“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Dressing Our Little Girls
I have gotten to where I sew most of my children's clothing. Why? I have girls. I got tired of trying to find clothing that was appropriate for little girls. The clothing industry for our children is appalling, but for our girls is downright ridiculous. I go to one store and all I find are jeans and t-shirts. The t-shirts are so worn and thin looking that they remind me of the old worn out t-shirts that my husband wears only to work around the farm. However they want me to pay a small fortune for this horrible t-shirt. So I head to another store and the clothes are a bit more than jeans and t-shirts, but the problem here is that they are not appropriate for the age of my child. The clothing industry seems to think that our little girls need to dress and look like 20 year old harlots. They sport their short shorts, micro mini skirts, and revealing dresses. And since when were little girls supposed to wear 2 inch heels. I don't want my daughter looking like a rock star. I want her to look like a fashionably dressed young lady from a good Southern Christian Conservative family. No, I don't want her dressed like a nun or in any way dowdy. And no I don't see the need for her to wear dresses all the time. We live on a farm and a little girl in a dress is courting disaster (and lots of sewing repairs). I do, however, want her to look like a little girl and not a miniature tramp. So, the solution is that I sew most of their clothes with the exception of the jeans that my daughter wears around the farm. I know many women think that they cannot sew, guess what, neither could I. I had some sewing lessons in junior high school and believe me that was a long time ago. I bought a machine anyway and headed to the fabric store. Armed with nothing more than the desire to start sewing clothes for my children. I found some fabric and then started hunting for patterns. I also found a handy dandy little sewing guidebook. I started with some simple things and have worked my way up from there. Now, I am doing things that are a little more difficult. Whenever I find something I like, then I peruse the Internet trying to find out how to do it. I love bishop dresses. They are such beautiful dresses, but I had no idea how to smock. I first learned how to make one without smocking and now I am teaching myself with the help of the Internet how to smock. I will let you know how that goes. I also discovered a by-product of sewing my children's clothing. I save money. Boy do I save money. I have seen dresses in some of the pricier children's boutiques for 70 dollars or more. I would go home and learn how to make the same style dress and can make it for 10 dollars or so. I am a slow seamstress so it takes me awhile and sometimes I feel like I have taken on more than I can chew. I would love to have a machine that embroiders, but I don't. So I hand embroider, which I am also teaching myself how to do with another little handy dandy guidebook from the fabric store. My grandmother tried to teach me to sew when I was young, I had no interest. I know she would be laughing now as I desperately seek to find out how to do something. Patterns are great and I love vintage patterns. It seems that children prior to the 1960s were so much more well dressed than children these days. Today we dress our children as if they were just an afterthought, while children in the past were dressed as beautifully as any Madame Alexander collector's doll. I have found that I can pick up vintage patterns online, just google vintage patterns or check out ebay. I have even found some at flea markets. Now that I am sewing I am always on the hunt for sewing bargains. I have gone from having to run to the fabric store for every notion that I needed to having a huge supply to choose from. This came from just picking up a little here and a little there for a little of nothing. i once bought a whole gallon size ziploc bag of buttons at a yard sale for a dollar. There are tons of buttons in there and they were all vintage buttons. What a great way to add a special touch to an outfit. The point of all of this is that I now can dress my children like children, and not miniature adults. The second point is that I can save a ton of money doing it. Yes, it is time consuming and sometimes frustrating and tedious. In the end though it is definitely worth it. I have put some links to vintage children's patterns on the blog for any other mothers interested in taking control of their children's attire. God bless and happy sewing.