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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sewing For Boys Pump Up Series: The Authors



Eeeek!  I'm so, so excited to have Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage, authors of Sewing For Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe, here with us today.  These lovely ladies have not only inspired us all to get sewing, but they've been incredibly supportive of this series and the year long sew along. And trust me, this has very little to do with the fact that they stand to profit from the books that you lovely people have purchased.  These ladies are genuinely interested in supporting and mentoring us sewing mommas of boys.  Karen and Shelly have been all over the comments section of the blog in the last two weeks and if you've seen the Sewing For Boys-The Book Flickr group, you've seen that these very busy ladies have made comments on almost all of the photos posted there.  Amazing!

In this spirit of support, Shelly and Karen have answered a few questions for me and I'm sharing their answers with you.  Now, I warn you, I'm no journalist.  These were just the things I wanted to know about them and their creative journey.  If you have questions of your own, comment below and maybe these fabulous authors will have time to answer a few.

Okay ladies, on to the interviews.  We'll start with Shelly.


1.  When did you first start sewing?  Did you take classes, learn from a relative or friend or just dive in?
I first started sewing when I was 5.  My mother is an amazing sewist and started us with hand sewing doll clothes.  By the age of 6, I was sewing with a machine.  I also attended 4-H club where they taught us how to sew and crochet.

2.  How did you get started in the sewing pattern business?

I first started sewing ready-made garments for sale in 2008.  I found myself frustrated with the lack of available large and independent pattern companies that would allow a stay at home sewist to use their patterns and sell at markets or on sites like Etsy.  I then decided it was time to start designing and creating my own patterns.  In 2009 I took one of my designs to a local fabric shop and the owner asked if I could make a pattern and teach a class.  It began and blossomed from there.


3.  What is your favorite boy article of clothing/accessory to sew and why?

If you know me, then you know I love simple; comtempary pieces.  I love sewing the boys "kickin back sweats".  It's a very versitale pattern, you can use woven or knit fabric, add applique or pockets and create three different lengths to use as sweats/pants, skate pants or shorts.  

4.  On average, how many pieces of clothing do you hand make each year for your children?

Good question.  When Karen and I were writing the book, I made close to 40 garments for the boys in 5 months.  Now that the book is finished they get a new pair a PJ's every other month and with each season I make Tee's, sweats and Easy Linen shirts (not always in linen). Probably about 18-20 garments a piece, per year.   


5.  What are your favorite fabrics, embellishment techniques for boy clothing?

For my boys definetly knit.  They need to jump, bounce and be comfortable.  During the winter months I'll line their pants with knit which also allows for some extra warmth and durabilty.  



5.  What is your favorite thing about being a mom of boys?

I love to wrestle and rough house with them because then at the end, they love to hug me and snuggle.  I feel like I get the best of both worlds because I am currently the only girl for them.  As much as I'd love to have a little girl, right now I feel I was made to raise boys and I've been blessed to have received two healthy and really unique boys. 

And Karen, how about you?


 1.  When did you first start sewing?  Did you take classes, learn from a relative or friend or just dive in?

I started sewing when I was five.  I think I really began to LOVE sewing when I realized I could make clothes for myself, and not just Halloween costumes, or blankets for my stuffed animals.  I started really caring about learning to sew well when I started watching "Sewing with Nancy" on PBS.

2.  How did you get started in the sewing pattern business?

I've made my own patterns as long as I have sewn.  But, when Shelly asked me to be her partner in PBF was the first I'd ever thought of selling patterns.

3.  What is your favorite boy article of clothing/accessory to sew and why?

I love sewing shirts.  My (currently man-sized) son always wears what I make him, but he seems to get the most use from his button-down shirts.

4.  On average, how many pieces of clothing to you hand make each year for your children?

I make anywhere from 20-30 garments a year for the little one, and 4/5 more for the older kids.


5.  What are your favorite fabrics, embellishment techniques for boy clothing?

My favorite fabrics for sewing boy garments are cotton shirting, linen, and any soft knit.

To embellish, I'm a fan of the subtle approach; contrasting facings and anywhere else i  can inject a surprise bit of color.  I really love to appliqué in a free-hand style on tee shirts.

5.  What is your favorite thing about being a mom of boys?

They love their mommies :)

Thank you so much ladies for answering my questions and for your amazing support over the course of this series.  For more information about Shelly and Karen, visit Sewing For Boys The Website.

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2 comments:

  1. Great interview!!! I am really inspired by the number of clothes you make your kids each year. something I would love to strive for!!!

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  2. I can honestly say Kris that if I didn't have to sew as much as I do for "testing" then they probably wouldn't get so much. :0 lol Maybe one day I'll get something!

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