Charley Harper leggings for Hugo

Charley Harper leggings for Hugo
I really love the Charley Harper prints that Birch has put out in the past year. This vireo print is one of my favorites, and I was really excited when it ended up on knits as well as quilting cotton! This is the second thing I’ve sewn with the Birch knits, and I really like the quality of these knits a LOT; they hold up well, have a nice (medium) weight, and the perfect amount of stretch for clothing. One thing I learned the hard way is that they do shrink quite a bit in the wash, so my usual 1 wash / 1 dry prep for fabric didn’t work as well; the Flashback dress I made for Clementine shrunk even more in the wash after it was sewn and now is more of a 3/4 length on her sleeves and tunic rather than dress length…oops! Totally my fault, but I would recommend washing and drying these at least twice if possible before making something.

Charley Harper leggings for Hugo
Charley Harper leggings for Hugo

The pattern…hmm. I’m almost 100% sure that a pattern exists for this exact style, but honestly I just traced a pair of knit leggings he already had in a smaller size and added a little width and length to make them bigger. The final fit was trial and error (read: me wrestling them on him during a diaper change, then trimming off the seams with the serger after he went to bed, then repeat again the next day) and it took a bit more tinkering than I would have liked, but they look really cute now so I’m happy with them. But all that to say: life is usually easier when you just use a pattern. I could learn to take my own advice a little more in this department rather than going rogue all the time; it just saves so much time when someone else has done the work for me, and I’m realizing more and more how much my time is really worth.


I guess that brings up a good issue in general that I still struggle with when it comes to sewing: how to decide what to sew when time is so limited? I remember when I first realized that I could sew ANYTHING in that classic world-is-my-oyster kind of way; there was something so freeing and awesome about being able to sew anything I set my mind to. But inevitably the project list became overwhelming and unrealistic, and I’ve had to pare it down and really choose more carefully what I want to sew, especially because kids outgrow things so quickly. So while I’m still pretty spontaneous slash irresponsible about what I choose to make, I definitely try to weigh how much something will get worn or used against the amount of time it would take to make it, and then considering whether it might just be better to buy it and weighing that against the question of whether a child in Malaysia might have sewn it up for me…OK, I digress, but you get the point. In this case, the leggings will probably get a few months of wear, but considering how cute they look, it was totally worth it.

Charley Harper leggings for Hugo


12 thoughts on “Charley Harper leggings for Hugo

  1. I was standing still in a shop with two pairs of shorts for each kid debating Malaysia/me, like stock still making tortured facial expressions while people tried not to look. So hard. All comes down to the extra value, I guess, whether that’s enjoying the process, the product or whatever fun is likely to come of it for someone else. Tell you what, though. Sewing has wrecked, I saw wrecked, my enjoyment of RTW. Not only do appreciate factory sewing machinists and wrangle over the ethics of fast fashion, but I keep saying I could make not by things I never end up doing either with. Probably not so bad, in the end, but gah … and so forth. Amazing leggings on amazing little legs there. Out of the ballpark Ms and Master Rae.

  2. you and anime gnome are reading my mind, verbatim. I just stitched up a linden sweatshirt while baby was with her granny for hire. $17 an hour and I made a sweatshirt?!,? Le sigh. I chalk it up sometimes to the process (I made this!) but most of the time…I guess Malaysia wins.

    • haha yes!! I try not to think about how much I would have to sell something I’ve just seen for to compensate myself for the time I’ve just put in (and the cost of childcare, YES)…it’s too depressing

  3. ahhhhhhh the age-old make vs. buy dilemma. i think you chose wisely here, my friend. these pants (and that baby) are STINKIN CUTE.

  4. I am just sewing with my first order of Birch knits and I really love them. I made a couple of tees and shorts in the last week and am already planning my next order. Your leggings are super cute.

  5. I am totally in the midst of the make versus buy debate right now. We’ve just gotten to warmer weather (it’s Maine) and my kid has 3 short-sleeved shirts and 1 pair of shorts. I love making her stuff, but I also just need a few things to put on her, especially as the dirty quotient is upping with more outdoor play time.

    She’s also getting more picky about what she wants to wear, so I’m nervous about spending a bunch of time on a project she won’t like. She’s two, so there’s not a whole lot of input I can get before hand.

    I think it comes down to make what you enjoy making. there’s no point in making say, leggings, even if it’s quick/easy, if you don’t like it, right?!

  6. My boys are 5 and 6, and at this point I pretty much just sew them pants and shorts. Neither of them really like to wear jeans, so they have lots of Parsley Pants in all sorts of bright colors (which they really like, and are hard to find for boys in stores). Lots of their shirts have come from goodwill. When I can find a Ninja Turtle or Darth Vader shirt for $.99 that I know they will LOVE, it makes it hard to want to sew those types of basics…

Comments are closed.