I’m back today sharing some of the back to school gear I made for Nigel for Kids Clothes Week. Knowing I was going to be really busy this week I did all my prep + sewing over the last two weeks. Can you believe school starts here in less then 2 weeks?!? I’ve been crazy busy getting ready. Nigel now has a ton of raglan t-shirts and shorts to choose from plus a new-and very awesome– backpack!
Nigel asked me months ago to make him a new bigger backpack for 2nd grade. I had altered his kindergarten backpack last year to enlarge it but it was still a bit too small.
My makes for Nigel tend to have a British theme. His dad was born in the UK and moved over here when he was Nigel’s age. My biggest challenge was sourcing the Union Jack fabric. I love Riley Blake’s Union Jack fabric and used it for his first bag and a sarong for my husband but the fabric isn’t current so I’m always on the hunt.
I scoured the internet and first ordered from Lemon Tree Fabrics and purchased a large UJ Flag panel plus my lining fabrics. I then found the smaller blue flag panels over at Red Rooster Quilt Shop and ordered a few yards. (All the links are below!) Both stores had really quick shipping and huge selections. I used the panel for a wall hanging for Nigel’s room. Plus, I had enough fabric leftover to make two pillows for Nigel’s bedroom too!
My next search was for a great pattern. Most I found are either just too small or way too large. I wanted something simple but comfortable. I found this OOP Simplicity 8108 OS Marvel Avengers Backpack on amazon and it’s perfect. It was designed as a Marvel theme bag so it has all these extra patches and add on’s but I just left those all off. I made View A and then lined the interior by hand. I wish this had a full lining, only the zipper placket is lined, but the rest of the design is great.
Simplicity Union Jack Backpack:
The bag has a double zipper that closes at the center top and is really roomy. I was gifted a ton of nice zippers at my last ASG meeting and had a perfect matched red set. The leather handle, parachute buckles and straps were recycled from an old bag as well as interfacing and padding from old waterproof cloth pads from when the kids were babies. I really lucked out in finding all the hardware to repurpose!
The strap design on this bag is awesome! I love how it curves out of the top and covers the whole upper back. I have a feeling I’ll be altering this to make me a bag too.
I also wanted to make Nigel some back to school clothes and utilized his dad’s massive stash of old unworn clothes. I had a ton of t-shirts and dress pants to work with and decided to keep it really simple and just use one pattern and create these assembly line style. I used McCalls 7379 which has a Raglan Tee in Long and short sleeve, a tank top pattern and cargo shorts and pants in size 7-14! Everything I’d need and want in one pattern. I traced my pattern in a size 8 ahead of time since Nigel is in one of the smallest sizes and I want to reuse this pattern. It took about a day for all the cutting and prepping followed by about three days for the actual sewing.
McCall’s Raglan Tee’s and Shorts:
Recycled T Shirts and Dress Pants from my Husband
White Interlock from Marcy Tilton (really soft and easy to work with)
White Swim Lycra from my stash
When I made the shirts I had a few problems, mainly with the neckbands. Because my shirts are all refashioned from tees the stretch is much less so my neckbands were all way too small. I proceeded to wing it and added on larger bands but I’ll need to go back and fix a few that came out too wide. My Rashguard turned out beautifully though and that was made with 4 way spandex. So fabric was the only issue. I’ll be making more of these for Nigel too.
The shorts came together beautifully. I really like the set in angled pockets. I left off the side patch pockets as Nigel really doesn’t use pockets to hold stuff. If I make these in a more casual fabric I might add them. Since I was working with my husbands old work pants I kept them simple and clean-looking. I made 4 pairs and totally recommend this pattern.
This was way too many outfits to get Nigel to model in pics. He tried but lost patience rather quickly with all the outfit changes. Poor kiddo. He happily wears anything and everything I make him so no complaints here. And now my back to school sewing is COMPLETE!! The kiddos can’t wait to start at their new school in their new clothes! Happy KCW!