Let’s Play Round Up: Sewing with Boys


The weather is getting warm and the days are getting longer. It is time for adventure and play. This weeks round up is about sewing up fun things to get boy’s imaginations going and bring some adventures into their lives.

How fun are these no sew super heroes costumes! from Twin Dragonfly Designs


Adventures require a tent, right. I love this one from Obsessively Stitching


Every prince needs a crown! This felt one from Making things for kids is great!


And every prince needs a horse! Check out these stick horses from Lia Griffith


And I will wrap it up with this fun fishing game from Make it love it!


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

Junior Tool Belt Tutorial

If there’s one thing my boy likes to do, it’s to help out! (In as many ways as possible!) Recently, we put together a new play set in our yard, and my little man was all about Daddy’s tools!

With that in mind, I’d like to share with you a tutorial for a Junior Tool Belt…perfect for the little handyboy in your house! 

I created this easy-on belt for my son, who has recently taken an interest in all things TOOL. I wanted him to have his own special place to store his gear, and I wanted him to have complete control over all of it…from loading it up, to putting it on and taking it off again. This tool belt fits the bill with an elastic waist in the back, and a removable tool pocket in the front. 

Sounds ideal, right? Not having to stop what you’re doing to fasten/unfasten little dress up parts at the whim of your preschooler (or even, if we’re being honest, your grade schooler)? Yeah it does! Let’s get started! 

We’re going to begin by gathering measurements and materials. 

What you’ll need:

1/2 yard material for belt 

(this is a generous estimate to encompass all junior sizes)

1/4 yard of 2″ elastic 

3″ of velcro

fusible interfacing (for lighter weight fabrics)

regular sewing supplies/notions

Begin by measuring your child’s waist.

*Tip: When measuring your child’s waist, remember that this belt will be worn over clothing. I recommend you measure over the waistband of his bulkiest pants. 

Now, there’s a little math involved to figure out cutting lengths, but trust me…if I can do it, you can do it! 

In my example, we will use a starting waist measurement of 24 inches, and plan for a 1/2″ seam allowance throughout. Also, I have decided I want 5 inches of elastic in the back of my belt (before seam allowances.) 

24″ (waist) – 5″ (elastic) = 19″ (belt material) 

Based on these measurements:

cut 2 pieces of main material, 19″w x 3″l

cut 2 pieces of fusible interfacing, 19″w x 3″l (if needed) 

cut 1 piece of 2″ elastic, 6″w

cut 2 pieces of main material 2″w x 5″l (for loops)

*Tip: Note that an inch has been added on to the elastic cut to accommodate the seam allowance, but not onto the main material cut. Losing an inch to seam allowance on the material will give the belt a snug fit, and keep it from slipping down. Feel free to remove another inch, if you’ve got a junior with an extra slim build.

When the belt pieces have been cut, apply the fusible interfacing as needed.

Before we put our belt together, let’s create some tool holding loops.

Begin by ironing the 2″ x 5″ pieces in half, wrong sides together, to create a crease in the middle (1).  

Open the pieces back up, and refold each edge piece in (wrong sides together) to meet at the crease in the middle (2). 

Fold the piece in half again on the middle crease (3) and (4). 

Edge stitch from top to bottom to hold in place (5). 

Now, let’s place them on the belt. 

A quick way to find the middle of your belt piece is to fold it in half, and pinch it to make a crease. Using that as a marker, measure outward the desired distance (4″ in this example) on either side of the middle, and pin your loop in place on the back layer. Make sure the loop is facing towards the belt so that it will be sandwiched in between the upper and back belt layers. Pin the upper layer to the back layer, and stitch across the length of both the top and bottom widths. Trim seam allowances, and use the open ends to turn the belt right side out. Press the belt. 

Fold back the open edges and clip the corners of the seam allowances. This will make it easier to place the elastic. Turn the edges of the belt in, wrong sides together. This makes a nice folded edge in which to slide your elastic. Push the elastic in 1/2″. You may have to wiggle it just so, but it will fit! Sew it into place using 1/4″ seam allowance, and repeat on the opposite side. 

Top stitch the belt main fabric. 

Ta da! You are finished with the belt! On to the removable pocket!

The space between my loops measured 6″. In this example, I wanted my pocket to be 5.5″ wide x 6″ long. 

Based on these measurements:

cut 2 pieces 6.5″ w x 7″ l (pocket back pieces)

-repeat with interfacing, if needed

cut 2 pieces 6.5″ w x 5″ l (pocket front pieces)

-repeat with interfacing, if needed

Once the interfacing has been applied, lay the back pocket pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, stitch around the four edges, leaving about a 2″ gap to turn. Clip corners and trim seam allowances. Turn right side out and press. Repeat with the front pocket pieces, then add top stitching on the top of the pocket front piece.

Lay the pocket front piece on top of the pocket back piece. Make sure the gap on the pocket back piece is at the bottom of the pocket. Pin into place. 

Stitch around the three outer sides, beginning at the top of one side, and ending at the top of the other side. 

All that’s left now is to place the velcro! 

Cut two pieces, each 1.5″ long. 

Using the back side of the pocket, place the hook velcro 1/2″ in from the side edges, pin, and sew into place. 

I used those pieces to help me line up the loop pieces on the front of the belt. Pin into place and sew. 

And there you have it! Your very own (I-Can-Do-It-Mom!) Junior Tool Belt! 

Now, your little man can walk around wearing this sweet tool belt and singing Weird Al’s “I’m So Handy” all the livelong day, too!

Happy Sewing!

(This post was previously featured over at Sew McCool.)

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.


SWB Round-Up: Sew Easter for Boys


There is nothing quite like seeing our handsome boys dressed to the nines, and with Easter quickly approaching, we have the perfect excuse to pull something dapper together! Check out these tutorials for some Easter inspiration of your own!


Even the littlest of men can get in on the fun with these sweet Baby Suspender Shorts. (Crafting Zuzzy)


Keep your little guy classy with this free Boys Blazer Pattern. (Shwin & Shwin)


Sew a timeless vest with this Boy’s Vest Tutorial/Pattern. (Mother Huddle)


And don’t forget the men with this Father’s Day Tie tutorial! (The Purl Bee)


Happy Sewing!

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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SWB Round-Up: Woven Prints for Boys


It’s time to start sewing for those summer vacations on the horizon! There are some amazing fabric lines for boys out there…and today, we’re going to share just a few of our favorite woven prints with you! Get ready to get inspired!


Get your little man ready for the beach with Sarah Jane’s Out to Sea line. (Michael Miller)


Island vacation, anyone? Deck him out in Dennis Bennett’s Ipanema! (Birch Fabrics)


How about getting back to nature with Jay-Cyn Designs Feather River line. (Birch Fabrics)


Or, prepare for big adventure (and big s’mores!) with Laurie Wisbrun’s Roughing It line. (Robert Kaufman)

You’ll be lazy-day ready in no time! Happy Sewing!



St. Patrick’s and Pi Day Tees

These past few weeks, I feel like I’ve been running around like crazy, just barely keeping up! If you’re anything like me, you may need some last minute tees for St. Patrick’s Day and Pi Day. Well, I have some free printables to help you (and me) out! I honestly can’t even call this a tutorial – literally all you do is print one out on transfer paper (this is what I use) and follow the directions to put it on a shirt.

I Blame the Leprechauns PDF file


What a ham. He totally would blame the leprechauns for stealing all that gold – and with that face, most people would believe him 😉

Pi Day PDF file (this includes the graphics for both tees)


I think Pi Day is hilarious. Such a ridiculous “holiday”, but such a nerdy one! And it is Albert Einstein’s birthday after all, so why not celebrate it? I figured a silly holiday needed a silly shirt – this one is inspired by Weeble and Bob and the fact that 3.14 (pi) backwards looks like “pie”.


This one is a little more serious, but still fun. The “π” symbol is surrounded by (some of) the infinite numbers that make up pi.

Have fun celebrating this month!

Lego Sewing Project Round-up

Round up of fun lego themed sewing projects.

Today, we would like to share with you some great lego sewing projects. Legos are such a great way to let little boys imaginations run wild.  We hope you enjoy the wonderful tutorials that we found.


I love this little carrier by Crazy little projects! It is so smart and the ninja fabric used is adorable!

legoorganizerWhat a great storage idea from Free Styling Beth!


Desert Chica has an awesome template for making a great lego shirt.


I even found a tutorial for making lego sewing machine at Such Designs. I cannot wait to make this with my son.

I hope these get you inspired to sew up some lego themed items with your boys!!


Too Short Pants into Cool Shorts Tutorial

 Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts


It’s hard to believe with all the Winter weather we have been having, but Spring is just right around the corner. Now is the perfect time to go through your boys wardrobe and decide what is going to go and what is going to stay. Before you toss those pants that are just a little to short in the GO pile, turn them into a pair of shorts for your boy. It is super simple when you follow our tutorial. This would also be a great project to sew WITH your boy. Then he would always know how to turn pants into shorts.

Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts
Grab a pair of pants that fit in the waist, but are too short.

Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts
Mark your pants the new length you want them plus your seam allowance. (I used a ½” seam allowance)



Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts
Draw a line straight across using a ruler


Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts
Cut pants off along line.
Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts
Fold your seam allowance up 1/4″, press, fold your seam allowance up 1/4″ again and press.

Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts
Using a ¼” seam allowance stitch down your new hem

Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts



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