Friday, 20 September 2013
Sweet little dresses
Of all the many reasons I was so grateful to have a daughter, one of the possibly more frivolous was the fun of dressing my little girl. Florals! Dresses! Together even! Although she did wear predominantly baby blue hand-me-downs from her brothers for her first weeks - before the deluge of tiny pink garments started to flood into our house. And as for the things I could now make - well, my crafting potential suddenly went into overdrive.
I think Thea was less than a week old before I had cast on her first (knitted) dress. After knitting that same pattern time after time, but always stopping at the bottom of the vest, those last few flared inches felt thrilling. But now we are heading into spring it seemed time to drag out the sewing machine and start working my way through the patterns I had eyed longingly, back when I was a mother of boys only.
I had nurtured an image of myself as a mother from the time I was a teenager, and in that picture there was always a little girl running around in hand sewn dresses. Given that I did not even start to learn to sew until after my third son was born, I did start to doubt myself. I came close to cutting up the length of Liberty floral leftover from my own childhood and turning it into a maternity smock when I was six months pregnant with Thea, so sure were we that we would have another boy. But I stopped myself in time. That fabric is still waiting for something special. Thea's first birthday maybe? I clearly needed some practice at this dress making caper first.
And so it was that one rainy night last week I found myself cutting and pinning together pieces of fabric gleaned from old sheets and an op-shopped nightie to make these sweet little dresses. So much more fun, somehow, than pants, with the added bonus that they will fit for much longer too. These are for a 12-month old but my girl is so long already that she can wear them now, at barely five-months, layered over tights and a bodysuit while we wait for winter to finish for good. And they should still fit her, as a tunic top, when she is two. Which makes me inordinately happy.
She may not be running yet, but she is wearing a hand sewn dress. And now her brothers want one too.