Happy Birthday to my son!  He is 19 today and it is hard to believe so many years have passed!

You may have read my post about his music and college journey.  I think it is my favorite post and you can find it here.

We sent him off for his first semester of college in the fall.  The great thing about having a child who is a music major is that you can see measurable progress when he comes home!  Or should I say “hear?”  

During one of the college visits for my daughter (yes, we are doing this back-to-back!) we stumbled upon American Apparel. I was amazed to find a company which makes clothing in the U.S.A! (It really saddens me to see the shells of factories in Cleveland that once housed mighty clothing manufacturers.)  I like their clothing – much of it unisex – not particularly for me (old lady frump) but great for the younger kids.  My daughter really wanted this sweatshirt.  I thought it a bit too Flashdance for me, but she got it for Christmas and really loves it.

I was taken by these knit vests.  I thought they would be a simple and comfortable way to jazz up an outfit. 

I also thought, “I could make one” for my son.  After all, the boys are a highly neglected group when it comes to sewing.  

My quest for fabric began.  Finding quality knits is a challenge.  JoAnns has a very limited supply.  I looked at a lot of online suppliers, also, but I wanted to capture the checkerboard look.  I finally found some vintage fabric from Tactile Threads Etsy Shop.

Next, I turned to BurdaStyle.   I always find inspiration on that site.  They have great patterns – many of which are free – that can be downloaded directly to your computer.  I had been eyeing the Andrew Cardigan for some time.  It is fun to see the creative ways people interpret the pattern!

So I started with the cardigan pattern and then had to do math – yes, MATH!  Since I was adding a button band, I had to subtract that amount from the vest front.  I also tweaked the shoulder width – much of it by measuring an existing vest for fit.

I like the shoulder seam that is off the back.

I made the total length about 25″.  The actual sewing took mere minutes on the serger.  I sewed the shoulder seams, added a sleeve band, side seams, bottom band and then the button band.  The armholes, designed for a cardigan, appeared too large so I simply sewed the side seams closer at the underarm.

I am happy with the way it turned out and hope that my son will wear it once in a while rather than the standard jeans and tee shirt uniform of the average college student. 

During his first semester, my son put his first album up on Itunes.  It was the culmination of years of writing and performing his music with his band and an intense summer of recording and editing.  The album 

is here on Itunes.  The music is considered alternative rock but I think it has a pop feel and really enjoy listening to the music!

He entered his music video and song in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest Video Challenge.  If you want to help him out you can vote here.

You can fan his Facebook page here.

For some extra fun he will give away one of his songs to one reader.  Simply listen to the previews here and leave a comment with the song you’d like.  The contest will remain open until next Tuesday, 1/25/11 8:00 PM EST.  To my gal pals, don’t worry if you are not interested in this type of music.  But the teens in your life might enjoy it!

I leave with you a little bit of jazz from two hard-working college kids!