Wednesday, April 6, 2016

What's your favorite color?

"Brown," he said.

And so to celebrate his 7th birthday, I made a PJ set and a classic shirt for him in chocolatey browns .

He selected this forest (no, it is NOT camouflage) scene in cotton knit.

And I selected this check. Had to add a little zing to it and so lined the collar band and cuffs in a print.

When making gifts for the grands, I often go back to my stash of Ottobre magazines. I subscribed about 3 years running and now I have more patterns for children than I'll ever be able to try. Some issues were better than others. All three of these came from patterns in this issue:

Here is how the patterns are included in the issues, in case you are unfamiliar:

You do have be in the mood for messing with this kind of pattern. 

One thing I especially like about the Ottobre patterns is that they are sized by height. I keep a running record of the grands' growth on my pantry door so, even though they are not with me constantly, I can make an educated guess as to the right size. These do run a bit wide for my grands but that's typically OK with children's clothes.

The instructions are sparse and not always crystal clear to me. Measurements are in metric. I do wish we in the US had made that switch back when it was a hot topic.

The instructions for the dress shirt were the most detailed, still lacking in important details, IMO. I relied heavily on The Blouse Perfected (TBP) from Cutting Line Designs. This little shirt is a classic style, complete with collar band, double yoke, and tower plackets on the sleeves. TBP contains great instructions for all of these details, as well as nice looking pockets. I redrafted the sleeve plackets using the piece in TBP as a starting place.

I reshaped the hemline so that it is closer to a traditional shirt tail. In the pattern it is straight across which may be more practical for young boy.  I also split the cuff into two pieces so that I could use a print for the facing. I also used that print for one side of the collar band.

Making a classic man's shirt is something I really enjoy from time to time. This was especially satisfying because I visualized DGS wearing these as I sewed.

After completing the shirt, I was totally ready to make the simple knit PJ set: super easy t-shirt and slightly more complex shorts. The shorts include pockets and a waistband like that found in sweat pants. 

All in all, this little gift project has been wonderfully satisfying to me. I am hoping grandson enjoys wearing these.

I may be ready to make another shirt for myself now.


  1. These are so nicely made and wonderful shades of brown. I love making shirts followed by easy knits. I am sure your gs will love these.

  2. Handsome! Love those PJ's. I've always meant to try and get Ottobre's women's issue one of these days.

  3. Your work always looks so perfect! Those pj's are darling.

  4. Very nice! Although quite a basic color, brown can shine as you have shown us here. I am sure your grandson will love these garments.

  5. Loved this post! I do exactly the same thing for my grand daughters - keep their measurements on hand and troll through all my Ottobre magazines for patterns that I know will fit them. Yesterday I made pajama bottoms from the #6/09 issue. I am saddened that they are rapidly growing out of Ottobre's size ranges. Loved the brown pj's!

  6. Hi Martha, I just happily found your blog !! I really enjoyed all your May entries and love the shirts I found here. I am working on shirts because I cannot find good women's shirts anymore in women's sizes. I wish many pattern companies would learn from L.Cutting's clear directions. Thank you for all the inspiration. Keep it coming!!