Have you seen the new kid fashion sewing magazine STYLO yet? You need to. It really is absolutely beautiful and inspiring. Even if you don’t sew, the pictures and fashion inspiration are stunning. And if you do sew, especially for children, it is like nothing you have ever seen. I am so proud and honored to have been a part of it.
The models for my feature were my oldest son and his 11 year old cousin. They are just six months apart and best friends. They had been looking forward to this photo shoot for almost as long as I had been working on putting everything together, and it really was so much fun following them around and listening to their weird conversations and watching them interact. Today, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite outtakes from the shoot, those that show their friendship and goofy boyness the best,while going over a few of the details of what I made for the STYLO feature.
First, let’s talk about the awesome Serbian Soldier pack Kael is wearing upside down here.
I knew I wanted a sort of “lost boys” look for the kids. I wanted to tell a story of a couple of friends off on an adventure ala Stand By Me. So they needed a pack for their journey. I found this one at the Army Surplus store. It stunk like oil, chemicals and men, and the fumes gave me a horrible headache driving home with it in the car after I bought it. But it is just too cool!
I wanted to get a few shots of the boys going through the pack, setting up a sort of camp. But all I got out of them were, like, 20 shots like this. I’d packed matches to have them get a fire going (we were in a zoned camp ground), but everything was so wet and the boys were so crazy, it just never happened. Still, cool pack! And I’m happy to say it no longer stinks.
I’d gone into the Army Surplus to find pins and patches to add detail to the boys’ jackets. I found plenty of US military pins for Kael’s look. I went with an Army US pin and some Army Airborne wings. My dad, Kael’s grandpa, is a retired Army helicopter pilot, so these are kind of a nod to him.
Kael’s jacket is made from an Army blanket my father-in-law donated to the cause. I was so excited when he gave me the blanket! The medical emblem on the back was just too perfect. Wanting to give the emblem as much play as I could, I cut the pattern pieces of the jacket so the graphic would be in the center back. See how nice it looks as Kael wrestles his cousin?
The jacket pattern is the Jude Jacket from Shwin Designs (affiliate link). The Jude goes up to a size 8, so I graded it a little bigger to fit Kael. I also added some tailoring seams at the back and front. Because the blanket is an itchy wool, I lined the jacket with some blue camo knit from Michael Levine HERE. The rest of the jacket is right on pattern. And I love it. It’s such a great, classic design and can be used with all kinds of fabrics to change the look from casual to dressy, warmer weather or cool weather.
Kael’s pants are the Shaped Boys’ Trousers from Burda. The fabric is Vintage Draper Denim from Michael Levine HERE. I stuck completely to pattern on the pants. They are funky. You can see the exposed button fly. I love it. I used some metal buttons, and I think the look is too cool. Harder to see in the pictures is the rounded shape of the jeans. They have a total bow-leg shape, you can kind of get a feel for by the bagginess at the knees. There is also a gusset at the crotch. Super fun and just different. Kael’s shirt is the Classic Polo from Peek-A-Boo Patterns (affiliate link). I changed the pattern only slightly. I omitted the collar, just doing a bound neckline, and I did some color blocking with the fabric. Other than that, right on pattern, which is a fantastic design with such a great fit. The fabric is neon green knit from Michael Levine HERE. The grey was just from my stash.
On Luca, my nephew, is the Urban Hoodie from Heidi & Finn. I’ve been wanting to sew this pattern for a couple of years now, and was so excited to finally have the chance. I was a dork about it, though. I didn’t bother to read the fabric recommendations until after I started the Hoodie. I was using some woven camo from Jo-Ann Stores, lined with a faux fur from Michael Levine HERE. The pattern is for a stretch knit, so you can actually pull the Hoodie over the kid’s head. I did a quick fitting with my son, and discovered there was no way my woven/fur version was going to stretch over Luca’s dreded head. So I changed the pattern just slightly. The original Urban Hoodie design has the banded bottom as a solid piece, with just an opening at the top to pull over the head. I cut the banded bottom and left the Hoodie completely open, adding a zipper closure. Quick and easy hack to a great pattern.
You can see one of Luca’s Communist Youth pins in the above photo. I thought it would be a fun contrast to Kael’s US jacket, adding USSR paraphernalia to Luca’s. I bought the pins and an USSR paratrooper patch off eBay. They are super cool, and I wish you could see more of them in the photos. The blue of the patch matches the blue in Kael’s jacket lining. I also used red thread for the jacket, which is a really cool contrast in person, but pretty much doesn’t show up in any of the pictures at all.
Luca’s pants are the Primo Pants from Tinman Patterns. They are so very cool. I picked this pattern because I loved the interesting seam lines. There is a rounded yoke across the back, that extends down and around the pant legs. Then the front mimics those lines with some top pockets that go across the front of the pants in a kind of pouch style. I added a zipper fly, to “grow” the pattern up a bit for a pre-teen boy, rather than the pattern’s elastic waist. The fly cuts into the one side’s pocket, adding a third tiny pocket actually on the fly itself. I totally want to make another pair of the Primo. I love unique, interesting designs. Luca’s shirt is another from Peek-A-Boo Patterns (affiliate link), the Grand Slam Tee. The fabric is from Girl Charlee. I love this pattern. I used it in the kids’ Christmas PJs. It is a must-have staple if you sew for boys.
I spent a long time finding the perfect shoes for the boys. I needed something rugged, and really wanted combat boots. I kept finding girl style combat boots, but was stumped for something more masculine in a kid size. And then I discovered these Palladium boots (affiliate link). Palladium was originally a French rubber tire company, that switched to footwear after WWII, including boots for the French Foreign Legion! You don’t research shoe companies for fun? Anyway, so pretty much exactly what I wanted. I love these boots! They are super cool-looking, and totally sturdy and well made. The boys spent the whole shoot climbing hills and running over rough, scattered rocks on an incline. Total recommend.
And now you need to go back over to STYLO and soak in all the amazing work and talent that went into putting the magazine together. And just be inspired by great design, beautiful children and photography, and fabulous ideas and interviews. I can’t wait to see what they put together for Spring!
Urban Hoodie by Heidi & Finn: Outer fabric is camouflage cotton twill from Jo-Ann Stores, lining is faux fur from Michael Levine/lowpricefabric.com, USSR military patch and pins purchased off eBay
Grand Slam Tee by Peek a Boo Patterns (affiliate link): Neon green and charcoal stripe knit from Girl Charlee, Solid charcoal knit from SAS Fabrics in LA
Primo Pants by Tinman Patterns: Duck cloth from Jo-Ann Stores
USSR Military Pins and Patch: eBay
Serbian Soldier Pack: Army Surplus Store
Boots: Palladium (affiliate link) On Kael:
Jude Jacket by Shwin Designs (affiliate link): Outer fabric is wool army blanket from my father in law but can be found at Army Surplus or eBay, lining is blue camo knit from Michael Levine/lowpricefabric.com, military pins from Army Surplus
Classic Polo by Peek A Boo Patterns (affiliate link) Grey ribbing from Organic Cotton Plus, neon green knit from Michael Levine/lowpricefabric.com
Shaped Boys’ Trousers by Burda: Draper Denim from Michael Levine/lowpricefabric.com
US Military Pins: Army Surplus Store
Serbian Soldier Pack: Army Surplus Store
Boots: Palladium (affiliate link)