Monday, November 9, 2015

Can you be a sweat shop when sewing for your own family?

My youngest 2 children do NOT like to wear jeans.
I'm not sure how they are related to me.
I love a good pair of jeans.
Either way, they have to wear long pants some time, especially living in Minnesota.
Daughter #3 is currently 12 and absolutely won't wear jeans.
It is leggings or nothing for her. No lie.
At least my youngest son will unhappily wear jeans if all else is dirty.
But if he has a choice, sweat pants are preferred.

So a week or so ago I de-stashed and sewed all at the same time.
It was like a mass production site in my basement.
It felt great to sew.  I haven't really sat down and done a lot for a few months.
But then I did get to thinking, can you be a sweat shop when sewing for your own family?

After all was said and done I made for her
  • 1 pair black sweats
  • 2 pair black leggings
  • 1 pair red leggings
  • 1 pair green leggings
  • 1 pair orange leggings 
  • 3 pair of blue leggings
Seriously, if she even remotely complains about not having any pants to wear I might have to hurt her.

Another set she wore for her "Anabeth" costume for Halloween.
She is currently super-obsessed with the Percy Jackson series.

My son got 2 pairs of black sweatpants and so he is super happy.  Almost all his other sweats have been turned into shorts because he had either wrecked the knees or they were turning into capris for him.  Not a good look for 9/10 yr. old boys.

  • Favorite girls' legging pattern is Kwik Sew 1591.  It is out of print, so you could try KS 3476 or KS 3958.  The thing I like about this pattern is that there is no side seam.  Front and back are cut together.  Sews up super fast!  Also, the leggings aren't super skin tight.  I don't love that on girls.
  • All the knit fabric I used for her was from my stash. However, I can't decide if I actually made a dent in my knit supply or not.  Sad!
  • The sweat pant pattern I use most often for the kids is Kwik Sew 2617. I use this pattern for flannel pajamas as well.  It is, of course, out of print as well, but it appears that 3786 is their updated pattern version.
  • Black sweat pant fabric from Jo-Ann's.  Use a 50% off coupon as it is a little pricey, but it washes up really nice.


  1. Yes, Yes, Yes! There is no one you will sew harder for than your family! My oldest child (23) calls my sewing room "the sweat shop"! LOL! Great post!

    1. Sometimes I think that it may not be such a good thing that my children know I can "whip" things up. I don't love last minute requests.

  2. Gosh, yes. I just declared myself 'Off Sewing' for a week after a bunch of frustrating projects and tight deadlines. No sewing, no thinking about sewing, no 'just a quick thing Mom' sewing, none. It was refreshing.

    Such good timing - I need to do a mass production of leggings as well. I have two who abhor jeans and are string beans so store bought leggings are capris in no time. My oldest daughter is a size 8 around the waist and needs size 14 for length. I was going to draft my own leggings pattern here soon but this might inspire me to just buy the pattern and make a weekend of it cranking out leggings/sweats in every color of the rainbow. Who am I kidding - mostly pink. :)

    1. Anne, that is exactly the same problem we have with buying--tall skinny girls. I actually made hers a bit long so they scrunch a bit at the end in the hopes that they will last all year. I think it would definitely be worth it to you to invest in a pattern that you'll use for the next number of years. I always think, just because I can doesn't mean I have to in regards to coming up with my own pattern. Now that Kwik Sew is a McCalls company I don't know if those patterns go on sale or not at Jo-Ann's.

  3. My kids are like that too. No jeans, nothing with zippers or buttons.
    My daugther wears sweatpants or leggings, my son only wears sweatpants.
    Oh well, I don't mind. As long as they fit, have no holes in them and are clean and comfy.



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