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Welcome to Sewing Stadium! Home of the Top Stitcher sewing challenge, and the jaw-dropping creations of the most imaginative minds in the sew-blogging world. You're in for a real treat. Go get inspired!

{hacker} Kids Say The Darndest Things

This week's sew down is just plain fun!  These two contestants got to work with the fun age where little kids say things you remember the rest of your life.  And they both translated those kid sayings in to outfits that will be remembered the rest of your life too!

‘Spaghetti Toes’ has built a business designing graphics based on the crazy things said to-and-by his 2 year old. Likewise, you will seek similar inspiration to design and engineer playtime aparel and photo op for your little one. Inspiration can be found from your model, a sibling, cousin, or neighbor, or even the biggest kid in your home - Daddy! Let your inner hacker run wild, adapting your favorite patterns to incorporate costume-y elements that bring this childhood vision to life!
— Kids Say The Darndest Things prompt

Maegen's Entry

Hello all you lovely Top Stitchers fans!  It's Maegen from Mae & K and I am super excited to be back again for Top Stitchers Season 3.   My Psych outfit just made its way into storage to wait for Baden to grow into it.  It was definitely time to make something fun again.

Kids say the darndest things.  Well, that was a doozy of a prompt!  It was an adventure to nail down exactly what I wanted to make.  The Badenator just really started talking the last few weeks, and is the cutest little copycat.  He loves "train" and "hulk smash" but neither of those felt inspired for sewing.  And he has those certain words-- "jam" and "chips"-- that sound like curse words in his darling little voice.  Funny, but not quite what I was looking for.  My husband thought a Sandlot inspired outfit would be perfect, because Mack is currently a big fan of yelling, "YOU"RE KILLING ME SMALLS!" but again, I wasn't happy with the prompt.  I sketched out a darling baseball outfit, and started looking at fabric and patterns, but I just wasn't passionate about it.  After all, Mack didn't come up with that on his own, and it felt a little like cheating the prompt.

Enter Instagram. I started changing my hashtag for pictures of Mack because the one I had been using was starting to get crowded with non-Mack images (who knew there was a Mackay, Austrailia?)  This image of Mack in a fake mustache caught my eye.  An idea started forming.  

I pulled inspiration from three ideas Mack brings up frequently.  

1. Facial hair.  In addition to the Instagram photo mentioned above, he asked me again the other night if he could have a mustache when he is a grandpa. 

2. Marriage.  Mack has proposed to me, it's adorable.  Of course, I told him he can't marry me, and that he would have to find his own girl.  He brings her up once in a while, "when I am big, I will get my girl and marry her in the temple." 

3. Best Ever. Mack has so much confidence in himself.  He knows how cool he is, and used to tell us all the time how he is the "best ever" 

Those first two ideas came together to pull inspiration from one of my favorite musicals:  Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  

Baden is so cute in his "oh me oh mys"

Let's start with the long johns.  I took the ebtks Henley from Winter Wear Designs and drafted the entire bottom portion.  These Baden puts on by stepping through the neck.  That's the only opening! The placket closes with sew on snaps, the butt flap is just for show.  These were a little tricky, because of the gusset in the crotch, but I love how they turned out!  Fabric is red rib knit from Walmart.

The beard. It's self-drafted, and really easy.  It's felt with top stitching and some elastic that goes around the back.  I've got a template for you to download so you can make your own.  They are just for looks, Baden can stick his tongue through the hole, but couldn't eat through there, and they are a little small for adults

The Ear-Flap Beanie.  I used the free Halla pattern.  The pattern chart didn't allow for the pattern to continue evenly around the hat, so I had a bit of altering to do.  Basically I moved two stitches from the back to the front and shifted the pattern over to make it continuous.  Also, I used a size eight needle for the edging rather than the recommended size 10.  It's a pretty quick knit, because of the large needle size.  Baden loves this hat so much.  I let him try it on before adding the ties and pom pom and he threw a fit when I took it back to finish it! 

The Tee Shirt.  It's the ebtks Henley again.  I made it without the placket and pulled the neckline out just a smidge, but really didn't alter the pattern.  It's upcycled from a tee of my husband's and freezer paper stenciled.  I used the Folk Art metallic paints and textile medium to get that color, and the font is called Minya Nouvelle.

The Jacket.  Pattern for Pirates Lumberjack Shirt, naturally.   I didn't alter any of the pattern pieces for this one.  I did throw the instructions out the window and do things my way.  I love figuring out how to have the least amount of exposed seams possible!  The only ones in this are where the sleeves attach. I didn't want to try binding them like I did the hood.  Fabric is from a thrift store men's xxl flannel shirt and grey knit from Walmart.  Buttons are from my stash, which is why the main buttons are orange and the sleeve buttons are navy.  I am super excited by my pattern matching on this baby.

Lastly, the jeans.  I used Titchy Thread's Small Fry Skinny jeans.  I altered them slightly, making them a little less skinny, adding three inches to the end (which was maybe too much) and then lining them with knit and flannel.  I used the half fly option without a zip.  These are upcycled from a pair of my husband's jeans, the knit and flannel are scraps from my stash.  I used the leather Arizona jeans tag to make the mustache tag, just turned it around and appliqued on the plaid mustache.  The little ax on the back pocket is hand embroidered, my husband drew it for me.

I absolutely adore the way this whole outfit turned out, and I know all these pieces are going to get a ton of use and help us "make it through the winter".  I hope you like it too!


Carrie's Entry

Whew!!!  I’m going to start off by saying I am so glad that is over! (now, when do we go again??? ha-ha!)  Really though, this being my first challenge in Top Stitchers, I didn’t have a true understanding of what to expect, and with the prompts/challenges being top secret until the matchup and reveal, you really have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.  

Kids totally say the craziest things so I thought, “eh that should be a piece of cake”... WRONG!  My daughter is almost 8 so really anything she has said has been so long ago that I really had a hard time recalling and Reid is just over one, but not saying much of anything yet so obviously not much help either.   I turned to a few friends and spent lots of time watching my parents of toddler friends post on Facebook about all the silliness they hear and voila! I found it. 

My friend’s son is in his first year of preschool and one morning after getting dressed she says to him “Wow you look really sharp!” He responds with – “I not a shark. I a big boy.”  Well... he told her right?  It’s little mistakes like this that make the cutest stories. 

In addition to finally deciding on a fun mistaken phrase I also had to decide how to translate that into something I could make.  AND even more, a pattern or two that I could hack to make what I needed. 

IMG_7204.jpg

I decided the way to go was a snazzy blazer in this awesome monotone check print that I found at Joann’s.  I started with the Blank Slate Basic Blazer.  Then, I drafted a shark fin and incorporated that into the back of the jacket.  

That’s not all though, because what would a shark be without those menacing teeth??  I decided on the Gatsby Flat Cap by Apple + Fig from Issue 6 of One Thimble e-zine .  I made it in a simple gray but then cut out and added shark teeth into small gap between the top and brim.

I rounded out his outfit with a store bought button down and a few things I had previously made him. A pair of jeans that were upcycled from an old pair of women's jeans and a bowtie from last year's Easter outfit.

He is lookin’ pretty sharp if I do say so myself.

Visit me at Beri Bee Designs for more!


Before you give your ratings, here's a quick refresher of the rules!

  • You will rate rate each challenger, and every category. Max of 5 stars, 5 is highest.
  • Challengers will receive an average score for each category, and an average score overall. (You can see an example here) New to Season 2 - 50% of the vote will come from 3 Top Stitcher Alumnae who volunteered to judge this season's creations!
  • Your feedback helps each challenger recognize areas that they can improve their craft, and celebrate those areas that they already excel. 
  • As such, please submit your feedback for each contestant only once. Admittedly, I cannot enforce this, but the objective is for each contestant to receive a thoughtful rating, not skewed scores. 
  • It is SUPER DUPER NERVE-WRACKING to put work on display for others to judge, so let's remember to leave some love and encouragement for our challengers in the comments!
  • YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PICK A FAVORITE! Any week, any sew-down, you are welcome to reward both sewists with the highest scores. Or one sewist higher than another in different categories. This is a contest against each contestant's personal best, not against one another.
Rate Maegen's Technique *
(Technique) Do garment(s) reflect a strong knowledge of the fabrics used, and the methods and tools use to sew them?
Rate Carrie's Technique *
(Technique) Do garment(s) reflect a strong knowledge of the fabrics used, and the methods and tools use to sew them?
Rate Maegen's Creativity *
(Creativity) Do garment(s) relate to the given prompt, and showcase the unique talents of the sewist?
Rate Carrie's Creativity *
(Creativity) Do garment(s) relate to the given prompt, and showcase the unique talents of the sewist?
Rate Maegen's Presentation *
(Presentation) Quality photography is key, as is an overall vision for presenting finished work.
Rate Carrie's Presentation *
(Presentation) Quality photography is key, as is an overall vision for presenting finished work.
Rate Maegen's Degree of Difficulty *
(Degree of Difficulty) Sew many pieces, or very intricate ones? These points reward that challenge.
Rate Carrie's Degree of Difficulty *
(Degree of Difficulty) Sew many pieces, or very intricate ones? These points reward that challenge.
Comment with your feedback! *
(Leave some love!) Let this week's challengers know what you liked best from each look!

And don't forget to grab this week's freebie! Thanks Maegen!