If you’re an avid sewist and you have boys in your family then you’re probably already aware of the book Sewing for Boys and its corresponding Flickr group. This book is great – I’ve made quite a few things from it – but my oldest son is now outgrowing the sizes and I’m on a mission to make more of his clothes this summer.
Here I’ve listed 10 resources (specific patterns, interesting blogs, style inspiration) for sewing for that difficult age range. I hope this gives you a little nudge to sew for those active, inspiring, intelligent, challenging, hilarious, studious, silly, big boys in your life.
10. Heidi and Finn Patterns
Most of the patterns offered by Heidi and Finn are for girls (and are very sweet ones at that!) but there is one urban unisex hoodie that is perfect for older boys (the pattern goes up to age 12).
Urban Unisex Hoodie Pattern by Heidi and Finn
Here’s one that Maya Mori made for her older boy and, I think you’ll agree, it looks pretty flippin’ awesome!
Image from Maya Mori – click on photo to go directly to blog.
9. Over-sized hoodie tutorial
If you don’t want to buy a brand new pattern then you can achieve a similar look by following this tutorial from The Boy Trifecta. I love, love, love the retro TV fabric.
8. Japanese sewing patterns
I’ve started to look more towards Japanese patterns both for myself and for the kids (boys and girls). I find that they are refreshing and offer something different from lots of mainstream options.
For boys in particular, I’m super excited about the new book Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids which is due to be released in English this November. The patterns go up to a size 9 years which is not quite as large as I would like but Japanese patterns usually pride themselves on simple, clean lines so I’m hoping the patterns pieces can be enlarged without too much stress or seam ripping!
If you just can’t wait until November, then you can buy the book now in Japanese. What’s that you say? You don’t speak Japanese?! Jeez, what’s wrong with you?! But seriously, the description of the book says it’s easy to understand with large diagrams so perhaps you could sew something up with the pictures and diagrams alone? Let me know if you try it!!
Also, another great resource for all aspects of Japanese sewing is the series that You and Mie hosted in March. Check it out here for lots of detailed explanations and inspiration.
7. Figgy’s Banyan trousers
I’m totally in love with these boy’s (and could also be for girls) banyan trousers. I recently bought this pattern and love the skinny legs (for my tall, skinny boy). I haven’t made them yet but you can bet they’ll be a blog post about them soon.
Banyan trousers from Figgy’s Patterns
Have any of you made and Figgy’s patterns? What do you think? (I’m also going to make up the shorts for my daughter who has literally been begging me for shorts recently).
6. Bellerose (for inspiration)
Bellerose is perhaps my most favourite clothing shop in Belgium. Sometimes I buy things, but more often I scan the racks and shelves for trends and inspiration. They do equally amazing women’s, men’s and kid’s clothing. Check back often for new styles.
5. Mamasha – Charlie and Jacob patterns
Sharon, the one-woman wonder behind Mamasha, has created two fantastic patterns for sale for boys up to age 9. Jacob is a retro-looking fab pair of trousers and Charlie is a lined, knit top with collar (and lots of variations). The patterns are available in paper and digital form and right now are only available in Dutch…but don’t despair, I know Sharon is working on English translations so I’ll let you know as soon as they are available!!
There are more lovely creations in the Zonen 09 Flickr group and you can find tons and tons of boy inspiration via Sharon at Mamasha. Please don’t let the Dutch put you off – there is some seriously good style and links here.
Image by Ik Ben Vink on Zonen 09 Flickr group
4. Mabo (for inspiration)
I’ve only very recently come across the small-scale shop, Mabo. It was love at first sight. They do both girls and boys clothing and they are perfectly simple, functional and understated. Here’s just a small sampling of their inspiring boys style.
3. Ottobre Design Magazine
The quarterly sewing pattern magazine, Ottobre, is a staple of sewing kids clothes. I must say, I turn to this most often for well-written patterns that leave room for lots of personalisation. It’s a Finnish magazine but you can purchase them in English. They have their own Flickr group for even more inspiration.
Like many sewing patterns, sometimes you have to look beyond the slightly…how shall I say it…’cheery’ photos in the magazines. I usually flip straight to the middle where you have outlines of all the styles (free from distractions). These really are well-constructed patterns and there are lots of options for knits as well, if that’s your thing.
My only complaint about these patterns is that seam allowances are NOT included so consider yourself warned!
2. Flashback Skinny tee
So, where would we all be without a good summer t-shirt?! They don’t get much better than the Rae’s Flashback Skinny tee. She now offers the pattern in sizes up to 14 years so there’s no excuse for not putting that knit fabric to good use! There’s even a whole Flickr group just for these tees.
1. Oliver + s Sketchbook shirt
Oh yes, Oliver+s! Liesl from Oliver+s is great about including boy patterns in her collections. She said herself she’d like to do more…as long as we all keep buying them, thereby showing her that we’re interested too!
Oliver+s sketchbook shirt and shorts
Doing a quick scan of her patterns, there are the ones that are available for boys up to age 12:
I highlight the Sketchbook shirt because I think this is a great, versatile pattern that can be tweaked to reflect
your your boy’s personal style.
So there you have it! Now, please, please, please tell me what I’m missing! I love all the resources I’ve listed here but, to be honest, I thought I’d find a lots more cool stuff that I hadn’t come across before. It seems that even with Celebrate the Boy, the Sewing for Boys book, and a huge revival in sewing in general, there still isn’t a great selection of modern, cool big boy clothing. Is it lack of demand? Do all your boys insist of shop-bought stuff? My kids are still happy to wear everything I make them but perhaps that will change in the coming years. What are your experiences?
Thanks for reading,