Wednesday, March 19, 2014

do my kids actually wear what i sew?

The quick answer is yes, at least once!  The more complicated answer is yes or no, depending on their mood, the weather, their favorite color on any given day and quite possibly the alignment of the stars :)

I was going through all three girls' closets the other day, which is not a task for the faint of heart :)  It got me thinking (along with this post earlier this month) that I should take a few minutes to really determine which handmade items get worn so I can focus my sewing a little better.  In other words, I shouldn't sew because my initial response to a pattern or idea is "hey that looks fun/challenging to sew!" but rather to sew from a "hey my kid would wear that!" point of view.  I have way too many "fun to sew" looks that just sit around and never get worn.  Don't get me wrong, I get a lot of personal satisfaction from challenging myself with sewing, but I think there would be just as much (if not more!) satisfaction to actually be clothing my kids instead of just sewing for them.  That may be a bit nit picky of a distinction, but I think it will radically change the way I sew!

So here are some of the items (in no particular order) that were the most frequently worn this past year.  You can click on any of the pictures to go to the original post which has the info about pattern and materials used.

1. Any easy on and off warm weather dress

http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/06/lola-dress-free-pattern-and-tutorial.html http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/06/pattern-review-friday-japanese-pattern.html

2. Skirts that are girly but can also be worn for riding bikes

http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/07/pattern-review-friday-heidi-finn-skort.html

3. Things made to fulfill a specific kid request

http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/07/715-free-pattern-knit-shorts.html

4. Stuff made by my kids - both of my girls have asked for their own sewing machines, so I anticipate more stuff made by them in the near future :)

http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/07/kcw-roundup.html

5. A few Japanese patterns

http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2014/02/pr-week-4-signature-style.html http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/11/pattern-review-japanese-pattern-book.html

6. Comfortable layering pieces

http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2014/01/pr-week-3-refashion-challenge.html http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/10/pattern-review-friday-heidi-finn-urban.html

7. The Geranium Dress pattern by Made by Rae - one of my favorites

http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/04/friday-pattern-review-geranium-dress.html http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/05/vintage-geranium-dress.html

8. Things made with my own patterns - these were obviously designed to fill a need so they should be on this list, or else I did something wrong :)  I didn't blog about the top in the second picture, but it's one of the first versions of the Izzy top that I made last winter!

http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/10/kcw-day-7-izzy-dress.html http://www.climbingthewillow.com/2013/04/izzys-new-clothes.html

I know I'm not the only one out there with closets full of good intentions :)  For me personally this post will probably result in less pattern testing since that rarely fills an actual wardrobe need.  I also will be reusing some patterns more often once I know that they are favorites.  I tend to only make things once because I like change, but I know that small alterations can be made to almost any pattern and the result is a whole new look.  Overall, I believe I just need to be more deliberate when I sew and find a better balance between my need for a creative outlet and my desire to make practical things.  I know it will be a slow process with many slip-ups along the way, but I'm pretty sure that's how I do everything in life :)

12 comments :

  1. Some time last year I had the same switch. I used to sew holiday themed stuff and lots of boutique style ruffs stuff..but I realized that most days the kids get up and put on t shirst and jeans. I changed gears a little and sew a lot more with knits and stick to the more basic, everyday wear type patterns. They do get worn a lot more!

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    1. I honestly can't remember the last holiday themed item I made ... maybe the shirt for last Valentine's Day. But that was so basic that Mae wore it several times through the year. I'm just not into the fancy stuff like I used to be because I like to see my kids actually wear the stuff I make!

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  2. I've started asking my boys (7 and 10 years) about fabrics before I sew something for them (other than solid colored items needed for school/concert attire), and they usually are thrilled to wear the clothes I make. But I learned the hard way that once they reached a certain point, I had to check with them about the fabrics first.

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    1. It kind of stinks when kids decide that they get an opinion about what they wear, doesn't it!

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  3. Wow, you have made some really gorgeous clothes - I am swooning over the dress in #5. What is that fabric? As to the question at hand, it's one I have recently grappled with. In the last year or so, I've made more of an effort to seek input from my girls before sewing. For now, this usually means that I can choose the pattern as long as they can choose the fabric (from my stash, so it's already kind of pre-approved). And I have also learned that my 4yo hates collars. If I stick within these parameters, I do ok.

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    1. That dress is made from a rayon challis print that I picked up from a discount fabric place at a sewing expo. I've sewn with it twice and it is a major pain! But I do like how it looks :) I love that your 4 year old doesn't like collars - that sounds like something my kids would say too!

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  4. Because I always try to have the wearibility factor in mind, most of the things I've sewn for my daughter got a lot of wear. I do have like 2-3 dresses sitting in the closet. They were huge sewing successes but they are not so pratical to use.

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    1. They were huge sewing successes but they are not so practical to use.

      - This is so true! It feels like the things I enjoy sewing the most are the least worn. I don't know if that's because the kids don't like it or maybe because I just don't want to see it get ruined.

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  5. Oh I feel ya! I'm so the same way, I have a hard time making a pattern more than once. The same way I have a hard time cooking the same recipe twice. I don't even know why, because sometimes I LOVE the outcome. So why not repeat it!? I'm struggling with the same thing in my head right now. Probably because I just had to put away some outgrown handmades and there were several dresses in my daughter's closet that were cute but barely worn. Just not practical. Also, fabric choices. When I started, I had a really hard time spending money on fabric, but I'm really starting to see if I use quality (aka, a bit more pricey), the pieces hold up well and get worn alot! I'm hoping this year will yield alot more "worn" pieces of clothing. Both for my kids and myself :)

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    1. I am really trying to buying higher quality fabric also - less cotton quilting prints and more materials such as linen and higher quality cottons. The finished garments look so much nicer and hold up really well too!

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  6. At first, it's hard to know what they like or will wear. But over time I (almost) have it figured out. But I do know that if it twirls, she will wear it!

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    1. My middle daughter is like that too - she lives for the three G's - glitz, glamor, and glitter :)

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