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why I sew on KCW

why I sew: sara from made by sara

Hello again! It’s Sara from Made by Sara here. I am back today with my last post for this season of Kids Clothes Week. (Insert sad face here.) In case you missed my previous post last Thursday where I share some of my sewing mistakes, here it is. Have fun.

For this last series of posts we (the contributors) were asked to share why do we sew. Why do we make. What do we enjoy about sewing children’s clothes.

So, why do I sew?


1. Sewing for Kindergarten; 2. The Franklin dress; 3. The Limon top.

 Reason #1 – Simply because it has been a passion since I was a child.

I first started to sew when I was a child. I was one of those whose first sewing projects were doll clothes (namely, Barbie clothes). I used to spent several weeks in the Summer holidays at my granny’s farm. She was a dressmaker and she taught me to sew a little. She had lots of vintage fabric scraps and a huge collection of buttons (both of which I own now) that I used to make those doll clothes.

Like so many people, while I was growing up I stopped sewing. It wasn’t a popular thing to do when I was a teenager.

Still, it has always been a true passion and I was craving to pick it up again when I was in my twenties. And like so many of us it finally happened when my first child was born. He slept for 20 hours a day in his first 6 months (lucky me!) so I had plenty of time to make things. I spent my days browsing through sewing blogs. Collecting projects to sew. Hoarding fabrics and patterns. But because I was working full time on a big company with an important position, it wasn’t only after I had my third child and became a SAHM (less then 4 years later) that I bought a sewing machine and actually started to sew like crazy. This was almost four years ago and I still do.


boy_collage 1. The Mulberry Tunic; 2. The Twisted Trousers; 3. The Schoolboy vest.

Reason #2 – I love to learn, I love challenges, I love deadlines and I love to create.

And luckily I have all of that in this sewing hobby.

My previous job was really demanding. I had a leading position with lots of deadlines, tasks and projects that needed to be tackled and completed. When I became a SAHM I missed that. I love to work, I love having projects on my hands, and I even love deadlines because I work better, think better and produce better under pressure. It’s just the way I am.

One of the things I really love about sewing is the whole creative process. Picking a pattern or drafting one myself, making changes to a pattern, picking fabric combos, matching notions… All those colors, prints, textures, shapes… It’s like heaven to me.

I love all the time I spend thinking about the best techniques to make something, and researching, and learning, learning, learning… I am a voracious learner when it comes to sewing, crafts and design, and I love when I have to use a new to me technique or method because I have the chance to learn something new.

And I also love when I am given a challenge or a theme, and a deadline, and I have to use my creativity to make something! I feel the adrenaline rushing in and, honestly, sometimes I feel like a sewing junkie.



1. The Emerson top; 2. Under the Big Top; 3. The Blake dress.

Reason #3 – It does good to my soul.

Most people say they sew because of their kids, because they love to provide good clothes for their kids. Luckily we have access to lots of stylish clothes, with good quality and great prices around here so sewing is not a necessity in any way. I would say I sew mainly for egotistic reasons, because in all honesty, it makes me feel good.

Sewing makes me to relax and mends my soul. A good sewing blogging friend of mine was sharing the other day how sewing was important to mend the soul in a certain difficult time of her life and I could relate. Whenever I feel in distress I run to my sewing machine. It always involves picking a tough project that includes new techniques so that I really have to focus and don’t think about anything else.

Sewing is good for my self-esteem. I have always struggled with self-esteem issues. I could name a few reasons why but I don’t feel like going in too much detail. No matter what I do I always feel it is not good enough, not pretty enough, not perfect enough. But when I make something and get some positive comments on it, that makes my day. And when I am with my kids and someone compliments their outfits (without knowing they are mommy made), it makes me feel that maybe after all I am just a bit good about something.

Sewing made me find amazing people from all over the world. And some of them even became my real friends even if we don’t have met in person. As a SAHM most of the days the only people I talk to are my kids and sweet husband. And although I love them dearly I crave to talk to other people especially if they share the same interests and understand all my sewing jargon and excitement when I buy new fabric or sew that piping in the most perfect way. (I know you know what I am talking about.)

And last, sewing makes me happy. I love to sew for my kids and the main reason I love doing it is because of their big happy smile when they see what I just made for them. Their genuine smile makes me smile. Their genuine happiness makes me happy. I would freeze those moments if I could. They love the things I make for them and in the end that is all that matters.

Now it’s your turn! Why do you sew? Can you relate with any of my reasons? I would love to know so please share. (Thank you!)

women_collage 1. Blue, Birds and Flowers; 2. The Bellevue top; 3. The Pier 7 top.

I hope you have enjoyed my posts for this amazing KCW’s Spring season! It has been a real honor. Thank you for all your comments here and on other social media. If you would like to keep in touch with me you can find me on my happy place.

I truly love Kids Clothes Week for all the great inspiration from the project pool and for all the people I get to know and friends I make. You are the best!

See ya!



kcw: mistakes

mistakes: sara from made by sara

Hi everyone! It’s Sara here from Made by Sara and I am going to let you know all of my secret sewing mistakes. You are about to see the things unblogged, untold and unseen.

It is actually rather funny that I am writing this today. I just finished sewing something that had a mistake after another… Let’s say this piece of garment was all about blood – I pocked myself really hard with a pin… -, sweat – making two double welt pockets on some trousers is not a job for babies – and tears – I had to call Mr. S. Ripper several times and I even had to cut again one of the pattern pieces because I messed the first one really bad. Sometimes sewing is a humbling thing.

When I first (re)started to sew – I think about 4 years ago – I made a lot of mistakes: stitching wavy wonky lines, sewing with an inaccurate seam allowance (SA) like 3/8” instead of 1/4”, sewing right side with wrong side when it should be right sides together (RST), just to name a few…

With time the lines got a lot more straight and aligned, and SA is now super accurate, but sometimes I still sew right side with wrong side. LOL


This peplum tee was made for KCW (January 2014) and it was my first thing ever featured on KCW’s blog! It was also the first thing I ever made with knits! I was so thrilled!

The thing is, I didn’t knew a thing about sewing with knits! I took some sewing lessons with a wonderful professional seamstress for about three years. She taught me a lot about couture sewing techniques and also industry methods. But we never had the chance to dwell into knits… So a lot of mistakes were done on this one and the following ones until I learned from my mistakes and started to read something about it. To begin with I have used a regular straight stitch instead of a stretch one or a narrow zig zag… and I didn’t used a ball point / stretch needle (didn’t even knew they existed!)… and to top it all I have used a 100% cotton thread. Can you guess what happened? The stitches started to break and it only lasted a couple of days… (whomp, whomp, whomp…)


I love to pattern test. To me it is all about hard work and providing the most nit pick feedback. When I was testing these trousers I sent an urgent message to the designer saying that  “The front leg piece is way shorter than the back leg piece!” only to find out later that the mistake was mine… That front piece has some small knee pleats that should be made with an exact accuracy. It turned out I was sewing them adding about 1/8” to each, so in the end the front was about one inch shorter. Lesson learned: Always be very accurate with the SA given!


See this dress here? Can you spot what is wrong with it? Yes, that peter pan collar is asymmetrical on the back. I honestly don’t know what happened but one side of the collar is shorter than the other… I guess it was a matter of wrong SA again… Lesson learned: always check if both pieces of a peter pan collar are exactly the same…

This dress had another problem that I managed to solve at the time – sewing the zipper across two pattern pieces (through bodice and skirt) When I started to make dresses for my girls I could never get it right at first attempt… I always had to unpick everything and try again. Now I have a super good trick for this! After sewing one side of the zipper I use a tailor’s chalk and draw a line across the zipper (on both sides) along the bodice & skirt seam. That way when I am sewing the other side of the zipper I just have to match the chalk’s mark with the seam and that’s it!


Oh, this one is very good. (Not.) See where the elbows are? That’s where those elbow patches were supposed to be… I decided to add elbow patches to the pattern I was using and it didn’t turned out that great… And the most hilarious thing is – I even made a tutorial on how to add elbow patches to any tee when I blogged about it! (LOL)

I made this tee the night before we were going on a week’s vacation and I didn’t had the chance to try it on my son before we left. So we were in the middle of the woods when he tried it for the first time so I could take the photos for a blog post I had to make that day for a pattern tour. I didn’t had a sewing machine with me so I couldn’t fix that major mistake on time… Lesson learned, now I know where and how to place those elbow patches on the right place.


I love love love this blouse. It is one of my favorites of all the things I have ever sewn. The pattern is amazing – super professional -, the fabric is lovely, the piping is perfect and those vintage buttons I have used from my granny’s stash? The cherry on top.

The thing I didn’t tell you on my blog post about this blouse is that it had a huge  mistake! The sleeves are switched… The right arm sleeve was sewn on the left side and vice-versa… On woven garments the sleeves must be asymmetrical and preferably set in, otherwise they won’t fit properly and they won’t be comfortable.

After the blog post this blouse went to my mending pile and when I finally grabbed it to unpick the sleeves and place them correctly, my little girl had outgrown it. That gorgeous blouse was never worn. And because I love it so much I wasn’t able to give it, so it is being kept for my grandchildren.


Well, enough with this session of self-humiliation. Now you know my dirty little sewing secrets. Would you be so sweet as to let me know some of yours? It would make me feel better.

In the end, I don’t mind  doing some mistakes because although some keep happening (like sewing the right side with the wrong side…) most of them make me learn something and help me to improve my sewing, and that is something I really love.

I hope that by getting to know my mistakes you will realize that you are not alone! Don’t give up on sewing! Practice does make perfection.



WILD THINGS: ears // kid's clothes week


Hi everyone! It’s Sara again from Made by Sara. Miranda and Diana already shared a lot of cuteness in their posts on animal faces and animal (faux) fur, and today I am sharing with you some ideas on how to add some lovely animal ears to your kids clothes and accessories!


The most obvious way to add ears to your kids clothes is to make it on hoods right? Right. But there are some other cute ways of adding ears!


1. Wolf ears hooded coat made by Girl Like The Sea, with tutorial;

2. Bear ears hood made by Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts, using a Japanese patttern from the book Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids;

3. Panda hooded tee made by Huisje Boompje Boefjes, with the Rowan tee pattern by Titchy Threads;

4. Bunny butt pants made by Swoodson Says.



5. Hooded sweater by Talc, pattern suggestion to get the look: the Mulberry Tunic pattern by Kid Approved;

6. Panda raglan tee made by You and Mie, with tutorial;

7. Animal sleeves made by Suburbia Soup, with tutorial;

8. Cape with ears by Les Zigouis, pattern suggestion to get the look: the cape pattern from “Little Things To Sew” book by Oliver + S.



I just love accessories, both for my kids and for myself. They can add that special touch to a simple outfit and make our kids look like they are straight out from a high-end brand catalog. Not to say that every kid loves animals and would certainly be jumping up and down with excitement when given the chance to go to school with any of these options. (And who can blame them really?)


 1. Faux Fur Hood made by Lemom Squeezy Home, with free pattern;

2. Animal Head wraps made by The House That Lars Built, with free pattern to make lots of different animals;

3. Bunny Ear Headbands made by Twirling Betty, with tutorial;

4. Eared Hat made by Glitter and Wit, self-drafted;

5. Hooded animal scarves made by Friends Stitched Together, with tutorial; 

6. Bunny toddler backpack made by Sew Much Ado, with free pattern.



Some of the options above require you to use your crafty juices and draft your own ear add-on, but for those who don’t feel so adventurous there are some PDF patterns that already have animal ears so all you need to do is follow the pattern and instructions and you will be able to make something fun!


1. Animal Ears Fleece Hat pattern by Tie Dye Diva;

2. Chic Cocktail Swing Coat pattern by Heidi & Finn, made by Handmade Frenzy;

3. All in One Hooded Scarf pattern by Heidi & Finn, made by Kimmie Sew Crazy;

4. Sweet Pea cap pattern by Jennuine Design, made by Deux Souriceaux;

5. Elm Rain coat pattern by Petit à Petit and Family, made by Sewing Like Mad.


I can’t wait for Kids Clothes Week! It’s less than two weeks from today! (Yay!) I already have (too) many projects piling up on my cutting table, inspired by all these KCW contributor’s posts. I only wish days could have 48 hours on that week… I am always a bit ambitious on every KCW (and I bet I am not the only one, right?), so let’s see what I can come up with this season.

What are your plans for this KCW? Are you already choosing fabrics and printing patterns?