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Rarely There

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sewing: Summer Whimsy Dress

Pioneer kids were sewing dolly clothes and even their own rag dolls by five or six, and were making their own clothes, mending and altering hand-me-downs.

Let's face it, in this modern world, sewing has become a superfluous skill, what with ready-made garments and things flooding the market.

When we do take the time to exercise that side of our creativity today, it is usually for someone we adore, someone we hope will not turn up their nose and stick out their tongue, someone who will gush with gratitude... in short, someone who suddenly turned into our favorite childhood doll... which in my case, is my little girl.

Watching my mom fill my wardrobe with her "original" designs, I learnt early on that there was something special about making clothes for your little ones. The creative process, the design phase, the choice of fabric, planning the elements for embellishments, the style - be it vintage or avant-garde - and sizing...

Since I don't plan to mass-produce or pack the wardrobe with the same pattern of dresses/pants/skirts, I don't usually use store-bought patterns. Oh sure, I skim through pattern books and magazines for ideas, tips and tricks.

But, when I decide to make something for my girl, it is usually because a particular design just popped into my head urging me to try it, leading me to the right fabric from my stash, daring me to cut right and sew without ripping off the fresh seams and starting over... Something that brings out her unique personality and aligns well with my personal style preference for her.

Sure, I've heard of the Measure Thrice, Cut Once school of thought... b-o-r-i-n-g! My scissor-happy hands just likes to have a vague idea of the finished size and style and takes over, leaving the sewing machine to stitch the pieces appropriately for the (stunning) finish.

Well, I am rambling... anyway, I made this dress for my daughter a while back. I had to go for the whimsical layered skirt style, with slightly drop-waist bodice and an elegant tie-back.

The tie-back creates the shape and definition for the dress, else it just looks like a fancy muu-muu :)

Of course, being so unorthodoxed about cutting, the dresses end up one-of-a-kind as I can't bring myself to quite duplicate it even if I tried.

She seems to love it. Partially because I involved her in the various stages as I tailored it. Or so I'd like to think.

Won't be long before she'll succumb to peer pressure and decide Mommy Makes Weird Clothes and go for that banal store-bought current fad...

...but for now, hearing her declare to her dad with firm resolution, "When I grow up I am going to make my own clothes and they are going to be pretteetter than anything else you can find!" is more than I can ask for.

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Blogger ChoxBox said...

Those pix of the little doll in that dress spell one word: BLISS!

11:17 AM  
Blogger Sheela said...

Thanks, Choxie :)

11:07 AM  
Blogger Kay said...

Aww! She's a delight... love that dress as well!

12:29 PM  
Blogger Sheela said...

Thanks, Kay!

2:51 PM  

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