Sewing With Boys Blog Contributor Interview: Nichole Gifford


Hi, I’m Nichole! I’m one of the contributors for Sewing With Boys…want to know a little bit more about me? Read on!

How long have you been sewing?I learned how to sew from my mom when I was in my teens. My family used to be Civil War re-enactors, so my mom taught my sister and I how to sew our own Civil War gowns to wear to the re-enactments!

How many boys do you sew for? How old are they? (Husbands count!) I sew for my son, who is 4, and a bit for my husband! (Though he is former military, so has a pretty good handle on  doing his own sewing!)

What is your favorite item you have sewn for your boy/boys?

For my husband, I made an epic button down Star Trek shirt, after being inspired by one I saw on a Facebook sewing page. I felt so intimidated when I started out, but I took it one step at a time, and it came together beautifully! (Notice I didn’t say “perfectly” 😉 Overall, I was thrilled…and he wears it with pride!

For my son, it’s hard to say…I think every piece I make my children has a special meaning, because it’s made specifically for them, right down to their personalities!

Having said that, one of my favorite pieces is actually quite simple: his Christmas stocking. I made the pattern for his (and his sister’s) based off of my childhood stocking, which my mom made for me. I hand stitched the little stars and buttons on the front, thinking of all the women in my family that have hand stitched before me. Every year, when I pull the stockings out, I feel a bit triumphant that I am continuing the handmade love for the next generation. It is my hope that I can help them do the same for their own children, and that I will be able to let them know, it doesn’t have to be complicated to be meaningful!

Self-drafted Christmas Stocking

What do you think are the biggest obstacles in sewing for boys?

I think the biggest obstacle is finding inspiration for new twists on classic looks. For girls, you can always add lace, ribbons, ruffles…make it a skirt instead of pants, or add gathers. Boy items are very basic and timeless. It’s easy for me to get stuck in a rut, or to find myself thinking, why bother? He already owns 25 tees…how will this one be any different? I just have to continuously remind myself to be on the lookout for a way to make it unique to him, you know?

Heat Transfer Appliqued Tee

Where is your favorite place to buy fabric for boys?

I’ve had luck in tons of places, from upcycling at thrift stores and bargain-minded big box stores all the way to local and online specialty stores!

Fabric from Wal-Mart

Who are you favorite boy pattern designers?

I have dabbled in a bit of everyone’s patterns, but I love the styling of Patterns for Pirates, and the instructions from Sis Boom Patterns and Oliver + S are hard to beat!

What are your favorite sewing with boy resource(blog, books, etc)?

Again, it’s hard to choose favorites…but I’ve loved my Sewing For Boys book, and I love to check in on the boy-sewing themed Facebook pages to see what’s new!

Treasure Pocket Pants from Sewing For Boys

Do you sew with the boys in your life? If so, what do you make with them?

My son’s sewing interest right now lies mainly in using my fabric yardage as blankets when I’m not looking! However, we all begin at the very beginning, so he’s been enjoying lacing cards and stringing beads…things that will add up to getting behind the machine when he’s ready!

“I’m sorry, how is this *not* a blanket, Mom?”

Why do you think it is important to teach boys to sew?

Just as there’s no reason for my daughter not to learn to change the oil on her car, there’s no reason for my son not to learn how to sew. They’re life lessons that will serve my children equally well. Not only is sewing a tool that helps prepare my son for real-world situations in the future, it is an outlet of creative expression, should he choose to employ it was such.

What would you like to see more of in the Boy Sewing world? (patterns, tutorials, fabric, etc)

I would love to continue seeing more spins on the classic shirt/shorts/pants. Also, I would love to continue seeing our boys breaking out of pre-established garment molds. You want to be Elsa for Halloween, son? You bet!

How do you challenge yourself to break gender stereotypes when sewing for your boy?

My son loves all the things his big sister loves. Plus, he’s really tall for his age. These two things might not seem related, but they are when it comes to breaking stereotypes in sewing. If he wants superhero pants with a matching shirt to wear, he gets one (despite strangers commenting that his outfit looks like pajamas). If his current favorite color is pink, he gets pink (did you know that pink used to be the preferred color for young boys?) I love sewing things for my family to thoroughly enjoy, specifically created with them in mind !

Butler Britches from Brownie Goose

What (or who) inspires your boy sewing?

Of course, my son inspires me…but my husband does, too. From the moment we met, he’s always stressed that people do not fit into a certain category…that he believes each person should be true to their own self. He’s always been our family’s biggest supporter. He inspires me to keep on creating for my family, because he’s always telling us that who we are, in every phase of life, is exactly who we should be. (Yes, he is pretty amazing!)

Tell us a bit about your favorite boy(s)!

My son and his father are both ridiculously charming! The two of them are honest, smart, and funny…many times without even trying to be! My son is still at an age where wonder is one of his main emotions, and my husband is often the one who is beside him, encouraging it!

Tell us about your blog and what inspired you to start it.

My blog, Bluebird & the Boy, began when my son was a baby. I wanted a place to document the items I was creating for my family, so that I could look back and see what I was accomplishing…during a time where, with two small children at home, I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing much on a day to day basis!

‘Bluebird’ refers to our beautiful daughter, and of course, our dapper little son is ‘the Boy’!

Heat N’ Bond “Love” Sister/Brother Set

2 Comments on Sewing With Boys Blog Contributor Interview: Nichole Gifford

  1. georgine
    April 6, 2015 at 1:58 am (3 years ago)

    I didn’t know some of this stuff! This is a great interview with beautiful answers. And i love the photo of you! Beautiful as well!!

  2. Nichole
    April 10, 2015 at 12:10 pm (3 years ago)

    Thank you!!

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