May 13, 2016
Bunny Pinafore and Some Thoughts on Children's Clothing
Well this was a lot of fun to make! I used a 1950's vintage pattern that I got on eBay. The problem with this pattern though, is that the person selling them, photo copied multiple sizes for one pattern, which was good on one hand, but you didn't really get the original instructions. She paraphrased most of it. If you are a beginner, you probably should attempt this. Seam allowances were too small that were added I think. Next time If I make this, I'm going to alter it a bit with that. Other than that, it was pretty fun to make and sit down to embroider the sweet flowers and the bunny face. I used a really pretty light pink premium quality cotton for the skirt portion, I believe it could be poplin, and for the face and ears of the bunny, I used a cotton/linen blend. The buttons are really pretty flower shaped mother of pearl buttons. I think you could also hang this in a child's room for decoration when they aren't wearing it. Very much a fun novelty piece!
When I make these pieces, I always hope the customer understands the time in construction. There is so much junky throwaway children's garments out there that it makes me wonder why we don't value good design and quality in children's clothing in the US. I think I've rambled on about this before, so I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself, but why are children's main stream fashions so garish and basically miniatures of adult clothing? The Europeans get it right, why can't we? There are some lines like "Makie" that are making in roads into the market, which makes me happy to see, but for the most part, all you see is junk. Which brings me to why I keep on making children's clothing. I would like to think that I'm contributing to the heirloom quality market of children's clothing. Pieces that a child would love and remember and that their parents would like to save for a sibling or grandchild perhaps. As a kid, my mom made a lot of my dresses, and I loved them and still remember them. I think that is where I learned the love of sewing. I would spend hours watching her cut out patterns and sew up garments almost weekly. If I was lucky sometimes, she would give me scraps and I would pretend to cut out dresses with my own homemade paper patterns. She didn't actually teach me to sew, because she said she just didn't have the patience but in a way she did teach me because I watched and tried to learn that way. It wasn't until I took a summer school sewing class at my high school when I was 15, that I even got to use a sewing machine! From then on I was hooked and fell in love with sewing. I stopped sewing for myself for a while when my girls were little, and my days were consumed with sewing for them. I made about 80% of their clothing. I got accused once from a person that will remain nameless, that I was spending too much money on dressing my girls. If they only knew how dirt cheap each piece was, they would have eaten their words! I guess in a way it was a back handed compliment, since they thought I was buying them ready to wear clothes all the time. I was also told that the pictures of my girls look timeless, like they couldn't tell what year the photo would have been taken. Probably because I tried to use timeless silhouettes and not always fall for too many trends. I would love to hear thoughts on this subject. Does it just come down to taste, or are parents just stuck with bad design that is out there? I know from living in France, that even the most inexpensive lines of clothing still have style and design to them. The only main stream line of children's wear ( affordable) is Gap. Sometimes Target has some cute things, but really, besides independent lines on Etsy etc. What is there?
Ok enough of that for now......Now that I'm finished with this little garment, I'm going to whip up some fun summer pieces and try and get some staple garments done as well, like bloomers and tops. I really need to stop for a bit with the time consuming ones hahah.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!