Good morning all! As you might remember I promised to bring you some guest posts, tutorials and other sewing blog posts as part of the Handmade Kids Clothing Swap. Well today I’m very excited to share with you a little interview with Talia who blogs over at Talia Christine.
Talia is a Texan living here in NZ with her gorgeous family and amazing sewer. You definitely need to check out her blog to see her lovely sewing, gorgeous girls and her husbands awesome beard. For all those reasons and more, it’s one of my favourite reads. Annnnd… Talia has given herself an awesome In Stitches sewing challenge. I could tell you all about it here, but I’ll let Talia fill you in instead …
Hi Talia, thanks for taking the time to share with us about your In Stitches Challenge. What is this challenge all about?
Hi Jenny! Thanks for having me! In Stitches was an idea I had early on in the year for a personal challenge NOT to buy any new clothes for myself or for my girls (ages 3 and 11 months). I’m a sucker for cute kids clothes so I thought about it long and hard before deciding to commit to such a challenge.
What made you decide to embark on this challenge?
The reason for doing this challenge was primarily so I could force myself into practice sewing more often. I have been sewing since I was a kid but I felt that my skills were pretty mediocre. I felt that if I forced my own hand into sewing things for the girls to wear then I’d get LOTS of practice! ;) I wanted to strive for quality and increasing my sewing skills so that my finished items would look, well… less homemade. So far it’s been REALLY great! I’ve sewn LOTS and I can see my skills improving. It’s really cool! And my love for sewing has grown ten fold! Honestly, I’ve always enjoyed sewing but it’s turned into a full-blown passion. These days I am KEEN to sit down at my sewing machine. (Thanks, Hubby, for watching the girls while I steal away to my machine)
Which project is your favourite so far? Which was your most challenging?
My favorite was a little peplum t-shirt and floral leggings for Audrey. It was a quick one-afternoon project that I drafted myself. I’m quite proud of it even though it was quite simple to do. I just love the look of the finished project!
My most challenging project is likely either the Albion coat (which actually wasn’t THAT hard, it just took a long time) or a fitted skirt that I made for myself out of a vintage sheet. I suppose it shouldn’t have been that hard either but maths do my head in. Plus, no pattern. And zipper. (shudder)
Do you think you've grown in your skills since embarking on this challenge? In what way?
YES! So much. I’ve learned a lot and have pushed myself into trying new things. I’ve always shied away from working with knits because… scary. But it turns out I LOVE sewing with them now. Knits are easy to sew up and very forgiving. Also I’ve noticed that my stitching (in general) has become a lot tidier. Practice makes perfect!
Where do you get your creative inspiration from?
Audrey serves as a big motivator for me. She kiiiiiiiinda doesn’t realize that clothes can be bought from stores? (Haha!!) So she’s often spying clothes here or there and asking if I can make them for her. CUTE! So I do. Or at least I try ;)
Have you found it hard not buying clothes?
Not so much. Occasionally I find myself wistfully looking at the brand new clothes that line the racks or sparkle from the magazines at me, but I’m telling you. I’m loving sewing things for my girls. I get a real sense of satisfaction seeing them run (or crawl) around in the things I made for them. And only one dress has fallen apart ;)
Have you noticed that you've saved money by taking on this challenge? Going into the challenge my primary goal wasn’t actually to save money, but to gain skilllzzzz. While I’ve learned HEAPS we’ve also definitely saved money, especially when I use fabric that was gifted to me or fabric that I already had. Win win, my friends. Win. Win.
What do you find most rewarding about creating for your family?
I really like knowing where our clothes come from and I get a real sense of satisfaction that I created something tangible that serves our family in a real practical way. Oh it’s cold outside? Okay I’ll make a few sweatshirts to keep my girls warm! It makes me feel sort of like a superhero.
What does your family think about your sewing?
My husband is suuuuuuper supportive. A few months ago we budgeted in a new Bernina sewing machine for me (gasp). It’s been a dream come true. Last weekend he asked if I needed an overlocker. So we bought one. His idea. That man is amazing and I’m going to keep him for ever and ever amen.
Audrey, for the time being, is stoked that I can sew up whatever her little heart desires. Maybe one day she’ll be more embarrassed. Who knows ;)
I think my mom is worried that I’ve gone hippie and my children won’t be clothed properly because I won’t be able to sew stuff in time. Fair call. But so far so good. Haha
What projects have you got lined up next, what are else are you hoping to make this year?
I have a whole host of patterns that I’d like to make for myself including some activewear to wear at the gym. Leggings that actually fit me properly? HELLLOOO!
Can we join in too?
I’d love for everyone to tap into their sewing side! The more the merrier I say ;)
Anything else you'd like to add...?
Thanks for hosting this swap, Jenny! It’s like a sewing dream come true. Muah! x
Thanks so much for sharing a bit of your sewing journey with us Talia, I can’t wait to see what you make next! (And I really can’t get enough of that coat!)