Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sewing for my daughter: The thought process

A more philosophical post to go with yesterday's skirt reveal.

Why make clothes for my daughter in the first place:  I don't like RTW clothes for children.  Ask any mom-of-a-daughter about girls' clothes and you're likely to get an earful - at least if Daughter is past wearing little-girl clothing (which is adorable).  It's immodest, it's cheaply made (or ridiculously expensive - or both), it fits oddly... just a list of reasons.

My daughter, however, prefers the ease of RTW leggings and tshirts to endless sundresses.  -sigh-  She does like the very casual scrap dresses that I make for her occasionally, but that tends to be around-the-house wear. 

And this year we were hit with a cold snap, so even though I cranked out a pile of sundresses for my daughter to wear to school, when it got cold, that didn't work out so well. 

Further, my daughter is not thin, and apparently she is going to follow my husband's family figure.  This is fine, but it makes it murderously difficult to find a pair of jeans that fit in the children's department.
So I thought I'd go with my daughter's preferences (nothing more annoying than making something beautiful and having it hang in the closet because she doesn't want to wear it very often) and do separates.  I sewed up a bunch of knits this fall... that didn't go very well, frankly.  It took a long time, it was boring, and ... well, I don't have the touch.  Wearing ease that you plan for wovens looks sloppy on knits.  It was bad.  Better than what she bought at the store, but still bad.
So, this skirt is my attempt at making something that I can remake endlessly in different fabrics and fill her closet with. 
  • This skirt has an elastic waistband - comfortable.  
  • It's slim through the tummy, made to wear with a tshirt pulled over the top.
  • Ruffles from hip to knee - fun, childlike, flattering.  (We did find out while fitting the underskirt that daughter will look amazing in straight skirts.  But eight is not the time for that.  Fortunately she complained the whole time about it being too tight.  The underskirt got hemmed up 3" so she'd have movement room). 
  • It's simple to sew and not a total fabric pig, even with the ruffles. 
Wearability will have to be tested - she wore it to church last night over a pair of leggings, and it slipped while she was dancing.  I'll get in and tighten the elastic (again!) today.  I'll wait a while to see if this is something that she chooses to wear or if it's all about humoring the mama.
Certainly I can just tell her what to wear.  I did that last week, with the cold snap, because I had to.  But she's a child, not a doll.  She follows basic rules of fit and modesty - and after that?  Sometimes I really don't like what she comes up with, but she does.  And that's what's important in the end. 

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