Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Dress.

Just the other day I was saying to Bren that I felt so uninspired in the sewing department. I've been knitting like crazy, but I didn't remember the last time I had reached into my vintage sheet pile or made something just because.

This morning we drove to Melbourne to do the egg drop offs because our delivery guy is on holidays. Afterwards we popped into a shopping centre for some retail action. The girls each had a list of a few basics that they needed and I was happy to get all the shopping done in one go.

Well I have no idea if its me or the current fashion, but we didn't find anything except shoes. It seems I have lots of family fashion don'ts these days. I don't like branded clothes, clothes with characters on them, slogan clothes, shiny clothes, too tight clothes, slutty clothes, clothes I can make easily, fluorescent clothes, fussy clothes, clothes with tacky machine embroidery, white clothes...gosh, somebody stop me now.

Anyhow, we came home from Melbourne, Bren went out to mow, the girls started some sort of game and I pulled out an old sheet and drew a pattern onto it and sewed a dress. A simple, girly, cotton, comfy, light, summery dress.

She loves it. The big girls do too.

I've drawn a pattern off it to make some more in other colours and patterns.

It looks like it passes the running away from Mum and her annoying photo shoots too.

So my sewing inspiration might have come out of hibernation after all. Yay!

I'm off now to pack our emergency fire kits. If its not pouring with rain here, it seems its HOT with wild winds.

So how about you? Have you had any luck shopping for kids' clothes lately? Do you have crazy clothing rules like me? Do shopping excursions make you dash for your machine too? Have you got plans for New Years' Eve? How would you dress up your bike if you had to? What are you having for dinner tonight?

Happy eve before New Years' Eve. XX


  1. Buying boys clothes without skulls on theme is hard. I try for functional and not excessive. Clothes for a 17 year old are pretty much all branded but he has to pay for half. I do love the little dress Kate, looks just perfect for these hot days

  2. I feel pretty much like you do about kids cloths. It takes me ages to find anything for my daughter - we have additional restriction that she doesn't like jeans. I remember the time she decided she wanted green trousers - I'm not sure how many shops we visited before finding something green at reasonable price suitable for a girl.

    Since the next baby is a boy, I was looking recently at cloths for boys and it seems to be even more depressing - lots of "miniature adult male" type of items in dark, uninspiring colours. I may have to learn to sew cloths - can't be that hard, specially for a baby, right?

    Dinner - leftover spaghetti bolognese and if I get organized butternut squash soup.

  3. Yes, yes and yes! We have the same issues here too! The children are moving to a new school that has no uniform. So we have begun to collect some bits for Miss G. Dresses are her thing still to my delight. Master J loves his handmade pants, so comfy and bright. Master S only likes to wear Green and won't wear anything other than pj's I make him. Boys clothes that are not black, grey or brown are hard to find though.

    I find myself cringing when I see sequined, character and brand clothing with slogans plastered.

    As for the bike, mmm... strips of fabric wound around the handle bars, an old fishermans basket secured and maybe even a decoupage or two! Even re-upholstering the seat would be fun! xo

  4. Sooo love the blue and white here. Will you be making more with this sheet in bigger sizes??!

    I find it difficult here to buy the girls clothes. When we were in England I bought ahead in the sales - the clothes were much better quality. And not all PINK for girls. I don't like shopping in places like Pumpkin Patch , as you have to buy everything matching ...

    Miss Eva likes to be different - and not be all pink like the others - yay!XX

  5. Hmm, it's tricky! I can't 'sneak' stuff into the wardrobe now from an op shop, if it doesn't pass muster, don't bother! But I did take her into Savers the other day, all 2nd hand stuff, she got to go in the change rooms for the first time, and pick her own stuff, really helped!
    I buy underwear and jeans new, and maybe a special occasion item (or a really good sale!) but mine has to understand if she wants new stuff, we have money for nothing else! Reality time! And how lucky are our kids, pick a fabric and we are your sewing slave! Crazy....
    PS love the blue in the dress, and her chubnby arms! Too cute, Miss Pepper :)

  6. gorgeous dress.
    I too,am very fussy with my girls clothing.
    Nothing slutty,too short or too tight.
    I dont mind what colour it is.
    or if its glittery.......mine love glitter.LOL
    but decent kids clothes are hard to find.

  7. I am sure that everyone would love a wardrobe like your girls with all the lovely handmade dresses! Isabelle sometimes wants things her friends have but I put my foot down about tight and slutty clothes, and things that dont cover up properly. Thankfully with dancing she seems to love the dresses that I choose that have a small amount of sparkle but are still nice to wear. Pity she doesnt love my handknit dresses anymore though! At least my son never wants brand names or anything, he is just happy to wear whatever is in his drawers. Pepper's dress looks wonderful and the perfect colors for summer! Hope you and your family have a lovely New Year for 2011!

  8. I buy almost all the kids clothes at Target.
    Cheap, colourful, stretchy, comfy and I don't care if they get stained, torn, ruined, etc.
    I do compromise on buying clothes with characters on them but there are also plenty of plain t-shirts and stuff that I can embellish with fabrics from my stash.
    And my plans for NYE? I'll be spending the evening with a couple of your exes and their families.
    Andi xx

  9. I'm really with you on the clothing rules, all of them and more..... I don't do white either, with a family of 6, I just throw everything in the washing machine together, no time to sort out white washes as well. One has stripy socks, one browns and greens, one blues and blacks, thank-goodness the girls sort there own out! I really hate school uniform as well..... I didn't produce 4 lovely human beings to be made to wear manmade fibres.... oh well, just 2 years and 2 more terms and then no more uniform.....yippee

  10. The last things I bought for my girls were their xmas dresses (Day 87 if you want to see them).
    I'm with you on the don't like list (they are NOT crazy rules)...but unfortunately I'm not as clever as you on the sewing machine.
    PS yes, going to a party tomorrow night, and left over BBQ for dinner :-)

  11. The dress is gorgeous, Kate. Your clothing rules sound a lot like mine - getting harder and harder as the big girl gets older though. Luckily we haven't disagreed on anything yet. Shoes are actually where we have most of our battles - I always veto the strappy sandals and go for something with support.

    Plans for New Year's Eve - we will have a houseful of kids. Friends are flying over Antarctica so their three kids (2 - 6yrs old) are coming to bunk down with ours.

    Hope you have a lovely evening tomorrow and your sewing mojo stays with you.

  12. This so takes me back to when my DD was tiny. The beginning of the 70s and the stuff for kids in shops was horrendous. My SIL and I spent hours making her things and the joy it gave us....and she hasn't grown up with a complex about wearing fact at nearly 40 now and a mum herself, I'm still doing it. Umm! must teach that girl how to use a sewing machine!
    Love your little dress, pretty practical and oh so cute!

  13. Gorgeous dress, Kate! And a pretty cute little one wearing it too.

    I despair at buying my tall, slender six year old clothes. She's into size 8 now, and most of the shops seem to think that she is best suited to wearing short, skimpy, over sexualised clothes that I think are not really appropriate for any age. So like you I run to my machine. Savers had a 50% sale before Christmas so I bought up on co-ordinating white and pink women's skirts that I have cut up ready to turn into some dresses suitable for a six year old.

    I'm not sure I'd dress up my bike beyond making sure it had a really comfy recliner type seat to relax in while I ride...I wonder if it's possible to invent a hammock bike???

    Dinner was lemongrass Thai curry, followed by a lovely walk with the dog and a solid watering of all my vegetables and herbs.

    For New Year's Eve we're off to the home of some great friends who have a pool - we'll be there for lunch and the afternoon, coming home via a favourite take-away shop for dinner, and arriving home in time to have the girls in bed by a decent hour while hubby and I have a quiet night in. That is providing he doesn't get a call out with the CFA.

  14. I'm totally with you on this whole issue of branded kids clothes ( let alone branded clothes for adults) Your post is like a breath of fresh air. I find it disturbing the amount of clothes these days for young girls are so slutty, grown up and totally inapproriate for children ( and lets face most of the adult population too unless you plan on working the streets) ANd I'm not even a mum. Being a kid is about mucking round in, playing and the wonderful innocence. Why are people in such a rush to rob them of this.
    BIG YAY for the sewing inspiration returning!!!!
    And by the way the dress is absoulutely gorgeous!!

  15. i so agree with you on the clothes thing. so agree. it is hard for boys too, everything is so rough and evil looking. i have to HUNT for cute stuff.

  16. Yep, i hear you on the horrible clothes, i keep the basics, Country Road works, classic styles which don't go out of fashion which is handy in a large family. Quality lasts & no horrible slogans. My 4 have never liked slogans & when my son got a Ben 10 pyjama top for Christmas (well i think it's a Tshirt but i said he could wear it to bed) he saw the bright green corner & said he didn't want to open it more as he doesn't want it. He's never had such a strong reaction, but i've never put him in dinosaur/ character/ slogan Ts - clearly my sisters-in-law don't notice as they keep sending them but they dress their sons in them. Girls, well, i don't make girls clothing for nothing!! My children have very small piles of clothes in their wardrobes, i buy lovely gear & keep it to a minimum. As for shoes, well wait until your 11 year old wears a ladies' size 8-9 & tries to buy something without a heel??!! Thank goodness for ballet flats, love Posie

  17. I had the same problem last week when I went shopping to buy a simple summer dress.
    Tomorrows mission is to make my own... I can't believe I just admitted that out loud. It could all go quite horribly wrong!

  18. So gorgeous! Nothing beats a mummy made , i mainly buy plain tshirts. I hate shopping at the best of times and i look at stuff and think im not paying THAT or i could make THAT!
    I would dress up my bike with some crochet flowers and stuff if i had to and i had curry and pappadums for dinner!

    Happy New Year to you and your mob xxx

  19. Gorgeous little dress Kate.
    Stay safe tomorrow. Crazy weather.

  20. 41C here tomorrow - dry and windy -doesn't make for a nice day :(
    my bike looks pretty with it's cane basket and floral panniers. I've also got some led flower lights (from Holland) to put on and a beautiful bell in delft blue. I just have to get around to putting them on.
    love the dress - you should open a shop :)

  21. Kate, I have exactly the same 'fashion rules' as you! And maybe some more. You dress is perfect. My girls mostly wants to kick around in shorts- but will (hooray) wear tunic type tops...although she was pretty happy with the demin skirt that grandma made today actually.

  22. What a perfect summer dress!
    Oh dear, clothes shopping makes me a bit crazy. Last time we tried I came home with one plain red T-shirt, not nearly enough to cover the need. Most of the clothes I see now are terrible and ill fitting and I hate characters! My girl needs pants in the worst way so that is on my sewing list right quick!

    Quiet night for me on NYE, reflecting on the year to come. Dinner will be red lentil stew with brown rice. As for my bike, I would dress it up with flowers, antlers and a wee birdie on the basket, oh wait...I already have.
    Here's a photo

    Happy New Year lovely lady!

  23. Your list is the same as MINE!

    ABSOLUTELY NO writing like "I am a princess" or other dumb stuff, no cartoon/ disney characters- nothing that I think sex workers would wear, nothing that looks like it has been made for boobs to go in it- but in a size 4- you know those tops? , nothing I could make, nothing with excessive apliques ( I cannot spell that) nothing too nylon-y, nothing really from any big shops!

    I want Busy to look like a little girl.

    When I first saw your list I thought, nodding, I didn't realise I had so many rules! I just showed it to Chef and he said "jeez- no wonder you two get along"

  24. It seems we share the clothing rules, but I also won't buy polyester, acrylic and other nasties and I feel bad buying things made in China - doesn't leave much to choose from.

    My eldest is wearing tops with sleeves that are too short as I couldn't get any this year that weren't pink (I try and limit the amount of pink)

    We had salad with tomato, olive and feta tarts for dinner - yum.

    NYE will see me in bed before midnight as usual and Mr will be working. x

  25. Kate, I hear you! My eldest is now in the size 8-14 range of kids clothes in dept stores - pity they think an 8 year old can wear the same as a 14 year old! I don't even like a lot of it for a 14 yo!

    I do like Myer for some nice, classic pieces (on sale of course) and I get a lot of basics (t-shirts, short and long sleeve) from Big W and Target. I make a lot of their summer skirts, dresses, pjs, winter skirts.

    No characters, no tacky, no slogans ('I'm a princess, and I know it' - why would you do it to yourself?!?!?!?!!?) and only a small amount of black. I do like a white t-shirt or two though - they go with everything. They are little girls for such a short time. Why do we want them growing up any quicker, I say.

    I made all my girls a new summer dress this week. Posting about it today - you'll have to check it out. Did my first shirring - yay! Love Pepper's dress - well done.

  26. That dress is absolutely gorgeous and so inspiring. I have one son, so my dress fancies have been thwarted, but there are little girl cousins on the horizon...

    Have had a long battle against branding on Joe's clothes, but he's four now and the yankie toons are creeping in.

    (buckwheat, home farm egg and beetroot greens pie tonight, followed by my very best scotch)


  27. Wonderful dress!! I too have crazy clothes rules. My kids don't wear cartoon character clothing unless it is Pajamas and the clothes need to fit correctly. No pants hanging off bums or shoes that are untied. Those things make me want to scream! All these things just show we care about our kids.

  28. Everything my teenagers like are around the $100 mark (sorry to talk dollars in here) so im sewing shorts and singlets for summer.
    Love the blueness of this peasant dress Kate! x

  29. Totally agree, Kate - having just received some of those "fashion don'ts" (for daughter, not me luckily!), I am absolutely in agreement...(some op-shop is going to do well out of us...)
    Just love that dress...

  30. I so agree with your clothing feelings. I can't stand the way little girls are dressed in all the styles you listed and once they take size 7 there is next to no other option. I made a nice simple dress for each of my nieces for Christmas. I thought they would go down well, especially for the 3 year old, but have since found out that they haven't even tried them on. Their other grandmother bought them both clothes in black and white (I can't stand little girls in black) which they have been wearing all the time. Obviously their Mum prefers that style of clothes for them.(Sorry if I'm sounding like a cranky old cow.)
    On a brighter note, we will just be having a simple omlette for dinner tonight before going out for New Year drinks with some friends which will be lovely. Are you just dressing a bike up for a one off special occasion? We used to sometimes weave streamers through the spokes in a few different colours and attach some streamers to the end of the handlebars. It was great fun way back when.

  31. I get so cross with kids clothes from big stores. Logos, characters, tarty (for girls) or violent (for boys). I've added a new 'rule' this year - they need to be ethical, so sweat shop free, second hand, handmade, organic, or otherwise virtuous! I have plans for lots of home-sewn pjs, skirts and pants this year.

  32. I really admire (and envy) your ability to just whip up a pattern like that. On the subject of clothing, close friends with older girl have been lamenting low cut waists etc for a while now. My daughter is younger and mostly wears what I sew so I haven't had too many problems. But a month ago I wanted to get her some denim shorts. All I could find were hot pants types. For 3 year old girls!!! So I bought a clearance pair of capris and hemmed them into shorts. Why can't our little kids be little kids without having to have this stuff thrust upon them so early? I'd hate to be a non-sewing mum.
    PS Oh, and big plans for New Year's Eve involving good friends, some mojito cocktials, Japanese food, baklava, quizes and sparklers. Bring it on!

  33. my kids wear a lot more home made clothes than bought these days. I'm with you - shopping is a nightmare if you don't want the latest little barbie or dora number.
    Your dress is lovely, such a pretty colour too.

  34. This is a happy Christmas with your loved ones a peaceful start to the year and the year of the same beauty of all I wish to pass .. :)
    HAPPY NEW YEAR ....!

  35. ditto on the clothing criteria. that dress is divine and i want one just like it.
    dinner was way too much of everything. had a fab NYE and if i had to dress a bike i would so jump on the yarn bomb wagon

  36. I know exactly what you mean regarding kids clothes - so many of them are garish and offensive, not to mention ugly!!

    I think there are some independent Australian kids clothing designers doing lovely styles but of course they are more expensive, which they have to be, so it's great to make your own if you can.

    Your girl's dress is beautiful, well done.

  37. Gorgeous, Kate, and your impatient little model always makes me smile. Congrats on the return of your sewjo.


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I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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