Back to School Boys Blog Tour

Welcome to the Back to School Boys Blog Tour hosted by Little Gents. Make sure that you read all the way to end for links to all the other awesome blogs in this tour.

Firstly, I have to say, that “back to school” is not what is really happening at my house – I live in Australia, and we are about half way through our school year, and…we actually have a school uniform. So, sadly, I don’t get to sew as much for my kids as I would like to. However, today I’m going to share you a kind of mini-capsule that I made for my son, Jonathan. If I did need to make clothes for him to wear to school, these are exactly what I would make – clothes that are comfortable, practical, easy-wear and easy-care, and with some fun little details. This mini-capsule contains separates that can be mixed and matched together, and with all the other items in his wardrobe, so its really building on the basics that he already has.

T-Shirts
Every child needs basic t-shirts for everyday wear. I used the Primary Tee by GYCT Designs. I used this pattern to make a striped tee for Jonathan not long ago, and I have used it make a few things for my girls as well. It is such a good all-rounder.

I made two t-shirts for this mini-collection. The first has short sleeves. This was an incredibly satisfying scrap-buster, I had just about a fat quarter sized piece of the construction print cotton lycra left from a previous project, the fabric was a bit of a special buy (European knits are a bit of a splurge price-wise), and the scrap was too big to throw away, but small enough that I didn’t know what to do with it, until I realised that I could fit two short sleeves, and a pocket, and a neckband out of it! So those smaller pieces of special fabrics are definitely worth holding onto. I matched it with some plain black cotton lycra.

This second t-shirt is all one fabric – but its not all one colour! Its hard to see in the photo, but the fabric is a two-tone navy/black cotton lycra blend. It is a slightly thicker fabric, so I made this with long sleeves, as a warmer t-shirt to wear in cooler weather. The navy is just timeless, it matches everything, its just so easy.

Sweatpants
To make these sweatpants I used a pattern called “Jolly Joggers” from the most recent Ottobre Design Magazine. If you’re not familiar with the Ottobre Magazine, it is a pattern magazine designed in Finland, there are 4 kids issues per year (one for each season) with ~40 patterns in each issue from babies up to teens. I have subscribed to these magazines for years because they have a good range of everyday clothes for kids, and are one of the more interesting ranges of patterns for boys in particular.

These narrow-legged pants have slanted hip pockets on the front, with a contrast colour trim in the corner – apparently this will help prevent things from falling out of the pocket. There are two different waist band options for these pants, I used an elasticated band with a drawstring. I only recently acquired a press to put in the grommets, so almost everything I make these days has a drawstring!

My favourite feature of these pants though, is the back pocket – this is the not the first time that I’ve sewn a welt pocket, but it is the first time that I’ve done it with a zipper. And I’m pretty pleased with the result.

A quick note on the fabric – Jonathan’s favourite colour is orange. I found this fabric on the bargain table at Spotlight while I was looking for something else, and I just had to get it. It was labelled as “carrot” on the bolt. Jonathan loves these pants so much, and because he loves orange, I already had the matching ribbing for the cuffs and waistband lol.

Hoodie
A hoodie is kind of a mandatory piece in a small boy’s wardrobe. Although he already has quite a few I did make a new one. I used the Henry(ette) pattern by Lolletroll, who have only just recently closed their shop (very sad). I make this hoodie a lot. Its my go-to hoodie pattern. I particularly love this hood option where the front of the hood is cut on the fold. It is really easy to sew – no matching or crossing over fronts and it’s so easy to wear.

I did, of course, add a drawstring to this one. Jonathan had specifically requested something that a builder might wear, I found this neon yellow fleece on the bargain table at Spotlight (this is also when I found the orange for the pants above), and I knew it was perfect. It is so bright though, I don’t think it comes across in the photos just how bright it is, but it hurts my eyes to look at it! I matched it up with some navy ribbing for the cuffs, waistband and elbow patches. I also happened to have some matching cord already on hand – sometimes a project is just meant to be.

This hoodie pattern comes with some very cool colour-blocking, but I left that out this time and instead I did some machine embroidery. I found this very cool design
on Etsy by Appluque Geek Designs.

Although I love the finished design, it wasn’t the easiest one that I’ve done. I had a few issues with doing this design:

1. The 5×7 design would not fit in my hoop. This seems to be an issue with Singer though, as I have come across this quite often. So I stitched out the 4×4 size instead.

2. The design is actually in two separate files – and they didn’t match up! I had to manually move the position of the design or they would have been completely out of alignment.

3. The design did not stitch in a logical order, i.e. it didn’t stitch one block at a time, it stitched the outline of each block, the stitch that attaches the appliqué, and then do the same for each block, and then return to the first block to stitch the details. This meant that there were at least twice as many thread changes as what was really needed. And that was quite a few because of all the different colour lego bricks.

Fortunately, it all worked out in the end, and I just love the result.

I didn’t really intend for Jonathan to wear all these items together, but he did. Somehow it all works for him.

Blog Tour
Back to School Boys Blog Tour hosted by Made for Little Gents

We’re making back to school fashion fun for boys with all these makes! Check out what each contributor has made:

Thurs. Aug. 23 | Made for Little Gents (Intro to Back to School Boys Blog Tour)
Fri. Aug. 24 | Tenille’s Thread
Mon. Aug. 27 | Sewing with D
Tues. Aug. 28 | Made for Little Gents
Wed. Aug. 29 | Custom Made by Laura
Thurs. Aug. 30 | Sew Cute Couture by Kathy | Paisley Roots
Fri. Aug. 31 | My Sewing Roots | Ronda B. Handmade

Thanks for reading!

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