A Bamboo Sweater for Boo

Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
I’ve been having a bit of sewing guilt for the lack of boy sewing on the old blog. Apart from Boo’s ring bearer suit, I haven’t sewn anything for him since his birthday. The suit was a big project, but it’s unlikely that he’ll have an occasion to wear it again. The boy needs some everyday clothes.

I wanted to make something for Boo that he would WANT to wear. I usually dress him in cute preppy outfits, since I’m the one looking at him for most of the day. Hee hee. He doesn’t fuss about clothes, but he’s starting to notice that other boys dress differently–in the graphic tee and sweatpants kind of way. I would love to say that I wouldn’t mind if he dressed like that, but I just can’t. I can’t handle the way most graphic tees are too wide and too short. Too loud and super hero-intense. Too many cheesy clichés. Not to mention, some weird poly blend knit that pills with lint balls. Don’t even get me started on sweatpants…

Anyhoo, Boo’s all-time favourite tv show/toys/books are the Octonauts! They are the cutest crew of ocean explorers who learn about sea creatures on their adventures aboard the Octopod. When we were in Vancouver for Uncle E’s wedding, Boo drew this picture of his Gup-A:
Boo's Drawing of a Gup-A
I was shocked. Seriously amazed at my little boy’s ability to depict a 3D tangible object on a piece of flat paper, using only a handful of markers. Before Boo produced his work of art, I had only seen him draw scribble scrabbles–colouring pages without even looking down at the paper. A huge milestone. I mean, what kind of sewing mommy would I be if I didn’t make him a sweater with the Gup-A on it?

I used the field trip raglan t-shirt pattern by Oliver+S to make Boo a bamboo stretch French terry sweater. I can’t get over how soft bamboo is! Boo’s stripy field trip raglan has been in constant rotation and is starting to get small, so I made a size 4 and increased the sleeve length by 0.5″.
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
I used Pellon Wonder-Under to applique each shape onto the front of the shirt before using a triple-stitch to secure the fabric pieces. I placed a piece of Swedish tracing paper underneath to stabilize the fabric, tearing it away afterwards. I’m really happy with how my Gup-A turned out!
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
This is my 3rd go at the pattern and each time I make it, I have trouble with the neckband–it always seems too short and narrow. I tried attaching the neckband with the same fabric (twice), but then I gave up and used ribbing, adding 0.5″ to the width. Soooo much better! Just a small tip: when attaching the neckband using a serger, disengage the cutting knife, just in case you have to try a 3rd time to get it right.
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
I added my usual cuffs and hem band. Since there is a lot of stretch in the ribbing, I shortened them for a tighter fit. I like how the sweater stays put at the waist.
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
Boo is really happy with his new Gup-A sweater! The Gup-A he’s holding is not the same as the one in his drawing. His collection of Octonaut toys is getting bigger with each visit with Mama & Yeye. This boy even watches Octonaut toy reviews on YouTube–he is an expert on all things Octonauts.

I paired the sweater with his linen art museum trousers. I had to let down the hem by 1.5″, giving the trousers new life, but they are still a bit short! I’ll have to let them down some more–the only thing worse than sweatpants are pants that are too short.
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
Boo's Bamboo Gup-A Sweater
My sewing guilt has been absolved! I even sacrificed my old turquoise pajama tee for the Gup-A applique. The blue fleece is from Boo’s garden gnome costume and the grey French terry is from the sweater that I made for Mama (which she still wears!). The yellow is from the beak and feet of a penguin stuffy I made for Froo. When I was pregnant with Froo, I became obsessed with the book Cute Dolls and churned out stuffy after stuffy.

These little guys welcomed Froo into her nursery:
Cute Dolls
Thanks for visiting!

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11 responses to “A Bamboo Sweater for Boo

  1. What a fun outfit! I hear you with the graphic tee’s. And sweats??? I am not a fan at all! Those stuffy’s are adorable too! I think I need to get that book to make some Christmas presents…..

    • Thanks Karly! We are kindred-sewing-spirits! I’m not sure if I was just nesting or if stuffy-making is highly addictive, but once you start, it’s hard to stop!

  2. oh I love this! your boy must be so happy!! how lukcy are our children to have mothers who sew handmade things for them!!

  3. This is so awesome! Fantastic Gup A. Nice job!
    I’m constantly having ocean facts told to me and know more about the Mariana Trench and Giant Spider Crabs than I ever thought I would. Love the Octonauts.
    This sweater is the reason I love boy sewing so much. Well done!

    • Thanks Shelley! It’s crazy how much the kids know about sea creatures from watching the Octonauts. Just now, Boo was teaching me the difference between spider crabs and yeti crabs.

  4. He is just adorable! Love the sweater- so profesh! 🙂 I always love your photos (and that awesome wall!). -E

    • Thanks Erin! I have a very hard time taking photos of Boo. I usually settle for “good enough”, but now there’s less sunlight, so whatever isn’t blurry will pass as somewhat blog-worthy. His smile is what gets me though! 😉

  5. Oh Irene, I feel more guilty than you! The only thing I made recently for my son was spidey costume for Halloween, I haven’t sewed any practical garment for him since last year. Your applique is so good, you make me want to sew it for my son, he loves Octonauts too. Thanks for inspirations! 🙂

    • Thanks Yeka! At least your boy got a new costume–Boo wore last year’s costume this year! I think applique is a great way to add detail to boy clothing–you should definitely try it!

  6. Super cute! I remember Japanese moms (of boys) cried for boys clothes other than super hero-ish graphic tees when I was in US.. Hope he stays in this satisfied with mom-selected clothes stage for a little bit longer.

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