sewing for boys by shelly figueroa and karen lepage
September 8th, 2011
It seems like forever that I have been waiting for a book about sewing clothes for boys and I know there are many of you out there in the same boat. The women behind the successful pattern line, Pattern for Figgy have come to the rescue! Their first book, Sewing for Boys, is full of nicely designed boy's clothes for every season and a few accessories to boot.
Shelly and Karen have really thought through what boys need and want: the clothes have to be comfortable (even if they are for dressing up), durable, washable, and above all have lots of pockets! And a carrying case for legos and lego dudes is pretty awesome too.
When got the book, I opened it up to the first page and fell in love with the Henry shirt. The shirt is a short sleeve, snap up, collar shirt with pockets--much like a guayabera shirt, or what we used to call "old man casual" shirts (only because my dad used to wear them). But it is just right for little boys too. And it is just right for showing off that bit of cute boy fabric you have been saving. The Henry shirt in the book is made with a beautifully subtle airplane fabric designed by Daniela Caine of Tangerine Samurai.
I thought I had chosen beautiful fabrics as well: a double sided japanese fabric with checks on one side and plaid on the other; and a soft cotton in navy. Well, it turns out when you put them together it looks like my son works at a hot dog cart franchise or as a refrigerator repair man. It is a bad uniform.
But it is a bad uniform with a stand up collar that I made! The project was definitely above my current sewing skills (it is labeled advanced, but don't worry there are projects for every level in the book). I was nervous going into it, especially when I didn't see a picture for every step--I'm more of a visual learner. Turns out it was better that there were fewer diagrams because it made me read the directions more closely. And the directions in this book are clear and very succinct. They taught me how to make this shirt and I didn't pull out one hair or have to mix up a cocktail to get through it.
Granted, I still managed to sew the yoke on completely upside down and had to unpick the whole thing, but cut me some slack I've never made a button up shirt before. Well, almost a button shirt--it doesn't actually have buttons on it yet. I'm trying to find some that will make it a little less bad uniform. The pattern calls for snaps, which is perfect for boys, but I think snaps will take this shirt into even worse uniform territory.
The directions are good, the patterns are basic and beautiful, and the pictures are pretty cute too. So really, if you sew and you have boys you need this book. But hoodies, tee shirts, tunics, girls wear all those things too. Even though this book says it's for boys, whatever, let's not get all sexist with our sewing machines now. Next on my list is the two-in-one reversible jacket--it's labeled intermediate, so I'm not too nervous.
If you would like to know more about this book or the other craft books published by Wiley, head on over to their site where they have Q & As with the authors and a few free projects too. And you can follow along on the Sewing for Boys book tour:
September 5 Made by Rae
September 6 Sew, Mama, Sew
September 7 The Southern Institute & Film in the Fridge
September 8 Elsie Marley
September 9 Noodlehead & Oh, Fransson!
September 10 I Heart Linen
September 11 Anna Maria Horner
September 12 Craft Buds, Pink Chalk Fabric, Prudent Baby, Sew Much Ado
September 13 Very Purple Person, Quilt Story & Sew Sara
September 14 The Long Thread
September 15 Susan Beal
September 16 True Up
September 17 All Buttoned Up & Bolt Fabric Boutique
September 18 MADE & Wiley Craft