Browsing Tag

oct 2014

why I sew

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!

why I sew

why I sew: Marisa

Why do I sew? Well, probably for many of the same reasons that YOU sew: for enjoyment, because I can make clothes I love that actually fit my kids, and because it’s become a passion, something I can’t stop thinking about even when I’m not actually doing it. Sound familiar? Read on to find out more about why I sew!

Because I just like making stuff

I’m one of those people who loves to make things. It almost doesn’t matter what – over the years I’ve dabbled in rubber stamp carving, cake decorating, origami, jewellery-making and countless children’s crafts. Since having children I seem to have lost the ability to sit still, so I fill every spare moment with creating things. Making stuff that is useful, like kids’ clothes, is an exercise in multi-tasking: it’s a leisure activity that satisfies my need to make things while providing things for my home and clothing for my daughter (and occasionally my son). While I try to keep my sewing useful and practical, I do have my limits. I will NOT sew school uniforms!

things i make

1. Tissue-paper flowers  2. Coffee sack baskets  3. Stamps  4. Cardboard Christmas tree

Because I needed to carve out some me-time

A few years ago I realised I was run-down and emotionally depleted. Years of child-rearing had taken their emotional and physical toll, and although it’s something of a cliché, I had gotten into the habit of putting others’ needs first and neglecting my own. It was time to take action: do something for myself, just because I enjoyed it. This was not something that came easily to me, but in my mind sewing was not – and is still not – a purely selfish activity, since it involves making things for my family (at least, that’s how I justify it to myself when I go fabric shopping!).

I’d had a sewing machine for some years, but there wasn’t anywhere in old home that I could sew, so I very seldom used it. When we moved into our new house in 2011 I quickly snaffled up a ‘spare room’ to be my sewing space, and this is when I really got started. I discovered the world of online tutorials, and made simple girls’ skirts, zip pouches and dresses. I was hooked, and since then I have always had something on the go, however many days or weeks it might take me to finish it. My ‘me-time’ might be an hour late at night, or a few fifteen-minute blocks whenever I can grab them, but it’s such an important part of my life. In a very literal sense, sewing keeps me sane.

early sewing_edited-2

1. Market Skirts old and new  2. Zip pouches  3. Ice cream dress in seersucker

Because I love being part of the online sewing community

Having benefitted from so many other sewists’ blogs, tutorials, reviews and sewalongs, I eventually joined the party and started uploading some of my own projects to Flickr. I really enjoyed the social aspect of it, commenting on others’ projects and receiving feedback from them. Then came my blog, Thirtynine, which I originally started to document kids’ art and craft activities I ran at our local playgroup. While I continued to post these activities until finishing up with playgroup last year, sewing very quickly took over, and I love the way that blogging has connected me to a supportive and inspiring online community.

sewing community

1. KCW 2012  2. Roots series sewalong  3. Japanese Sewing Book series on Nutta

Kids Clothes Week was the first online event I took part in, and look at me, coming back for more, season after season! I love the way KCW makes what is essentially a solitary activity into something so social, especially important for those who, like me, have very few ‘sewing friends’ in real life.

This is my final post for the Kids Clothes Week blog, so I thank you all for reading, and for being part of this wonderful community. And to Meg and Dorie, thank you for having me – it’s been a pleasure and an honour to contribute.



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!

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.

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)!