Monday, February 26, 2018

Cactus Shorts

My grandson has a cactus theme going on in his life. His bedroom features cactus lamps, cactus murals, cactus fairy lights and cactus pillows. Plus, his loving grandma has sewn him a cactus-rich wardrobe. Here's the latest item:

Cactus Shorts!
I kept it a bit more subtle than my usual. The shorts are a neutral navy twill with a tasteful saguaro patch on the left leg.

The pattern is the free Sunny Day Shorts from Oliver & S. I highly recommend the pattern. You can download a huge size range in two pdfs, one from 6 months to 4, the other from 5 to 12. I figure I've got the kid's shorts needs covered until he enters high school. It's a very straightforward pattern. If you're after pockets or ruffles or other bells and whistles, you'd be on your own. But this is a nice blank slate; you could do a lot of fun things with it. Plus: free!

Cactus closeup
I was lucky enough to find a packet of 6 cactus patches at a local gardening store. I plan to trickle them into his wardrobe one by one.

The Man has suggested that the kid may not like cacti. It's hard to know until he starts talking. Until then, it'll be all cactus, all the time!

My pattern review is on here.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Raglan Man Tee

My friend, Jessica, is the kind of person who can hop into the Goodwill and emerge with 6 cashmere sweaters, a piece of Waterford crystal and a handful of vintage patterns. Luckily for her friends, she happily shares her good fortune.

I have a basic, set in sleeve tee pattern I've made a few times for The Man. It's cobbled together from a free Burdastyle pattern modified with tracings of his favorite store-bought tees. I've been wanting to try a raglan tee pattern for him and, wouldn't you know, Jessica turned up a vintage Stretch-and-Sew pattern that fills that bill.

Front view
And for 79 cents too.

According to the envelope this pattern dates from 1967. Though this guy looks like he's edging into the 70's.

70's dude with dark glasses
The Man has a few criteria for tee shirts, as follows:
  • close fit
  • high crew neck - no v-necks please!
  • long enough to stay tucked in to a pair of jeans
  • and a pocket that can hold a slew of vintage fountain pens
Side view
This pattern ticked all the boxes with the exception of the pocket, but that was easy enough to add.

Pocket with a heavy load of Mont Blancs
You know, I've never seen a men's raglan tee that has a pocket and I'm not sure why that's the case. I thought it might be because the pocket would interfere with the raglan sleeve seam, but that didn't end up being a problem.

This pattern should fill all my male raglan tee needs. It has a long sleeve version, a turtle neck version and instructions to split it up the front and make a cardigan.

My pattern review is on here.

And here's the Kirsten Kimono Tee I scrapped together from the remnants from my Trapezoid Top. My favorite tee pattern. I just love it.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Trapezoid Top

You know those off-kilter tee shirts that pop up every so often in Burdastyle magazine? Well, they finally sucked me into making one of them. This is top #107 from the February, 2018 issue.

And here's the line drawing below.

BS 02-2018-#107

It really is as wonky as it looks. But I think I kind of like it.

Side view showing the long side
There are only two pattern pieces - front and back. The neckline is just turned and stitched, so there isn't even a neckband to put on. In fact, the sewing part of the project was a total walk in the park.

The pattern tracing, on the other hand, was a challenge. Maybe my eyes are getting worse in my old age, but I had a heck of a time following the lines on this one. True, the pattern pieces are large and oddly shaped. In fact, they're so large Burda has laid each piece out in two chunks that you need to tape together at the end.

But once the tracing and cutting are done, you just zip up four seams and Bob's your uncle.

Side view showing the short side
I used a light weight french terry in a color called "charcoal" that I found at Hart's. I originally bought it planning to make a tee shirt for The Man, but once I got it home all I could see was this trapezoid top. Sorry, honey. Yet he still volunteered to do my photo shoot this morning. He's a sweetie.

The style is a bit edgy for this beach town gal, but I feel I should stretch myself every now and again. The terry makes it feel like a cozy sweatshirt, but maybe with more of an urban vibe. During my test-wearing session it felt comfortable and pretty much stayed put, once I fluffed my neckline into shape.

I think I'll get some use out of it! And I did go back to get another piece of this fabric for The Man.

My pattern review is on here.