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Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Free Boy Patterns (2) - Toddlers and up

A while back, I did a post about free patterns for boys - baby boys . There seem to be far more free patterns for girls on the internet, hence they are much easier to find. Although this mostly works for me - I have 4 grand-daughters - it seems unfair on those who want to sew for boys. Plus, one of my grand-daughters would much sooner wear trousers and shorts than a dress, especially a frilly dress. And my husband's niece had twins, a boy and a girl. So I started writing about patterns I had found that would work well for boys. Last time, I concentrated on babies up to about 12-15 months. Some of the patterns and pattern authors I recommended do have larger sizes too, so it's always worth checking them out.

Please recognise when I produce these reviews, it has taken a lot of research and late nights, so please don't just copy all of this onto your own web site without acknowledging the source. Thank you! 

This time around, I'll continue with my review of free patterns for older boys from toddler age onwards. With a big thank you to all the people who have so generously posted patterns and tutorials without charge. So read on!

Friday, 17 August 2018

How to adjust a trousers / pants / shorts pattern with the front and back identical

As most of my readers know, I mainly use (and review) free sewing patterns from the internet - that's what I do. Using patterns that have generously been posted for free does require an acceptance that they won't all be perfect, and you may sometimes have to fiddle about with them to make them work. (Not always, of course, there are many that are brilliant, and that I use again and again.) But how much worse to pay for a pattern and then find that one doesn't work either!

And my biggest bugbear by far, is the pants and shorts and trouser patterns which don't have a separate back and front shaping - or rather, the crutch seam is identical for the back seam and the front seam. It's really surprising how many people, even some who also sell their work, produce such patterns. It doesn't take a lot of thought to realise that human beings are not symmetrical when seen from the side! 

(I realise my drawing talents leave a lot to be desired - I should have taken lessons from Picasso. Hopefully you'll get the idea.)

So the patterns I recommend, like this one from Jereli for pyjama pants, result in pants that have a crutch seam higher in the back than the front, and (generally) have a longer curve on the back, so that the inside leg seam sits a little forward of the midpoint of the inside of the leg. If you look at purchased trousers, even jeans, you will see that shaping, to accommodate the wider part we all have at the rear! Even children and babies - especially babies, who spend a lot of time with their legs in the air - need space for bending at the hip. OK, you may just get away with this with knit fabric and a sloppy fit, but it ISN'T DIFFICULT to make a pattern correctly, and make the result more comfortable.

These above are from another pattern I recommend, from Suzi of Bay Patterns at Space. Note that the centre back is higher than the centre front. These were a really comfortable fit. The grandchildren wanted more of them!

However, you will find patterns which ignore this golden rule, so here's what you can do.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

A summer baby romper

After I had made beach ponchos and hooded towels for the girls this summer, I still had a nice piece of fabric left over. This was a soft stretch towelling.

I thought there would be just enough to make something for the baby, and I had in mind that it reminded me a bit of a little romper suit my daughter had when she was about 16 or 17 months old - though hers was cotton woven fabric - coincidentally it looks a similar colour / design in the photos!

To find out how I made a romper for my grand-daughter, read on.