Where we’re going, we don’t need patterns.

So I’ve finally capped off my “sewing for the neices & nephews” (which I started way back here) with a couple coordinating pinafores for the girls and a very fancy vest for the oldest boy.  The pinafores were a Favorite Things pattern I borrowed from a friend, and they were, quite possibly, the easiest things I’ve ever sewn.  It took about 3 hours from tracing (two sizes, mind you!) to cutting, to sewing, to topstitching.  Easy peasy (I looked at the instructions just once!), and they turned out so cute!

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I love that they’re reversible, too!

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I admit I was a bit stuck on what to make for the oldest nephew (he’s just turned 7 a couple months ago)…a button down shirt was tempting, but seemed like a LOT of work, but then a friend suggested a vest, and John did some leisurely googling to find a pattern, but nothing really came up proper-pattern-wise.  He did find a couple tutorials (here, and here) that were really helpful; but unfortunately, they were both for much smaller boys, so I took the general gist of them and improvised.

The last time I tried making something for the older boy, I ended up with a toddler-sized button down, so to avoid a repeat of that debacle, we snagged a t-shirt from Target in the proper size and traced the body to use as a basic pattern.

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From there, I expanded the arm holes a tiny bit to allow room for a shirt underneath, and decided where to put the V for the front.  Then (and I’m really proud of this step), I actually remembered to add seam allowances!!  I drew up some lapels and pocket pieces (yay for basic rectangles!) next.  The lapels were originally going to be two pieces like you’d see on normal men’s jacket lapels, but the geometric logistics of that defeated me, so I made them one piece and just reinforced the notch really well.  It seems to have worked pretty well, if I do say so my lazy self!

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I basically sewed it up just like the pinafores!  First, I sewed the lining and the outer bits together so each was one piece, then sewed the lining to the main fabric all around (except at the shoulders and the bottom), then sewed the inside pocket to the lining and the faux-welt pocket tabs to the front. I really like that it has a sneaky inside pocket, but also the styling of the welt pockets (thought the welts ones don’t actually have pockets attached, mostly because I’m lazy and welt pockets sound an awful lot like giant button holes, and we all know how fun button holes are…).

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Once the pockety bits were attached, I top-stitched to pockets and the lapels, then sewed the bottom mostly shut with just enough room to turn the whole works right-side out!  Once it was all right-side out, I ironed it into submission and top-stitched again around the outer edges.  I did some minor hand sewing at the shoulders to attach the front to the back, and then stuck 5 snaps on the front.  Not too shabby for a pattern-less project!

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I really enjoy the robot fabric, too! (It is blue and white, but my iphone does not do so awesome with low-light photos…)

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Now to get them all in the mail before the kiddos outgrow them!

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