Wednesday, 4 June 2014

You and Me sew along dresses

 I'm sewing along with a blog series this week. Jenya is running her first blog series over at 'While she was sleeping' called You and Me.  Bloggers are sharing what sewing means to them and how sewing clothes for their children feeds into their relationship with them; and at the same time making items for both of them to celebrate this. I know S is proud of my sewing and likes to tell people that I've made clothes for her, she also like to see herself in the picture on my blog! It's part of my identity as far as she's concerned, the other day I said I'd try and put her bike seat up and was told "No Mummy, you do sewing, not bikes!"...she's right of course!

To consider what having homemade clothes might mean to her as she grows up I thought back to my favourite clothes as a child. Unsurprisingly the clothes I remember are the ones I have photographs of myself in...S will be spoilt for choice from that point of view as she so often stars in blog photo shoots!

Me in my party dress ag 5
Here is a picture of me in what I know was my favourite dress when I was only a little older than S. This is my 5th birthday, S just had her 4th this week. The colours are a little odd in this old photo but it was grey with forest green polka dots and and green ribbon. The memory doesn't stop at the photo, I remember beyond that..I can recall the feel of the jersey, it's weight, the way the hem was slightly rough on my leg, the silky ribbon on the neck as it flapped up onto my neck when I ran, the feel of the cuff around my wrist. I loved it.

The way the photo unlocks the memory makes me glad I take so many pics of S in her homemade clothes. I am sure the photo's that will spark the most memories for her as she grows older will not be the posed ones, but the ones taken at family events and landmark occasions like these photos of me. With this in mind I made her a dress. I had hoped she might wear it at her birthday party but she opted for leggings and a t-shirt, with a reindeer outfit over the top instead! She is planning to wear it to a wedding we're going to as a family next month instead though.

My big Sis, Mum and me sometime in the mid 80's

Here's a pic of me, my sister and my Mum at a wedding in very traditional printed cotton dresses. I was inspired by this to make a printed cotton dress for S. At first I thought I'd draft something with a sailor style collar and pleating but I bought this Michael Miller On Parade printed cotton online from Daisybuds and when it arrived the print was larger than I had thought (the perils of online purchasing- and not paying attention to the tape measure on the pic!)...I needed something cleaner and simpler than my design so I made this pattern from Burda mag 04/2014. I used the hemline print as inspiration for my creation; you can't see from this pic but the print has pink apples around the hem on the dresses my sister and I are wearing.

It's lined in pink cotton lawn and trimmed in pink polka dot bias binding. It's way more cutesy than we usually go for but this project is about nostalgia for me... and that wonderful, but odd feeling of experiencing events I remember as a child but this time seeing them through the eyes of a mother; liek going to a wedding.

 I had planned to make myself an outfit too but I ran out of time (and money). I definitely won't be wearing an 80's check number with red leather belt to the wedding though...sorry Mum!

I made a funky version of S's dress for our holiday too which started as a wearable toile (muslin) but I love just as much...

See how the facing pokes out here - that's why I lined the final version!

Neon orange bias binding to finish the hem.