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Natasha Early

why I sew
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why I sew: Tasha

Tasha from Glitter+Wit, here! Why do you sew? For me, the answer is both simple and complicated (a mess, really). I answered this exact question on my own blog five months ago, coming to the conclusion that I sew because I want to keep the precious sewing memories I’ve made (and will make) with my children a part of me forever. That post has a lot of information about me and my sewing journey (and is also very heavy of KCW sewing (check. it. out.), so I’ll try not to repeat too much here. Fast forward five months and my answer is not exactly the same, anyway!

glitter-and-wit-11. florence for christmas 2. stylo for him 3. charlie in silk

I sew because I have a ton of sewing crap

Ah! This, right? Sometimes we acquire things so that we can use them. Other times we use things simply because we’ve acquired them. (And then other other times we throw the useless acquired things into a [drawer, garage, room] until there’s enough to make a donation somewhere.) I would feel awfully guilty about asking my husband to abandon the eight year old t-shirt(s) hanging three-years-unworn in the closet if I didn’t use the entire room of sewing equipment and supplies I have. If I suddenly just stopped sewing, I’d have to sell off all this stuff! And then I’d have to admit that I’ve become incredibly attached to some of it. And then I’d cry. It’s much easier to just keep sewing, I think.

glitter-and-wit-21. lua sleep sack 2. schoolboy vest 3. refashioned hanami

I sew because I’m pretty stinking good at it

Does that make me sound like an arrogant jerk? Somewhere in the midst of becoming a mother, starting a sewing blog, and sewing occupationally, I gained a lot of confidence and stopped caring what others thought. I used to ask my husband “Is this good? Can you tell I messed up right here? What do you think?” Now I show him what I’ve made and say “Look at this! It’s amazing, and here’s why…” If you had complimented me on my sewing five (heck, even just two) years ago, I would have blushed and muttered a drawn out “thaaaaanks.” Now, pay me a compliment and I enthusiastically agree with you; not because I think I’m the bee’s knees–but because I’m just as in awe as you! Each thing I make is better than the last. I love to sew, but with my personality that just isn’t enough. I have to have a natural talent and be good (or at least okay; definitely not bad) at something to stick with it. Sewing is pretty much the only thing that I’ve kept doing; because I am good at it. And every finished garment is a physical evidence of my improvement since the last thing I made. I guess it boils down to measurable progress.

glitter-and-wit-31. beetlejuice, beetlejuice, beetlejuice 2. this is how we denim 3. origami crown

I sew to contribute financially to my family

So I’ve got all the things necessary to sew, and I’ve finally let myself realize that I’m good at sewing. It only seems logical to find some way to use all this stuff and all this skill to try and make a little grocery money, right? After hemming (literally) and hawing for years, I finally bit the bullet (not literally) and started my own home-business making children’s clothing and accessories. That was about nine months ago. They say the thing you love will become the thing you hate if you make a job out of it. I don’t know who they are, but they are kind of right. It’s hard to stand at your serger for hours and repeat the same assembly-line process again and again. It’s even harder to put yourself and your product out there and then make, uh, zero sales six months in. Somehow, I’m still sewing. I’m still loving it. That’s a good sign, right? #cantstopwontstop

And that’s it for me as a Kids Clothes Week Blog contributor. It’s been a real honor to write for KCW and I hope you’ve felt inspired to sew and sew and sew some more. Please come visit me (electronically or in-real-life), sewing friends–and thanks for reading all my ridiculous ramblings. And a special thanks to Meg & Dorie for, well, Kids Clothes Week. Adios!

KCWinterviews
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KCW interview: Eva from by eva maria

Greetings! It’s Tasha from Glitter+Wit, again. Today I’m interviewing a Kids Clothes Week participant whose sewing commands attention. Eva’s KCW profile is filled with a cohesive collection of garments, all sewn with meticulous skill. For even more sewing eye-candy (and not just stuff for kids, either), visit Eva’s blog: by eva maria.

Eva [Maria (after her grandmother)] is a Belgium-born mother of three. She resides in Belgium still, with her husband of 19 years and their three adopted children (ages 12, 10, and 7). Eva is a geography and English school teacher who loves cooking and travelling, but is not so fond of mornings (here, here!). I was first drawn to Eva’s sewing through her Kids Clothes week makes. I was instantly intrigued by the fact that her children are older, yet they look effortlessly cool and comfortable in their mama-made clothes. Most recently, Eva’s spread for STYLO Magazine blew me away! Here’s Eva, answering the tough questions.

eva-interview-1STYLO Issue 03: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

When did you start sewing your children’s clothes and why?
I started sewing children’s clothes when we adopted our eldest daughter in 2002. She was 3 months old and I started making teenieweenie dresses for her with the help of my grandmother. When my grandmother died 10 months later I lost my desire to sew, mostly because there was no one to help me when I got stuck. Then, 5 years ago, I discovered sewing blogs and suddenly felt the urge to pick up needle and thread again!
 
When was your first KCW and how did it go?
My first KCW was the summer edition of 2013. I haven’t missed one season since then! I remember I sewed my second shirt for that edition, together with a friend, in just one afternoon!

How do you balance your work/family/sewing time?
I’ve worked part time since 4 years, and that helps of course. Plus we built an extension to our living room where I have my sewing space. I can leave all my stuff there which means I can sew whenever I feel like it, even if it’s just in between cooking or cleaning. Or even if it’s just for 15 minutes. I do try to keep some days “sewing free” just to keep some distance. My fear is that I will get tired of it…
 
How do your children influence your sewing?
My pre-teenage girls are starting to have their very specific ideas on what clothes should look like. Until a year ago they wore whatever I made, but that is changing. Still, they’re not that difficult to please yet, luckily. But I do consult them on fabric choices and patterns. Sometimes 🙂 My son is easy: he loves it all!
eva-interview-4

What advice do you have for sewists faced with the challenge of sewing for older children?
First of all try to see beyond a pattern: your fabric choice or the slightest alteration (some piping, a different/extra collar or pocket) can turn a boring pattern into the prettiest garment. Secondly, if you’re not sure about your sewing skills, use a pattern that comes with a detailed tutorial. I don’t want to sound too patriotic, but the Belgian pattern drafters are the best on that level! Zonen 09, Compagnie M, Straightgrain Patterns, Ienemiene…
I am totally obsessed with your recent zebra-print dress. What is your favorite thing you’ve sewn for your children? 
I think I’ve been the proudest after finishing my first Jackie coat (which turned out to be too small for my daughter)… But my absolutely favorite thing must be my own coat, I love it.
eva-interview-3

Thanks so much, Eva, for sharing a bit of your sewing story with us. We’ll all be watching to see what you make next KCW (and all the time in between, too)!
HOW TO: be a book for Halloween // kid's clothes week
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HOW TO be a book for halloween

Hello, hello! I’m Tasha from Glitter+Wit. The stars are aligning for this season of Kids Clothes Week. October sewing dates + a storybook theme–are you thinking what I’m thinking? Costumes!! I’m so excited to share with you some ideas for turning your favorite your kids‘ favorite children’s books into costumes for Halloween (or everyday play).

It seems simple enough, right? Pick a book. Pick a character. Sew the thing. I tend to get too excited (my kids are still young enough that I get to pick the costumes) and procrastinate the Halloween costume decision until the last minute. There are just too many fantastic things to sew! Hopefully this post will inspire you (and myself) to hone in on the perfect storybook costume. In this post you’ll find a variety of ideas; from classic costumes with pieces that can be worn everyday, to wild and crazy ideas that will get you thinking outside the box. Here we go!

go CLASSIC
Make a costume that can be worn long after October has passed– a classic costume from a classic book! Add a green top and apple as prop to become The Giving Tree’s boy, add a red bow and yellow hat (or headband) to a timeless dress for a Madeline look, or try colorblocking a sleep sack in shades of green for your very hungry baby’s first costume.

1. Spruce Shorts (Zuzzy Patterns) 2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
3. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans 4. Debbie’s birthday dress (Sewpony Vintage)

Hungry-Caterpillar-Costume

1. Colorblocked Lua Sleep Sack (Straight Grain) 2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle 3. Double Knot Hat (Fish Kiss Fabrics)

go WILD
Children’s book abound with animal characters, but you don’t have to create an entire animal costume. Try adding animal hats to the mix for a fun and functional costume. It’s already getting chilly where I live; new hats are definitely in order.

Corduroy-Costume

1. Winter Animal Hat (Living DIY Style) 2. Corduroy by Don Freeman 3. Bas (Zonen 09)

We just gifted Corduroy to our son for his first birthday and now I’m obsessed with the idea of little green overalls. The addition of a bear cowl makes this the perfect not-too-costumey costume.

Angelina-Ballerina-Costume

1. Ballet Sweater (Heidi & Finn) 2. Angelina Ballerina 3. Ellie Skirt (Violette Field Threads) 4. Animal Ears Fleece Hat (Tie Dye Diva)

Yes, those are cat ears. But the pattern has many other ear templates included, and it wouldn’t be hard to adapt for an Angelina Ballerina look. This is a costume I know my daughter would wear all the time if I’d let her.

Llama-Llama-Red-Pajama-Costume

1. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney 2. Lazy Day Pajamas (Blank Slate Patterns) 3. Fleece Hat (Vaappi)

We love the Llama Llama books! Sew up a set of red pajamas and add a fleece hat (perhaps lengthen the ears a bit) and your little llama will be so pleased with his mama.

go CRAZY
If you’re not-so-much into the multi-purpose costume, then by all means go nuts! Making kids’ costumes is a great opportunity to try out a new technique or material, or make your own pattern. I always get most creative when sewing costumes because there are no rules–unfinished seams, cut hems, and hook+loop closures are all fair game!

Over-The-Top-Costumes

1&2. The Little Prince & his Rose (book: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
3. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss 4. the once-ler, the lorax, and the brown bar-ba-loot

For some characters, you’ll simply need to wing it–there aren’t many patterns for fur body suits, flower hats, and floor length waistcoats! Use your imagination and any materials you can find! The Lorax costume above makes use of a yellow duster, and two years ago I deconstructed thrift store teddy bears for our family’s Three Bears costumes. Look around the house and make it work! I can’t wait to see what creative costumes pop up for this round of Kids Clothes Week.

go QUIETLY
We’re already closing in on Halloween, so maybe you’re not feeling up to a big creative challenge for a once-worn costume. Luckily there are many patterns suitable for costumes–no pattern altering necessary!

Costume-Patterns

1. Woodland Animal Costume (Running With Scissors) 2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
3. Alice in Wonderland 4. Storybook Pinafore (Tie Dye Diva)
5. Reversible Crown (Rae Gun Ramblings) 6. The Paper Bag Princes by Robert Munsch

For a straight forward (and very recognizable) pattern, choose the Woodland Animal Costume–it has views for a wolf, bear, or fox. Fantastic Mr Fox, anyone? The Storybook Pinafore is the perfect touch for an Alice look. I could also see how it could be modified to make a Dorothy costume. And the last pattern is a simple crown. This is perfect for any prince or princess, but I’m dying to see someone make a Paper Bag Princess costume. Bonus point if you sew a dress to look like a paper bag! This could also be a stress-free costume for a baby.

I obviously chose a selection of popular books for these costume ideas, but there’s no reason you can’t make a costume based on an obscure family favorite. I think it’s more important to make something special that your child loves than something your neighbors will recognize. What are you waiting for? Get to planning. I can’t wait to see your costumes!