the one where i pat myself on the back. mostly.

this post is about a week late, but i still wanted to take a moment and write about my experience with kids clothes week, if for no other reason than as reference for myself next time. i set some goals, and limitations, for myself, and i wanted to think through whether or not i was successful.  plus, share some outtakes from my “photoshoots” with the bee!

horsey_t_outtake

i started by setting some limitations: no new patterns and no new fabric, and i did pretty well.  my goal was not only to not spend any money, but to not bring more stuff into the house!  during the week, i purchased 3 yards of 1″ wide elastic for a few dollars and some half-yard pieces of knit rib for about $5.  i needed the elastic for the pants, but i bought the knit fabric because i was so excited about making more t-shirts. it’ll probably sit around for a while, but i know i’ll be making more t-shirts soon.  all of the fabric i used was stuff i had on my shelf, either left over from other projects, or items purchased and not yet used.  and i successfully (mostly) only used free patterns and tutorials, like dana’s kid pants, or made my own patterns by tracing existing clothing.  the one exception is the oliver & s ice cream dress, which i had started last summer!

heart_pants_outtake

my second requirement was that i take small steps in the few weeks leading up to kids clothes week, prepping my projects so that i could focus only on construction and sewing during that week.  i’m not sure if this plan went against the spirit of kids clothes week, but i suspect not.  i was mainly trying to make sure that at the end of the week, i had completed projects, not half-finished ones.  this plan worked really well actually, as i spent only an hour or two each week getting things together prior to sewing, and finished quite a few items!

i finally tackled sewing with knits, which had alternately fascinated and terrified me, so i am very excited about that accomplishment!  and i became ever-so-fond of my overlock machine in the process.  we are seriously besties now.

creamsicle_dress_outtake

i’m also very pleased that i tried tracing existing clothing to create a pattern.  i’ve read about this technique in the past, but never trusted that i could pull it off.  it turned out to be far easier than i had expected and i would definitely do it again.  through this process, i learned just a tiny bit more about pattern drafting and construction, and feel a little more confident to try creating something on my own.

taking it all a bit farther, i’m really happy that i sewed with old t-shirts or goodwill finds for several of my projects.  i feel really good about repurposing something, especially into a garment that can be passed on to several other wee ones before the end of its usefulness.  i also think that using something less precious than purchased fabric made me take more risks – and those risks paid off.

soccer_T_outtake

one highlight of the week was being featured on the kids clothes week blog, not once, but twice!  such an honor, and i can honestly say that i was giddy and giggly both times. i am immensely flattered to have my work included amongst the talented projects that i saw, not only on the blog, but also on flickr.  i am incredibly grateful and touched by all the warm comments on my photos, and all of the new visitors to my blog!

but one downside to my whole sew-really-hard-all-week-and-complete-as-much-as-i-can plan was that i did not get to participate in the community aspect as much as i would have liked.  i did not get to spend nearly enough time on flickr, checking out other people’s clothes, or investigating and commenting on blogs.  i feel like i missed out a bit on the community aspect, and next time around will try to find a way to make time for reaching out to others.  the week also left me completely wiped out, and i still feel like i’m getting caught up everywhere else, which is not a great thing.  note to self: take it easy next time!

treasure_pocket_pants_outtake

all-in-all, i was really pleased with the quality and quantity of the clothes i made for the bee.  she seems to really like everything, and much of it has already been stained!  win!

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3 responses to “the one where i pat myself on the back. mostly.

  1. Pingback: upcycle before: t-shirts | kids clothes week blog·

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