on January 8, 2012
I really, really want to love this book. I have a little boy that I sew for quite a bit. I would say I am an intermediate sewer. I've sewn a dozen boy articles of clothing from various patterns. I have yet to finish one of these patterns in this book. I've attempted three and wind up really frustrated & ready to burn the book (just kidding... sort of). The clothes are cute, but the patterns are really hard to follow. And oftentimes the instructions are written wrong and I don't realize it until after I've sewn it together exactly like the book says. Then I have to rip it apart, figure out the correct way, and then re-sew. I've had my sister look at the book with me too - she's a much more experienced sewer - and she had the exact same problem. So, I would love to be able to use this book, but right now I feel like it was a waste of the $20 I spent on it.
on July 2, 2014
I was so excited when I bought this book. Finally I can sew so many cool outfits for my son!..
But when I looked at the designs, I was slightly disappointed. I guess I was expecting to see more basic items with a possibility to customize them. Something like Kwik Sew's Sewing for Baby, but in today's style and for bigger age. But most of the items in the book are already pretty custom, and not to my taste. At the time that I got the book my son was three months old, and there is just a few items for that age in the book. I tried to make him pants, but they were too baggy and short. I thought that I'll just wait till he is older to fully use this book.
Now he is two, and I decided to make the shirt for him. As I already stated, I would be happier to see just a usual shirt pattern, but the book has pretty unique design for the shirt. Oh well, I decided to make it anyway.
Pattern itself seems to be drafted by hand (side part of the shirt has a strange "notch", I don't know how to explain it, but it is not shown on drawings in the tutorial, and it makes no sense). So there is no surprise that the shirt turned out completely messed up in sizing. I stopped sewing after assembling the main parts, but I don't think that attaching a collar would help in any way... The shirt is twice as wide as needed, but the length is ok. I can't even imagine a 2-year-old with such proportions to wear this shirt, it's just awful. I also tried other patterns from this book: the raglan tee, little heartbreaker pants and shorts, and they all needed some modifications in sizing, they were too wide.
Unfortunately, sizing is not the only problem of the book. It's sometimes hard to follow directions, because they are so unnecessarily complicated. There are some drawings that are supposed to help, but I didn't find them helpful at all. For the parts that I could understand only after reading them 5 times - there were no drawings, and for pretty clear instructions that don't need any additional explanations - there were drawings!
Some things explained completely wrong. I have some experience in sewing clothes, I've been using commercial sewing patterns, which usually have pretty clear instructions. And I was shocked when after 5 times reading through an instruction of how to attach a closure strip I started doing exactly as it was explained, and found out that it's in fact just the ordinary bias binding attachment, but turned to the opposite side! Whaaat? I had to rip it all apart and sew it as I usually do, which is just the opposite to what the book said. And I had a nice closure on the RIGHT side of the garment, not on the WRONG side.
The book has a lot of pretty photos, but it seems more like a family photo album to me. For example, there are photos featuring two items, but only one of them is in focus. So for some items there are two almost identical photo-pages. At first I was wondering, why? But then I got it: one picture has one item in focus (while the other is hardly seen because the boy wearing it has his arms crossed and covering the whole thing), and the other picture has another item in focus. Why not use different photo lens, that would have both items in focus on one picture? I don't know. There is almost not a single shot from the back. Not for the shirts, not for the jackets, not for the pajamas. And you won't find out how Little Heartbreakers Pants look at the waistline or from the back, unless you make them.
So... I don't even want to love that book anymore, I'm just sad that I wasted my time and my fabric and my nerves... And ended up using self-drafted patterns.
on September 13, 2011
This is long overdue! As the mother of two boys and long time sewist, I have looked for a long time for cute, innovative, interesting, modern clothes to sew for boys. This book absolutely fits the bill! The patterns are clever and cute, with interesting details so the clothes don't just look like the boring stuff boys usually get. At the same time, the clothes are simple enough that it's easy to whip up the patterns! (Unlike awesome clothes for boys that take so long to sew that my boys have outgrown them before I'm done!)
I have sewn up the raglan sleeve t-shirts, the kickin' back sweats, the on-the-town jacket, little heartbreaker pants, sweatshirt (pauley's pullover), the treasure pocket pants, and the belt. Let me tell you, these patterns are AWESOME!
on January 20, 2012
I was excited to get this book, and think the pictures look great. Like one of the authors, I also have a boy with sensitive skin so sewing with seams on the outside for softness really appeals to me.
Having said that, I have made 3 items from the book and they have all been extremely ill-fitting. My boy is almost 3 and is the perfect waist and chest measurement for this size according to the book, however the sleeves in the tops I made him were easily 4-5 inches too long, while the length of the top is way too short. It is also far too snug if not using a stretch fabric (and these were not suggested)
I also made the hat, and had to recut the crown 3 times (eventually in the 6-7yr size) to match up with the 2-3 year size brim.
Instructions are not overly clear, but I am quite an experienced sewer so could muddle through. Hopefully if there is another edition of this book they will get the sizing right.
on February 10, 2013
My 2 year old son is wearing the 4 - 5 year old size of the Raglan shirt.. The Easy Linen shirt in a size 2 - 3 barely fits him. He is not a big kid for his age whatsoever. The pockets on the Two-in-one jacket are WAY off. Kids don't want to reach to the side of their hips to put there hands in. I've had to rip out several neck bands because their sizes are too small. Many of the patterns just seem "off" to me. It's disappointing because there are not many books out there for boy's clothing.
on March 11, 2013
I really want to like this book. And I mostly do, but there are some issues with the patterns. So far I've done the Mr. Two Face Pants twice, the Treasure Pocket Pants I'm just starting and the Pauley's Pullover.
The Mr. Two Face pants ended up way wider than I expected... and short. The Pauley Pullover was so short (my child should have fit the 12-18 month size) I couldn't do a drawstring. I had to improvise by making a hem band to lengthen it enough for it to even be wearable. It was also way too wide. The short and wide look isn't very flattering. The Treasure Pants I haven't finished yet, but I am disappointed to read that one of pieces is too small so I'll have to hunt the correct one down and recut my pieces.
I'm nervous to try additional patterns, but it is cute and if I take the time to adjust beforehand I think I could use some of the projects as wardrobe staples for many years to come.
The sewing world is in dire need of a book like this. I just hope the next edition will have better patterns and clearer instructions.
on April 27, 2013
Yes, the pattern selection out there for boys is abysmal. But one thing I noticed in reading reviews on here as that a lot of people were just jazzed there was a book on sewing for boys & didn't seem to have actually tried the patterns before reviewing. So I kind of approached this book with eyes wide open. I consider myself more on the advanced side in terms of sewing experience, and I have started putting detailed reviews and pictures of individual items from this book I have made on Craftster. Anyway, here are a few of my general comments/critiques:
1. The fit on some of these patterns is off. I made the fitted raglan t-shirt, and even though it is supposed to be "fitted," the sleeves were like sausage casings on my son (and he is not at all pudgy). He wears a size 3T normally, but I had to make my son a 4-5 from the book. I had to expand the width of the sleeves by several inches. And actually, I had to made the t-shirt three different times before I got the neck to go together correctly. Then I made the Kickin' Back Sweats and Goodnight Sweetheart PJs & they were really big & baggy. I would definitely advise anyone to make a "practice" version out of any of these patterns the first time with a cheap fabric.
2. The directions/markings could be better on some items. There are no fabric layouts and, in fact, I think the yardage requirements on the Goodnight Sweetheart PJs is about a half yard short. It would be nice if the Treasure Pocket Pants had markings for shorts, and if all the patterns had markings for where to lengthen/shorten (my son is long waisted & has short legs). And if I had never sewn pants/shorts before, I'm guessing I would have gotten mixed up on how the Kickin' Back Sweats go together because the pattern piece isn't marked in terms of what the inner leg is. There are opportunities for better diagrams.
3. There are a couple of sloppy construction techniques. The one that is my pet peeve is not hemming knits. I am working on shorts versions of Treasure Pocket Pants right now & they had pattern pieces for everything but the waist band, which is an elastic casing. The instructions tell you how to make your own by measuring the waist...but doesn't that defeat the purpose of having a pattern? Then there are also nice little details that are missing that you do find in Ottobre or oliver + s patterns. I get that moms of young sons may just want to cut to the chase & make something as quick as possible, but at least having options would make the clothes a bit cuter.
4. I live in the south & you can tell that the authors are from cooler climates. I can generally alter patterns myself, turning pants into shorts, but it would be nice to have more warm weather options...like summer PJ's or a rash guard. Especially if you are going to claim the book will allow you to "create a complete...wardrobe."
5. In addition to the lack of patterns out there for boys is the lack of cute & stylish boy fabric. In this book, it seems like the authors rely on a lot of custom fabrics for their projects. Yes they are cute, but custom fabric is pricey. It would be nice if they tried to use more (reasonably priced) fabric available to most people in brick & mortar fabric stores, more DIY customization like stenciling/stamping on solids, and trying to use fabric more efficiently (like fat quarters instead of yardage with lots of extra leftover). Or I'm working on making a shorts version of the Kickin' Back Sweats in fabric I patch worked together.
Those were kind of the big items and although it is a lot of negative, I am not totally unhappy with the book. Once I had gotten one pair of the Kickin' Back Sweats together, they were super easy & quick and I will probably use them as a standard go-to pattern for shorts. And they do have some cute patterns - that is why I haven't given up on the book. The Henry Shirt, Easy Linen Shirt, Luke Hoodie and Two-In-One Jacket are all very much on my "to sew" list. I am hoping that the next edition will be a bit more refined & maybe their pattern reviews prior to publishing will be more independent/thorough. I also hope the authors will split the sizes out: there is a tremendous difference between a 2 & 3, and fit is so important.
on February 25, 2012
This is the only book I've been able to find just for boys...there aren't any out there! There are some very cute designs in this one and I wanted it before it was even published. I've made both the raglan t-shirt and the kickin' back sweats; they're easy and fast for an experienced seamstress. I think they could be easily tackled by beginners as well.
But I can't give this book 5 stars because of a few things. First of all, the sizing seems off. I think it's because the sizes are 2/3, 4/5, 6/7 instead of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. So it's too big for a size 2 and too small for a size 3. I'm not sure why they chose to do in-between sizes instead of actual sizes. I know my boys are skinny, but I still had to take in both patterns that I've made. Some of the clothes also look ill-fitting on the models. Also, sizes seem to jump right from a 12-18 months to a size 2/3, and in my opinion there is a big difference in length through that age range. So the book seems to be best used as a starting point, adjusting the patterns based on clothes your kids own that fit. And that is my main sticking point...if I wanted to draft my own patterns I would. I bought the book because I wanted to be able to sew straight from the pattern pieces, and unfortunately I can't do that. Even if the sizing weren't off, it's also important to note that you have to retrace the pattern pieces in order to use them because they printed the patterns double sided. I don't buy a lot of sewing books, so I don't know if that's common, but it is a little annoying.
Overall, cute patterns, great value (you get a lot of patterns for the price of the book), OK instructions. If you don't mind working around the caveats mentioned above, it's a good purchase. Heck, if you're looking specifically for boys clothing books, it's pretty much your only choice.
on September 13, 2011
If only this book was written when my boys were little! Back in the day I had struggled to find cute and hip patterns when I sewed my boys their clothes. If only I had this book! Thumbing through this beautiful book (which I'm going to give as a gift), I'm in awe of the clothes - they are hip, modern, carefree and stylish. The photography is stunning, and the beautiful models look like everyday, real-life kids in real-life settings. Just a stunning book. If I were Cosmo Kramer, I'd attach legs to this book and turn it into a coffee table book. Yeah, it's that beautiful.
This book is long, long, long overdue - and the only fault I have with the authors is that they didn't write it sooner. Like 20 years sooner.
on September 7, 2011
As a learning-to-sew mother of 2 sons & 1 daughter, I fully realize the disproportionate amount of patterns for little boys. I've had this book pre-ordered, and it does not disappoint! There is a cute boys' dress, shirt (the Henry shirt), button up pajamas, several different styles of pants, even a (collarless) suit jacket, and reversible lined jacket. I love that each one is graded (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) but there are shirts, pants, and other projects of all levels. The 'easy linen shirt' can be made with a variety of fabrics, the list of which is also provided, and is on the 'easy' scale. I think it will be my first project from the book. I love the suspender shorts too. Swimming board shorts, t-shirts, sweats, pullovers, and toys are also included. I really was impressed with the variety of outfits. I can't wait to try the first project; I'll update the review later on how it goes.