Boys Can Sew, Too!

Can and should boys learn to sew?  Yes!  Yes!  Some of our top tailors today are men, and sewing teaches skills that all boys need in their repertoire.  Boys are fun to work with and approach sewing for a different purpose than girls.  You’ll find yourself learning some tricks from them.   Here are some ideas for adjusting how to teach boys to sew.
· Finding projects of interest is vital to a positive sewing experience.  Cargo pants, knife shields,  gear cases, bags and packs are always winners.  What are his hobbies?  Does he like camping or fishing?  Is he mechanically inclined?  Select  projects that have a purpose, even if they are above his skill level.  He’ll rise to the occasion when it’s worth it.
· Small hand coordination  does  not develop as soon in boys as in girls, making pinning and cutting out patterns, threading needles and snipping threads a frustrating process.  You may want to help pin the main corners of the pattern piece, and let him practice pinning in between the pins, one inch in from the cutting edge.  For success with the scissors, I suggest you  cut around the general outline of the pattern piece, then he can turn the pattern piece as he cuts  for more accuracy.  Also, rather than have him cut notches, purchase color coded sticky dots from an office supply, and let him stick these on for markings.
· I think a boy’s favorite word is “WHY?”    Boys want to see the big picture,  and by explaining the ‘why’ of each step of  the  project to him at the beginning, you  will avoid a barrage of questions throughout the sewing process.  Be aware, however, that there will still be a lot of questions.  While both boys and girls have limited concentration abilities, boys are especially prone to asking unrelated questions at unexpected times.
· Plan short sewing sessions—45 minutes maximum, and don’t keep him at the machine after his attention span has run out.  Keep sewing fun.
· Boy’s don’t press;  they iron—with gusto!
· Boys deal with frustration—both theirs and yours—differently.  They may blow up;  you may blow up;  but when it’s done it’s done.  Boys get over the episode and are ready to resume the task at hand as if nothing had happened.  This is refreshing.
· Boys are bold,  creative, and imaginative!  Allow them to develop their ideas.   Their color choices may make you shudder, but limit your suggestions to one or two.  Boys are less concerned about harmony than they are about impact.  Also, let them look through your fabric stash;  they will find purposeful uses for scraps that you never would have dreamed of.
Can boys sew?  You bet!  Let your sewing experience together not only be exciting and lots of  fun,  but a catalyst to help him develop a lifelong interest in sewing.

Copyright © 2012 Bunkhouse Books. All rights reserved.
JoAnn Gagnon, 1-800-337-8845