For my son’s 4th of July outfit, I used red and white striped cotton shirting and navy blue broadcloth to make a short-sleeved button down shirt with a front yoke and collar and a pair of cargo shorts. Both the shirt and shorts are based off of Simplicity 4760 with a number of modifications.
Shirt first: This is the second time I’ve made this pattern. I made the long-sleeved version in white cotton for Christmas. This time, I knew I wanted to change the front facing. As drafted, the pattern calls for a separate facing piece, which enables putting a loop under the collar instead of the top buttonhole. I didn’t like this, so instead looked at how the JJ blouse I had just made for myself was faced in the front, and copied that, extending the front pieces by about 1.5 inches towards the center. Then I eliminated the loop and just added a buttonhole near the top.
For the pockets, first I drafted the flaps based on ikat bag’s pocket tutorials.
My son chose the car buttons (the wheels really spin) himself for this shirt, and to make the pockets easier on my 4yo, instead of sewing buttonholes and using the cars as real buttons, I just sewed them onto the flaps. Their weight keeps the flaps closed nicely and the pockets are a lot easier for him to use.
For the pockets themselves, I wanted them to look like there were star-shaped holes in the white fabric, a little optical illusion. I drafted and sewed a reverse applique star on the patch portion of the pocket, then tried to make sure the stripes lined up. I originally just had a row of stitching around the star, but it pulled out 😦 after one wearing of the shirt, and I ended up having to take both pockets off and cover the edge with a dense zig-zag, completely remaking one of the pockets in the process. While I don’t like this as well as the original, it is more sturdy.
Second, the shorts: These were based off the pants pattern; I cut the length shorter. The upper pockets are lined in the striped fabric, and I used Kid Approved’s star pocket tutorial to create the star shape. So that the shape would show up better, I added a piece of the striped fabric onto the main body of the shorts under where the pocket goes.
The cargo star pockets are self-drafted, again based on an ikat bag pocket tutorial (lined patch pockets). I originally made these pockets for my daughter’s patriotic shorts and these were slightly modified to have a more irregular shape. The front is slightly lower than the back, so that they can overlap the top pockets as little as possible. Just as on her shorts, however, I sewed the bottom of the pocket as a circle so stuff won’t get stuck down in the little points. The bottom point of the star determined the hem of the pants, which was a little tricky – I didn’t want to hem over the star! So I just hemmed from one side of the star to the other.
While these shorts have a real zip fly, button closure (I used a nice bright blue one so it would be easy to see) and belt loops (both front and back), I also modified them to have an elastic waist in the back by stitching down the back facing and sewing the elastic in the ditch on both sides. Between this, and being able to let out the bottom of the shorts, I hope that he can get a couple of summers of use out of these at least!