shorts on the line :: where I conquer shorts

Movie in the Park Shorts from Dixie DIY | made by a happy stitch

Guys! I made shorts! I made them for the summer sew along Shorts On The Line hosted by small + friendly and imagine gnats.  I’m so glad I agreed to participate because I’ve been pretty intimidated by all the fitting and fussing when it comes to dressier shorts and pants and this was just the kick in the *shorts* I needed.  Ha, get it?! So punn-y.

Movie in the Park Shorts from Dixie DIY | made by a happy stitchPlus, look at some of these details.  Cute buttons! A Waistband! Trim! Pockets! The fabric is a chevron weave chambray from Robert Kaufman. I got it from my favorite fabric boutique of all time Rock Paper Scissors (which is also where I teach my classes fyi).  I love all of the woven chambrays coming out right now. It’s such a wearable, everyday look but still interesting.  On top of that, the quality is fantastic and the weight of the fabric is not too light but not super heavy. It’s exactly the type of fabric that a girl like me longs for. Thanks Robert Kaufman people, if you are listening.

I also added a little something fun, just for me.  The other day at Goodwill I found this mysterious men’s shirt in a typical blue chambray but covered with a fox in dapper clothing and smoking a pipe. For real.  I used just a little of this shirt to line my pockets.   Now, before you protest that I’m not giving the pipe-smoking fox the proper venue in which to truly shine, rest assured, I will give the fox his day. Possibly in some boy’s back to school wear.

Movie in the Park Shorts from Dixie DIY | made by a happy stitch

For now, he is hanging with me.  Even if I’m the only one who knows.

Movie in the Park Shorts from Dixie DIY | made by a happy stitchThe shorts pattern is from Dixie DIY and is called Movie In The Park Shorts.  I made the medium in this fabric after making a large for my muslin.  Despite my measurements landing me in the Large category (once again, my darn hips mess up all sizing ever), the fit is much better with a medium.  The instructions on this pattern are really clear and surprisingly simple for fitted shorts.  Everything came together really quickly until I reached a screeching HALT at the point when I needed to make 12 buttonholes.  12.  Phew.  Of course, after getting all dramatic about ALL THE WORK, it didn’t actually take that long.  I have an automatic buttonhole maker on my machine with a special foot and everything.  I’m much better at that particular machine function now. It was good practice.

Movie in the Park Shorts from Dixie DIY | made by a happy stitchThe top three buttons on both sides are the only functional ones so the shorts are well held-together.  I hand-stitched the buttons on and the look is truly adorable.  Buttons make everything better.

Movie in the Park Shorts from Dixie DIY | made by a happy stitch

The fit is pretty good on these shorts. The waist is a little low but the fit is great in the waist to hip area, which is the hardest part to fit on my shape.   If I make these shorts again I want to figure out how to make them longer because they are pretty short for everyday mom-wear.  I’d love this sailor-esque look in capris. Have you made shorts?  Joining the sew along? Got a good capri pattern? I need intel because I think there will be more pants-making in my future.

sotl 2014 banner

This post is part of the Shorts on the Line sewalong.  Shorts on the Line 2014 is sponsored by: Britex FabricsHawthorne Threadsmiss matatabi, and Soak Wash.  Hosted by imagine gnatssmall + friendly, and Kollabora.

I was given this pattern and asked to participate in the sew along.  My opinions are my own, of course.

kid’s clothes week :: it’s a win! soccer outfits for imaginary worlds

Seriously winning soccer outfits for these boys imaginary team | made by a happy stitch for kid's clothes week

This is my favorite Kid’s Clothes Week project to date. As I mentioned, when I told the boys about the Kid’s Clothes Week theme (kid art) they both got excited to design their own soccer badges.  See, they each have elaborate imaginary worlds that they love to describe in detail.  It was only natural that they would combine their obsessive love of soccer with their imaginary worlds.  They drew so much more than badges, they drew entire soccer outfits.


I’ll admit I was a bit flummoxed by how specific these ideas are and I was really concerned I was going to get something wrong and they would be devastated.  After lots of deliberation, I had THEM draw the actual badges and it worked great.  I gave them multi-colored Sharpies and white fabric and they drew the badges.  It saved me from trying to figure out how to make the badges exactly they way they want them and it got them involved and excited.  A part of the whole project.

Imaginary world soccer badges on this kid-art t-shirt. | Made by  A Happy Stitch

Kid Drawn Soccer BAdges for handmade tees | Made by a happy stitch for Kid's Clothes Week

I gathered all of the fabric at our local Goodwill by purchasing lots of huge t-shirts in each color.  I had a hard time, however, finding the right stripes for little J’s stripy outfit but he was fine with the red/black stripes I did find.  He’s a flexible one, that kid. They also wanted names on the back of the shirts, which I applied using an iron-on transfer.  It was an iron-on from Target and it started to degrade & crack as soon as they put the shirts on.  Super big bummer.  Thankfully, I am the only one who is bothered by it. I usually use an Avery brand iron-on but I was being cheap.  Learned my lesson.

Kid designed soccer outfits for a boys imaginary world | made by a happy stitch for kid's clothes week

The boys are literally wild about their outfits and needed to play soccer IMMEDIATELY when I finished sewing.  They were actually pacing outside of my sewing room, waiting for me to finish.  I felt both like a sewing rock star and a sweatshop worker with a demanding boss.  I didn’t even have time to take a photo before THE BIG IMPORTANT GAME, as you can tell by their dusty, sweaty faces.

Kid designed soccer outfits for a boys imaginary world | made by a happy stitch for kid's clothes weekOh, I almost forgot to tell you about the patterns!  They are the same as with the matching pajamas except I tweaked my random shorts pattern to fit little J better.  Otherwise, the t-shirt for C is self-drafted to fit him and J’s tee is modified from the crossover tee in Growing Up Sew Liberated. Did you make anything for your kids this week? I’m so happy to have made everything on my list.  Now back to regularly-scheduled making for me!


kid’s clothes week :: matching pj’s for the boys

Kids Clothes Week : Super soft match pajamas for boys | made by a happy stitch

Look! I made pj’s for the boys!  Thanks to kids’ clothes week I’m back making stuff for these two monkeys.  And, I even hung a sheet in the bedroom and got some proper pictures of them wearing the whole getup.

Matchy match pi's for boys | part of Kid's Clothes Week made by Melissa Q. at a happy stitch

The best part is they love them!  We had so much fun taking pictures, they were being hilarious and I remember how much easier it is to get picture of kids wearing handmade than to get around to the awkward process of taking pictures of myself.  Of course, I did my usual; bribed the boys with M&M’s (not even the fake health food store ones, real M&M’s).  But, they love the pj’s and loved taking pictures especially when I suggested they get their favorite teddys in the shot.

matching pj's for boys | part of Kid's Clothes Week made by  a happy stitch

The details: Fabric is a super-soft think jersey knit from Wanderlust. I love the colors but the fabric has a bit of polyester content that might just pill over time. We will see.  Other than that, it is perfect for summer pajamas because of its softness and lightweight-ness (think I just invented a new fabric term with that one).

silly faced boys in super soft matching pj's | made by a happy stitch

The pattern for the bottoms is a complete mystery.  I am pretty good about labeling patterns but I have this one pattern labelled “short sweats size 4/5″.  Maybe I drafted it way back when? Anyway, it looked humongous for a 4/5T size and just right otherwise. Sure enough, it fits C perfectly who is a 7T and it’s pretty roomy on J who is a 5T.  Go figure?  I used it because I felt too lazy to search for another shorts pattern.  I’m glad it worked because it could have been a disaster and I would have had my laziness to blame.  For the tops I modified the ‘crossover top’ from Growing Up Sew Liberated (affiliate link) for J’s shirt and drafted a top for C based on his measurements because the crossover top only goes up to size 5T.  Both of the tees fit well, which is great because I can use them again.

Matchy match pi's for boys | part of Kid's Clothes Week made by Melissa Q. at a happy stitch Now, kid’s clothes week has a theme this time around and that theme is kid art.  These pj’s don’t have anything to do with kid art, the boys just needed summer jams.  But, I did ask the boys if they had any ideas for things they might draw that I could sew and they both drew elaborate soccer outfits complete with detailed soccer badges from their respective imaginary worlds! I couldn’t say no.  It looks like the rest of my kid’s clothes week hours are spoken for.  Those t-shirt patterns will be quite useful and I will probably be tweaking the shorts. I’ve already traveled to our local Goodwill and found huge t-shirts in just the right colors that I can deconstruct.  I’m not yet sure how to make the elaborate team badges, though?  I was thinking maybe use a t-shirt transfer? Or freezer paper stencil? I have the sinking feeling I’ll be trying a couple techniques. Yes, it’s thursday.  This operation could leak into next week but I don’t think these guys will mind.

Matchy match pi's for boys | part of Kid's Clothes Week made by Melissa Q. at a happy stitch

My new favorite :: A Washi Tunic with a Peter Pan collar

Lovely woven and indigo-dyed fabric in a peter pan collar Washi tunic | made by a happy stitch

This is my favorite new top.  It’s a Washi Tunic (from Made by Rae) but this time I drafted my own Peter Pan collar, something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

Lovely indigo-dyed, woven fabric Washi tunic with a peter pan collar | made by a happy stitch

I have to start, however, by telling you about this fabric.  Remember way back when, I was in Nashville for SewDown? Well, I got the lovely opportunity while I was there to meet up with two up-until-then online friends, Jenny from The Southern Institute and Helen from Curly Birds.  Both of whom are amazingly talented and incredibly creative women and happen to be even more sparkling in person.  We spent a morning together and it was immediately as if we had known each other forever.  They were both kind enough to drive me to a magnificent fabric shop in Nashville and we all shopped together.  It was in the vast and stunning southern fabric shop that I came across a beautiful indigo-dyed fabric handmade by the hip, local shop Imogene + Willie.  I fell in love immediately and decided to splurge and bring some of it home.  Well, after much deliberation I finally decided it must become a Washi Tunic.

The perfect top! Peter Pan collar Washi tunic with Indigo-dyed woven fabric | made by a happy stitchI used the pattern’s facing pattern as a template for making the simple peter pan collar (and opted not to purchase the extension pack.  Yay for saving money!).  To attach the collar I simply baste stitched the collar to the neck of the top and used bias tape to enclose and finish the neck.  It worked beautifully.  The loose weave of the fabric makes it hard for the collar to lie flat, however, I will definitely add interfacing to the collar next time.  Otherwise, this shirt is a great relaxed, everyday top and I’m super happy with it.

p.s. My friend Jenny, who I mentioned earlier, just turned 40 and is doing an amazing fundraiser to celebrate her birthday milestone.  She’s raising funds for an organization called Enchanted Makeovers that works with battered women’s shelters to transform what can be drab, low-budget spaces into beautiful places charged with transformational power.  It’s pretty great.  It would be super great of you to donate!

p.p.s. It’s Kid’s Clothes Week! I’m signed up this time and the boys have big and terrifyingly specific plans for my sewing this week.  Let’s hope I can live up to it! Are you signed up? It’s not too late!

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