The Inside is as Important as the Outside

We all know that it’s more important to be beautiful on the inside as a person, but did you know that children are happier when their clothing is “beautiful” on the inside, too?

As you may know, Peter has Sensory Integration Disorder and also Asperger Syndrome. As you can probably well imagine, scratchy tags and poorly fitting clothing bothered him as a baby more than it bothered me, and often was the source of irritation for “no reason” (Oh what I wish I’d have known!!) Sometimes he would be upset for “no reason” only to discover that when wrapped in a soft blanket after a diaper change, or put on fleecy pajamas, his disposition would almost instantly improve.

With his condition, he is able to focus intensely on a single subject or aspect of a subject. This is both a boon and a bane, for when he’s uncomfortable in his clothing, he is thoroughly distracted. He cannot concentrate on “important” things, because all of his attention is focused on solving the “problem”of his discomfort. As he grows older, he’s more self-aware of this, and will wear his undershirts inside out under sweaters, so he has no scratchy tags or seams, and requests “soft” clothing. He always prefers mommy-made garments for their consideration of his needs. When I ordered tags for my clothing lines, I was sure to ask for approval on texture from Peter before I placed the final order, because if he’s comfortable, any child will be comfortable!

I have discovered with Ella that I default toward consideration to the most sensitive and high-needs requirements as a matter of course. This means Ella gets very specific directions, and all her clothing is designed for the ultra-sensitive child. J is convinced that it’s for this reason (our Peter-parenting experience) that Ella is such an “easy” child.

Over the years I’ve learned that it’s not only high-needs children who are bothered and distracted by clothing, socks, “hard” seams in jeans, inflexible shoulder seams, exposed stitching, loose threads, etc. Even adults have these issues, and it’s for those people and infants and toddlers that my garments are especially suitable.

Please have a look through the following photo examples and you’ll see what I mean.

Enclosed (French) Seams and flat-stitched hem:

inside_circleskirt

Bound inside hem, Jacket fully lined in fleece:

inside_jacket

Bound hem and seams:

inside_jumper

Bound seams, inside finish on cuff:

inside_robotpants inside_robotpants2

Turned-and-stitched shoulder seams inserted into yoke lining:

inside_shoulderseam

Fully lined tunic with smooth snaps:

OGC_custom_outfit_snaps

Bound sleeve hem:

OGC_custom_outfit_cuff

It’s for Peter and all sensitive children that the insides of my garments are designed to be as smooth and comfortable as possible. Sure, this takes extra time, effort, engineering, and materials, but I think all our little ones appreciate the intent. They may not notice….but that’s the point!

I hope that One Girl Circus and One Boy Circus clothing will be my customers’ favorites. Hers or his because they are so comfortable, and their parents’ because they are so durable, washable, and simple. 

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5 Comments

Filed under creativity, motherhood, sewing

5 responses to “The Inside is as Important as the Outside

  1. Beautiful work Karen. Most of the heirloom baby items I make also have no serging, french seams and bias binding to cover all seam edges. I love to see these detail pictures.

  2. i have two with SI issues. seams and scratchy fabrics have always been an issue. fortunately, i knew about SI before i had children, so i was able to recognize the signs right away.

    you are absolutely right. many children are distracted by these things, but don’t say anything….or the parents tell them to get over it. reducing a child’s stress allows them to use that energy to deal with the things we can’t control. my boys knew i would take away the annoyances i could. when things came up that i could not control, they were more accepting. a child only has so much resilience and energy.

    when we shop, texture is the first consideration in selecting clothing. style is fairly low down on the priority list.

    the good news is my boys SI issues are soooo much better as they have gotten older.

  3. Medrie

    My mother always said that a seamstress is judged by the INSIDE of her garment. Your finishing details are exquisite. You are not just an artist, but a true craftsperson.

    Medrie

  4. Medrie

    I just want to add that I am always impressed that Peter cares so much not just about the comfort of his clothing but its uniqueness too. I think you’ve written a couple of times now about how delighted he is to have something “different.” I would be very proud if my little boy grew up to think that way about his style and self-expression.

  5. Robin Smith

    I remember my grandmother made a lot of my summer clothes (not winter, so much), and I believe that every seam was finished. She taught me to sew, and while I don’t finish quite as thoroughly as you do, I’m always more satisfied if the inside is well-finished. I also have a daughter with AD/HD and she really hates unfinished seams, but she is fine if I have serged them. She’d probably be even happier if I went the extra mile as you do. I’ll have to give that some thought. Thanks for your beautiful work.

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