Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Battle of the Home-Sewn Shorts: Oliver + S Bedtime Story Pajama Shorts

Near-ish the end of summer: the perfect time for a kid to have a growth spurt, wouldn't you say?

Will has spent years at almost the same waist size, shooting up primarily in height. This means that each summer she could wear the shorts of the summer before, if they hadn't gotten TOO short, and the pants of the winter before, only we called them capris.

In the course of just the last month, though, the kid has not only shot up again in height, but also gained an entire inch in her waist measurement. All those old shorts and pants? They're gone, baby.

These days, I generally only buy kids' clothes if they're 1) dirt-cheap (think garage sale), 2) vintage (think Syd's Partridge Family dress--squee!), 3) ridiculously fancy and therefore impractical to make at home (think party dresses for Syd), or 4) cheap but with an awesome print (think all of Will's dinosaur/Star Wars/comic book T-shirts), and even then only if they're thrifted.

Everything else, from underwear to pants to pajamas, I've been trying to make myself. So in the next few weeks, I'll be testing out a few of the kids' shorts patterns that I've gathered here and there, to find the ultimate pattern for home-sewn picky child shorts.

This Oliver + S Bedtime Story pajama pants pattern wasn't intended to be sewn as shorts, but since the pants are pretty much straight-legged, I just measured up 12" from the bottom hem and then folded the pattern there to make the longer shorts length that I prefer--shorts that cover the knee are obviously going to suffer a lot more wear at the knee, but I prefer my fair-skinned babies more covered than not, generally. Not that you'd know this if you lived near me, since I struggle on a daily basis to keep a single stitch of clothing on them as they play out in the yard, but sun protection is always a good thing in my book.

The Oliver + S pants pattern was really simple to work up, which will be great if I want to make multiples, but my favorite thing about Oliver + S patterns is how no matter how simple the pattern, there are always some special details, such as a separate waistband and binding for the bottom hem, allowing me to do them in a coordinating print:

Again, I just really like the length of these shorts, and the fit is roomy without being TOO roomy, you know?

Of course Sydney, wearing a leotard and cut-offs of last winter's pants, also feels the need to model:

How did I come to have children this unutterably ridiculous?

Will prefers to wear her shorts with a plain white T-shirt (oh, the agonies that I suffer to keep those damn things white!):

The shorts have clearly passed her test, because she can wear them unimpeded as she climbs every single thing in creation, which is her second-favorite pastime:

The shorts also work well with her most favorite pastime, of course:

Also in contention, to be duked out in future blog posts, are a vintage Simplicity pajama pants pattern, the pajama pants pattern from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing, and a second Oliver + S pants pattern, all cut down into shorts.

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