I am a stay at home mom with three busy children. I began sewing shortly before Peanut (formerly known as the Bit) was born, and quickly found it to be my happy place. I blog about my makes for the Bug, Peanut, and Baby Bear most frequently, but every now and then my husband and I make an appearance.
I don’t sew for this guy all that often. The first few things I made for him turned out pretty awful and I became intimidated. I’m getting better though. The last few tries have actually been wearable.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to test the new Hayden Henley from 5 out of 4 Patterns. It’s nice to have some back up waiting to offer fit advice if I need it. Surprisingly, I didn’t need much help with this top. The muslin was almost perfect.
There are a few more complicated steps with this pattern, and each one has a link to a 5oo4 Sewing School video so that you can follow along if you need a different visual. The placket is much easier than it looks.
The hubby prefers the simple options, but I have a vision for the Bug involving the Kid’s Hayden Henley, a gorgeous mustard waffle knit, thumbhole cuffs, and a hood. Both the cuffs and the hood are included in the pattern. If you are interested in both patterns, you can find the bundle here.
What do your models prefer, simple staples or all the fun options they can get?
**All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a pattern after clicking on one of those links, I will receive a small percentage of the purchase price at NO COST to you. Thank you!**
This combination of patterns make an adorable sporty set that is perfect for this active girl. She can run, climb, and ride to her heart’s content with out worrying about anything getting in her way.
The Shenanigans Skort comes in three lengths; active (shown here), mid length, and knee length. There are also different rise options. Peanut prefers the low rise, so I will use that with the mid length to make her a school uniform skort a little later this week.
The more fitted line of this skort is coming in handy. It is not quite as attractive to our puppy as the more twirly skirts. Peanut can wear this skirt all she wants without worrying about him grabbing on to it as she walks past him and ripping it. This has become a horrible habit and Peanut has been sad to abandon her twirly skirts while we train the puppy. The little ruffle on the Shenanigans Skort adds that little bit of extra “girly” that Peanut loves, but isn’t quite enough to attract the beast’s attention. Win-win.
What is your favorite skort or skirt pattern? Peanut wants to try them all!
**This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a pattern after clicking on the links, I will recieve a small percentage of the purchase price at NO COST to you. Thank you!**
Even though I love the Deathly Hallows outfits I showcased in Part I, the true inspiration motivating me to sew for our visit to the Wizarding World was this Marauder’s Map fabric from Joann’s.
Unfortunately it rained early in our visit to the park on the day the kids wore these, so I wasn’t able to get another photo shoot in Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley. I was only able to get a few photos on our way into the park that morning.
As you can see, I chose not to be quite as matchy matchy with these outfits. I was really looking for comfortable makes that the kids would be happy to wear anytime.
One of my favorite patterns for Baby Bear is the Over It Alls by Made By Jack’s Mum. She is just so comfortable in them, no matter what she is doing.
There are a bunch of options, including different lengths, pockets, and linings. I have only used the semi-lined option, but I would probably try my hand at a reversible pair if we lived somewhere with cooler weather. I love the look of the semi-circle through pocket, and how it allows for the use of panels or other fabric you want to showcase on the front of the over alls.
The snaps are not hard to open and close, but there is enough room for a potty training toddler to just slip the straps down off the arms in an emergency.
Peanut had to have a skort, of course. This child is rarely seen in shorts or pants outside of BMX. I used the Bonny Leggings pattern by Made For Mermaids. It is a quick sew and Peanut finds it to be comfortable. I’ve used the pattern several times for her but, as she grows, I find myself leaning towards other patterns that have a gusset. She’s an active kid and I like the ease of movement that a gusset provides.
I paired the skort with an Explorer Raglan by Made By Jack’s Mum. This is the same pattern I used in Part I, but I chose not to use the optional side panels.
I have plenty of t shirt patterns to choose from when sewing for the Bug, but one of my all time favorites is the t shirt from the Moto Maxx pattern by Love Notions.
It has the perfect slim fit for him and I really like the shoulder details. Being able to add a coordinating fabric really helps the main fabric pop.
These makes are sure to get a lot of wear from the kiddos as they jump around flinging spells at each other.
What are your favorite patterns to use when sewing for kids?
**This pattern contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a pattern after clicking on these links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale at NO COST to you. Thank you!**
I have to admit, every year I feel a tiny pang of jealousy while I watch the online sewing world debate the merits of patterns and fabrics for the perfect back to school wardrobe. So many of the talented people out there produce such wonderful outfits for the first day of school every year and, for a moment, I want to be one of them.
And then reality comes crashing in and I realize that my life is so much easier with a school uniform policy. It’s simple. They wear a school shirt with navy or khaki bottoms and we call it a day. Typically I just round up a few ready-to-wear things over the summer.
Last year it was a struggle to get Peanut to wear anything other than a skirt to school. She wanted nothing to do with the ready-to-wear shorts or pants that were uniform appropriate. This year, I decided to try something new. Enter the Rachel Knit Pants (5 out of 4 Patterns). The optional ruffle makes these shorts cute enough for even Peanut’s discerning taste. After all, it makes them almost a skirt. Or at least that’s what she tells me.
I wonder if she’ll go for a pair with pants length? It isn’t often cold enough to worry about exposed legs around here, but there are a few days every winter. With a new uniform rule being enforced, restricting leggings worn under a skirt to navy or khaki, a pair of pants may be in order. Ruffles might help.
These shorts came together so quickly that I used the same pattern to knock out a pair of workout shorts for the Bug to wear to jiu jitsu. I have been struggling to find shorts with out pockets, which are a safety hazard when he’s grappling. Rachel shorts to the rescue! I love when I can use one pattern for all of the kids.
The Bug even gives them two thumbs up.
Where do you stand on school uniforms? Do they get in the way of your creative side or appeal to your practical side?
**This post contains affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase a pattern from one of those links, I will receive a small percentage of the purchase price at NO COST to you. Thank you!**
I’m excited to be getting back into the pattern testing game after only a few dabbles over the last few years. It allows me to try patterns that I otherwise might not use, and I never know what gems I might find. Joggers in general haven’t really been my thing, but that might be changing after testing 5 out of 4‘s new Jason Joggers.
These might look like simple joggers, but the pattern includes a ton of options. It’s easy to style them for the tastes and comfort of each kid. With three length options, three possible hem finishes, four different waistband options, and optional pockets, every kid is sure to find some combination they like.
Both Bear and the Bug wanted cuffs, an elastic waistband, and pockets. I chose the capri length for Bear and the full length for the Bug. The cuff option requests length be trimmed off the legs before adding the cuffs. This information is not included on the pattern pieces, but it is a simple matter to find the information in the tutorial and trim the appropriate amount from the pattern pieces before cutting your fabric.
Patch pockets are incredibly easy with Wonder tape holding them in position. I also really like the option of leaving the raw edge of the pockets exposed. Folding under pocket edges always seems super bulky to me. Ironically, I feel leaving the raw edge exposed and attaching the pocket with a decorative stitch results in a cleaner look.
My slender kiddos both wanted elastic in their waistbands. I especially like having the extra security of elastic when their waists measure a full size or more smaller than their hips. I can just cut the elastic to fit their waists and add it into the waistband, without needing to grade the waist down to a smaller size.
The top-stitching details provide the added benefit of keeping the elastic in place, preventing it from rolling or bunching.
These two kids keep me on my toes. They rarely measure into one straight size in a pattern and my grading skills have significantly improved over the last few years. It’s necessary to add length to everything I sew for them. When I first started adjusting patterns to fit, it didn’t occur to me that I would need to adjust the rise as well as the length. Now I know better. As the difference between their hip size and their height grows, their pants become uncomfortable low cut without rise adjustments. For this pattern, Bear requires a size 18-24 month width with a size 3 length. The Bug needs a size 5 width with a size 7 height.
Like with many patterns, fabric choice is very important. The Jason Joggers are designed for medium to heavy weight knit fabrics with at least 40% stretch. That leaves quite a few options, but each can provide a different look. A heavier weight fabric with little stretch will result in joggers that are much more snug than a lighter weight fabric with more stretch and you will probably want to size up. I used a medium weight cotton/lycra for the Bug’s joggers and a mediume weight jegging material for Bear’s. The pink accents on Bear’s joggers are double brushed poly. All of the fabrics I used came from Purpleseamstress Fabrics.
Things to Note
5 out of 4 patterns are no trim and can be pieced together fresh off the printer. A printing chart detailing which pages are needed for each option is included. You can save even more ink, paper, and time by using the included charts to cut the rectangular shaped pieces rather than printing out the templates.
It seems like I have been seeing photos of joggers all over my sewing groups forever. It is a trend that I just haven’t been able to buy into before now. Are there any sewing trends that you have a hard time jumping on board with?
**This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. If you like what you see and choose to purchase a pattern after clicking on these links, I will receive a small percentage of the purchase price at NO COST to you. Thank you!**
Peanut and Baby Bear both have birthdays in the very near future. In celebration, we headed out for a birthday adventure at Universal Studios, Orlando last weekend. In this family full of Potterheads, there was no better way to celebrate than time spent in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and I couldn’t resist making a few outfits for the kids to wear on our adventures.
This was the perfect time for the Bug and Peanut to visit the Wizarding World. The Bug recently finished reading the Harry Potter series, and Peanut is almost 5/7 of the way through it. They loved being immersed in the stories and experiencing so many of the locations mentioned throughout. They were also both tall enough to ride all of the magical rides. The Bear wasn’t quite so lucky, but with so much to see and do she still had a grand adventure.
I was so excited when I found this Deathly Hallows knit at Joann Fabrics. It was perfect for these Explorer Raglans from Made By Jack’s Mum. The colorblocked side panel really shows off the fabric and adds that little bit of extra to a simple raglan shirt.
I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut a few iconic symbols and quotes from the Harry Potter series to add the final touch to the coordinating shirts.
I mashed two patterns from 5 out of 4 Patterns to create the girls’ skirts. These girls love to twirl, so the Little Luna Skirt was a no brainer. To keep them comfortable in the Orlando sunshine I added a pair of Little Ninja shorts under each skirt before sewing on the waist band. There are several patterns out there that can acheive a similar look, but the Little Ninja Leggings includes a gusset option for all but the smallest sizes. Gussets make all the difference for ease and comfort of movement. And the best part is both of these patterns are available for free! What a great way to check out 5 out of 4 Patterns if you’ve never tried them.
These girls of mine are growing up fast. I’m glad we can create these memories with them. I hope they keep this magic alive for many years to come.
We love heading out on birthday adventures with the kids. How does your family celebrate birthdays?
**This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase a pattern from these links, I will receive compensation at NO COST to you.**
Summer is in full swing and it is HOT outside. It’s the perfect time to sew up a pair of trunks to get your kid through that last push before school starts and life gets too hectic to spend time in the pool.
The Bug loves these trunks I sewed up during testing for the Kid’s Swim Trunks from 5 out of 4 Patterns. I love sewing up patterns from 5 out of 4. The patterns are well written with clear illustrations that are easy to follow. Having been a pattern tester off and on for this company since the very first pattern they relased, I know how well drafted and tested each pattern is. The patterns are examinied left, right, and sideways before being released, and are sewn by a wide variety of testers.
I frequently learn something new with each new 5 out of 4 pattern I attempt, and if I find myself struggling the 5 out of 4 Facebook group is always there to help. The community of people brought together by this pattern company is amazing. Thousands of people coming together to learn from and be inspired by each other. It’s where I learned that grommets in the pockets of a pair of swim trunks aren’t just decorative.
Sizing and Options
The Kid’s Swim Trunk pattern includes sizes to fit your smallest (0-3 M) up through your not-so-small (size 14) kiddos. It comes with cut lines for two different lengths and options for a lining, a drawstring, side seam pockets, and a cargo pocket. I went for simple with the Bug’s trunks, opting for the shorter length with a lining and no pockets.
Woven microfiber boardshort fabric is recommended for the main fabric. I found this awesome Super Bros Galaxy microfiber at Snowy Owl Fabrics. It looks like it is sold out now, but there are a bunch of other awesome prints to choose from. Their current pre-order is DC vs Marvel inspired, and it is drool worthy.
Mesh is recommended for the lining, but I went with a scrap of swim lining I had on hand instead. The lining fabric requires 75/25% stretch. There is a stretch guide included in the pattern if you need to test a swatch. The swim lining worked nicely and the Bug hasn’t complained.
You will need between 1/3 and 3/4 yard of the main fabric and 1/4 to 1/2 yard for the lining, depending on the size you are making.
I chose to sew up options that did not require any notions that wouldn’t be lying around a typical sewing space. Grommets or buttonholes are required for a drawstring. Grommets are also necessary if you choose to add cargo pockets. If you leave them out, your kid will be toting around pockets full of water for a while each time they climb out of the pool.
There are a few options for the drawstring itself. Instructions are included for an elastic material (like fold over elastic) or for a non-stretch material (like twill tape). The drawstring is stitched down, which keeps it from being pulled out and anchors it in the center of the waistband.
The pattern itself is very well written, with detailed instructions for printing and piecing the pattern together. There is a chart included to let you know which pages need to be printed for each option and the pieces print with no trimming required. No trim pages are always a plus. Each size is included in it’s own separate layer that can be turned on and off, giving you the ability to print only the size you need. Most 5 out of 4 tutorials have live links which allow you to jump around the document as needed. I always like this detail, even if I rarely use it.
Both a size chart and a finished measurement chart are included. I use both of these to help me determine which size to sew. The Bug, Peanut, and Baby Bear each typically have measurements all over the charts and I frequently need to mash sizes to get a great fit. I was able to sew up a straight size 7 for this pattern, using the shorter length. It was really nice not needing to grade between sizes for once. If you do need to grade between sizes, there is a helpful section on fitting included.
Clear illustrations and phtographs are included throughout the tutorial, helping with the visualization of each step.
This tutorial includes a lot of topstitching. I can’t stress how important it is to press and topstitch through out the sewing process. It really does make the garment appear more finished. Topstitching also has the added benefit of keeping seam allowances and pockets laying flat. This is awesome for kids with sensory avoidance challenges.
All in all, the Kid’s Swim Trunks pattern is a hit in this house. The clean, finished look appeals to my tastes and the Bug finds them comfortable enough to wear all day.
Many people find swim patterns to be intimidating, but I love them. How do you feel about swim patterns?
This post contains affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase from those links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale at NO COST to you. Thank you!