Sewing With Boys Blog Contributor Interview: Amy Macdonald

 

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The week for our interview we have Amy, Sewing with Boys Contributor. It was fun to learn more about her and her family. I know you will enjoy getting to know more about the amazing work she does.

How long have you been sewing?

Technically since I was twelve, but I took a break when I moved out on my own, so: seventeen years minus about four (don’t do the math! Thirty already feels too close!).

How many boys do you sew for? How old are they? (Husbands count!)

I sew for my two sons, my best friend’s son, my nephew, and, just recently, my husband.

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

This is a hard question! Usually, whatever I’ve just finished is my favorite 😉 If I had to pick, it would be between these three:

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

Honestly, the limits we place on ourselves – sewing for boys doesn’t have to be as hard as we like to make it seem! Basic items are so easy to “dress up” by using stencils, iron-on vinyl, appliques, what ever you can think of! I have no problem putting my boys in any color they want – my oldest loves to wear every color of the rainbow, especially orange and pink.

Where is your favorite place to buy fabric for boys?

We’re fairly rural and I like to feel fabric before I buy it, so I mostly buy from JoAnn’s and Goodwill. Even though the “boy section” at JoAnn’s is limited, I love to embellish, so I find myself sticking to solid colors anyway. And upcycling shirts and pants from thrift stores is so fast and easy!

Who are you favorite boy pattern designers?

I love GYCT, Blank Slate, Titchy Threads, Charming Doodle, Pattern for Pirates, and Shwin&Shwin, to name a few. I also have three Ottobre magazines and love them!

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

They’re both still too young to sew, but I can’t wait for them to be old enough! I did make some lacing cards for my almost-four-year-old (they’ll be available next week in our Time to Travel eBook!) – the first time he played with them, I needed to run some errands. I asked if he wanted to go with me or stay home with his dad and he goes “I think I’ll just stay here and sew for a while.” Proudest moment of my life – haha!

Lacing Cards from Sewing with Boys

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

I think it’s a life skill just like cooking or mowing the lawn! It can never hurt to know how to do something – and I really don’t want to be sewing on their popped buttons for the rest of my life!

What would you like to see more of in the Boy Sewing world?

Definitely more interesting patterns. There are a lot of basic patterns out there, but I would love to see more detailed, intriguing ones!

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

I just don’t think about them! If I see a fabric or have an idea that I know my boys will like, I go for it and don’t really care if it might be considered “girly”.

What (or who) inspires your boy sewing?

My kids, of course. The bulk of my sewing is for them – mainly because they grow like weeds and constantly need new clothes! They are both tall and slim, so RTW clothes just fall off them – custom clothes are actually a necessity. I’ve just started sewing for my husband – he has a similar build and his shirts are never long enough. He also goes through (expensive!) work pants like crazy, so I’m tweaking the fit of the Jutland Pants for him.

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

Ah – my boys – they are so fun and crazy and (sometimes) maddening! John is almost four and quite possibly smarter than I am already. He’s what his doctor calls “busy” – always into everything, trying to see how stuff works, wanting to know the “why’s” of the world, and always wanting to “help” me do everything. Tim is almost two and such a little love. He’s just as curious as his big brother, but not quite so busy – he’d be happy if I did nothing but cuddle him all day long! Andy (aka; Daddy) is the best – he’s so supportive of my crafting/sewing/blogging. He doesn’t even grumble (loudly, anyway…) at all the piles of fabric I have stashed around the house!

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

My best friend and I blog at Friends Stitched Together – we started it as a way to document the things we were making for our kids. Since then, it’s grown to be a serious hobby! We have several challenges that we’re involved in (CraftingCon and Mystery Challenge). I have met so many sewing bloggers this past year and some of them have turned into true friends that I chat with every day!

Meet Jonie Brooks Sewing with Boys Contributor

 

 

Sewing with boys meets Jonie Brooks

How long hHandmade Disney by Knot Sew Normal - Avengers Shirtsave you been sewing? I have been sewn off and on since I was a teen, but I have been sewing seriously since 2009.

How many boys do you sew for? How old are they? I sew for my son Mr T, who is 4; my husband, Allen and occasionally for my brother-in-law.

Handmade Disney by Knot Sew Normal - Freezer Paper Stencil

What is your favorite item you have sewn for your boy/boys? Their Halloween costumes last year. We went to Disney for Halloween and I think my dudes looked fantastic.

Handmade Disney by Knot Sew Normal -

What do you think are the biggest obstacles in sewing for boys? Finding patterns I love that aren’t just the same thing repeated or something totally crazy.

Where is your favorite place to buy fabric for boys? I am pretty bored when it comes to buying fabric and I get most of mine from Joann’s. I have recently become a fan of Mabel Madison, they have some really cute stuff. I upcycle a lot so I am always looking through clearance racks to turn into cool shirts for Mr. T.Mystery Challenge French Revolution - Knot Sew Normal

(this is a shirt that I had tie-dyed for my husband and then I upcycled it into this shirt for Mr.T)

 Who are you favorite boy pattern designers? I like Peek-a-boo patterns for a classic boy look. I have sewn their Grandslam raglan more times than I can count. It is my go-to boy shirt. I also really love GYCT Designs, Shwin and Shwin, Oliver and S, and Titchy Threads.

Perfect Pattern Parcel #5 - Maxwell Shirt by Knot Sew Normal

(The Maxwell Shirt by Shwin and Shwin)

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

Friends Stitched Together, Made By Rae, Ottobre Magazine. I also love to peruse clothing catalogs for ideas of what I want to sew, Hannah Anderson, Gap, Mini Boden and RUUM.

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

Mr. T hangs out with me while I sew, he isn’t quiet to the sewing stage yet, but he loves to express his opinion and style in all the projects I make for him.

How to add zipper tabs to a metal zipper by Knot Sew Normal

(Mr T picked everything for this pouch)

 

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

It is just a good life skill to have. You never know when your favorite pair of pants might rip and you need to fix them. Plus sewing can be a problem solving activity, if you are designing your own patterns there is so much to figure out.

 What would you like to see more of in the Boy Sewing world? 

More boy fabrics for sure. It is so easy to walk in to any place that sells fabric and pick up whatever I need to sew for my daughter. It would be nice to just have more choices for boys.

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

I really don’t think in gender stereotypes when it comes to my kids. If Mr T wants a purple shirt, purple it will be. Same thing for my daughter. No color palette is off limits.

 

What (or who) inspires your boy sewing?

Mr T. I love the challenge of making him something cool and stylish.

Handmade Disney by Knot Sew Normal - Upcycled Spiderman Raglan with colorblocking

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

Mr T is my crazy tornado 4 year-old. He is sight to behold. My favorite guy is my husband, Allen, who is crazy supportive and encourages me so much. He is also brutally honest and will tell me when something isn’t working. Plus he is pretty handy to have around.

Handmade Disney by Knot Sew Normal -

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

My blog covers a little bit of everything, I sew, crochet, paint, craft, DIY, I have ADHD and I know that shows through in the crazy assortment of things on my blog. I was inspired to start my blog when I started crocheting hats. I was making these cool hats and everyone kept telling me I needed a blog, so I figured what the heck. My focus shifted from crocheting to mostly sewing last year. I really love blogging, because it keeps me accountable to finish projects. Also the creative blogging world is so awesome and I have truly made some awesome friends since I started blogging. I have truly found my tribe with the creative blogging world.

 

Sewing with Boys meets Chelsea Briner Blogger and Pattern Designer

  


Hi, I’m Chelsea and I blog and design over at GYCT Designs.



How long have you been sewing?

I started sewing when I was a junior in high school.  I made some pajama pants and a t-shirt quilt.  Not my brightest sewing moments, but I still enjoyed it.  I continued through college and actually got my degree in Family and Consumer Science Education.  Which means I have a Home Economics degree.  I taught sewing for 7 years to high school students.  This past year I turned 30, so I guess that means I have been sewing for myself 15 years and teaching sewing for about 9 of those years.


How many boys do you sew for? How old are they?

I tend to sew for any boys I can find.  But mostly I sew for my 5 year old son.  He loves creations made by Mom and often tells me what I need to do with certain fabrics.  However, I have tons of nephews that I tend to sew for on Birthday’s or when someone needs a project done.



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

That is a hard choice.  I have LOADS of Boy Projects on the blog.  However, I guess I have a couple.  Any of my son’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle projects I love.  Mostly because he absolutely adores them.  I’ve made him a TMNT Backpack, hoodie and last Halloween him, his sister and two cousins were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  But the pattern I sew for him the most is the Rival Raglan pattern I have in my pattern shop.  It is so fast, fits great and he can have endless tees for his closet.




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

I think that finding good boy fabrics can be the biggest challenge.  That is why I started venturing out into dyeing fabrics, using freezer paper stencils and making appliques.  That way I can create a design that I love and that is still for a boy.





Where is your favorite place to buy fabric for boys? 

When I sew for my boy, I tend to sew a lot of knits.  I joined the Fabric Dealers Facebook group this year and I think that is where I find a lot of my boy fabrics.  I also love Peekaboo Patterns lines of knit fabrics also.  Perfect for tees and tops.  For woven fabrics, I’ll get a little all over the place.



 Who are you favorite boy pattern designers? 

Well, if I didn’t say myself I would be lying.  So GYCT Designs is my favorite, only because I make designs especially for my son and daughter.  But I also love Peekaboo Patterns, Scientific Seamstress, and EYMM.  I am always up for trying out a new designer if they have a pattern that I like.




What are your favorite sewing with boy resource? 

I LOVE blogs.  I started GYCT Designs 4 years ago, which is crazy.  I blogged a little back then, but I followed a lot of really great sewing blogs.  MADE is one of my favorites.  Homemade by Jill has fun projects, she doesn’t blog anymore but her projects are still available.  Some others like Made by Rae, Peekaboo Patterns and Crazy Little Projects.  But there are so many it is really hard to choose.  Each site is great for so much inspiration.  Now that I blog more regularly, it pushes me to think outside the box and try new boy projects.  








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

My son is just starting to be interested.  Mostly at this point he likes to choose fabrics and decide on a pattern.  I am sure he will want to learn and I am happy to teach him.  Even if he only ever makes a pillowcase, he will know how to operate a machine.  When I taught high school, my students, male and female, all made pillowcases, pajama pants, drawstring bags, some made recycling projects.  We did tons of projects and most of them really enjoyed it.




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

I think teaching anyone to sew is important.  And in my teaching experience, boys are actually much better at operating and understanding sewing machines because they seem to be more mechanically inclined.  But learning sewing basics will help throughout your entire life.  Need to hem some pants?  How about sew that button back on your shirt?  Duct tape will only take you so far in life.



What would you like to see more of in the Boy Sewing world? 

Everything!  More fabrics that are colorful without having to have a character on them.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Ninja Turtles, but we only need so many tees with them on it.  I’d love to see more PDF patterns with boys in mind.  You can only have so many tees.  Believe me, I know.  I have designed them too.

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

I think the first thing I do is talk to my son.  If he likes it, why shouldn’t I.  How else do we learn about the world if we don’t try something new?  He loves having his own apron to help in the kitchen.  He has his own receiving blanket for his stuffed toys and dolls to be wrapped in.   Sometimes Dad has an opinion and we discuss that, but if my little man is comfy in it, I am happy to oblige.  



What (or who) inspires your boy sewing? 

My son is my main inspiration.  He is such a tough yet kind and gentle little guy.  He knows what he likes and he knows exactly what he doesn’t.  I personally love simple, classic looks.  Something that will stand the test of time.  When I make something, I also don’t just think about how my little man will love it, but how it will hold up over the course of a few years, multiply kids and as a hand me down.  Because the best clothes are those that can be worn for years and years and still look great.





Tell us a bit about your favorite boy! 

My little man is one of a kind.  He just turned 5 and really is one of the happiest dudes in the world.  Don’t get me wrong, he for sure has his moments.  But he is so special because he has Cerebral Palsy.  If you don’t know it, you probably would never notice.  But as his Mom, and chauffeur, I will tell you he is a trooper.  Despite all the tests, therapies and school, he is still so bright and happy and he LOVES going to the Doctor.  I know, weird right?!  But anytime he goes to see a doctor, he is so excited and can’t wait.   But the best part is, no matter what Mommy made item he is wearing, playing with or carrying he has to tell everyone that his Mom made it for him.  He loves to show off his Mom’s hobby.








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

I started my blog about a year after having my son.  My life was in total chaos and I thought having the blog would make me more accountable.  And it did.  I’d do a project and blog and I got my act together.  I started mostly sharing sewing and crafting projects that helped get my home and family organized.  But as it developed I realized most of my passion was in sewing for my kids.  So that is what I started showcasing more and more.  That is how GYCT Designs was born.  Now I try to blog twice a week and share a fun sewing or craft project or tutorials that revolve mostly around my kids.  Although, I will share other projects as well.





Thanks for having me!

 

 

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Sewing with Boys Meets Mabel Madison Fabrics

 

Interview with Mabel Madison Fabrics

 

 

Today, we are excited to interview Emily, founder of Mabel Madison fabrics. We love her selection of boy appropriate fabric and are excited to learn more about her and her business.

How long have you been sewing?

EmilyI got my first machine in about 1998 at an estate sale.  I didn’t do much with it for a few years, despite the best intentions of someone who tried to teach me to sew.  Then I moved to Maine and took a quiltmaking class at the local Extension.  I was hooked.  I’ve been piecing quilt tops for about 15 years and just started doing my own quilting a few years ago.

 

I got into garment sewing when the kidlets came along.  Little clothes are fun to sew, and pretty quick most of the time.  And they don’t care about the mistakes.  😉  I consider myself an intermediate seamstress with very little fear – I’ll try anything once!  I don’t get much time to sew (it’s a busy, busy life!) but I try to make at least a few things each season for both kids.

How many boys do you sew for? How old are they? 

I have a 4-year-old who loves his ‘mama-mades’.  The husband is willing, but I haven’t gotten that far yet.  He’d rock a Bowling Shirt from Scientific Seamstress, though!

PicMonkey Collage

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

This shirt for ValentineMr Valentine’s Day 2014 was a HUGE hit at preschool, the boy loved it, and it fit for a long, long time.  Super win!  (Scientific Seamstress Bowling Shirt)  I’ve made a half-dozen pairs of shorts (free pattern from Made – http://www.danamadeit.com) from Goodwill men’s shirts, but he’s getting too big for a single shirt to make a pair anymore.  These blue checks saw a LOT of action last summer (and he sure does love ponytails!).

 

 

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

Patterns, fabrics, patterns, fabrics, patterns, fabrics, and patterns!  Seriously, though, there just isn’t much out there.  Girls get the ruffles and the bling.  Boys get raglans, shorts, plain pants, and button-up shirts.  Sigh…

Where is your favorite place to buy fabric for boys?

Well, Mabel Madison, of course!  I find some things on Etsy and Dawanda (I’m willing to pay international shipping costs and currency conversions for JUST the right things), and occasionally luck out at one of the big stores.  I’m a pretty plain & simple gal, so it’s usually one fun print and solids to coordinate.  I don’t look at things as ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ most of the time, which opens up a ton of possibilities.

 

Shop photo

 

Who are you favorite boy pattern designers?

Puperita has awesome patterns with great drafting for an incredible price.  Fishsticks Designs is a newer favorite – great stuff!!!  Oliver + S has some really fun patterns for little guys with lots of details.  Blank Slate is wonderful for customization and adding a personal touch.  And, of course, Ottobre magazine!  I know there are more, but those are really my go-to for inspiration.

 sew_for_boys

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

I live on the internet, so it’s my main resource.  I’m in a few Facebook groups geared toward sewing for boys, which helps with ideas.  Mostly, I look at a pattern without any gender bias and see whether it will fit my little guy’s body type and his style.  It’s surprising how many ‘girly’ patterns really aren’t!  I follow some blogs, too – Handmade Boy and Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy come to mind.  I’m excited to see where Sewing With Boys goes!

 

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

Mr. 4 helps with picking out fabrics and likes to watch me cut out ‘patter-ens’.  He also LOVES to get measured.  I fully intend to teach both of my children to sew and do other handcrafts.  I hope that they enjoy it as much as I do.blue checks

 

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

I think everyone should learn to sew!  But that’s not the question, is it?  There’s no reason boys can’t sew.  Some of the most amazing tailors and designers are men – clothing isn’t a ‘female thing’.  Sewing teaches patience, critical thinking, math skills, physical coordination, planning, and creativity, to name a few things.  Good skills for everyone to have, no?

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

All of the above!  Mostly, I’d like to see boys being involved in sewing.  Let’s teach our sons as well as our daughters.  Let’s make things for our sons as well as our daughters!

 

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

We don’t really do gender stereotypes in our family.  Mr. 4 likes pink, plays with dolls, and enjoys testing dresses for twirl factor.  Miss almost-3 plays with everything her brother does and her favorite color is blue. If it makes him happy, I’ll sew it for him.  Not much to break, really.  🙂

What (or who) inspires your boy sewing?

Mr. 4, for sure.  I’m working to improve my skills and learn new things to keep making him neat stuff as he grows older.  Also, he’s very skinny and rather on the small side – finding clothes in RTW has been challenging.  The more I sew, the better his wardrobe gets.

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

Oh, he’s cute!  And he’s smart.  And funny.  He likes to run around and make up games.  And he likes to read books and color.  He’s a great big brother – mostly.  He’s the light of my life, my first child, and a joy and a wonder every day.  He’s also a pain in my neck a good deal of the time, but hey – he’s four.  That’s his job.

 

Shop photo

What inspired you to start an online fabric store? How long have you been in business?

We opened Mabel Madison in August 2014.  I love fabric – I have way too much of it!  But there were very limited options for Euro fabrics in the US.  It’s expensive to buy and ship from overseas, or even Canada, and we wanted to reduce some of that cost to those who sew in the US.  Exposing the US to Euro fabrics was another goal – we learned that so many people never knew about the quality and fun factor of these fabrics.

Why did you decide to carry Euro knits and why are you so passionate about them?

Euro knits are so dreamy!  They’re soft and supple, they tend not to pill or fade even after many, many washes, and the prints just can’t be found anywhere else.  They’re very unique, very different from what is available in most stores in the US.  The Oeko-Tex certification is a fantastic bonus.  These fabrics are produced with a minimum of chemicals and toxins, which makes a huge difference in the ecology of textiles as well as in the quality and feel of the fabrics themselves.

Why do you think so many online and brick and mortar stores shy away from stocking fabrics geared at sewing for boys?

Frankly, they’re hard to come by.  Flowers and fairies and princesses are everywhere, but there aren’t many typically ‘boy’ prints available – like helicopters and firetrucks and bugs.  I suppose fabric designers and makers don’t think people will sew for their boys? Perhaps they don’t feel the market is big enough?  I do think it’s easier to find ‘boy’ fabric online than in stores, but still not an easy task.

Even in commercially made clothing, it’s very skewed.  Ever been to a Carter’s store?  The girl things are patterned and flowered and bright and ruffly.  The boy things are mostly solid, somber, plain colored items depending on appliques or vinyl transfer for decoration.  Yawn.

 

 

What make your business unique from other online fabric stores?

We cater to people who sew for boys.  We cater to those who are after quality.  We offer exceptional customer service and do everything in our power to make sure that our customers have a fantastic experience.  We aim to be professional (if you ever find a typo on our website, or anywhere else, we expect to be called on it!) but very accessible.  We truly believe in our product – and we think it shows!

Where all can we find you online/social media?

Oh, my.  Facebook, our website.  Working on an Etsy shop now (opening very soon!), and heading into the wide world of Instagram next.  Hope to see you there!

 

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Boy Sewing Enthusiast Interview: Dana Goodman

Sewing with boys interview with Dana Goodman

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.

DanaHow 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!

 Sherwood and Tobias in Christmas jammies 2014

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!Gideon's Monster Thumbs Up Tee

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!

Sherwood in his hoodie 

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.

 Tobias in his hoodie

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 boys in their Christmas outfitsMy 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!

 

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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!

Boy Blogger Interview: Kelly from Handmade Boy

Sewingwithboys.com interview with Kelly from Handmade Boy

 

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Today on the blog, we are excited to share with you our interview with Kelly Simonsen,  blogger , sewer and talented photographer. Kelly blogs at Handmade Boy, where she writes about sewing for her handsome son. Kelly takes sewing for boys to a whole new level and is constantly inspiring her readers. Now, lets learn more about her.

How long have you been sewing? I have been sewing the occasional throw pillow or curtain valance and annual Halloween costumes for 15 years. It wasn’t until 4 years ago that I started to really get into it and sew on a regular basis. The last two years I have been more focused on producing professional looking items and building my skill to do so.

How many boys do you sew for? How old are they?  I don’t sew much for my husband. He would wear it if I did, though! I have a 17 year old son that I sew for occasionally. He actually requests things time to time. Thomas, is 4. He receives the most amount of handmade items in the house.

What is your favorite item you have sewn for your boy/boys?  Am I limited to one?! Yikes! The super hero High Five Hoodie is definitely up there. I also love Thomas’s fox Downton Duffle. And I am really proud of his Polar Parka. I have a slight obsession with coats. sewing with boys interview with Handmade Boy

 

What do you think are the biggest obstacles in sewing for boys? I don’t see a lot of obstacles in boy sewing. I think the biggest challenge would be using the cute and fun novelty prints he loves and keeping his clothes looking commercial and not “mommy made”. I like to use them to line pockets, or the yoke lining or collar stand lining of an oxford.IMG_9077web

 Where is your favorite place to buy fabric for boys? Mabel Madison, Fabric Worm, Hawthorne Threads and the men’s department in department stores. My favorite place for solid cotton for knit projects is purple seamstress.

 

Who are you favorite boy pattern designers? I love Peek-a-Boo Patterns. Very classic, timeless style that is easy to make my own style with. You can sew an entire wardrobe with just her patterns. Patterns for Pirates has wardrobe building pieces also along with fun stuff like the Wingman. I love the patterns Love Notions has as well. And Blank Slate, Scientific Seamstress/Sisboom, To Go Patterns, Shwin Designs, are all fabulous as well.

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What are your favorite sewing with boy resource(blog, books, etc)? When I started to really get into sewing, I had a few blogs that I loved to use for ideas. Dana Made it, Made by Rae, and I am Momma Hear Me Roar were my go to places for ideas. I really like the book Sewing for Boys, also.

 

Do you sew with the boys in your life? If so, what do you make with them? Thomas has sewn projects with me. He loves it. We made pajama pants together. Check it out here.  I am working with my older son to learn how to do simple repair skills. 

Why do you think it is important to teach boys to sew? Because they need to be self sufficient. Everybody needs to be able to hem a pair of pants or sew on a button or fix a ripped seam. It has nothing to do with being a boy or girl, it’s a life skill.IMG_9265web

 

What would you like to see more of in the Boy Sewing world?  More fabrics would always be great. Lots of boy prints are rather babyish looking, or dated. I tend to buy XXXXL men’s shirts to upcycle to get great stripes and prints.

 How do you challenge yourself to break gender stereotypes when sewing for your boy(s)? We use what ever fabric or embellishment we want. Thomas wanted purple My Little Pony pajamas, we made them. He wanted a glittery shirt, we made it. Two actually. We use unicorns and I just received some rainbow fabric in the mail that he has claimed. He has an Elsa blanket and has been requesting an Elsa shirt. It’s in the works. Boys are allowed to like ponies, glitter, unicorns, rainbows, and queens with magical powers also.Handmade Boy Interview-Concert time Picture!

 What (or who) inspires your boy sewing? Thomas. He is my little muse. He has a lot of input in the fabric I use and the style of his clothes. (He picked out all the fabric of his snow coat and pants.) He gets so excited when I make him a new shirt or pair of pants, or pajamas. Pajamas are his favorite. When he gets compliments on his clothes, he very proudly tells people I made them for him.

 Tell us a bit about your favorite boy(s)! Logan, my oldest is pretty laid back and relaxed. He is your typical 17 year old, into video games and hanging out with friends. Thomas is a high energy, exploring, exhausting, little person. He never stops. I think people think he is calm and still and easy going from his pictures, but it is not the case at all. I just have a fast shutter speed.

 

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Tell us about what inspired you to start your boys can wear pink series?  It was one of those things that just happened. It started with wanting to sew Thomas a shirt for Valentine’s Day. That meshed into the idea to do a blog post about boy’s Valentine’s Day shirt ideas. That morphed into the Boys Can Wear Pink series.

 Please take time to check out this series!

Boys can wear Pink Series

 

We would love to thank Kelly for letting us interview her and sharing her story.

Click to her blog HERE!