Not my best work



Every time, in the last little while, a friend or colleague has a baby, I think that I should make said baby a homemade gift. I’ve even bought several baby patterns with such things in mind. But so far, every time my own slackitude has won out, and I haven’t gotten around to it.

Well, this piece has, perhaps, made it clear to me why not doing so wasn’t such a bad idea.

This is a present for a little boy born last winter who’s technically my husband’s cousin (or is there such a thing as half cousin?). So this is really a lot of firsts for me—first baby sewing, first little boy sewing. Except, peeps, it’s jeans. I’ve made umpteen however many at this point. Oh yeah, first deep cargo pockets. Joy of 21 Wale did a nice cargo-pocket tutorial a while back that I totally would’ve re-read and applied if I’d had a bit more time, organization, or motivation.

Anyway, details.

This is another pattern from the excellent kids’ issue of Patrones magazine Her Selfishness bestowed upon me lo these many moons ago. Previous makes include this vest and these capris for Tyo. Anyway, there aren’t a whole lot of baby patterns in the magazine, but I did like the idea of the little cargo jeans at the back. I did decide to forego the gathered ankle, and as a result opted to square off the rest of the leg, which was drafted to taper. It has some cute details like the cargo-pockets, and a mid-leg horizontal seam that would let me use up some teeny scraps of denim that have been languishing in the not-quite-scrap pile for… well, since I made my first pair of jeans, frankly.

The pattern came in three sizes, 3 months, 9 months, and 18 months. Since the baby is currently about five months and (last I checked) a rather large specimen, I opted for the 9 months.


Syo, modeling.

Um, yes, this photo is Syo modeling said jeans. That would be my almost-nine-year-old, wearing the jeans for a nine MONTH old. I mean, there’s ease (and diapers ease) and then there’s ease. The top of the pattern is basically rectangular, relying entirely on the gathered waistband for shape. Considering that they actually fit OK in crotch depth, I’m suspecting there would be plenty of ease even for cloth diapers. (And you’ll have to forgive the crappy late-night flash photos. The fact that it was dark when I finished them should tell you everything you need to know, considering we’re only a few weeks from the longest day of the year.

Er, yeah, they’re a bit roomy. Maybe he’ll get to wear them next summer…

They would’ve been quite fun if I wasn’t on such a tight timeline to get them finished for this weekend. I used two different kinds of denim, plus some grey

Side view

stretch linen for the detailing, and remembered to add some nice touches like flat piping along the side-seams and random patches and flaps here and there. I even managed to attach the snaps on the Β cargo pockets without totally mangling them. (I find snaps stressful.) I did a LOT of reinforcing with soft interfacing, in the hopes of avoiding blowing my topstitching, Some of this was useful, some was overkill, and some just caused its own set of problems. A lightweight knit interfacing would’ve been better, but the only nice knit interfacing I have around here is soft but fairly bulky, which I also didn’t want. In hind-sight, I should’ve done the waistband (which is designed as one piece) with a separate facing in the linen. It’s so nice and soft, whereas the denim I used on the waistband is fairly harsh. Though it does soften fairly nicely with wear.

I added studs, but because I didn’t want any metal against sensitive baby (or, as it will be by the time they fit, toddler) skin, I inserted them just in the outer layer of the pocket, before sewing the pockets together. Strictly decorative. I also used a my usual adjustable-buttonhole-elastic in the waistband, rather than doing a stitched-down elastic waistband as the pattern suggested.

All in all, they were fun, I just wish I’d been less rushed—I would’ve been able to enjoy the process more, not to mention taking more time to screw up less (and fix what I screwed up more.) If jeans are all about the precise details, well, these have plenty of detail, not so much precision.

Ah well. They’re done, and gifted, and the mom and I had a nice chat about how she loves the idea of sewing, and the amazingness of Pow-Wow costumes, and geez if I had a nickel for every time someone says to me “I’d love to learn to sew BUT”…

Ah. well. Done. And I can get back to sewing for MEEEEEE.

As soon as I have the energy to do more than stare at a screen, anyway.



Filed under Sewing

29 responses to “Not my best work

  1. I suspect people that say they would like to learn to sew, like the idea of learning to sew, and the concept of wandering Cinderella like into the sewing attic and having a perfect dress made of perfect fabric appear in no time. The reality of muslins and mastering fit etc etc etc would not be fun for them. Oh my, I am a little negative today. Sorry. I am going to slink to the sewing dungeon and sulk.

  2. Those are pretty darn awesome! With regard to baby sizing, I find that they are always oversized by some amount, but also that as kids grow, they grow so much more lengthwise than widthwise that baby stuff fits big kids pretty often. The stuff I sew for Duncan (at 18 months old) I can usually also fit Logan (at age 5), even though it fits Duncan just fine. I bet your cousin (in-law?) fits into them. Even if they are a touch big, he’s only going to get bigger and jeans are always useful. Those are a great baby gift!

  3. I agree with Katie. Baby stuff is always oversize but as sizes go up, the width doesn’t change too much. But I LOVE the photo of Syo modeling the jeans. I wasn’t expecting that when I scrolled down πŸ™‚ They look magnificent, as usual.

    • I was surprised at how she styled up the photos—mostly because it was late and I was pretty sure the jeans were not the sort of thing she’d actually enjoy wearing. She looks pretty cool, doesn’t she? πŸ˜‰

  4. I always answer “I’d love to learn to sew, but” with something of a glazed look and nodding and smiling… It always sounds to me like “I like the idea of learning to do something, but when it comes down to it, I’d rather not…” And what’s the response for that?

    They’re cute though. πŸ™‚ And he has plenty of room to grow… πŸ˜‰

    • Exactly! I tend to take people at their word (I’m literal like that) and start babbling about how easy it is. Ok, easy’s not quite the right word—but I don’t get how scary it is to some people. Grum.

      I am glad I didn’t do the tapered anikle… this way he can wear them as long as they fit in the width. Which might be ’til he’s ten, if Syo is any guide… πŸ˜‰

  5. Widths are funny. When my sister refused to wear pants, when she was about 3, my mother ended up buying her a few skirts that were suppose to be wool mini-skirts for teenagers. They fit around the waist, and were ankle-length on her toddler-self- perfect for winter.

  6. Bri

    Well despite you saying there were issues, these little boy cargo pants are really cute! It’s funny Syo is modeling them but I guess thats another good thing about kids, they grow into stuff!
    But yes it’s definitely much funner sewing for yourself.

  7. Cute! I love the cargo pockets. πŸ™‚ And yes, another person to vouch that they’ll likely fit just fine in a few months. My son can “technically” wear clothing from the 18-24 month size range, but he needs the length that the 6T slims offer (though honestly, he could use a bit more length and a bit less width).

    Ah yes, those people who like to say they’d like to learn how to sew but aren’t really motivated enough to make the effort. I don’t know what to say to those people either.

  8. Those jeans look great. And I really applaud your effort. After having made them twice (on bermuda shorts for my boyfriend) I really can’t be bothered to make any more cargo pockets. Too much effort for what, in the end, is usually just a ‘design detail’ (Ok, those bermuda’s where pocket hell: with front scoop pockets, side cargo pockets and bound pockets with flaps at the back. And I had to make them twice because I got the size wrong the first time).
    They look great on Syo but I hope the baby will grow into them quick enough. Baby sizing, in my experience (sewing simple presents for two babies of friends), is hard to understand but as long as you didn’t pick too small a size, it’s usually not a problem.

    • Yeah, the nice thing about sewing for kids is as long as it’s not too small, it’ll probably fit sooner or later. And at least with the square legs, they can go smoothly from pants to shorts until they fall apart…

      Those shorts do sound like the depths of hell. I *like* cargo pockets, at least on work clothes, but getting them stitched on neatly… what a pain!

  9. They are cute and with hot pink, perfect. Don’t worry bout the sizing – belts and elastic are brilliant. Brilliant. :o)

    I reckon those who say “I’d love to learn to sew, but…” are often about to say “hey, you can make me some stuff right?”. That’s when I have to force myself not so snarl, then I too slink to the sewing room and sulk about the fit of my latest muslin. Hah :o)

    • LMAO. Elastic is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

      Yeah, my crafty sister-in-law was dropping hints about when we move back. And she has no excuse for not knowing how to sew, her mother was a professional seamstress. >_<

  10. The details really make these special. I’m in awe of all the effort you put into those touches that non-sewers don’t always appreciate. People are always telling me they would like to sew, and have a machine, but forgot how to thread it. To which I think, they don’t really want to sew or they would just google a threading diagram.

  11. oh good lord thank you for sharing this. that made my morning.

  12. I think these shorts are ADORABLE and would have paid good money for something like this when my boys were small. Not only that, but they would probably actually have fit into the 9 month size when they were 9 months (all 3 of my kids wore size 3 at one year — we grow ’em big around here). I admire your attention to detail; it makes your items look so complete where I’m lucky if mine don’t scream “fresh off the sewing machine!”

  13. ROFL – pants now, shorts later – at some point they will fit!

    Yeah, those “I’d love to learn” folks… I think most of them would love to already know how to sew, but actually wouldn’t like to to invest the time and effort and expense that is necessary to actually learn. Usually their eyes glaze over when I start to mention great beginner projects.

  14. Aw, these turned out really cute! And I love that Syo is wearing them. She styled them really well too! Will you be making another pair of these for her? πŸ™‚

    (Hi, btw! Sorry for the comment on an old post. Trying to catch up on what I’ve missed the last month or so.)

Leave a Reply to StephC Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s