Monday, July 23, 2012

designing for Abi

So many times when people find out I make my kids' clothes they say, "Enjoy it while it lasts." or "You know, there will come a time when they won't want Mom-made-clothes."

I always reply, "I know ..."  But there is a lot going on in those statements.  There is a basic assumption that:
  1. My children are one day going to want 'brand name' type clothes.
  2. That I will actually buy those brand name clothes.
But are those assumptions correct?  Well, I don't know the future, but being that my kids are (sort-of) normal people, there is a good chance that they will be aaffected by the media and their friends and want clothes that have a certain look or name splashed across their chest.

It is the next assumption that I really question.  One of the main reasons I started sewing is that I don't like a lot of the clothing offered to young girls.  {insert long tangent here ... I am not going to actually write it out today.}  So, I have already proven that I will not buy just whatever the stores offer.  And, I regularly veto items my kids ask for, either on the basis of modesty or expense.

But lest you think I am a mean mom that does not care that my child wants to be a stylish elementary schooler, that is not true.  I do not believe age-appropriate and stylish have to be mutually exclusive.

A couple of months ago Abi saw a shirt at the store and drug me over to it.  "It is so pretty!  So-and-so has one like it and I love it."  I went over and looked and  I was shocked to see it was just a rectangle of fabric sewn on the sides and a hole in the middle and yet they wanted $20.  I told her I would not buy it but I would make her one.  Later, she picked out the fabric and I made this shirt for $3.

silly girl wearing a butterfly shirt by Major_ Moma
She is SO silly!  Here she is showing off the butterfly sleeves.
This is something I normally would never make.  But, I know that part of keeping her interested in having Mom-made-clothes, is making stuff she likes.  She is a person with distinct tastes and I acknowledge that in my sewing.  When she was small, I chose most of her clothing, but these days, she has a lot of say in what I sew and buy.

My other major tactic in prolonging making her clothes is that I am working on my skills.  By the time Abi is a teenager, I want to be able to make just about anything.  My goal is that she will be able to point to something in a magazine and I will be able to re-create it.  That way, though it wont have a 'brand name' it will have the look she is after.

Here she is wearing the shirt in France.

And in the end, if she does not want me to sew for her, that is fine.  I will just have more time to sew for me!


  1. Beautiful girl with a very pretty shirt and so loved by her Momma! I can see you taking some of her special outfits after they are well worn and have a Grandma make her a special quilt for her high school graduation :) to keep those memories alive!!

    1. Sorry that is not going to happen... Grandma uses new fabric for quilts... not traditional in that sense... Although a quilt for graduation is a good idea. If I start it now it has a chance to get done by then... M.


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