vintage may guest: cirque du bebe

my guest today is sophie from cirque du bebe, and she is quite the impressive lady!  she sews for herself, she sews for her boys (be sure to check out her tutorial for sarouel pants), and her vintage-modern style is so dang cool i can hardly stand it.  i love gals whose styles stretch my comfort zone a bit, and sophie does that in a really inspiring way.  sophie also has an awesome sense of humor that makes her blog a treat to read, and her post today is no exception. 
today she has put together a fantastic vintage-inspired but oh-so-modern outfit for her little guy, complete with tutorial.  take it away, ms. ringleader!
cirque du bebe

When Kristin first announced Vintage May, my thoughts were ‘how has this not been done before? Genius!’ Needless to say I was a bird with a French fry at the thought of putting together an outfit celebrating hand-made, vintage kiddie style. Pretty much all my favorite sewing criteria in one. Here, I’ve taken two modern patterns you know and love, the Oliver and S Sailboat pants and Made By Rae’s Flashback Skinny Tee and busted out a vintage remix and a how-to to go along with it!

~ Le Pants~

They’re charming, swanky and oh so yesteryear, yup, I’m talking boys in bloomers. Once a skeptic but now a convert, they add instant vintage style to any outfit. For this version, I started with everyone’s favorite, the Oliver and S Sailboat shorts. To add that ye olde touch, I found a rather vintage looking (but probably circa last year) thrifted fabric, piped the top edge and added bloomer cuffs to the legs.

~ Le Shirt~

I once had a particular fondness for poaching brand new men’s shirts for their vintage images to re-fashion into boy’s t-shirts, see here and here. I had it totally justified that I was supporting Etsy sellers but it soon dawned that hey, what if I could transfer my own images onto tees? And since then, I’ve been on an endless quest for an easy and washable transfer method that doesn’t involve a screen print, messy solvents or the plastic-y feel of iron-on transfer paper. Last week I discovered the Lesley Riley TAP Artist Transfer Paper. This stuff is worthy of an eternal happy dance. Think super high quality iron-on transfer paper, with a matte finish, washable (apparently not just the once) that works on knits! I bought the ‘gentleman with antlers’ as a digital image from here. If you’d like to find a million more impossibly vintage images search for ‘digital download’ on Etsy and let the fun begin. The t-shirt here is a short sleeved version of Rae’s ‘flashback skinny tee‘ and I decided to leave off the ribbing at the neck and cuffs for an edgy effect. We’re all about the edgy.

~ Le Fedora~

 The best part of this challenge was being able to take ‘vintage children’s outfit’ and take it where you like. I set out to make an outfit that was both modern and comfortable, with a vintage flair. So it needed a fedora hat with this pattern, made from a candy striped vintage men’s shirt. I didn’t read the size guide before buying the pattern and it says the largest size will fit a three year old, not a four year old with a big head. Somehow it works!

~    ~
and now, won’t you please…

~ Click through to Cirque du Bebe for Le Tutorial ~

 Adding instant vintage with a bloomer bottom!


see what i mean?  argyle bloomers!  antler-bowtie man!  sophie is simply the coolest.  head on over to CINO to check out a lovely lace dress tutorial by  jessie of i’m thinking!

cino vintage


19 thoughts on “vintage may guest: cirque du bebe

  1. Max says:

    SOPHIE! This is awesome! Where did you get the transfer paper from? PLEASE tell me somewhere local so I can nab some too! I love the shorts, I keep wanting to make something similar for Vince but tim reckons it’s too ‘girly’ with the cuffs, This post might just convert him 😀

    • kristin says:

      Max I think you might be an Aussie too so Sophie can reply directly on that, but for the rest of us I just found it for sale on Amazon by searching “Lesley Riley TAP Artist Transfer Paper.”

  2. clevercharlotte says:

    What a cool outfit, you put so much attention into all the details–but I love the Tshirt most of all. I’ve been toying with the idea of screen printing some shirts for my son (he’s past the age that sewing for him is cool). Thanks for the tip about the transfer paper and great addition of the bow tie!

  3. Amber @ Rowan & Oak says:

    Man! Every outfit just gets better!! I love, love, love the fedora. And I’ve been a fan of bloomers on boys for quite a while now. I have a pattern all lined up for my little guy when he gets just a bit bigger. And the awesome tip on transfer paper! You’re the best. Seriously.

  4. gail says:

    sophie strikes again! how do you manage to come up with the coolest stuff EVERY SINGLE TIME?? i adore how you cuffed the Sailboats, and the transfer is beyond awesome. well done!!

  5. Inder says:

    So cool and hip my eyes are hurting. I am now dreaming of a pair of “Plus Fours” for my three year old. You know, for the golf course. Ahem.

  6. Nancy says:

    The outfit is fantastic and so unique, I also love all of Sophie’s creations! I often get jealous of her posts that she finds the greatest fabrics/decals to use and I can never find them in the secondhand stores like she does, luckily with the great tip on transfer paper I don’t have to be that envious anymore:), Thanks!

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