Fabric Fives: Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage

It goes without saying that options for boys when it comes to buying or sewing clothes are not nearly as cute or varied as they are for girls. That might still be true when it comes to the major stores and pattern companies, but in the past couple years companies like Patterns by Figgy’s have brought all sorts of great boy’s patterns on the scene. (I have their Dapper Dillingers trousers pattern, and I will sew some soon, I will I will!) Add to that the increasing availability of boy-friendly fabrics, and I say no more complaining, sewists!

And if there’s ever a sign that boy’s sewing has arrived, it’s a book from a major craft publisher. PbF’s Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage (and every other DIYer with a little dude or two in their lives) are celebrating the release of their new book Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe. You can tell a lot of thought went into the selection of patterns and accessories — all seasons of the year, occasions, and stages of childhood are covered. There’s also a wonderful attention to detail, and even the more formal wear is designed to be comfortable for the kiddo wearing it.

I asked Shelly and Karen to name their Fabric Fives for this stop on their blog tour. Of course they included lots of boy-friendly fabric options …


Five Favorite Fabrics in Your Stash Right Now


1 . Marimekko, Hetkia 191 Black & White (above)
2. Nani Iro, Neutral Fuwari Fuwari
3. An amazing printed knit that doesn’t have a designer or maker name
4. Rowan Shot Cotton
5. Robert Kaufman Kona solid (red)



1. Nani Iro Muji Thick Double Gauze (Rain)
2. Spoonflower Organic Cotton Interlock with Made by Rae’s Whale Print (above)
3. Robert Kaufman Essex Linen (Natural)
4. Recycled Hemp and Organic Cotton (Grey, from Hart’s Fabrics)
5. Italian Shirting (Blue Stripes)


Five Fabrics on Your Wish List


1. Liberty of London Tana Lawn, Poppy Rose (above)
2. Nani Iro, Grey Saaa Saa
3. Organic Cotton Eyelet Knit Cream
4. Pendleton, Eco-wise Wool Fabric
5. Melody Miller, Ruby Star Spring, Bee Nightlite


1. Nani Iro Muji Thick Double Gauze (every color – I’m tragically almost out!)
2. Anna Maria Horner Solid Voile (every color)
3. Liberty of London Tana Lawn Lillian Berries in Lavender (above)
4. Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush Velveteen Queen of Hearts (Royal and Red)
5. Kokka Echino Linen Solids (every color!)


Five Fabrics You Could (or Do) Consume by the Bolt


1. Nani Iro Basic Pocho Knit
2. Pro-Weft Interfacing (Karen got me hooked)
3. Rowan Shot Cotton
4. Anna Maria Horner LouLou Thi Voile - Clippings in Sherry  (above)
5. Any and all of the big rolls of fabric at Bolt Fabric in Portland


1. Robert Kaufman Essex Linen
2. Natural Organic Cotton French Terry
3. Fashion Sewing Supply’s Pro-Weft Interfacing
4. Anna Maria Horner Good Folks Buttoned Up  – Ink is my favorite but I have and treasure a bolt of each :) .
5. Plain ol’ muslin!


Five Most Recent Acquisitions (and Your Plans for Them)


1. Peacock Lane by Violet Craft for Michael Miller. I’m making a few things with this suuuuper cute fabric: bubble skirt for my neice and snack pouches for my son’s preschool class.
2. Denim: back to school pants for the boys.
3. Robot Factory by Caleb Gray (organic) for Robert Kaufman: PJs for the Sewing for Boys Trunk Show
4. Maharam “Precisely Jet” wool blend upholstery fabric to re-cover my sister’s couch
5. The no-name knit I mentioned above … I will make myself a shirt before 2012!


1. Michael Miller Always Peace Canvas (above)
2. Kokka Ouka (out of print Lt. Blue and Red))
3. Kokka Echino Double Gauze Chelsea Print (Purple)
4. Anna Maria Horner Good Folks Buttoned Up (Ink is my favorite but I have and treasure a bolt of each :) )
5. A bolt of Plain ol’ Muslin!


A Favorite Five Fabric Combo


This is not so much of a combo as it is a love and admiration: Daniela Caine, aka Tangerine Samurai, designed most of the fabrics we used in our book. She is an amazing talent and the book would not have been the same without her designs. Her designs are available via Spoonflower.



Thanks SO much, Shelly and Karen! Sewing for Boys publisher Wiley Craft is offering a free copy of Sewing for Boys for one lucky True Up reader. Name your favorite boy fabric in the comments to enter — maybe you’ll inspire another sewist who has never sewed for a boy before! (Hint … some of the other ladies on the blog tour have presented some amazing options.) I’ll draw a winner randomly Friday, September 23, around noon central U.S. time. The contest is open to U.S. residents only.


Follow the Tour …

9/5/11 Made by Rae
9/6/11 Sew, Mama, Sew
9/7/11 The Southern Institute & Film in the Fridge
9/8/11 Elsie Marley
9/9/11 Noodlehead & Oh, Fransson!
9/10/11 I Heart Linen
9/11/11 Anna Maria Horner
9/12/11 Craft Buds, Pink Chalk Fabric , Prudent Baby , Sew Much Ado
9/13/11 Very Purple Person, Quilt Story & Sew Sara
9/14/11 The Long Thread
9/15/11 Susan Beal
9/16/11 True Up
9/17/11 All Buttoned Up & Bolt Fabric Boutique
9/18/11 MADE & Wiley Craft


Update: The winner is Silverlady who wrote, “I think my husband would enjoy it if I made something for our son out of ‘robot factory’.” Congratulations! Thanks to everyone for reading and playing along, and thanks to Shelly, Karen, and Wiley Books for the giveaway!


  1. bekah says:

    Anything Alexander Henry… he’s got some great boy fabrics. Would LOVE to win this book!

  2. Tracy says:

    This is currently my fave boys fabric, along with anything robots! http://warmbiscuit.com/organic-aqua-trains-fabric.html

  3. Amy says:

    did you announce a winner?! dying to find out!!