Plaid Parsley Pants with Piping

plaid parsley pants / made by rae

I finished these amazing Parsley Pants for Elliot this weekend. He kept commenting that they felt like pajamas. This is due partly to the elastic waistband, partly to the genius pattern design (like how I snuck that in? hee), and partly to the lovely fabric, which is a reversible double-cloth from Robert Kaufman that have a brown side and a plaid side. I honestly thought he would choose the brown side for the outside of the pants but no, it was all plaid, all the way. You can see both sides of this fabric, which is currently on sale, in the Imagine Gnats shop, by the way!

plaid parsley pants / made by rae

plaid parsley pants / made by rae

As you can see, there is no half-assing these pants; when you wear these it is a full-on commitment to the outfit. Luckily for my almost-9-year-old, he has a history of wearing Amazing Pants (here / here) so he’s used to the comments and attention. I’m quite interested (also, half worried) to see how his classmates respond if/when he wears them to school. He’s a confident and happy kid, but he’s also getting to that age where he cares what other people think, you know?

plaid parsley pants / made by rae

The Parsley Pants sewing pattern is a super-simple pant pattern with two pieces (right leg, left leg) with an elastic waistband, and then a whole bunch of “extras” to make the pants more interesting and fun (pintucks, tuxedo stripe, pockets, flat-front waistband). I designed this pattern because it seemed like there were only two types of pant sewing patterns for kids out there: super-simple (basically PJ’s), or super-detailed (multiple pieces, pockets, zippered flies, waistbands; basically, time-consuming or tricky), and I wanted something that would be easy and quick to make but still have some interesting variations. I love that you can customize them to your heart’s content.

plaid parsley pants / made by rae

For this pair, I added the pouch pockets with some brown piping. I’ve got a quick Piping Tutorial here on the blog if you’d like to make your own piping, but I used a store-bought package and prewashed it with my fabric to prevent it from shrinking when these are washed.

plaid parsley pants / made by rae

I basted the piping around the two curved edges of the pocket before sewing the pocket linings and pockets together. I love piping so much; it classes everything up; you might even remember this Piping Improves Everything post from Celebrate the BOY a few years back where I rounded up some great boy projects that feature piping.

plaid parsley pants / made by rae

There’s more great Parsley Pants in the photo pool, or you can check out the #parsleypants tag on Instagram to see what everyone else is making with this pattern!

Lion Shorts for the boys

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I’ve been trying to keep up with this hot summer weather by making shorts for the kiddos. With three children I’m starting to realize that making handmade clothing for each kid each season is not a realistic task, but that doesn’t prevent me from trying. One way to maximize the use of my time is to cut two pairs of shorts out of one fabric. It’s cute when my kids match, but it’s more about not wasting fabric and working quickly than anything else. I made these shorts from the Moon Pants Pattern (for Elliot) and the Big Butt Baby Pants pattern (for Hugo). I turned the pant pattern into shorts using my Turn Pants into Shorts tutorial, which is so, so easy. Seriously.

The fabric is one of my favorite prints designed by Sarah Watts for her very first Cotton and Steel collection. I love those lions! Mr Rae commented that this print would also be great as a wallpaper, and I completely agree. I can totally see it in a kids’ room or a fun entryway wall, can’t you?

Lion Shorts by Rae

I got a few photos of both boys wearing them at the same time, which was a minor miracle, although Hugo wasn’t exactly in the best mood. He managed though. Elliot meanwhile was showing off his now nearly toothless smile. He has been missing those two middle top teeth for what feels like half a year and I’m starting to wonder if the new teeth will ever come in. Is this normal??

Hugo doesn’t like grass. Just like his sister when she was little.

Lion Shorts by Rae

He likes the swing better.

We got this swing from Hearthsong for the kids to replace one the cheapy plastic one that came with the house when we bought it last year, and it’s great. They make even bigger ones that could have also been pretty fun, but I’m not sure our poor tree would have been able to support all of the neighbor kids on one swing so it’s probably best we stuck with the smaller size. It’s really easy to put Hugo on it by himself without worrying that he’ll fall off. Or he can sit in one of the kids’ laps, which he loves. The kids love it too, as you can see!

 

Ninja Boy!

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He’s my little Ninja. Er…I guess not so little anymore? Medium-sized Ninja?

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The kid is always throwing punches and kicks and generally bouncing off the wall. I’m not sure where all the energy comes from but it seems to be infinite. So a NINJA Flashback Tee (with short sleeves and a shoulder mod) seemed perfect. Paired here with some blue twill Parsley Pants that were oh-so-simple to sew: just the basic pants with an elastic waistband and a “tuxedo” stripe with a scrap of fabric my friend Chris gave me at the Weekend Sewing Retreat last fall stitched down the side. There’s also a quick tuxedo stripe tutorial at this post, but it’s also one of the many options included in the Parsley Pants Pattern.

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After talking about how awesome Lillestof knits are in my favorite knits post, I figured I should put my money where my mouth was and actually sew with them to see what all the fuss was about. Um, yeah. They’re awesome. Lovely amount of stretch, very soft, wash well, don’t fade. LOVE. Definitely worth the extra dollars in my opinion, and trust me, I’m a sucker for cheap knits too so I think I know what I’m talking about. I got this ninja print at Simplifi but you can find more sources for Lillestof in that favorite knits post.

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Maybe I’m feeling nostalgic today, but it gets me a little choked up when I think about how many of you “know” this kid. Like, you’ve read for years and watched him grow up, and make his silly faces and poses and be a goofball (you need to go look at at that Hansel post if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s kinda my Opus) in more than one post, and even though it’s through the screen, you feel like you have a sense of his personality, you know? I suppose some people could get creeped out by that but the glass-is-half-full me thinks it’s pretty fun that so many of you can enjoy his great personality. On the other hand, I am acutely conscious of the fact that he’s never had a say about (or even really comprehend the concept of) having his face be so familiar to literally millions of people. I’ve started talking to him about that, because I think he’s old enough to start understanding what that means. Someday he may ask me not to put his pictures on my blog and I will say OK, but at least for now he’s having fun.

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Please don’t pin or repost pictures of Elliot. Thanks!

Bringing back big butt baby pants

I’ve been putting together a (rather long) list of things I want to sew for the baby for quite a while; it’s mostly little boy baby clothes, burp clothes, bibs, crib sheets, that sort of thing, things to fill in the gaps and freshen up the baby wardrobe that is currently aging in plastic tubs in my basement. Let’s be realistic, it’s been nearly five years since I had my last baby, and seven since I had a baby boy. So that means not only has half of the stuff already been spit up on twice and covered with stains, the other half is either covered in pink ruffles or out of style. Wah wah.

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BUT! That means I get to go bonkers and sew all kinds of new baby stuff, right? RIGHT. Starting with Big Butt Baby Pants. So far, three pairs made for my baby and one for a friend’s baby (had to include those here too since they were made with Fanfare!!!):

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I remember writing a slightly nostalgic post a few years ago called “Goodbye Big Butt” about the fact that Clementine was potty trained and no longer had a need for the B3P’s since they have extra room built in for diapers and they look the cutest with a nice big squishy diaper underneath. Now I get to bring ’em back. Hurrah!!!

By the way, my “Baby-To-Sew-List” Pinterest board has a few of things I am planning to sew for this baby, if you’re interested in taking a look.

Favorite Pants

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Ever since I started sewing pants for E, he’s had a favorite pair. A pair that if it’s clean and in the drawer will most certainly be worn. Over and over and over. The first pair that I can remember was this pair of Dapper Dillingers, which now are so threadbare at the knees that Clementine never wore them (serves me right for making pants out of quilting cotton without kneepads). These Saffron Pants are definitely his current favorite. They are an early version of the Parsley Pants that I made as part of my Celebrate the BOY collection last winter. I’m particularly fond of the pintucks on these pants (quick tutorial on that can be found here and is included in the Parsley Pants pattern)

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I couldn’t resist showing you the outfit he picked here, partly because his hair is SO GLORIOUS but also because the outfit actually coordinates. He wears clothing I’ve made him pretty much every day, but usually picks odd combinations of stripes and prints (actually, now that I think about it, it would be great to blog some of the more hilarious combinations as well). This is the shirt that he wore for the first day of school this year (also made by me with one of my own patterns). I love the Kokka fabric on the shirt not only because of the cute elephant print but because it’s really soft.

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Have a fantastic weekend everyone!!

Pennant Pants with Sherpa Pockets

Today’s Fanfare project is a pair of flannel pants that I made for Elliot. You didn’t think I would just sew clothes for the girl, did you?

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One of the reasons I love Pinterest is that it gives me so many ideas for sewing for Elliot (you can see my “Elliot” board here). And I love seeing when someone else uses a pin for inspiration on a sewing project, so I’m going to show you the pin that inspired these pants, even though I’m a little embarrassed that these pants really didn’t quite hit the mark. If you look at that link, you can maybe see that what I was going for here was something like sweatpants, with a knit waistband and cuffs. But the truly awesome thing is the sherpa pockets, which Elliot loves because they are so warm and cosy.

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Anyway, I keep studying these while he’s wearing them because I feel like they’re either a little too wide or a little too narrow (I used the Parsley Pants sewing pattern as a starting point, just cut off the waistband foldover at the top and tapered the legs). Or maybe a little too long, because when he wears them you can’t really see the cuffs very well? But he’s turning into a little stringbean, so I HAD to make them long because he’s starting to grow out of all of the size 6 Parsley Pants I made him last spring already. Stop growing, little dude!

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So I’m not sure if I should keep tinkering with them or not, but at any rate E loves them and has already worn them three days in a row (including to school yesterday), so that’s a win, right? But don’t you think they would be even greater with a pair of SHERPA KNEEPADS??? Or is that completely insane to put white kneepads on a pair of boy’s pants. I think I am answering my own question.

*JAZZ HANDS*

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The fabric of course is Fanfare, my line of organic flannels for Cloud9 Fabrics, which is in fabric shops right now. I used the amazing Michael Miller Organic sherpa for the pockets (which is currently in stock over at Fabricworm) and a grey rib knit for the cuffs and waistband.

I’ve been hosting a Fanfare blog tour for the past week, so if you’d like to see all of those posts, you can click here. We’ve got just one more stop on the tour tomorrow, and then it will be back to the usual randomness around here after that!

Easy Parsley Shorts for Elliot

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Somehow I ended up making all of my kids’ shorts this summer (too lazy to buy them…haha), and it seems like we are always running out of pairs to wear because they’re in the laundry. Kids get dirty, especially in the summer. Go figure. So I finished up another pair for Elliot earlier this week with a bit of fabric I had left over from the Washi Dress I made with the same print. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but this print is probably my favorite from the Tsuru line. Quilting cotton is perfect for summer shorts, and it means I can make much more colorful and interesting items, especially for Elliot, who is now entering the size category of boys’ clothing that is entirely boring. I mean, total snoozefest. What is UP with that?!

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I trimmed off the Parsley Pants pattern as shown in my “Make Shorts from Pants” tutorial to make them into shorts (I believe I measured 6 or 7″ down the inseam) and used the most basic waistband option, which is just elastic all the way around. I also double-stitched the hems; this is something I learned from Dana, and I love how it makes them look a bit more “BOY” and profesh.

Speaking of Dana and shorts, if having a ready-to-go shorts pattern in your arsenal is more your speed than cutting off pants (I hear that!), you should definitely check out her recently released KID Shorts pattern, which is really great! It’s formatted a bit differently from the typical eBook instructions; I love that she’s doing a series of blog posts to show you how to make all kinds of different shorts with the one pattern (which is totally the way I love to sew)!

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It was difficult to get a good photo of these shorts ON the child. By the time I got my camera and brought it outside, he had already turned on the hose and sprayed himself with it. I just had to laugh…it’s so ELLIOT. I did manage to snap the shot below with my phone later in the evening when we went to the park. I think it captures something wonderful about summer evenings, when the sun is going down but it’s still warm and light outside. I love summer so much.

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See what everyone is making for summer with the Parsley Pants Sewing Pattern!

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Parsley Shorts in Action

I just finished another pair of Parsley shorts for Clementine, this pair in a lovely Oxford fabric from Yuwa called “Cat and Bird” (I found the fabric here).

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I had considered making her a matching Flashback Tee to go with them, but this morning she put together this genius ensemble, making me wonder why I ever bother making matching clothes for her. I can’t say it would have ever occurred to me to put these two things together, but it works (shirred Pierrot tunic blogged here).

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They look a little puffy in the bum, but that’s because there’s an entire ruffled hem tucked in there.

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Here are some “new” poses she insisted on (please don’t pin these pics below; the ones above are fine, though). Very creative, this girl. I sense that she may have a future in theater.

Parsley Shorts

Parsley Shorts

Parsley Shorts

Now for a few shots of Elliot’s moon shorts (you can see a better shot of them in this post):

Parsley Shorts

Parsley Shorts

And that is my little Zombie. Having grown up in a house full of girls, I can safely say I never imagined I would have a six-year-old who was obsessed with zombies. I for one did not know what a zombie was when I was six, that’s for sure. I certainly never anticipated that his preschool teacher would pull me aside last year and explain that it is NOT OK to talk about zombies at preschool because it was frightening the other children. THAT was a bit embarrassing. Oops.

If you would like to make the Parsley Pants pattern into shorts, you’ll find a very handy little how-to over on this post. Check it out!

Baby Boy Quilt + Pants

I’ve had no less than nine friends and family members give birth to boys in the past year. NINE. Can’t think of a single baby girl though…why is that?? What is up with the baby boys?? I would be lying if I said I was able to make handmade gifts for all of them, but I did manage to finish and gift this little boy quilt last week:

Happy Drawing

Happy Drawing

Happy DrawingHappy Drawing
This ladder quilt was inspired by this quilt on the Cloud 9 blog, which in turn was inspired by this post by Lu Summers. There’s a tutorial for Michelle’s version on the Cloud 9 post, mine is a bit simpler but if there’s enough interest I could probably post some instructions for this version as well. I used my “cheater bindof method” for this quilt, super easy and — extra added bonus! — because I quilted all the way to the edge of the blue backing with white thread, it created a cool stitching pattern along the side bindings.

Happy Drawing

Baby quilts are so fun and quick to make. I like that it’s rectangular so that it could be potentially used as real bedding once little Baby M is old enough in addition to the usual nursery decor or play-blanket functions.

Oh and of course I had to make a cute little pair of Big Butt Baby Pants too!!! Love the little frogs on this print. That Ed Emberley is a genius.

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{Fabric in this post: Happy Drawing by Ed Emberley for Cloud 9, stripes are Hello Pilgrim by Lizzy House, blue and white Moda Bella solids for quilt backing and sashing}