Thursday, 23 January 2020

Alex Jogger Pants


Yep. More rust coloured clothing. Although I've rebranded these as 'orange' because, as Frankie reminds me daily, orange is one of his two favourite colours. The other is red, FYI. Anyways, although the colour of this new creation may not surprise you, what may come as a shock is that I shelled out actual money for a kid's sewing pattern!


Pattern:

It goes to show that offering up sewing patterns for free really is a good way to get potential customers to appreciate your products, and eventually part with money for something. Misusu Patterns have a generous array of free downloadable sewing patterns. You can read my reviews of the Rowan tee pattern here and Olli shorts/pants pattern here

I'd liked the look of the Alex jogger pants pattern for a while, and when the pattern recently got an update and re-release (plus a discounted early bird price), I bought it. I'm a fan of the unique design of the kangaroo pockets (there are two versions of the kangaroo pocket plus a more regular hip pockets style), and the gusset to provide ease of movement. 

(image source: Misusu Patterns)

For this, my first go with this pattern, I made the version with the kangaroo pocket that extends up into the waistband, and omitted the optional waist tie to make them quicker to get on and off. If memory serves, I made the size 98 which is a bit bigger than he currently wears to give them a long lifespan, which is why they are gathering around his ankles a bit. 

I've made many a pair of leggings and joggers in my six years of parenthood so far, and I think this is the first pair I've made with a gusset. I stuck closely to the instructions and used my regular machine to insert it accurately as the instructions had you do it. Next time, however, I think I'll fudge it a little and insert it with my overlocker so there's less switching back and forth between machines, although this strategy may be a little less accurate.  

The instructions for this pattern are fantastic. The step-by-step diagrams are incredibly clear and easy to follow. Plus there's all manner of additional info on blending sizes, sewing with knits and such. 


Fabric:

I've got a sizeable stack of knit fabric leftover from previous projects that I've earmarked for the kids when they could do with something new. This speckle sweatshirt fabric in rust was originally from Fabric Godmother (they still it have it in other colourways) and was leftover from Pat's much-used Apollon sweatshirt. The contrasting forest green pieces were cut from more leftovers, this time some Ponte Roma given to me by my lovely colleague Linda. The combo came from playing about with my stash, it's not a colour combo I would have come up with in my head, but I'm very much enjoying it.


Thoughts:

I'm very pleased to have this pattern in my arsenal, not least because it goes up to approx. age 14. It's ripe for all manner of scrap busting and colour blocking, and I'm excited to play around with further possibilities in the future. However, it is a bit more complicated, and therefore time consuming, than the jogger patterns I usually use. So truth be told, I'll probably use the Alex pattern for my kids only and turn to more simple styles when making gifts. I'm already hatching plans for Frankie's next version...


Tuesday, 14 January 2020

More Heyday Dungarees of Dreams


I don't know why I'm looking so moody in these pics. Clearly I've forgotten that I'm wearing the bestest dungarees! I made this pair a few months ago, but getting photos has been a challenge. But now that I have, let me flood your screen with pics of them.  


Fabric:

I saw a couple of projects on Instagram made from this rust coloured twill, and my 'want' alarm went off VERY loudly. I found that it was this Ventana cotton twill by Robert Kaufman, stocked by Sew Me Sunshine. I've been trying to slow my fabric buying fabric right down lately, but this was so perfect and ticked so many of my boxes that I decided I could justify getting some. It took a while because it was out of stock for ages, but when it arrived I was not disappointed. It's the nicest quality and the perfect shade of brick/orange/rust. 


Pattern:

Before the fabric arrived, I had planned to use it to make the Republique du Chiffon Danielle dungarees pattern, which I have in my stash. However, upon arrival I discovered that the fabric was a lighter weight IRL than I feel would be suitable for the Danielle pattern. So instead I reached for the Made by Jack's Mum Heyday dungarees pattern that I made previously in black linen twill and have worn to near-death.  


As with my lack version, I used the pattern's bib and back pocket pieces, but used my own self-drafted pocket shape for the front hip pockets. I added a cute little piece of woven ribbon from Textile Garden to create a little label/tab for an extra personalised detail. 


The only other difference between this pair and my black ones, was to make two fabric loops rather than buttonholes to thread the straps through. The loops make this pair look more like Lucy & Yak dungarees I realise, and in general my dungers have ended up very similar to theirs (see below). It's a resemblance I'm more than happy with!

Lucy & Yak Dungarees Organic 'Umi' Cotton Dungarees in Rust Orange
(image source: Lucy & Yak)

Thoughts:

These are the best, most comfy dungarees and I'm in love with them. Today I'm wearing them with this wool top underneath because it's pretty chilly out (and in my work place), but I can't wait for warmer days so I can comfortably wear them with lighter tops and different footwear. 


Friday, 3 January 2020

Free Pattern Friday: Unicorn Cushion/Pillow


Welcome to my monthly 'Free Pattern Friday' feature, where I road test a free sewing pattern or tutorial: sometimes a children's one, sometimes a women's one. I publish these posts every first Friday of the month, timed to provide inspiration for those who plan to get their sew on over the weekend. I firmly believe that, if you pick your projects carefully, sewing doesn't have to be a crazy-expensive way to clothe yourself and your family. Thanks to all the amazing pattern designers who have offered up their hard work for us to enjoy for free.

Happy New Year!!! I've gone a bit off piste with this month's Free Pattern Friday pattern choice. I decided to pick a pattern that I could use to make a non-garment Christmas present, so I went with this kitschy unicorn's head shaped cushion by Rebecca Page that I made for my 6yo daughter. Thanks to them for sharing their hard work for free. If you have a child, or kitsch-loving adult in your life with a birthday on the horizon, then you may wish to bookmark this bonkers project... 

(image source: Rebecca Page)

Pattern type:

This cushion/pillow/toy pattern is easily accessible by adding it to your cart and going through the checkout on the Rebecca Page website. The downloadable PDF includes both the pattern pages and instructions in one. The instructions feature step by step photos, plus there's a cheat sheet for those who wish to wing it a bit, or are making it for the second time. You can also leave off the horn to make a horse version. 


Sizing info:

Unsurprisingly, this pattern is for a single sized item. The finished size is approx. 10"/25cm wide by 15"/38cm high. Mine may have ended up in being a bit smaller because I took a more sizeable seam allowance than the suggested 1/4 inch. 

Fabric info:

The pattern advises using woven, non-stretchy fabric for the main part, including cotton, felt and fleece. I had this remnant of corduroy knocking about that I chose to use to give it a lovely texture. For the mane and fringe I used some synthetic transparent stuff that I was given by someone having a clear out a few years ago. I went with some leftover pleather from my lovely colleague Linda for the horn. I'd recommend doing a Google image search to see some of the other people's versions out there for inspiration. Some people have gone really disco with their choice of fabrics for the mane/fringe and horn sections! Please note that I trying to keep things pretty toned down so I left off the suggested braid from the horn and additional ribbon/braid detail from the mane.


Findings:

I'll be honest with you, I have no idea how long this took to make! I was doing it in tiny windows of time when Dolores with either out at school or had gone to bed. The trickiest bit was the eye detail. They suggested a few options to do that, but I ended up using a wide satin stitch on my machine. It was made trickier because of the texture of the cord, and I'd definitely recommend practising on a scrap of fabric whichever technique you go for as it's such a noticeable feature. 

My only real complaint was the aforementioned teensy seam allowance. At one point you're sewing through a LOT of layers (two layers of the main head, plus ears, horn and mane), and taking less than 1cm would have been very tricky I feel, even if your chosen fabric was thinner than mine. I also found the exact positioning of the horn, mane, ears and fringe to be a bit vague, so I kind of made it up by looking at other completed examples. 


Customisation ideas:

Ohmygoodness. As I suggested before, do a Google search to see how other people have interpreted this pattern. There are so many ways this pattern could go. I do feel that a horn-free version for a horse lover would be very cute. 


Would I make it again?:

No offence to the Rebecca Page crew, but probably no. Unless Frankie develops a love of unicorns or horses, I can't imagine I'll return to this pattern. It was ever so fun to make though, a great scrap buster, and Dolores loved the resultant cushion more than I thought she would, so yay!

Friday, 6 December 2019

Free Pattern Friday: Kids' Ester & Ebbe Top


Welcome to my monthly 'Free Pattern Friday' feature, where I road test a free sewing pattern or tutorial: sometimes a children's one, sometimes a women's one. I publish these posts every first Friday of the month, timed to provide inspiration for those who plan to get their sew on over the weekend. I firmly believe that, if you pick your projects carefully, sewing doesn't have to be a crazy-expensive way to clothe yourself and your family. Thanks to all the amazing pattern designers who have offered up their hard work for us to enjoy for free.

If you're into making kids' clothes, then you're in luck. I've got an awesome and very useful pattern to share with you today. We're talking a unisex pattern in a wide size range that's thoroughly customisable. AND it's available in Swedish as well as English. You're welcome! Obviously, full thanks should actually be extended to the generous designer: Threads by Caroline. If there's a scamp in your life that likes comfy clothes, do read on...

(image source: Threads by Caroline)

Pattern type: 

The Ester & Ebbe top/T-shirt pattern makes a great, basic, close-fitting, knit top. The side seams are straight (no shaping), the neckline is finished with a knit band. Two sleeve lengths are included as well as optional sleeve-head ruffle and patch pocket pieces. 

Sizing info: 

The pattern is graded between EU sizes 74 - 146, which equates to height in cms. This translates to approx. 9 months to 11 years. I've found the sizing to be spot on, aside from the length (more on that below in 'Findings').  

Fabric info: 

It is advised that knit fabrics with at least 30% stretch are used. With a close-fitting style such as this, ignoring that recommendation would probably result in an uncomfortable top that needs to be wrestled on and off! Caroline has helpfully included two neck band pattern pieces, depending on the amount of stretch your chosen fabric has, so you could go for a rib knit neckband if you wished without fear of a baggy neckline. Phew. 



For most of the versions I've made that you can see in this post, I used fairly light-weight jersey with elastane/Lycra/spandex content. The pink and red deer fabric used for the long-sleeved version made for a 6-year-old's birthday present (pictured above) doesn't include elastane, but I think the jersey had sufficient mechanical stretch to work ok. However I didn't trust the 100% cotton jersey for the neckband, which is why I went for a contrast effect using a jersey with elastane for that crucial piece.  



Dolores's stripy long-sleeved top (pictured above) started life as an adult's Boden top that my best friend no longer wanted (pictured below). The glittery lightning flash print was awesome, and I love how its scale is so massive on 6 year-old Dolores's top! I also used the Ester and Ebbe pattern to get me out of a minor parental emergency when it was announced that Dolores and her friend Samuel's class would all need to wear plain black tops for their school dance concert. Samuel's mum and I were determined not to promptly file into H&M or Primark like the other parents, so I volunteered to whip up two of the these tops from repurposed fabrics instead. Dolores's was cut from a previous adult-top-project-FAIL, and Samuel's was made from one of Zoe's old nightdresses and a bleach-stained old maternity dress! 



Findings:

You can access the Ester & Ebbe top pattern by signing up for their (unobstrusive) newsletter in either English or Swedish. Both the top pattern and their free Vera skirt pattern will be emailed to you shortly after. Alternatively, you can access both patterns by signing up to their Facebook group, if FB is your jam (it is not my jam). Both patterns include print-at-home and copyshop files, plus the print-at-home version of the Ester & Ebbe includes the layers function, which stops you wasting ink by allowing you to print only the size(s) you require. Both the pattern files and instructions document are beautifully produced: it really feels like you're accessing a high quality product for free. 



I've made a fair few knit tops in my time by now, so I must admit that I didn't follow the instructions word for word, however they appeared very thorough and seem to give clear guidance for each construction step, including how to add the optional shoulder ruffles and chest pocket. I have yet to try out the shoulder ruffle style because I recently made a similar top also with a shoulder ruffle for Dolores and the jersey curled quite a lot, and I didn't trust any of these jerseys not to do the same. 

As for the garments themselves, I think the number I've made so far shows that I'm a big fan of the finished product. I love the skinny fit through the body and sleeves. The shoulders are quite narrow, which suits my little scamps but might be something to keep in mind if your child is a bit squarer. The first two I made were Dolores's long-sleeved, upcycled, lightning flash version, and Frankie's short-sleeved, black-and-white-with-lemon-pocket version. As you can see in the pictures of Frankie above and below, this pattern does come out pretty long (I may go back and shorten his before the summer), and I have removed 4 or 5 cms from the length for all subsequent versions. 


Customisation ideas:

Aside from the two sleeves lengths, shoulder ruffle and chest pocket options already included, you could get yet more mileage from this pattern by trying the following:

  • Add a gathered rectangle skirt at either the empire line, waistline or dropped-waist/hip line to make it into a dress. 
  • Try 3/4 sleeves, as per the bird box stencil version pictured below.
  • Make different patch pocket shapes, eg, hearts, animals, clouds and so on. A classic hoodie-style kangaroo pocket would also be cute.
  • Get seriously scrap-busty and use a different jersey for each pattern piece to make a crazy (or subtly tonal) patchwork-esque version.
  • Screen-prints, decals, patches, applique would all pack a punch this simple garment style. I plan to add a cute, shop-bought, unicorn patch to jazz up Dolores's aforementioned plain black version, now that her dance concert is over.


Would I make it again?

Yes. Clearly, yes. This has become a firm favourite, and I can't imagine needing another skinny-fit tee pattern until they have grown out of the largest size. Between this and the more boxy, oversized (also free) Rowan tee, I feel that basically all my kids' jersey top pattern needs are covered. 

Friday, 1 November 2019

Free Pattern Friday: Orton Bag


Welcome to my monthly 'Free Pattern Friday' feature, where I road test a free sewing pattern or tutorial: sometimes a children's one, sometimes a women's one. I publish these posts every first Friday of the month, timed to provide inspiration for those who plan to get their sew on over the weekend. I firmly believe that, if you pick your projects carefully, sewing doesn't have to be a crazy-expensive way to clothe yourself and your family. Thanks to all the amazing pattern designers who have offered up their hard work for us to enjoy for free.

As I mentioned, I like to try and alternate the free pattern reviews between those designed for adults, and those for kids. However, I currently have a list as long as my arm of things I want to make myself that don't use a free pattern. And it seems pointless and unsustainable to shoe-horn in a free pattern project just to keep up with my blog post schedule. However, what I did reallllyyyyy need was a new bag. A massive shopper style bag specifically.


For over a year, I have been sharing an allotment plot with my friend Zoe (you can follow our exploits on IG, @twozoesoneallotment, if you wish). She the one looking awesome rocking her camouflage bag. When we took it over, it was a total overgrown nightmare. These days, two thirds of it remain an overgrown nightmare, however, the final third has actually has actually been providing us with a surprising amount of food. One of the rubbish things about our plot is that it doesn't have any structure (a shed or greenhouse or what have you) that we can store tools and stuff in. We have a fork and spade hidden in the undergrowth for use when we're there, plus a couple of old milk cartons we use for watering. But everything else needs to be taken down with us each time. My usual supermarket carrier bag that contained my gardening gloves and hand tools, plus a kiddie watering can and plastic spade that Frankie uses to 'help' when he comes down with me, recently died. I thought that a large fabric bag that I don't mind getting mucky would be a more sustainable option than another plastic bag. Enter: the Merchant & Mills Orton bag pattern. Massive thanks to them for sharing this pattern for free.

(image source: Merchant & Mills)

Pattern type: 

This unlined, oversized shopper consists of just three pieces: main body, facing and handle. M&M have used this pattern to showcase their stunning linens and oilskins, plus shown that leather straps and rivets can be used for the handles instead of fabric. It's designed to be worn on the shoulder, and the pattern itself is given as a series of measurements that can be drawn directly onto fabric, as opposed to pattern pieces that need to be printed out, stuck together and cut out. I, personally, appreciate the last fact as it's obviously going to be better, ecologically speaking, to side-step the printed paper element that is usually a part of sewing projects.  

Fabric info:

The Orton bag pattern is going to work best in a woven fabric with no stretch content, but I'd say that your options regarding type and weight beyond that are pretty open, depending on the look and use you have planned. M&M have used oilskin and linen for their samples and I've used some random ripstop fabric from my stash for mine, however you could use basically anything, from tweed to shirting. Just 75cm of 143cm minimum-width fabric is required, so a hunt through your leftovers is likely to unearth something that could become an Orton. This bag would make a great showcase for a small length of gorgeous denim or upholstery fabric, or you could go for something lightweight to make a shopper that can be folded up and kept inside your regular bag.


Findings:

This really was a very simple and fun make, and would be a wonderful project for beginners to undertake to come away with a really useful item. And if you are a more experienced sewer who knows that really you *could* work out how to make your own shopper, it's nice to just be told how big to cut your shapes and how to piece them together! I love the oversized dimensions of this bag: ours are big enough that we can take our gloves and hand tools down to the allotment, then bring quite a lot of harvested produce back home.  

My only complaint is with the construction method of the handles. You are instructed to stitch the rectangles into tubes, right sides together, then turn them through and press. If you are using fabric that is thicker than a lightweight cotton, I'd recommend instead that you press the rectangles so the raw edges of the long sides touch along the centre (like bias binding) and top stitching down the two long edges, to avoid the headache of turning through a narrow tube of fabric.


Customisation ideas:

  • Follow M&Ms lead with contrast leather/leather-look handles. They have used leather straps that are sold for this purpose, however you could get a similar look by repurposing a secondhand belt
  • If you are using a fabric that has distinctly different sides (like denim), you could use the reverse for the handles and/or the facings. If the denim has a cool selvedge, you could construct the handles to utilise that
  • Go crazy and add patch pockets, with zip closures perhaps. The pockets could be attached to the inside or the outside, and you could make the dimensions of them custom for your needs (for the the size of your phone, etc)
  • I just got a screen printing kit for my birthday, and I'm sure excited to experiment printing some designs onto fabric that could then become bags 

Would I make it again?

Yep! I've got some light-ish weight, printed cotton that I plan to make a shopping bag from that I can stuff in my back pack when I go to the supermarket or our local zero waste, bulk-buy shop. This pattern/project is also a really nice, speedy project to make a useful gift for a friend that would showcase some lovely fabric, so I'll keep in it mind for that also.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

African Wax Print Zadie Jumpsuit


Basically, it's been raining solidly for about three weeks, so getting some half-way-decently-lit photos of my more recent projects has been impossible. Finally, it wasn't too miserable for a couple of hours yesterday, so now I can show you my new Zadie jumpsuit! 

I'm sooooo thrilled with this make. I got it finished in time for a staff night out and my kids' joint birthday party, which happened in the same week. If it hadn't been such terrible weather ever since, I'd probably have worn it every day since as well. 


Pattern:

Is the Paper Theory Zadie jumpsuit pattern actual magic? IMO, there is not one single version out there on the internets that doesn't look amazing, and it seems to work on every body shape. I knew I had to make one at some point, it was just a matter of finding the right fabric (more on that below). I bought the pattern through Fabric Godmother (where I work part time), because they had offered me a free A0 pattern print out, and this seemed to be the right pattern to cash in that offer. I've never had an A0 version of a sewing pattern printed out before. I've always felt it was an extra expense I couldn't justify, but I was very grateful to get to skip sticking multiple A4 pages together this time.

(image source: Paper Theory Patterns)

It felt like a real treat to have the pattern printed out all big, however I did feel under pressure to pick the right size. Having got the A0 version, it would have felt disheartening and a real waste if I'd had to print out another copy if I chosen the wrong size to cut out. I'd heard that the pattern comes up a little large, and I think it was reading about Fiona's (Diary of a Chain Stitcher) stunning cotton Zadie that ultimately pushed me to just go for it and cut out a whole size smaller than my measurements suggested. My measurements also suggested I should blend between sizes, however the fitting notes of the pattern hinted that blending wouldn't be necessary as you can adjust the fit somewhat with how tightly you tie it up.


The one change I did make was to fold 2cm out of the length of the bodice, which is my standard adjustment for my short torso/high natural waistline. The construction was super simple, and not nearly as time consuming as I was expecting it to be. Applying the binding around the front edges was probably the fiddliest part, but in no way headache inducing. 

Fabric:

It took me months of lusting after Zadie jumpsuits on Instagram before I realised that I had potentially the perfect fabric already sitting in my stash. This amazing African wax print cotton was in my #2019makenine plans to use this year, but I just didn't know what to do with it. I bought it a few years ago from Goldhawk road, but I can no longer remember what my initial plans were for it, if I had any at all. I had already used some to make an (un)wearable toile for a different project a year or so ago, but I still had several metres left. As you can imagine, the Zadie jumpsuit is a fairly fabric hungry pattern, and I basically had just enough for this project. 


I adore African wax print, especially the more nutty print designs. This lock and key design is by no means the most bonkers subject matter I've seen used for this type of fabric, and the background pattern here is also fairly subdued. I had been trying to find something more crazy than this on that particular shopping trip, but now I am so glad that I didn't because I think it fits this garment style fantastically, and I couldn't be happier with the combo. Sometimes it really does pay to let a length of fabric live in your stash for a while...


Thoughts:

As I've mentioned a few times already in this post, I could not be happier with this garment. I love the look of it, and it feels comfy to wear but also quite put together. There's a slightly odd, unintentional pattern matching/placement thing happening along the front legs, but I can totally live with that without it bothering me. I'm pretty desperate for the weather to warm up again so I can wear this alllllllll the time. I'm concentrating on sewing from stash for the foreseeable future, however, next year I can definitely see me buying some gorgeous linen to make a solid version as well.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Free Pattern Friday: Kids' Speedy Pants


Welcome to my monthly 'Free Pattern Friday' feature, where I road test a free sewing pattern or tutorial: sometimes a children's one, sometimes a women's one. I publish these posts every first Friday of the month, timed to provide inspiration for those who plan to get their sew on over the weekend. I firmly believe that, if you pick your projects carefully, sewing doesn't have to be a crazy-expensive way to clothe yourself and your family. Thanks to all the amazing pattern designers who have offered up their hard work for us to enjoy for free.

There are, no doubt, many people who believe that life is too short to sew their kids' underwear. Clearly, I am not one of them. My argument for doing so is threefold: 1) kids' pants are an excellent scrap buster for jersey scraps leftover from other projects, and even really small pieces can be used, 2) if you have the pattern prepped already, you can easily cut out and make a pair in half an hour, which is wonderful if you want come away from a short sewing session with a completed item, and 3) your investment of sewing time and effort will be well rewarded by the hundreds of wears the finished item will get. 

My little girl has grown out of the pants pattern I previously used for her, so I was thrilled to discover the Speedy Pants pattern by Made by Jack's Mum, which is free when you sign up for their monthly newsletter. With boxers AND briefs styles included, this may be the only pants pattern you will ever need for your kids. Thanks so much to Made by Jack's Mum for sharing their hard work for free. 

(image source: Made by Jack's Mum)

Pattern type:

As previously stated, the Speedy Pants pattern download includes briefs and boxers styles. Both styles are finished with strips of fabric which form the waist and leg bands: no elastic required. Each pair could be made entirely on an overlocker, however instructions for using a regular sewing machine are also included. As you can tell, I only made up the briefs pattern, so that's what I'll be reviewing here today. The briefs pattern consists of a front piece, a back piece, a gusset, plus the dimensions to draft your waistband and leg band pieces. 


Sizing info:

Both styles are graded to a generous size range of 6-12 months to 12 years. The pattern file includes the layers function, which I always really appreciate, so you can select just the size you require which saves on printer ink. I tried making the size 2 and size 3 for Frankie (who will turn 3 tomorrow at time of writing!), and the 3 definitely fit him better. He's not potty trained yet, but we did have a day where he wore these during which I was able to assess the fit. Dolores (who turned 6 today!) fits the size 6 perfectly with room to grow. 


Fabric info:

The fabric suggestion for this pattern is 4-way stretch jersey. I'd go further and say that a decent elastane/Lycra/spandex content is essential for the bands so that they hold their shape over a number of wears, and generally advisable for the other pieces too for maximum comfort. 

I really like it when pattern designers encourage people to use scraps to make their patterns from, and this is the perfect pattern to do that with. As you can see, I went to town busting my scraps! I've made many pairs of pants for my daughter previously from a very similar pattern to this, so I've been able to do plenty of experimenting and collecting of data to see how different jerseys behave (or don't) over time. By now I think I've got a fairly good idea of what's going to work well have have a long life. I have an embarrassingly large tub of jersey scraps, so I began by dividing it into three piles: 1) good quality jersey (mostly cotton/elastane blends) that I know will be perfect for these pants, the band pieces HAVE to be made from this category, 2) other jerseys that will be ok for the fronts, backs and gusset, especially if they're combined with fabrics from the first pile, and 3) all the jerseys that were too thin and drape-y, or with poor stretch and recovery that are NOT suitable for this project. I then had a lot of fun making crazy fabric combos. 


Findings:

As you can probably tell, I'm so happy to have found this pattern! The wide size range should see most kids through to when they start to wear adult sizes (Made by Jack's Mum also sells adult versions of both the boxer and briefs style patterns). So if you have a big enough jersey scraps bin, plus sufficient will and patience, you may never need to look elsewhere for kids' pants again. Clearly, making these pants is addictive, but I must admit to getting fed up by the end! Pinning tiny leg bands into tiny leg holes can definitely start to get old. Therefore I advise against making a whole year's worth of pants for two kids within a week. 

The pattern itself is well produced, and the instructions are illustrated with step-by-step photos and easy to follow. I did end up making a couple of tweaks to the fit, however. For both Frankie and Dolores, I ended up raising the waistline at the centre back fold by 1cm, blending the curve down to the original waistline by the side seam. And for Dolores, I found that the gusset area was too wide: there was just too much fabric there. To amend this, I narrowed the front and gusset pieces by 0.75cm-ish where it was needed, therefore narrowing it by 1.5cm-ish in total. I found for Frankie that this wasn't necessary. 

As you can see, for a few of Dolores's pairs, I tried using fold over elastic instead of fabric bands for the leg holes. However, only one of those pairs has found their way into regular rotation, the others she's declared too uncomfortable. I found the patience to replace the FOE with fabric bands on one of the pairs during #alteritaugust. The only other point I'd just to add is to include some kind of label or loop of ribbon so they can identify the back quickly. 


Customisation ideas:

I don't have much for you today with this pattern, however:
  • Try adding seams to the front piece so you can include panels of super-tiny, awesome fabrics (I tried that with the black pair pictured above so I could include a teensy sample of vegetable print jersey)
  • I'm wondering if these patterns could be used with swimwear Lycra to make swimming bottoms?
  • If you have some thin and soft enough (see 'Findings' above), replace the leg hole bands on the briefs version with fold over elastic or special undies elastic


Would I make it again?

YESSSSS. I have already printed out the size 4 and size 7 briefs pattern pieces and stuck them down on cardboard so I can start making undies for both my kids in their future sizes. I'm hoping that if I can keep on top of making a couple of pairs every few weeks, I'll make even more of a dent in my jersey scraps tub. 

I gave Frankie the choice of which style I would make him. He chose the briefs, probably because he recognised that style as being the most similar to what his big sister wears. However, I'm hoping he'll let me try the boxer style for him too some day so I can have fun experimenting with that pattern too. If I do, I will of course report back. 
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