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November 2014

kid's clothes week // october 2014

the kcw participant winner!

There were almost 400 of you signed up for this season’s KCW. The project pool is overflowing with amazing handmade clothes and costumes. So really everyone who participated is a winner, right?!

kid's clothes week

But the person who actually won this season’s official participant giveaway is. . . . . Elise. Congratulations, Elise! You have won a beautiful children’s book and 4 yards of coordinating fabric!

kid's clothes week participant giveaway // oct 2014

the bookAdventures of Barefoot Critters ; the fabric: 1. ponte de roma knit in olive 2. organic knit in bugs gold 3. organic knit in nature hike 4. twill in deep sea 

Dorie and I choose and purchase the participant giveaway prizes ourselves. If you did not win, please consider consoling yourself with some lovely patterns or beautiful fabric from some of our KCW sponsors;)



KCW interviews: Maria from My Cozy Co.

KCW interview: Maria from my cozy co.

Hi everyone, It’s Maartje from huisje boompje boefjes, back here for an interview with one of our amazing participants. I would like to introduce you to Maria (creativewarmth) who blogs over at My Cozy Co. I first encountered her work when she won the Willow & Co sewing contest with a gorgeous Mulberry tunic.

Maria is originally from Colombia, she spent some time in my own little country the Netherlands during her master (she has a degree in Marine Biology) and has been living in England for 7 years now.  Maria has always been very creative; knitting, crocheting, even making stained glass. Oh and a fun fact, she took a course in jewelry making where she met her husband. They have 2 children, a daughter and a son, but her daughter gets most of the sewing for now. Maria has been very active this KCW and made 3 beautiful outfits, all inspired by the storybook theme. But first, let me show you some of her work.

previous work

  1 Skater dress 2 Bubble dress 3 Beetle jacket

When did you start sewing your children’s clothes and why?

The first thing I sewed for my daughter was a very simple top with a button closure in the back when she was 8 months old.  I think it started as a sort of “self-therapy”. The birth of my daughter was very traumatic. I had a hard time getting to terms with what happened to both of us during the birth. The feeling of sadness and isolation were overwhelming and gaining too much space in my head, so I needed something to bring happiness again!
I always loved creating things and one day a book on how to make children’s clothes caught my attention in a craft store. From that moment on I haven’t stopped sewing…well just a bit when I was pregnant with my son, but even then I still made pajamas for my daughter.

When was your first KCW and how did it go?

My first time participating in KCW was the spring 2013 edition. Back then I didn’t have a blog,  I just opened an account on Flickr because I was starting to discover children’s clothes blogs and wanted to share but in a shy manner. I found Meg’s blog  Elsie Marlie, read about the challenge and just jumped into it. It was a low production that edition, I managed to make one dress, one peasant top and a very simple pair of trousers. It was very interesting working with a deadline and rules, as well as imagining all the ladies sewing in the same room encouraging each other. Really empowering! Want to know an embarrassing secret?  I really only sewed for one hour every day and only during that week. Now I work until I finish my projects and I push myself harder.

I noticed you really worked with this season’s theme Storybook, did it inspire you to sew differently or more, if so, in what way?

Yes, this season’s theme was very appealing to me because my daughter loves books. Her bedtime ritual includes reading a whole book and always the one she chooses. The source of inspiration for my sewing was quite different. Usually my creative process comes from the fabrics or the pattern, but this time it was inverted. I choose the pattern and fabrics according to the book.


  1 Room on the broom 2 How to catch a star 3 Little red riding hood

How do you balance your work/family/sewing time?

That is difficult!  I’m a fulltime mom and my kids don’t go to school or nursery yet (preschool here in the UK), that means we are together all day. Usually I sew during the weekends while my husband helps with the kids. Sometimes I do sew weekdays while the baby is sleeping, I invite my 4 year old daughter to my craft room and she plays with my fabric scraps or paints. During KCW I use every available hour in the evening.

How do your children influence your sewing?

I’m very practical, I try to sew things that I think my kids are going to use or they really need. When my daughter was little I used to sew her a lot of pants, because she was very clumsy  when she started to walk and her knees would be more protected with pants. Lately she is asking for more dresses and has been involved in choosing the fabrics, so I let her participate. She also wants to dress herself, so I’m making clothes that she can put on and off easily. Her unique personality is also very inspiring, she is not a pink color girl and if she doesn’t like something, she will let you know. She is my spirited baby. Although I do have to confess that I just make what I want sometimes and then try to persuade her to wear it with chocolates.
My son is just a baby and at the moment I haven’t sewn much for him because we received lots of hand me downs, he has a full wardrobe. But sooner or later I will start making more things for him.

What is your favorite thing you’ve ever sewn for one of your kids?

Do I have to choose only one? Because I can think of at least three for my daughter!
Usually I think a lot before making something and I really have to like it, I’m a perfectionist. This sometimes leads to many hours of thought how to make it beautiful. That is why I love my origami dress, it really is a beautiful dress and she still loves to wear it ,although it’s getting too small for her. I can’t leave out the version I made of the Mulberry tunic either, I love the fabric choices. It is very feminine and perfect for cooler weather. Last but not least a remix I made of the popover dress by Oliver + S. The flutter sleeves in that beautiful Liberty print are a dream! For my son, the How to catch a Star outfit is my favorite.  He looks so cute and I was happy to accomplish making a bodysuit with snaps.


 1 Origami dress 2 Mulberry tunic 3 Popover dress

You wrote a KCW wrap post on your blog mentioning that you had some other projects in mind but didn’t had the time to complete them, can you give us a sneak peek what to expect on your blog the coming month?

Well I would like to finish two more outfits I planned for KCW. One inspired by a book called Puff the Magic Dragon, written by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton  (actually this was a song written in the 60’s). The second one is inspired by the stories of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter and as I was one of the testers of the Rowan tee (the latest pattern by Titchy Threads), I can tell you that I’m going to use that pattern for it.

Thank you Maartje for inviting me for this interview, has been lovely to chat with you.

Muchas gracias Maria for your time and telling us a bit more about yourself! I’ll be keeping an eye out for your next projects on your blog

This is also my last post  in the KCW fall edition. Thanks a lot Meg for having me as a contributor! I enjoyed being a part of this fantastic series and amazed by the great outfits you all made. Make sure you stay tuned here for some more interviews next week and the why I sew series.

Signing off!  Maartje


KCW interview: Amy from amos el

Hello again, this is Marisa from Thirtynine, bringing you the first in a series of interviews with Kids Clothes Week participants.

Last Kids Clothes Week I ‘faved’ a project on the KCW site: a beautiful scoop-back dress modelled by a little blonde cherub with glasses. And this season I was pleased to see that the maker of the scoop-back dress was back, with more amazing self-drafted clothes and the cutest little Halloween outfit. I checked out her blog and was struck by the understated elegance of the things she sews. Today I’d like to introduce the very talented Amy, who blogs at Amos El (you can also see her KCW projects on her profile page here). Like me, Amy has a son and a daughter but sews mostly for her daughter, who is the lucky owner of a wardrobe that is stylish yet totally comfy and kid-friendly. A glance through the gallery section of Amy’s blog confirms her love of neutral shades with a splash of colour, and her preference for simplicity and classic lines –  you won’t see any ruffles and rick-rack here. But there’s nothing staid or boring about Amy’s style: it’s creative, inventive and fun. She sews a simple item like a sweatshirt and transforms it with a giant reverse-appliqued heart. She turns old cardigans into new ones. She even does cool t-shirts!

amy intro


1. cardigan  2. A-line sweatshirt  3. headstand shirt  4. Peg + Cat

I’m so happy to have discovered Amy’s sewing through Kids Clothes Week. I can see myself copying a few of her ideas already, and by the time you finish reading this interview,  you might want to, too!

And now, on with the show.

When did you start sewing your children’s clothes and why?

I’ve been sewing on and off (more off than on, to be honest) most of my life. In middle school I won a trophy for highest grade in the eighth grade class for Home Ec and my mom still has that apron – some pretty awesome straight seams on that thing. Just after my son turned one we moved to be closer to family and I became a stay-at-home mom. With an easy toddler and a little free time on my hands I started picking up some projects here and there. I tried my hand at drafting some shirts and pajama pants for him with mixed results. Once my daughter was on the scene, though, it was a whole new story. I’m definitely guilty of being one of those people who thinks sewing for girls is more fun than sewing for boys. I think that why I like to sew for her is complicated. It’s a creative outlet, in that I’m creating something out of seemingly nothing. It’s also a matter of pride for me. My goal, when I make something, is for people who don’t know I sew not to say “did you MAKE that?” but for people who do know I sew to say “did you make THAT?”. It’s that fine line between home-made and hand-made that I’m always conscious of and the added challenge is exciting. Frustrating, too, but mostly exciting.

amy assorted

1. recess raglan  2. trio of sundresses  3. bimaa top  4. little zippy  5. roller skate tunic

When was your first Kids Clothes Week and how did it go?

My first KCW was Summer 2013. I remember being a little nervous about putting my stuff out there. I had been blogging for a bit, but up to that point I hadn’t really reached out or participated in a way that would actually bring people to the blog. I was and still am so glad I joined in when I did. It is such an amazing way for all of us to come together and share what we’re passionate about, and after that week I was hooked. I couldn’t wait for Fall!

amy kcw 2013

1. swing tank  2. pinafore top

How do you balance your work/family/sewing time?

I don’t think I do – not very well, at least. I usually get inspired, cut and prep two or three garments, and then binge sew for a day or two. I don’t have a dedicated sewing area right now, so I have to take over the dining room table. Having to lug out two machines, an iron and ironing board and all the other paraphernalia necessary for some successful sewing has definitely helped me become more efficient.

How do your children influence your sewing?

Would it be wrong to say they don’t? They inspire me to sew, but neither one has much of an opinion on their wardrobe at this point (and yes, I do thank my lucky stars). A quick look at my KCW project page or blog and you’ll see I don’t sew for my son very often. I prefer a very simple look for him, and it’s hard to get inspired to make a basic t-shirt or pair of jeans when they can be purchased affordably. Every so often, though, he asks if it’s his turn and I take a break from the girl stuff and he and I make a plan. It usually involves a basic t-shirt with a freezer paper stencil. Simple enough for me, but super special to him.


1. amazing tee  2. arrow tee

Many of the things you sew are self-drafted, but you also use patterns from independent designers. Do you have a favourite pattern, one you use time and time again?

I’m pretty sure my most used pattern is the Lovely Rita Skinnies pattern by Shwin Designs. I think I’ve made five pairs total, three of those during previous KCWs. They actually all still fit her, but they’re a little too cropped for cooler weather now and are starting to ride a little low in the back. I have the next size up traced and ready to go, though. Baby’s growing up, as they do. I love this pattern because of the fit, and because of the simplicity. It has just enough detail and pattern pieces to make them feel legit, but not so many that making multiples feels overwhelming. I am toying with adding a fly to this next pair. Wish me luck.


1. flowery ritas 2. dotty ritas  3. red ritas

 What is your favourite piece of clothing that you have sewn, and what is your daughter’s favourite?

My daughter’s favourite is definitely her Spinny Star Scarf Shirt. The top half is another favourite pattern, the Bimaa Sweater by LouBee Clothing, and the bottom is just two gathered rectangles. It’s actually one of the only articles of clothing she does have an opinion on – and that opinion is that it’s pretty much the best thing ever.

As for my favourite, it’s almost impossible for me to choose – but if choose I must, I’ll say that the self-drafted scoop-back tank dress with bias tape embellishment that I made this past summer could pass for a winner. It was somehow both entirely my style and just enough out of my comfort zone to feel like a real accomplishment. It turned out exactly as I imagined it would, both on the hanger and on the girl, which is less often the case than I would like to admit.


1. Scoop-back dress with bias tape  2. Bimaa up top

What other creative pursuits do you enjoy apart from sewing?

I enjoy photography, which seems to go hand in hand with having a sewing blog, doesn’t it? Cooking is also something I enjoy, especially in this rice, soup and stew season we’re entering up here. If only my kids enjoyed eating, then it would be all fun in the kitchen! I also enjoy the occasional craft project, whether it be creating with my kids or making something to make the home feel homier. I actually started my blog as a crafting/sewing blog but clearly my first creating love is sewing and it invariably took over.

Thanks again, Marisa, for inviting me to do this interview, and thank you and hooray to EVERYONE who participates in KCW season after season – it wouldn’t be so much fun if we weren’t all in it together, enjoying and inspiring each other. See you in the new year!

And thank YOU, Amy, for being the first interviewee of the season. I’m so looking forward to seeing what you make next. And if you ever publish a pattern for that scoop-back dress, I’ll be first in line!