06 January 2009


Since I've become a stay-at-home Mom I've rediscovered my love of sewing.  My Mom taught me how when I was about 12 and she was sick of making me my Halloween costumes.  After making that first Halloween costume with her, a dog costume, my need for sewing waned.  I became an obnoxious teenager and making an animal costume wasn't really the in thing.  Back then, without the Internet, I didn't realize all the cool things that people make for themselves.  If I knew then when I know now, I would have spent a lot of time sewing in my teens!  Thankfully now, my little boy allows be to have some precious time in my sewing room, while he plays in his room.  And since his birth not only have I made things for him and my family, from elephant and clown costumes, to hats and pants, but I've also made things for a few of my friends as gifts.  I make a mean baby bib, cute layette and adorable hats and mittens.  But soon, I will be breaking the law. 

Due to all the problems with lead and other horrendous things put in children's toys The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act has been established and takes effect at the end of this month.  Now, it's all in legal-ease but to the best of my understanding it mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number. Which is beyond fine and understandable for all the mass marketed toys that are made in China, which is most of them.  I was one of those Moms checking all of her sons toys against the list of recalled toys last year, and he has 40 Pixar Cars!!  (Thank goodness I never allowed any Thomas The Train crap in my house!) It was scary and the fact that it became such an epidemic is insane!  The act covers more than just toys too, it regulates all products for children under 12.  Clothing, school supplies, cloth diapers, car seats, --everything.  But what the CPSIA has ignored, is all the individuals out there that make wonderful things for children with their hands.  The irresponsibility of  mass-market toy makers is being solved with a one-size-fits-all solution for dozens of industries totally unrelated to toys.  I really don't even mean myself here, there are thousands of people out there who help to support themselves and their family by making things for children.  I know what joy I get from making things for my son, friends and family, and this one blanket of an act should not be fixing the huge and incompetent by effecting the small and heartfelt.  

If you're better at reading legal-ease here's the CPSIA's website, and here's the Handmade Toy Alliance.  And here is were you can Vote for a change!!

So it's a good thing I'm all done with these because if I was giving them to the girls any later, they're be black market night gowns! 

Thanks for listening to my rant.  I'm not even sure if I made any sense, but the whole thing just gets my nerve up!


Sarene said...

I hope this doesn't stop you from creating such wonderful things for Thomas. I admire your talent immensely!

BeckyKay said...

Isn't it frustrating!! Everytime I read or think about it, I can feel my blood pressure rising. I desperately need to do a blog entry of my own about CPSIA, but just can't seem to gather my thoughts. I really appreciate your post!