Today, we are excited to share with you our interview with Dana Goodman. Dana started the rapidly growing Facebook Group Sewing For Boys that is dedicated to sharing boys sewing ideas, inspiration, and is a great place for members to show off their boy related sewing projects.
How long have you been sewing?
Officially, I started sewing when I was 8 or 9. I made some really ugly Barbie doll clothes that at the time I was super proud of! In college I started really loving to sew bags and clothes. I even made a friend a formal dress out of this awful turquoise Lycra material in my dorm room! My first introduction to PDF sewing was Peek-a-Boo patterns about 2 years ago. I had followed some blogs and tutorials before that, as well as using traditional patterns, but somehow I stumbled onto Amy’s patterns and fell in love with the PDF format!
How many boys do you sew for? How old are they?
I sew for 5 boys on a regular basis. One will be born at the end of March or the beginning of April. Then I have 3 older boys who are 4.5, almost 4, and 2. And of course my hubby! But I also sew for my nephews and I have 4 of those (12, 8, 7, and 5).
What is your favorite item you have sewn for your boy/boys? I’ve made a lot of adorable things for my boys thanks to awesome patterns! I think the thing I am most proud of are my Captain Comfort Jeans by Patterns for Pirates that I did for the Facebook group Sew for Boys’ January Sew Along. They look so professional!
What do you think are the biggest obstacles in sewing for boys? Finding good, unique options. There are always new dresses released but its not often that there are new boy patterns released. And there are so few patterns to sew for my husband. The other issue is that they are usually knit patterns and it is hard to find the knit for boys that isn’t super pricey.
Where is your favorite place to buy fabric for boys? I buy most of my fabric from Joann’s. Mostly because I like to feel the fabric before I buy it, and because the fabric is within my price range.
Who are you favorite boy pattern designers?Oh this is harder! Patterns for Pirates, Peek-a-Boo Patterns, and Scientific Seamstress are probably my favorites. But there are some awesome designers out there as well!
What are your favorite sewing with boy resource(blog, books, etc)?
Dana Made It is one of my favorites along with Made by Rae.They both hosted Celebrate the Boy, which had a ton of amazing ideas that are still available even though they aren’t hosting it anymore.I also love Make It & Love It, as well as Pretty Prudent, and of course, Pinterest!
Do you sew with the boys in your life? If so, what do you make with them? I don’t sew with them yet. They are still pretty small. Although they have worked on some lacing and we called it sewing. They had a lot of fun with that!
Why do you think it is important to teach boys to sew?I think it is a great skill for everyone to at least have a basic knowledge of. The stereotype is that only women or men who are more feminine sew but the same was true about cooking several years back and that has changed with a larger number of men stepping up and taking over in the kitchen. I’d love to see it more socially accepted for boys and men to do the same things that girls and women do, just as we have changed the culture to allow girls and women to do all the same things men and boys do. I’d love to see equality of gender across the board and acceptance for people to be who they are, and not who their gender dictates they should be.
What would you like to see more of in the Boy Sewing world? My boys are HUGE superhero fans (including my husband). Even though a lot of the superheros are licensed, I’d love to see more superhero themed fabrics (that aren’t super expensive) and other fun superhero themed projects and patterns.
How do you challenge yourself to break gender stereotypes when sewing for your boy(s)?I let them pick out the fabric. If they like it, then I get it. I don’t worry about whether or not it is too girly. I have also been known to adapt girls patterns to work for my little guys.
What (or who) inspires your boy sewing?My mom. She used to make some of the most amazing things for me growing up. She had one girl and three boys. She rarely sewed for my boys because there weren’t many options available when we were growing up. But she always wanted to. I love that I have been able to do for my boys what she wanted to do for my brothers.
Tell us a bit about your favorite boy(s)! My husband, Aaron, is the love of my life and I can’t imagine my life without him! He is currently serving the country in the Air Force, which has brought a lot of challenges to our lives. But I am grateful for his sacrifice and am proud to stand next to him. He is very nerdy and loves things like Dr. Who, Star Wars, and Star Trek. He is also a huge superhero fan!
My oldest, Sherwood, is 4.5. He is a smart little boy who has a comment for just about everything! He is also a very brave kiddo who has been fighting Type 1 Diabetes since he was 15 months old. His favorite superhero is Spider-Man and his favorite color is blue.
Tobias was our surprise baby! He was born 5 weeks early, exactly 9 months and 1 week after Sherwood. He is my emotional child who wants to make sure that everyone is doing okay at all times and is often known to give hugs to his little brother to help him calm down. His favorite superhero is Batman and favorite color is red.
Gideon is our monster. He just turned 2 and will even growl at you! He is a fun child but he is always into things. He has a very curious nature which leads him to get into a lot of trouble. He doesn’t really have favorites yet but he does like Batman a lot, as well as Mickey Mouse and Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
And finally is Killian. He is not quite here yet so there isn’t much to say about him but I am excited to meet him and have fun planning outfits and all the other things I can sew for him!
What inspired you to start a boys sewing Facebook group?
Honestly, it was hormones! Haha! When I found out that we were having a 4th boy and not a girl as I had hoped, I was suddenly overwhelmed with all the little girl patterns I was seeing on all the sewing pages. It had bothered me before, feeling as though I was the only one who sewed for the boys in my life, but my hormones kicked in and I was in tears. Rather than let the frustration take over, I decided to do something about it! Honestly I had hoped for a group of maybe 100 people who also loved to sew for the boys in their lives. I had no clue the way it has taken off! I am so grateful to know that I am not the only one who loves to make special treasures for our boys. Even though it is fun to make dresses (I sew for my nieces too!) I just love the way my boys light up when I sew something just for them.
We would like to thank Dana for this week’s interview. Make sure to check out her fun Facebook Group!