He’s 5 and he’s quite an individual. I made the shirt and pants, which I’m going to share with you today.
The Pattern is from Ottobre 2011/3, number 21 – “Art Camp”. Its a pop-over style shirt with a collar and button placket. It has a single pocket with button-down tab. Firstly, I really like how this shirt turned out, and Jonathan loves it too. But it took a bit of work to get there!
Cutting out the Fabric
I had this remnant piece with a retro cowboys print sitting in a basket for a really long time. The cowboys are all boys, and they are doing fun things like making pancakes, sitting on fences and riding horses. I wasn’t sure what to do with it, I liked it, but I didn’t want to end up with something that looked like it was pyjamas, because sometimes cute prints for boys do that.
I measured this piece, it was 73cm long on its shortest edge, and 78cm at the longer edge. The pattern asked for 75cm of fabric – so what I had should be enough right? When I buy fabric I usually get a little bit more than what I need for a specific job, I like to have a little extra to match prints, make coordinates etc, but I only had this small piece and I had to be really creative to get all the pieces cut out of it.
Ottobre magazine doesn’t provide any guidance on cutting layouts apart from giving you the grain line on each pattern piece.
This pattern has a lot of small individual pieces, some need to be cut more than once and a few are cut on the bias.
As you can see, I had to cut in stages, refolding the fabric several times.
I was terrified the whole way through cutting this out – worried that I had somewhere made a mistake and would have to scrap the whole thing.
I used every single inch of fabric, but I ended up with all the pieces I needed.
The Placket and Collar
I do think I did a good job and the finished piece looks good, but this was really fiddly to do, and as usual, Ottobre didn’t provide much in the way of instruction, certainly no graphics or diagrams.
So, I followed what instructions were there, I used interfacing, I pressed all the seams as appropriate.
I clipped the corners – not cutting corners – that would have ended up with a very different result.
This collar has a self-bias biding to enclose all the seams at the neck edge.
This was particularly fiddly, and not my favourite method of finishing a collar.
There was lots of folding, trying to eliminate bulky seams, and crossing my fingers that somehow the machine would stitch it together just right.
Sometimes, it took a couple of goes to get it good enough.
But in the end, it did work out.
The lower end of the placket is enclosed within itself, with all the raw edges sandwiched in-between, and a criss-crossed square sewn over the top of it, it was hard to pin and sew, but does give a nice neat finish.
Unfortunately, it didn’t look quite as neat on the inside, I didn’t take a photo of that.
Something else that ended up being well done:
I really like how the placement for this pocket ended up though – and that was not planned, there was no way that it could have been planned with the cutting layout that I had to use. The pocket has pleats on either side to make it expandable, quite handy really.
I used some red buttons from the large tub of buttons that I hoard. They are the perfect colour match for the print, and they are simple enough that they don’t detract from the print, or make the whole thing look too busy.
Its hard to see, but there are also small splits in the sides of the shirt. Jonathan is long through the body, so a longer line shirt, like this one, tends to suit him better.
I made some shorts to complete Jonathan’s outfit. I used another Ottobre pattern, from their most recent summer magazine, 2015/3, number 18 “Explorer”.
These are basic shorts with an elastic waist, mock fly and hip pockets. The back is plain:
This striped fabric is a quilting cotton. I have plenty of it, I made shorts for Jonathan from it before, when he was about 2 years. I couldn’t find a photo of them. I remember when I made them, that I wasn’t sure how they were going to end up looking, that maybe the stripes were a bit too…something. But they did look good, and again, the fabric works well.
There are only 5 pattern pieces for these shorts, including the pocket pieces and separate waistband.
True to the normal order of construction that I’m used to, the pockets are finished first.
But then, the construction method as described in the magazine go along a different order to what I’ve done before when making this kind of garment.
The inner leg seam was joined first! This seemed kind of backwards to me, but I went along with it.
And in the end, it was a very easy way to do it.
The mock fly turned out very neat.
Most of the seams are topstitched, to help them lay flat, but also to help protect them from the tugs of little pre-schooler fingers.
I stitched a small length of ribbon inside the centre back, so that Jonathan knows which way they go on.
And, here are some photos of Jonathan wearing his new outfit.
Thanks for reading.