Hey guys! Julie here, from Our Chez Nous! And I’m here to share with you the awesome-ness that was Sarah! When I started to see these projects come up under the KCW hashtag (#kidsclothesweek) I couldn’t help myself to the joy they brought me. I know, I’m being a bit cheesy about these, but I couldn’t resist them. Something about the way that these pieces both worked together, and seemed to have come together just seemed right, and spoke to me. Which is why I couldn’t resist interviewing Sarah of Maker Maker.
When did you start sewing your children’s clothes and why?
My twin girls are almost 1 and I started sewing when I was pregnant with them. I saw it as a way I could flex my creativity and I could incorporate it into my life as a new mother. The last few months I sewed a lot because it was summer, I could stay cool inside and off my feet, it was my way of nesting. Also, it felt good to learn something, this is when I started reading about sewing more and using patterns, that took my skills and understanding to a whole new level. Sewing is something I want to teach my girls, I want them to remember me making their clothes and toys as a kid.
When was your first KCW and how did it go?
My first KCW was last fall, the babies were 8 weeks old, so I don’t honestly remember a ton, I was so sleep deprived, but I welcomed the change of scenery and a project to work on with no pressure. That’s my favorite about KCW, you make it what you want. I made a few dresses for special occasion, two of which never even got worn, so I’ve learned to plan a bit and take a good look at their wardrobe and be realistic about what they need. Back then I didn’t really know what that was, I’ve learned a ton, also it helps that the growing has slowed a bit, I can sew a 18m dress and when they grow, it can be a tunic or top, love that.
How do you balance your work/family/sewing time?
I’m a stay at home mom now, I sew during naps and I’m blessed with good sleepers, so I get my evenings too. I enjoy sewing most in the morning time though, on the weekends my husband and I give each other creative blocks of time kids free, so that helps a ton. We’re renovating our garage into our creative workshop right now, so it’ll be wonderful to be able to dig into a project and leave it for later with a closed door, safe from babies. We have a small awesome house, under 1000 sq feet, so space is not abundant, but we make it work.
How do your children influence your sewing?
I’m always thinking of ways I can incorporate handmade items that we need and I can make, they influence me greatly. I love having unique, high quality and functional everyday pieces, I made them a striped linen changing pad cover, makes me happy each time I look at it. I’m attracted to whimsical fabrics and colors, but I really enjoy their clothing to have a good balance of neutrals too, children’s clothing and toys tend to be very bright and busy, so I try and temper that, I love tone on tone prints or some simple stripes and solids. People are so accustomed to girls wearing pink, when I found out I was having two girls, I was scared of pink taking over our house, so I’m enjoying that I get to sew whatever my heart desires for them right now and they’ll wear it!
I like your idea/approach to the non pink wardrobe, how do you typically approach this? Does this also extend to girly looks (i.e. frills and such)
I approach pink like any other color, in moderation. I don’t think pink needs to be worn head to toe, all day, everyday. I love frills and I’m quite obsessed with flutter sleeves at the moment, those design elements but in a neutral or unexpected color is appealing to me. I love japanese sewing books, the utilitarian vibe, but very feminine at the same time and all the linen, lovely.
You mentioned a studio where you can leave you projects, do you have any other types of creative projects/hobbies that you like to work on besides sewing?
I’m a musician, been sitting on a half done record for a few years, got to get that going again. A hard pregnancy and babies sure do put everything else on the back burner for awhile, but I’m ready to jump back in. We’re about to build a recording studio in our garage, which will be awesome.
I love designing textiles and general surface pattern design, it’s something that’s interested me for a long time and a fabric collection is on my creative bucket list. My goal for the next KCW is to design a mini fabric collection, print using Spoonflower and incorporate into their fall wardrobe, I’d love that.
You said you enjoy whimsical looks, but tend toward neutrals, how do you incorporate this into your outfits/pieces?
When I first started sewing, all the fabric I bought or thrifted was heavily patterned or bright colors, statement pieces basically. So every piece was very vivid and I was lacking basics to make outfits. I want a wardrobe for my girls where pieces are interchangeable, go with a lots of other pieces and will work for layering in the cold weather. Sewing a girly dress but in a grey linen with a pop of color as a lining, goes much further for me. Also, I’ve discovered how wonderful knits are for kids, so comfortable and wearable. I have yet to master the neckline, it’s always a fingers crossed moment for me if it’s going to fit over their head, I have about about a 50/50 success rate, which isn’t very good. Mixing and layering can give a whimsical look, but neutrals and splashes of bold patterns make it fun, but easy for their dad to put together an outfit that doesn’t look crazy.
What would you say is currently inspiring you the most at the moment? (style, colour, etc.)
I’d say linen, I love linen. I got beautiful belgian linen sheets for my birthday this year and I’m obsessed. I refuse to use any other sheets in the house, I just wash and put these back on. I want to wear fabric that feels this good on the skin always. I thrift for a lot of my fabric, which is great for little kid clothes since it requires less fabric, I can eek out a dress or tunic from a shirt. I love getting fabric second hand, I can get such high quality fabric for very little money, which is so amazing. The hunt for outdated, second hand, large, high quality linen skirts or dresses and transforming them into clothes for my girls is so inspiring, I love the challenge.
My girl Sadie is quite obsessed with cheese these days, you can’t have it out on the counter without her begging (and crying) for more. She loves sharp cheddar and brie, triple cream please! So, I like to imagine her asking politely when she starts talking, more cheese please, perhaps the shirt will instill some manners? We shall see.
Your girls are still very young, how did you incorporate/use this season’s KCW theme, Kid Art?
I’m embarrassed to say I paid no mind to the theme! Oops:) I did have a project in mind using a piece of art they did and getting it printed on some fabric via Spoonflower, but I just ran out of time. I think I’ll do it next round and make up for it, I had them smoosh paint around on paper inside a ziplock and they turned out really cool and abstract, it would make for an awesome print.
Now am I the only one that seemed to have fallen in love with these makes? This has inspired me to start looking into possibly taking a different approach to my own sewing. Because you know, practical doesn’t always have to mean boring! Now, if you want to see what else Sarah come ups with, make sure to follow her on Instagram, her blog and check out her band. 🙂