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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

SAHM Style and how I found my way back to sewing

After having my first son in 2011, I decided to stay home with him permanently. Even with a very rough newborn + infant period, it has been a great decision for our family and I'm so blessed to have been given this much dedicated time with my boys. My wardrobe, however, needed to change to reflect being home instead of sitting in an office. 

I didn't sew all that much for myself after having my oldest, mostly due to time, but also not finding the kinds of easy, but stylish knitwear patterns I wanted to make. While I had some great skirt and dress patterns that were perfect for the office, I needed easy separates that could look put together, but made sense at the park, parent group, etc. I wanted to sew basic t-shirts, tank tops, tunics, cardigans - things that were cute and comfy, but I just wasn't excited about the patterns I was finding. I did make a couple of knit maxis that I liked, but that was about the extent of sewing for myself. 
Self-drafted maxi from a Target skirt
McCalls 6567 (fit pre and post pregnancy)
After having my second son, I sewed a few things for them here and there, but in the summer of 2016 I really felt the urge to start sewing for myself again. Frankly, I missed it. 

I tried a couple of Kwik Sew top patterns because I had good success with their knit dress patterns, but they were just meh. Even after fiddling with them, I wasn't happy with the finished garment. I had never really found shirt patterns that I liked, even after trying several from different pattern companies and I was pretty frustrated. 

Around the same time, I discovered the world of custom knit fabric - holy moly! - and was re-introduced to PDF pattern designers. Indie pattern companies were just starting to take hold when I stopped sewing much in 2011 so this was quite a new thing for me. I kept seeing Patterns for Pirates (afflink) mentioned on the Facebook sewing groups I had joined and decided to check them out. I started with their Slim Fit Raglan (afflink) pattern with really low expectations. I graded to my measurements, dug out some knits that had been in my stash for months and sewed it up. 

Y'ALL. It. Was. A. Perfect. Fit.
I was completely gobsmacked! I had finally found a basic t-shirt pattern that I loved. I made a couple more because I still couldn't believe the pattern fit me so well and then started to look at their other basic shirt patterns. Suddenly, I had a whole bunch of me-made shirts in my closet that I loved, that fit me well, that made me feel good. It was the kick that I needed to start sewing again regularly and it's why P4P will forever have a special place in my heart.

Raglan in bamboo knit (and some silly children)
Raglan in cotton french terry
At the beginning of 2017, I was like a woman on a mission! LOL I had at least one pattern company that was designing the types of silhouettes I wanted to sew and I was excited to really jump into the world of PDF patterns. Little did I know that I would continue to refine my SAHM style and my sewing hobby would kind of explode.

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