Monday, December 26, 2011

Sewing for the guys

I'm lucky to have some young men in my life that actually like home made things. I've been sewing for some of them for (shall I say it) decades years. First- dop kits and winter hats, then fleece pullovers, then PJ's, flannel pillowcases, more jammies (their moms feed them and they grow!- imagine that!!). Then, they go to college and still ask for PJ's….. makes me smile every time I think of that.

 So, this Holiday, I tried a pattern from Stitch Magazine, Fall 2011. This fleece pullover seemed like the perfect "stylish" (is that OK for young men too?), top that is both warm and comfortable. I ended up making 2 (Had this coupon for 50% off at Joann's and it's good on one cut of fabric- (are you following my train of thought???). It's a nice neutral medium grey, (like the fabric featured in the magazine). I used a grey zip on one and a black on the other.

Zip front Pullover by: Jill Cappuccio (directions in the magazine, pattern available for download on the website). I am a visual sewist, so my only complaint is while the written direction are beyond excellent, I could have used a few more pictures, especially when it came to the set in collar, which I ended up winging, and (luckily) it came out fine none the less. Had I never set in a collar before, I think this would have brought about a few choice words.  The pattern does call for some seam allowance changes, sometimes it's 1/2" others 1/4" and you have to pay attention to those. I had never ironed fleece, and this pattern does call for a stretchy type fusible interfacing to be ironed onto the fleece. I found my teflon pressing sheets vital, as I was uncertain at which temperature I would have success or utter failure. The pressing sheet and the middle temp on my iron (a Rowena) worked like a charm. Other than that, there are not many pattern pieces, and the sewing is rather straight forward. Overall, I enjoyed making them and would make others should anyone want more. I opted to make a Medium and that seems to be pretty true to size, but if your guy likes his clothing baggier, I'd go a size larger. My Joann's was low on zippers so if you want the contrast of the zipper and fabric you might have to order up the zips. My schedule didn't allow for a zipper order so I had to go with what was available.

One is for my son, 17; the other for his best friend, also 17. They don't go to the same school so I don't have to worry about any embarrassing clothes/fashion moments.  But, I forget- they are guys, even if they did go the same school and ran into each other in the hall, they likely would not even register they were wearing a similar top.

In addition, I came across this great earbuds tutorial and decided this, in the right fabric, would be a wonderful gift for another young man, who is a sophomore in college. Can you guess where he goes to school????

While I was at it, and because I miraculously got my sewing done with a few days to spare, I made a few more earbud cases for the girls in my life (there are more of them than the guys……).

I changed one thing from the tutorial. The pattern calls for a split ring (featured in bottom row of top photo and bottom photo); which I changed to a lobster type of clasp/hardware (top row, top photo). I used my Go! Baby cutter to cut all the circles for this project. (Saved TONS of time).

And because I was having boatloads of fun and because I had the Go Baby! cutter fired up, and it started to snow outside- I tried my hand at this cute tree.

Instead of a bow at the top I put a Jingle bell. I really like it, and if I find myself with a few hours to spare I may make a few more, if not, they are definitely on my list for next year!!!

I hope your Holiday sewing was successful and fun! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy 2012. I hope that the New Year brings lots of sewing inspiration and perhaps some cool fabric in your Holiday stash. (Yup, my husband went to my LQS and got me a gift certificate for the holidays- I did hint, and print up the directions for him…….. never hurts to be prepared)


  1. Wow! Those fleece pullovers look amazing. I'm sure they will get lots of use.

  2. Those fleece pullovers are amazing, they turned out so well! Awesome! I also love all your ear bud cases and the Christmas tree! Great job!

  3. How GORGEOUS to still have guys who want you to sew for them! That is wonderful! Love the pullovers and the ear bud cases. Might have to try that tree myself - super cute!

  4. And you never know, maybe having grown up with nice handmade things, maybe one or more of those young men will try making things themselves one day ... I had lots of jumpers and such made by my mum at their age, and now I'm making quilts! My 1st quilt got 3rd place in the Men Quilt Too! competition that Thearica on hosted recently, and there were more than 25 male quilters participating!

    I know a lot of people like visual patterns, but I'd like to give a big thanks to patterns that are well described too ... I'm pretty much blind so can only follow a pattern or tutorial if the photos are described / instructions are clear! I might check out that website where your jumper pattern was downloaded if their patterns are generally well written with words as well as pictures!

    I was glad to see your post - I like to know guys like handmade things too!

    Giles (Touch And Sew /

  5. Wow, how productive were you there?! The fleeces came out fab, but I think you're right, I doubt they'd notice they're wearing the same thing lol I need to make myself one of those earbud cases soon, so I'm comforted to know they can be done quickly :o)

  6. All lovely makes/finishes up there :) I plan on making some of those ear bud cases too. One for each of my kids and one for myself. Now that the rush is over that will happen soon!

    Happy New Year!

  7. Such lovely presents and your son looks so happy in his new pullover! all the best for the new year.

  8. Great job on the pullovers, and getting the guys to pose for the pic! I didn't get around to doing the ear bud cases, but they are on the list!


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