Summer of the Suits - Summer Swimsuit Tour

This summer I feel like I've dedicated my time to sewing swimsuits... I have this one that I started last summer that I'm finally finishing now. And then I received an email asking if I'd like to partake in Call Ajaire's, Gracious Threads and The Wolf and The Tree's Summer Swimsuit Tour... Ummm, yes!! After all, a girl needs all the suits she can get her hands on ;)  

For our posts, we got to pick from a selection of three newly released patterns, the Classic Maillot, the Swim and Surf Shorts and the Just Keep Swimming Suit. I'd been meaning to sew A a swimsuit with a rash guard for those days when we spend the ENTIRE day outside, in and around the water, to minimize outfit changes. So I went ahead and picked the Just Keep Swimming suit. I've also printed out the classic maillot for later to make one for the babe!! Can't say how excited I am.... But I'm veering off track here!

This pattern comes loaded with option, including bikini, crop and tankini length, sleeveless to long sleeves, and shorts or brief bottoms with two rises. Oh and don't forget the colour blocking option! Which clearly I picked ;) I loooooved the look of the colour blocking, and had this idea for a swimsuit of warm tones. I headed to a new local fabric shop with this in mind ( similar to Fabricland in a way) and they happened to have the exact colours I was looking for! My luck!! Because that never happens I tell ya.

So I brought it all home, checked her chest measurements and height and went ahead with the size 5. The top fit her perfectly! A little loose around the neckline but I'm blaming my fabric (I only realized after I got home that it was 2 way spandex, rather then the ideal 4 way), and the recovery isn't the greatest. For the options on the top, I went with the crop top length, colour blocked and the short sleeves. I didn't add any length, since I wanted it to sit up a bit higher then her belly button. This will be a perfect wear! It's already seen a good day of use with a water balloon fight.

Meanwhile, the bottoms.... Yup, they're clearly not pictured! Because I a) didn't go by her waist/hip measurements for that so I cut a size too small and b) this fabric doesn't have that huge amount of stretch you'd expect from swimsuit fabric so I couldn't even save them with that! Ugh, darn fabric. Other then that, I had sewn up the size 5 bikini brief bottoms, and it went well! But I'll have to recut a larger size.

This is my first The Wolf and The Tree pattern that I've made. I have the Abby Socks but I just haven't gotten around to make them yet. But overall, I was super happy with it! The instructions and illustrations were clear, and the pieces well set up for printing. So I'm looking forward to doing the socks soon.

The tour just started yesterday! So make sure to hop on over and check out everyone's posts. And there's also an amazing giveaway here. OOOOOhhh and finally, discount codes! The lovely ladies are all offering discounts in their shops. So here are the codes and links to their shops

Call Ajaire is offering 20% off using code SWIMTOUR
Gracious Threads is offering 15% off the purchase of 3 or more patterns (no code)
The Wolf and The Tree is offering 15% off using code SWIMTOUR


#boysewing week: Wrap up!

It's the final day of #boysewing week! And I can't believe it's over already. Since today is more or less a wrap up day, I figured we could skip inspiration and just discuss the week in general :) and have a final giveaway!!

When I threw the idea out there I had no clue that there would be such a response! And man do I not feel alone in this... Yes, boy sewing can be hard at times, but we saw so much inspiration this week that I'm finding it more of an excuse now to not sew then anything. There are so many amazing makers out there that create beautiful boy makes. And if you search in the RTW you'll find so many things that can easily be recreated... That really, there's no shortage of inspiration and we as sewers have no excuse ;)

This week I started some WIPs, and I've also finished the odd thing here or there. But I'm not one to start a million things just to have them sitting around, so now I have a LONG 'to sew' list of things I want to make for them. It'll evolve and change as we go, but making a coat is definitely up there for the fall thanks to Shelley's post, and I really want to try my hand at making them board shorts and tanks for the summer with the help of Jess's free pattern.

And I'm definitely thinking a backpack or travel bag of their own will be sewn up, since those will be handy during a vacation! But today, I'm sharing a quick tee I sewed up for C... Thanks in part to Saskia's post on details and a request for something out of this batman fabric!

So let's go back to the beginning of that shall we?! When I received this fabric, everybody requested something out of it! I've already made L his tee... So now it was C's turn. But I didn't want to make it seem to juvenile or young for him... And I didn't want to wind up with exactly the same thing as L but in a different colour.

When I was reading Saskia's post about details, it hit me that I could just add a quick chest pocket to give it a little something... So I pulled out the Rowan tee pattern by Titchy Threads and traced a new size out for him. This time I made him a size 6 with 8 length. Unlike L, C likes to have a bit of a looser fitting tee. He actually fell in the size 5 measurements, but going up one size fits him exactly the way he likes it.

The Rowan already comes with pattern pieces for the chest pocket, among a slew of other details. So there was no fooling around testing out different sizes and placements! I rummaged through my stash and found a FQ of this Riley Blake print.... Although I'm not even sure which collection is from anymore, it came with some board game themed prints along with this one. The batman print is an Elvelykclan Designs print from Spoonflower printed on their modern jersey.

So as a whole... Did you enjoy #boysewing week? Should we do it again!? I've got to admit it did give me a lot of inspiration and that kick in the butt I needed for sewing for the boys!!

And now... For our final giveaway! imagine gnats has generously offered a 50$ shop credit to one lucky winner! She's got an amazing shop that's so well curated... If you've been following for a hwile, you know that 90% of my stash comes from Rachael! The quality is always top notch. And she'll soon be offering PDF patterns to compliment the paper patterns that she's recently started to carry! So all you have to do for your chance to win is enter in the rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


#boysewing week: The details

We're back! I took a bit of a break yesterday from #boysewing.... I didn't pull out my sewing machine and I didn't even pull out my laptop! Shocker! I know! But it was well worth it, I got caught up on some sleep and spent time with the family and now I'm feeling refreshed and inspired to keep sewing! And to keep things going for #boysewing nweek, we've got another post full of inspiration talking about all the details you can use to make your boy makes unique thanks to Saskia of Vera Luna. Saskia creates amazing modern makes! Make sure to check her out... But for now, let's hear it from Saskia:

Hello Our Chez Nous readers! I’m Saskia, blogging (occasionally) at Vera Luna, and today I’m here with an impromptu guest post Sewing For Boys Week. I stumbled across Julie’s Instagram, and having just finished a fun boy project, I asked Julie if I could join with a guest post. So here I am.

As a mom of two boys and a girl who loves boy clothes, I’m a lot more comfortable sewing boy clothes than girl clothes. In this post, I would like to convince you that sewing for boys can be just as fun, creative, and variable as sewing for girls. And that it doesn’t need to involve fabric with cars, rockets, comic heroes or minions…

There are so many ways to give boy clothes a fun twist. Here are a few examples:

Play with stripes

Of course, stripes are always good. But instead of a simple striped shirt, I like to play around with the direction of the stripes.

It’s all in the details

Boy clothes do not need to be loud and outspoken. Small details can give a garment a sophisticated and finished look.

Go geometric

I love to use and create geometric patterns. I mean, look at these awesome garments:


Florals aren’t girly

Floral patterns aren’t only for girls. Boys can rock them too. See these beauties here…


Add animals

Put your kid’s favorite animal on his shirt…

I recently discovered the Bethioua pattern. It’s a fun pattern; at the front it’s like a regular raglan, but at the back, the sleeve parts continue to form a curved back yoke. After sewing a striped Bethioua tee, I thought of reversing the front and back, and use the curved yoke to create an animal’s head, with ears tucked in between the front panel and sleeves. 

My son has no favorite animal yet, so I decided to go for a raccoon’s face.

I searched for a suitable picture online, printed it at the size of the tee, and traced the shape onto the fabric. I started by brushing on the white parts, followed by the black parts.  To make the outline of the eyes and nose crisp and sharp, I made a freezer paper stencil. Finally, some white catchlights in the eyes, and the raccoon was finished.


Sewing up the tee was a breeze. I used some nice heathered fabric from the local fabric market.

As a finishing touch, I added a little tag on the side and on the sleeve, and finished off the neckline with some machine embroidered twill tape.

Julie, thanks for having me here. I hope that I’ve convinced you that sewing for boys is not boring!!!

Thank you so much Saskia!!! I don't know about you guys, but this post has totally inspired me to try new things. I've always just thought about freezer paper stencils for the boys, mostly because I don't know where else to start... But this is super eye opening! And now for the giveaway, today's post is sponsored by Patterns for Pirates. They're offering up 2 pdf boy patterns of choice (excluding bundles) to one lucky winner! All you have to do to win is enter below


#boysewing week: Outerwear

Hey everyone!! It's Friday, which means it's a holiday over here in Canada (Happy Canada everyone!). But just because we're having a long weekend here, doesn't mean we're stopping #boysewing week! Today we've got Shelley on the blog with some fantastic outerwear inspiration and an amazing make! This just makes me want to gear up for fall sewing already ;) Take it away Shelley!

Hi, welcome back to Boy Sewing Week! I’m Shelley, aka Lightning McStitch, and I sew (pretty much) everything for my son (and daughter) and document it all at Bartacks and Singletrack. When Julie proposed a boy sewing week I jumped at the idea as we’ve had a sudden plunge into winter and the boy child was in need of a new winter coat.

So, if you’re sweltering through a northern hemisphere summer day, then grab a cold drink, put the fan on and cool down by reading all about sewing winter coats for your boy.
There are so many styles of coats and sewing patterns abound for almost all of them, but I thought I’d stick with a few so that I can recommend patterns that I know, and can vouch for. Sewing a coat is much more of a time investment than a T-shirt or a pair of shorts, so you want to know the pattern you choose is going to be a joy to sew as well as giving a great result.
First up, that classic, the duffle coat:

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The perfect pattern to create your own duffel coat is The School Days Coat by Oliver + S. This is one of the first patterns I ever sewed from and since I had no idea a coat might be considered a daunting task I jumped straight in. I would highly recommend this as a launching pad for outerwear sewing as the instructions are legendary and the result is awesome. No-one will believe you made it yourself!

It’s this pattern that taught me that coat sewing is largely a matter of stitch, press, topstitch, repeat. Sure, it takes time to make a coat but beyond the number of pattern pieces and the cutting, it all becomes quite simple.

While the School Days Coat looks great in a laminate or waterproof fabric, what about a classic parka or raincoat pattern?

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The three examples above all use different fabrics to achieve the same thing, a windproof, shower proof coat. The coat on the left looks like a waxed cotton which is something I’ve always wanted to do. The garment is constructed first in a medium to heavy weight cotton and then treated with a product like Otter Wax. I love the crinkly, uneven and worn appearance of hand treated waxed cotton.

In the middle is a soft shell or nylon fabric with polyfill and quilting to add warmth, and how about that faux fur trim on a boy – Looks fantastic!

The last image is similar to the classic French style raincoat and would be lovely to sew up in plain laminate. The colour blocking is such fun.

Some pattern inspiration from Jalie: Anorak and Parka and a Kwik Sew vest and jacket. I’ve made the Kwik Sew one and having never sewn a welt pocket with a zipper in it previously, I can attest to the instructions being superb – just don’t use a really thick double layered windproof fleece!

How about a trench coat style? Little kids will enjoy dressing up like Inspector Gadget, while the “goth” look or Doctor Who reference might appeal to the bigger kids (or husbands!)

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The coat from La Garconne (far right) is a gorgeous blend of raincoat and trench coat and looks to be a waxed cotton. I really hope my son grows into the kind of teenager who will let me try and sew that for him. 

The one piece of outerwear I know I will always be allowed to sew for him is the hoodie. Boys love hoodies, don’t they.

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I’m really digging stencilling things on my son’s clothes so that hoodie with the headphones has a lot of appeal. You could add any age appropriate stencil or motif to a plain hoodie and I’ll bet your boy would be delighted. The Knight hoodie pattern ) is probably my son’s favourite ever garment that I’ve sewn for him. Hoodie patterns are so numerous: All you need to do is decide whether you want a pull-on style or zipper, a set in sleeve or raglan, and then hit the internet to find your pattern.

Well, that’s a whole lot of outerwear inspiration. What did I make my son to beat the winter chills?

I’ve sewn him the Lars coat by Zonen 09. I’ve previously used some Zonen09 fabric for my son and I really like their “boy aesthetic”. The fabrics and patterns offer plenty of interest in terms of style, colour and print. It’s boy stuff that is neither too out-there in its Euro styling, nor too basic and cliché. 

I’ve used a wool melton coating which is such a great fabric to work with. It doesn’t fray, is easy to sew with and can be pushed and pulled and ironed into submission. I always throw all my fabrics in the washing machine before sewing with them. If they can’t withstand that, they’ll never survive in my house. This kind of wool survives washing perfectly well on a gentle cycle, and in my hands that’s saying something!

If you’re an old hand at sewing outerwear I hope I’ve inspired you to try some new techniques or patterns, but more importantly, if you’ve not tried sewing coats and outerwear yet, I really hope you do. You will amaze yourself, that’s almost guaranteed!

For more details on my boy sewing week coat – and the confessions of all the daft mistakes I made, come by the blog: Bartacks and Singletrack.

Thanks for having me Julie, and happy boy sewing everyone!

Thank you SOOO much Shelley for joining us, I still can't believe how amazing that coat is! I've got all the heart eye emojis going on here! And now for our giveaway... Zonen09 has graciously provided 2 digital patterns of the winners choice AND 1 meter of fabric! I don't know about you guys but I've had my eye on a few of their patterns now, like Charlie and Ole. I've even been trying to convince myself to buy the dutch version of Bas and just go for it! Make sure to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win and if you're sewing along with us, share with us in the link party :)