a few months back, Robin of Nested in Stitches had a really great idea to bring together a bunch of sewing bloggers with similar taste and style for a handmade kid clothes swap extravaganza. i was lucky enough to be involved during the planning phase, and it was so, so fun to see it all unfold. we were inspired by our swap partner’s pinterest board to create an outfit for their kid, all in secret! you can read more about the swap here.
i think a lot of us sewing mamas are pretty generous in our sewing – we sew for our kids, other people’s kids, baby gifts, wedding gifts, house stuff…but we don’t usually get too many handmades in return. i bet the reason we have blogs is that we DON’T know too many people in real life that are our age and do what we do. the internet brings all of us crazy late-night modern sewists together and it’s a cool thing to share our passion with others.
but sometimes it’s also nice to receive, and Robin’s swap is the best of both worlds – sewing for someone else in a really thoughtful way, and getting something in the mail from another mama that puts just as much love into her sewing as you do.
you know who drew my name? DELIA! oh i love Delia, she’s such a bighearted and kind person, a fact that was proven when i opened up the adorably wrapped package she sent. it was obvious she put an incredible amount of thought and love into what she made for Em, taking into account both her likes and my own tastes. she also filled gaps in Em’s wardrobe – i rarely make tunics and Em was in dire need of leggings, especially because these days she loves to layer all sorts of pieces together to make her own crazy looks.
i’ll let Delia explain more about the TWO beautiful and perfect outfits she sewed for Em, but first i need to point something out. i think many of us swap participants were really nervous about sewing for our partner, thinking a fellow sewist would judge us more harshly on the straightness of our stitches or our finishing techniques, but when Em and i opened that box from Delia i noticed zero of the “imperfections” that she talks about below, and only saw the most beautiful chiffon Geranium tunic, the perfectly-fitting sparkly and striped leggings, the fantastic mustard linen top. Em got SO excited about the outfits too! really, just perfect…and it felt so special to see her sewing firsthand, with those pieces so caringly made just for my little gal. i nearly cried.
anyway, here’s Delia talking about her inspiration and what she made, with a bunch of photos and my comments in italics.
When Robin told me that I had Kristin, I was both excited and super nervous. I mean…this is Kristin of Skirt as Top! I knew whatever I made would have to be perfect. (and it was!!!)
So, I didn’t create perfection (yes you did) but I had a lot of fun perusing her awesome girls pinterest board and creating something for her cute adorable Em. It was SO hard to not repin a bunch of stuff from there. I didn’t want to tip her off you know.
Using Made By Rae’s Geranium pattern, I sewed my first Geranium. I felt a little ambitious and decided to line it with white linen and add a white and silver polka dot chiffon overlay with chiffon flutter sleeves. I whipped up some glittery teal leggings to go with and threw in a sparkly zipper flower clip my friend Tori made for me a long time ago. It just matched so perfectly that I just couldn’t not, you know? (and Em LOVES it!!! she’s a huge fan of hair clips she can put in easily herself)
The whole ensemble was inspired by the many sheer or ballet style outfits she pinned along with the flutter sleeved tops she pinned. See here, here, and here for just a few examples. I made it inspired by the ballet look without looking like a tutu. (mission accomplished – she didn’t stop dancing/leaping through this whole photoshoot, as you can see)
I also tried to infuse what Kristin had said Em liked. She mentioned sparkle (check), twirl (even though it’s a tunic, it twirls, check), and polka dots (check).
Even though I felt like I had sewed something Em would love, I was super nervous that Kristin might not love it (poppycock!). So, I sewed some more.
I was heavily inspired by this pin here, and this color scheme here and ended up making my favorite piece yet. This tank has a slight high low rise hem, flutter-ish straps, a single covered button at the back and a faux “placket” of black buttons on the front all sewn in a yellow linen from Jo-Ann. (i love the linen and the fit is so nice too – Em wore it with grape-colored shorts for Easter dinner and it’s perfect for spring/summer)
I sewed more leggings using Go To Patterns Leggings pattern again which is a really great pattern. It takes out the sizing guess work and makes great fitting, professionally finished leggings every time.
In the end, the stripes on one of the leggings don’t line up and the buttons on the chiffon top are off center – ugh (didn’t even notice). But, it all fits her and she likes it, which is what was I was most worried about. I learned that sewing a tiny hem on chiffon is not so bad, and that I need more flutter sleeves for Natalie too because they are so fun and perfectly pretty!
I felt so honored to be a part of this sewing swap and that I got to have my dear friend Kristin as my secret sewing assignment.
Kristin sent me a few texts of Em twirling in her outfits when she got them and they MADE my day. She is the cutest Kristin! (aw thanks, Delia!!! you really nailed Em’s style but it’s all so perfectly YOU too…i wish i could give you a big huge hug!!)
isn’t it all so great? thank you SO MUCH Delia!
okay, so what did i make?
well. i was lucky enough to draw Danielle, one of my first sewing blog friends – i emailed her after i found her blog when she posted for No Big Dill two years ago because i noticed some similarities in our lives that could not be ignored. Danielle was kind enough to write back rather than think i was a crazy person and ignore me. we became fast friends, she encouraged me to start my blog and our friendship has only grown since (I even met her and her kids last summer, our little gals hit it off and Em still asks if she can play with Avery sometime…). i was thrilled to sew for both of her kids!
here’s a preview – click over to my sparkle for her cute little towheads rocking their outfits!
check out all of the swap participants for more bloggy fun! some really awesome stuff happened here – can’t wait to do it again sometime!
cherie from you & mie | danielle from my sparkle | delia from delia creates | gail from probably actually | heather from well-crafted | kristin from skirt as top | meg from elsie marley | sanae from sanae ishida | vanessa from lbg studio | robin from nested in stitches