Since Joe informed me that he didn't like his train jeans, I have been trying to figure out what his issue was with those pants. Was he just trying to push my buttons, in a classic power play? Or is there something else I could make for him that he would like? What's the deal, kiddo?
After some inquiring about what kinds of pants Joe does like, Joe told me he likes "soft pants." Like PJ pants. Well, okay! That's something I can work with!
As it happens, I have been meaning to make Joe a pair of Fancy Pants since Laura asked me to test the pattern on Maggie. Joe is four, but is a big kid, and wears more size 5 than size 4 these days. The fancy pants pattern only goes up to size 4, so I knew time was limited.
Indeed, they are pretty snug! Kind of a "men in tights" effect. But they are soft and Joe likes them!
I cut these out in a soft stretchy stripe from the stash (fabric
diet!). I didn't bother to match the stripes up on the bum panel too
much. I was going for speed, rather than perfection here since I wasn't sure whether Joe would like them at all. For an older kid, I like the look of the bum panel done in the same fabric - it adds a lot of ease and moveability to the pants, without looking as baby-ish as a contrasting panel. Also, I happen to have a lot of this striped stuff.
I did add a little length to these to accommodate Joe's long legs. With Joe so close to the top of the size range, these would not work in a less stretchy fabric, that's for sure. Some lycra content is essential! They are skin-tight!
Joe is super resistant to posing for a photo shoot these days. Or standing still, period, come to think of it. But I think Joe really likes the soft knit waist with no elastic. These are definitely "soft pants."
Joe is such a good brother. Maggie (like any self-respecting almost-one-year-old) does not like being put in the playpen, even though it's sometimes essential so that Steve and I can get something done, because when she is out of it, it's climb, climb, climb, all the time, and she can't be left unattended for one New York second. So sometimes Joe helps us out by climbing into Maggie's playpen and entertaining her. Being in the playpen with your brother is way more fun than hanging out in there alone.
Yep, these leggings allow for a full range of movement!
Thanks for keeping your sister happy, Joe!!
I got a little nostalgic making these pants, because it occurred to me that Joe is starting to size out of a lot of my favorite kid patterns now. Size 5 is kind of a turning point for kid's clothes - there's no more "T" - your kid is a big kid now. I am not a super sentimental person; I am generally not one to lament the passage of time and my kids growing older. Yes, the time does fly, but I wouldn't actually want them to stay little babies forever. So its especially funny that I would get all verklempt about a sewing pattern. The things seamstress mamas get nostalgic about, right? My little boy is turning into a big kid right before my eyes! Sniffle.
I emailed Laura Tichener, creator of this pattern, and mentioned that I was bummed that it didn't come in larger sizes. To my great delight, she responded saying she is working on a "big kids" version! Yay! So I don't have to get all emotional about him growing out of this pattern, at least. Whew! I can stop sniffling and get back to business as usual.
I still really want to make pants for Joe that are not "soft pants" but that he will wear and enjoy. So I'm going to continue to work on that, hoping that the train jeans incident was just a fluke. But I will try to solicit his input a bit more on future projects, since that seems to help. Indeed, he is a big kid with his own opinions and ideas about what he wants to wear now!