why I sew

why i sew: audrey from skirt fixation

Hi there! It’s Audrey from Skirt Fixation here again today. I’m going to share why I sew with you. The short answer is: I’m 6 feet tall.

Nani Iro maxi skirt

Yep, a really, really statuesque lady. Sounds great and supermodel and all until you realize that ready-to-wear clothing is made for the average 5’5” tall woman. That makes said clothing 7” too short, tight, small, etc. for my overgrown body! So that’s the short answer. But, you protest, this is KIDS clothes week, and your kids aren’t 6 feet tall. (Well, beside my son who is 6’ 6.5” tall, that is true!) But I have 7 children, and they will be tall, so right now, RTW clothing doesn’t fit them very well either.

Why I Sew - Skirt Fixation

Oliver+S Music Class outfit, 7th birthday outfit,  Monet Inspired Dress, Oliver+S 2+2 outfit and Aster cardigan

For example, my 7 year old daughter is a size 4 around, and a size 8 in height.  So I end up making many of her clothes.  Like all those pictured above, and many more!  But little girls are so fun to sew for!

Why I sew for boys - Skirt Fixation


Inkodye cowboy shirt, 80s cartoon, Ethan shirt & Oliver+S cargo pants, Knight hoodie

My 9 year old son is a size 5 around, size 12 in height.  Again, I sew many of his clothes, and he loves to wear them!  So what I’m trying to share is that I sew some out of necessity. But the other reason I sew is as a creative outlet. Sewing is my stress relief. I love almost every part of a sewing project from start to finish.

Why I Sew - Skirt FixationSenna Tote, Cotton & Steel Mini Quilt, Pear Pincushion, Art Gallery Fabrics outfits

And I love every kind of sewing from apparel to quilting and bag making. The part of sewing that I really don’t enjoy is hand sewing; I simply don’t have patience for it! But perhaps my daughters play a part in that because for several years they have rescued me from any hand sewing.   They know that offering to work on the mending pile is a great negotiating tool for them! Speaking of my 3 daughters, I’ve been teaching them the art of sewing for several years now, and I’ve asked them to chime in on the topic “Why I Sew.”

Black knit skirt

Allegra (age 16): I’m the hand sewist in the family. I may not enjoy sewing with a machine, but if you need buttons sewed on, or an embroidered detail added, or a quilt hand bound, I’m your person. I hand sew because it’s calming, and it’s a creative outlet. When I was younger, I loved to do coloring pages. The crayon, sweeping over and over, filling the lines with color, gave me a feeling of calm. I loved picking out the perfect colors to accompany each other in a picture.

Embroidery by Allegra


Embroidered US map, Girl in rain, fish, dance legs

Now I embroider, and it gives me a similar feeling. Instead of the crayon, it’s the needle, over and under, filling the lines with color, giving me a feeling of calm. I still love to pick out the perfect colors. One of my favorite parts of the sewing process is going to the store and looking at the beautiful rainbow of embroidery thread. Hand binding is the same way. I love making each tiny stitch the same exact length and shape, and manipulating the corners into geometric perfection. Buttons…well, they’re not my favorite. But if it’s hand sewing, I’ll do it!

Chess Skirt

Aria (age 12): I enjoy both kinds of sewing. Hand sewing and machine sewing are both about equal in which one I would prefer to do. When I am sewing on a machine the part that I enjoy about it the most is seeing it come together. With each step the fabric comes together and begins to form into something I know that I have made with my hands (or rather machine). I recently discovered knits and those are soooo fun and easy to work with.

Upcycled Bag

I not only like sewing with a machine but I really like embroidering too. When I embroider it is like just starting with a pencil drawing and adding color. It gives me the feeling like I am making something come alive. Another thing I like about embroidering is the graceful movement of the needle. One thing I don’t like about sewing by hand is that my hand starts to get cramped pretty soon. That is why I would almost always rather sew a seam or a hem with the sewing machine.

Downton Duffle Coat for KCW

Annie (age 7): I sew because it’s fun. I made a skirt for my 4H project. I made the kind of skirt I really wanted to wear. I love the purple fabric and I think the white trim I put on it goes really good with it. Mom is also helping me sew a quilt for my bed.

So there you have it!   From all of us at Skirt Fixation; why we sew!  Please come visit us and see the latest project the girls made; charity skirts!

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  • Reply Cate July 20, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Great post – loved hearing your daughters’ perspectives, as well! My three year old is so curious about sewing and tells me she wants to “zew with you, Mommy.”  Of course, she’s also quite curious about the fans we have running in this steamy weather and has more than once tried sticking her hands in the fan to touch the blades — so I think I’ll keep her away from the machine needle for now! 😉  I have no patience for hand-sewing, either, but perhaps I can get her involved, as you did with your daughters!

    • Reply Audrey July 21, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Thanks, Cate!  Get them started young, I say!  Pretty soon your daughter will be sewing right along side you.  I think each of my 3 girls made a skirt as their first sewing project…nice and easy and rewarding!

  • Reply Lightning McStitch July 21, 2015 at 6:03 am

    Oh Audrey, I’m afraid you’ve been completely upstaged by your gorgeous kids!
    Allegra’s embroidery is incredible. That fish! Wow.
    What a lovely division of labour and talents you all have going on. I’d be the daughter who goes out and shops for fabric for the rest of you to sew!!

    • Reply Audrey July 21, 2015 at 10:53 am

      You’re right, but it’s such an amazing upstaging, how could I be sorry?!?  We’ll adopt you and let you fabric shop for/with us!  But you’ll have to teach us some of your amazing sewing skills, too!

  • Reply Laurie July 21, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Being tall is a great reason to sew! I always say I sew because “it keeps me outta trouble…”  But really- I just love to create something and THEN see someone wearing it! It is very rewarding! (And it keeps me out of trouble! 😉 )

    • Reply Audrey July 24, 2015 at 9:33 am

      Well there’s that aspect too!  😉

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