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Archive for the ‘sewing for boys’ Category

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Our three-year old, no longer a baby, M got a bunch of clothes recently. I made all of them, except one, from the same book, so today I thought I could do a book review of sorts.

I got this book from my last trip to Tokyo in May, the chief attraction of it being the fact that it has several unisex patterns, some of which start at 80cms and run up all the way to size 150cms. N’s t-shirt that was featured in the last entry came from here too, following which I made a few things for M.

First up, the tops:

Besides the t-shirt that I made for N, I made M this loose fitting shirt for M, titled in the book as “cook’s shirt.”

DSC_0025 With a double breasted button placket, supposed to mimic a chef’s uniform, the shirt was pretty easy to put together–good instructions, enough pictures, that kind of a thing. The top technically opens all the way down in the front, but given that these little hands are desperately trying to put buttons on and take them off all the time–still somewhat unsuccessfully, I decided to stitch down the placket for the bottom half while still keeping the buttons. So now thankfully, there are only four top buttons to fiddle with.

The fabric is a light and lovely printed voile that my sister-in-law gifted me ages ago; the buttons come all the way from Taiwan, a gift from another friend.

The second top is even simpler. It is a simple A-line blouse with a back closure.

 

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Given how easy this was to make, and how wonderfully it showcases a special fabric (in this case a double gauze submarine print brought on my Tokyo trip) I had high hopes from this blouse and thought it would be my favourite. Except that, I find the top a wee bit short, and perhaps a tad too feminine. The girl version, in the book shows gathered sleeves with cuffs at the wrists, and I think I might like this one on N more than on M. Oh well, he doesn’t care really for very much except the submarines, and would rather wander around in a skirt than pants on most days. And, who am I say to no to a feminine touch on boys clothing? Plus, its double gauze, summery and we all love blue. So, I would say it works well, and is in heavy rotation.

Having said that, I would still like to add my two bit (reminder to myself and others out there possibly interested in the book): check to see the length if more needs to be added–prior to cutting, of course. M was exactly 100cms when I made it, and that’s the size I cut. It’s been about three weeks since I made it, and its already too short. I might add a band in contrasting fabric at the bottom. Two, the sleeve width runs on the side of narrow. This would not, I think matter to a overall skinny kid, but it did for M. This surprised me, since I am so used to sewing for N, and she kind of floats in Japanese patterns. But my over all sense from the tops in this book is that they might not be as broad as in some other books, which is something to keep in mind for future sewing.

And, now over to pants. (I promise we are done with the bicycle photos for some time now.)

DSC_0165These pants were actually the first thing I made from the book. Titled as “Thai pants” they have again two options: either two side pleats, or a gathered front. I opted for the latter, and it produced a rather cute pair of everyday pants with an elastic waist. They sort of balloon at the waist and then taper to become quite narrow at the ankles.

The grey ones are in mangalgiri cotton and the blue fabric is also cotton but slightly stiffer than mangalgiri with less drape. I got both at HP Singh in Nehru place (see here for a write up on Delhi cloth markets).

Unfortunately, as I write this, both pants are no longer in use. After a few wears, they both tore at exactly the same place–right near the seam at the crotch. I.e the tear was in the fabric, which meant that they were unrepairable. I am still wondering if I should have cut them on cross grain, without which there was too much stress on the fabric when the boy was playing around and doing leg splits (in imitation of his sister). I had initially loved the look of these, and given their simplicity was planning to make one for N too. Not surprisingly, older sister has refused this pattern! I won’t be making these anytime soon (unless perhaps I find some very small baby to sew for–someone is the 80cms range, who is not quite as rambunctious)! But besides that I need to figure out what went wrong with these. Because they are so cute!

And that’s about it in terms of the book review. Despite the failure with pants, I still like this new addition to my collection of Japanese books. It has a good mix of standards, and for those interested also carries three patterns in adult sizes. And, I do like all the tops I made from it. There are still a few other pants to try, and I definitely want to make the blouse with cuffed sleeves for N. It will be good for cooler weather which I hope comes soon.

Asmita/xx

 

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Hello again!dsc_1186As promised, I am back with a post about birthday #2 which also happened in July, this one in Delhi. It was a much smaller affair than #1, although N did initially try and get me to invite her friends as well. We decided against it, and she did eventually come around to understanding that this was baby M’s birthday celebration which meant inviting people-adults and kids that he knows well. That included our neighbour’s daughters who are N’s friends and who M is immensely fond of, and their mother who is our friend too and who shares her birthday with M. We ended up with a really small guest list, actually, mostly the same people who had made it to his first birthday party last year!

N helped me make a banner that I had been long dreaming of.dsc_1218This was super simple. First, I sewed up two fabric triangles together wrong sides together. Then, N did her thing with the pinking shears and I basted the letters cut out of felt with some glue first and then added a machine stitch on the top. I hope it holds up for a few birthdays at least.

Then came the dress. dsc_1228

dsc_0167The shirt pattern is from the Lullaby Layette by Oliver+S. I love this pattern, and having used it several times before I wanted to give it one last shot in the 18-24m size. To be frank I contemplated briefly if it was a tad too girly, but eventually that didn’t deter me from making it. He’s two, and girly or not, I think he looks so adorable in it. Besides, it such a fabulous pattern and the print is so cute . I find children specific prints in good quality hard to come by in India; this fabric was gifted to me by my sister-in-law and I must ask her where she got this. The fabric is voile hence perfect for summer; I had only 0.75 metres and the shirt fitted perfect in the little bit of fabric.

I also made a pair of pants from some mangalgiri cotton to go with it, again from the same pattern I mention above. N wanted to add a helicopter, because he is kind of obsessed with them and so she drew one and I embroidered it at the bottom edge. (I am sorry to not have better photos here of the pant–he does like to roll on the ground a fair bit and I failed entirely in getting him to stand for a photo shoot, let alone wear the shirt and pant together.)

But I do hope you get the idea. It a seriously comfortable pair of pants and shirt/top, and with Liesl’s fantastic instructions it comes together very quickly-even the placket. I will be sad when he outgrows this size.dsc_0123dsc_0121Here are a few more photos of baby M in action (in case you haven’t had enough 🙂dsc_0175

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dsc_0177And, all in all it was another fun party. I didn’t get a picture of the yummy chocolate cake we had. But it was worth making despite the fact that it was hot humid day.dsc_1250And despite some difficult times last year, looking at him now feels like time has flown. With always a ready smile on his face he has become a chatterbox that I never expected him to be! is

Asmita/xx

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After making some shorts for N it was time to embark on some pant making for baby (now toddler) M. Truth be told, I have hardly sewn for him. We are very very lucky to get a serious amount of good quality hand-me-downs for him from N’s classmate’s brother. Once we are done with it we pass them on to someone who is a couple of months younger than M. It’s a good get-use-pass on chain going on and frankly I am very happy with it. But recently there has been some dearth of pants in the midst of unsuccessful potty training practices and I wanted to try out a few patterns.

So here goes. #1

The pattern comes from Heather Ross’ Weekend Sewing. I bought this book ages ago after I took an excellent class with her at the Purl Soho and was entirely smitten by her charm and sewing skills. I haven’t made a whole lot of things from the book, but what I have has been put to plenty of use, such as these pants. I literally must have sewn up about 6 or 7 for N in various sizes then, and I had saved the paper patterns from then. So I cut a 12-18 months size based on his measurements (M is 21 months now) and made this in less than an hour. It’s is very quick. Only two pattern pieces and then the top turned down for the elastic casing. I suppose one can add lots of embellishments, pockets, colour blocking that kind of thing, but I decided to stick to the basic version. The fabric is remnants from N’s dress here.

#2 comes from Oliver+S’ lullaby layette pattern.

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I made these back when M was barely 6 months old and enjoyed the style very much. Given his current measurements I made in the 12-18 size, but he still also fits into the size 6-12m although they are ridiculously short now! I think with a cloth diaper the current size would be too tight but since we are almost entirely avoiding a diaper during the day these days these are doing just great.

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The main fabric comes from Milind’s old shirt. The waistband and pockets are from some fabric I had left over from an old pair of N’s shorts. Babies and pockets–there is something always smile worthy about this combination!

#3 is my current favourite. Right around the time M was an infant I bought this pattern and then sadly completely forgot about it. I am glad I found it just in time because it runs only till size 2T.  Again I made it in the same size as above, and I am so glad I did.

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As Rae says these are clearly designed to be worn on babies in diapers and I have to say that the back panel does make an already adorable baby body part look only cuter (of course, I am talking of baby bottoms :-).

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I used 1/2 metre of mangalgiri cotton that I bought in Pune during my last trip and some scraps from the khadi that I used for N’s pants a few years ago.

Not surprisingly N is pretty delighted to find bits of familiar fabric in baby M’s clothes!

Oh, and before I forget I also made two super quick pairs of shorts from the Oliver+S free pattern.

The blue fabric is remnant from N’s pajamas and the red is from my old dress.

Sewing for N, I noticed felt quite different from sewing for M. I have, of course, made a few things for M here and there, but this is the first time when I really got down to making a bunch of stuff. With N, I find her to be increasingly totally involved in the whole process. Over last year especially, it has become almost impossible to surprise her with a new dress or pants. For one I have realised she doesn’t like these kind of surprises. She now wants to be a part of every bit of it–how to the patterns look, what gets sewn where and the different kinds of fabric, not to mention the choice of embellishments. Baby M of course has no clue that I am sewing anything for him, of course he doesn’t notice that he is wearing a new pair of pants. 🙂 And so, in some senses the final effect with him in his new clothes is a kind of a surprise. I am enjoying it, and really savouring these two different moments in a sewing process.

What about you? Do you often think of how this end point of sewing a garment feels like?

Asmita/xx

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to palampur

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flowers 1

mushrooms we ate

cloth art

shop in mj

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Oh, it was a week of blissfully cool weather, breathtaking scenery, lovely food, and much needed quietness. But I think if I were to choose one thing that I enjoyed the most it would be the amazing bus rides which got us from one place to another.

I am so glad to have taken this trip and then come back home to M and N. N did not miss me much, as she told me of the phone (I did miss both of them though!), but then yesterday when I asked her what her best part of the day was, she said that “it was to not have to tell the best part of her day on the phone but tell it with me in front of her.”

I didn’t get any sewing done this week as you can imagine. But I saw something quite incredible–women around me, knitting all the time, that is, even when they were walking up those mountain paths! Talk about good use of time. I wish I had taken a picture of it!

However, right before I left I made a quick pair of pajama pants and top from this pattern. bedtime story pjs

pants kimonoIn size 3T,  for a sweet little boy with whom we stayed for a few days during our trip.The fabric, which is very light cotton, is locally purchased from Khadi Gram Udyog; the trim is from on old piece of cloth I had. The pattern is quite roomy I realised after I made it, and so might use it with extended length to make on for N as well.

Bye for now. Thanks for visiting, and have a lovely weekend.

Asmita

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