I sometimes wonder what the sewing mothers of boys would do without Ottobre. In a landscape dominated by ruffles and pretty dresses (and regular readers will know that I have a weakness for a pretty dress myself!) stylish patterns for boys are pretty hard to find. And then you discover Ottobre and suddenly, there's almost too much choice! The most recent issue was spattered with clothes that I fairly itched to make for James. So I devoted this weekend to some serious boy-type sewing.
My recent makes have probably erred on the cute side. James is nearly 5 and my darling DH has started to query whether tab-hemmed turquoise shorts:
with co-ordinating polo shirts:
and hoody tops featuring photos of the wearer and his special bear, each sitting happily in the pockets of the helicoptor applique:
aren't just a bit too babyish for our boy. Now personally, I'd see him in such garb until he's, oh I don't know, 20? But I can't deny that he looks a lot less streetwise than most of his peers and small children can be cruel. So... time to swap cute for cool.
First up: the Guitar raglan sleeve t-shirt.
Thanks to not reading the instructions (will I NEVER learn??) I put the applique in the wrong place. But James doesn't know that, and it still looks pretty good. I love the applique but am not at all keen on the pattern. The neckline is cut very wide and, even though I replaced the cuff binding at the sleeves with a longer underlayer, I think the sleeves are a tad too short. It's wearable and James, despite no interest in music or guitars, likes it very much, thanks to some careful propaganda along the lines of 'your big cousin Joe will really like this shirt because he likes electric guitars'.
Next: the bermudas that feature in about 4 different pattern versions, the differences lying in the pocket styles. I did the Wailers, which have bellows pockets on the leg, and used some Ikea plaid cotton. I omitted the drawstring because the cotton has quite a crisp hand and I suspected it would crease at the front rather than fall into gentle gathers. I used buttonhole elastic at the back to get them to fit properly.
You will notice that the plaid matches in the pocket and across the side seams. I'm pretty proud of this and simply love the pattern! James also really likes them so I'll be churning out another couple of them for the holidays.
And finally, the Reggae jacket, which is actually a retro-style bomber jacket.
Words cannot describe how much I love this pattern. I had difficulty finding ribbon elastic and am wondering if it's a figment of the Ottobre imagination. After experimenting with ordinary 1cm elastic and FOE, I found some stretch binding in the stash and this was thin enough to do the job nicely. I'll check out where I got it from if anybody's interested.
I struggled with the pockets (this was my first time doing welt pockets and the Ottobre instructions were as sparse they often are for tricky techniques). In fact, during the two evenings I spent sewing this,I had to rip out quite a number of seams, so it's surprising how much I enjoyed doing it. When I had finished it, darling DH pointed out that it was lacking a touch of yellow (this can be a deal-breaker), so I knocked up a badge with a yellow rescue helicoptor on it, and told James that I'd made him a pilot's jacket. And James simply loves it!