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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: CatholicMum
Date: 11-02-2004, 08:58 AM (1 of 3)
I'm struggling with clothing my teen - he's 13, 5'4" and 160 lbs (36" waist, 27/8" inseam). I can't find ready-made clothes to fit and I'm not having success finding patterns either.

I'm a self-taught sew-er and the only pattern adjustments I'm familiar with involve length and waist. I can get pants to fit at the hem and waist but then they are super baggy on him - I'm not making tailored pants, just casual ones.

Any tips on adjusting patterns? Choosing patterns that are easy to adjust? Choosing pattern sizes? Help! (any advise on altering ready-made would also be appreciated)

User: CatholicMum
Member since: 10-31-2004
Total posts: 19
From: auzzi
Date: 11-03-2004, 10:10 PM (2 of 3)
I don't know how helpful this will be -

First - involve your son in the making of his clothes - this will save the "embarrassement" of later years of mother sewing his clothes. He will see it as "cool" and he may even like to sew himself.

Multi-sized patterns are always excellent value.
1. Take your son's measurements - waist, hip thigh [around one leg, high up near the crotch] and inside/outside leg.
2. read the back of the envelope to choose a size.
3. If he is between sizes, choose the smaller one. Don't worry about leg length to much, at this point.

Kwik sew 3224 [8-16yrs] has two types of pull-on pants with elastic around the waist. One's leg cuffs are hemmed while the other is elasticized. The pants are very easy to sew and have special easy-to-follow sewing instructions.

Kwik sew 2543 [8-16yrs] has two versions of a more tailored pants and a pair of shorts. The waistband is elasticized at the back with a straight front waistband. All have front side pockets. The first is pull-on pants with a fake fly, knee patches, and elastic in casing at the ankles. The next has an actual fly zipper, belt loops, patch pockets with pleats, and pocket flaps with button closures. The shorts are a variation on the second pair of pants.

NOW before you panic, if you work your way through a simple pattern, then I am sure that you and your son will work your way through the second pattern. It is a good chance to work together, picking and choosing what, and then working out how it all comes together.

1. never cut the KWIKSEW pattern - trace off onto paper, or cheap non-sew interfacing, the sizing that you want. Then you can re-use especially when your son grows older.
2. Length is added by cutting/spreading the leg pattern the required distance and inserting a strip of extra paper - never add it on at the hem-line.

These two patterns make the basis of a good begining wardrobe for a boy. The second pattern may seem a bit advanced, but you can do it.

Work on the pull-one trousers first. With each pair that you sew, do one new piece of "fancy sewing". Get the waistband right before trying doing pockets. Just leave them out until next time. The same with each other bit - knee patches, belt loops, fly zippers, patch pockets with pleats, and pocket flaps

* The Half-Elasticized waistband is an excellent for everyone when a gathered waistline is too bulky.
* Learning how to put pockets in is necessary - where else is one's treasures supposed to go?
* belt-loops with elastic in the waistband seems a bit redundant - but who knows when a "cool" belt will present itself?
* fly-fronts, I'm afraid, are part and parcel of the entire situation. How else are you going to sew those "radical" black jeans?
* pleated pockets - I don't like them so I do patch-pockets.
* pocket flaps? you're on your own - mine always look like lumpy pudding.....
User: auzzi
Member since: 10-28-2003
Total posts: 56
From: CatholicMum
Date: 11-04-2004, 09:54 AM (3 of 3)
Thanks! I will look for the Kwik-sew patterns. I have made sleep-pants, ties and boxers for him already. He likes picking out fabrics and often comments that I sew more for his little sister than for him (4 y/o girls are MUCH easier to find patterns and fabric for, lol) so I'm not that concerned about the embarrassment factor.
User: CatholicMum
Member since: 10-31-2004
Total posts: 19
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