Some people are exposed to sewing as kids, sitting under their mum’s craft table, listening to the machine whirring away overhead. Other people start as adults after they’ve had kids of their own. That’s how Mathew Boudreaux got his start, and his quilts and creations for his daughter show a kind of craftsmanship that’s rare among dads.
It’s rare, but not impossible to find. There’s a dad in California who designs the most ingenious, exquisite Disney costumes. Mathew Boudreaux’s creations are for the every day, but they’re no less ingenious or beautiful.
When their daughter Helena was a baby, Mathew’s husband bought him apparel sewing classes. Although he had learned to sew as a kid, the classes were the perfect way to reignite his creativity.
Mathew has a massive following on Instagram, partly because he’s a dad maker in a mostly woman’s world, but mostly because he uses an amazing weaving technique that introduces ombrés and checks into his work. Instead of just sewing up a pattern using normal fabric like the rest of us mere mortals, Mathew spends more than 100 hours weaving fabric panels to get the visual effect he wants. He secures the weaving, cuts the pattern pieces and then sews.
Take the Secret Agent Trench by pattern company Oliver + S. Mathew picked fabric colours in chambray, sage, and two shades of peach, and made a metre of each into strips. He wove the strips into beautiful ombré plaid panels, and used those panels to make the coat.
The result was spectacular, and it’s such a shame his daughter will grow out of it.
If 100 hours of fabric weaving sounds too insane, Mathew has also done simpler, but equally beautiful projects, like a quilted school backpack in pastel ice cream cone fabric. It’s six months until school starts next year; plenty of time to learn a new skill so your kids can rock up to kindy with a one-of-a-kind backpack.
Mathew Boudreaux’s Instagram feed is full of beautiful sewing inspiration, and even if you never learn to sew, maybe you can egg him on in the comments to start selling his creations.