KCW interviews

KCW interview: Jess from craftiness is not optional

Hi there, it’s Audrey from Skirt Fixation, and today I have a real treat for you!  I had the honor of interviewing Jess from Craftiness is not Optional about KCW, sewing and more.  Jess’s sewing is flawless, her photography minimalistic and stunning, and her blog just plain fun.  Okay, let’s get to the good stuff!

Granny Floral Norah Dress

When did you start sewing your children’s clothes and why?
I started sewing clothes for my children when I was bored with embellishing onesies and making bibs…it was to me, more complicated and challenging and I wanted to be challenged and see if I could do it! For a few years though, I refused to make them clothes…it was “too hard”. lol!
When was your first KCW and how did it go?
My first KCW was in May of 2010! I’ve been involved since I think, the very beginning…my first KCW went well, too..I made a lot of peasant tops and easy things but I was gaining confidence sewing clothes so I was happy with what I was learning!


What do you like the best about joining in with KCW?

My favorite thing about KCW is the camaraderie that forms between all the seamstresses! Also I love seeing what they are all making and the inspiration is off the charts!
How do you balance your work/family/sewing time?
It’s hard. Period. We have naptime/quiet time in the afternoons though so I usually get a chunk of time there to work. We put the girls down to bed at 7 also (whether or not they actually fall asleep then…well that’s hit or miss), so I get evenings too!
Well, I know I was certainly amazed at everything you churned out last season!
How do your children influence your sewing?
I do know their favorite colors and patterns, so I feel like they usually like what I make. (luckily!) Or, I’ll lay out several fabric choices for them so that they have a say in that. I admit I’m not really one to let them go crazy in a fabric shop and pick out something willy nilly…I do try and stay within my design aesthetic, but they do love to come “shop” in mom’s stash for a new top or dress!

5 and 10 Designs Shirtdress


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

Probably one of my favorite things is this shirt dress...I love it, and Sadie wears it constantly….win-win!


Have you found yourself in the middle of a creative rut? If yes, what do you do to break it? 

Yes. All the time, frustratingly. I usually go fabric shopping online. lol. New fabric usually makes me excited to sew again!

Ooooh, good tip!  I’ll have to try that one for sure!
What other creative pursuits do you enjoy apart from sewing? 
I love planning and putting on parties for my girls….baking…creating printables….photography…almost anything slightly creative….I’m in!
Do you have any tips on achieving photographs that show off your sewing skills?
I used to stress over having new photo locations with every outfit, and while I think there is a time and place for fun location shoots, for the vast majority of my shoots, I take them in front of a plain white background. I feel like that allows the garment to really shine! and if the fabric is fabulous, it just makes it POP! The set up I use is a studio backdrop stand, with seamless white paper, and these clips to hold it in place. (I have a 4’x4′ piece of plywood I put underneath the paper so that it doesn’t wrinkle like crazy when the girls stand on it) I unroll the paper every time we have a shoot, and set it up in our sunroom, which gets perfect filtered light almost all day. I don’t have a fancy lens, just a 50mm (my camera body is pretty nice, so I really should upgrade lol), but it works pretty well for me in this setup!
Wow, that was amazing!  I’m know I will be using those photo tips soon.  Thanks for all your answers, Jess, it’s really neat to get to know you better.    I will be following all your makes on Kids Clothes Week and Craftiness is not Optional.
Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Jenny August 6, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    What an awesome interview Audrey and Jess!

  • Reply Jess August 6, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Thanks for the fabulous questions Audrey! I had a great time answering them and reflecting on all the fun I’ve had during KCW!

  • Reply Lightning McStitch August 7, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Jess your parties are legendary, your sewing and photos lovely and those three girls are beyond adorable! Lovely to see you featured here.

  • Reply Holli Coats August 7, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I think it was through Jess’s blog that I found out about KCW- so thank you Jess! Great interview!

  • Leave a Reply