In honor of Celebrate the Boy week over at Made by Rae, I thought we would spend a little time today talking about sewing for boys.
At Oliver + S, we make patterns for boys and for girls. Not all other pattern companies do, but we are committed to this. We don’t make as many patterns for boys as we do for girls because, frankly, there is a much greater demand for girls’ patterns. Whenever we release a new collection that includes patterns for boys and girls, the girls’ patterns always outsell the boys’ patterns. I would really love for that to change, however, and I would be thrilled if in the future we can justify producing more items for boys. If you will buy them, we will make them!
As you’re no doubt already aware, boys’ clothing tends to be a bit more restrictive in terms of creative options. Most boys don’t wear pleats or ruffles, and tradition dictates that boys stick with shirts and pants. That narrows the options considerably. But I think the beauty is in the details when it comes to boys’ clothing. Here are a few examples, courtesy of our customers’ photos.
The Sandbox Pants pattern was one of our early patterns, intended for boys and girls. It has an elastic-back waist and a drawstring at the front (more for decoration than for function) as well as front and back pockets. The larger size range of this pattern (sizes 4-8) is still in print, and if you search around you can probably still find the small size range somewhere too.
I love this version of the pants, with striped fabric at the inside waistband and a brown ribbon for a drawstring.Corinnea’s Chaos
The Bedtime Story Pajamas have been a very popular patterns. This style recently went out of print, but never fear: we’ll be introducing new pajamas with some great details for fall! This style has been popular for boys and girls, and I suspect the boys like it because it’s somewhat reminiscent of a karate costume. The fun details here are in the neckband, ties and waistband. You can select from contrast or complimentary fabric as the trim for a little extra interest and fun.small dark and handsome
The Sailboat Top and Pants is a versatile boys’ pattern. The Sailboat Top can be made in woven or knit fabrics, and you can have all sorts of fun with your fabric choices as well as with the buttons at the shoulders and with the facings. I like the red buttons and facings in this classic (and classy) striped version.LouGrace
The Sailboat Pants (the pattern also includes a matching skirt for girls) have four buttons at the front and a cropped beachy style. This is a stylish twist on classic pants for boys.little birdy 3 chicks
Or make the pants in a fun print. Who can resist green and white elephants?sascharomeo
When we expanded our size range a while ago we released the classic Sketchbook Shirt and Shorts pattern, which is appropriate for boys of all ages. The shirt can be made with short or long sleeves as well as a convertible or a band collar. And the pull-on shorts include front pockets and a faux fly. I love the dressy combination of this classic white shirt with refined, striped shorts from Spool Sewing:spool sewing
Or use the same pattern to make a more casual, sporty shirt and shorts like this one:NoodlesHandmade
One of our most recent patterns, the Nature Walk Pullover and Knit Pants, is a very easy pattern. The kangaroo pocket at the front of the pullover, the piecing (great for color blocking!), and the collar and facing all offer lots of creative opportunities. Here is a classic striped option:the lovely nest
Here is a very fun version of the pullover, with rockets:nightknitter
So you can see some of the details that make boys’ clothing interesting. You can also find more inspiration for boys’ clothing in our Flickr group. (Thanks to all our customers who contributed these great photos of their work!)
In our newly released book, Oliver + S Little Things to Sew, you’ll find all sorts of things for boys, too: messenger bag, backpack, quilt, bucket hat, mittens, scarf, bento box carrier, explorer vest, and plenty of other items that will appeal. At least three-quarters of the 20 projects in the book are appropriate for boys!
In honor of Celebrate the Boy week, we’re giving away a three-pack of Oliver + S patterns: the Sailboat Top and Pants, the Sketchbook Shirt and Shorts, and the Nature Walk Pullover and Knit Pants. You pick the sizes. To enter the drawing for all three patterns, leave a comment telling us about your favorite thing to sew for boys. We’ll pick a winner on the morning of Friday, February 18. Once the drawing is complete, comments will close down, and we’ll post the winner’s name. If you’re the lucky winner, we’ll contact you by email to get your preferred size ranges and shipping information. Good luck!