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Welcome to Sewing Stadium! Home of the Top Stitcher sewing challenge, and the jaw-dropping creations of the most imaginative minds in the sew-blogging world. You're in for a real treat. Go get inspired!

{Expert Interview} Sewing for Boys with Paisley Roots

Karly of Paisley Roots joins us today with some insight on boys sewing! Perfect accompaniment to this week's Sew-down

Totally stole this pic from Karly's Layering Pattern contribution to the Fall Pattern Showcase! But isn't she just so purdy??

Totally stole this pic from Karly's Layering Pattern contribution to the Fall Pattern Showcase! But isn't she just so purdy??

Becca: Thanks for joining us this week on Sewing Stadium, Karly! Tell me a bit about your sewing - how often you do it and who you sew for the most?

Karly: I sew a lot. At least a few times a week, sometimes less, sometimes more. I mostly sew for my kids. Jude and Aevarie are probably the two I most sew for.

How old are they?

Aevarie is 8 and Jude is 3.

Have you always sewn for your kids or did you stumble upon it more recently?

No. When I started sewing it was exclusively for my kids with my some things for my sister thrown in here and there.

What do you love most about sewing for kids?

Making clothes that actually fit them. We had major issues when Gavin was little cause he was tall and skinny and jeans never came with adjustable elastics, so his pants were always falling off of him. Gavins Naruto outfit was one of the first outfits I ever made:

Wow! How did he react to his momma made?

He loved it! The sewing was awful cause I had no idea what I was doing. LOL

We all start somewhere!! And you started with sewing for your son - What were your first impressions of the world of sewing for boys?

I was obsessed with trying to learn how to make clothing look store bought. And I loved the idea of being able to customize things and get a more tailored fitting. Not sure if that answers the question. LOL

LOL! It doesn't, but it's interesting insight! What RTW techniques did you adapt?

Techniques I think are topstitching and learning to use the double needle. I think realizing that the details are really what make and set apart items, along with editing. With prints, girls get away with a lot more, but you have to be more careful with designs and prints with boys.

Absolutely! How do you incorporate prints into boys wear?

Sometimes it's using Freezer paper stencils on solid fabric, other times it's adding a little bit of print somewhere like on a pocket onto a shirt. In the lining. I also end up making sure that they only have one crazy print and then pair them with solids to keep it under control.

One of Karly's Favorite Outfits for Toddler Jude!

One of Karly's Favorite Outfits for Toddler Jude!

It's hard to balance when you get to explore the world of girl's clothing, too. "Use ALL the prints!" How do you keep pieces interesting when you sew so many solids to tone down prints? Using patterns that have a lot of interest?

Oh yes. I love patterns with cool design elements. Like the TÄSCHLING pants and mini hudsons have some fun elements too.

For shirts, I'm loving the German patterns right now and have the Bee Style Kids hoodie. Also many custom fabric places are coming out with more boy prints that make it funner, or adding fun elements like applique. Like my pacman hoodie I just made Jude:

Wow! How do you get exposed to foreign patterns?

After I learned about Ottobre patterns I started doing more searches for foreign patterns since I love the design aesthetics they have
being part of PR&P (Becca's edit to add: Which she won, by the way!!) and clicking through the link ups, I found a lot of international bloggers and I loved their clothing.

This week's challenge features one such blogger! How do you think Annika and Stephanie did creating visual interest in their everyday boy's attire?

Annika's (Left) & Stephanie's (Right) "Your Life" - The Musical Topstitcher entries.

Annika's (Left) & Stephanie's (Right) "Your Life" - The Musical Topstitcher entries.

I think they did an amazing job. Both used the solids with a mix of super cute print and both had awesome fun elements in their designs. Like I loved the FMA sheep and the contrast on the shoulders in Stephanie's look and the top stitching on the jeans were amazing. And I loved Annika's layers and I adore the taschling pants. They have some of those really fun and cool elements for boys.

You have plenty of experience sewing for - and photographing - your own toddler son (maybe no so toddler anymore!?) - What do you think their biggest challenges were?

Sewing for Gavin has gotten more challenging just because of how big and old he is. It's harder to find fabrics that he likes and he's growing so fast, it's hard to make clothing fast enough to keep up with him growing. LOL He's now in adult patterns. For photographing, he has autism, so trying to get him to look at the camera is hard. But we've learned a groove when we do take pics. He is also a lot more vocal now in what I make for him and picky when it comes to patterns.

For Jude, he just loves it all. No matter what I make for him, he puts it on and runs out to the porch saying, "Take pictures mummy!"
I don't think the photography is as hard cause ever since my kids have been born I've constantly taken their pictures. It's just now that they think the pictures go hand in hand with them modeling my clothing I make.

How do their personalities and their preferences shape your boy sew projects?

Gavin challenges me more since he's more picky. Jude pretty much doesn't have opinions on that stuff yet so I can make whatever I want, where Gavin asks for things I wouldn't normally make. There's also more fitting involved with Gavin since he's more skinny. Mostly like with the jeans. I've really tried working hard on getting better at making them this year since Gavin is at an age where kids notice that stuff.

Anything specific [Gavin requests] come to mind?

The twisted trousers, I normally would not have put pink piping on them, but that was his request.

Those are awesome!! Was this for the boys wear pink series? I (not so) secretly wish I'd participated in that. So many possibilities!

Haha they weren't! They were just ones I made when the twisted trousers first came out. I let him choose fabric. It was nice cause the kid that had been bullying him in school told him he wanted a pair.

He did an excellent job! I love that you embraced the opinionated age most sewing moms dread, and turned it into such fabulous work that makes you and your son proud!

Thanks! I was a wild child with very opinionated bag lady ideas as a child and for the most part, my mum let me be me. I love hearing their idea's and inputs. There are some things I will say no to, but that rarely happens.

Speaking of Karly's "Signature Style"...

Speaking of Karly's "Signature Style"...

That's the beauty in sewing for your kids, isn't it?? The sky (or the stash??) is the limit!

Haha yes!

Do you have any Boy-Sew idols?

Two of my favorite boy bloggers are Sabra from Sew a Straight Line and Maartje from huisje boompje boefjes - They are very inspiring and talented and seriously amazing.

I'd love to hear their boy sew advice! And I look forward to seeing everything else you sew up! Thank you for sharing your boy sew insights with us!

Thank you!