Sunday, 7 June 2009

Do-It-Yourself Duds

With the seasons gradually shifting from spring to summer, all members of our family have been enthusiastically digging out our summertime duds. Since we live on the coast, it takes a wee bit longer for the mercury to rise in our parts. We’ve all welcomed an opportunity to sport our shorts and sandals on a more regular basis.

As the boys began trying on last year’s summer wardrobe, I was shocked at how much the two of them had grown in a year. Muffy is definitely catching up with big brother and there is a mere 3-pound difference between the two of them. The hand-me-downs I had planned for my littlest boy are a bit more snug than I had anticipated. Since Muffy is deep in the trenches of potty training, tight shorts that are difficult to pull down simply don't fit the bill when an emergency strikes. I’ve actually always struggled with finding proper fitting bottoms for boys. When they were in cloth diapers, it was particularly difficult to find something with a wide enough waist and seat to fit over the extra bulk. Now that these two have graduated to underpants, I still struggle when it comes to shopping for clothing. Although many of the “little man” styles are cute, the fabrics are often rough (as Chi-Chi’s always reminds me) and they are very difficult to pull on and off.

I decided to take the clothing challenge into my own hands and create a quick, fun and super easy summer wardrobe for the boys. I chose a very inexpensive and light cotton/linen blend for bottoms. I stitched up several pairs of shorts and pants for both little guys. The fabric is cool, the elastic waistband is soft and comfortable and the neutral color means they can mix and match with anything. My limited sewing skills restricted my ability to create tops from scratch. I picked up several plain 100% cotton t-shirts and set to work creating a series of fun and colorful designs. I followed this tutorial on, which outlines the process for appliqué on t-shirts. We also picked up some fabric transfer paper at the local office supply store and transferred one of Chi-Chi’s favorite drawings onto a special shirt. What a rewarding experience for Chi-Chi to be able to proudly display this masterpiece on his belly! Because our summer weather can often be a little on the cold side, I added two plain navy blue hoodies to the clothing collection, which I embellished with swimming fishies and a ferocious alligator, as requested of course!

The custom t-shirt collection was well received by the wee ones. Chi-Chi proudly wore his new apple tree shirt to picture day at preschool this week. This looked much more presentable than the grubby little PJ top he INSISTS on wearing most other days! The "Daddy Look-A-Like" business shirts are by far the favorites. I found Muffy rolling around in the dirt sporting his "Sunday Best", happy as a pig. I realize that in the very near future, the boys will likely balk at the idea of a mommy-made wardrobe. I’ll milk the enthusiasm while it lasts! As for cost, the bottoms cost about two dollars a piece and the tops about five dollars everything in. Not too bad in my books!

Chi-Chi and Muffy are set for some fun in the sun. Bring on the sun I say!

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