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May 2015

why I sew on KCW

why I sew: diana from miss castelinhos

Hello everyone!

It’s Diana from Miss Castelinhos. Sadly (for me, I’m sure!), this is my last post for this season of Kid’s Clothes Week. I had a blast and hope you enjoyed reading! Thank you so much for being there! 🙂

Sara and Miranda already told us why they sew, and today it’s my turn.

Why do I sew?

I first started sewing as a child. I would often draw and make my dolls clothes. In fact for most of my childhood, I hoped to grow up to be either a fashion designer or an architect. I grew up watching my grandmother by her sewing machine and she taught a few basic skills. Fast forward to 2012… I got my degree as an architect, but at the time was teaching an art class to 4th graders. All my free time was spent prepping classes, grading projects, writing reports… I needed some “me time” and so I decided to get an hobby! Around the same time, my grandmother gave me her old sewing machine. So I went back to sewing. A few months later, I was pregnant with my second child, and decided not to go back to work once the baby was born.

Since I became a SAHM, sewing as been a way to express myself creatively. I wanted to go on creating something… anything (besides a new life!)… I love exploring ideas, drafting, planning, organising… And sewing fulfils all that! I get the same feeling of accomplishment when I finish a sewing project, as I did when I was working full time.

why i sew_miss castelinhos-01Rowan tee; Rowan tee for KCW Wild ThingsSelf-drafted pants

I’m very picky when it comes to the way I dress my kids. I have two boys, so when I go shopping for them, it’s always a bit frustrating, because I often don’t relate to the styles I see in the “fast fashion” stores. Sewing their clothes allows me to put my sense of style into to it. I like to play around with prints and color blocking, making something unique, that matches their personality.

why i sew_miss castelinhos-03Rowan Tee for KCW Upcycled; Mini Hudson pantsTwisted trousers

It was never easy for me to make new friends, but being a part of this wonderful sewing community, has made me step out of my “shell”. I’ve met some of the most beautiful people (even though some I’ve never met face-to-face!), who I can share with my excitement about sewing! I’ve learned from them, laughed and cried with them and know I found true friendship! 😀

why i sew_miss castelinhos-02Lindy petal skirt; Bateau-neck blouse; Wonderland skirt

What started as an hobby is now such a big part of my life! Sewing truly makes me happy! Makes me enjoy my kids, my family, so much more! I’m a better person because I sew!

Well, I guess it’s time for goodbyes… but you can always visit me and say hi!

See you around! 🙂

why I sew on KCW

why i sew: lisa from mabey she made it

My first word was “pree pree” (pretty pretty). My grandma was a prolific seamstress, and almost every time we went to her house she had a new little dress sewn and hanging in the hall. It wasn’t long before I knew that those “pree prees” might be for me and my mom tells of me standing at the end of the hall with arms reaching toward the newest creation expecting it to be put on me.

I loved the feeling of being dressed up, and I still do. I also love the feeling of satisfaction and pride when I’ve created something pretty. I’m Lisa Mabey from Mabey She Made It, and today I get to share a little about why I sew. There’s something magical about the combination of practical and pretty, and I think that magic is one reason I sew–some of the others are below.

This adorable top was made using the Lillian Pintucked Dress and Top pattern and it's beautiful.9 Tips for Upcycling Clothes | Mabey She Made It

Lillian Pintucked Top || Pattern Mashup

I get to express myself creatively. Sewing fulfills a need to create and includes a way to connect with other women. I’ve always loved to create, and it’s taken many forms throughout the years, but once I started sewing I was hooked. I got a sewing machine for Christmas about five years ago when I became a stay-at-home mom to add stitching on paper crafts, but it only took one project before I abandoned the paper crafting for fabric. There’s something so fulfilling about taking fabric and creating something wearable. Then take that wearable item and add the community of women who sew, and I’m in heaven.

Y is for Yellow Yoked Dress with yo-yos | Mabey She Made ItDesign Your Own Fabric with Stencils | Mabey She Made It | #christmas #stencil #sewingforkids #sewing #blankslatepatterns

Geranium Dress || Little Bow Pleat Dress

I get to show my style (and they get theirs).  When I started sewing I wasn’t a fan of pink clothes in general. But it’s REALLY hard to dress a baby girl and avoid pink. I remember lamenting that there wasn’t much that I WANTED to dress her in. There were a million “cute” things, but they weren’t my style. As my children have grown, their wardrobes reflect my style more than they ever have before.

Muslin Ruffle Dress | Mabey She Made It #sewing #sewingforkids #dressesSuch a sweet classic dress made from an upcycled sheet and curtain. 

Ruffle Dress || Norah Dress

And as they’ve grown, they’re developing their own styles which I can help nurture. They love mama made clothes and most days they wear something handmade. Its also become a tradition that they get to pick fabric for a birthday skirt each year. When its made, they prance around all day–telling anyone who will listen that “my mom made it for me.” Everyone wins.

Easy Circle Skirt by Mabey She Made ItThe Jukebox Dress with Rhythm version from the One Thimble e-zine sewn by Mabey She Made It

Circle Skirt || Jukebox Dress

I get to be the designer. Sometimes its inspiration, sometimes its luck, and sometimes its just plain obvious the choices I make when sewing. I love the feeling of seeing an idea come to life–an idea that started as a pattern and a pattern coming together. I love using fabrics that aren’t typical choices for children’s clothing because it adds a classic feel. And sometimes magic happens when you combine different patterns by different designers into a cohesive look that you’d never find in a store.

Mini Mod Corduroy Suit Girls Bundle Up Tour | Mabey She Made It |#sewing #sewingforkids #isew #9 Tips for Upcycling Clothes | Mabey She Made It

Mini Mod Suit || Potato Chip Skirt

I get to feel pretty in clothes I made. I still love a good “pree pree.” My closet is filled with dresses and skirts because I feel beautiful in them. And I know my girls feel the same way. As my sewing abilities have increased, so has my confidence in the clothes I make and dress my girls in. I know that they’re quality pieces inside and out, and it feels good.

Recreating Kate: Issa Engagement Dress | Mabey She Made It | #katemiddleton #katemiddletonstyle #katemiddletonfashion #recreatingkateExtraordinary Girl Women2

Recreating Kate: Issa Engagement Dress || Extraordinary Girl Tee

In short, I sew because I can. I’ve had so much fun writing, researching, and sewing along with this season, and I’m sad that its come to an end, but my sewing adventures are far from over. See you next season!

why I sew on KCW

why I sew: miranda from inspinration

Hi again, it is Miranda from Inspinration, all good things have to come to an end and this is my last post for KCW. I enjoyed writing these posts a lot. On my own blog, I mostly write about what I have actually sewed, not about my plans, mistakes and drives in general. These posts have challenged me in a new way. If you would like to get the chance to do the same in the next season, apply to be a contributor, I highly recommend it!

The topic of this post is to write about why I sew. I am actually often asked why I sew. By non-sewers sewing is still often seen as a dull thing their grandmothers did. If people react positively on my hobby their first thought usually is that it saves money. This is not true, or at least not in my case. I indeed spend less money on clothes, but actually saving money…, well you know how expensive fabric and sewing supplies are. So, what are the reasons that I sew?


1. Baby playsuit 2. Brueram dress 3. My first Theo

Giving a practical, “useful” outlet to my creative drive
Ever since I was a kid, I loved to do creative stuff. I made Playmobile doll houses from shoe boxes, I knitted or hand sewed doll clothes, or hand knitted a jumping rope. When I became bigger, and no longer played with my output, my creativity lost its purpose a bit. We aren’t big collectors in my family, so no boxes full of old creations or walls filled with pictures. Just making something pretty to look at didn’t get my creative juices flowing. In the Netherlands we celebrate a Holiday where you create your own type of specially wrapped gift (Sinterklaas, it often involved paper mache or other creative building with paper). I loved it, I used to start in September to make December gifts. When I discovered sewing, my worries about what to do with my finished projects disappeared, they now have a very clear storing area, our wardrobe closets. I have to admit that the closets of my kids are starting to get a bit full. How many dresses can a girl actually wear? But let’s not think about that too much.

Satisfying my need to challenge myself, learn and rebel
I like a challenge myself and I love to learn. I once did a programming course just for fun. I love things that are logical and that I can visualize in my mind. Sewing is like that for me. Without drawing on paper, I see the garment I want to make in my mind and then the process of finding the optimal construction method and resources begins. I hardly ever make the same thing twice, even if I would like to, I will change at least a few details (and then I am not speaking about fabric). I seem to be incapable of following manuals and love to do things my way. I am self taught, I learned a lot from blogs and from my own mistakes. I feel that there fortunately are still a lot of things to try, an enormous amount of techniques to explore.

kcw11. Knot dress 2. Theo polo 3. Baby outfit

Finishing a sewing project gives an instant feeling of success
In my job as an academic, project cycles are extremely long, actually finishing an academic paper will take several years and the result will be a bunch of words. You can print it, but it doesn’t really give something tangible. I love the relatively short project cycles in sewing. In the past I knitted but then it would takes weeks to finish a sweater. Most of my sewing projects are finished within two or three days and when I see my kids wearing them, I get to enjoy my work quickly and often.

To have clothes that fit
My kids are very skinny and retail clothes do not fit them well. My measurement also usually do not fall in the same size, for example I have never found a retail blouse that actually fits well. Sewing your own is the best remedy.

KCW31. Penny play suit dress 2. Janet blouse 3. Waterfall dress

Justify my fabric collection
I started to actively sew because my daughter wanted twirly dresses. I looked what was available in stores and saw a few that we both would like, but those where above 50 euro’s. I don’t buy expensive children clothes because I believe that kids should be allowed to play freely in their clothes and for that price she wouldn’t be allowed to. I decided to try making one myself. I bought some cheap fabric and a pattern and just tried it. It went quicker and better than I expected. After the successful standard woven dress I wanted more and bought my first Ottobre. I loved the designs and ordered a bunch of knits. I haven’t stopped buying fabric since. Although, I started with cheap woven, now my biggest delight is organic knit and those are far from cheap. I often see nice fabrics and I want them all, so another reason for sewing is to justify buying fabric. I have a big stash. I might not have a clear purpose for all my fabrics, but sitting in front of my fabric closet, watching my fabric, imagining the clothes I could sew from them, makes me really happy.