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Today, we’re having a special edition of Sew fantastic blogs. I asked Meg from Elsie Marley and the creator of Kids Clothes Week to tell us about her blog and about Kids Clothes Week which is going to happen next week! I’m so pleased to have her here. Especially in the english-speaking kids sewing world, Kids Clothes Week is something each and everyone tries to participate in and the projects that pop up every day in the project pool are just amazing. If you haven’t taken part so far, make sure to join the fun this year!
Meg started a “sew-along CENTRAL” where you can subscribe to a monthly email that informs you about on-going sew alongs! Besides this her personal blog Elsie Marley is also full of fantastic makes. Here are my favorites:
Jacob pants, Coastal cargos, triangle pocket dress
First things first: Please introduce yourself (who are you, tell us alittle bit about your family, which country nad maybe city do you live in, are you originally from this country, do you work or are you a stay at home mom, etc.)!
Hello! My name is Meg Freeman and I live in Madison, Wisconsin with my husband and three kids. Before we had kids, I worked as a baker and a chocolatier. Like so many others, I started to sew after I had my first baby.  I discovered what a wonderful creative outlet sewing is and became quite taken with it.
Let’s talk about sewing:
When did you start and who taught you to sew? Are you a beginner, intermediate or professional
My mom taught me how to sew when I was in high school. But I was in high school, so I was suborn, impatient, and had a crazy sense of style. I fought with my mom, I fought with the patterns, and I fought with my sewing machine. Needless to say, not much came of my high school sewing adventures. After having kids I came back to sewing a little bit older with a little more patience.
For whom do you sew?
I sew primarily for my kids. My daughter is 8 1/2 and my two sons are 7 and almost 5. They are very excited about the clothes I make for them and very nice about the ones they don’t like–hiding them quietly in the back of their dresser drawers. I do sew for myself off and on, but I enjoy sewing for kids because it’s quick and because kids have such a happy style.
How do you get inspired?
Pinterest is my main source of inspiration these days. Though I find the best sort of inspiration comes from the mistakes I make. Looking at pictures is nice, but playing around with new techniques or trying to do new things with old patterns really gets me excited to sew.
You blog at Elsie Marley and started Kids Clothes Week (KCW).
When and why did you start to blog at Elsie Marley?
I started elsie marley because I wanted to be beholden to someone (or something). I had creative to do lists miles long, but never any reason to do the things on them. You don’t really need a reason to be creative, but sometimes I feels like you do. Now if I want to make an 8 foot high paper mache snake, I can just say that I’m doing it for the blog :)
I’ve read several times on your blog that people think your name is Elsie (in fact I did, too), but it’s not. So will you tell us why you chose this blog name? Does it have a special meaning (maybe one that is harder to understand for someone like me from another country, some kind of insider joke)?
My kids were babies when I started the blog and I was reading quite a lot of  nursery rhymes. I fell in love with their archaic language and just the bizarreness of them all (rock a bye baby, on a tree top?!). Elsie Marley is the name of a nursery rhyme about a bar maid: Elsie Marley grown so fine, won’t get up to feed the swine, lazy Elsie Marley.
What are the three sewn (and blogged) items that you are most proud about or that you yourself like most? Show us some pictures (with links)!
Oh so hard to choose! My favorite thing is always the last thing I made  :) Let’s see I really loved the Triangle Dress I made for the last KCW.

My son still wears this button up shirt I made from a vintage sheet (so soft!). And even though I made them ages ago, these mini quilts are still one of my favorites. They hang on my dining room wall!

Each season sewers around the world set their alarm clocks for the start of Kids Clothes Week. We allreally love these weeks. Tell us about the beginnings of KCW! When did you have the idea to do KCW and how did you start it?
I started Kid’s Clothes Week because I wanted to make clothes for my kids, but never could do it. I would be too tired or too busy or not in the right mood to sew. I thought if I set small goals it might be easier. So I challenged myself to sew for 1 hour each day for 7 days. And it worked! I got off my butt! I sewed things! And that is how KCW was born.
How many people participated in the first KCW (approximately) and how many participate now? 
There were only a handful of people that first time and I think the largest ever was over 700. We have four a year now, so there are less people in each one but more over all. I’d say it’s about 300 on average.
If you consider all the past KCWs: What are your three favourite creations from the KCW participants (I know that you obviously don’t remember all those 100s to 1000s of entries, but maybe some were so amazing that you still remember them)? Show us some pictures (with links)!
Brienne’s arrow vest is my newest favorite

 Erin’s lightning bolt Bimaa is fantastic too.

 Tasha’s version of the Sally Dress is so print-liously awesome.
You created an extra platform for KCW where each sewer can upload her projects, comment on the different patterns, scroll through project pictures of the other sewers etc. Did you do this on your own or did you “outsource” it? The platform is so perfect that I imagine it must have been a huge amount of work.
I partnered with Dorie Schwartz from tumbling blocks. She is responsible for the awesomeness of the KCW community site. I could not have done it without her!
Do you have new ideas for KCW? You recently introduced contributors for each KCW (see also next question) and now also dedicate a theme to each one. What will come next?
Oh we have lots of ideas for KCW, but they are all secret ;)
What would blogging be without other blogs? I’m always on the hunt for new inspiring blogs. And I love to get in contact with people from different countries. I love that you chose bloggers as contributors for the KCW blog that so far haven’t had a super big, but rather a small to middle fellowship and that you give them the chance to show their creations and to talk about kids’ fashion, trends etc. (btw. two of them, Brienne from Brienne Moody and Sophie from C’est la vie are part of the “Sew fantastic blogs” series, too). So far your choices were amazing and I loved to get to know these blogs. Who knows maybe you have some more blog favourites that I don’t know about?
What are your three favourite sewing blogs to read? Why?
Skirt as Top: Kristin always make gorgeous clothes for herself and her kids.
Sanae Ishida: Sanae makes an insane amount of clothes, all gorgeous!
Brienne Moody: Brienne sews like wild with prints and I love it!
Do you follow any blogs that are written in another language? What are your three favourite ones?
And now let’s get sewing! I’m curious to see your signature tee!

I’m not really sure what my signature style is. Simple and happy, maybe. Those are the kind of clothes I like making for my kids. I also love mixing different prints. So I chose a blue flower print and blue pinstripes for my signature tee. Stripes and florals is not the most creative of my print mixing, but it’s still pretty cute. I used Made by Rae’s flashback tee pattern and added striped, ruffled sleeves.

Thanks a lot, Meg, for answering my questions about your blog and Kids Clothes Week.  It was super interesting to get too know you a little bit. And I surely would have never guessed that Elsie Marley comes from a kid’s ryhme! Also, this shirt is so cute. Since quite some time I wanted to mix floral and stripes. Seeing this makes me want to start sewing right now…

Wow, wasn’t it amazing to learn about Elsie Marley and Kids Clothes Week? For more awesomeness come back next week to get to know my friend Saskia from Vera Luna and check out the earlier interviews.


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