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{stylist} "Your Life" - The Musical

It's ON my friends! Season 3, Week 1, and we've got an awesome sew-down planned. We're starting with a BOY'S SEW! And not just a boy's sew, but a TODDLER'S boy sew. It's an area of rapidly growing interest for me, and I dare any toddler son's momma not to be inspired by these entries ;) Here are Stephanie and Annika with their "Your life, The Musical" sewing entries:

Perhaps there is no greater word to describe the Toddler phase than "DRAMA." Which is why your young son is going to star in his own theatrical event - inspired by the nursery rhyme of your choice. 
Judges will be interested to know how the nursery rhyme you chose relates to your own child's personality, and how the song is represented in the "everyday" outfit you designed for him.

Stephanie's Entry:

"DRAMA" is a very common theme in our think girls are fun, try being outnumbered by two young boys and a hubby.  Between the wrestling matches, jumping on the couch, running, screaming and four wheeler rides things are always interesting.  It seems between the two little ones you are always wondering what is going on and where they are at.  When it gets quiet is when you know something is up (or they have finally passed out somewhere!)  

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I chose "Little Boy Blue" for our nursery rhyme theme.  My little guy loves saying all of the sounds of animals and luckily we live out in the country and drive past or can take a stroll and see most of his favorites.  We have horses and deer as neighbors and just a mile down the road is the sheep farm we drive past every morning.  BAA! is heard from the back seat every morning and afternoon when we roll past.  Apparently sheep are very loud so you must scream it to be just like them ;)  Another perk to living out in the country is there are plenty of fields with hay to use for a perfect back drop.

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When this rhyme popped in my head after Becca gave us our challenge prompt I immediately went to work sketching.  Reid is my stylish one (or he just hasn't grown up enough to tell me no) so I knew I could get away with some jeans and a few layers.  I wanted to try out some new techniques I recently learned on each garment.  

I recently learned some jean techniques through Angela Wolf's jean course on Craftsy.  My new favorite techniques are distressing denim and fun topstitching.  I love the detail you can add to a simple pattern to really make it pop.  I used the Reid's Classic Chino pattern from my own pattern collection (Koerbs Bros Stitch Designs) to make his jeans.  I love the look of the triple stitch for all of my topstitching and the faux fly with pearl snap closure (that hubby picked out because who has time for buttons on a 2 year old??) all made these pants come out better than I imagined.

The next piece I went to work on was the long sleeve tee.  I wanted a simple but fun piece that he could wear this fall and winter.  I grabbed the Moto Maxx tee pattern from Love Notions. I love the simplicity with great shoulder detail and cuffs.  It is the perfect back drop for my sheep FMA (Free Motion Applique) from StitchART.  This was only the 3rd time doing FMA but he turned out amazing!  I used some white fleece to give it a little softness and texture and of course Reid loves to pet him.

The last piece was probably the most challenging.  I used the Ethan pattern from Sisboom to makea short sleeve button up to layer with the long sleeve tee.  I get a tad nervous working with wovens so took my time on this one.  It was also the first time I have used the pattern, but I can say it went together smoothly!  I used some left over denim for a few accents like the placket, collar and pocket and once again did some topstitching.  I also designed my own horn embroidery to add to the pocket, since Little Boy Blue had to have a horn!  I almost used snaps instead of buttons since my older machine can be a bit finicky, but decided to test out my new Babylock Serenade and the button hole stitch.  I practiced about 5 before I got the courage to put my shirt in the machine.  I can say WOW that was so much easier than I expected and I used it to attach the buttons!  What was I waiting for??  I may have done a little happy dance when this piece was all finished Friday night (yeah I like to cut things close.)

Overall his outfit was a success and he loves it (bonus!)  I am so glad that Becca asked me join this season and to push me by giving me the first challenge and deadline.  I can't wait to see the rest of the challengers entries and to sew a long with a few of them in the upcoming weeks!

Annika's Entry

"Your Life", The Musical - what a prompt! I love to sew for my toddler son and am always up for a nice challenge. I was on vacation when I got the prompt and it took me the whole week to decide upon a nursery rhyme reflecting my son at his current stage in life. But then I overheared my daughter singing "Hänschen Klein" and I realized that this is just THE perfect song. As I'm german, I obviously also chose a german song. Here is the translation: Little Hans went alone out into the wide world. Staff and hat suit him well. He is in good spirits. But his mother cries so much, for she no longer has little Hans. Look! The child changes his mind and returns quickly home. There also exists an older version of this song in which Hans leaves his home for seven years and returns as a man. However, the short one is the one that everyone knows by heart and I think it perfectly reflects the life of my little toddler. Our little J wants to do everything on his own. "Leine" for "Alleine" (i.e. on his own or alone) is his favorite word. He also starts to more and more reach out, wants to explore and conquer our surroundings. He is in day care in the morning and fits right in with all the other kids. He is so happy to learn new things and wants do everything that his 3.5 years older sister does. For me as his mom it's sometimes hard to let him go. He's growing up so quickly and sometimes I'm fearing that just too soon he won't need me anymore. In moments like these, it feels so good to suddenly feel his little hand in mine, to snuggle with him, to hear him ask for his good night kiss or call for his "Mami".

To reflect the inspirational song, I decided to sew an outfit suitable for exploring and being outside. From the text it was obvious that there needed to be a hat (and a staff). Besides this I chose a color theme, mainly mustard yellow and navy plus a little bit of mint, grey and brown. I only used fabrics from my stash or upcycled clothes for the outfit. The only thing that I had to buy was the seperating zipper and the rope for the drawstring pack. Overall I sewed 7 pieces for this outfit: For the jeans I used the Täschling 2.0 pattern. This is a german pattern with an incredible amount of variations. I used some of my husband's old jeans and some of my very favorite mustard yellow ribbing from NOSH. I've gone pretty crazy top-stitching these so that they have all the details RTW jeans would have. Plus I used a fun vehicle fabric at one of the back pockets and for the pocket lining of the front pockets to show off the love of this boy for everything with wheels. Have you seen how the knees are formed with some darts? A very unique and fun detail. Just as the grommets, the drawstring and the dirt at the knees that was put there by son with very much consideration to mirror the outside life of Hänschen.


The vest is a strongly modified Aztec Hooded Vest by See Kate Sew. I didn't have enough of the mint/white stripes (jersey from NOSH) to line the whole vest, but really wanted it for the hood lining. Also, the main fabric is a nice thick navy sweatshirt fleece and I liked the warm feeling of the wrong side of it. I, thus decided to only line the hood and to use the yellow ribbing to finish the armholes. The inside seams are nicely finished with the serger or in case of the hood/bodice seam with bias tape so that it lays flat. I'm not too fond of the welt pockets of the original pattern. I love real welt pockets (with a zipper or with the pocket fabric folded to make the welts), but these big "holes" aren't my cup of tea. Plus I think they aren't comfortable to put your hands in. Instead I added some rounded inset pockets at the side seam. As a last detail I sewed some yellow ribbon along the hood seam. Love the how it pops agains the navy hood.

My son's shirt is a Recess Raglan by See Kate Sew (affiliate link, Go To Patterns). I just love the look of a raglan shirt and it doesn't hurt that the straight seams of raglans make them an even faster sew than a normal tee. I used one of my old maternity tops and an adorable superhero Lillestoff fabric for it. Isn't a little toddler heading out of the door to explore the world the perfect little superhero, too? Who knows, he might be meeting a wolf, too. Just like the boy on the fabric...

As I mentioned before a hat was a must have. I used my all time favorite Elbsegler pattern (by schneidernmeistern) for it.I've sewn one last year and it suits my son so well. Everybody tells us how sweet he looks with this hat. His old one is now getting a bit too small, so I decided to sew a new one. I went one size up, which turned out to be a bit too big now. I'm guessing that maybe last year I used a slightly bigger seam allowance while sewing than what I actually included while cutting. Well, his head will grow until next year and then the hat will be perfect.

 When you are off to explore the world, you obviously also need a bag to carry your belongings - or maybe all those things that you find along the way. I sewed a self-drafted drawstring pack using a super fun canvas from buttinette. It's big enough to carry a little bottle, some cookies, some play cars and also some warmer accessoires. So, when it gets more windy, my son can take out his adorable OSLO beanie (free pattern by Rapantinchen) and his shawl (self-drafted) and feel all warm and cozy. (Keep an eye on my blog, Näh-Connection, during the next weeks. I'll do tutorials for both a drawstring pack and a shawl. So, what do you say? Is my little man ready to conquer the world? I sure think so. Allthough, I still hope that he'll return to me for a hug many, many times. I hope you like the whole outfit and am already curious to see how you rate it. I love the wearability and little details of it and will now think of "Hänschen Klein" every time my son wears some of the garments.

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!
Rate Stephanie's Technique *
Do garment(s) reflect a strong knowledge of the fabrics used, and the methods and tools use to sew them?
Rate Stephanie's Creativity *
Do garment(s) relate to the given prompt, and showcase the unique talents of the sewist?
Rate Stephanie's Presentation *
Quality photography is key, as is an overall vision for presenting finished work.
Rate Stephanie's Degree of Difficulty *
Sew many pieces, or very intricate ones? These points reward that challenge.
Rate Annika's Technique *
Do garment(s) reflect a strong knowledge of the fabrics used, and the methods and tools use to sew them?
Rate Annika's Creativity
Do garment(s) relate to the given prompt, and showcase the unique talents of the sewist?
Rate Annika's Presentation *
Quality photography is key, as is an overall vision for presenting finished work.
Rate Annika's Degree of Difficulty *
Sew many pieces, or very intricate ones? These points reward that challenge.
Leave some Love! *
Let this week's challengers know what you liked best from each look!