Throughout the year, I’m going to do a series of quick ideas for boys’ clothes/accessories (sometimes a free pattern, sometimes a pattern review, and sometimes a quick modification or easy embellishment). There’s no shortage of ideas out there for girls’ sewing (ribbon and rickrack and rosettes!), but the creativity needs a bit more coaxing for boys (at least in my opinion). One problem is that because pattern books and magazines show so few boys wearing even the gender-neutral stuff (like T-shirts), it’s easy to overlook these patterns and think it’s just all girls’ stuff.

Today, I’m offering the first two Boy Sewing Brainstorms!

Boy Sewing Brainstorm #1:
Make faux-layered sleeves for a t-shirt.

I’m cheating a little because I already blogged about this when I talked about making this Simplicity T-shirt pattern (Simplicity 5317). I love the look of layered sleeves, and though I wear this look myself, there is something particularly boy about it. It can transform a blah t-shirt into an interesting T-shirt. It’s also a great way to use up little bits of knit fabric. Read about how to do it here.
Boy Sewing Brainstorm #2
Add an embroidered patch to a t-shirt.
 Yes, one more T-shirt idea (what can I say? Boys wear a lot of T-shirts). Once again, this is my favorite Simplicity T-shirt pattern, again with faux-layered sleeves. But to individualize this one a bit, I decided to make a special “All-Star” patch. Instead of using a font and printing it out, I wrote it out myself (because I wanted a genuinely handwritten look) and drew the little star (unevenness adds character, after all). I transferred it using embroidery transfer paper (I used DMC brand, but will use some from Sublime Stitching next time).
 Then, I embroidered it, using a simple split stitch, and added the French knots on each side. (I think I’ll invest in some of Sublime’s Stitching’s T-shirt stabilizer next time though, because I found it challenging to embroider on knit and didn't do the best job with my stitches.) I put some TrueGrid over top the finished embroidery and cut it in the shape of a pentagon and then cut out my patch. I just used a machine applique stitch to attach.

If you come across great boy sewing ideas (which are certainly out there--I'm in the process of collecting them myself), feel free to leave a comment and link and I'll repost.