In the past three or four years since I began sewing clothes in earnest for the kids, I've made some hits and some duds. The duds were mostly the ones I thought were in style - cottony sundresses, pretty party clothes, gathered tiered skirts- the kinds of things I saw on everyone else's blogs and decided I'd make for the girls. Guess what - they hated them. My children hate anything made of quilting cotton. They will, without exception, pick quilting cotton out in fabric stores when they are out shopping, but when it is made into a garment, they will refuse to wear it.
"Why?" I ask, baffled. "You chose the cloth!"
"It's stiff and not twirly and not soft."
Never let your children pick fabric for garments, was my 2009-2010 lesson. Let them pick fabric for toys and doll blankets and totes and suchlike, but when it comes to garments, THE MOTHER will choose the cloth.
So it seems my children will only wear two kinds of garments that I make:
- anything made of knit
And I don't know if your kids are anything like mine, but our three don't discriminate between store-bought and mom-made. They will wear both if the material is right, and the twirl factor is high. And they have their favorites. All three girls will dig in the clean laundry baskets for the same outfit they wore just yesterday, because they love it. Kate and Jenna will even opt for cleanliness-optional fashion if it means they can wear the same favored outfit every day.
Disgusting and ridiculous as it is, this is a phase that will define their childhoods when I look back in the years to come. I will forever remember that Kate wore her Browna Suit (a brown Oshkosh knit dress with small flowers and a little pink bow) and Jenna, her purple shirt with the sequinned heart and her too-tight twirly tie-dyed-esque skirt more often than any other outfit in 2010/2011. And I will remember Kate and Jenna taking turns (on their good days, I mean) to wear their halloween costumes from morning till night. I will be glad that I took the time to sew them their impractical dress-up outfits that they love so much, while they were still young enough to love them. Why am I suddenly aware of this? Because Emily, who is not even seven, has already outgrown the dress-up princess phase. Who told her to sneak off and grow up?
And so I am starting a new tradition - I want to freeze their odd fashion preferences in some way - photos, videos, and little peg dolls. I think, time and energy permitting, for their birthdays, I might paint each girl a set of peg dolls of themselves dressed in their favorite outfits of the year.
For Kate's birthday 2011, this will be a collection of herself as princesses.
(L-R, top to bottom):
Snow White, Cinderella, Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Tiana (her own loose interpretation), Strawberry Shortcake, Renaissance princess, and Rapunzel.
They are all her, with her round head and short bob,
even this one which sports a straw-colored wig:
You can still see her brown hair peeking out under it.
(I haven't shown you this particular outfit yet, incidentally -
I'll get off my behind and post about it soon).
A little army (for that is what she feels like sometimes) of Katydids
and her sisters
to commemorate a summer when they were all young enough to get dressed up and giddy-headed at the Renaissance Festival.
So no sewing this week -
just a basketful of fashion and fairytales, frozen in time.
I've already bulk-ordered a lot more peg dolls for the next few years.
Until they graduate from college, I mean.