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this.  really, what can i possibly say?  this squishy, cozy, precious little elfin child risks suffocation by his obsessed mother on a daily basis.  but this, this is almost too much even for me.  

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amazing.  the chubby legs.  but wait.

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do you see how he’s perched delicately on fat little tip toes?  “mom!  i’m doing ballet.”  true story.  this is the trendy tuxedo pattern from blank slate.  it’s my first time using a blank slate pattern, with mixed results, though obviously the finished product is undeniably cute.  the whole tux is done now (i’ll post on the blazer tomorrow), in time for our trip!  here are (most of) the pants:

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he’s shoving cookies into his mouth.  that was the first thing he ate after waking up, so he could be photographed in the surprisingly lovely morning light of my bathroom.  great parenting.  but enough about the model, let’s talk about the garment.  the pants were pretty straight forward.  i had never put in a zip fly before, so i was just blindly following directions, and it’s totally functional and doesn’t look terrible, which i think is a testament to the pattern and instructions.  the back has welt pockets (i left off the front patch pockets in the interest of time), which ended up being rather shallow the way the pattern instructs to insert them.  reese is on the slight side, but the waist was huge on him and i took 4″ off the length of the legs.  i suppose it’s better to be too big than too small!  anyhow, the pants pattern was overall easy to follow and turned out well.IMG_3173

and then there was this monster.  the shirt is made from the shot cotton i showed yesterday–perfect with that liberty bow tie, right?  the shot cotton is SO soft and has a nice drape.  a little interfacing was enough to make the plackets, cuffs, and collar appropriately stiff, but i really wanted to make a formal button down shirt as appealing to a 2 year old as possible.  so, soft fabric, his favorite color, and lots of “ruffs” (ruffles) were in order.  those pleats took an inordinate amount of time–there are also three in the back which i think i would exchange for a box pleat if i make it again.  i have never made a button down shirt before, and when i can start sewing for myself again (sniffle, sniffle), i have had my eye on one of these for months–i figured it would be nice to get an intro to the techniques on a small scale.  a few times throughout the making of this outfit i did wonder, does a 2 year old need a working zip fly and an actual button down shirt with collar stand, yoke, button plackets and button cuffs that he will wear once and require constant cookies for 5 hours to keep it on? probably not.  but that’s sort of the thing about weddings, right?  for one day, it’s just a whole lot of celebratory impracticality.

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anyway, i would say the fit is spot on and it does look really cute.  if that liberty print was mine, i would have cut the inside yoke from it just for show, but it’s merely on loan.  to be honest, i had some trouble with the construction of this shirt– bear in mind it was my first time with a lot of the techniques, but i have come to expect more of indie pattern instructions.  there are a lot of photos, but some were confusing and unmarked.  she has photos of different kinds of shirts to illustrate certain steps, so it’s hard sometimes to get your bearings from one step of instructions to the next because you lose your points of reference and it doesn’t necessarily look like the shirt you’re making.  i had particular trouble in the cuffs–i wasn’t always sure if she was referring to the right or wrong side of the fabric, grainline isn’t marked on the pattern pieces, and i didn’t know i had to interface the cuffs until i was about to sew them on.  some issues were just stylistic, like failing to suggest finishing certain seams at certain times, or not saying “repeat for the other side.”  providing exact spacing for buttonholes would also save the seamstress a lot of time (i was doing buttonholes at midnight and ended up having to pick out 3 and redo…grrr!).  some of these things are obvious but it’s still nice to be thorough, while some had to be divined (which is frustrating when you’re on a tight deadline and the techniques are novel).

anyhow, i hate to be critical because i really respect and admire indie pattern designers, but i think a part of craft blogging is to be honest about pitfalls.  i wouldn’t go so far as to recommend against the pattern–aside from my crooked hem (which i could fix if i wasn’t so spent), the shirt came out quite well and is really professional looking, and i’ve never made one before, so that’s saying something.  however, i would suggest allowing yourself more than one day to work out all the steps if you’ve never made one before.

anyhow, i’ll be back tomorrow to show the whole ensemble, then it’s off to michigan!

12 Comments on kcw project 2: trendy tuxedo

  1. Always appreciate an honest review! I’d say most of us non-blogging sewists are advanced beginners at best. I’m typically weary of the “everything about this pattern is perfect” summaries I so often read. Love indie designers and patterns, so it’s not like pointing out minor flaws will stop me from buying and supporting. You’re just making us more aware of what to expect. So THANK YOU!

    • thank you, abby! funny, i consider myself an advanced beginner too, in spite of my blog 😉 i’ve been spoiled by indie patterns and am afraid of using commercial because generally my experiences have been so positive and they *have* been pretty perfect. i have felt anxious all day about posting an honest review that isn’t 100% favorable, so i’m glad to hear it was appreciated. this community is so warm, i don’t want to seem unfriendly. but i’m by no means advising against the pattern! just a few issues to be aware of that can be worked out with some thought. i really value the feedback on my knitting tutorials and always check the project boards on ravelry and make changes accordingly, i just don’t ever want to hurt anyone’s feelings!

    • oh, thank you renee! i think he does, but admittedly i’m biased. i shouldn’t ever want to sew again, right? but guess what i’m going to do right now instead of pack or clean? just can’t stay away!

    • she likes buttons? the buttons are concerning me…especially that one right up at the neck. he was testy about it and i have this sinking feeling we’re going to have an incredible hulk situation when something doesn’t go quite his way, and he’s going to rip the whole thing off in a fit of rage, buttons everywhere. hopefully someone gets pictures of that scenario.

    • thank you, olga! it’s so terrible, but they way they grow, i just don’t foresee another occasion in the next few months for him to wear it :( i’m hoping to at least pass it down to my sister’s baby boy…

  2. love this! thanks for the tips. I haven’t made a button down yet either and have been wanting to try it out. Small scale too, or course. :0) Enjoy the wedding! I am sure you’ll get tons of compliments!

    • small scale all the way. i have learned everything about sewing adult clothing (except darts) from children’s clothing…somehow it’s less intimidating when there’s less fabric involved. this is a good one for practice!

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