Tell us little about yourself!
Rebecca is a self-taught seamstress. She started following music shows in high school and immediately was drawn to the crafty crowds in the parking lot selling their way to the next venue. Rebecca is genetically programmed towards fashion and color. She is a true inspirations in all realms of the word CRAFT. She has sold hundreds of her own creations to adults and is now, as she is raising her daughter, focusing on hand full’s children’s collection.
Susan started sewing at the age of eight. By 18 she was sewing her sisters wedding dress. The dress turned out beautiful; but the experience sent her to do some soul searching in the outdoors. Fifteen years later she gave birth to twin boys and felt it was her motherly duty to begin sewing again. Within months, and yards of fabric, she upgraded her machine and is now stitching and making the patterns you see at hand full.
Rebecca and Susan are long time friends and forever dreaming of what craft to indulge in next. Right now they are dreaming up simple organic clothing patterns and colorful designs.
What do you make and how long have you been creating?
Free-spirited eco-wear for kids! hand full’s clothes are made of a blend of hemp and organic cotton hand-dyed in a variety of rich colors inspired by all things kid— red wagon, carrots and bed-time to name a few. Intentionally zipper, snap and button free, they are roomy and comfortable and made to grow into, out of and passed on. Pants become capris, dresses become shirts, and all of the clothes are designed to be layered and interchanged. Every piece of hand full clothes are mindfully made by people who love kids, clothes and each other. hand full has been in business since November of 2008, although we have been co-creating our crafts since August 13 of 2005–the day we met.
What inspires you?
Our 3 beautiful children! As we started to design our clothes we wanted them to be kids clothes– not adult clothes made for kids. We felt like there was plenty of time of our kids to wear button-down shirts and jeans when they got bigger. Our clothes are made to look and feel great in the activities we like to do with our kids–hiking, climbing, camping, biking, walking, gardening and of course, playing. We also wanted our kids to want to put on our clothes on–and to our liking, they do! They love them and once we made them for our kids, people started to ask us to make them for theirs–and here we are, just making simple, well thought out clothes for kids.
What got you started working with Fabric?
S: I remember first learning to sew when I was 8 years old. I bought a cabbage patch doll for my birthday and wanted her to have new outfits. I asked my mother to help me and soon I was on my own creating backpacks, swings, buntings, you name it. Laura Lynn was going to have it all. I think I stuck with fabric because of its ease and usefulness. It does not take long to cut, stitch and have a completed item that you can wear right out of your sewing studio. Clothing is a basic need, and I have always been grateful that I can make my own clothes. Not only that, how lucky am I that I can design too? I cannot remember the last pattern I bought–needless to say, I probably should have bought more…
R: I love color– and my mom always said that “we didn’t know how to sew.” Being a bit of a rebel I had to prove her wrong! I asked my boyfriend’s mother in college to teach me and immediately got my own machine– it was all over. I love fabric– I collect it and am slightly obsessed. I knit, crochet, scrapbook, stamp, embroider, bead, make candles etc…. but I always go back to sewing because I love the fabric and like Susan there is a sense of immediacy when creating a garment– you walk into your studio with a piece of fabric and walk out with a pair of pants, that
is so cool.
How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
We have been on Etsy for just over a year now. It is a fantastic place to showcase our items. With very little site maintenance we have a great venue that anyone can find. It also comes with an “Etsy” world of support. We both enjoy the camaraderie, chats, and our favorite: “live shop critiques”.
What advice would you have for other Etsians?
R: Since my day job is counseling I try not to give advice after school hours. But, I would say have fun and embrace the community. Getting to know the community has been so helpful to us. We are also a big believer in paying it forward, buying handmade and taking risks with new items.
What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being part of the Natural Kids group?
s: Honestly, I can hardly keep up with the Natural Kids group. I am continually amazed with the energy and integrity of all you creative artists. (When do you all sleep?) The Natty Kids depth of knowledge is so helpful to us. I feel now that I give little and soak-up most. I do hope to get to a point where I can reciprocate ideas and inspirations.
r: I feel similarly to Susan and have been struck by how lucky and honored I feel to be part of such an amazing team.
What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?
s: A child’s mind is first. The toys (or clothing) are an extension of the child’s essence. The energy that comes through the child brings a toy to life. Therefore, keep it simple and natural and hear the sounds of the child. Nobody want to hear a noisy toy.
Your items can be found where:
Interview by Beccijo of The Enchanted Cupboard