Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Contributor Post: Spring 2016 Trends for Boys + How to trace a RTW tee

Hey there, PR & P fans! My name is Bonnie and I'm visiting today from my regular gig as a lifestyle & sewing blogger over at Whisk 'Em. I spend my days managing chaos as a homeschooling mom of 7 while maintaining sanity (sort of) through a love of fashion and sewing. I hope you'll come stop by sometime! prp-trace-tee17

Today's post is dedicated to all you sewing moms of boys. Our poor sons really get the shaft when it comes to sewing, don't ya think? Let's be honest: it's difficult to make time for practical boy shirts and pants when we can spend our time on twirly, girly pink frou-frou skirts and dresses. But today we're gonna talk Spring trends for the miniature men in our lives and how to make them. Woo-hoo! In researching up-and-coming trends for boys, I kept seeing lots of button-down shirts: chambray, khaki, twill, cotton - they were everywhere and in every fabric. I also kept seeing them used as outerwear over a henley or graphic tee. Neon is also back these season, especially in trims and accents. These sparked my inspiration for today's look which I call "Skater-Preppy" :) prp-trace-tee9

For my button-down, I knew I wanted to use this colorful chevron print I've had in my stash forever (I didn't have any selvage left and so the source escapes me...please comment if you can help me out!). I barely eked out a short-sleeved version of the Classic Oxford Button Up (by Peekaboo Patterns) and still needed to use a contrasting fabric for the yoke and pocket. This gray shirting I chose (from Joann Fabrics) finished it up nicely! Several sewing buddies have recently confessed to me their fear in trying to sew a collared shirt. Trust me, it's way easier than it seems! My only suggestion is to make sure you use an interfacing (for the collar and placket) that is similar in weight to your main fabric. I used an interfacing that was a bit too heavy and after washing, it made creases in my collar. Lesson learned! Oh, and I ALWAYS forget to make my collar buttonhole horizontal and the rest vertical...doh. But other than those goofs, this one turned out swimmingly. For the shorts, I pulled out Made Everyday's Kid Shorts pattern (which I love!). I used the same contrast shirting as on the button-down and added a chartreuse bias tape to the edges of my pockets. This pattern has so many options and these shorts came together super quickly (even though I accidentally cut them too short. Whoops!) pr
Lastly, I knew I wanted to make my son a graphic tee to pull the whole look together and make it more casual. He requested "a motorcycle and some stars" and so I found these shapes at the Silhouette online store. Read on for a quick tutorial on how to trace an existing tee and paint on a graphic! prp-trace-tee

If you've never traced an existing garment before, you're in for a treat! It's really simple and makes it easy to recreate any favorite clothing item. Begin by folding a RTW T-shirt in half lengthwise and laying it along the fold of your fabric. Carefully cut around the T-shirt's hem, side seams, armscye, shoulder and neckline to make a back piece. Don't forget to add seam and hem allowances! (You can also do this on paper or cardstock to make a pattern you can use time and time again.) Repeat this step with a slightly lowered neckline for the front piece. prp-trace-tee19

Tracing the sleeve is just slightly trickier: Again lay your folded sleeve along the fold of your fabric and cut along the hemline and underarm seam (again adding seam and hem allowances . Then, flip your shirt's body over the sleeve (as pictured above) to expose the armscye seam and carefully cut along this curve, also adding seam allowance. prp-trace-tee2   prp-trace-tee3

Lastly, cut a neckband by measuring your existing shirt's band and adding a seam allowance (don't forget to make it twice as wide as your RTW shirt's band since it will be folded in half lengthwise). To add the graphics, I cut the shapes out of freezer paper (found in most grocery stores near the plastic wrap and parchment paper) using my Silhouette machine. I then ironed them on my fabric, with the sticky side of the paper facing my fabric. (When heated, freezer paper adheres to the fabric forming a nice seal which then acts as a perfect stencil to paint on your shape!). prp-trace-tee4 prp-trace-tee5

I then used a foam brush to dab on fabric paint within the freezer paper stencil. It took quite a bit of paint to adequately cover it all. I waited about a half hour for it to dry, then carefully peeled off the paper. prp-trace-tee6 prp-trace-tee7

Then, assemble your shirt as you would any tee: sew front to back at shoulder seams, then side seams. Hem sleeves and then sew underarm seam. Attach to shirt along armscye and hem shirt. Then add neckband by sewing short ends of band together to create a loop. Fold loop in half lengthwise (wrong sides together!) and press. Pin band to shirt neckline in 4 equal quarters (front center, back center and sides). Then carefully stitch to neckline, one quarter at a time, stretching your neckband to fit the neck opening. If you're new at this, basting it on first is a great way to avoid having to pick out stitching or serging! One last tip! If you've ever had trouble getting the top folded edge of your neckline to lay flat once sewn to the shirt, try cutting and stitching the short ends together in a "V" pattern as shown below. Then, once the band is folded together, it keeps the folded edge (the deep part of the V) a bit more taut than the raw edge.
  neckband stitching graphic   prp-trace-tee11

Thanks for reading along! Feel free to stop by my blog to see the rest of the pictures of this fun outfit and my handsome little model :) Thanks for having me liZ and Elizabeth!

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