Sewing for my guys

A Tropical Shirt for Clay

Wardrobe by Me is one of the best shops in PDF land for men’s patterns. I should say teen to men, since the size range is huge, going from 2XS to 3XL! Christina has been working on expanding the range of men’s patterns for a while now. All of them are great, but we love the new Tropical Shirt! Both my husband and son wear Hawaiian shirts so I’m happy to have a pattern to make them. Clay didn’t hesitate when I asked if I could test the shirt for him. He chose the fabric from my stash. It’s a very nice 100% cotton that washes beautifully.


Here is a description from the pattern listing:

The Tropical Shirt PDF sewing pattern is a casual button up short sleeved shirt with a convertible collar. The shirt has side slits, a double yoke, and two back pleats. The left front has a pocket. The pattern is designed for woven fabric.

  • Convertible Collar
  • Short Sleeve
  • Side Slits
  • Double Yoke
  • Front Pocket
  • Straight Hem

Comes in sizes 2XS – 3XL. I sewed a size M and shortened it to my son’s desired length. I shortened the sleeves 1/2”, but Clay has them rolled up as usual.


I’m so mad at myself for forgetting to match the design on center front! Luckily Clay didn’t notice and loves his shirt. He left for school in it this morning with white shorts.


On sale for $8.50 until April 19, 2019. Don’t miss out on this one!

Sewing for my guys

Muscle Up Tank

Have I mentioned how much I love sewing for my guys? It’s been wonderful having more and more men’s patterns showing up in the PDF pattern world. This one is from Greenstyle Creations. My son has to approve of any pattern test that will involve him modeling pictures and this one was a definite yes. He chose the fabric after I gave him options. It’s a light to medium weight cotton lycra and was wonderful to work with. I’m not sure where I bought the fabric. Clay is particular about how long his shirts are, so he had me shortened this one quite a bit. I think it could have been at least 1″ longer, though he likes the length of it.



We had a fun but quick photo session where he was more cooperative than usual with pictures!


The Muscle Up Tank includes sizes XXS to 4XL. What a great range of sizes! It features dropped armholes and a narrowed back.  It comes with the option to use bands or binding. (I love the look of binding). You can also finish the neckline or top it off with a fun three piece hood.

Get this wonderful piece on sale for $8.50  (regularly $12) through April 14, 2019.


Sewing for my guys

Breaking Ground Tour


Welcome to the Breaking Ground Blog Tour 2019 hosted by mahlicadesigns. This year over 25 bloggers from around the world are joining together to break new ground by trying a pattern designer that is new to them, try new techniques, new styles, or whatever way they want to push themselves. (Read on for Giveaway info)

When Melissa of Mahlica Designs posted a call for bloggers for the Breaking Ground Blog Tour, I had to check it out. I didn’t know exactly what it was, but quickly found out. It’s trying something new; a new to you (and me) designer or skill. Breaking ground with a new to me designer sounded like fun! I have plenty of patterns from designers I’ve never tried. It was tough narrowing down the choices.

Thread Theory is a Canadian company that had several men’s patterns that I admired for a long time. I loved the details and style of some of the pants, jackets, and sweaters. I finally bought the Jedediah Pants during a rare sale with the plan to make shorts for my son. Then it sat and sat in my account for several years before I decided I’d better sew them up before Clay graduates and goes off to college! There are no layers (boo hoo), so I traced off his size 30 (the smallest one), cut out the pieces from some red chambray, and got them half sewn. The instructions have you sew flat felled seams on certain parts of the pants. Working with fabric that frayed terribly, I didn’t want to deal with flat felled seams, so I set the whole project aside.


After a few months, I decided they needed to get finished and off my table. So back I went to the directions. I skipped the flat felled seams in favor of serging and topstitching. That worked out fine. The order of construction is different than any other pants I’ve sewn and I wasn’t happy about the strange (to me) order of things. The inseam and even the outseam was supposed to be sewn and finished before sewing in the zip and fly. That would mean I would have to try keeping all the fabric of the shorts out of the way while maneuvering the fly installation. So, I changed the order to inseam, fly, then outseam; which worked out just fine.


The shorts version is supposed to be longer with a roll up cuff hem. Clay is wearing his shorts shorter these days, and the longer legs were too tight to even roll up once, so I trimmed off some fabric and went with a regular hem. The waistband instructions were difficult to follow, I tried sewing as written, but mine was not turning out correctly. I ended up sewing it in a way that made sense to me without any problems. The belt loops were no problems at all.


In the end, the shorts look pretty good. Unfortunately, they are too tight in the hips and legs for Clay. If any reader has a guy to fit into these, let me know and I will pass them on (US addresses). Waist is 30″, inseam about 7 1/2”.


Will I use this pattern again? Maybe. Some day I may get the urge to make a pair for my husband.

After this experience, will I sew another pattern from Thread Theory you ask? Well, that depends. I won’t be rushing out to buy another pants pattern, but I wouldn’t mind trying a sweater or jacket. Also, to my surprise, the website has changed drastically since I’ve been on it last; and they now carry patterns of other designers. If you are sewing for your guys, this is the largest selection of mens patterns I’ve seen! Support the Indie designers, small businesses and new companies! You may hear of some new ones if you follow the tour this week.

Oh, and one more thing… Thread Theory has the best tutorial on installing jean rivets that I’ve seen! I started using it years ago when I made my first pair of jeans and is how I found the company.

Enter the raffle below and check out the breaking ground from other bloggers on the tour by clicking on the links.

The Full Tour includes all these creatives… we hope you’ll visit us each day:

Monday March 11That’s Sew Lily, Sewing A La Carte, Mijn 11jes & ik

Tuesday March 12mahlicadesigns, Embrace Everyday, Jot Designs, auschick sews, Raising Stripling Warriors

Wednesday March 13Musings of A Seamstress, Very Blissful, Sew4Five, Just Sew Something, Hazelnut Handmade, Crafting Through Time, Tales From A Southern Mom

Thursday March 14Make It Sew with the Bear and Pea Atelier, Ronda B Handmade, SequioaLynn Sews, Sewing with D, The Sewing Goatherd, OOYAmade, My Golden Thimble, Custom Made by Laura

Friday March 15Sew Cute Couture by Kathy, Sewing Novice, Ronda B Handmade, Momma Bear Sews, MeMade, My Golden Thimble, Lulu & Celeste

Breaking News: our tour sponsor Phat Quarters is offering 2 patterns of choice from her pattern shop to one lucky winner.

Enter Here!


We’d love to see how you’re Breaking Ground this month. Share with us what you’re working on by using the hashtag #BreakingGround2019 across social media.

Sewing for my guys

Back to School Boys

It time to go back to school with a Sewing Blue blog tour. Thanks goes to  Made for Little Gents for hosting the Back to School Boys tour! Actually, my son when back to school a few weeks ago! He’s a senior in high school this year, but hey, big boys need back to school clothes too!

I love sewing for my son and make no secret about it. Happiness is seeing him love and wear something I’ve lovingly sewn for him! When Summer of Owl Creek Patterns posted a testing call for the Cardinal Sweatshirt, I jumped at the chance. I don’t usually do this as it’s a bit scary trying a pattern designer I don’t know and haven’t tested for. You never know what to expect. It just so happened that the plain style sweatshirt was exactly what my son wanted to replace a couple of rtw ones that were too small. There are options for a hood and zipper hoodie too, so you really get three sweatshirts in one! He chose the fabrics from my stash which is always a good idea if I want him to wear what I sew. The crazy pink print is very old, maybe from the 80s or 90s and the yellow gold one is a color he has been loving lately. I love that he chooses the decades old fabric and helping to use up my stash!


He asked for this shirt from another crazy fabric the day before vacation. I quickly whipped it up and he has worn it to school several times already! I’m so glad to have this pattern after trying a different one with not so good results. I will be using it over and over!

Anyway, back to the sweatshirt. Since I made the basic version, this shirt was very fast to sew with excellent instructions (lots of details for beginners), and fit perfectly on my son the first time! I made size 14 as my son is at the high end of the chart (his chest is a couple of inches bigger than the chart), but there is enough ease that the fit is how he likes it. The pictures aren’t the greatest as we took some indoors instead of the 100+ heat.

They will come in handy when the weather cools down though! Then he will be able to wear his new Chinos from Wardrobe by Me.

These pants are a modern style my son loves with narrow legs from the knee to the ankle. They were easy to fit and detailed instructions to sew. They come in sizes 27″-36″ and have beautiful welt pockets, belt loops, and all the details that make them so professional. The Chinos are on sale for $10 until the end of August so be sure to get a pair to sew for your guy! All of the tester versions are awesome!

Look at these fantastic welt pockets!

And don’t be afraid to try Owl Creek Patterns. You might be pleasantly surprised!


Be sure to visit the other bloggers on the tour. It’s always fun to get ideas and see what others are sewing up for their boys for back to school!

Back to School Boys Blog Tour hosted by Made for Little Gents

We’re making back to school fashion fun for boys with all these makes! Check out what each contributor has made:

Thurs. Aug. 23 | Made for Little Gents (Intro to Back to School Boys Blog Tour)
Fri. Aug. 24 | Tenille’s Thread
Mon. Aug. 27 | Sewing with D
Tues. Aug. 28 | Made for Little Gents
Wed. Aug. 29 | Custom Made by Laura
Thurs. Aug. 30 | Sew Cute Couture by Kathy | Paisley Roots
Fri. Aug. 31 | My Sewing Roots | Ronda B. Handmade

Sewing for my guys

A Cessim Shirt for Clay

Have you heard of Sofilantjes Patterns?  I really like the sleek style and unique designs! Since I have only our youngest (who is 17) at home, I don’t often get to test. When Anne posted the testing call for Cessim Shirt I was so excited, I applied without asking Clay. What?! He usually approves any testing I do for him; so this was a change from the norm. His measurements are just outside of the chart, so I wasn’t sure I would get chosen. Luckily, there is enough ease that the Cessim Shirt fit Clay perfectly without any changes except for adding about 3/4″ in length. Of course he got to choose the fabrics! I want to make sure he will wear it!


There are many options to choose from with this pattern, but I know my son’s style so chose option B which is color-blocked on one side. He loves the high neck and even got used to the color-clocked v neck and thinks it’s kind of cool. I top-stitched the seams where the two colors of fabric meet so the extra seams won’t rub on the inside.


I love how Clay’s shirt turned out and can’t wait to have time to make another! The next one will have a round neck to be a little different.


Get your copy of Cessim Shirt while it’s on sale for 6.05 Euros (inc eu tax) until Saturday at 23:55 CET.

Sewing for my guys

Boys in Summer Blog Tour

Thank you to Made for Little Gents for hosting the Boys in Summer blog tour! I love having an excuse to sew for my boy!

We don’t have a beach close by (darn) but we have lots of summer here in Phoenix Arizona, so this blog tour is the perfect theme. I had a plan immediately…and then it all fell apart in so many ways! So here I am sewing something different at the twelfth hour. My son has an affinity for plain black and white t-shirts. Easy to match, I guess. He wore uniforms through 8th grade so when he got into high school, he would call me in to help him match his clothes before bed every night. We did that for a couple of years with me giving tips on what goes together, etc and this year, he is choosing for himself. 😄And there are always black and white tees in the dirty laundry. 😆Soooo, I decided on a basic white tee since it will get a lot of wear.


Off to choose the pattern. I have tested many t-shirts, with some fitting better than others, some loose and casual and some more fitted. So which is the one? I went through them again and again, pulling some out; but just couldn’t find what I needed. OK, I figured I’d have to print a new one, but where oh where are all the t-shirt patterns? I need a secretary to keep me and my computer organized! At least the fabric was ready! Eventually, back to my binder, I settled on the Huntsman Shirt from Stitch Upon a Time. I couldn’t remember how it fit and had two different versions saved in the page protector. After holding the pattern piece up to a shirt my son likes the fit of, I chose one to cut. Well, I have to say it turned out so good that I worry that no one will believe it’s a mama made shirt!


Initally, Clay didn’t like the fabric, saying it was too thin. It’s a super soft cotton jersey that I bought locally for $2.99 yard. Once the shirt was done and he put it on, he decided he likes it and left it on for the rest of the day. Hurray! He likes a slim fit and I love how it looks on him. It will be perfect for our hot summer days!


Check out all the other bloggers with the links below. There is inspiration there for boys of all ages!

Boys in Summer Blog Tour: Part of the Sewing Blue Blog Tour series hosted by Made for Little Gents

Looking for more summer boy inspiration? Follow along on the Boys in Summer Blog Tour hosted by Made by Little Gents by clicking through the links below.

Fri. May 4
Made for Little Gents (Intro to Boys in Summer Blog Tour)
Mon. May 7
Elli & Nels in Stitches
Tues. May 8
Our Play Palace | Made by Laura! | Beri Bee Designs
Wed. May 9
Made for Little Gents | Mamma Newey’s Makes
Thurs. May 10
Phat Quarters | Dreams & Stitches
Fri. May 11
Stylin’ Stacy | Tenille’s Thread
Mon. May 14
Paisley Roots | Fabulous Home Sewn
Tues. May 15
Seams Like Style | Kathy’s Kwilts and More
Wed. May 16

Gifts · Sewing for my guys

Sewing Gifts – A blog tour


When your 17 year old son asks you to sew him something, you jump at the chance, right? Me too! Not too fast though. I don’t want to play into that instant gratification theme! And when he chooses the fabric that was the only one that would do (it had the right “feel”) to patch his baby/toddler blankie about 20 times, you let him, right? Me too! It is the cutest John Lennon animal doodles interlock that has been in my stash since he was a baby! Besides using it to patch his blanket numerous times, he had pj pants made from it when he was 6 or so. He wore them out! So…here is my sweet 17 year old son in his cute animal lounge shorts.


I wasn’t allowed to get more than one picture and he didn’t want to show his face. 😜Oh well, next time! Here is a close up of the adorable little animals. There is still a little bit of this fabric left and it will be a sad day for me when it is gone!


The pattern is McCall’s 8520, one I’ve used for him a few times already. It was super fast to cut it out, especially since I overlapped the side seam allowances and cut it all as one piece, resulting in no side seams to sew! My coverstitch did a good job on the waistband and hems, and I even added a tag marking the back. Clay hates not knowing where the back is.


Now, you’re probably thinking “what does lounge shorts for your son have to do with sewing gifts”. Well… it was sewn with love, given with more love, and was even received with love. That sounds like a gift to me! It’s a no occasion gift! And it’s fast and easy if you need to sew up a quick gift.

At the last minute, I sewed up another gift. This is the So Sew Easy Cosmetic Bag for my mom’s birthday. I enlarged the original pattern to make it big enough for the embroidery design I wanted to use. My mom likes frogs. 🐸 The bag is filled with cosmetics and in the mail.


See more gift ideas this week with the other bloggers on the tour. The schedule is below.

Sunday, April 22nd: Sewing By Ti (intro), With Love In Every Stitch, Sewing With D

23rd: Stitched By Jennie, Tales from a Southern Mom, Aurora Design Fabrics

24th: Sewjourns, Big Fly Notions, Sewing Blue, JOT Designs USA

25th: Sewing By Ti, Auschick Sews, Hazelnut Handmade

26th: Sewing With D, EYMM, Middle River Studio, Aurora Design Fabrics

27th: Our Play Palace, My Sewing Roots, Make it Sew with the Bear and Pea, Seams Sew Lo

Sewing for my guys

A Jensen for Mike

So far, my husband Mike, misses out when it comes to my sewing. Oh, I’ve made him little things like the therapeutic neck pillow using this pattern, underwear using the Boxerwear pattern, and even a Raglan and a Pullover. But none of these things required much (if anything) in the way of fitting.

Then, comes the Jensen Shirt from Wardrobe by Me! This is a classic button-down, something that we can never find to fit Mike. The sleeves are always too short and there’s extra fabric hanging off the shoulder/arm areas. It took me a while to get the gumption to get started, but it ended up being a relatively easy pattern to put together. The instructions are thorough and the topstitching and all the little details make it a very professional looking shirt.

So, this shirt has many alterations including sloping the shoulders of the front and yoke pieces, using a smaller sleeve size to then fit into the smaller armscye, and lengthening the sleeves (1 1/2”). Next time, the sleeves will be 3/4” shorter. Mike was excited to get a shirt that finally fits his arms and shoulders and is hoping for more!

There’s a sew along for the new shirts (a new one for the ladies too, called Anna) starting on April 26th. Come join us in the Wardrobe By Me Pattern Support group and sew along! Both patterns are on sale for $10.00 (reg 12.00), sale ends 4-28-2018. Buy both patterns and use code “jensen and anna” for an additional $4.00 off (total price $ 16.00). 

Come on now…doesn’t your guy need a new shirt? See you next time or over in the sew along!

Sewing for my guys

Cicero is an Italian Racing Jacket for the Red, White, and Pink tour


My son had this old red and white nylon jacket that he loved (and I hated). I don’t know why, except maybe it had to do with how often he wore it and all the stains it acquired that I couldn’t get out in the wash! When I told him it was time to toss it, he asked if I would make him another. He told me it made him feel like an Italian race car driver, so it had to be the same red and white! Teen boys!😅


My plan was to use the sleeves of Rebel Raglan from Wardrobe by Me since Clay’s old jacket has Raglan style sleeves. The Cicero Jacket from Sofilantjes fits him so well, that I knew that was the choice for the rest of the jacket. After thinking about it for quite a while, I decided that it would be too much work to make a completely different style of sleeve fit into the Cicero. So the sleeves are different on the new jacket since I used just Cicero, but Clay didn’t mind. He saw an embroidered shirt with an Asian design that he loved when out with a friend that he told me about. We decided I would embroider one for him so he helped shop for the design. It is this Koi design from Urban Threads. He loves it on the jacket.


When I got ready to put in the zipper, I realized the one I bought was too short. It was late, the store was closed, what to do?? 🤔 Just then an idea came to me!💡Salvage the zipper from the old jacket which was the perfect length. Clay loves his new Italian race car driver jacket and wears it all the time. He just doesn’t like to model for me, especially out in public! Here is the original jacket minus a zipper.


My girlfriend loved the embroidery design when she saw Clay’s jacket, so I embroidered one for her on a denim jacket. It’s a closer view of the design too. Enjoy the rest of the Red, White, and Pink tour this month. Links are below.

Let’s get inspired!

February 1st: Sewing By Ti (intro),  Mahlica Designs

2nd: Sewing With D ***You are here 😄

3rd: Sewing With Sarah

Sunday, February 4th: Tenille’s Thread

5th: My Heart will Sew On

6th: Kathy Kwilts and More

7th: Stitched By Jennie

8th: EYMM

9th: With Love In Every Stitch

10th: The Bear and the Pea Atelier

Sunday, February 11th: Our Play Place

12th: My Sewing Roots

13th: Margarita on the Ross

14th: Very Blissful

15th: Seams Sew Lo

16th: Sew Sew Ilse

17th: Aurora Designs

Sunday, February 18th: Sewing Scientist

19th: Manning the Machine

20th: The Fairy Dust Bin

21st: Hazelnut Handmade

22nd: Kate Will Knit

23rd: Lulu & Celeste

24th: Flaxfield Sewing

Sunday, February 25th: Twinado Alley

26th: Ma Moose

27th: Auschick Sews

28th: Oak Blue Designs

Sewing for my guys

Sew Thankful Sewing Tour


It’s the month to be thankful. Although I try to be grateful all year long, sometimes the icky parts of life get in the way and I forget for a bit. There are so many things in my little corner of the world to be thankful for, starting with my family, church family, and friends, and continuing on to our home, food, safety, sewing machines…well you get the idea, it’s a long list! For this blog tour, I’m going to concentrate on one small part of the big picture, our youngest son. He is our last child at home and I am truly thankful for him.


Clay has been the sweetest and calmest child since he was a baby. The best snuggler too! He has almost always avoided getting in trouble giving us so much peace of mind. He made goals for himself at a young age in Civil Air Patrol and Boy Scouts, and has worked very hard to accomplish them. The best part though…Clay is respectful, considerate,  compassionate, and loving! His grades have been top notch, even in honors and AP classes in high school. Clay used to believe I could make anything! I may have convinced him otherwise by now (he’s 16, after all), but he still wears some mama made clothing. And that makes me very excited!


Usually, when a pattern test comes up for men, I decide if it is something my husband or son will wear. This time, I wasn’t sure either one of them would wear the FarFar Cardigan designed by Christina of Wardrobe by Me. I remember my dad wearing sweaters like this; and would have made one for him if he didn’t live 2000 miles away! I love the style and wanted to test it badly enough that I signed up without asking; then showed Clay the line drawings and Pinterest board Christina had created. That was very helpful in convincing my teen that a young man could definitely wear this style. There is also a shawl collar option but Clay chose this traditional style. He approved the fabric and helped choose buttons and ribbing which is important if I want him to wear what I make.


The pattern covers sizes 2XS – 3XL so all of your guys should fit! The features are

  • Long sleeve with cuff
  • Placket with 6 buttons
  • Patch pockets
  • Shawl collar
  • Simple placket

Oh, and it’s on sale until Nov 17 if you want to get started on Christmas gifts!

Clay really likes the cardigan, yay! He will wear it when the weather cools. I am so thankful I can still sew for him!


Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win!

Week 2: 11/8-11/14

Giveaway: Simply by Ti $20 shop credit

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Our Thankful Sewing Bloggers are creating something special to share with you to celebrate this month of Thanksgivings! As an extra special surprise, we also have a couple giveaways during each week of the tour. Share your thanks with Petite Stitchery who has a new pattern to share with us, a free pattern giveaway from Sew by Pattern Pieces, and a chance to win a shop credit each week from Simply by Ti!

Be sure to check out the other bloggers on the tour. You can go back and read the ones you missed by clicking on the links below!

Intro to the tour

November 1st:


Sewing with Sarah

Week 1:

Nov 1st: Tenille’s Thread

Nov 2nd: Candace Ayala

Nov 3rd: Hazelnut Handmade

Nov 4th: Musing of a Seamstress

Nov 5th: Sewing Portfolios

Monday Nov 6th: mahlicadesigns

Nov 7th: Seams Sew Lo

Week 2:

Nov 8th: Margarita on the Ross

Nov 9th: Stitched by Jennie

Nov 10th: Sewing with D

Monday Nov 13th: 5 outof 4 Patterns

Nov 14th: Tales of a Southern Mom

Week 3:

Nov 15th: Hazelnut Handmade

Nov 16th: Octaves of Color

Nov 17th: Kainara Stitches

Nov 18th: Kutti Couture

Nov 19th: The Petite Sewist

Monday Nov 20th: My Heart will Sew On

Nov 21st: Needles to Say

Week 4:

Nov 22nd: Back 40 Life

Nov 23rd: Lovemade Handmade

Nov 24th: Sewing by Ti

Nov 25th: On Wednesdays We Sew

Nov 26th: Paisley Roots

Monday Nov 27th: Mermaid Mama Designs

Nov 28th: Sew Haute Blog

Nov 29th: Ma Moose Handmade

Nov 30th: Everything Your Mama Made & More