sewing for boys by shelly figueroa and karen lepage

September 8th, 2011

sewing for boys the book

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.

raglan tee and brick bag pattern

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.

the henry shirt

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.

sleeve detail

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.

the henry shirt and the wienermobile

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.

the back of the henry shirt

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.

two in one jacket

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.

boy and sewing for boy

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 InstituteFilm in the Fridge
September 8 Elsie Marley
September 9 NoodleheadOh, Fransson!
September 10 I Heart Linen
September 11 Anna Maria Horner
September 12 Craft Buds, Pink Chalk FabricPrudent BabySew Much Ado
September 13 Very Purple PersonQuilt StorySew Sara
September 14 The Long Thread
September 15 Susan Beal
September 16 True Up
September 17 All Buttoned UpBolt Fabric Boutique
September 18 MADEWiley Craft

sew a suit!

Posted in library.

34 Responses to sewing for boys by shelly figueroa and karen lepage

  1. Ana says:

    I have been waiting for a book like this for quite a while! How nice! Thanks for sharing

  2. kristin says:

    drat! you never know what’s gonna happen with fabric combos – sometimes it turns out much better than you expect, and sometimes…hot dog stand. ;) i say embroider his name (or a silly fake name) on the chest and play up the kitsch factor, so he looks like a tiny hipster wear a vintage bowling shirt!

  3. julia says:

    awesome book! i think i definitely need this to rescue my nephews from lack of handmade clothing!

  4. VickiT says:

    Wow. You may have had to redo the yoke and probably said a few choice words just as I would have, but the shirt turned out great. Great job. I just saw in your preview that it appears there is a big pocket with the patterns inside too. That’s even more reason to get this book. Thank you for your review.

  5. chedva says:

    Oh my gosh, that shirt is so cute. Im with Kristin, go with it. I think I NEED this book. I’m sewing less these days but still constantly looking for cute patterns for boys.

  6. tammy says:

    I have a Henry (2yrs and 3 mths) who would really, really LOVE a Henry shirt! cannot wait to get my hands on a copy!

  7. lee says:

    Thank you for the review of the book. I like the shirt you made!

  8. Ani says:

    What was the sizing like? I have an 8 year old who very much likes to look dapper.

  9. Kirsten says:

    Love it, can hardly wait to get this book!!!

  10. Marianne says:

    I could make some adorable clothes for my two year old grandson with this book. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Mary Jo says:

    This book looks like a real winner. I would love to make that jacket for my grandson!

  12. jess says:

    This looks awesome! My boy often complains that I make more things for his sister than for him. This will make his day!

  13. Valerie says:

    Maybe I’m just weird but I think it turned out awesome! I’d totally make my son one just like that it’s cute!
    PS this book is at b&n and I looked through it today, it really does look awesome!

  14. Max says:

    ahah I think the little ‘uniform’ is cute! Make him a matching hot dog vendor hat and he can play dress ups! Teehee.

    I seriously need this book in my life. Every time I see that picture of the pyjamas!

  15. Carla G says:

    Thanks for your review of this book! I do like the shirt and would like to try it too! Good luck on the jacket! :)

  16. Hueisei says:

    Thanks for the book review!! :)

  17. Dania says:

    Waiting for a book like this soooo long! Thank you for sharing!

  18. Rae says:

    dude. are you serious??? this is so stinkin’ cute, just add buttons and it’s perfect!

  19. Gill says:

    Great review! and I think some of these patterns would be good for girls too!

  20. Caroline says:

    I’d put in big letters on the back: Cool Dude Trucking Company and get a picture of a semi-truck on there.

  21. So cool, thanks for sharing.

  22. brenda says:

    love the fabrics used! fun projects!

  23. Patty says:

    I would love to have this book and sew for my grandson.

  24. Irina De Juan says:

    Lovely book, great ideas and it looks very easy to follow.

  25. Karin says:

    I’m so excited for this book! I think you did a great job on the shirt, and I love some of the suggestions to play it up. Your son will love it!