Sewing With Boys

Inspired by Made's Celebrate the Boy, I thought I would share my thoughts on sewing with boys.  I am mindful of boys sewing.  What do they want to sew?  What do they need to sew?  Why will they want to sew?

I have come to a few conclusions.  First, from my own experience, kindergarten is the perfect age to introduce boys to sewing.  They get super excited about it and really, really see the possibilities.  They like to make stuff, ya know?  It's not easy, though, it's a challenge.  They like that part.  Oh yeah, there's sharp needles involved too. 
It never ceases to amaze me how a kid that could be bouncing off the walls one minute, will settle into a project and give it 100%.  I have often given my most challenging students handwork to do throughout the day.  Not only does it focus them, they feel a real sense of accomplishment. 
I have to note that the cutie pictured above is not a hyperactive child, but I loved the expressions I caught of him - intense concentration to pure satisfaction.  He worked hard for that pillow!
Next up is materials.  You have to have boy friendly fabric in your stash.  Anytime I put out some camouflage, the boys flock to it.  Even those that don't seem particularly into camo will get excited.  I also try to find some animal and sports prints.  It's hard to find boy fabric that is not too babyish.  Boys also seems to like notions like eyeballs, buttons, and pin backs and magnets.  I had a few loose socks on the sewing cart last week, and they quickly got sewn into crazy aliens and monsters.  From the looks above, they are also cuddly.
Lastly, finding the perfect project is essential.  We have found that projects for boys need to be useful - they loved the wristies and water bottle holdersMasks and capes are also a big hit.  Boys can be sweet too, though, like when they make something for their mom or sister and they choose pink or flower fabric. They know what it feels like to give something handmade.

So, what's the age cut off with boy sewers?  At my school, boys don't stay in Sewing Club past 2nd grade.  After that, I guess it's just not cool and there are more things to choose from.  I keep up with them, though, and they remain sewers at home.  Plus, it's a life long skill.  They are going to blow some minds when their future wives need a button sewn on and they jump to the task!

1 comment:

kristin said...

i love you Amie!!! YES!! "why will they want to sew?" it's crucial to see these projects from HIS point of view. my mind is churning with project inspiration for my boys at the preschool... THANK YOU!! xx