Sewing for Boys / La couture pour garçons

Someone recently asked me where to find sewing patterns for boys. Here is the list I put together. The person asking, sent me the question in French, so I thought I’d do a bilingual post for a change, and also include some links for French speakers.

On m’a récemment demandé où trouver des patrons couture (en français) pour les garçons. Ooof! pas facile. Voici ma petite liste. J’espère que vous la trouvez utile. Et oui, je présente le tout dans une article bilingue pour faire changement. 

A list of great independent sewing pattern companies with patterns for boys.
A list of great independent sewing pattern companies with patterns for boys.

 

Boys Sewing Patterns in English /
Patrons couture pour garçons en anglais

 

Oliver + S
Digital and paper patterns in English to US size 12 (EUR 146).
Patrons numériques en anglais jusqu’à la taille 12 (EUR 146).

Blank Slate Patterns
Digital patterns in English to US size 8 (EUR 128).
Patrons numériques en anglais jusqu’à la taille 8 (EUR 128).

Brindille & Twig
Digital patterns for knits in English to US size 5/6 (EUR 116).
Patrons numériques pour tissus extensibles en anglais jusqu’à la taille 5/6 (EUR 116).

Made by Rae
Digital patterns in English to US size 14 (EUR 164).
Patrons numériques en anglais jusqu’à la taille 14 (EUR 164).

Titchy Threads
Digital patterns in English to US size 12 (EUR 152).
Patrons numériques en anglais jusqu’à la taille 12 (EUR 152).

Elegance & Elephants
Digital patterns in English only, to US size 12 (EUR 152).
Patrons numériques en anglais jusqu’à la taille 12 (EUR 152).

Shwin Designs
Digital patterns in English to size 9 (EUR 134).
Patrons numériques en anglais jusqu’à la taille 9 (EUR 134).

Burdastyle
Digital patterns in English to size EUR 152 (US 12), though you can also get the magazine, which contains mostly women’s patterns, in French and other languages.
Patrons numériques en anglais jusqu’à la taille 12 (EUR 152), mais c’est possible de prendre la magazine, qui contient surtout des patrons femmes, en français.

Lou Bee Clothing
Digital patterns in English to size 12 (EUR 152).
Patrons numériques en anglais jusqu’à la taille 12 (EUR 152).

Heidi & Finn
Digital patterns in English to size 12 (EUR 152).
Patrons numériques en anglais jusqu’à la taille 12 (EUR 152).

Peekaboo Pattern Shop
Digital patterns in English to size 12 (EUR 152).
Patrons numériques en anglais jusqu’à la taille 12 (EUR 152).

Ottobre Magazine
Pattern magazine in English, French and more and goes to size EUR 170 (US 16).
Magazine de patrons disponible en français, anglais et autres, tailles jusqu’à EUR 170 (US 16).

Zonen 09
Digital and paper patterns in English, French and Dutch up to size EUR 134 (US 9).
Patrons papier et numériques en anglais, français et néerlandais jusqu’à EUR 134 (US 9).

Citronille
Paper patterns in French and English to size 12 (EUR 152).
Patrons papier en français et anglais, parfois jusqu’à la taille 12 (EUR 152).

 

Boys Sewing Patterns in French /
Patrons couture pour garçons en français

 

Ottobre Magazine
Pattern magazine in English, French and more and goes to size EUR 170 (US 16).
Magazine de patrons disponible en français, anglais et autres, tailles jusqu’à EUR 170 (US 16).

Zonen 09
Digital and paper patterns in English, French and Dutch up to size EUR 134 (US 9).
Patrons papier et numériques en anglais, français et néerlandais jusqu’à EUR 134 (US 9).

Citronille
Paper patterns in French and English to size 12 (EUR 152).
Patrons papier en français et anglais, parfois jusqu’à la taille 12 (EUR 152).

Gasparine
Paper patterns in French only to size 12 (EUR 152).
Patrons papier en français uniquement jusqu’à la taille 12 (EUR 152).

Filles à Maman
Digital patterns in English and French to size 14 (EUR 164)
Patrons numériques en français et anglais jusqu’à la taille 14 (EUR 164).

Jalie
Paper and digital patterns in English and French to size 13 (EUR 158)
Patrons paper et numériques en français et anglais jusqu’à la taille 13 (EUR 158).

If you need more ideas, there is a group on Flickr called Celebrate The Boy which does just that. It’s full of people’s amazing sewing creations and often the patterns used are mentioned so you can look them up.

Il existe aussi une groupe sur Flickr qui contient uniquement des créations couture pour garçons, ainsi c’est possible de suivre les liens pour savoir quel patron les gens ont utilisés.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.

Vous en connaissez d’autres? Laissez les infos dans les commentaires.

Une liste de patrons couture indépendants pour garçons.
Une liste de patrons couture indépendants pour garçons.

At The Clothing Swap

This weekend I spent my Sunday at a clothing swap. My friend K. is one of the organizers, and she and a friend hold one swap in the spring and another in the fall. It’s a great idea, so I thought I’d blog about it, in case you’ve never been to one.

How does a clothing swap work?

Everyone goes through their closet and collects any clothing that is in good condition, but that isn’t being worn. Sometimes, it’s because it’s no longer the right size, sometimes not the right style, and sometimes it’s one of those regrettable purchases that happens to the best of us. At this swap, we’re welcome to bring clothing for women, men and kids, and accessories too.

Then every one brings their swap clothes to the swap, shows them to the crowd, and hopefully the clothes find a new home. What isn’t snapped up goes to charity. What doesn’t fit goes to charity. What doesn’t suit goes to charity too. Also, did I mention there are snacks? Yummy ones? Yes, It’s a potluck brunch too. Fun!

The concept is really great because it gathers people who are friends (or at least friendly acquaintances), who are approximately the same age, and who have similar tastes. That means that more clothing gets a new lease on life, and that in turn, means less clothing in landfills.

My new-to-me outfit, all from a clothing swap.
My new-to-me outfit, all from the swap.

Why is this a big deal?

American each discard 82 pounds of clothing per year. About 70 pounds of that ends up in a landfill. According to the the US EPA, 5 per cent of all landfill production is textile waste. And about 90 per cent of that could be recycled.

Donations to charities are a staple for getting rid of unwanted, but usable clothing. But thrift shops are only able to resell about 20 per cent of the clothing they receive. There is just too much of it.

According to Waste Couture, “There are nowhere near enough people in America to absorb the mountains of castoffs, even if they were given away.”

The rest is downcycled, sold by weight as textile scraps for various industrial purposes. However, recycling clothing uses even more energy and resources, so anything that can divert used clothing earlier on is great at reducing waste.

T-shirts I got at a clothing swap.
My oldest two kids each got a t-shirt at the swap.

What are the benefits?

These are my own personal thoughts of course. Your experience may vary.

  • You clear out your closet. Just being able to see the things you can wear, because they are easier to access, helps get the things you like back into regular rotation. It is very freeing. And it is easier to part with me-made clothing, since it’s going to a “good home”.
  • You pay attention to how much you buy. For example, I apparently, have three long-sleeved, v-neck red sweaters, which really, is two too many. Regularly reviewing your clothing purchases is very eye opening. A lot of things that are brought to the swap have never been worn. Some still have the tags on them.
  • You start to become better at knowing what you like. For a long time I liked turtlenecks, but I just don’t think I’m a “turtleneck person” anymore. But someone at the swap might be! And once, I got an amazing long Uniqlo cardigan, because the person who bought it had decided they weren’t a “long sweater person.” Everyone wins.
  • You save money. You get new clothes for free. You buy less. Enough said.
  • You gain a better appreciation of your own shape. Seeing six real-life women in the the same t-shirt is useful. People come in so many shapes in sizes, and nothing looks the same on them all, and that’s great! And it is the exact opposite of the message sent by every glossy magazine ad that you have ever seen. It’s too easy to compare yourself to the implausibly photoshopped and end up feeling somehow “less than”, instead of appreciating yourself as a unique human being, warts (or in my case, four pregnancies) and all.
  • Free fabric. As someone who sews, I also see opportunities to repair, refashion and upcycle some of the fabric. If you can sew, and your crowd buys clothing made of quality fabrics, there are some cool finds in the clothing reject pile.
  • Fun! (I did mention the snacks and friends, yes?)

So what did I get this weekend?

Glad you asked! I got a two shirts for my husband, a couple used DVDs, a t-shirt for each of my two oldest kids, and a really pretty enamel bracelet for my third. (Kid No 4 had snacks at the swap, so she wasn’t too sad to not get anything later). I got a knit shirt and a new-to-me pair of jeans, just as my favourite pair are nearing the end of their usable life, a scarf, and three sewing patterns from the 90s. Overall, a pretty good haul!

Patterns I got at a clothing swap
Patterns I got at a clothing swap. These are New Look 6343, 6576 and 6603. There could be a shirt dress in my future.

Do you have any other suggestions for diverting clothing from landfills? Leave it in the comments!

The Big List of Independent Sewing Patterns for the Plus-Sized Sewist

The Big List of Plus Size Independent Pattern Designers
The Big List of Plus Size Independent Pattern Designers

Am I plus-sized? I don’t know. It all depends on what plus-size means. But I do know that I love independent pattern companies, and their patterns do not always come in my size.

So I’ve put together a list of sewing patterns companies that make things a bit bigger (plus-size, curvy, full-figured?) and that hopefully will be of use to others as well.

This list was last updated on April 28, 2015.

Women

Men

For each company, I’ve listed the largest size they carry (in their own sizing terms, which vary quite a bit) and the largest bust/chest size in inches, since it is a measurement that is universally listed.

Since the average bust measurement is 40″, according to Size USA, I’m listing everything above. So really, this is a list for the slightly-above-average and up.

Women

Independent pattern companies bust 41″-43″

Independent pattern companies that go up to size EUR 46, US size 20, bust 41″-43″.

Independent pattern companies bust 43″-45″

Independent pattern companies that go up to size EUR 48, US size 22, bust 43″-45″.

Independent pattern companies bust 46-48″

Independent pattern companies that go up to size EUR 50-52, US size 24-26, bust 46-48″.

Independent pattern companies bust 50-52″

Independent pattern companies that go up to size EUR 54-56, US size 28-30, bust 50-52″.

Independent pattern companies bust 54+”

Independent pattern companies that go past size EUR 58+, US size 32+, bust 54+”.

Big 4 pattern companies

Big 4 pattern companies that go past size EUR 50+, US size 28+, bust 50″+. 

Men

Independent men’s pattern companies

Big 4 men’s pattern companies

  • Burda – Maximum size: 50, chest 47″
  • New Look – Maximum size: XL chest 48″
  • Butterick – Maximum size: XL chest 48″
  • Vogue – Maximum size: 48 chest 48″
  • KwikSew – Maximum size: XXL chest 52″
  • McCalls – Maximum size: XXXL chest 56″
  • Simplicity – Maximum size: 5XL, chest 64″

Did I miss a favourite pattern company? Let me know in the comments!

Update: A reader has just let me know that there is another, similar list by Cashmerette. Unfortunately, my Google searches didn’t find it before I wrote this post. She compares various pattern companies in detail across a larger range of measurements, and she has other pattern companies listed as well.

My Imaginary Life Through Vintage Pattern Illustrations – Part II

I had the best surprise yesterday! I got a package in the mail and it looked suspiciously sewing-related. Except that I hadn’t ordered anything. What could it be?

Inside were these amazing vintage patterns from my friend F. (Name withheld to protect the innocent from the harsh glare of sewing blog fame). These patterns are so amazing!!! And unexpected. She had been helping her parents move, and found these and thought of me. Yay!

Looks like someone (her mum?) was a big fan of the mod look in the late 60s.

Vintage patterns from the 1960s.
Vintage patterns from the late 1960s.

And beyond the obvious benefit of now being able to sew some really amazing dresses, it also means round two of  My Imaginary Life Through Vintage Pattern Illustrations.

Vogue 1866 Vogue Couturier Design Fabiani - One-Piece Dress
Vogue 1866 Vogue Couturier Design Fabiani – One-Piece Dress

I don’t even know where I’m going in this outfit, but I bet I need a Vespa and a bob haircut to get there. And the hat!

Vogue 1910 Vogue Paris Original Lanvin - Misses One-Piece Dress
Vogue 1910 Vogue Paris Original Lanvin – Misses One-Piece Dress

This dress looks pretty modern. Until you get to the broach, but this might be my safest bet to sew. She’s wearing gloves (and Lanvin), so maybe I get to go to some sort of posh party. The theatre, perhaps.

Vogue 2097 Misses' One-Piece Dress
Vogue 2097 Misses’ One-Piece Dress

Oh yay! Looks like Mr Garment is taking me out to dinner someplace fancy. View A folks! Will there be cocktails^

Vogue 1867 Vogue Couturier Design Federico Forquet - One-Piece Dress
Vogue 1867 Vogue Couturier Design Federico Forquet – One-Piece Dress

Looks like I’m off to some sort of party with Edie Sedgwick, maybe. Or just lunch in Rome? I think this one is my favourite. The dress might need to be just a tad shorter though, no?

Vogue 1985 Vogue Americana Teal Traina - Misses' One-Piece Dress
Vogue 1985 Vogue Americana Teal Traina – Misses’ One-Piece Dress

This one is cute, but I’m not sure if I can pull it off with my figure. I’m not as petite as those 60s models. But it looks like I’m off to the Mad Men steno pool.

Vogue 1985 Vogue Americana Teal Traina - Misses' One-Piece Dress
“Young, fresh, bright and professional!”

On the back it describes the designer’s look as “young, fresh, bright and professional!”. Yup, I’m off to get a job!

Vogue 1854 Vogue Americana James Galanos - One-Piece Dress
Vogue 1854 Vogue Americana James Galanos – One-Piece Dress

Now, with the improbable bowler, I can only be off to a casting session for The Avengers. But hat aside, this dress is the most unique. It has a sort of draped panel that opens on one side in the front (with a pocket) and the opposite side in the back. Very unique!

So thank you very much F. for sending me the patterns, and please thank your mother for me, for her great taste in 1960s patterns and for making you clean out the basement.

So what do you think? What should I sew first? And where can I get those hats?

Down Through The Chimney

Looks like Santa has noticed I sew. This is what was under my tree this year.

Megan Nielsen Cascade Skirt, Sewaholic Minoru Jacket and Hollyburn Skirt, Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress and Roller Skate Dress
Megan Nielsen Cascade Skirt, Sewaholic Minoru Jacket and Hollyburn Skirt, Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress and Roller Skate Dress

I was lucky enough to get a big stack of patterns. There are some for the kids and some for me too. What should I make first?

Tripod from Santa
A tripod.

I also got a nice tripod. Nothing fancy, but hopefully it will help me get some nicer photos of the things I sew for myself. Can’t wait to try it out.

Thanks Santa (and his helpers too!).