Guest Tutorial + Pattern: Shortalls by LiEr

Today LiEr of Ikatbag is here to share a tutorial for these cute little boy shortalls that can be embellished with piping or made without for an even simpler project! She’s also got a free pattern for you on her blog to make it even easier to put together! You may remember LiEr from last year’s amazing Fold-up Cuff Pant Tutorial. As usual, LiEr engineers her tutorials with the greatest care and produces a high quality result. If you don’t keep up with Ikatbag, do yourself a favor and spend some time looking through her archives. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll learn; LiEr’s creativity and generosity with her ideas are astounding. 

Here’s LiEr:


Hello all – I am thrilled to be back again on Celebrate The Boy! I am a mother of three girls, aged 6, 4 and almost-3, and NO boys. We do a lot of boy-and-girl crafts in our house because too much princess and not enough NASA make for a very skewed childhood. Also, I used to teach high school Physics in my wilder, pre-kid days and we want our girls to feel just as home tinkering with LEDs and alligator clips as crafting with adhesive jewels and floral cotton. As far as clothes go, though, I’m afraid it’s all GIRL in our house. So I made boy clothes, just for you, see? (Pretend my little Katie is a boy, OK?)

I’m sharing a tutorial today on my blog to make these shortalls. If you look past the fancy pockets and piping, it is a simple, classic design for little boys. With no zippers, button plackets or elastic, it’s easy to put together, so it’s perfect for beginners. There’s a free pattern and instructions for making the basic shortalls, as well as the option to add all those details to make it pop. I drafted these short because I’m desperately looking forward to the warm days ahead, but you can adapt them to the longer version for the cool season. I hope you enjoy the tutorial! And thank you, Rae, for letting me join in the fun!

Here’s some other stuff you shouldn’t miss while you’re over at Ikatbag! First, take a look at some of LiEr’s boy-friendly crafts from the year past  (clicking on each photo will take you back to the original posts):

Second, if you’ve ever thought you’d like to make your own patterns from kids’ body measurements, be sure to read LiEr’s series on drafting slopers for children. One of the chapters is on adapting the sloper for boys’ clothes:

And finally, be sure to check out the Pocket Tutorial series with over 20 different kinds of pockets; you might find something to jazz up those boy pants, jacket, or shirts!

Thanks so much LiEr for helping us celebrate the boy!!!

Boy Backpacks!

1. Boy Backpacks, 2. Toddler backpack-4, 3. DSC_0763, 4. For My Mother (for Betsy, Brigid and Me), 5. DSC_0376, 6. Toddler Backpack (Made by Rae pattern), 7. backpack, 8. Airplane Backpack, 9. Toddler Backpack, 10. Snail back pack, 11. BackpackSide, 12. babym backpack back, 13. Toddler backpack, 14. Groovy guitars, 15. backpack, view 3, 16. Toddler Backpack

All of these adorable backpacks were made with my Toddler Backpack Sewing Pattern. Boy-friendly fabrics make these fun for boys and extra accents such as pockets, tags and applique make them even more unique!

SE Michigan Crafter Meetup – March 10

I’m taking a little breather here mid-way through our Celebration of Boys to remind those of you who live in the area that we’re having another SE Michigan Crafters Meetup in Livonia on Thursday March 10 from 7-10 PM. Someone recently mentioned to me that the term “meetup” made them a little nervous so let me clarify just in case it sounds terrifying to you: we bring our own projects/machines to work on and a snack to share and just hang out in a big room with tables and work for the evening. No pressure. You don’t even have to be social; some people just come to make progress on their projects. But it’s some serious fun, so join us if you can! We’ve still got plenty of room.

Here’s the reservation site where you can sign up so we know who’s coming (it’s free!):
A map and more event details can be found at that site.
You can see pictures from two of our past meetups here:
Posted in events

Tutorial by Rae: Billiard Tee

E loves pool, by which I mean billiards although he also loves pools, as in the kind with water. While he’s not big enough or coordinated enough to wield even a child-sized pool cue yet, he’s definitely the perfect size to stand on a chair next to the pool table (until very recently we just let him sit on top of the table) and roll the balls around. If that seems like it might be a wee bit boring, you obviously have not seen my child do this. There’s a fair amount of jumping up and down and giggling involved.

When I saw a t-shirt in a mini-Boden catalog about a year ago that had billiard balls and the caption “Pool Pro,” I knew a project like this had to go on My List. But without the cheesy words. Here’s my take:

This tutorial is the intellectual property of Rae Hoekstra. You are more than welcome to use the image above (giving clear and proper photo credit of course), but please do not copy images or text from the tutorial below. Thanks!

Materials needed:
8″ square scrap of white or off-white jersey (or some other smooth knit like interlock, avoid ribbed knits)
double-sided fusible web or interfacing (heat n’ bond or steam a seam 2 both work fine)
freezer paper
fabric marking pen
fabric paints in black, red, green, purple, blue, orange, and yellow
small paint brush (I use the kind that come with kids watercolors)
sewing machine (optional; see note on Step 9)

Step 1: Find/make a t-shirt. This one is the Tee for Two pattern by Figgy’s, made with turquoise bamboo jersey. Just in case you wanted to know how to get that serged detail along the seams: after sewing each seam I serged the raw edges before tacking them down. 
Now plan out what pool balls you want on the shirt. I searched for “billiard ball images” and then picked  numbers that Elliot likes (3 and 4) and colors he likes (blue and red), and two others so that I would have three solid and three striped balls.
[just click on any images to enlarge them]

Step 2: 
(left) Trace ball outlines onto your white/off-white jersey with marking pen. These circles are 2 1/8″ across. You’ll need at least six circles to make the design shown above but I recommend tracing a couple extra. I also recommend tracing them at least a half inch apart (as you can plainly see I did not do this, but it would have been easier)

(right) I used the cap of my Magic Sizing spray starch, but any 2″ circular shape/cup/cap will do. If you’re making this for a bigger/smaller boy, you may want to make bigger/smaller circles.

Step 3:
(left) Heat n’ bond lite double sided fusible web, the way it looks when purchased by the yard

(right) Cut out a piece of the double-sided fusible web the exact same size as your white jersey. Iron the bumpy side of the fusible web to the back side of the jersey.

Step 4:

(left) Trace smaller circles onto your freezer paper for the inside circles on the pool balls. The reason we’re drawing them on freezer paper is because the shiny side of freezer paper can be ironed on to fabric. These circles are 3/4″ across, so tracing around a nickel or the end of a smaller-sized spool (as shown) will give you the desired size. They also sell neon circle stickers at office supply stores that I bet would work nicely here too, but they’re a little harder to find. Again, you’ll need at least six, but do a few extra because there will always be one or two that don’t turn out quite right.

(right) Cut out the circles from the freezer paper and iron them, shiny side down, onto the white jersey inside of the ball outlines. They don’t need to be centered unless you’re particular like that.

Step 5:
(left) Take masking tape and place it carefully across three of the ball outlines, clearing the center stickers by about an 1/8″ of an inch on either side. My circles were so close that I could use one piece of tape for two balls at a time, but if you draw yours farther apart you’ll probably need two pieces of tape for each ball.

(right) Closeup of the masking tape on one of the balls. Now we’re ready to paint!

Step 6:
(left) Fill in the ball outlines with paint, starting with the striped balls. Using a watercolor paintbrush, lightly brush the paint until it solidly fills the entire outline. The masking tape will produce a nice stripe and the little freezer-paper circle will make a hole where the number will go.

(right) Repeat for the next striped ball; I mixed orange and yellow paint to get a schoolbus yellow. Notice that I’m not too concerned about staying in the lines; you’ll cut your ball out later so you’ll want to make sure you go at least as far as the outline, but it’s OK to go over a bit.

(left) The next stripe was orange, and then, because I had put my outlines so close together, I had to peel up the masking tape from the green ball to fill in the solid red ball. Oops!

(right) Filling in the purple and black ball. Note: I mixed this grey-purple shade from black and purple and then ended up not liking it very much, so I used just straight purple paint for the purple ball you see in the final pictures. This grey-purple ball got used to test the stitching later, but it was good that I had drawn an extra outline!

Step 7:
(left) Let your paint dry completely and then peel off the freezer paper circles and masking tape.

(right) Write the numbers in the center of the balls very, very carefully using black paint or a Sharpie. PRACTICE FIRST on a scrap of jersey!!!

Step 8:
(left) Cut out the balls and peel off the paper backing from the fusible web. Position the balls in desired location on tee.

(right) Iron them down. Use a piece of scrap fabric between the iron and the fabric paint so that the fabric paint won’t melt and stick to your iron. Ack! That would not be cool.

Note: This next sewing step is optional because honestly don’t these look pretty fab just as they are? The fusible web should hold these on during washings so if you’re a non-sewist, stopping here could be a good option. Not having tried that, however, I’d recommend sewing them on:

Step 9:
(above) Sew around the outside edges of each ball, about 1/8″ from the edge. You don’t need to pin, the fusible web will hold them in place. Easy!

(below) Remember that grey-purple ball? I ironed it on to a test scrap of knit and then used it to practice my stitching. It never hurts to do a test run.

Ta-Da! Billiard Tee!

If you make a Billiard Tee, please add it to the Rae Made Me Do It pool or the Celebrate the Boy pool or both!

Happening on MADE: Have you seen Xoelle’s post yesterday on styling your little guy? I love these wardrobe combinations!

The Fabricworm Giveaway closes tonight! Click here to win 3 yards of fantastic organic fabric! 

Toys on the GO! Even more awesome ideas…

Today we’ve been featuring tutorials for things that help entertain your little guy when you’re on the move. This morning Holly showed us how to make a magnetic superhero playset and Ruby presented her toy bag tutorial. Here’s even more tutorials and a roundup of photos for you for the boy on the GO:

Here’s another fantastic way for your boy to take his toys along to the restaurant, park, or grandma’s, a folding playmat bag. This cute playmat has buildings and streets and features a storage pocket, a strap and velcro tabs so you can fold it up into a messenger bag when it’s time to go! 

This tutorial comes to us from Virginia of GingercakesVirginia says: “The bag unfolds into a playmat so he can take it with him all around the house and also when we go to grandmas or in the car.  It even has enough space to pack change of clothes, his blankie and a toothbrush!  You will enjoy the fun of creating a cute play mat design and thinking of him while you put it all together.”

And here’s another fold-up-and-go car mat that is simply amazing:

 It has a police station, a hospital, a pool…and look! It folds up into this incredibly cute house!

This tutorial comes from Narelle over at Cook Clean Craft.  Narelle says, “Yes, I’ve joined the world of the car play mat, by I had to add my own touch, with it folding up into a house to carry around. And the little man loves it: when I was making it, he kept grabbing it and saying “want it” in his cutest 2 year old voice. It’s a handy take-anywhere bag with plenty of space to carry cars and other toys. As an added bonus, the play mat is big enough to hold all my son’s cars, making a cute storage box in the playroom!”

And finally, here’s even more ideas from our Celebrate the Boy photo pool for you to keep your little guy entertained on the GO!
1. Tutorial for a scarf with treasure pocket at Living with Punks: Lil Dude Scarf Interior, 2. Train Caddy, 3. Cozy Car Caddy
Cute ideas for the artist-on-the-go:
More creative ideas for bags for boys:

Guest Tutorial: Toy Bags from Zaaberry

Here’s another great idea for taking toys on the go! You’ll love these cute little toy bags from Ruby of Zaaberry:

Here’s Ruby to introduce herself:

Hi there!  I’m Ruby from Zaaberry and I’m so honored to take part in Celebrate the Boy Month.  My sewing obsession started when I was just a kid wanting to make clothes for my Barbie dolls.  I rediscovered my passion for sewing when my daughter was born and then again when I was pregnant with my son.  I quickly realized that finding cute clothes for boys that fall outside of the typical blue and sports theme is tough.  That challenge inspired me to start my etsy shop specializing in clothing for babies.  On top of sewing for my shop and sewing for my kids (and maybe sometimes for myself), I’m also a biochemist and work in research lab that studies environmental chemicals and the effects they have on child development.  Did I mention I have a family and a life too?  As you can see, I’ve got my hands full.  I do what I can with the time I have and hope to share some of my ideas and inspiration with others.  There are so many amazing blogs out there and I am truly honored to be part of such a talented community.  Thanks!
While you’re over at Zaaberry, be sure to check out some of Ruby’s other great projects for boys:
And I’ve always loved the great baby boy clothing Ruby sells in the Zaaberry shop:

Thanks for a great tutorial Ruby!

Guest Tutorial: Magnetic Superhero Playset with Chez Beeper Bebe

I am SUPER excited about today’s guest (OK, sorry for the pun; I am also very excited)…today Holly from Chez Beeper Bebe is here with the most awesome tutorial for magnetic superhero playset! You may remember Holly from last year when she contributed a nifty paratrooper softie toy tutorial
This time Holly will show the basics of how to make your own magnetic superhero playset! This is great for taking on the go — just stash it inside the Scavenger Bag or Messenger Bag you just made for your little dude (you guys have those finished already, right?)!
Here’s Holly:

Hey. I’m Holly from Chez Beeper Bebe.  I am so happy to be back over here visiting with all of you and Rae.  I use a hand-me-down 1970-era sewing machine from my mother-in-law and I like to make plushies and toys and other things that seem important in the moment.  I also like to make things from other things–finding new uses for old tees, cashmere sweaters, wool suit jackets, and whatever else inspires me at the thrift store.  I have one boy of my own and I can tell you that he can hardly wait to get his hands on the completed project I am sharing with you today and has already asked me 4 times in the last hour when he can play with it (patience not high on the list of 6-year-old virtues). This is actually a pretty simple project that is easy to assemble–and better yet, it is endlessly customizable to your own boy’s interests–be that wild animals, trucks and cars, Spiderman, or maybe Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.  The world is your oyster with this project as long as you are willing to spend a little time doing some image searches on Google.  I hope you will enjoy it–and also, thanks for coming over to my place–it is always lovely to have new people in the neighborhood.  Happy Celebrate the Boy Month!

While you’re over at Chez Beeper Bebe, be sure to check out Holly’s other fantastic toy tutorials and projects. Here’s a peek:

bottom left: Felt Design Book | bottom right: Scenic Sketch Books
Thanks so much Holly for helping us Celebrate the BOY!!!
Boy month is a collaboration between Dana at MADE and myself. Have you seen Dana’s tutorial for turning a big sweater into a little one?
The Fabricworm Boy Fabric Giveaway is going on now and you could win 3 yards of organic fabrics for boys! Click here to enter.
And we always love to see what you’re making. Add your photos to our pool!

Roundup: Creature Feature!

I love looking at the Celebrate the Boy photo pool. I lose hours looking around at all the great stuff you guys are making for the boys in your life. After last week’s dragon slipper tutorial and this week’s monsters I started looking for some monsters and dinosaurs and dragons in the pool. Here’s just a few favorites:

1. 1, 2. Perched above the rocky shore, 3. Monster Snow Hat, 4. Monster Baby, Ottobre 1/10, #6, 5. Tissue Monster, 6. dragon sweater, 7. Yo Gabba Gabba Inspired Fleece Appliqués – Muno, 8. Transformers Pillow Tee Monster, 9. IMG_5105, 10. dragon wings, 11. yellow tee shirt, 12. monster art tote, (tutorial was featured right here on Monday!) 13. sock monster – dragon (XL), 14. Winter Dino Hat, 15. Pipoooo dentinho, 16. Fiery Dragon

We’ll have more roundups coming soon!

Guest Tutorial: Button Fly by Trula Kids

I’m so excited about today’s guest! I discovered Trula’s blog Trula Kids about a year ago and really fell in love with the bright airy photos from this Barcelona mama and the beautiful garments she makes, especially for boys. Trula is here today to share a tutorial for a button fly trouser, a detail that can make garments for boys really special. You’ll find this technique will work with most any boys pant pattern!

Here’s Trula:

I normally have a design in mind and then just experiment until it ends up looking like I imagined (which sometimes, it never does 😉 You could probably call it freestyle sewing. 

Online tutorials are a huge help to me and I am very thankful to the people who take the time to share their knowledge that way.

When Rae asked me to take part in ‘Celebrate the Boy’ I wanted to take it as an opportunity to repay the favour. I was also glad to escape the oh so popular dress-skirt-pink theme and make some boys clothes.

Button flies are just those kind of interesting details of simple designs I really like. You can add them to any simple trouser pattern. Here is how to:

I love those pants and I can’t wait to make a pair for Elliot. Thanks Trula for helping us Celebrate the Boy!

Lorajean’s Magazine is over on MADE today to show you how to make this adorable crocheted Gnome Hat! Eeeeek! So. cute.

And we’ll have another awesome boy fabric giveaway today so come back later to win some great fabric for your boy!