Featured · Pattern Test · Projects

My Little Superheroes Blog Tour

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Calling All Superheroes! This Dynamic Duo is about to turn FIVE. All the fingers on a hand! In a couple more weeks I will be the Mommy to two five year olds. When I got the opportunity to test out the new My Little Superhero Set from EYMM, I knew exactly what to make: Birthday Boy capes! We have a superhero party planned in a couple weeks and though we are the proud owners of several capes and superhero costumes, I loved the idea of special birthday outfits.

I used the cape pattern in the size 4/5 which is plenty long and I was able to make each side from 1 yard of fabric. My boys are different heights, but wear size 4 and 5. The next size up would have been too wide and would require more yardage. Unlike other capes I have made, this one is very wide, maybe even wider than it is long, and has great drape and flow. It has a nice wide neckline that rests on the shoulders more than across the throat, which also makes me feel better as a paranoid my-kids-are-gonna-choke-to-death Mom.

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I took my boys with me to the fabric store to pick fabric, one wanted green and one blue, I even managed to find those colors in the same zigzag pattern. I had planned to use something more superhero-ish for the reverse side but didn’t find anything I loved so I went with grey dots. I used an embroidery frame I had in the keystone shape and text that says “Birthday Boy” on each in the opposing color.

The birthday shirts are the Peekaboo Grand Slam pattern (affiliate link), which I added the appliqué to as well. I was planning to just buy long sleeve tees but couldn’t find any that I loved. I made these from grey jersey knit and the sleeves and collar are blank adult shirts I cut up. These are casual enough they can wear to school on their birthday and beyond, and they have already asked if they can wear their Birthday Boy capes to school for their birthday too.

The cape pattern also includes a mask, belt and wrist cuffs, also. It comes in newborn to size 10 and a bonus doll pattern too. If you buy it before 10/21 you can save 40% with the coupon code HEROSET on EYMM.com. I received a copy of this pattern in exchange for this blog tour.

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Pattern Test · Projects

Pattern Test: Women’s Raglan from Patterns for Pirates

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I had a chance to test the Women’s Raglan pattern from Patterns for Pirates, (affiliate link) which is another fun, comfortable women’s top. I do usually sew for kids, but it is nice once in a while to make something for myself.

This pattern has a ton of options, and is a great basic staple. I made it in less than an hour, start to finish. It has short, long and 3/4 sleeve options, hemmed or banded and even has elbow patch and neckline-V options too. It is incredibly comfortable and the pattern is easy to follow. I can’t wait to make more of these!

Definitely a versatile pattern and you can get it on sale this week through Craftsy.

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I was given a copy of this pattern to test, but was not compensated otherwise for this post. Opinions are my own.

Featured · Projects

BundleUP Boys LumberJack Shirts and Field Research Pants

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Have you seen the awesome BundleUP boys pattern bundle? It’s available today (and only for a limited time) from Pattern Revolution. The bundle has so many cute boy patterns from twelve incredibly talented designers. You can get it until August 29th and if you sew for boys, you will definitely want to check it out. I know I have been itching to get it. 

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I had a chance to preview two patterns from the bundle and I am thrilled show them off. I made the Lumberjack Shirt by Patterns for Pirates and the Field Research Pants by Scientific Seamstress. Since I have twin boys I made two of each. I am so excited to finally share these, it is so hard to keep a secret like this! They turned out so great, and I can’t wait to try out the other patterns in the bundle, so many cute boyish options!

The Lumberjack Shirt has tons of options: lined and unlined, hood or collar. I used a thick, incredibly soft flannel from the Primo Plaids collection. I left these unlined so they can be layered for Fall and Winter. I did add a jersey knit lining to the hood for a little contrast. The two plaid fabrics I used are both from the same collection so they work together without being too matchy. I cut out each shirt and then swapped the yoke lining and the cuffs for a little pop of the other pattern without being too much. I have already set aside some more flannel to make another set of these shirts for this winter.

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The hood lining is thin and lightweight but soft. I folded it over the seam so it created a trim around the hood, which I think really adds a nice detail. I love hoods for fall and winter, much easier to keep track of than hats, for sure.

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This was the first Pattern for Pirates piece I have made, so I followed the pattern pretty much exactly, except I added kangaroo pockets which were not in the original. When I told my boys I was making these shirts, they specifically asked for “those pockets that go across your tummy” so I used a general pocket shape from another pattern, though it would be easy enough to draft a kangaroo pocket. The pockets are bias-cut like the chest pockets, and are also jersey lined. I was worried the plaid on plaid on plaid was going to be too busy but when I cut out the pockets and arranged them on the table to see how they would look, one of my sons came in and said, “This is perfect! Just like I wanted! Can I wear this camping it looks like nature!” So they stayed. And I have to say whatever reservations I had, once they were done I knew they are perfect for these shirts and for my pocket-loving boys. 

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I love the details on these shirts and I think they turned out perfect. They are warm and comfortable, but rugged just like my boys. 

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The Scientific Seamstress Field Research pants complete the look perfectly. I have made most of the Scientific Seamstress patterns, but I think these take the cake for options and details. I don’t know that I have ever spent as much time on a project as I did making all the cargo pockets for these pants. I used an entire brand-new spool of thread just on creating and topstitching the dozen pants pockets. Each pair of pants has six pockets: two inset hip-pockets and four cargo pockets. Add to those the two kangaroo pockets and the two chest pockets on each of the shirts and I made a total of twenty pockets this week! Was it worth it? Absolutely. My boys are loving all the pockets. When I had them try on the outfits for the first time, they ran over and stuffed them full of action figures. They’ve already put treasures and rocks and sticks in them. I can’t wait to see what I find in my laundry! 

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The Field Pants pattern includes options for pants, shorts or zip-off-leg convertibles. We are still in Summer for a little longer, but Winter in Chicago is long and cold, so I opted for the pants in heavy denim. I also think they would be easy to make lined in flannel for extra warmth in winter. With all these options, they are great all-around boys’ pants. (The pattern also includes belt loops which I did not add since my boys don’t own belts.)

I won’t lie, I don’t make a lot of pants for my boys, they are hard on pants and I can still find a relatively decent selection at thrift stores and resales in their sizes, but I can definitely see making more of these. (Maybe with reinforced knees!) All the store-bought 4T pants from last year are way too short, but I was able to use the 3/4 size pattern and the longest length (I actually added about an inch for room to grow.) and they fit well. I roll-cuffed them on one son but he’s growing fast so by winter I am hopeful they will fit nicely. These pants are a slim fit, with nice straight legs and a classic, casual look. The waist is elastic in the back but has a flat front with a faux fly option, easy on and off, comfortable for exploring and plenty of storage for treasures.

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These patterns combined into perfect outdoor-exploring, running, playing, rock-throwing, frog-hunting, treasure-collecting, walk-in-the-park-with-your-brother outfits.

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You will definitely want to check out what the rest of these talented bloggers have done with these patterns. I am seriously in awe of the other projects I have seen so far, and I am honored and humbled to have the chance to sew along with these ladies.



I was not compensated for this post. I did receive free copies of the two patterns featured, but all the opinions and experiences are my own.
 

 

Tutorials

Adding an Adjustable Waistband to Easy Fit Shorts

Add an Adjustable Waistband - just-joshin.com

I love adding custom shorts to complement an embroidered t-shirt. My go-to pattern for shorts (and lounge pants!) is The Scientific Seamstress Easy Fit Pants. They are so, well, easy! Like her other patterns, The Easy Fits pattern is almost like a sewing lesson, so if you haven’t made pants, no worries, it will walk you through. I have used flannel to make PJ pants for my boys and nephew for Christmas, lightweight summer PJ pants, and lots of shorts. They are super quick and always look cute. 

This time around I made a little modification, I added buttonhole elastic and made the waistband adjustable. I have two boys who share clothing, one who has a bigger waist. Their commercial pants that have adjustable waistbands are a huge help in keeping pants up!

This same method can be used on other patterns for anything that has elastic in a casing, including pants, shorts and skirts.  (If you have the pattern, this step inserts before step 4 in the construction, before forming the casing.)

To add an adjustable waistband you will need:

  • Two Small buttons (about 1/4” size, they won’t show so they don’t have to go with the outfit. I used grey.)
  • Buttonhole Elastic 
  • Ruler or Tape Measure (I use a Centering Ruler which is super handy!) 
  • Sew-in or fusible interfacing (A small scrap is plenty)
  • Disappearing Ink Pen or Chalk
  • The ability to make buttonholes
Once you have your shorts (or pants or skirt) assembled, it might look sort of like this. The bottom hems and the top elastic casing are the remaining steps. With the garment inside-out, place the front side up, since that is where the adjustable elastic will be placed.  The Easy Fit pants pattern has you press the casing fold before sewing the legs together, you can see the creases. 

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Fold the casing over as it will sit when stitched, and measure for your buttonholes. I used the centering ruler from the front-center seam and measured 2.5” inches to each side and marked where the button holes should go. These shorts are size 3T, leaving about 5 inches between the buttonholes seemed about right. I estimated, larger sizes should be placed a little further apart. (I aimed for the holes to hit about the hip bones in the front.) The important part is to make sure they are equal distance from the center so they gather evenly,

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My marking pen is purple and disappears quickly, you can see the purple mark on Nemo’s face.

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Once marked, open the fold again, you will need to add interfacing to stabilize the buttonholes. Cut small scraps of interfacing and apply to the back of where the buttonholes will be. This will reinforce the buttonholes and the buttons. I cut mine about 1” x1.5. They should be less than the width of the casing.

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With the casing folded open, stitch the buttonholes where you marked. By stitching open, when you fold it over, the buttonholes will not show on the front of the shorts. After your buttonholes are stitched, add a button about 1 inch to the side of the buttonhole, on the side toward the center seam.

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Once you have your buttonholes and buttons attached, fold the casing over again, and stitch in place. You  do not need to leave a space to insert elastic like it instructs in the pattern, you will insert it through the buttonholes. You can use a zipper foot to stitch around the buttons, if you want. I just used my standard foot and went slowly near the buttons to stitch the casing.

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Once you have the casing stitched, insert the buttonhole elastic. Since it will be exposed on the ends, you should melt the ends with a candle or lighter to seal and keep it from fraying. I buttoned one side and fed through the other with a safety pin. Once they are attached on both sides, stretch evenly to spread out the waistband gather. To loosen, just move the button further down the elastic, that simple.

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The front will have a flatter look than it would normally since there is no elastic gathering. 

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And you’re done!

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(Link to the ruler is an Amazon Affiliate link. If you buy it I will get a few cents. Thanks! The other links are not affiliates, though I could not recommend the Scientific Seamstress Patterns more highly, I love them!)