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!

This blog is proudly sponsored by

Fall clothes for Hugo

Array

I made a few more things for Hugo to wear this fall (and soon winter). You’d think he would have enough hand-me-downs from his brother and sister to deter me from sewing more but…nooope. I just can’t help myself. His clothes are so small and cute. I realized after I took the photos that they coordinate in a way. Accidental color scheme. I’m not sure I’d mix and match them together into outfits though Mr Rae would probably beg to differ, but they all looked nice together so I thought I’d put them all in one post.

top left: a Charlie Tunic, size 18-24 mo in double gauze from Cotton and Steel (yes, that’s fabric left over from my Luna Pants whee!). Facings on the inside, curved hem like the gingham one.

bottom left: a Flashback Tee, size 18-24 mo in a striped knit purchased years ago from Organic Cotton Plus back when it was Near Sea Naturals

top right: a pair of drawstring sweatpants (made up the pattern) in mod fleece by Birch Fabrics from Fabricworm

bottom right: Parsley Pants, size 3, shortened so that the inseams measure 11 inches. This was an experiment to see if I could get the Parsley Pants to fit Hugo, since his hip measurement with diaper on is about 23 inches (previous experiments had found the size 2 was a bit too tight). Turns out the size 3 fits a cloth-diapered 20 month old pretty well. I still think Big Butt Baby Pants fit better, but you can see in the photos below that it’s not bad.

Here are some pictures of my Hugo-boogo wearing them. It’s getting harder to get him to stand still for the camera, but I figured out how to stand him up on our entryway bench so he can’t run away mwuah hah hah. I also may have resorted to mini-marshmallow bribery the likes of which this blog has seen before (many times, as you may well already know).

fall outfits for hugo

fall outfits for hugo

fall outfits for hugo

flashback tee

fall outfits for hugo

fall outfits for hugo

fall outfits for hugo

fall outfits for hugo

I always enjoy seeing my children wearing things I’ve sewn for them. Over the years this blog has given me an additional treasure: a collection of really nice photos of them that I love to look through and enjoy. It really doesn’t matter to me now what they were wearing in the photos, I just love looking at their little faces. It amazes me how much they’ve grown. I’m just so glad that I had a reason not only to take pictures of them on a regular basis, but an excuse to buy a good camera and learn how to use it. Crappy phone pics can capture the memories too, but there’s something special about these.

And I’m so glad that you, dear readers, can enjoy them too. Have a happy weekend!!!

fall outfits for hugo

This blog is proudly sponsored by

Parsley & Moon Pants Roundup

Now that it’s fall and I’m working on sewing my own pants, I thought it would be fun to take a look at what people have been making with my kids’ pants patterns!

parsley & moon fall 15 roundup

top left: Jane’s kids are comfy in chambray Geranium Dress and Parsley Pants
top right: Tuxedo Stripes!
bottom left: Anna used some Rain Walk (her line for Cloud9 Fabrics) to make Geranium and Parsley
bottom right: Angela made these Moon Pants with a Flashback Sweatshirt (here’s the whole outfit)

The Parsley Pants pattern is so simple and infinitely adaptable. Once you get the basic steps down, you can customize the style (by adding pockets! a flat front waistband! tuxedo stripes!) and combine fabrics to make Parsleys into PJs, dress pants, costumes, you name it.

The Moon Pants are newer to my pattern collection, and they’re wonderfully comfy and whimsical, in keeping with the current supercomfy-yet-kindadressy trend that seems to have taken hold. While this pattern does lend itself to girls’ pants, I made it into a pair of sweatpants that look great on Elliot, and I can see it in a linen blend as warm-weather pants for boys.

You can take a look at the Parsley Pants and Moon Pants pattern info pages for size charts and ideas, and don’t forget to peruse my tutorials for all my free tips and tricks! Here are just a few:

Tuxedo Stripe Tutorial
Kneepads – 3 ways
Sweatpants with a drawstring

(Did you know that each of my patterns has an info page dedicated to it here on the blog? All you have to do is type “made-by-rae.com/____” into your browser and fill in the blank with the pattern name. There you’ll find photos, size and yardage charts, a link to the shop to purchase the PDF, and thumbnails and links to all the blog posts related to that pattern. For example: Washi,Beatrix… etc. Everything relating to that pattern in one place.)

Yay for all the pants! Get inspiration and share photos on the following platforms:
Moon Pants Flickr Pool#moonpantspattern on Instagram
Parsley Pants Flickr Pool / #parsleypants on Instagram

This blog is proudly sponsored by

Ninja Boy!

Array

Array

Array

Array

Array

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

Array

Array

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.

Array

Array

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.

Array

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.

Array

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

This blog is proudly sponsored by

Upcycled Parsley Pants

Array

[pinterest]

One of the reasons I designed the Parsley Pants the way I did (as a 2-pc pant) was so that I could whip out pairs for my kids in no time flat. Seems the other patterns I had for pants often involved zip flies, recessed pockets, multi-pieced waistbands, or some sort of extra finishing at the cuffs or hems, and while I love those pant patterns too, they just aren’t FAST. You know? I wanted something like the Flashback Tee (another new striped Flashback for Clementine is shown below) something that could come together in an hour without too much hassle. And thus the Parsley Pant pattern was born.

Array

Array

But…there’s something that makes them even faster: upcycling old adult pants for the fabric. Because then…NO HEMMING!!! So last week I cut apart two pairs of JCrew chinos in pastel colors that I used to wear back in the 00’s and turned them into pants for Clementine. The addition of the pouch pockets was the only thing that kept these from being a half hour project, seriously. And they are not only adorable, but she wears them. DOUBLE YAY!

Array

Array

Array

Array

Array

Here are a few tips for upcycling old pairs of pants into Parsleys:

  • use old pants that aren’t too worn out; the fabric needs to be in good shape. You can cut around (or cover up) stains, but make sure the fabric isn’t threadbare at the knees or anything. You want these pants to stand up in their second life as kid’s pants!
  • I usually only use old pants that still have their cuffs or hems in good shape, so that the old hems can become new hems.
  • To harvest the old pant fabric, cut up the inner leg seams (inseams) with a scissors, then up the crotch seams in front and back, then across the sides of the pants below the waistband as shown in the diagram below. Usually there’s not much salvageable fabric in the waistband, zipper area and pockets, so I just cut those away. DO NOT CUT THE SIDE SEAMS OPEN! LEAVE THE HEMS INTACT!

Array

  • Then lay your pant fabric flat (as flat as you can; some women’s pants have shaping at the hip on the side seam) and place your Parsley pattern over top of the fabric with the original pant hems even with the line on the pattern that says “finished hem line,” and the side seam of the original pant as close to the “tuxedo stripe line” as possible (see diagram below; the lower layer in the diagram is the old pant leg opened up and laid flat). Cut out two mirror image pant pieces, then assemble them according to the instructions.

Array

  • You can still add pockets, tuxedo stripes, pintucks, a flat front, or any of the other “extras” that come with the pattern. The main difference here is that you don’t have to hem them, because your hems are already finished!
  • Additionally, the old side seam makes it look like you’ve put in extra work when you haven’t. NICE.

Array

The big win here for me was the addition of two new quick and cheap pairs of pants to Clementine’s wardrobe (and the tee was quick too!). Love it!

This blog is proudly sponsored by

Favorite Pants

Array

[pinterest]

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)

Array

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.

Array

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!!

This blog is proudly sponsored by

Easy Parsley Shorts for Elliot

Array

[pinterest]

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?!

Array

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)!

Array

Array

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.

Array

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

Parsley PJ's out of Rae's Cloud9 flannelGreen KCW fall 15KCW fall 15KCW fall 152015 parsley pants en t-shirtTwo More Pairs of Comfy Pantsgreen pintuck_hanging pants07-10-15-3607-10-15-3907-10-15-32parsley pals

This blog is proudly sponsored by

Parsley Shorts Roundup

I thought it was about time we did a roundup to show all of the great SHORTS you guys have been making with the Parsley Pants Pattern (here’s the Pants-Into-Shorts How-to).

Kids can really wear any color and print combo and look cool, but I think shorts in particular lend themselves to more wild and playful motifs than pants.  I also love the patchwork effect of colorblocking in a bunch of these photos.

Laura of Craftstorming made those green shorts (top right) as part of a ‘Mouk’ outfit for her son and blogged about it here.
parsley shorts roundup NEW.svg
Top: Left, Right. Bottom: Left, Right.

Look at these kids workin’ it! Clearly Parsley shorts are made for serious fun.  I love Jane’s idea to make swimming shorts for her kids (middle).  Check out the ensuing water fight here (and a great photo tutorial on how to sew those stripes).

parsley shorts 1
Above: Left, Middle, Right.

Have you ever seen anyone so elated to be wearing shorts?  For a closer look at that adorable Red Riding Hood linen print (middle top), read Katy’s blog post here.

parsley shorts roundup 2
Above: Left, Middle Top, Middle Bottom, Right.

This only scratches the surface of the Parsley Photo Pool on Flickr. Go take a look at all the cuteness, and add your own renditions of Parsley, too!

Parsley PJ's out of Rae's Cloud9 flannelGreen KCW fall 15KCW fall 15KCW fall 152015 parsley pants en t-shirtTwo More Pairs of Comfy Pantsgreen pintuck_hanging pants07-10-15-3607-10-15-3907-10-15-32parsley pals

And, hey! FYI Kids Clothes Week Summer 2013 edition is happening next week. Check out the blog here; and they have a new website where you can create a user account here.


This blog is proudly sponsored by

Super seams!

This post is part of a fun online event called “Shorts on the Line!” It’s a summer sewalong all about… shorts! It’s hosted by imagine gnats and  small + friendly. Fabulous guest bloggers are posting their shorts inspiration, tutorials, and pattern reviews, and those sewing along at home have a chance to win some great prizes, including fabric, patterns, and gift certificates! Welcome, Shorts on the Line readers!!!

Today I want to talk to you about something I think is pretty important when sewing for children: taking a little extra time whilst sewing to make sure your seams are nice and strong. Let me show you what I’m talking about. Take, for instance, these cute little shorts I made for Clementine last week from my Parsley Pants pattern (shortened into shorts; see the how-to post here):

Array

They look pretty innocent and adorable, right? What you don’t see, though, is that on the inside they have…

Array

SUPER SEAMS!! That’s right. Don’t be fooled by the cuteness, people. These shorts are made to last.

Array

[pinterest]

When I began making clothing for my children six years ago (for BABY Elliot!), I used a pinking shears to trim the seams, figuring that would help keep them from fraying. The trouble is that kids are pretty rough on their clothes. All that crawling and rolling and running around? After washing the clothes multiple times I started to notice fraying seams, which led to holes. It felt like a waste of time to spend precious nap hours making a pair of pants for Elliot, only to go back and fix them later. It was always worst with the pants and shorts.

Now when I make my kids shorts or pants, I have three ways I like to “finish” my seams. But first, let’s review the basic steps of sewing a pair of shorts or pants with the help of this handy-dandy infographic (by the way, these steps are outlined in MUCH greater detail, along with hints, in both my Parsley Pants Pattern and in my Newborn Pant tutorial, which comes with a free pattern):

how to sew shorts

Step 1: First, you need to sew the center (“crotch”) seams, for both the front and back. This is done by placing the two pieces of the shorts together and sewing the front and back curved edges.

Step 2: Sew the legs together: open up the pant, pin the center seams together, and sew up one leg and down the other. This seam is also called the “inseam.”

Step 3: For basic pants or shorts, an elastic waistband can be made by folding and pressing the top edge 1/4″ towards the inside of the shorts, folding another 1-1.5″ down, and then stitching along the lower fold to form a casing for the elastic. Then you thread the elastic through the waistband, stitch the ends together, and close the hole. I always put a little piece of folded ribbon in the hole before I sew it shut so my kids can tell front from back when they’re getting dressed.

Step 4: Hem the bottom of the shorts by folding and pressing 1/4″ twice towards the inside of the shorts and then stitching that second fold down. You can make a wider hem by folding 1/4″ and then 1,” or replace the 1″ with whatever width you want!

OK, so now that you have the basics, let’s take a look at three ways to finish a seam to make it a SUPER SEAM! (Instructions follow photos.)

SUPER SEAM #1: Fold and stitch down

Array


Array


Array


Array

I use this seam finish most often when sewing the center seams (step 1 in the basic steps above). First, to make the seam itself stronger, I use a “5 stitches forward, 2 stitches back” approach, meaning I stitch forward a spell, then back a couple stitches, forward a bunch, back a couple, and so on. This insures that the stitches themselves won’t pull out with wear. Then to prevent the seam allowance from fraying, fold each side under on either side of the seam, and stitch the folded edges down. A quick easy seam finish that takes almost NO extra time! Here’s what it looks like from the outside:

Array

SUPER SEAM #2: Flat fell

Array


Array


Array


Array

I use this seam finish most often on inseams (step 2 in the basic steps above). After sewing the seam, trim one side of the seam allowance to half the width of the other, fold the bigger side around the trimmed side (to enclose it, if you will), press it flat and stitch it down. Takes a little extra time but has the added advantage of being super strong AND looking awesome.

SUPER SEAM #3: Serge and stitch down

Array


Array


Array


Array

If you have a serger, you can finish seams quickly just by running them through the serger after you’ve sewn them. Once you’ve serged them, press them to one side and stitch them down. Main disadvantage: You need to own a serger. But for speed reasons, this is definitely my preferred method.

UPDATE: If you don’t own a serger, you can use a zig zag stitch over the edges for the same effect — works just as well, just doesn’t look quite the same.

Note: I don’t usually use the serger to sew the seam itself, because if I make a mistake or need to adjust something once I’ve tried it on a kid, a serged seam is a heckuva lot harder to un-sew.

Here’s what this finish looks like from the outside:

Array

So that’s it! I often use a combination of two or more of these finishes on one garment. I think you’ll find that using these three seam finishes, you’ll be able to make clothing for your kids that will last without much extra time invested. Put them on your kids and watch them go!

Array

You can see a few more pictures of the blue shorts in action on Clementine over on this post.

If you need a bit more detail or want to read about even more great seam finishes, I highly recommend these other top-notch resources:
Sew Mama Sew’s Seam Finishes Simplified
Seam Finish Tutorial Roundup from the Coletterie

sotl post 2013 640px

The Shorts on the Line sewalong is hosted by imagine gnats and small + friendly, sponsored by Jo-AnnPretty Prudent/Pellon®, and Hawthorne Threads. Here are the rest of the Shorts on the Line posts for you to enjoy:

6/10 Petit a Petit and Family and Shwin & Shwin

6/11 Delia Creates and Buzzmills

6/12 Cirque du Bebe and Sanae Ishida

6/13 Fake It While You Make It and elsie marley

6/14 No Big Dill and Max California and Designs by Sessa

6/17 girl inspired and Casa Crafty

6/18 Frances Suzanne and Caila Made

6/19 Made by Rae and Craftstorming

6/20 Noodlehead and emmyloubeedoo

6/21 Siestas & Sewing and Made with Moxie

6/24 imagine gnats and small + friendly