Sunday, 7 October 2012

Works in progress: KCWC!

I think a stack like that can only mean one thing, no? Kids' Clothes Week Challenge starts tomorrow! I feel like a bit of a cheat having cut out everything beforehand, but I really like the idea of actually sewing for an hour a day and thus hopefully getting some finished stuff out of it.

The plans for T are, on the top row:
  • Striped long-sleeved t-shirt, from an old Boden tunic a bit like this top (worn until it was stretched shapeless, but still very recyclable!)
  • Mini-me simple shirt: pattern from Sewing for Boys.
  • Trousers, upcycled from a worn-out suit of G's. Lined and with pockets (pockets bring disproportionate happiness when added to kids' clothes, don't they?)
And for L, on the bottom row:
  • A drapy, stripy, stretchy sweater.
  • Comfy trousers for circus school (can you tell that she had a hand in the fabric choice?)

For both pairs of trousers I'll be using the MADE basic kid pants pattern. I've used it before, last year:

These were the first trousers I ever made, and got me over my slightly inexplicable fear of the whole process. I've been loving elsie marley's pre-KCWC series on hacking this pattern (especially this and this) - it's been really inspirational to think how plain trousers, and trousers for boys, can be used so creatively (and I'm blatantly copying one of the ideas that's been posted).

I actually have real trouble thinking creatively about making kids' clothes. I'm just never struck with the inspiration. Maybe it's the fact that they grow so fast: I don't want to let them have the good fabric and put all this effort into something that will be too small too quickly, or just plain rejected, whether they were involved in the whole process or not. Add in that I have much less experience with kids' clothing of that trial and error that leads to getting things right, and the result, of course, is that I rarely end up making clothes for my children that I actually like (though sometimes I do). The fit isn't right, or the colours or fabric, or it just looks homemade - and not in a good way.

Much of the the problem, I think, is not knowing what I want. I don't have a style in mind for my kids, I just want them to be covered up and comfy. That removes all the scheming and dreaming of the sort I do about my own clothes. For them, I just look with ennui through the pile of fabric awaiting a destiny, until I decide something is good enough. Not exactly inspirational decision making.

Every time when KCWC comes round I feel a strange sense of irritation with myself for being so keen to sign up when I'm actually so unenthusiastic. But for me it's a good process, a chance to embrace kid clothing a little bit more. This time round maybe I'll just let go of the angst, and allow some real creativity to seep in as I wade through those piles up top there.

Your thoughts on sewing for kids? This post really got me reflecting too. Reactions?


  1. I agree with so many things in this post! You've hit it with me and sewing kids clothes. I too excitedly signed up but am worried about my lack of enthusiasm for the actual garments. I love those colour blocked pants from the guest series and which I could go out and blatantly rip those off!! Good luck with the week and I'm sure I'll be checking back to see how you are going.

    1. so glad I'm not the only one who feels like that! Your fabric and plans for KCWC looked great, I'll be following them too! With you on the colour blocked pants too - the only thing stopping me from doing them immediately is not having suitable stash fabric. It'll happen eventually though!


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