Name: Meg McElwee
Location: North Carolina
Website: Sew Liberated
Kids: one boy, 16 months, and another baby due in February
Meg McElwee wrote the book on beautiful sewn objects. Literally. Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Projects for the Modern Sewist came out earlier this year and features stunning projects with an emphasis on applique. The former Montessori teacher's thoughtful, inspired approach to creative projects, pedagogy and parenting comes through in every post, which is why we keep on coming back to Sew Liberated.
How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I started in January of 2007 with a humble blog called Montessori By Hand. At the time, I was teaching three six year olds in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Mexico, and I wanted to start a blog that would feature tutorials for making classroom materials. Eventually, the blog morphed into Sew Liberated, which documents my current situation in life: new mama with a passion for sewing and early childhood development.
Tell us about the blog and your favorite things to post about?
The blog is a smörgåsbord of things, from sew-and-tell to the occasional cooking post. Nowadays (when I find the energy to post, given that I'm pregnant!) I tend to blog about family life, throwing in little tidbits of inspiration from my Montessori background. I'm also a big fan of certain aspects of Waldorf education, which might show up from time to time. Mostly, I try to keep things inspirational yet humorous. My goofy son helps a lot with that!
What blogs inspire you?
What have been some of your favorite projects or activities that you have featured on the blog?
That's a hard one - but I can't get over making hats for little boys nowadays. There's something about the quick sew, the near-instant gratification, and the über-cute outcome that make them really addictive to sew. Here are a few I recently made, and I also have a new pattern for a boy's driver's cap that will be available on Monday at my sewing pattern store.
If you had a Sew Liberated Hall of Fame for your favorite blog posts which ones would be inducted?
a toddler-friendly house
finnian's montessori room (one we loved enough to blog here at Ohdeedoh as well)
baby bubble pants
handmade beginnings: 24 sewing projects to welcome baby
How does your Montessori background influence your parenting and your creative endeavors?
Oh, I think that I'm an untraditional Montessori teacher, in that I really take the method to heart - curiosity and interest-directed learning, paired with a heavy dose of questioning everything, makes me question even Montessori theory and methodology. So while I do implement a good bit of "Montessori" in my home (you'll see my son serving himself water in a miniature glass cup and mopping up any spills with a tiny mop) I also breastfeed on demand and co-sleep, which isn't very "Montessori" at all. I do my research and then measure that against what just feels right to me as a mother, and that's what I go with.
What's sew liberating about sewing?
Make your own stuff and don't rely on clothes made in sweatshops (that don't even fit over my son's cloth-diapered bum, mind you!). Take time for yourself! Take on a challenge! Create something beautiful and functional with your own hands, and enjoy slowing down in the process! Sewing is a pretty liberating hobby.
Thank you, Meg! Readers, keep up with Meg and family at Sew Liberated and check out Sew Liberated, the book.
(Images: Meg McElwee)
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