Monday, May 30, 2016

Kids Clothes Week Part 2: Parachute Polo and Sketchbook Shorts.

Hi again! I'm here with my second installment from Kids Clothes Week. Although I was excited to make Maggie her Mori Dress, the reason I decided to participate in Kid's Clothes Week this time around was actually Joe. He needs warm weather clothes a lot more than Maggie does, and I have piles of fabric that I purchased with him in mind! Time to get sewing!

The shirt is the Oliver + S Parachute Polo, in a really lovely European knit that I got from Mabel Madison, which is an online store that sells European fabrics (like some of the great fabrics you see in Ottobre Magazine). I bought a couple of pieces this past winter, just to see what I thought of them (they're not cheap!), and I must say I was pretty thrilled with the quality of the fabrics I received. This blue and navy stars Stenzo jersey is really stretchy, but also very smooth and stable. It curls a bit, but less than some other jerseys, and washed up really nicely.

I used plain chambray for the pocket, collar, and placket. Lately, Joe has been saying that his favorite colors are "blue and gold" so I chose some golden yellow buttons. I love the pop of color and I am thrilled that one of my children has decided to embrace "glorious yellow"!

This was my first time sewing this shirt, and it is a satisfying, somewhat exacting sew. I would not say this was a good pattern for a beginner to sewing knits (or a beginner, period) - the combination of knit and woven fabrics in this pattern is pretty challenging. Sewing the collar onto the neckline is tricky! My neckline has a couple of small puckers that no one would ever notice, but even that took a couple of tries. Still, when I saw the cute collar all done, I got such a feeling of accomplishment and delight! It just looks so great! The polo collar really takes a basic t-shirt up a notch.

The top fits perfectly (this is a size 6 with no alterations). I tried Wonder Tape for the first time, to hold the hem in place while I sewed it with a double needle, and it worked really well! In addition to holding the hem in place, the tape stabilizes the stretchy knit and makes for a beautiful hem (even without a walking foot). I will definitely be using that trick again! I have learned so many great things from reading sewing blogs, and I wish I had tried this one sooner.

The shorts are my old stand-by, the Sketchbook Shorts, in a lovely textured Union Chambray from Robert Kaufman. It's a lightweight shirting fabric, and makes for a very light, breezy pair of shorts. These are Size 5 with a couple inches of extra length and a few other modifications - I straightened the pocket opening and used "gold" piping, and used a navy french terry for the waist, to make the shorts more comfortable for my sensitive boy.

Sometimes I think about trying a different shorts/pants pattern for Joe, but when it comes to this kid ... well, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! After Joe saw these, he requested an "all golden" pair! I showed him some mustard colored linen, and he approved, so I'll be making another pair shortly!

As far as the reception, Joe isn't sure about the shirt. Specifically, he wasn't sure about the buttons and the collar. He's used to wearing t-shirts, and the buttons make this harder to put on and take off by himself (my buttonholes are a tad tight, I'm afraid). But he seemed to get more comfortable during this photo shoot, and hopefully the collar will soften and the buttonholes relax with a few washings. I hope so, because I love it and want to make more polo shirts for Joe, but only if he will wear them!

The shorts ... well, he hasn't taken them off yet. He wears his other knit-waistband Sketchbook Shorts frequently, so I feel pretty confident that these will get frequent use.

I can't believe Joe's kindergarten year is almost over! He has had such a great year. He has learned to read and write, has proven to have above-average math skills (no huge surprise there, but still!), and has made friends. He's still a shy boy, but he has really blossomed this past year. We feel really good about our decision to hold him back a year from kindergarten. He's a year older than his classmates (although it's not uncommon to hold kids back, especially kids with diagnoses or learning issues), but seems to fit right in socially and intellectually. Once we got Joe into his current classroom, with a wonderfully understanding teacher and a great speech therapist, the year just sped by, with Joe happy to go to school every morning and see his friends. That said, he is definitely over school these days, and it's a struggle to get him out of bed and off to school every morning. I think he's just really tired and ready for a break! We are all looking forward to summer vacation!

Seven years old! He is becoming a leggy, lanky boy, and has lost most of his baby chub, but luckily, he is more affectionate and loving than ever. This is a great age.

And that's a wrap for Kids Clothes Week, Spring 2016! Three garments for my kids, which isn't a huge amount, but it is definitely more than I usually make in a week (okay, so both outfits took more like nine days, but still)! Now I can get back to sewing for myself! (Although apparently I am committed to make "all golden" shorts for Joe.)

I'll be back soon with a round-up of the second half of Me-Made-May. It's been a busy month!


  1. This whole outfit is just so gorgeous on Joe. This is exactly why I love sewing for boys, because where would you ever find such lovely things in such beautiful fabrics and classic styles... unless you were paying for some ridiculous posh brand? I hope he wears that polo a lot because it suits him so much!

  2. What an adorable outfit. Those shorts! I love how they are a longer length; I need to make some like that for my guys. And the yellow piping with the yellow buttons. Perfect.

  3. Oh my gosh, that polo shirt is ADORABLE!! My boys wish you were their mom! 😆

  4. Can't even believe how much I love this outfit. And Joe looks so super handsome in it!

  5. Your sewing looks so professional! Collared boys shirts just seem like unlocking a whole new level of sewing. :D The shorts are super awesome too!

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