My first born, who was three in September, is a boy.
When I was pregnant with him, I blew the dust off my sewing machine, found the missing foot pedal, and made him a quilt. When he was born I looked around, got disgruntled with my choices, and packed my machine back up again.
Our second child is a girl, and when she was about 6-8 months old I was feeling guilty she didn’t have something I made, so I started looking around. I found the corner of the internet where those who sew and design great clothes hang out. It has been fantastic to discover that this corner is much bigger than you would think. Donna and I took this leap into blogging with the intent of sewing a good number of boy and girl clothes. I was editing our tutorial page and had a realization…
We aren’t sewing for the boy.
In 2013 we are refocusing our efforts to create great boy tutorials and fashions. Here is the problem, though. I’ve been reading some resolution blog posts, and I’ve read this and similar statements in multiple places. The concern that struck me was this:
Saying you are going to sew for your boy in January is like buying a gym membership right after the holidays. Nothing ever comes of it.
In order to avoid this trap let’s be honest about why we all have to remind ourselves to sew for the boy to start with. These are our reasons.
Forget the patterns, have you seen the fabric?
I realize I need to change the way I shop. I like to decide on impulse to make something, shop for it, and start sewing, all inside of a 24 hour window. You can do this with at least satisfactory results for woman and girls. Not so for boys. Fabrics need to be ordered, they need to be snatched up when your eye hits something cool, or useful, or inspiring. Even if the project isn’t yet formulated.
He doesn’t stop moving- ever.
Ok so maybe this is because he is 3. He is finally sometimes willing to take direction, and I’m hoping this, paired with plans to amp up the nonexistent lighting in my home, will mean better pictures of the boy IN the clothes we are going to sew.
It all looks the same.
I think this is the real kicker. This is at the heart of the issue for most of us. With girls’ patterns, EASY changes can be made to create a whole new look. Swap out a sleeve style, or add a ruffle.
Boys’ clothing is more limited in what I would deem easy embellishments and adjustments. It feels like there are fewer options. When I was toying with the idea of sewing him a dress coat, I wanted to scream if I landed on ONE MORE STANDARD PEA COAT pattern. On the other hand, it seemed like I kept finding new and different girl coat styles. Eventually a twitter friend pointed me toward a pattern I really like- sewing friends are super valuable for tough finds.
We could go on. He finds modeling exhausting when there are dragons and dinosaurs to play. He went through a phase where he aggressively claimed everything I made itched… though around that time everything he didn’t want to eat was too spicy, including unseasoned green beans, so I have my doubts.
What are We Doing Different?
We are getting inspired and committing to it.
We hope to start a series in February featuring small to middle-sized blogs that sew for boys. You don’t have to be exclusively about boy sewing projects (we aren’t and plan to continue sewing girl, woman, and home projects). If you would like to be involved you can email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are joining in more sew-a-longs, and planning in advance to include boy projects.
We will be actively compiling our new favorite places for boy fabrics, zippers, snaps, buttons, accessories, patterns, tutorials, ect. We will put together a page when we have a good resource list going.
What are you going to do to keep motivated to sew for the boy?
If you’re wondering, the dragon is our new friend Yoki. You can find the pattern HERE.
I increased the size of the pattern by almost 50 percent. I mean… Santa did. He wanted to Santa to bring him a dragon. Despite making it abundantly clear Santa would only be bringing a pretend dragon, I was still holding my breath until he was happily cheering for his stuffed dragon.
This maybe the beginning and end of my stuffed animal career. This is no reflection on the pattern, which was clear and easy to follow. I made 8 of those little arms before I had two I deemed keepers. Tiny sewing is just not for me!
Want to know more about our boy sewing project? Check out the Sew You Had a Boy Page