Negroni Shirt for Mr Rae

There’s just one more project I want to show you before we officially close up Celebrate the Boy this afternoon, the one item of clothing I managed to complete for the other “boy” in my life, Mr Rae:


I alluded to the fact that I had started on this shirt at the beginning of the month when it’s designer Sarai of Colette Patterns was here as a guest and I’ve nearly had it finished for the last couple of weeks. I finished it yesterday just in time to let it slide in for Boy month. It’s the Negroni Shirt by Colette Patterns and I really like this pattern. Alot. This version was meant to be the test version, and if you look closely you’ll see that it’s not perfect, but it’s perfectly adequate for Mr Rae and I’m glad I made one with this shirting before busting into the more expensive Lightning Bug Dots I originally intended for the final version. Here you can get a nice view of those flat-felled sleeve seams:


This pattern has many nice features, but I think the best thing is that this really is a manageable project for the intermediate sewist. I prefer to “western” up my shirts a little and put the pearl snaps on there because I think taking the buttonhole step out (the most loathesome step in my opinion when constructing a mens’ shirt) is laudable any way it can be managed. If snaps hadn’t been invented you know I’d be putting a zipper or a nice long strip of velcro in there. Kidding (sortof).


{Ok, so I lied. It’s not completely finished. I am waiting on two pearl snap tops for the cuff yet.}

a closeup of the fabric: the flowers are a pale pink; overall color is a cream/natural shade, accents are brown

For those who are still intimidated, let me give you a rough time breakdown and then you can either subtract time if you’re a non-distracted type (unlike daydreamer me), or add time if you’re new to sewing or just plain slow:

  • Tracing and cutting out pieces took me a couple hours (maybe 2)
  • Assembling the basic shirt (including sleeves, collar, front placket) took a few hours one evening (maybe 3)
  • Adding cuffs, hemming, putting on the snaps, sewing on the pockets took a couple more hours (maybe 2 at most)

Does that sound like alot? See to me that’s not too bad. I think that’s a perfectly manageable largish sewing project, and if you really really love the person you’re making it for, totally worth it. But my advice would be to never spend this much time on a jerk boyfriend.

UPDATED: I totally forgot to mention that I did read through Peter‘s Men’s Shirt Sewalong before I made this shirt and would definitely recommend if you’re thinking of attempting this or any other men’s shirt! Thanks Tiphaine for the reminder!

Wrapping up Boy Month

I meant to have a nice roundup post yesterday to end our Boy Month here (it was March 15 yesterday), but I got crazy sick and haven’t been able to hold myself upright for the last couple of days. I’m feeling a little better today, but MAN. I know this is just going to sound redundant but it seems like when your kid is in preschool the whole family is sick all. the. time. Like every day we send him is like pushing him into a germ factory and saying “Best of luck with that immune system, little dude! Try not to bring anything home with you!” I think of all those little puzzle pieces and bingo markers and play foods covered with microorganisms. How often do you think they clean that stuff? Probably never. Typical week: he gets sick on Tuesday because he caught something at preschool on Monday and then can’t go on Wednesday because he’s still recovering from whatever it was he caught on Monday. Then I get sick a few days later. I stick with it because I think wow by kindergarten he’s going to have Superhuman Antibodies and never ever get sick again. Does that sound as idiotic as I think it does? OK, enough whimpering about being sick, Rae! MOVE ON!

I have a few extra boy projects of my own that didn’t quite make the cut this month when it came to posting but I thought this orange tie-dye shirt was worth showing. I made it for one of Elliot’s little friends whose favorite color happens to be orange. I made a similar one for E last summer, there’s a brief how-to on that post if you’d like to make one too.

And I just wanted to show you guys a couple more tutorials that showed up in the pool. First, here’s how to make a stuffed Bullseye from Toy Story by Jessica of Running with Scissors:

Handmade Bullseye Toy Softie

And Jessica’s got a bunch of other fantastic stuff for boys over at her blog.  I love these little dino tails (click on the pictures for the tutorial link)!

Dino Tails

More Charlie Tunics!

Thanks for all of the great comments on my first Charlie Pullover Tunic (posted here)! It sounds like some of you are going to attempt something similar for your own boys, which is very cool! For those of you who might not know where to start, I’m almost finished with a pattern for this (in sizes 12 months – 5T for now). I know I’m usually pretty slow at this stuff, but I really am very nearly there. Those of you who are waiting for other patterns (Pierrot and that piped sunbonnet, to name just two) are probably going to scream at me for having to wait even longer, but I swear they are next on The List. After I move in a couple weeks. Hee! Am not stressing, am not stressing.

pointed placket
flat placket
another version, cuffs folded up

I fiddled around with that placket a little and decided the flat bottom looks nice too. After I unloaded all my photos I realized I kindof forgot to take pictures of Elliot wearing the blue one (oops!). It’s made of a sturdier cotton (Kona quilting cotton) and the green one was made with a super-cheap broadcloth which means neither has the same nice easy flow that the linen one does. But I figured you never know until you try! It doesn’t matter since both of these will still get plenty of wear.

original Charlie

OK, so now you’ve seen them all. Which one do we like the best?

Guest Tutorial: Lego Table by Piccoli Piselli

Well you know we like legos around here. We’ve featured a lego quilt, lego toy sacks, and then there’s our boy month graphics. There’s a reason for that: BOYS love legos (OK, and girls too, but give us a break, we’ve got two days left of our Boy Month so just let us revel in it). And today we have a special tutorial for you from Sascha of Piccoli Piselli to show you how to make the mother of all crafts, the lego table. This particular creation can keep kids occupied for hours and has other parents seething with jealousy (or trying to play with it) when they come over for playdates. Isn’t this spectacular?

Oh yes, you read that right: it’s reversible. Legos on one side, chalkboard on the other. Sweeeet. 

And it goes perfectly with the Peekaboo Lego Sack that Sascha made from Toni’s tutorial (featured earlier this month). Love it!

Here’s Sascha:

Well hello, I’m Sascha of Piccoli Piselli. Some of you already have been introduced to my family but for those of you who are seeing us for the first time, here we are (minus me. I’m always the photographer). There’s Chef, Luca, Rocco (yup, he’s blind), and Vincenzo on our recent trip skiing.

My favorite time of year in blogland is Celebrate the Boy month. I frantically bookmark projects that I will hopefully get around to before my little munchkins are in college.  I tend to procrastinate. A lot! I’m happy to say I was able to overcome my procrastination for this project to create the reversible Lego play table. I have two boys and a girl that I love creating for. Usually I’m sewing things but not today… break out the power tools! For this project I wanted to come up with something that the entire family could enjoy. The project I have for you is something everyone can play with (my husband is more excited than the kids about this one!). Since we are going to visit Legoland in San Diego next month for Spring Break it’s perfect timing to create a reversible Lego play table for my “boy” project this month.

OK, let’s grab the drill and some paint and head over to Piccoli Piselli to make a lego table!

If you haven’t been to Piccoli Piselli before, you will love Sascha’s hilarious writing and fantastic sewing skill. Here’s some other boy loveliness you can find over on Piccoli Piselli:
And tons more fun stuff to peruse:
Thanks so much Sascha for helping us Celebrate the BOY! I can’t wait to see the other lego tables turning up in the photo pool!

Your pictures: Knit and Crochet for Boys!

1. IMG_2301, 2. Headphone Hat 3, 3. Knit Tiny Baby Football Hat, 4. Untitled, 5. Striped Hat and Mittens, 6. Crochet cap, 7. Wileys hat, 8. Texas Beanies, 9. Rib wrapped hat-Kid sized, 10. 02.04.2011, 11. Eli the Elf, 12. J’s hat, 13. octopus mittens (Note from Rae: my seester designed these mittens!!) 14. modern chain maille, 15. Skully Umbilical Cord Hat, 16. TSJ

All photos can be seen in our Celebrate the Boy photo pool. Thanks again to Carolyn of Sycamore Corner, who has been helping me by assembling these mosaics.

Your pictures: Boy Pants!!!

big butt baby pants 003, 2. hose nº2, 3. New pants with back pockets., 4. fancy pants, 5. schip ahoi-2, 6. Dragon pants – modeled by the boy, 7. A Dapper Boy!, 8. Ottobre 1/2009 #21, 9. Red Ticking Pants – Back, 10. board shorts, 11. Slumber Party Jammies, 12. Farbenmix Hose Mika, 13. patch pants in action, 14. dancin pants, 15. Ottobre pants, nr. 6 from 1-2006, 16. Upcycled sweater pants and hat.

All photos can be seen in our Celebrate the Boy photo pool. Thanks again to Carolyn for her help assembling these mosaics.

Guest Tutorial: Balance Board by Elsie Marley

Meg is at it again. She always comes up with the most ingenious ideas, it’s really quite astounding. Today we’re featuring the balance board tutorial she’s put together for Celebrate the Boy, and seriously, how much fun is this? I can see this keeping my boy occupied for a very, very long time:

Meg is no stranger to this blog; you may remember her nifty belt tutorial from last year, and the fact that she went away to Hawaii earlier this year and left those of us in the North Country with free reign of her blog. Meg’s also the host of Kid’s Clothes Week which is always great fun. Stick around Elsie Marley long enough and you might catch another one!

Meg says:

I have two boys: a four year old and an 18 month old. They are constantly on the move. People say boys are different, but you don’t realize how different that energy is until you walk into a room and one is scaling the bookshelf and the other is flying into a belly flop on the couch. So I made this toy to try and focus a little bit of that energy. 
While you’re over at Elsie Marley, you’ll want to check out some other fun stuff for boys:
Hot Dog Tee

Guest Tutorial: Boxer Briefs by Sew a Straight Line

I just love boxer briefs for boys. So in addition to highlighting Bonnie’s sewing pattern this morning, I wanted to feature another way to make boxer briefs, upcycled from tshirts! Our second guest is Sabra from Sew a Straight Line and she’s got a tutorial for you on how to turn tshirts into boxer briefs. 

Here’s Sabra:

Hello, Made-By-Rae readers and boy celebrators.  I’m so excited to be a part of this awesome party of all things boy!   I have three little boys of my own who are always coming up with fun new ideas of things they want me to make them. These days, I sew almost daily and like to use materials I have on hand as much as I can.  With three little boys and a hard-playing husband, we go through a lot of clothing around here.  I keep a stack of clothing that is stained, has holes, or isn’t worn much, but has interesting fabric, to use for my projects.   The inspiration for the boxer briefs I’m going to show you today was a pile of t shirts that just weren’t getting any use, but were in otherwise good shape.  It also helped that the first time I made these, all the shirts just happened to have images commonly used as euphemisms for the male anatomy.  Inspiration comes in all forms, right?  The tutorial I share includes the homemade pattern I use, but the same idea of upcycling a knit t-shirt into something else can be applied to commercial patterns, as well.  That’s so much of the fun of sewing: transforming fabric, whether on the bolt or an item tossed aside, into something completely new.  I love that process.  And when a project doesn’t turn out like I’d hoped, it lands right back on the pile to be made into something else…sometimes even underwear.

While you’re over at Sew a Straight Line, you can also check out Sabra’s other projects for boys:

Thanks for helping us Celebrate the Boy Sabra!!!

Guest Tutorial: Underwear from Bonnie of Fishsticks and Fries

Phew! I am a little late on the posting this morning. Last night we had another awesome Crafters Meetup, so I’m a little slow this morning. Need. more. COFFEE. (and even if I didn’t get my posts finished last night, I did get a little more work done on my Negroni shirt for Mr Rae, yaaaay! So I think there’s a good chance it will be finished in time to show you for CTB).

Today our focus is on….underwear! I don’t know about you, but I find it tricky to find underwear for boys that isn’t covered with licensed characters. The answer? Make your own! You’ll be surprised at how easy it is!

Our first guest is Bonnie of Fishsticks and Fries, who has just released her Undercover Bottoms Boxer Briefs pattern for boys! Bonnie specializes in sewing patterns for knit childrenswear. Some of you might remember that I’ve made underwear from Bonnie’s other briefs pattern in the past. Today Bonnie’s designed a free tank top pattern for your litle guys in sizes 12 months to 5T that pairs perfectly with her boxer briefs pattern.

Here’s Bonnie:

I’m so excited to get to take part in Celebrate the Boy this year!  With four boys of my own, I’m always looking for new ideas to make creating for them fun and functional.  Fishsticks Designs is my pattern designing business that was born from a desire to not only sew comfortable, unique, yet practical clothing for my own children but also to teach other moms (and grandmas, and aunts, and maybe a few dads) to do the same.  You’ll find that most of my patterns are sewn with cotton knit fabrics because that is exactly the fabric that most of us live our lives in.  Each of my patterns includes step-by-step instructions with words and pictures so that you can read and see what to do next.  It almost like sitting in my sewing room with me.  It’s at least the closest that I can get without you stopping by for a visit.
Come take a look at my blog and check out the fun things that I’ve sewn for my little guys! I’m working on accomplishing my New Year’s resolution to sew entire summer wardrobes for my two youngest boys.  Keep an eye out there, too, for a couple of new patterns that I’m designing for Michael Miller Fabrics to showcase their interlock knits for boys.
While you’re over there, check out Bonnie’s other sewing patterns for boys:

Little Fishies Undies

Inside or Out Pocket Pants

Charlie Hoodie

Thanks so much for helping us Celebrate the Boy, Bonnie!


Did you see the awesome string art from Fraufertig on MADE yesterday?

Today Aesthetic Nest has an engineer cap tutorial! Head over to check it out!

Today is also the last day to enter the Nido fabric giveaway so if you haven’t entered yet, now’s your chance!