KCW interview: Eva from by eva maria

Greetings! It’s Tasha from Glitter+Wit, again. Today I’m interviewing a Kids Clothes Week participant whose sewing commands attention. Eva’s KCW profile is filled with a cohesive collection of garments, all sewn with meticulous skill. For even more sewing eye-candy (and not just stuff for kids, either), visit Eva’s blog: by eva maria.

Eva [Maria (after her grandmother)] is a Belgium-born mother of three. She resides in Belgium still, with her husband of 19 years and their three adopted children (ages 12, 10, and 7). Eva is a geography and English school teacher who loves cooking and travelling, but is not so fond of mornings (here, here!). I was first drawn to Eva’s sewing through her Kids Clothes week makes. I was instantly intrigued by the fact that her children are older, yet they look effortlessly cool and comfortable in their mama-made clothes. Most recently, Eva’s spread for STYLO Magazine blew me away! Here’s Eva, answering the tough questions.

eva-interview-1STYLO Issue 03: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

When did you start sewing your children’s clothes and why?
I started sewing children’s clothes when we adopted our eldest daughter in 2002. She was 3 months old and I started making teenieweenie dresses for her with the help of my grandmother. When my grandmother died 10 months later I lost my desire to sew, mostly because there was no one to help me when I got stuck. Then, 5 years ago, I discovered sewing blogs and suddenly felt the urge to pick up needle and thread again!
 
When was your first KCW and how did it go?
My first KCW was the summer edition of 2013. I haven’t missed one season since then! I remember I sewed my second shirt for that edition, together with a friend, in just one afternoon!

How do you balance your work/family/sewing time?
I’ve worked part time since 4 years, and that helps of course. Plus we built an extension to our living room where I have my sewing space. I can leave all my stuff there which means I can sew whenever I feel like it, even if it’s just in between cooking or cleaning. Or even if it’s just for 15 minutes. I do try to keep some days “sewing free” just to keep some distance. My fear is that I will get tired of it…
 
How do your children influence your sewing?
My pre-teenage girls are starting to have their very specific ideas on what clothes should look like. Until a year ago they wore whatever I made, but that is changing. Still, they’re not that difficult to please yet, luckily. But I do consult them on fabric choices and patterns. Sometimes 🙂 My son is easy: he loves it all!
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What advice do you have for sewists faced with the challenge of sewing for older children?
First of all try to see beyond a pattern: your fabric choice or the slightest alteration (some piping, a different/extra collar or pocket) can turn a boring pattern into the prettiest garment. Secondly, if you’re not sure about your sewing skills, use a pattern that comes with a detailed tutorial. I don’t want to sound too patriotic, but the Belgian pattern drafters are the best on that level! Zonen 09, Compagnie M, Straightgrain Patterns, Ienemiene…
I am totally obsessed with your recent zebra-print dress. What is your favorite thing you’ve sewn for your children? 
I think I’ve been the proudest after finishing my first Jackie coat (which turned out to be too small for my daughter)… But my absolutely favorite thing must be my own coat, I love it.
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Thanks so much, Eva, for sharing a bit of your sewing story with us. We’ll all be watching to see what you make next KCW (and all the time in between, too)!

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