boy · boy sewing · DIY

Rag-tag boys

I’m a pretty big fan of raglans. They’re a quick and easy sew, with no sleeves to set in, and colour blocking is built right in. They are a fantastic way to showcase a favourite knit fabric, and as a super bonus, they are very comfortable as the shoulder cut allows for a wide unrestricted range of movement. They’re a wardrobe piece that men and women, boys and girls can all rock in equal measure. And at the end of the day, they are just so darn good looking and satisfying. 

This saga starts with Dash and I snuggling in my room, because when baby 5 dropped a few days short of 33 weeks pregnant and I was having nightly regular Braxton Hicks (something I don’t personally experience until the last two weeks, which tends to just not stop one day and that’s labour) More Chilling was in order. I had one of my handmade tops on my bed, and Dash was wrapping it around himself, so I asked him if he wanted me to make him a shirt. YES! So he picked out a fabric from my stash, and I made what I had planned to out of it – the Titchy Threads Safari Raglan. When I cast about in late winter/early spring for pattern recommendations for a raglan for my boys, this one kept coming up, and we’ve been friends since. I had the long sleeves in his size cut out, so I folded the pattern piece to create a shorter sleeve. 

He was so thrilled, and Jackson was pretty excited as well. I had planned on using the same pattern and body fabric but with a different coordinating fabric for Jackson’s eventual top. 

Jackson, however, had different plans, and demanded the exact same shirt. So, let it be known that I don’t force my kids to wear matching handmade clothes. I even give a brief token protest to suggest an alternative. But the heart wants what it wants! So the next day, I made it happen. 


As one sharp-eyed sewing friend noticed already (the best of kinds, the worst of kinds…. Ha!) Dash’s top was finished and Jackson’s is serged on the bottom hem. I cannot for the life of me get my machine to behave appropriately with a twin needle. The only troubleshoot I can find yet is a suggestion to buy a secondary bobbin casing specifically for this, mark it as such, and lower the bobbin tension in that casing. This grates my every nerve, if only because there is a twin needle setting within the stitch settings so it really seems like my machine shouldn’t be such a jerk about this. To be fair, if I wasn’t aiming for the stretchy hem I’m supposed to be able to achieve with the twin needle, it would be fine. But I digress… I will theoretically get around to finishing the second shirt a bit more attractively yet. Until then I will sigh wistfully over the idea of a cover stitch machine for hemming, while acknowledging that we have to finish our basement renovations before its practical for me to cast my eye around in that direction. Fortunately my kids don’t care a whit about professional finishes, and the boys are just thrilled! 

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