04 June 2012

OUT Chapter 3: Jessica of Running with Scissors

We have a very dangerous guest today.  One that runs with scissors.  Yes, Jessica of Running with Scissors is here today to share some of her sweet boy's naughty acts ;).  Jessica makes sewing for a boy look like a whole lot of fun, like her Boy's Euro Swim trunks.  Aren't they so fantastic?  Or her dinosaur tails?  My girls aren't so much into dinosaurs, but you can bet I'll be making a whole dinosaur family's worth as soon as Drummer can walk.  I'm so pleased to have Jessica here today, sharing one of their favorite books.  Welcome, Jessica!
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I’m just thrilled to contribute for Once Upon A Thread!  

It’s been so fun and inspiring following previous chapters and these last two weeks.  I was ecstatic when Katy emailed me and I knew right away I wanted to share No David! by David Shannon. 
There’s a whole series of David books, all inspired by the author’s mom sending him a book he had written as a five-year-old. 
The only text in his childhood story was “no David” repeated on each page and drawings of himself doing things that made his mom say “No!” 
So he wrote another version as adult which portrays the antics common to most little boys.

I love this book because it’s funny and the illustrations really tell the story.  

The portrayal of David is childlike, wild, and his pointy teeth resemble my own son’s self portrait.

david9davidDavid wears the same signature outfit throughout the series: red jeans and a blue and white striped tee shirt.

His mom is shown with a green skirt and blue polka dot blouse. 

So I chose to recreate the clothes for us after my, RJ, kept pointing out “David shirts” when he’d notice any top with blue and white stripes. 
David’s shirt is pieced knit, and I used a pair of H&M jeans to make the pants from narrow red corduroy. Rather than using a polka dot print for the mom top, I made a blouse with old ivory drapery and added a dot texture to make the french knot blouse, to go along with the pleated pocket skirt.
So this is a story about a little boy and his mom and all the things he does that make his mom say “No!”
In the book, David gets into trouble on every page,
sneaking cookies….
dragging mud in the house…
and picking his nose.
My son, RJ, sometimes makes the same sad choices that David does, like not cleaning up his toys…
getting mad and earning a time out,

or jumping on the bed.

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But RJ also makes some choices that make his mom say “No!” that weren’t in the book:

Finally, there’s a page where David’s mom says Yes!
It’s the last page and despite all his sad choices, David’s mom says “Yes, I love you.”
We love this book and it’s a good opportunity to talk about good vs bad behavior and it’s really fun to follow David’s antics throughout the whole series.

For today I thought I’d quickly show you how to make the tee shirt with the pieced stripes.
I used knit yardage for the blue, and upcyled a men’s white t-shirt for the white strips, using the original hem on the men’s shirt for the body and sleeve hems (easy cheat!)
I used a serger to sew the entire tee shirt except  the neckline, but a stretch stitch on a regular machine would be great too.

For the body, I started with 4” wide strips and sewed them together into two (front and back) big stripe blocks.
From a big square block I used my son’s rashguard as a pattern to cut the sleeve holes, angled shoulder seams, and the curved neck.
At this point you can sew the front to back at the side seams and shoulder seams, making sure to match up your stripes as you sew.
The idea was the same with the sleeves, just sewing a stripe block and cutting out the sleeve shape.
This time I used 2.5” tall strips.
At this point you can sew the armpit seam on the sleeves and insert them into the shirt body.
For the neck I cut a 1.5” wide strip of blue, pressed it in half, then sewed raw edges touching around the neckline.
Then to finish it off, I top-stitched around the neck seam with a double needle to hold the seam allowance down.

Thanks for having us, we both had fun participating!
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I love that last photo.  How very clever to even make the mother's outfit, Jessica.  Thank you for being here today!


  1. This is my favorite post yet- I live that book, and I love sewing for boys! Jess, everything is perfect. That photo of RJ carrying his sister slays me :)

  2. Oh man Jessica you beet me to it....I was (and still am) going to say the same thing (even though I did not know the book and do not particularly like sewing for boys) BUT this is my favorite post in this series :-) Love the photos and the story....made me smile a lot....! Thank you so much for arranging this whole series - amazing....like the rest of your blog!!!

  3. Coolest OUT e v e r!!! Thanks for making my whole family laugh this morning! Soooo awesome!

  4. I need to read that book! My daughter would love it! Love RJ's illustration and the outfits. Now I just need a white shirt and some knit, oh wait I have that all ready to go. :)

  5. Love that post and the outfits... actually I was waiting for this book to turn up sometime in OUT. It is just such a reflection of real life with/of a little kid and the illustrations are plain awesome! our copy of the book is totally torn apart because my daughter loves it so much!

  6. Love Jessica from Running with Scissors! She comes up with the best stuff and this project was no exception!

    We love the David books too!

  7. "Your shirt is not a napkin" gets said at least once a day here. Along with "your pants are not a napkin," and "the underside of the counter is not a napkin," and on and on. And there are so very many things that aren't kleenexes, either, you know? Very cute outfits.

  8. I love this serie! This is such a funny way to know clever and talented bloggers! You are all great!

  9. I love this series, too, and Jessica is so amazing! I'm just wondering if maybe she can tell us about her FABULOUS red sandals??!!!

  10. everything Jessica puts her mind to, turns out 5-star.Her little models are too cute also. She is so modest about everything she does as well. Keep up the outstanding work.

  11. I was in stitches (get it?) reading this post. I love the comparison photos too. Gorgeous outfits and a funny story with a lovely message. (PS - Not sure if this sort of behaviour is exclusive to boys - my girls would give David a run for his money!)

  12. Oh I love this, Jess! Love the photos of you and RJ together, and RJ and Elle...just a fantastic concept all around! :)


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