I’m always excited when I get invited to play with a new pattern, whether it’s testing or pattern tours or just trying it out. And I adore Stacey for her dry humour and luscious eyebrows, and her boy-centric sewing always inspires. But for some reason I hesitated a moment – just a brief moment – when she invited me to the Bond pattern tour. The Bond really struck me as a reflection of Stacey’s fresh, modern style, and I wasn’t sure I was could do it justice. I mean we all know I am hip with the times, lol to my homies and all that, but I wasn’t sure if I could keep up to the pack. But I decided to go for it anyways, and try make it Jackson-flavoured, and man in the end it was more Jackson-y than I could have imagined.
I was very excited to sew my first garment for Jackson since the wee shorts I made when he was too small to fit in most store-bought clothes. I decided to go with a warm brownish-grey Riley Blake diagonal plaid pirate themed fabric paired with a dark brown tissue knit. I wouldn’t really recommend tissue knit if you’re not super comfortable with knits, I am and I still cringe a bit because if you mess up or the sewing machine starts to gobble it up, kiss that ish goodbye and start over. After I was finished I found an almost identical thicker brown knit on my desk and had words with myself about cleaning my craft room.
So at the beginning of January I had my fabrics picked out, I printed out my pattern, taped it, cut it. Then the closer and closer I got to the placket, the more freaked out I became. You see, when I was a newbie
sewest sewer when I was a sewing baby, I did not know what was supposed to be scary. I’ve used knits from day one because I didn’t find out they were hard until after I’d already been using them for ages. I’d added a collar onto a shirt that was absolutely terrible but the collar turned out just fine, no problemo. I always assumed it wasn’t them, it was me, when I had difficulties, so I just kept trying. But I never got a chance to try a placket before I got wise enough to taste fear. And taste it I did. I sampled and nibbled and procrastinated actually sewing this top until two days before the blog post was due. Thus effectively not giving myself very much time to start over if I did mess up. Clever.
Early this week I read and re-read the instructions for the placket, then went and read a few other placket tutorials I dug up on the internet. When I had read enough of them that they started to make sense and I could see the steps coming together and a bit of the what and why, I was ready to try. Later. So on Tuesday, I went to my sewing machine and iron, put on some Katy Perry, and Roared.
And here’s a secret. It wasn’t so bad. I’m a huge baby. And I wish I’d tried one before. I feel like trying this pattern will open a whole new world of placket-y goodness for me, which is totally awesome, because I absolutely adore a good placket. I instantly instagrammed my placket, and my IG sewing friends rejoiced with me. Then I went and showed my husband my placket, and he glanced at it for half a second and grunted acknowledgement. I was taken aback.
“No, dear, it’s a placket,” I gently explained. “It’s awesome. I did an awesome thing. Look at my placket.” He did not look at my placket, involved as he was watching a Disney Princess movie with our girls. I decided to forgive him
and maybe eat crackers on his side of the bed.
In his favour, he did admire the finished shirt, even if he thought it was for Olivia. In his defense, though, she did declare it hers the next morning, and then insist that I immediately make her an identical one when I put it on her brother anyways and pointed out the sizing.
In the end, I am so so glad I said yes to the dress. I mean, to the pattern. It is so completely perfect for Jackson. This shirt, like Jackson, looks Serious Stuff but is in reality playful and fun. He took a hissy fit when I shoved it on and buttoned it up, then stared solemnly at me for a moment after he was fully dressed. After deciding I wasn’t going to change my mind and let him be naked and free, he jumped onto the bed to roll and tumble and play with his dad in his new cute but very tumble-friendly shirt.
I do have to hem it yet – I put it on him to check and wasn’t able to take it off. I also made a few tiny mistakes, including topstitching the collar upside-down, which wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t had white bobbin thread. D’oh. And initially I put the placket in facing the GIRL way, and almost left it, but it was a super duper simple fix and considering how particular I had been thus far, really worth fixing. (And then the white topstitching on just the collar. Again, d’oh! I will probably pick that out and redo when I manage to pry the shirt off of him.) But I’m even happy with it as it is, and keep swooning over it and its perfect match to my playful sweetheart with the serious packaging.
Be sure to check out Sabra of Sew A Straight Line’s version of the Bond Top (and she is a way more experienced boy-sewperson than I am so do check hers out!), as well as the rest of the tour. If you hadn’t heard already, in honour of Kids Clothes Week and the pattern tour, you can use the code BONDTOP here to get $2 off this $8 pattern. Whether your style is fresh and modern, fun and funky, or a bit more subdued like Jackson’s here, the Bond Top is probably right for you. It’s definitely an advanced beginner / intermediate pattern, so if you are just starting on kids clothes I could probably suggest a few other places to start. But then again if nobody tells you this is hard, you might just try it, and it might take two tries to get something you’re delighted with, but you could totally do it. Just go for it!