Oh what a busy day! Polka Dot Top for Clementine

I’m a guestie for Ms Katy over at No Big Dill today for her lovely Once Upon a Thread Series with a little outfit I sewed for Little Miss C inspired by the book “Oh What a Busy Day!” by Gyo Fujikawa, a favorite book from my childhood.

Head over to No Big Dill to see pictures from the (very vintage) book I read as a child and pictures of C’s outfit. Be sure to peruse the past contributors’ projects as well, all based in some way on a book. Amazing and so much fun to look at! I love Katy’s theme, sewing from children’s books? Brilliant! And a great excuse to make a fun new outfit! Here’s the top:

The pattern I used for the top is one of my own (sorry not available yet), a classic empire-waisted top with ruffle sleeves and pockets. If it looks familiar, it’s because it’s the same basic pattern as the one I used for this Ric-Rac baby dress last year. The fabric is the cherry dot from the It’s a Hoot collection by Moda, which reminded me of this cute little top from Oh What a Busy Day:

The capris were made with blue baby-wale corduroy and a highly modified version of the Big Butt Baby pant pattern (shortened with single pintucks in front). Just realized how few pictures I took of the capris, so I’ll post a few more shots of those later.

Here’s some out-takes from our “photoshoot” to bring you behind the scenes at our house a little bit…

someone isn’t always happy to have her picture taken
pacifying the subject with a little Richard Scarry video time
what’s in your pockets Clementine?
mini marshmallows!!!

Thank you Katy for having me over!!

Sewing for Boys Book Preview

Today I have an exciting announcement and I’m thrilled and honored that I get to be the bearer of this news: Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage have written a book about sewing for BOYS with Wiley Publishing and they’re here to give us a preview today! And can I say, it’s about time? Those of us who sew for boys have been bemoaning the lack of good resources when it comes to sewing for boys for years (in fact, that’s what gave Dana the — may I say– brilliant idea for Celebrate the Boy in the first place). It’s always wonderful and encouraging to see the sewing world bloom in this area and who better to write a book about sewing for boys than two mothers of boys?

I love the story of Shelly and Karen’s partnership: two women with small handmade businesses across the country from each other meet on Flickr and decide to team up. The result has been truly amazing. Since they began working together just over a year ago, they’ve released an impressive collection of print sewing patterns, authored magazine articles, done all kinds of interviews and now, written a book. As a friend I have gotten a glimpse of how much heart and soul (and toil) has gone into this project, and I’m so very proud of these two.

Here’s Karen to introduce the book to you:

Shelly and I are so excited to finally have the go-ahead tell you what we’ve been up to this past year.  It has been so hard to keep under wraps, because it’s just exactly what we’ve *always* wanted to create. You might already know the story of my fondness for creating (not-itchy, comfortable, completely washable) boy clothes for my sweet Peter, and you might also know that Shelly has two rough and tumble sweet guys of her own

When we first started talking about what we wanted to do with our professional lives, the main goal was to WRITE A BOOK together focused solely on boys.  We wanted to create a beautifully photographed variety of projects.  We wanted to include nothing but handmade projects in the photos, provide a sample of garments for every season, give a catalog-like view of boys actually playing and living in the clothes we designed, and then provide specific, illustrated instructions on how to make the designs easy to re-create and adapt.  And, thanks to the shared vision of our *amazing* publisher over at Wiley, we have been able to realize our shared dream!

This book is expressly designed with home sewers in mind, who either have a young boy in their lives or who want to create garments or other kid-friendly projects to sell from their home-based business. We hope that mothers, grandmothers, crafters and those making gifts will all find this a pattern collection to turn to, time and again.

The projects span from super-simple to more time-consuming; from zero pattern pieces to many.  We have taken requests for patterns over the years and bundled them up with brand new designs, including full-sized patterns to trace, which makes this book a steal for seamsters.  We believe there is something for everyone who wishes to make stuff for boys in our book.  The actual publish date will be in August, but you can pre-order very, very soon!

These photos are absolutely stunning. Thanks so much Karen and Shelly for giving us such a wonderful preview. I know I can’t wait to see the book in person!
Patterns by Figgy’s is also having a boys’ pattern giveaway over on their blog today, so if you’d like to win some awesome patterns for your boy(s), head on over!


We’ve got just ONE WEEK left of Celebrate the Boy!
Dana’s got the Boy Trifecta over on MADE today with a layered pirate shirt!

Guest Post: Lego Quilt with Wee Wonderfuls

I think I can safely say that Wee Wonderfuls was one of the first craft blogs I ever laid eyes upon, and it was love at first sight. Hillary Lang is one of the craft-blogging pioneers (along with a few other amazing bloggers such as Amy Karol and Alicia Paulson) responsible for fueling my love for sewing blogs back when I was just starting to understand what a blog even was. It’s hard to remember back that far. Maybe you guys can remember when that happened to you. Hillary has amazing illustration, design, and sewing skills and she comes up with stuff like this awesome lego quilt that is so simple yet brilliant that it knocks your socks off.

At any rate I was over the moon when I asked Hillary if she’d like to play along for boy month and she said yes (and I got even more excited when she said her project was lego themed)! She made this fantastic lego quilt for her son Oscar and she’s shared it with us on her blog.

Here’s Hillary:

Alright, let’s celebrate the Oscar! When Rae asked if I wanted to participate in this year’s Celebrate the Boy series on her blog I hopped on board because it’s been about a year that I’ve had a pile of fabric set aside for a lego themed quilt for Oscar and I thought this would be a kick in the pants to get it done. The boy is no stranger to themed quilts. He started out life driving cars on his racetrack quilt. Then I cut up all his baby clothes and made them into the wonkiest but one of my, along with Phoebe’s, most cherished quilts. When we moved into our house we painted his room green and I made him a new vehicle themed quilt to go in his big boy room (shown below). This quilt has been off the bed for a year or so and I’ve been waiting for inspiration to hit.

Oscar’s room + camper quilt

Click here to go to Hillary’s Lego Quilt post

Thanks for joining us in Celebrating the Boy, Hillary! 


Dana’s got MORE PANTS over on MADE today!

Guest Post: Embroidery Patterns for boys from September House

Corinne of September House has designed a special embroidery pattern for boys as part of our celebration! 

Isn’t this adorable? I love the details on the vest and the cricket. It’s called “Real Live Boy.”

She’s even making it available as a FREE PDF pattern download!  Here’s Corinne:

“I decided to design a pattern from the fairy/folk tale Pinocchio. I’ve always thought it seemed like a perfect story for boys and I love the message it sends to kids about doing the right thing, following your heart and what being a boy is really all about. Plus, I happen to adore puppets so this story has been calling my name for quite some time. 

This pattern is designed to fit inside an eight-inch embroidery hoop. You can vary the size according to your needs by adjusting the printout size on your printer or by making these adjustments on a copy machine. Hang it right in the hoop or consider incorporating it into a mini quilt wall hanging. This would also make a cute pillow or could be stitched up as a quilt square in a fairy tale themed quilt. Fabric storage like drawstring bags or fabric boxes could be embellished with this or other embroidery patterns as well.”

Corinne also took the time to put together a collection of some of her favorite embroidery patterns that are available online right now. Some are freebies and some are available for purchase from various sellers. What a neat roundup!!

Row One:
My Bed is a Boat by Follow the White Bunny

Vintage Dogs from Doe-C-Doe
Bicycles from Polka and Bloom

Row Two:
Sunburst Lion from Bees Knees Activities

Little Tiger’s Orangey Celebration from Joeysdreamgarden
V is for Viper from Penguin and Fish

Row Three:
Robotics from the flossbox
Bat Boy from Andrea Zuill
Dinosaur Rock Band from WaterPenny
Row Four:
Fly High from motherwifeartist

Robot Rock from Urban Threads
The Solar System Set from Wild Olive

You can see more of Corinne’s work at her blog, So September, or in her shop, September House. Thanks for the lovely free pattern and for helping us Celebrate the Boy, Corinne!!!

Guest Tutorial: Sarai of Colette Patterns

Have you heard of Colette Patterns yet? Recently Colette has burst onto the sewing scene with lovely, retro-inspired sewing patterns for women. Their pattern collection features dresses, blouses, a coat, and even lingerie. They recently released a new pattern that really piqued my interest: their Negroni shirt for MEN! I had to have it. I ordered it right away and it went straight onto “the list” of projects for Celebrate the Boy *crossing fingers that I’ll get Mr Rae’s finished in time to show you.*

Here’s a peek at the Negroni pattern (all images courtesy of Colette Patterns):

I knew I had to ask Colette’s creator Sarai to help us out when it comes to sewing for men and boys. Not only is she a talented designer and seamstress, she writes fantastic tutorials. Today she’s written a couple of tutorials for us on flat-felled seams. Don’t let the terminology scare you, this is one of the best ways to make guys’ clothing (or any clothing for that matter) look professionally finished, and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to do! She’s also got a giveaway for us today that I know you’ll find very exciting. Even if you don’t enter the giveaway make sure you at least go and take a look at the Colette website which is one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen.

Here’s Sarai:

“Hi friends, I’m Sarai from Colette Patterns! While the trademark of our patterns might be a feminine, vintage-inspired style, I’m also passionate about sewing for men. In fact, we recently introduced our very first men’s pattern, the Negroni.

While Colette Patterns is focused on adults rather than kids, when Rae asked me to participate in Celebrate The Boy Month, I jumped at the chance to show you some sewing techniques that could be applied just as easily to boys’ clothing as men’s (or women’s, for that matter). In honor of this month, I’ve written not one but two tutorials on creating flat felled seams, a very sturdy and durable seam used often in guys’ (and little guys’) shirts and trousers. The first tutorial shows you how to do these seams without the aid of a special foot, and the second shows you how to use the foot if you have one.”

Click on the links below to go directly to Sarai’s posts over on the Colette blog:

Thanks Sarai for these wonderful tutorials! We’re so glad you could join us to help celebrate the boy!


Have you seen the Men’s Shirt Sewalong that’s happening over at Male Pattern Boldness? Peter’s writing is hilarious and his sewing is impeccable. If you’ve been thinking about making a Negroni shirt, be sure to take a look!
This entire month of THE BOY is a collaboration between myself and Dana of MADE! Dana’s doing a fantastic Kids Pant Series (including a free pattern that I think might actually fit Elliot, yipee!) and yesterday added an easy lining tutorial for pants! Check it out:
And one last thing: if you’re a local, come to our next SE Michigan Crafter’s Meetup on Thursday March 10. The next one’s happening in Livonia again and we’d love to have you join us! See these posts for more information on what it’s all about.

Guest post: Liesl Gibson of Oliver+S

How exciting is this? Today the amazingly talented Liesl Gibson (sewing pattern and fabric designer, blogger, and creator of Oliver+S) has agreed to talk to us about sewing for boys and how details can really make boys’ clothing special! Liesl will also be giving away a set of three boys patterns from the the Oliver + S collection!

I had the pleasure of meeting Liesl last summer at the Weekend Sewing Workshop in Vermont and it was so much fun watching her work and learning from her! Turns out we went to the same college and her parents knew my aunt and uncle in grad school once upon a time. Small world! I hope you all have the chance to meet her someday; in addition to being a fantastic designer she is one of the sweetest human beings on the planet.

photo by NoodlesHandmade

In her post today, Liesl’s going to show us some adorable boy clothes that customers have sewn from her patterns. Liesl’s upcoming book, Oliver+S Little Things to Sew, also features many patterns that are perfect for boys. I am SO excited for this book (and as of yesterday: it’s now available)!!!

Here’s Liesl:

“Sometimes it seems like girls have all the fun when it comes to clothing and sewing. After all, we can wear dresses and skirts, and that means we have twice as many clothing options as the boys, who get stuck with just shirts and pants. But as a former menswear designer, I know that guys’ clothing can be just as interesting and attractive as what the girls wear. It’s all about the attention to detail. You can include little surprises and special elements in your sewing that will make boys’ clothing just as fun make and to wear as girls’ clothing, and once you get going you’ll find that your creative options are endless. I hope we’ll inspire you to try a few ideas by showing you some of the clothing our customers have sewn.”
If you’d like to peruse more Oliver + S goodness, you can check out the links below:

Read more posts about her upcoming book
Watch a video trailer for the book
See more of the Oliver+S patterns for boys
Take a look at the Schooldays Coat Sewing Pattern (another fabulous sewing pattern for boys, shown below)
See Liesl’s fabric collection, City Weekend for Moda (which has several fantastic boy-friendly prints)
Preview her upcoming fabric collection, Modern Workshop (coming to stores this April!)

Thanks so much for joining us for Celebrate the Boy, Liesl!

Guest post: A boy fabric roundup by see kate sew!

One of the biggest barriers to sewing for boys is that frankly, most fabric prints are designed for girls. It makes sense since people who sew are most often female, but it can be frustrating when it comes time to sew for the boy. While I realize that everyone has a slightly different idea of what “boy” means when it comes to fabric selection, let’s be honest, it’s nearly impossible to take a large floral print fabric and turn it into a convincing boys garment. The fabric industry seems to have come around recently; I love that so many recent fabric collections have been intentionally designed for boys clothing or quilts. Even so, there’s SO many fabrics out there that work for boys, sometimes you just need someone to point them all out for you! With that in mind, let me introduce today’s guest contributor:

Kate from see kate sew is here today to present her “beyond blue broadcloth” roundup of fun fabrics for us that are both fun and appropriate for boys! When she mentioned she was interested in doing a boys fabric roundup, I was so excited! This is something I’ve wanted to see since we started Celebrating the Boy LAST year; a collection of great boys fabrics all in one place. And as Kate puts it: “no ruffles, no pinks, no flowers, and no boring solids!”

Here’s Kate:
“Hi everyone! I’m Kate from see kate sew! I love to sew and I definitely love BOYS! I had my first baby boy last summer so I am thrilled to be a part of the celebration this month! I’m ashamed to say I was a little disappointed when I found out that I was having a boy. All I could think about were ruffles and dresses. “What am I going to sew for this kid?” is all I could think! I am naturally drawn to fun flowery fabrics in bright pinks and yellows. But, based on family history, there is a good chance I will have a few more boys! So I’m training myself to find projects that work for boys. And I’m finding out that boys are way fun to sew for!”

Click here to see Kate’s Boy Fabric Roundup

What do you guys like for boy fabrics? Do you have a favorite print or collection or color? I’m in love with the Melody Miller print on the top right (among many, many other things). But I’ll admit didn’t even think of it as a boy print until Kate put it here. Fantastic!

You can see more of Kate (and that adorable baby) over at her blog, see kate sew or check out her shops: the brand new Hello Sunshine or her other shop see kate sew. Kate’s also got some great tutorials, including this adorable onesie onesie tutorial that she made for her son. Perfect for celebrating the boy! Thanks Kate for putting this great fabric roundup together for us!


This entire month of THE BOY is a collaboration between myself and Dana of MADE! Head on over to see what Dana’s up to today:

North Country

I’m blog-sitting for Meg today over at Elsie Marley because she’s in Hawaii (?!) and has asked all of her pals who live in the cold North to write about winter. I’m pretty sure she designed it this way so she would enjoy her warm vacation even more, but maybe it’s just that she was afraid she would miss it and this is her way of getting a little winter-fix. Either way, I’m sure by now she’s already forgotten what it’s like to freeze her butt off. (Meg, you can go ahead and put a whole hand in that pina colada if you need to, I won’t tell). 

Head over to Elsie Marley to read my list of reasons I like winter (notice I didn’t say love) and see a few pictures of Clementine in that Snowblossom Hat, which the astute will notice, now has ties. Come over and say hi!

Rae goes blahdeeblahdeeblah about herself over on luvinthemommyhood

Almost everything you ever wanted to know about me can be found in an interview on luvinthemommyhood.  Shannon puts together some really neat interviews of mommybloggers called “moms in the mommyhood” that the voyeur in me finds oh-so-fascinating and this month she’s got one of me.

Read about

  • how I both love and hate blogging (oops, did I really say that…ack)
  • my strong opinions about menswear (bring back the puffy shirt!)
  • what I don’t do around the house 

and see

  • what is probably the cutest picture ever of my kids
  • a picture of MR RAE
  • a slightly embarrassing shot of my sewing room (honestly it’s usually even more messy than that)

By the way, Shannon put all that together while at the same time taking deep cleansing breaths through her Braxton-Hicks contractions.  Now that’s what I call dedication.  Me on the other hand…well let’s just say that weeks before Clementine arrived last summer I was “on maternity leave” (code for: too lazy/large to blog).  She’s going to have that baby any day now, very exciting!  Thanks so much Shannon!!!