Today’s post is a sewing project for boys and I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be the first of many. I’m not saying pirates are a boys thing or that sewing is a girl’s thing (Errr..Paul Smith, Savile Row, Alexander McQueen anyone?) but when my lads expressed an interest in doing some sewing I was delighted and since the big one had drawn some excellent pirates the day before I decided to turn one of them into a sewing template and teach the boys some basic running stitch. Here’s what happened plus some helpful tips should you want to try this too!
First of all…Things You Should Know About Sewing With Boys
- Assume no knowledge. One of mine barely knew what to do with a needle, let alone how to thread it (I know!). I found it useful to talk to them a bit about what sewing actually is and why it’s cool and quite handy before we started. Like teaching kids anything at all, putting this in a context they could get excited about was helpful too. (“So, you know when the baddies have left you to die in the desert, you’ll be fine, because you can use your needle to stitch yourself a sun shade…”)
- Use wool or yarn, not embroidery thread like I did. This is because embroidery thread is made up of several strands and although I thought it would be good to introduce them to actual embroidery materials, several times not all the strands had passed through the eye of the needle and this caused a few knots. However, using a real needle and not a plastic one, even though it was sharp, was no problem at all and there were no accidents.
- They loved it! Both boys found this project really new and took zero encouragement to pick it up and do it on their own because they wanted to finish stitching the pirate so much. It held their attention for about 20 minutes in the first place and then, as the project was still lying around the following day, they came back to it and picked it up to carry on again for another 5 or 10 minutes once or twice more. A hit!
How I Turned A Drawing Into A Sewing Template
- Here you can see the doodles that the big one did of pirates. (I know I’m biased – but I love them!) I scanned them into my computer and then traced over the design in Pages on my Mac. Apologies to all graphic designers about this – I’m sure there is a better way although this did work fine. I increased the size of the doodle so that it was approx. 20cm (8″) H x 15cm (6″) W. In other words, a size that wouldn’t be too small for little fingers to sew and that I could fit two onto an A4 sheet of card. If you don’t want to do this part then please feel free to download our pirate template here instead.
- Next I printed my template out onto thin white card with my printer, then I got a needle and pre-punched holes along the lines about 1cm ( approx 0.4″) apart so that the guys would know where to push and pull the needle through to get started.
- I let them choose whatever colour thread they wanted so they felt like the project was their own and we had a quick chat about sewing and what you can use it for.
- We cut a length of embroidery thread in their chosen colour about 50cm (approx. 20″) long, threaded the needle and tied a knot at the end. Then off we went!
So tell me, whether you have boys or girls, what do you think they’d like to make or sew? Let me know in the comments and you could see it as the next project here soon!