Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dress-up Clothes

Two years ago just before Jenna was born, I started sewing dress-up 
clothes for Emily. She was two years old and beginning to be very 
interested in pretend play. So I began with simple things in response 
to whatever she was playing at the time. She was cooking and baking 
a lot, both with plastic food and real dough with me in the kitchen, 
so I made her an apron, chef's hat and oven mitts

which she wore even when not playing kitchen. 
Perhaps because it was her only dress-up outfit at the time.

Then she wanted a medical career, and a library book about a 
fictitious Dr Amy Baker so captivated her that she became Dr. Baker. 
So she got a lab coat to go with her doctor accessories 
(no, I did not make the bag).

Then Jenna was born, and life was a flurry of feeding, restless nights 
and adjusting to life with two small children. 
No fancy sewing for a while - just good old bibs.

The following Halloween, Emily wanted to go trick-or-treating, 
and she wanted to go as a princess. In the cold. So I made her a 
princess outfit from strips of fleece in my remnant box (hence 
the panel skirt). The more I worked at it, the more paranoid I 
became that she would freeze in it, and the more elaborate the 
project became as I added more stuff to it - longer sleeves, then 
a shiny cloak, then a fleece lining to the cloak.

And just for the sake of completeness, I also made a tiara from 
chenille stems and whatever plastic beads we had in the house, 
using this tutorial. Emily never wore the tiara but it was fun 
to make it anyway.

She did wear the dress, though, over a turtleneck and pants. And 
even with the cape, she greeted the neighbors on her rounds 
through chattering teeth. 

Then Kate was born and, as with Jenna, I reverted to comfort 
sewing (i.e. bibs). And conveniently, Emily took a break from career 
exploration and embraced commercial girlishness, contentedly 
alternating between Princess and Ballerina, with the occasional 
Fairy variation. This fairy skirt is simply strips of fabric sewed 
onto an elastic waistband.

But with the typical attention span of a preschooler, she was soon back 
to trying out non-traditional careers, pulling Jenna along for the ride 
as well. So one Bob-the-Builder day, I was moved to 
make them both toolbelts. 

And henceforth, with two dresser-uppers, I now had to make 
two of everything, like these felt-and-ribbon star wands

and doubles of stuff Emily already has, so they could be, 
in Jenna's words, "twins together".

Halloween is almost upon us again, and Emily is entertaining 
unfeasible costume ideas, totally inappropriate for October 
temperatures on this side of the world. Am planning to use peer 
pressure on her and convince her to dress in normal clothes 
like the rest of the neighbors.

And finally, here's a kitchen ensemble for the daughter of a friend
(Look out for them in the post, G!). 

These are (I think) improved versions 

of the adjustable chef's hat,

elasticized apron,

oven mitts that actually fit

and a canvas tool belt for her son

Will post tutorials for these soon, for those interested in making them.

What career dress-up clothes or costumes shall I make next? 
As the three girls get older, the possibilities are endless - 
although the Three Little Pigs come immediately to mind.
I'd love to hear your ideas!

1 comment:

  1. You make such lovely things. I really love the little doctor coat, it's sweet, especially with the pockets for storage!


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