Sewing For Boys Book Review
My parents gave me the book “Sewing for Boys” by Shelly Figuero and Karen LePage for Christmas. It’s been sitting on my shelf since then, just waiting. Well, Boy’s Own Style Month is the perfect time to crack it open.
I started with the Little Heartbreaker Pants because pants are the first thing we run out of in Little Man’s wardrobe (ahhh, the joys of toilet training…). It’s also the July Sew-along pattern at Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy.
This is an intermediate pattern, and there are a few fiddly bits and little details, including pleats, faux fly, flat-front and button-hole elastic in the back, cuffs and pockets. Nothing is difficult to sew, but it just takes a bit of time (but a beginner could definitely do it!).
The book has full size pattern sheets and projects range in size from newborn to size 7 (not all projects cover all sizes though). The actual sizes for the bigger kid projects are 2/3, 4/5 and 6/7, so there aren’t as many sizes as you’d expect, which was disappointing.
There are no sketches of the finished outfits or detailed descriptions, and it’s difficult to see what all the details from the photos – you kind of have to work them out from the instructions. For example, all the photos of the Little Heartbreakers Pants have the model wearing the Out-Of-Town Jacket too, which covers all the waist details.
One thing I love about the book is that it states exactly when you need to finish the seams (including the authors’ advice on the best type of seam finishes, with a summary of them at the back of the book). There was also lots of top-stitching and other details that make home-made clothes look more professional.
There are only schematics with the instructions, and not every step has a picture so I did have to stop and think a few times to make sure I understood what I needed to do. Also, when doing the waistband and cuffs, the instructions didn’t say when you were pressing one edge of the fabric whether it was the top edge or bottom edge. Since my fabric was a directional print, I had to nut it out to make sure I didn’t have upside down trains!
Speaking of fabric, I used Trefle (Train Station Cars) by Kokka in Navy that has been in my stash for quite a while! It’s slightly heavier weight than quilter’s cotton, and just perfect for pants. I used the same fabric for the facing, except for the pockets – I didn’t have enough, so I found a scrap of green (since that’s my son’s favourite colour).
I added some extra details: firstly, a tag with my (old) blog header on the back (more on that another day), and a bit of fabric with the size written on with a permanent pen (my son asked me to make sure there was a tag so he knew which way to put them on – it should be obvious since they’re flat-front pants, but he’s just started dressing himself, so let’s make it easy!).
I also sewed down the button-hole elastic at the ends (I just know my son won’t be able to resist un-doing the buttons and then bye-bye elastic!). I also made the pants a little longer than the pattern (since my son is size 3 in length but size 2 in the waist and I wanted to have room to grow!). I then folded up the extra fabric to create a second cuff and stitched it at the side seams and inner seam to hold it in place. Then I’ll be able to quickly unpick those stitches after his next growth spurt.
Overall, I enjoyed making the pants and think they look snazzy. Little Man loves them – and they don’t seem to get in the way during trike races:
I’d love to make another pair from some thrifted men’s pants for more formal pants.
There’s a great range of projects in Sewing for Boys, and my first project is a success. I’ll definitely be sewing more from this book. With 24 projects including pattern pieces, it’s great value.
Have you made anything from Sewing for Boys?
I’ve sewn a few things from this book, including the heartbreaker pants, and really like how everything has turned out. As you say it’s great value and their tips mean you do end up with a much better finish. Your pants look fantastic, great fabric choice and your little boy is so cute in them. I love what you’ve done with the extra cuff, such a good idea. I’ve not kept up with the last few sew along patterns unfortunately but I’m hoping to join in again soon.
Ha! I tried leaving tags out and even with obvious details like pockets, my lil guy would come downstairs wearing backward pants. So the tags are most important for proper dressing 🙂 Nice job!
great pants! Very nicely finished
These came out great! After having sewn almost all of the pants from this book, one thing holds true. The patterns run on the big side. I find I generally make a size down for my 6 year old and lengthen them a bit. Which means, lucky for me, that we’ll get another two years out of these sewing patterns. Your added cuff trick is also great. Nothing worse than watching your child out grow a pair of pants that you just made a few months ago.
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