In keeping with the slightly formal (but not too formal) nature of our Christmas looks, I wanted the boy’s (my husband and son’s) versions to be dressy but not require a jacket. So I decided to make them matching vests and ties, using this men and boy’s pattern by Simplicity. The pattern directions are exactly the same, which makes things very easy – the men’s version is just bigger than the boy’s.
As is often the case (at least for me) this was the first time I’d made a tie or a vest, and the pattern was very easy to follow, with minimal hand sewing required. I found the vests in particular to be fun (I like anything that’s fully lined and inverts, it’s like magic), and the welts (fake pockets) were cool to figure out. I ran into one problem with the vest, which is that my husband is very tall, and while I cut an XL size for height (but not for width), the vest was still too short, and I only figured that out once I had everything sewn together. (Should have made a muslin!) So I made the vest longer by adding the reverse color panels at the top, and I ended up really liking how that looks, it helps tie (harhar) everything together. But the next time I make a vest or jacket for my husband, I’ll know in advance to make it longer, and can add the length in the body area, which would be easy-peasy.
The ties were a little tricky – I had some issues with the iron-on interfacing I used staying in place (I hate iron-on interfacing) and it ultimately pulled out, so next time I’m just going to sew the interfacing in and be done with it, although the ties seem like they work just fine without any interfacing.
I also made my son’s shirt, using this boy’s shirt pattern by Simplicity (I wasn’t daring enough to make the men’s version – maybe next Christmas). I had some fun with this one (the cuff buttons are baseballs) and it turned out pretty well for my first attempt at a “button-down shirt.” It’s not really a shirt that’s intended to be worn with a tie (it doesn’t have a stand collar) but it works ok for a kid, and the pattern is pretty flexible. I think I’m going to use the pattern to make my son a short-sleeved shirt next (he saw this Cars fabric and immediately said he wanted a shirt from it, so that’s on my to-sew list, along with using some of the same fabric to upcycle the shorts I mentioned in my mending day post).
While I have made plenty of pants before, I did not make either of the boys’ pants for Christmas – hey, one has to draw the line somewhere, right? I ended up making 14 matching items for Christmas… it was quite a marathon. I still have a bit of the fabric left over, too, and have been debating for five months what to do with it. A dress for me? A purse (or two)? I saw these cool fabric front cardboard storage boxes on Pinterest and may just use the fabric for that, I can always use more organization.
The wonderful photo in this post is by the talented Jeff Madison at First Memories Photography.