Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Parachute pants and the boy on the pink bike

G recently turned 3 and ditched the diapers.  He also got huge, and consequently outgrew his favorite pants. They were the sweatpants from a 2T Elmo hoodie-and-pants outfit that my mother sent him for Christmas, four months before she died.  They were the last item of clothing she gave any of my children.  So G wore them as flood pants for quite awhile before I could bring myself to retire them.


The Oliver+S Parachute pattern seemed like a perfect replacements.  I have had my eye on it since it was released, and I had even mentally reserved a piece of stash fabric for it.  It is a super-soft forest green cotton/lycra French terry, purchased from Fabric.com ages ago when I was curious to know what exactly French terry was (and was overseas and not near any stores that sold it).  I cut the pants' stripes from a scrap of cotton interlock leftover from a yet-unblogged blanket I sewed G a couple months ago.

I veered off the instructions when it came time to sew the waistband.  I truly abhor sewing elastic casings in knit fabrics, so I first sewed the waistband to the right side of the top of the pants, then serged my 1" elastic directly to the wrong side of the top of the waistband.  Then I folded over the waistband and coverstitched from the right side.  Doing it this way meant that I had to trim off some of the waistband at the bottom, as it was drafted wider than the elastic to make room to stitch the casing.  Next time I should probably measure the waistband piece and trim it before sewing.


And yes, my boy rides a pink balance  bike.  Having two older sisters will do that to a guy.  He is a beast on this thing, though - my husband takes him to a BMX course where he competes with other kids in the 3-and-4 age group.  While watching him today I realized that all that practice has paid off; he is nearly ready for a proper pedal bike now.

These balance bikes are great.  After about a year of riding on it, Natasha graduated to her big girl pedal bike (no training wheels) before her 4th birthday.  It took Zoia a little longer, but she was still riding her big girl bike by age 5.  And G seems on track to beat N's record.


Back to the pants.

As directed, I made casings for the elastic at the ankle and it really wasn't bad at all with the coverstitch machine.  I think maybe I should reevaluate my thoughts on knit elastic casings now that I can use the coverstitch to sew them.

I sewed the size 4, which is still a bit long on him.  I cut the ankle elastic 10.75" as directed in the pattern, but the first day he wore them the bottoms kept slipping down over his heel.  So I had to rip out some of my coverstitching (ugh) and shorten the elastic.  I shortened it to 9" and sewed it together with a 3/8" overlap.  This works much better for G.


I coverstitched the rise seam after sewing it together for extra durability, and I'm glad I did - these are going to get worn out before they are outgrown!


G was nothing less than thrilled when he saw the pants back in his drawer after my fix.  They are his new favorites, and he wears them whenever they are clean.  I like them too.  Though comfy, the slimmer fit makes them smarter than many RTW sweatpants I have seen.  They're really the perfect pant for this age group. 

Making clothes my kids love (and of which I approve) is some of the most satisfying sewing.


Thanks for reading!

11 comments:

  1. Ahhhhhh!! So perfect! I really love these for little boys (probably little girls too, but my little guy is so picky, finding something he likes is like AMAZING)! I love your choice of fabrics and colors here, and I continue in envy of your coverstitch. I have found myself thinking ... "if I want to seriously sew knits, perhaps I should invest ... " Very dangerous thoughts! You are (bless you) not helping me on this front. P.S. Even with his face cut out, he's freaking adorable, and so athletic!

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    1. Thanks, Inder. The coverstitch has really made sewing knits easier. And since my sewing is 90% knits these days, I don't regret the purchase! I know it will continue to get tons of use.

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  2. I would not have even registered the pink bike if you hadn't mentioned it. Really, who cares? My son regularly pinches my rugby jumpers.

    Well done you sewing what is worn, I feel sad when the boys miss out.

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    1. My boys have been getting the bulk of my sewing lately!

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    2. Masha OT my Strathcona https://www.flickr.com/photos/motherof5/21295161441/in/album-72157649166298543/

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  3. Yes, making clothes they love and we approve is so satisfying! You did a great job with these pants. I too wonder what french terry is... will have to find out one day hehe

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    1. Thanks Jenya. It turns out French terry is a lovely fabric for kids' clothes. Definitely try it out!

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  4. Ah my heart was breaking thinking of you holding onto that last garment from your mom. How difficult and touching at the same time.

    These pants are great! And we know all about bikes in the "wrong" color. All of our girls rode a green John Deere bike when they were first learning. That's just how it goes. :)

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    1. Thanks, Rachel. I am happy that I have one more kid to wear those pants.

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  5. Balance bikes are just the best! (training wheels are so counter productive imo). Have you seen the videos of the kid riding his balance bike through a forest of ramps on the way to kindergarten? My son was so inspired by that one.
    Great pants, the fit is awesome and so practical for an active little dude.
    I'm about to have to convince the pink loving girl to accept a blue hand me down bike. We'll see how that works out ;)

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    1. I admit to having been skeptical about balance bikes before we bought one (and during the first six months that we owned one, when my daughter refused to use it) but we are believers now! Though Gabriel has started asking me for a "blue big boy bike." Soon!

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Hi! I am so happy you came by. Thanks for your comment!