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stacey

kcw: why I sew
fall

why I Sew- Stacey of Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Hi, Stacey here today to tell you about why I sew.  Honestly, this should really be titled, “Why Don’t I Sew” because I could probably ramble on for a book’s length about why I do sew.

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 1.  Zippered Dragon Vest        2.  Schoolboy Vest        3.  Angry Bird Backpack          4.  Cowlneck Bimma Sweater

I started sewing to keep my creative juices flowing after an abrupt life change from full-time teacher to stay-at-home mom as an expat in a foreign country.  After having an entire school’s worth of teachers to interact with each day, as well as my own students, the stay-at-home life felt extremely isolating. In those first years of living overseas, it felt like my entire life revolved around wiping snotty noses, changing diapers, and meeting the demands of caring of a family.  Add the stress of a new culture and language and I was begging for a creative outlet.  Some thing that was wholly mine and sewing fit the bill.  

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 1.  Prepster Pullover         2.  Bear Hoodie         3.  Hulk Inspired Convertible Pants            4.  Winter Wonderland Collection

Things are a little different now.  Now that two boys are off to school full time and one is in half day Kindergarten, I have a little more free time.  I still sew as a creative outlet but it also fills a burning desire to learn more and perfect the sewing skills I’ve acquired.  I love the act of taking a piece of fabric, designing a garment, and molding it into my own vision. There is something so affirming about creating a wearable garment.  I gain a feeling of accomplishment from each and every piece I finish and even more so when I come across something that’s been a challenge (aka; the seam ripper appeared a LOT.)

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 1.  Bimma Sweater and Harem Pants         2.  Lillestoff Dragon Vest          3.  Dachshund Pajamas          4.  Inverted Triangle T-shirt

The contacts and friends I’ve made also drive my sewing.  It’s wonderful to have found a community of women with the same interests, whose own projects inspire me to continue pushing myself as a seamstress.   I add things to try to my list of things to sew every week- doubly so when it’s Kid’s Clothes Week.

Sewing is one of the great passions in my life.  It’s something that can break me out of a funk and always challenges me.  Sewing makes me happy and that, truly, is the most important reason I sew.

How about you?  Why do YOU sew?  Do you have trouble finding ready to wear clothing that fits well?  Do you sew for a sense of stress relief?  Do you sew for your business or because it makes you happy to give handmade gifts?  I want to know.  Why do YOU sew?

kcw: the aftermath
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the aftermath

Let’s be honest.  No matter how organized one is for the start of Kids Clothes Week, we all know how things look and feel after the fact. If you’ve been sewing for a few seasons now, you probably have figured out how to prep your fabric and patterns beforehand to maximize your hour each day.  At the start, I imagine, there are lovely piles of pattern pieces on top of beautiful fabrics or at the very least, a clean sewing room with a list of what you wish to accomplish.

sewing notions

Seven days later, I’m guessing that’s not the case. Although I’ve heard the rumors about people who put things away between projects.

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I will openly admit that it takes me a week or two to get back into the swing of things both physically and emotionally.  Balancing the normal work load and sewing every day is both exhilarating and simultaneously exhausting.  The sewing room generally ends up looking like a tornado came through as I move from project to project.  While most of the time I’m fairly organized, I rarely put things away during the rush of Kids Clothes Week sewing. The pattern pieces are overflowing from the box that holds patterns, all needing to be filed away in my pattern binders.  The pins are left in a pile, instead of neatly slid back into the pin cushion.  Scissors and rotary cutters languish willy-nilly on tables, under piles of fabric, or on the ironing board.  There are threads EVERYWHERE (heaven forbid I’ve used faux fur or fleece) and the pile of fabric bits around the thread catcher is pretty darn embarrassing. And don’t get me started about the seam rippers. All five of mine have gone missing.

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If you continue around the house you’ll find the dish washer  full of clean dishes needing to be put away, the laundry pile is sky-high, and the floors are in desperate need of a mopping. Not to  mention a few buttons or thread spools scattered about. And whether it’s a product of catching up on all the house work, or sheer exhaustion from a week of sewing madness, it often takes me a week or two to get back to the sewing machine.

All of this is caused by the lady of the house taking an hour out of her usual business to sew for her children.  But I have to also admit, I’m not in the slightest bit embarrassed.  As I wander around the house putting away the mess, sweeping away the crumbs, you won’t hear me complaining one bit.  The aftermath is worth seeing smiles light up their darling faces as they pull on that new pair of pants or slip into that personalized pair of pajamas they requested. I’ve accepted and completed the challenge and that in itself is quite an accomplishment.

What about you?  What does the Kids Clothes Week aftermath look like around your house?  Is the aftermath worth it to you?

DISGUISE: costumes for the dress up bin
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DISGUISE: Costumes For The Dress-up Bin

When Halloween rolls around, I  find I’m  in a constant argument with myself.  The creative part of me wants to go all out with the Halloween costumes, pull out all the stops.  If I let myself, I could spend hours adding sequence, or scales, or feathers.  There’s been years (way back when there was only one kid to sew for) where I would take months creating family themed outfits.  I highly admire and envy those that put in the time to make Halloween costumes that turn heads. But, these days, the realistic side always takes over and I realize I have three children who will wear those amazing costumes for just a few short hours, one day out of the year. A few years ago, I promised myself that I would stick to sewing Halloween items that could be used all year long.  My kids love dress-up play, so finding items to keep their imaginations running wild is easy.

If you fall into the realm of practicality, here’s a list of disguises that, in my opinion, will keep the kids coming back day after day.

DisguiseMasks

 

1.  Lion Mask         2.  Lumberjack Beard            3.  Superhero Masks            4.  DIY Animal Masks

Masks: Whether they are superheros, safari animals, monsters, or covert spy disguises, masks can be used for all sorts of imaginary experiences.  If you utilize heavy-duty fabrics such as wool felt and fleece, this is something you can be sure will stand up through the test of children’s play.  Kids can mix and match all the live-long day and never get bored.

Hats

1.  Cozy Pilot Hat            2.  Yoda Hat             3.  Lace Princess Crown            4.  Fleece Viking Hat

Hats:  Hats, like masks are easily put on and removed as the child’s play takes a new turn.  Hats are the first item pulled from the dress-up bin.  Hats are great as kids learn about the many different rolls people play in the world around them, through  history, as well as roll playing their favorite bedtime stories.  And let’s face it, if you live in an area that’s guaranteed to involve winter jackets for trick-or-treating, the hat is going to make the Halloween costume.

CapeHoodies

1.  Fox Cape           2.  Dino Hoodie            3.  Owl Wings          4.  Butterfly Wings             5.  Shark Hoodie

Hoodies, Ponchos, and Capes: Have you noticed a theme to the year-round dress-up bin?  Everything is easy off-easy on.  Kids love capes and ponchos because they slip so easily over whatever they already have on.   As a seamstress, I love the fact that one pattern, altered just slightly or embellished with alternate materials can produce hundreds of different costumes.  Hoodies are just as easily disguised and provide your little one with zipper practice as well.  And again, if you live in a typically cold Halloween town, ponchos and capes wrap right over that down jacket.

 

Whether you decide to go all out on your Halloween disguises or stick to basic accessories that can be used all year long, we want to see your creations for Kids Clothes Week.

Which  disguises are you planning to sew?