Friday, February 11, 2011

Let's Hear it for the Boy

Despite the fact that there are so many more patterns for girls and so many more options for fabrics with fun prints and bright colors, I'm developing a love for sewing for a boy - thanks in part to the amazing boys clothes I see in Ottobre magazine and in the photos you can see in the Flickr gallery for the Yahoo! Ottobre sewing group. When I lived in Germany I always saw tons of cute little boy clothes at H&M while shopping for my girls and wished that I had a little boy to dress, or at least hoped that I'd be able to find clothes as colorful and cute in the States if and when I had a boy. Well, I did have a boy and now I have to buy all kinds of clothes for him because all I have saved from my girls is, well, too girly. Thank goodness for Ottobre and my sewing skills.

In my last post I had pics of a pair of overalls that I made for T-bird and mentioned that I needed more pants that would fit over cloth diapers. I've since had to switch to disposable diapers, much to my dismay and - dare I say it - shame. He just pees too much. I can't keep him in a cloth diaper for an hour without him peeing through it and his pants, necessitating not only a diaper change but a change of pants, too. I'm hoping that I'll be able to find a solution to this soon so that I can get him back in cloth, so I continue to make pants that are roomy.

First up is a pair of striped corduroys, made with the Kaarna pants pattern from the 6/2009 issue of Ottobre. This is the 3rd time I've made this pattern and, believe it or not, these are a size 74! I've made these lined, according to the pattern instructions, though I've also made them without lining and have another pair of denim ones in the works which won't be lined, either. In any event, I was afraid that these wouldn't fit T-bird anymore because I cut them out in January of 2010. As it was, I couldn't get more of the corduroy to make a larger size and it had already shrunk enough in the wash that I didn't have enough to cut the pockets from the stripe, so I had to use solid brown cord. And I didn't have enough to match the stripes on the pants backs with the yoke pieces. Other than that, I love these.

I was happy that I had enough striped cord leftover to bind the pockets, since there are so many great colors in the stripe and I'd really wanted to do the whole thing in the stripe, maybe using the teal lining as the pocket binding. It came out all right and we got several compliments on these the other day while we were out. I was also really happy with the way that the waistband turned out, even though after I'd completed them I discovered that I'd somehow cut the elastic too big and then had to take them apart in order to shorten it. I really like the look of the knit waistband and the drawstring. This drawstring is a heavy-weight twill tape that I saved from a gift it was wrapped around. The teal color matches the lining almost perfectly.

The second pair of pants I love but also have mixed feelings about. These are the "Outdoor pants", #12 from the 4/2007 issue of Ottobre. I love the design of these and the way that the topstitching can really be a decorative feature. The fabric is a stretch rip-stop cotton in a med-heavy weight. I didn't realize it was stretch when I bought it and for some reason it seemed darker in the store. Now the color looks really light and I'm wondering how well it will hold up to dirt. I may decided to tea-dye them to see if they'll get darker. Until then I really do like the way that they turned out.

My favorite part of these pants is the way the waist turned out. The pattern calls for a standard drawstring, made with poplin or other cotton woven fabric. Because the topstitching is red I wanted to do something red, and it happened that I had quite a bit of red bungee elastic left over from a different project, as well as a red toggle. I thought that this type of drawstring would add a sporty look; I even found red eyelets in my stash of notions, which add another great pop of color against the light color of the pants. Since part of the problem I have with pants that fit over cloth diapers is the fact that they have a tendency to fall down, even with a drawstring, I'm hoping that the elastic drawstring will provide a better fit. If that's the case I'm definitely going to do it again.The other elements that really add interest to these pants are the darts which add shaping at the knees, the pockets and the decorative patch on the back. While the directions call for a contrast color to match the drawstring, I was afraid that a red fabric would have a tendency to run and I didn't want the pants to end up coming out of the wash pink. I'm really happy with the look of these, although I haven't tried them on T-bird yet. If they end up being a go-to pant, I may decide to make another pair in a darker color in the fall. I'll probably make that pair out of twill or lightweight canvas.

That's what I've finished recently. Right now I'm working on a Farbenmix Sasha dress for a friend's little girl, which I'm absolutely loving. It's bright and colorful and has tons of embellishments (oh how I wish I had an embroidery machine!), including a patch from Oilily that I got in a group of patches on ebay. I promise photos of this dress and if I can get the boy to tolerate it I'll have him model it, since my friend lives in Louisiana.