunk (I refused to believe my baby grew), and I was in the hunt for new ones. I found some at Khols, but just like so many things in my life, I realized I could totally make them myself. Today is your lucky day because I’m going to teach you too.

Materials:

  • Full sized bath towel ($5 at Walmart)
  • Hand towel ($3 at Walmart)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Serger (not necessary but helpful)
  • Embroidery machine (optional)

I embroider my towels. This is not necessary and I’ve seen tons of Pinterest tutorials with ribbons or other decorative accents on the hoods. There are also tutorials on Pinterest where you get two hoods out of a single hand towel. Warning- if you do not have a serger, your towels will fray, especially doing it that way. I personally find my way easier and if you don’t have a serger, your seams are hidden with my method.

So, here we go. I take my hand towel and fold it over, leaving one or two fingers of clearance at the bottom. I then eyeball and sew around the sides and top with my sewing machine.

Next, I trim around the edge and leave about 1/2 from the seam. After that, I serge around the edge. This step is optional!

You’re almost done!! Flip the hood back right-side-out, line it up to the middle of your towel, and sew a straight stitch to secure it.

   

Enjoy!!

The launch of Maxaloones

Today is the day!!! Maxaloones are now available for purchase in my Etsy shop. I love these pants. Seriously, they’re the best. My son is tall and skinny, and the size 1’s (with some added length) fit his skinny bum perfectly. They’re designed to be adjustable in size, where the ankle bands fold and unfold, providing additional length.

I have issues where I like my son to be the best dressed one in his class. There is no competition or award, but I feel like I need to be the winner. A few weeks ago I found this shirt at Walmart, and then splurged on this organic jersey knit fabric from Spoon Flower. I thought together they’d be perfect for Valentine’s Day, but would work for pajamas too.

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The fabric arrived Saturday and I wasted no time cutting it up to make pants. I’m in love. Seriously, this fabric is thick, stretchy, and oh so soft!! The pants are darling and they’re now up for sale on Etsy.

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This weekend, my son brought home his class pet, Pete the Pony. He came with a notebook for us to journal about his weekend with us, so we took him to the park on Sunday. Zac wore his maxaloones that I finished up earlier that day. They were great for climbing, running, jumping, and sliding too.

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No excuses, play like a champion

A long time ago, I purchased a pattern from Etsy for Maxaloones (baby/toddler lounge pants). I then joined a Facebook group for people who make these pants. For months, I observed, and oohed and awed over their photographs. The week after Christmas I decided to give the pattern a shot and I was blown away by the result. I’ll go more in detail about why these pants are the best pants ever for little kids next week when I launch them in my Etsy shop, so stay tuned.

Yesterday, while procrastinating on other projects, I decided to see if I could make a pair of Maxaloones out of an old t-shirt. A quick walk through my closet and I knew just the shirt. I measured to make sure the front logo of the shirt would fit on the bum of the pants, and to play it safe I made them a size larger than what my son currently wears (a decision I now regret, but he’ll grow into them). So, here they are! I used a cotton/lycra jersey blend fabric for the waist and ankle bands. The lycra helps it to have a great stretch, making it so elastic or a draw string isn’t necessary. Overall, I’m pleased with how they turned out. It’s always great to be able to reuse something old and give it new life.

2015/01/img_4905.jpg2015/01/img_4907.jpg2015/01/img_49271.pngIt’s becoming increasingly difficult to photograph my child these days…

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