i have lost track of how much time has elapsed since my previous post, because with the final additions to my stash after weeks of fabric purchasing, pattern purchasing, sketching, sketching, pinning, pinning…it’s time.  tomorrow begins kids clothes week spring 2013, the largest (to my knowledge) kid sewalong around.  david has been adequately forewarned of my plans to shirk both household responsibilities and general social interaction for the next seven days.

when i first began dreaming of a sewing machine about a year ago, i began stumbling on some of the bigger kid-sewing blogs.  then, in early fall, i started to notice a lot of hype on those blogs about kids clothes week challenge (then kcwc).  still very new to sewing (i might never have before made a child’s garment), i didn’t think it was the place for me.  but halfway through the week, as i saw all of my favorite bloggers and many hundreds more sewing in a mad frenzy, i jumped in.

the following few days were as exciting and fun as they were strenuous and frustrating.  but one could argue that that week changed my life to a degree–and i’m not the only one who feels that way.  essentially, it is a week where you commit yourself to one hour a day (more for me, since i spend an hour a day on this regardless) of effort toward producing children’s clothing, be it sewing, cutting, ripping, what have you.  it’s not a contest, there are no losers, there are no hard rules or regulations.  it’s just a very unique opportunity to self-motivate in the warm embrace of hundreds of others doing exactly the same thing as you, cheering you along, admiring your work, offering guidance and support, etc.

it was my first real exposure to the sewing blog community, and i was really taken with the camaraderie and kindness of fellow seamstresses.  you easily get swept up in the momentum of it all, and that week pushed me to challenge myself and my creativity in many ways.  the effect had such hold on me, it directly led to the creation of this blog, which has become a very happy place for me, one that i really can’t imagine life without.  it would not be a total overstatement to say i’ve been looking forward to the next kcw since the previous one, which was six months ago!

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so, for the last week, i have run a bizarre sweatshop in which i am both slave and master, cutting, cutting, cutting, cutting pattern after pattern (it ends up being very time consuming, so it’s helpful to eliminate this step when you’re short on hours!).  i have now officially approached sewing as i do every other large project–huge, over preparation beforehand.  in most ways, i am a major planner, and was notorious in school for taking the day before the exam totally off to relax, i started preparing so far in advance.  i cut so frantically, today i cut a hole right into the crotch of the pants i was wearing (then stitched shut, and wore in public).  i have cut more projects than i possibly can hope to finish (and photograph, and blog) in a week’s time, but my plan now is to just sit back and sew!  i’ll just grab a ready-to-go project and polish it off as the mood strikes.  these garments range from basic, everyday attire (think…jersey!) to some more detailed projects.  hopefully i can complete some of both, and i’m already excited to see how my kids’ wardrobes will expand this week.

i have been sewing a lot for the kids without a chance to blog all the projects, and it has been rewarding and neat to see their closets filling up with clothes i made for them.  three times this week, i have heard from a blog reader, or a friend who sees their handmade outfits, how they’re “not much of a sewer, but might just pull the machine out…” and i have to say, nothing could make me happier.  to know the joy i have found in this practice, how comforting it is, how it feeds the soul, and that in recording my projects here i might open a door for others to experience the same makes it so worthwhile.  so, get ready for a wild week, and rev up those sewing machines, even if it’s been awhile, even if you’ve never made something for a kid.  for, what would we accomplish if we knew we could not fail?  i’ll see you tomorrow with my first project!

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