2015 RECAP: Sewing for K


Good morning! I hope you all had a restful and celebratory Christmas, and perhaps you too are now looking back upon all the happenings of 2015. It’s been a big year for me: one book launched, another completed. I inadvertently started something that could be considered a side business. My little family of three had highs and lows, but the good times outweighed the bad. I hadn’t been quite prepared for the emotional turbulence that was part of this year, but in hindsight it stretched and pulled me like taffy, loosening me up, adding flexibility.

Given the many life-altering events that happened in the past 12 months, it’s no wonder that my personal sewing took a major hit. But I can’t really blame it all on book activities. The inevitable seems to be happening, and as K grows older, she’s less interested in wearing clothes that I’ve made. She wants to live in t-shirts/knits and leggings, preferably with characters and bright designs on them. “The non-stretchy stuff you make is uncomfortable, Mama,” she tells me.

So it makes sense that I tended to default to stitching up knit clothing, just because that upped the chances of them getting worn. Even so, she’d rather wear the store-bought hand-me-downs from our neighbor — I can understand that.

I’d assumed I made about a dozen things for K this year, but as I looked through my archives, the grand total came out to 27 (if counting each component of her Halloween costume separately). Not too bad! An average of 2+ a month is far more than I thought I could manage.

So here they are by month (surprisingly, the only month I completely skipped was May):




Raglan Navy + Floral


Frogtastic Tee


perripullovers5 perripullovers6

Perri Pullovers



Front Placket Dress (Wool Plaid)


Front Placket Dress (Geometric)


Coral Giraffe Print Top + Leggings



Bow Dress


“Robe Jacket”


Sailor Dress



Easter Bunny T-Dress



Maritime-y Dress


Recital Dress That Wasn’t


White Tee + Nani Iro Knit Shorts





Henry Dress in Gradients of Grey



Bedford in Black and Floral



Rockstar Pants



Ottobre Marja Top



Second Day of School Dress



Superhero K



Faux Fur Vest



Gilded Recital Dress

27 items! There were a few pairs of leggings I didn’t post, so it’s probably closer to 30. I’m not sure how to approach 2016 and sewing for K… I’m in the midst of making her a puffy jacket — it probably won’t be done until this Saturday — and I will continue to make her necessary clothes, I’m sure. But it’s different from when I first started this blog and I could make whatever I wanted for her and she happily donned the outfits. She’s no longer my dress-up doll, and we are entering a whole new phase of tweenhood and strong opinions and self-consciousness.

I’ll figure something out, though. Maybe 2016 will be about teaching K how to make her own clothes. Now, wouldn’t that be something?

12 thoughts on “2015 RECAP: Sewing for K

  1. Sanae… I totally get it. My kids are 7, 7, 9 and 11 and it’s all about collaboration, sewing with knits and finding what they like you to sew and what it’s not worth worrying about. But the wins now are even sweeter when they love them! 🙂

    1. So true about the wins! How awesome that you’re successfully collaborating with your kids, Kristi – so inspirational!

  2. This always happens–it happened to me. When children grow up they feel a stronger urge for their voice to be heard. Picking out their clothes is part of the process. I think you have lasted making her clothes far longer than I ever did! Congrats on that!

    1. Thanks Greta! Yes, I knew the day was coming when she wouldn’t want to wear handmade clothes as much (though surprisingly, she does request that I make particular clothes from time to time) so I wasn’t completely unprepared, but it does make me a little wistful. Onwards and upwards!

    1. Aw, thanks Annelieke! I’m wary about declaring anything now, but I’m super excited about having more mental space to think about sewing for myself again. My current wardrobe is looking very shoddy! 😉

  3. Wonderful Sanae! It’s been really exciting to watch your creative journey unfold this year. Gives me hope that maybe if I have enough ‘something’ (not sure what the something is) that its possible for me too. Wishing you a glorious, magical, productive 2016! And P.S would love to know what brand of water colors you recommend…

    1. Oh Sophie, YOU have so much magic, and I’m just waiting for you to announce your major [fill in the blank] because I’m convinced that you can do everything!! As for watercolors, I’ve been experimenting with so many different kinds, and on the higher end of quality, I love Schmincke, Daniel Smith and MaimeriBlu (these are quite pricey, however). For a more moderate price point, the Kuretake Gansai are amazing. The colors are super rich and they paint more like opaque gouache. You can’t go wrong with Winsor Newton either, though the student grade Cotman sets aren’t my favorite and the artist grade paints are expensive.

  4. I’m in the same boat as you, with one tween (12) pretty much scorning all I make and the other (7) close on her heels. Wovens get very little wear, and the Japanese aesthetic that I love so much no longer receives a thumbs up from the wearer. I’ve found myself sewing a teeny bit more for myself this year to itch the sewing bug . . . my guess this trend will continue as I sew less for the girls. Wishing for more tween/teen patterns to come on the market. If you feel the need to write a third book, there’s an idea for you:)

    1. Ha! If the book taught me anything, it’s that I’m not a natural pattern maker. However, I may be able to source some patterns for teens/tweens — I’m really trying to find a middle ground where K and I can work together to create beautiful clothing that will make us both happy :-). I’ll keep you posted, Lucinda!

  5. I love how adventurous your makes are, but they all have a Sanae feel to them. So honored to be part of the list. You are one talented gal! Happy New Year!

    1. Happy New Year to you too, Erin!! Gah, I meant to say thank you for your beautiful holiday card. I started to design a New Year’s card and am wondering if it’s too late to send them out?? Also, it was a joy sewing up your patterns, Erin :-).

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