if i were just about any other blogger, this post would go something like this:KCWC

hey everyone!  are you ready to get fired up for some summer sewing?!  in just one week, the first ever kids clothes week, summer edition, will be underway.  you all know how i love me some kcw, so i hope you’ll join me in what’s sure to be a fun week full of late night sewing disasters/triumphs and bribery induced kid photo shoots.  i’m over at the kcw blog today to talk all about shorts, so head on over to check it out.  make sure you keep visiting over there throughout this kickoff week for all kinds of summer wardrobe inspiration.  while you’re there, grab a button, and sign up to sew along!

but i’m not any other blogger.  i’m over analytical and hyper productive, which is a terrible combination when i happen to get the biggest (only) invitation of my blogging career while my kids are off in grandparentland.  so, for you, my regular readers, and for you, my new readers today, i wanted to provide a behind the scenes look at what happens when neuroses meets guest post.  and i have no photos for this post, so i’m just going to fill it with SHORTS, old and new.

DSC05544if you read regularly, you know how much i love kcw.  if you’re on the fence about it for some reason, i can’t encourage you enough to join in.  not nine months ago, i was reading about kcw for the first time.  i read all the guest posts in the week prior, and drooled over their gorgeous blogs–it’s how i was introduced to many of the blogs i continue to enjoy today and turn to regularly for inspiration.  hardly having sewn a thing in my life, i didn’t think it was the place for me.  but halfway through the week, i joined in.  i made some very ugly and poorly constructed items with what fabric i had laying around, which fortunately are not chronicled here because i didn’t even have a blog at the time.

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but, i had so much fun getting involved with the warm community, i really couldn’t wait for the spring version six months later.  it seems that every time i participate in kcw, it’s a breakthrough week for me in some way.  kcw spring13 was particularly rewarding for me, which i talked about at length in this post.  i was so moved by the experience, i had to write meg, the kcw mastermind, to share my feelings because i think positive feedback is really important and not nearly often enough delivered.  given that meg is a busy mom of three and my emails tend to be prolific, i did not expect a response.

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but a few months later, i got one.  two weeks ago, i had just gotten out of the shower.  i glanced at my email, and saw a message from her graciously thanking me for my email, and asking if i’d like to guest post for the kickoff week of summer kcw.  i was stunned.  totally in shock.  half clothed with a towel around my head, i paced back and forth around my room for probably 15 minutes, reading and rereading the email, sure i had misread it in some way, and how embarrassing would it be for me to accept an offer that hadn’t been made?!  nobody has *ever* asked me to guest post about anything, let alone a true blogging legend asking me to guest post for the biggest kids clothing sew along on the web.  this is something bloggers i really look up to get invited to do, people who win contests and have sponsors,  people who write books and sell patterns, people who have massive readerships, hundreds of followers, and 30 comments per post, people who are incredible artists with incredible skill.  clearly, i am none of those things!  but although it terrified me (and flattered me, literally, into silence), this is obviously not something i could ever turn down.  i resolved to meet the challenge and make it great…i had big shoes to fill!

shorts

i soon got the rest of my assignment–i’d be the first guest poster for the first summer edition of kcw, writing about shorts two days after the conclusion of maybe the biggest shorts sew along on the web (NO PRESSURE).  i had to pick four pairs of shorts i liked and credit their bloggers, mention any tutorials i found pertinent, and optionally, sew up a pair of shorts myself (or highlight a previously made pair).  naturally, i had a better idea of how the post should go.  i would highlight four pairs of shorts by four different bloggers, but only those utilizing patterns by independent designers.  that way, eight people get credit and traffic, and indie designers get more cash to feed their cute babies with all the patterns that would surely sell based on my recommendation.  after much sketching, i decided i would sew not one, but FOUR pairs of new shorts to share on the post, because four is four times better than one.  obviously.

shorts

i thought having an entire flickr pool devoted to kids shorts would make this task easy.  wrong.  i’m too embarrassed to admit how many hours i spent scouring the internet for the perfect combination of four shorts.  i wanted four different bloggers, four different designers, four different styles, equal gender representation, varying levels of difficulty.  in between staring at so many shorts i think my eyes started bleeding, i was logging serious hours in my craft room cranking out some shorts of my own.  i wanted to highlight yet more quality patterns, and drafted two of my own patterns using the tutorials i recommended so they too could have their own examples.  after a few days of non stop shorts, i had to introduce another form of productivity and stimulation to break up the shorts overload.  so i organized my pantry.

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the first two pairs of shorts (1 and 4 below) went well (oliver + s, can’t go wrong).  the pair i drafted for reese (3 below) presented some problems because i have no idea how to make slash pockets, but turned out okay.  the rainbow pair i created for bean (2 below) is one of my least favorite things i’ve ever made.  i sketched these as shorts, but she hates shorts, so i made them capris, and something about the length makes them so dowdy.  the bright rainbow ribbon actually hurts my eyes, and the cloud pockets look sloppy, but i wanted them large enough to fit her hands.  ironically, i have a feeling she will love these heinous, heinous things. so i will be reminded frequently of this failure.  i was very torn over whether or not to include them.  but i didn’t want to seem like i was favoring reese, and i didn’t have it in me to make another single pair.  this guest post was turning into a bad relationship…the more time i invested, the more obligated i felt to keep working on it, even though it was rapidly devolving.

pocketsandpintucksby the time i sat to actually write the post, i was so burnt out on shorts, i wanted to compost every pair in this house.  i still had a few days until my deadline, but another lovable quirk i possess is the “false deadline” habit.  throughout 22 years of school, every time i got a due date, i made another due date in my head, a few days before the real one.  but i treat it as a hard and fast deadline.  you NEVER KNOW what might happen.  sewing machines break.  meteors hit.  i don’t know, things come up, and i want to be prepared!  so, i sat and wrote the mammoth post, ugly capris and all, so i could be done.  i was so self conscious the post would be boring, or too long.  that the shorts i made wouldn’t be up to snuff.  that my voice would be annoying or difficult to read.  i started to crack under the pressure.  going first is never easy…i have no standard to use, and i’m really, really nervous about it going live!

shorts

anyway, that is the saga of my first ever guest post.  in the spirit of the evolving kcw community, which will now exist all year round, i wanted to create a single post encompassing numerous different resources.  a place you could bookmark to find all kinds of tips and ideas on shorts.  i wanted to inspire you to sew, to admire what your peers are sewing, to direct you to great patterns and tutorials that will help teach you, while supporting independent designers.  if i succeeded in those goals, it was all worth it!  anyway, please do head over to the kcw blog and read all about shorts, and sign yourselves up to sew along!  i will be revisiting the shorts i made next week to talk more about design, fabric choices etc.  for now, it’s time to return to my month of me, and get back to sewing for myself!  i should have some new attire to post on friday, so i will see you then.

14 Comments on kcw guest post: behind the scenes

    • i told you, sanae…your craziness is no match for mine. of course i had to include something you made, and these fit all the ridiculous restraints and qualifiers i imposed on myself!

  1. Woohoo! Look at you! Ash, you have such great talent, you don’t even know it. I LOVE shorts #2 and 3 and your “false deadline” is a brilliant idea. I should practice that!

    • *you* have so much talent! really, i aspire! and what would i do without you to answer all my sewing questions? not many people have a personal sewing tutor!

    • oh, thank you! thank you so much for reading both (that’s no small commitment of time!) and for your kind words. i am so excited for you to begin your first kcw and i really think you’re going to love how much you accomplish, especially with the planning you’re doing. btw, i love books. actual books. love them.

  2. You had me laughing, and then feeling guilty at laughing as I couldn’t be certain I was laughing “with” you…..
    Your sewing is great (I quite like the cloudy gay pride capris) and now I’m off to read the KCW blog where I’m hoping/sure you’ll come across all polished guest sewer-pro-blogger.

    • oh, don’t feel guilty…i am completely aware of my utter ridiculousness (doesn’t that mean i’m not *completely* crazy?). i am glad you could find humor in it. it makes me feel more justified in my neuroses. oh my gosh you are SO RIGHT, these are PRIDE capris! how timely! now i like them [minimally] better.

    • thank you, nienke! i’m sure i made it quite a bit harder on myself than i needed to, but that’s a repeating theme in my life. and i have no problem admitting my lunacy. thanks for stopping by to say hello!

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