Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Little Gentlemen's Closet Tie Pattern Review and DISCOUNT!

A few weeks ago, 
Michelle from Little Gentlemen's Closet emailed me and asked if I would like to check out her tie patterns for little men. I jumped at the chance, because I had been looking for a tie pattern that didn't require a bunch of hand sewing.



I was thrilled when this pattern required NO hand sewing at all. HOORAY! Just what I had been looking for!

The tie pattern comes with a great variety of sizes - 6 months to 9 years - which is great for a mom like me with boys in a wide variety of age ranges. Sawyer's tie is the smallest size - 6-18 months - and it fits perfectly, and I think will last him through the suggested age range for this size. Quinn's tie is sized 3T-6, and Riley's was the largest size, up to 9 years. 


The finished tie is two pieces - a neckband with a clip, and the actual tie portion. The neckband is adjustable, and Michelle ships you two clips when you purchase the pattern. Additional clips are available in her shop.



You tie the "dangly" portion around the neckband, and Michelle provides a youtube video on how to tie the tie. Honestly, it took me a solid 10-15 minutes to figure out how to tie the tie the first time I tried, but I think this is more my fault for not watching the whole video once first before I tried it. I'm too impatient - and the video is only two minutes! I recommend watching the video all the way through once before trying to tie. You should have no problem at all if you do that. 



The "dangly" portion of the tie is actually two pieces, because the pattern is designed to fit on only a fat quarter of fabric. The result is that the finished tie has a seam in the middle. It took me a couple of tries when tying the tie to keep the seam from showing on the front of the knot, but this can very easily be eliminated if you use a regular quarter yard of fabric and just cut the tie as one big long piece rather than two pieces. I had plenty of fabric, so that is what I did with my second and third ties, and it worked great. 


The tie portion uses fusible interfacing, and the only other change I made to the pattern was to apply the interfacing to my fabric before cutting. This is just my personal preference, to apply interfacing before cutting.


The boys LOVED their ties, and wore them all day on Easter. They got tons of compliments, and Quinn LOVED being able to pick out his own fabric. He's on a pink kick right now. 


He told me "I look like DADDY!", which to Quinn, who is a SERIOUS Daddy's boy, was super exciting.


As you can see here, Riley's tie is a bit short, and skinny. Skinny ties are cool, right? The width of the pattern doesn't change as sizes increase - just the length. I knew going into this tie that it was likely to be a bit small for him, because Riley is giant. Even though he just turned 9, he is 5 feet tall and weighs in at around 92 pounds - much larger than your average 9 year old. Michelle offered instructions on how to make the tie larger for him, but ultimately I decided to sew the pattern as directed so that I could see the sizing. I would say it would fit fine for a less exceptionally sized 9 year old. :)


Wanna make some ties for your guys? Michelle is offering a 20% discount to readers of The Boy Trifecta! Head on over the Little Gentlemen's Closet and grab the pattern! Use code SAVE20 at checkout to save 20%. She also has a bowtie pattern, or if you don't feel like sewing, she'll make them for you.

Ultimately, this pattern is SUPER quick to sew, and results in a very nice finished product with NO HAND SEWING! WOO HOO! I love that the ties are adjustable and can grow with my boys. I think I will enjoy using this pattern to make ties for every special event we have. With the ties coming together in WELL under an hour (I think my last one took about 30 minutes, including cutting), there's no excuse not to!

Thanks, Michelle for letting me try out the pattern! I love my finished ties!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

We spent our Easter Sunday hanging out with great friends and family. Our good friend Alex was in from Chicago, and he hung out with us this morning and made origami boats with the boys.


Such concentration!


We sailed the origami boats full of Lego Minifig crayons left over from Riley's birthday party.

 (Yes that IS a little tiny remnant of pink nailpolish on Q's fingers. Despite what you've heard, the world isn't coming to an end over boys in pink polish.)



 Then we got all dressed up and made funny faces at the camera. This tie pattern is from Little Gentlemen's Closet, and I'll be talking more about it soon. 



Hope your Easter was as fun as ours!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Birthday, Riley!

Monday was my sweet Riley's 9th birthday. I can't believe this kid is nine. He was just this adorable baby like, a second ago. (Forgive the picture quality - they aren't digital and had to be photographed/scanned in.)




He's grown up into a fantastic big brother. He's funny and silly and WICKED smart. Just an all around good kid. 


Paper airplane 1

I love you buddy! Happy birthday!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Life

Thanks for all of your kind words and suggestions about losing everything on my hard drive. It's amazing how losing all my electronic data can put things in perspective. I heard myself saying over and over "My entire LIFE was in that computer!" but really, that's not true.

My entire life is this:



and this:



and this (this one can't be bothered to look up from his new Kindle):



It's finding this poem in Riley's backpack (notice the first letter of the lines spell "basement"):



And getting an anniversary card that was SUPPOSED to say "Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary", but instead the florist sent this:


I'll be back more regularly next week (hopefully!) with a post about our Lego party and a pattern review of this cute tie pattern from Little Gentlemen's Closet. But, for the rest of this weekend, I'm just going to get back to enjoying life.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

MIA

Sorry for the silence around here. Last week I had a blue-screen-of-death computer crash, and my hard drive is out with the data recovery guys. I'm hoping that all of my photos and my dissertation aren't totally lost. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

In the meantime, please let this adorable face brighten you day. Cause seriously, it is impossible not to smile around this kid.


Sawyer turns nine months old tomorrow! Happy .75, buddy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

What to get a 9-year-old boy for his birthday

I feel like older boys are hard to gift. They are also hard to make things for. It's easy to fall into the video game slump, since Riley would basically play Wii all day every day if I let him. I don't - but he's playing it right now, so...MOVING RIGHT ALONG. 

Here are my gifting guidelines:
1. Must be at least a little educational OR
2. Must be at least a little creative BUT
3. I really want both educational and creative.

So here's what we got him. Maybe this list will help next time you have to gift a 9-12 year old boy. For full disclosure, Amazon sends me a few cents if you buy any of the items from these links. 


Random origami supplies. He likes origami (I think mostly because his friends do) so we got him this origami book and this animal paper set, and this regular origami paper set.



Riley LOVES making paper airplanes, so we got this Fold N Fly Paper Airplanes Kit. He really likes figuring out which types of folding make for the fastest airplanes, and loves fancy paper, so this set looked like the best of both worlds. 


I got him some Guardians of Ga'hoole books. I don't really get what is so fun or interesting about these books, but he really seems to like them, and I like owls, so I let him buy them. :) We're also into reading Roald Dahl, Percy Jackson and the Olympiansand The Mysterious Benedict Society. Biographies are also hugely popular in our house. We like the "Who Was" series. 


And, these might be my favorites. 



I got him two paper toy books - Papertoy Monsters: Make Your Very Own Amazing Papertoys! and Urban Paper: 26 Designer Toys to Cut Out and Build. These books actually have paper toys inside that you can pop out, fold up, and play with! It's like origami/kirigami, but cooler. They also have blank templates or discs with blank templates so they can decorate their own monsters, but don't have to worry about the logistics of figuring out how to cut and fold them - that work is already done for them on the templates. Love them. 


I forgot to snap a picture of it, but we also got the Snap Circuits Flying Saucer to go with his other Snap Circuits set. I highly recommend these sets. He really seems to like them, and I feel like he is learning about how circuits work when he plays with them, which is something I can absolutely NOT teach him about. Electricity and circuits baffle me, which is why I am a sociologist and not an electrical engineer. 


I'm still considering one last gift. Have any of you played the LEGO Creationary Game? It gets sort of mixed reviews, with most of the criticisms saying that it is hard, and doesn't have enough pieces. We can always add more Legos (Riley recently got this set and loves it), but is the difficulty appropriate for a 9-year-old? Anyone know?


 Only 6 Days Till Party Time!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Vote for Blogger of the Month!

Hey folks! Just popping in to ask you to head over to Today's Top 20 to vote for Blogger of the Month!


If you've never been to Today's Top 20, head over now! Amanda scours the craft blogs for the best of the best and posts 20 awesome ideas in each post! A-MAZING! She also posts her own crafty goodness at We Are The Joneses.

Right now, voting is going on for March Blogger of the Month, and I helped pick the top 10! Go vote for your favorite!

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