kcw :: kickin’ it old-time with banjo shirts and pocket pants

We are not off the grid, not by a mile.  But sometimes I dream of a bluegrass life with banjos, no shoes, all homegrown food, lots of campfires.  I would probably learn to knit.  Of course, as I’m writing this I am listening to the sound of the beloved washing machine clean things for me.  My dreams only extend so far.  And, who would make the wine?  That would be a real problem.  Seems like a lot of work, making wine.

I’m off track.

banjo boys

My point is, that thanks to the Okee Dokee Brothers the boys are also pretty into songs about camping and playing banjoes.  (Parents, do yourself a favor, and buy their album Can You Canoe….it’s pleasant and nice even for grown-up ears.  There is one song that makes me cry.  Every. Time.)  So, banjo-love is something we share in this house.   That inspired the shirts.   As we veer into the world of Angry Birds, Transformers, Star Wars, Angry Bird Star Wars and all other forms of cross-marketing clothing I just wanted a banjo shirt.  So, I made them.  Raglan sleeves, of course, from Sewing for Boys.  Like I said, they are the cutest ever.

banjo shirts - a happy stitch

The banjos were made with pain-staking freezer paper stenciling.  First I placed the blue circles and then overlaid a second stencil for the banjo.  I had to cut two different, identical stencils because using the stencil effectively shredded it.

shredded stencil The thin lines of the stencil came out a little fuzzy and imperfect, it probably would have worked better as a screen print but I wasn’t sure how many of these I would make.  Despite that,  the shirts came out pretty well and the boys like them.  Double win for mama!

yay! banjos!

Of course, you can’t wear just a shirt as much as J would love that!  So I also cranked out Treasure Pocket Pants…you guessed it, from Sewing For Boys.

J got a pair of twill pants, the fabric is from an amazing yard sale I went to a while back,  and it’s a wonderful woven plaid.  I love it.  I opted for a more subtle design on these, they are intended to have a strip of contrast fabric down the side but I knew J wouldn’t go for for that, so I made them a bit boring with a small bit of color on the pocket.

treasure pocket pants

pocket detail on treasure pocket pants

C’s are made with knit fabric and a little skull-fabric detail.  He NEEDS his pants comfortable, it is essentially the only important criteria for judging pants and even jeans are rejected for their lack of comfort.  So, I went with knit.  It was relatively easy to switch to knits for the pants.  I used my walking foot, stretch needle and a bigger seam allowance to make up for the ease built into patterns intended for woven fabric.

Things got a little fussy when making the pockets, knit fabric just isn’t that interested in behaving when it come to lots and lots of seams and the added fun of elastic.    Please forgive the pants photos…I ran out of M&M’s and had to work quickly to get a picture at all.  That’s the only problem with bribery, it only works when you’ve got the goods.

treasure pocket pants in knit

Have you seen the amazing things up on the KCW Pinterest board?  There are some incredible things being created this week!!   I’m adjusting my list a little.  Since I made 4 raglan shirts instead of just 2, I decided to try and squeeze in just one Luka Hoodie and two Explorer Vests.  Not sure all of that will happen but you can be sure I will obsess more than I should.
kid's clothes week

10 Comments on kcw :: kickin’ it old-time with banjo shirts and pocket pants

  1. Daniela D
    October 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm (4 years ago)

    Seriously? Those banjo shirts? I want one, too!!! They, and the models of course, are so stinkin’ cute! Oh, and my husband makes wine. So, you are set. You would just have to tolerate us as your neighbors. Of course, we would have to modify the “off the grid” lifestyle a little. You know, washing machines and all, like you said. ; )

    • ahappystitch
      October 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm (4 years ago)

      I almost forgot to thank you for the model comment. They are awful cute, aren’t they?

  2. Daniela D
    October 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh wait! The pants, the pants. Love the pocket details in both, my friend.

    • melissa q.
      October 26, 2013 at 10:42 am (4 years ago)

      Ha! You are the best. I can hear your enthusiasm from here! You are my gal for wine! I hope you like bluegrass.

  3. Jill @ Made with Moxie
    October 26, 2013 at 8:29 am (4 years ago)

    These shirts are amazing looking! And I love the picture of the shredded stencil. Fabulous work and nice attention to detail.

    I think to live an off the grid life you need good neighbors to help out with the making. We do t know how to make wine, but we can make hard cider and beer! 😉

    • melissa q.
      October 26, 2013 at 10:43 am (4 years ago)

      Fantastic. This is really working out for me. You are tasked with beer and cider…is cider gluten-free? Thanks for the nice compliments. That stenciling was insane.

  4. melintheattic
    October 26, 2013 at 5:20 pm (4 years ago)

    Those shirts are seriously awesome. You are a super crafty woman.

    • ahappystitch
      October 26, 2013 at 11:06 pm (4 years ago)

      Aw, shucks. If it helps, the house is a mess and no one has clean clothes. How is that for crafty?

  5. Lisa
    October 31, 2013 at 4:09 am (4 years ago)

    Great shirts, love all the little details in your clothes – and I like the imperfect lines on your prints – adds something to the overall effect. Looks like a productive KCW for you! I have seen a few freezer paper tutorials – must give it a go.

    • Melissa Q.
      October 31, 2013 at 8:24 am (4 years ago)

      Aw, thank you! Especially for loving my imperfect lines.


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