Patterns used for garments pictured above from left to right are: Sheri’s Cherries by Kari Mecca; Simply Summer Pinafore and Dainty Underclothes (pantaloons) by Kari Mecca; and Shelby Kate Summer Dress Collection View #4 by Bonnie Blue Designs.
When Sew Beautiful reader Kelley sent us some photos of garments she's made for her 4-year-old daughter Sofia, we knew we had to share her story on our blog. Here we have a "real" mom who sews for her daughter, who in turn actually wears her special clothes on a regular basis - and of course, looks adorable every time she does! Without lots of money or time, Kelley told us that she considers Sew Beautiful and her sewing habit to be the little luxury that she affords herself. She does most of her sewing after everyone has gone to bed, which she calls "a special time just for me and my sewing machine to create beautiful things while everyone else dreams".
All of the garments Kelley has shared with us came to life because of seeing the patterns in Sew Beautiful, including those from our book Sewing with Whimsy by Kari Mecca that was first previewed in SB issue #119.
Patterns used for garments pictured above from left to right are: Sheri’s Cherries by Kari Mecca; Sunshine on my Shoulders by Kari Mecca; and Shelby Kate Summer Dress Collection View #4 by Bonnie Blue Designs.
Of her sewing, Kelley tells us:
I learned the basics of sewing very early in life from my mom and grandma and really wish I had paid more attention when they were around and interested in teaching me. I didn’t discover the joy of sewing until I had someone beautiful to sew for of my own 20 plus years later. My Sofia gives me inspiration as well as your magazine!
I also find that I hate for my child to look like everyone else’s child, and that the majority of children’s clothing on the market is entirely too mature and modern. We have our entire lives to look like adults, why not look like kids while we are? I hate seeing a elementary school child dressed like a teen. [...] I am what I consider a average 31 year old mom to a 4 year old preschooler, and I love to see my daughter dressed in smocked clothing everyday with animals, flowers, pantaloons and bloomers. [...] I started sewing to make a few of the things I wanted to see my daughter in. I love that she looks special, like she stepped out of a children’s boutique, and that they were made with love. If I had more time and money I think I would make everything in [Sew Beautiful].
Patterns used for garments pictured above from left to right are: Tea Party Sundress by Oliver + S; Dainty Underclothes (pantaloons) by Kari Mecca (white dress was purchased from The Bumble Boutique and was made by Boutique Shoppe).
Kelley suggests shopping yard sales, secondhand shops, thrift stores and even grandmother's linen closet (she found an Irish linen tablecloth at her 94-year-old grandmother's house, from which she made the white pantaloons above) for new and vintage fabric, sewing supplies and clothing that can be cut up for fabric. She also suggests saving all of your scraps – you never know when they'll come in handy.
Kelley, thanks so much for sharing your projects with us; it's so rewarding to see our magazine projects come to "real" life! If you've made something from or inspired by the magazine, please share it with us by sending pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to see your projects!