Browsing Tag

june 2015

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.
why I sew

Why I sew: Maria from My Cozy Co.

Hello! Is Maria again from My Cozy Co. Today is my turn to tell you why I sew. Actually, to be totally honest, I don’t rationalize very often the reasons behind my sewing endeavours. But writing this post has given me a great opportunity to dig into my thoughts, which made me appreciate even more my stitches.
Ok, let’s start.Why I Sew1_Mycozyco

1. Fox Pajamas  2. Safari Raglan:Flamingo  3.Charlie Dress

I sew because…..
1) I love to create. For me it is so amazing what we can make with our hands. How we can create amazing things from a raw material. I have been fascinated with creating/making since I can remember. I have gone through water color painting, stained glass and even precious metal jewellery, but since 5 years ago sewing has caught my  attention 100%. The feeling that I get taking a flat medium (in this case fabric) transforming it into a 3D object, which my kids can wear (well most of the times) is priceless.

2) I appreciate beauty. In this case I’m not talking just about the finished garment, I’m referring to the beauty of the fabrics, trimmings, sewing books and even tools! The last few years I have found myself collecting any sort of objects sewing related that every time I contemplate or work with, my soul gets fed. It may sound a bit crazy, but I think a person who sews will understand this feeling.

Why I Sew2_Mycozyco

1. Chambray+Liberty dress 2. Mulberry Tunic 3.Haven Acres Mini Collection

3) I want to challenge my brain. I love to learn new things, I always have had an inquisitive mind; and sewing is definitely a new skill that impulses me to learn constantly. I extremely enjoy practicing a new sewing technique, testing a new pattern, or even drafting an alteration in a pattern. Also I always remember one of many of mom’s sayings: “what you don’t use is going to get ruined”. Of course sewing has giving me the opportunity to have my brain busy  in the hope to maintain it healthy.

And last, but not least
4) It can make me feel extremely intense feelings or what I call, in a figurative way; it gives me an adrenaline rush. Yes, every time I’m immersing into a new sewing project I go through many stages. The roller coaster starts with worrying choosing the perfect fabric/materials/pattern, passing for the frustration when a mistake is on its way, the shadow of lack of inspiration, the happiness invasion when the kid (well at least the older one) wears the garment and a smile comes together with a hug plus a “thank you mom, I love it”…anyway to put it in few words for you, sewing is never boring for me, I don’t like boring, I like excitement and the most of the times plan ,trace, cut and stitch gives me the bust of energy that completes my day!

Why I Sew3_Mycozyco

1. Lua Sleepsack 2. Twisted Trousers 3. Ishi Dress

Thanks for reading me and now I would like to know: does sewing give you an adrenaline rush too?, please tell me yes!

why I sew

why i sew: audrey from skirt fixation

Hi there! It’s Audrey from Skirt Fixation here again today. I’m going to share why I sew with you. The short answer is: I’m 6 feet tall.

Nani Iro maxi skirt

Yep, a really, really statuesque lady. Sounds great and supermodel and all until you realize that ready-to-wear clothing is made for the average 5’5” tall woman. That makes said clothing 7” too short, tight, small, etc. for my overgrown body! So that’s the short answer. But, you protest, this is KIDS clothes week, and your kids aren’t 6 feet tall. (Well, beside my son who is 6’ 6.5” tall, that is true!) But I have 7 children, and they will be tall, so right now, RTW clothing doesn’t fit them very well either.

Why I Sew - Skirt Fixation

Oliver+S Music Class outfit, 7th birthday outfit,  Monet Inspired Dress, Oliver+S 2+2 outfit and Aster cardigan

For example, my 7 year old daughter is a size 4 around, and a size 8 in height.  So I end up making many of her clothes.  Like all those pictured above, and many more!  But little girls are so fun to sew for!

Why I sew for boys - Skirt Fixation


Inkodye cowboy shirt, 80s cartoon, Ethan shirt & Oliver+S cargo pants, Knight hoodie

My 9 year old son is a size 5 around, size 12 in height.  Again, I sew many of his clothes, and he loves to wear them!  So what I’m trying to share is that I sew some out of necessity. But the other reason I sew is as a creative outlet. Sewing is my stress relief. I love almost every part of a sewing project from start to finish.

Why I Sew - Skirt FixationSenna Tote, Cotton & Steel Mini Quilt, Pear Pincushion, Art Gallery Fabrics outfits

And I love every kind of sewing from apparel to quilting and bag making. The part of sewing that I really don’t enjoy is hand sewing; I simply don’t have patience for it! But perhaps my daughters play a part in that because for several years they have rescued me from any hand sewing.   They know that offering to work on the mending pile is a great negotiating tool for them! Speaking of my 3 daughters, I’ve been teaching them the art of sewing for several years now, and I’ve asked them to chime in on the topic “Why I Sew.”

Black knit skirt

Allegra (age 16): I’m the hand sewist in the family. I may not enjoy sewing with a machine, but if you need buttons sewed on, or an embroidered detail added, or a quilt hand bound, I’m your person. I hand sew because it’s calming, and it’s a creative outlet. When I was younger, I loved to do coloring pages. The crayon, sweeping over and over, filling the lines with color, gave me a feeling of calm. I loved picking out the perfect colors to accompany each other in a picture.

Embroidery by Allegra


Embroidered US map, Girl in rain, fish, dance legs

Now I embroider, and it gives me a similar feeling. Instead of the crayon, it’s the needle, over and under, filling the lines with color, giving me a feeling of calm. I still love to pick out the perfect colors. One of my favorite parts of the sewing process is going to the store and looking at the beautiful rainbow of embroidery thread. Hand binding is the same way. I love making each tiny stitch the same exact length and shape, and manipulating the corners into geometric perfection. Buttons…well, they’re not my favorite. But if it’s hand sewing, I’ll do it!

Chess Skirt

Aria (age 12): I enjoy both kinds of sewing. Hand sewing and machine sewing are both about equal in which one I would prefer to do. When I am sewing on a machine the part that I enjoy about it the most is seeing it come together. With each step the fabric comes together and begins to form into something I know that I have made with my hands (or rather machine). I recently discovered knits and those are soooo fun and easy to work with.

Upcycled Bag

I not only like sewing with a machine but I really like embroidering too. When I embroider it is like just starting with a pencil drawing and adding color. It gives me the feeling like I am making something come alive. Another thing I like about embroidering is the graceful movement of the needle. One thing I don’t like about sewing by hand is that my hand starts to get cramped pretty soon. That is why I would almost always rather sew a seam or a hem with the sewing machine.

Downton Duffle Coat for KCW

Annie (age 7): I sew because it’s fun. I made a skirt for my 4H project. I made the kind of skirt I really wanted to wear. I love the purple fabric and I think the white trim I put on it goes really good with it. Mom is also helping me sew a quilt for my bed.

So there you have it!   From all of us at Skirt Fixation; why we sew!  Please come visit us and see the latest project the girls made; charity skirts!