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September 2016

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A new dress, a look back and a look to the future

I can’t believe it’s already the end of September! Earlier this month, I got an email from Liesl of Oliver + S asking me if I would join in on the book tour of her newly released book, Building Block Dress. I figured it would be the perfect time to not only share a new book by the amazing Liesl, but also share some thoughts on my first season of KCW with you guys!

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So first, the book! This is a departure from what I’ve seen in sewing books lately. The idea of the book, is that you get a block dress (or a building block, as the title suggests), and you’re given instructions on how to fit properly, customize and even redraft pieces so that you can build what ever dress of your choosing! There are, of course, a number of dresses that are already modified, with instructions for each modification, so that you can either recreate the dress or apply the type of modification to your own piece.

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The book is, as with all things Oliver + S, very well put together. And you can tell there has been a lot of love poured into this book! It’s very well thought out and organized. And the size range!! I hadn’t expected it to start so low, if I had realized, I would have sewn the babe a dress… But you know, once you have an idea in your head, you have to roll with it right?!

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I sewed A a size 5, which I modified by giving it an A line to the bodice piece and lowering it to her knee length, and colour blocked the top portion with this fun upside down V detail. The biggest change I did though, was with fabric. The book is designed for wovens, but you can easily take a woven parttern and change it up with a knit fabric. Which is exactly what I did! I used a navy jersey I had on hand, with a floral ponte de roma fabric I’ve also had in my stash for a while. And overall, it came together quite easily!

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This was really a one hour project, even with the drafting of the pieces. And the results were definitely worth it! A loves it and I love it… But her loving it is what really matters right?! I mean, if my kids don’t love the pieces I make them and will never wear them, then what’s the point of sewing their wardrobes?!

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Which brings me to KCW, the seasons and challenges are all about pushing ourselves to spend that time to sew for our kids. For one hour a day, four weeks of the year, we unite by sewing for our children. In creating wonderful pieces of clothing that they will love (hopefully!).

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This summer season was a crazy one! Being my first, and being in charge of so much, was a big learning curve! One of the biggest things I learned, I need to be WAY more organized then I am right now… Oh, and graphics are definitely something I need to work on (which is why the May ones are still up….. ooops!!!!).

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Looking back, there are definitely things that I need to improve on. But I hope that you all had a fun experience none the less! And looking forward, there are so many things I’d love to bring to you guys! Both site wise and community wise. But before I go and announce anything, I’d love to know WHAT you guys love/hate and what you’d like to see.

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I would really appreciate it if you could help me out by filling out this survey. And if there’s anything missing on the survey itself that you would like to discuss, feel free to shoot me an email! And don’t forget, this book… Gah!!! I received a copy of it for free, but all opinions are my own. And if I didn’t already have a copy, I’d be running out to grab a my own copy of it, that’s how good it is!!! Not walking, running 😉 You can grab your copy here

 

 

I’ll be announcing the details for the upcoming season later this week, so make sure to be on the lookout for that!

 

Happy Sewing 🙂

summer

Why I Sew : Soumya

Hey guys!!! This post is coming to you about a week late… oops! I forgot about how bad my wifi would be last week/weekend and how busy back to school always winds up being. But, here is the last post for our summer season 🙂 -Julie

Growing up in India I never knew anyone in my family or friends circle who sewed or made stuff. When we needed custom fit clothes or alterations we went to the ‘tailor’. And that was my only encounter of sorts with a sewing machine! The only ever time I dabbled in sewing was in 9th grade where I hand sewed dozens of clothes for Barbie. But that was just because I loved to make things with my hands – this time, it was fabric, other times it was paper or paint. I was my happiest self when I was creating something with my hands.

But I didn’t realize it then. Which is why I went on to pursue an absolutely ordinary life of a management grad and an ad campaign manager. Thankfully, my daughter arrived early to bail me out of it! 😉
The birth of my daughter was akin to the beginning of a new chapter in my life – I began to recognise things that brought me the most joy. I learnt to knit and was amazed at how I could make something so beautiful and useful with my own hands.
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As I explored knitting I stumbled upon a lot of sewing blogs. And I was totally awestruck looking at all their beautiful creations! This got me dreaming about all the wonderful things I could make for my little girl which would be so unique to her personality.
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It took me a lot of courage to take the sewing plunge. I had never as much as touched a sewing machine and all the terminology was so intimidating! But thanks to all you lovely ladies out there who so painstakingly write up excellent tutorials for every little thing, I am able to have my own sewing blog today. It’s been a year and a half since I started to sew and I must say these have been my most satisfying years ever! I am having such a ball taking a flat piece of fabric and transforming it into something I know my daughter will adore!
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Sewing takes a lot of time, effort and patience, but it’s all worth it when your daughter refuses to wear anything store bought and insists on wearing only ‘mommy-made’ stuff. Fills your heart with joy. And this is probably possible because as sewing moms we can choose exactly the kind of patterns and fabric that we know our kid will love and feel comfortable in.
That’s another reason why I really love to sew.
I like to dress my daughter in natural fibers (she had a bad case of eczema as a baby) that are organically grown and it’s really hard (and expensive!) to find them in stores. Now I can make clothes for her that can be used year round and are super comfortable to play in. My daughter’s a little artist and I love how sewing lets me let her ‘wear’ her art. Where else is this possible?!
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There is one other reason that makes me really glad to sew – it makes me more mindful of everything.. Have you watched the movie ‘The True Cost‘ ? It’s a glaring look into the garment industry. By choosing to sew we are choosing to say no to sweatshops and to mindless consumption. It helps us be slightly more responsible citizens of this planet.
Sewing is now no longer a hobby that I chose to learn as a stay-at-home mom; it’s now my new way of life where I take things slow and savor every little stitch.
Sewing is me!
Keep sewing!