Sewing original clothes for kids
Katharina lives with her family in Austria. On Instagram you can see the great clothes that she sews for her children. Sewing is a useful and great creative handcraft, but, unfortunately, few young people are still interested in it nowadays.
In this interview we would like to learn more about Katharina's sewing passion, which, by the way, can also be a suitable creative activity for some of us during the slowed-down Corona period.
Dear Katharina, we can see on your Instagram profile what nice clothes you always sew for your children. Sewing is a fulfilling, intensive creative activity with an almost meditative character, but it has been gradually disappearing from the circle of interests of the young generation in recent decades. It is therefore amazing to meet (virtually) a young woman who has discovered sewing for herself and can really enjoy it. We are very excited about your story! But first tell us something about yourself and your family.
I am 26 years old and live with my husband Michael and our two sons (2.5 years and 8 months) in Lower Austria. We have been a couple since 2008 and moved directly from our parents´ home to our first apartment in 2013, where we still live and are happy to this day. My absolutely greatest hobbies are, next to my children and my husband, furnishing our home and sewing.
How was your passion for sewing born?
My mom sewed a lot of children's clothing for us when my sister and I were little. Whenever I watched her sew, I wanted to be able to do that, too. But she started sewing earlier than I did.
My real passion for sewing only came about in my first pregnancy, in June 2017. I was inspired by numerous profiles on Instagram. I love plain and single-colored clothing, I don't like it colorful and so I was really motivated to learn to sew, because the range of simple children's clothing is not that big. I also always wanted to have something individual for my children.
I knew my mom had a sewing machine, so I asked her once if I could borrow it. She then showed me the most important things I need to know in order to handle the sewing machine. Little by little I got practice and knew which buttons to press so that the "thing" sews. By the way, I'm still sewing with mom's sewing machine which should now be at least 30 years old.
Great that you have learned this beautiful craft from your mom and, like her, you can use it for your children! Where do you get the fabrics from and how do you choose them?
I started sewing with various textile pieces that my mom had at home. These were fabrics made from a wide variety of materials. At the beginning I sewed a few crackling cloths and a pennant chain for my big son. (By the way, the pennant chain is still hanging in the children.) Little by little, the desire to be able to do more came up.
What are you sewing usually and what patterns do you use?
I then started sewing hats. Now I sew everything: pants, T-shirts, hoodies, but also scarves and coats. By the way, I created the pattern for the coats myself. I'm particularly proud of that!
I only have two patterns and that is a hoodie pattern and a pattern for a jumpsuit. Sewing trousers is one of the simplest things, for example, and you don't need a sewing pattern. It is enough to use a pair of pants that you already have at home as a pattern.
I buy the fabrics either in local shops or online, and I always look for simple and modern designs, I don't care about the type of fabric (jersey, muslin or sweat). If I like the fabric, I buy it and think later about what I could sew from it. So, the most beautiful things came about spontaneously.
They look really professional! These clothes are unique, only your children wear them, and this is something very special. But how can you reconcile sewing with childcare, because sewing is a pretty intensive activity, which you have to concentrate on?
I don't have fixed sewing times. If I feel like it, I just sit down. The advantage is that it is a very relaxed activity where you can be interrupted at any time. For me, as a mother of two, that's very important.
In the evening even the TV is on when I sew. When I sew in the evening, I usually start sewing around 7:00 p.m. when the children are asleep and continue until midnight or even 1:00 a.m. (My husband sometimes gets annoyed by the loud rattling of the machine, so I can't sew for too long.) At night I manage to sew about 2 to 5 parts. It depends on how complex the clothes are. A few days ago I sewed the very first piece for an adult. This is a pair of shorts for me. 😊
So it seems that gradually a whole clothing collection in all sizes is emerging. 😊 From this perspective, it is good that you are at home now and have a lot more time for a hobby like this. But now with regard to the current situation, how do you experience this particular crisis in Austria?
Since March 16th, in Austria we should only leave the house for the most important things due to the corona virus. We have to be mostly at home.
We see the current situation positively (as far as possible). Thinking negatively doesn´t help, as we cannot change anything about it. On the one hand, for us as a family, this time is wonderful because we can spend more time together than ever before. At the moment, our life is decelerating very much. On the other hand, we are also sad because the children and we cannot see our grandmas, grandpas, aunts or great-grandmas.
Probably many of us experience this time as particularly slowed down, without agenda appointments and with a lot of care for our families. This is the pleasant side of being intensely at home during this period. On the other hand, we have to be careful that our children don't get bored. How do you keep the kids busy at home?
In Austria we have beautiful weather right now! We use that and therefore go out every day. We also have a large sandbox on the balcony and a cozy seating area where we can relax. You have to wear protection masks if you go to the supermarket, and you have to get used to this. I have already sewn about 50 such masks.
Many people complain that in the current situation they do not know what to do with the children. I can't have a say because our children are very easy to be kept busy. The older one spends most of his time playing with his toys, listening to audiobooks, and he is very busy playing by himself most of the time we spend indoors. The younger one is still a baby. He enjoys his toys easily. We cook, bake, read, knead and play a lot with each other.
And what do you plan to do over Easter?
We spend Easter at home. We will hide the Easter nest for the children in the apartment and together with my older son I will prepare an Easter breakfast for our family. 😊
Dear Katharina, thank you very much for these personal view. We wish you to stay healthy and enjoy family life as much as possible during this time!
You can admire Katharina's beautiful, self-sewn children's clothes here.