Books: Growing up sew liberated + Sewing for boys

by kath_red on 30/11/2011

in Books, Sewing+Fabric

November is book month at

Growing Up Sew Liberated: Making Handmade Clothes and Projects for Your Creative Child By Meg McElwee, Published by Interweave Press (June 14, 2011).

Meg McElwee is a teacher and parent, crafter and blogger and she sure knows her stuff. Her latest book is all about sewing for kids – the practical side and fun stuff too. It’s for parents sewing for babies and up to about size 7 – but the bags, toys and dress-ups are more flexible of course. If you know how to size up your own patterns then you can use some of the clothing patterns as a guide to making bigger sizes for your bigger kids. I am going to have to do that with the sleeping johns and crossover tee – I also really love the pants pattern that is included too.

The kids clothing section is minimal because this book is about sewing all the things that your kid will need – there are a few basic clothing items plus other things a cape for dress-ups, a steiner style doll and that fabulous teepee on the front cover! Also there is quite a few baby essentials – including a baby wearing sling, bigs and baby clothes and some sweet toddler alphabet letters. For older kids there is a marvelous nature explorer bag.

For me this book is a big inspiration to throw away (or donate to charity) all those store bought toys and clothes and get back to basics again.

Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe By Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage, Published by Wiley; 1 edition (September 6, 2011).

I want my little boy to go back in time just a couple of years so I can make him some of these cutie pie duds. The clothing sizes range from babies up to age 7 – so if you have little boys in this age group then you are in very good luck – because these duds are super cute and practical too.

Because the patterns are written by the gals at Figgys – you are in good hands – these girls know how to sew and write a readable pattern. The patterns are not all aimed at the beginner sewist – there are some more difficult projects that require collars, pockets, buttons, interfacing, facing etc (The Henry shirt for example) – so there is plenty here to challenge and inspire the experienced sewist – while the beginner is not left out either. The lovely thing about making clothes for your little kids is that they appreciate it and wear it even if it’s not perfect – so the important thing is to give it a try even if you are unsure about whether your skills are up to the job – how else will you improve anyway.

Because I like my kids to have nice things to wear I don’t often indulge in special occasion sewing, but I love that there are some special occasion outfits for boys in here – lovely jackets and shirts with collars, a super cute pair of suspender shorts. But most of my sewing for kids involves quick, easy and practical sewing because I know they will be wearing them in the mud and climbing trees and playing soccer – and luckily this book has some of these sorts of things too – romper suits and raglan t-shirts and drawstring pants.

I did say earlier that the patterns only go up to size 7? You can always size up the patterns yourself – using your child’s current clothing as a guide. I think I might do that with the raglan t-shirt -and the linen shirt.

Project excerpt: Make the cute hat that appears on the cover.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Eileen December 2, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Oooo! I have two girls, so I hadn’t checked “Sewing for Boys,” but I’ve wanted to get my hands on “Sew Liberated” since it’s release!


2 shelly December 13, 2011 at 12:45 am

Thank you so much!!


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