Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fancy PJs for Joe.

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!

Fancy Pants for Joe!

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!

Fancy Pants for Joe!

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.

Fancy Pants for Joe!
Fancy Pants for Joe!

Yep, these leggings allow for a full range of movement!

Entertaining Maggie.

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!


  1. Oh, I feel you on having a little moment of silence when your kids start growing out of patterns. It's not necessarily a horrible thing, but it sure does make you stop and think for a moment.
    Those pants really are adorable and it's completely understandable why he would want some soft pants. Heck, I want to wear those pants too!!
    I really need to check out this pattern...they are so cute!

  2. inder, i love your posts! you've inspired me with the pack and play. four kids and i have never done that! i've only used it as a place to sleep and never a play yard. i totally should have, especially since i know one of my other kids would have LOVED to get in there with Iris. i wasn't able to get anything done. (now i'm afraid she's too old and would climb out!) Iris and M are kindred climbers!
    i love your attitude about kids growing up. i completely agree. it's really amazing to watch as they become the people they were meant to be. all of their stages are really great. or maybe i should say most* of them are? ;)

    1. oh, one more thing. i've found my kids love what i make if i let them chose the fabric. i don't give them free reign, but i do narrow down a few choices and let them choose. but, yeah, that Joe is onto something with soft. i agree! :)

  3. Rosie prefers leggings, too. In fact, she refused to wear all of the jeans I collected for her when she was 3 (from the donation bins) and only wore the leggings. I ended up giving the jeans away but informed her that you had to wear jeans to kindergarten. She's now happy to wear jeans or legginsg! Oh, the fibs I tell my children to convince them to do stuff they don't want to do! :) For me, jeans are a practicality - they are more durable and blue goes with everything. I'm lazy like that - jeans and whatever shirt you want to wear. Leggings? You have to actually match the color to the shirt! Not to mention the inevitable arguement with a non-reasonable 4 year old that orange and bright pink really don't look good together. Who has time for such insanity? Honestly, I think that is why jeggings are so great for little kids. The goes with anything blue with the super comfy knit fabric. Brilliant.

    Oh, and I still have NO idea how you get so much sewing done. I'm so insanely behind. Sigh.

  4. They look great in the stripes and I'm pleased to hear you got him to wear them. Children can be so fussy can't they. I better work faster on the bigger sizes!

  5. Gotta love a pair of soft pants ;-) - maybe Joe and Lucy should start hanging out together - Lucy can wear her 'morning pants' and Joe can wear his soft pants! (Btw - I used the Alex and Anna winter pj pattern from Peekaboo Patterns for her morning pants - maybe worth a look for Joe).
    And I too am lamenting Lucy no longer fitting the smaller size patterns - she still firmly a 4, but in another 6 months, I won't be buying the smaller size range anymore - hey, maybe that's a good thing for my wallet..!)


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