I recently made Hugo two double gauze shirts. He looks adorable in them, but refuses to wear them. He only agreed to be photographed for this post (in two separate locations) because marshmallows were made available (in both locations).
The blue and green shirt is a double gauze from Cotton and Steel that he picked out himself (I’d just like to point out that in both cases he pre-approved both the fabric AND the design). It’s from the line of C+S double gauzes called Bespoke and I’ve made a bunch of things from the other prints in the collection (this Charlie, these Luna pants, these moon pants) as well as two other colorways of this painted stripe (this dress, this top).
Double gauze is the most comfortable of all woven fabrics to wear, which in my opinion makes it perfectly suited to children’s shirts or pajamas, behind knit fabrics. I also went to the trouble of sewing all french seams; he had expressed so much initial excitement over the style (it has BUTTONS!) and print (“it has NINJA STARS on the SLEEVE!”) that I wanted to make sure it was as comfortable as possible.
Once it was finished and he tried it on, he declared it “too big” at the bottom of the sleeves and waist, and it was set aside.
I made this short-sleeved white one back in August for him to wear because we were having family photos taken. I made a couple of shirts for the boys at that time (including the peach one for Elliot), and this one was the one I made for Hugo.
The fun part is that it’s made from pieces of an old shirt of Mr Rae’s that he used to wear years ago before we were married. The original shirt had yellowed quite a bit around the collar, and was so worn it was getting a bit threadbare in spots, so I cut it apart and used just the beautiful embroidered sections on the new shirt.
After folding under the edges of the panels, I sewed them directly to the front pieces of the shirt, which are a plain white double gauze. For both shirts, I used my Charlie tunic pattern as a starting point, but there’s too many modifications to name here. Eventually I hope to do another boys’ shirt pattern, and perhaps this will be one of the views. As I mentioned with Elliot’s shirt, I really love the bias bound neckline rather than a collar — it makes the sewing ridiculously quick.
Again, rejected. He agreed to wear the shirt for the photos but took it off immediately afterward and hasn’t touched it since. I suppose I could be disappointed that neither of these shirts have been worn, or feel that it was all a waste of time, but I don’t. I actually find it amusing that he won’t wear them (hence the title of this post, which cracks me up), so this is not meant to be a “poor me” post. Guys, I’m three kids into this sewing-for-kids game and I have been here before and will definitely be here again. It happens, and it’s OK! Shrug it off, move on, I say!!
Admittedly this would be more difficult to do if I had put a great deal of investment or time into these projects, but as far as time, both shirts are made of just five pieces (two sleeves, two fronts, one back — and some bias tape for the neckline), so they were quick to sew. And they took a relatively small amount of fabric, especially when compared to adult clothing, so they don’t represent a large investment in that regard.
Lest someone think “well, why even bother sewing for kids!?!” let me say one more thing, the important thing: I try to keep my expectation of what my kids will do with a handmade thing as low as possible, and put my enjoyment of the thing into the process of making it, not how it’s received. My satisfaction is more about the fun I had making it (something I have control over) than how they feel about it (something I have very little control over). If my kids WILL wear something I make, even better! At the very least, they have to try it on (kind of like trying a taste of something new at dinnertime).
Which doesn’t mean I won’t hold out hope. I’m not going to give these away, yet. He might wear them next year. See? I’m still an optimist. I know many of you have had similar experiences with kiddos and the things you’ve made them. I love to hear your stories, too, so feel free to leave them in comments if you have a minute to spare!!