Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I've heard it more than once when I tell someone that I am making Piper's fall wardrobe.  Why?  It is a good question and one that is hard to answer.  There was a time when sewing was done as a way to save money.  I know that I can go to any store and purchase things cheaper than what I am about to make them for.  That hasn't been lost on me.  I have used coupons when possible to purchase fabric and supplies.  Of course the time I will spend on this project has some value to it as well, though I am not sure you could add a dollar amount to it.  So, why am I doing it?  I read an interesting article on the Oliver + S blog that might help me answer this question.  The blog post was titled The Economics of Sewing.  When I read over the post it really spoke to me.  I think on some level, wether consciously or not each one of the top reasons for this project might hold true just a little.  I thought maybe I could touch on a few reasons others have given as to why or why not they pertain to me and how.

1.) The pleasure process.  There is something so rewarding about starting with a large flat piece of fabric and after a few cuts here, a few stitches there it turns into something wearable.  I am always a little amazed when I finish a project.  I look at it and say "I made that."  It's a wonderful feeling.

2.) Customized fit. In measuring Piper yesterday, I found out a very important thing.  She is a "size 2" in width, but a "size 3" in length.  When purchasing something from a store I don't have a choice in how it will fit her.  So, if I want something to be the right length (especially pants), then they are too big around the waist and vice versa.  By making her clothing myself I can make them fit just the way I want.

3.) March to your own drum beat. I think this may be one of the most important reasons and certainly one of my biggest motivators in starting this project.  Each week Piper and I attend various fun kiddo classes.  Each week I notice that Susie has the same jacket as Piper or Molly has the same shirt.  I think teaching our children at a very young age to embrace their individuality is so important.  I know that the things I make will be one of a kind, just like my girl.

4.) The "you made that?" draw drop effect. This one might go hand in hand with #1.  I take pride in telling someone that I made what Piper is wearing.  I work very hard to make things not look so "home made". So, when I get the reaction from people and they can hardly believe she's wearing a dress, top, pants, all of the above that I made, I take pleasure from that.

5.) Age appropriate dressing.  This is probably another one that was a very important motivator for me. I get very frustrated shopping for Piper already.  In my opinion, toddlers do not need; low rise jeans, mini skirts, or bare midriffs.  At the age of 2, Piper is a sweet, innocent, child and I intend to keep her that way as long as possible.

6.) Creating heirlooms and memories.  I had a dress when I was young that was so special I still remember what it looked like today.  It had a red skirt, with tiny white hearts and a white swiss dot top.  I remember that dress because my Mom made it for me.  I haven't seen the dress in years, but I remember exactly what it looks like.  I know my Mom still has it.  I look forward to the day when my daughter can wear it too.  I know the things that I make won't be "heirlooms" in the traditional sense.  I'm making play clothes, and I hope they fulfill that goal.  However, I have a bin that I put hand made items into and I hope that when Piper is older they will hold special memories for her as my dress does for me.

7.) Love.  I'm doing this because of my love of sewing and my love of Piper.  I like the way it's put in the original article.
Indywriter said, “if I have taken the time to create something handmade for you, it’s because you are special to me or to my family. I am not only giving you a dress, I am giving you the precious gift of my time and my thoughts during the process of making it.”
When I sew for Piper I think about her.  I think of how much she's grown and where she's headed.  Each stitch contains a thought or wish for her.

There you have it.  Perhaps I could print this out and just hand it to the people in line behind me at the cutting table in the fabric store.  But then, I wouldn't be able to talk about my adorable little one if they were busy reading.


  1. Love this! I have not done a lot of sewing for my kids...but I have done some...blessing dress that the two girls wore as babies, occasionally Christmas dresses, even a couple of ties for the little guy. It is so much more than just buying something :)

  2. Great points!! Many reasons I am thinking of making Matthew's clothes for fall. Boys are hard to shop for, and you're right, when I take him to daycare, at least 2 children have the same thing.