But I am not here to philosophize on grief. In fact, I'm here to post a rarity on this hodge-podgey blog of mine, and that rarity is a garment sewn for Little Man.
You seamstresses who are mothers of boys know the dilemma. Who wants to spend copious amounts of time wrangling a tiny zipper into a pair of trousers that will probably be stained/ripped/grown-out-of within weeks? And let's not even mention the amount of topstitching that goes into the average pair of jeans, or even cargo pants. I don't know about you, but you're not likely to catch me fiddling with tiny cuffs and fidgety collars on a dress shirt, when I can find one at the local secondhand shop for next to nothing! Most boy clothes are hard (or at least time consuming) to construct, and most boys are hard on their clothes. That's not a good pairing, in my opinion.
And then, there's The Banbury Cross Cardigan Pattern. I was so excited when Laura premiered this pattern, having drooled over its first incarnation several years ago. I snapped it up within days, but have just gotten around to making it.
The concept is brilliant -- make a classic shawl collar cardigan for a toddler from an existing adult sweater. The execution is, in my opinion, equally fantastic. This pattern was a joy to use, the instructions were comprehensive and easy to follow, and the finished product exceeded my expectations. Thank you, Laura!
And here is Little Man, sporting his new cardigan:
|Notice the "happy" expression? Apparently he's not as excited about|
photo shoots as I am...
Little Man is toting around his British taxi cab, a "relict" from my childhood. Actually, all of his little matchbox cars used to be mine (including my Postman Pat red mail van. Try not to be jealous.) -- is it odd that he inherited two dozen of them from his mother, and zero from his father? Hmm.
Anyway, back to the topic of this post (which I seem to be having difficulty sticking to).
The only real change I made to the pattern was to omit the sleeve patches, mostly because the only color I could think of to go with the gray was black, which would limit the "matching" options of the sweater. Also, the pattern instructs you to avoid stretching the sweater while pinning. I was careful not to stretch most of the sweater, but since the waist and sleeve cuff ribbing on my sweater was particularly "tight," I found it necessary to stretch the ribbing in order to get a proper cut. Fortunately, it worked splendidly! My ribbing was wide (about two inches) but not extremely obvious, so I didn't reduce the size.
I was dubious about the buttonholes. Multiple layers of stretchy sweater fabric sounded like a recipe for all kinds of wonkiness. However, it was remarkably painless, and my buttonholes turned out splendidly! I used a tricot interfacing intended for knits, but quite honestly I don't think there was any advantage to that over regular interfacing.
I'm glad that I tackled this project now -- the pattern goes up to size 3, and though Little Man has only recently reached that milestone, he fills out the sweater quite nicely and the sleeves are the perfect length.
Thoughts for next time? And yes, there will most certainly be a next time! I'll definitely do the elbow patches, because they're too great to pass up. And perhaps two little pockets on the front? I might increase the length, but that would be a superbly easy adjustment.
|The back view is a bit wonky due to an oversized hanger, but you get the idea.|
I highly, highly recommend this pattern. Little Man received several compliments when he wore it to church, and no one had a clue that it was homemade (though I'm frequently asked if I've made Rosa's clothing -- even when it's storebought!). If we're blessed with another boy in the future, he'll sporting one of these as soon as he's big enough to fit the 6 months size! Until then, I may have to satisfy myself with making them for baby showers and such, just as soon as I can accumulate a stash of sweaters.
I'm a bit more confident and excited about sewing boy clothes now -- I'm thinking that my new-found love of knits could translate into some very practical customized tees and polos? Food for thought...