My cousin just got married (congrats again!), and the boys were given the honor of joining in the Kids' Flower Brigade in front of the bride. The wedding color was eggplant purple for the ladies, and the men were dressed in grey and/ or pinstriped suits.
The boys and I took off to the fabric store after failing to find anything cute enough online (yes, I was going to buy them off-the-rack outfits). I am so happy I couldn't find what I wanted because this was a really fun project. It was especially fun because I have made the pieces before and already had the patterns and had done the dry run of each part already (here is my previous suit and here are the pants (here they are as shorts and here is about the buttonhole elastic I made myself)~ and here is the suit jacket I did not make and am happy about skipping because it was way too hot and would have hidden the vests).
We found eggplant purple synthetic soft material in the remnant bin (otherwise I would be more specific about the type of fabric!) and grey pinstriped suiting with blue and white and grey stripes. Perfect! We were off and running.
The pants are the "Little Heartbreaker Pants" from the Sewing For Boys book. I made them in size 2T and 4T and added an inch to each pattern. The boys currently wear 4T and 6T, but, having made her patterns before, I knew they run very big. I also skipped the bottom binding and hemmed them instead. I used the purple to line the pockets and waistband. I haven't made this pattern for a while, so I forgot that I was confused by the faux fly instructions and had to rip it out the first time. They ended up a bit baggier than I had expected, and the front pleats both go the same direction instead of the same direction in relation to the midline. Oops. I also chose to stitch the front waistband lining down as part of the front piece instead of as part of the whole waistband after they were constructed. This made it easier to put it together, but it did make the topstitching look uneven from the outside. I don't think anyone but me noticed. I made my own buttonhole elastic for the waistband.
The vests were made with Simplicity 8442 again. I did it without the vest buckles in back, and just stitched the adjustable ends together. I did this because I didn't have any buckles, and the width of each was ok on the kids-- they didn't need to be pulled in at all with a buckle. I used the same sizing I did previously and made one a couple of inches longer than the other. They could have both been wider, and the larger size could have used wider arm holes. Each could have also been an inch or two longer still. When I made these before, I struggled with sewing the front and back together under the arms. This time, I innovated by stitching the outer layer first (after turning and before topstitching), then stitching the inner layer and covering the seam with a sort of Hong Kong Finish (this is a fancy way of saying I cut a strip of the purple as if it was bias tape and covered the seam with it). I did this because suiting ravels and looks sloppy fairly quickly at the seams. I should have also done it with the pants; it was my first time doing this and was really easy and made the inside look a lot sharper. I perfected buttonholes on my machine (finally) and they went quickly. Next time, I will buy matching buttons... though I was lucky enough to find two and three that matched from my collection~ even though I wanted five! With the topsticthing, I used a wider straight stitch and could have gone even wider.
Lastly, the bow ties were made using Little Londyn's Little Guy Ties pattern. I had to cut my velcro in half to make it narrow enough to fit, and it worked. I had forgotten that I was confused the first time I made it about how to finish the ends of the neckband. The pattern directs you to another description when finishing the ends. It would have been far easier to make the band a half inch longer and turned the ends inward a quarter of an inch on both sides than to think about it after stitching the velcro on.
We were all really happy with how the ensembles turned out. The off-the-rack chambray shirts were cute, although each was a tiny bit big on the boys and somehow their shirts kept coming untucked.
The bow ties and vests were comfortable enough for them to leave on for many hours.
Overall, the project was a success. Cute boys, nice outfits, nice wedding...