Monday, 22 June 2015

Boy genius sews a waistcoat

Disclaimer: This blog post is 100% biased.


Every parent thinks their children are uncommonly wonderful and talented, but when your child does something awesome AND sewing related, then there's no choice but to splash it all over the blog!  This year, in his Textiles class, my son Louis made a waistcoat from scratch. Now, before I start waxing lyrical about his sewing super powers, let's just marvel at the fact that a boy studying textiles is a normal part of the syllabus in an ordinary London High School. When I was at school (thousands of years ago, admittedly), Textiles was known as Needlework and was exclusively for girls, it didn't cross anybody's mind to teach the boys. How refreshing that things are different these days. Anyway, back to the child genius….

A bit loose fitting, but he's a skinny lad.



Getting accurate sewing details from a 13 year old boy is a bit like getting blood from a stone, but from what I can gather, they took measurements in class and worked from a pattern that the teacher provided. The outer fabric of the waistcoat is a navy wool mix and it's fully lined with burgundy lining fabric. 



And if that's not impressive enough, it has three buttonholes and a welt pocket! A WELT POCKET at age 13!!! 

Must remind him to use matching thread on his next attempt!

The young are so fearless, apparently they had a choice of making a welt or patch pocket and he went for the welt option because it was more difficult. To this day I still haven't made a welt pocket, so he's overtaken me already in his sewing bravery!





Yes, there are a few tiny flaws…. there's a singe mark on the inside lining where he'd been let loose with an iron, and the three buttons fell off the minute I buttoned them up! Apart from that it's perfect and he's a genius.




To say I'm proud is a slight understatement - I whip out the waistcoat for unsuspecting visitors to admire at every opportunity. And to any Savile Row tailors who might be interested in my boy's sewing skills, please form an orderly queue! x


73 comments:

  1. Hi Jane, that is so cool! You must be bursting with pride! Love the poses too!

    My eldest daughter is doing textile GCSE and has recently made a corset that went on display at the school - of course she didn't tell us until it had been taken down!

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    1. Oh wow Tamsin, A CORSET!! What an amazing achievement! How annoying that you didn't see it on display though - typical teenagers! x

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  2. This made me smile, SO MUCH! This is awesome :) But more importantly; does he want to sew again? Boy's got skillz!

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    1. I think he might if the project was right and if I can tempt him away from his phone for long enough! x

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  3. Well done Louis. I see s bright future for him - in anything he chooses to do.

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  4. Amazing! This is such a cool waistcoat! We only got to make a pencil case in our 6 week block of sewing at school :-(

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    1. I know, it's great what they learn, I think he makes a rucksack with all the trimmings next! x

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  5. Clever lad! The waistcoat looks great :-)

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  6. Brilliant!! You must be so proud!

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  7. Aw, well done that boy. What an achievement!

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    1. I know, it's awesome isn't it?! x

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  8. This is amazing! Kids approach stuff like this with such a lack of fear, I think we can all learn from that! xx

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    1. I can definitely learn from his example! x

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  9. Great sewing! He seems so shy in front of the camera, doesn't he? ;)

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    1. Oh yes, he's so shy and retiring, it killed him striking all those 'modelling' poses 😉 NOT! I think I took over 100 photos, he did a full dance routine too! x

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  10. This post made me happy for several reasons. 1) I love a bit of man-made. 2) Going straight for the welt-pocket - I miss being young and brave. 3) Making a waistcoat and letting mum blog about it? The kid is alright. 4) And last but not least, you being so proud makes my heart go awww. What a nice post! Meike x

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    1. Aw thanks so much Meike, it makes me happy for those exact reasons too! x

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  11. This is the best thing I've read today! I love it, I love the vest, and I love reading that young people are sewing. And who picks welt pockets over patch pockets?--you're not bias, that guy is awesome!

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  12. This is awesome it nice to see that boys are bing included in textiles as well x

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    1. Isn't it just?! And thank you! x

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  13. well done boy genius! i hope they offer it at school when N gets to that age - she'd love it!

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    1. Thanks Joanne. I hope they do too, it's been really good for him. They've had a term of Textiles, a term of cooking (can't remember what they call it nowadays!) and a term of 'Resistant Materials' (woodwork and metalwork) since he started so they've learnt a lot. x

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  14. Genius indeed, way to go!
    By coincedence I too have a skinny 13 year old boy, he has just made an appliqued pencil case with the word 'obey' as a motif. Haven't seen it yet, but when i do there will be a blog post Oh yes there will...
    Tell the boy his poses are awesome too!
    bestest Daisy j x

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    1. Thanks, I'll tell him! Putting the word 'obey' as a motif is exactly what Louis would do too, they sound very alike! I did have to bribe him with a 'modelling fee' to get him on the blog though! x

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  15. Clever, clever boy. No wonder you are proud. You going to have a go at a welt pocket now? Can't be out done by your 13 year old surely!!

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    1. Hmmm, I may have made a rod for my own back! And thank you! x

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  16. That is wonderful! When I was in school the most we learned was how to sew in a button and I have heard that they have removed the class now.

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    1. I know, he's lucky to have this on his curriculum! x

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  17. Well done! I'm thrilled to hear of textiles pattern drafting being taught! Some decades ago, when I was taking 'home ec' boys were encouraged to take the class as well. The teacher told me she preferred girls as the boys were inattentive during cooking (interesting spills & breakage) & would rather wreck a classmates project than do better on their own (cutting a tie in half while the classmate was wearing it).

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    1. I'm sure that still goes on! (cutting ties in half that is!) x

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  18. Another mom with sewing son: hearty round of applause for going to the tough version first. And good results for a beginning, excellent for a first project. And he modeled!

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  19. So he's not shy then? FAB poses and a really impressive waistcoat. Three cheers for his school - I think the curriculum doesn't really allow for much garment making.

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    1. Haha, no he isn't shy! 😉 I think he's very lucky to have made it, it's a rucksack next year, which is probably preferable for him, but not as exciting for me! x

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  20. What a great post! I love that he chose the more complicated pocket simply because it was more of a challenge. No wonder you are so proud!

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    1. Thanks Tasia! I couldn't believe his bravery when he told me about the pocket! x

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  21. Oh go on and gush. That's fantastic what he's done and he looks so proud of his effects (that his mom would blog about it too!). Just great.

    Hey, it must be in the genes, right? His dad makes fabulous ties (and mom of course has a fab handmade wardrobe)!

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    1. Haha, thanks! I have to correct you re the genes though, it's his mum's friend who makes his own ties, his dad just models them (complete with pipe!) x

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  22. Fantastic job, that is so impressive! No wonder he looks pleased with himself.

    I tried teaching my girls to make some simple Xmas stockings a couple of years back. Aaargh! They've since decided it's much easier to get Mum to make things instead (and however long it might take, it's still less stressful that way...).

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    1. I suspect it was his excellent teacher who got the best out of him. I doubt whether his own mum would get such a good result! x

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  23. I'm proud for you! Bless him allowing you to photograph and put onto your blog. He's done such a fab job too! 😄

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    1. Thanks Claire, I'm Sooooo proud! x

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  24. What a great post, I really enjoyed reading it. In a previous life I taught textiles to ks3 pupils and tried to sell it from the beginning as a highly technical skill that they needed a driving licence - stitched of course - for. We did a lot but never got as far as well pockets, well done to both of you!

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    1. Welt pockets, oops

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    2. Ahhh, I'll tell him, he'll be super chuffed! x

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  25. What a bright young man. Good for him!

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  26. Didn't even know you had children let alone one so talented!

    He's modelling the heck out of this, that Brooklyn Beckham has got nothing on him!

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    1. Yeah, watch out Brooklyn, ha! I have another son squirrelled away too, but he's not quite so compliant when it comes to modelling! x

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  27. What a great make and a great kid. I'm the same with my boys...their pictures are frames all over "the gallery"...the stairs!

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    1. Yep, we have a gallery going up the stairs too! x

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  28. Welt pocket? Welt pocket?! Welt. Pocket?!

    Genius. And some killer poses there, too.

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    1. I have to agree on the genius bit! These poses were an edited down selection, you should have seen his dance moves! x

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  29. It is perfect and he's a genius (an adorable one, at that). You must be busting your buttons!!!!!

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  30. Um, a welt pocket and slippery lining?! I would call that genius!! What a brilliant waistcoat - I hope he's feeling suitable proud of himself.

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    1. He's pretty low key about his achievement, I'm the one who's screeching it from the rooftops! x

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  31. Jane this is so amazing! I love how proud of himself he looks in those pics! Welt pocket?! does he not know that they should cause a mild panic just at the thought of attempting one?!

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    1. I know, welt pocket!!! He's ace! x

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  32. I'm sure most of us didn't make something that wearable OUR first go! Well done!

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    1. I know I certainly didn't! x

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  33. Well done! That's so impressive! He is adorable, btw!

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    1. Thanks Sonja and I agree about the adorable bit (but I'm super biased!) x

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  34. I reached your blog via web-surfing sewing sites and I am so impressed with your son's finished product! It has totally made my day. Please tell him that his skills are impressive and that he handled something that has scared off many sewists for years! That openness to new experiences is a credit to his parents, and will serve him well in his future. Fine motor skills, material management, product placement; there is not much difference between sewing and engineering in many ways.

    Please give him a huge hug from many American fans out here in sewing-land. He is treasure!

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  35. Wow. That's brilliant. Both of you should be majorly proud!!! What are you making with a welt pocket to even the playing field Jane??

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  36. this is 100% adorable. Of COURSE he made the welt pocket cause it's harder!!! Love.

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  37. Oh I missed this fits time round, but his waistcoat is awesome! I'm fairly sure the clothes I made myself (to wear un public)also looked like this. Good lad!

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