20 September, 2009

Making clothes for Hazel

Thanks everyone for your advice and kind words and commiseration! The internets are really a wonderful place :) I should have known that for every kid who loves their mama's creations there'd be one who doesn't (and a sadder and wiser mother). There are so many ways I could go on this, I haven't quite sorted them out in my mind. One thing that you've helped me realise is that I do need to step back and give it a rest, to take the pressure off both her and me. Not that it's that bad - yet. And to keep it that way I'm going to have to decide how we can do this so we can both be happy. I haven't given up hope yet that I'll be able to make her things she'll wear because I have had successes in the past. I just need to learn not to be so invested in what I produce. But I need some things for me, and Mat wants a shirt, and there's Xmas presents and other things to finish so I can safely leave Hazel for awhile without feeling like I'm being deliberate about it. I definitely think that it's a power struggle with Hazel, not a problem with handmade per se. She's like this with other things as well, like the books we read her at bedtime. I had hoped by involving her with the making of the jacket I might get around this, but either I didn't involve her enough, or...well whatever! She's chosen some fabric to make a hat so I'll try that soon (because she really does need one before the UV indexes start reaching extreme), and if that's a failure then I'll just give it to someone else. It's hard for me to leave this because I have fabrics to make a couple shirts, and a girly party skirt, but I have to tell myelf that they won't go off if they sit for a few months.

I think what all this boils down to is that when I was pregnant with her I had all these ideas on how I was going to bring her up, like no tv, very little sugar, I'd never yell, our lives would be full of crafts and educational play, and that I'd make most of her clothes (no pink though) to show her how much I loved her. I think I can safely say that most of those lofty aims have fallen by the wayside and I've come to terms with them (except the tv, I feel guilty about that still), so I need to adjust to one more biting the dust! Oddly enough, despite my "failings" I think I've done pretty darn well :D

One dress I did have success with (in the end, perhaps when she realised I'd stopped caring if she wore it or not) was from Handmade Girl's Clothes (ISBN978-4-579-11054-4)

The dress is a very simple halter-neck style, in a thin cotton. I think it's cherries but the colour is more apples.

Summer dress

As with most of these patterns, the details are wonderful - in this case the pocket

Summer dress

I've used that pocket on other things because it was so gorgeous!

I made another dress which, after an initial rejection, became her self-declared favourite, but sadly she's grown out of it! I never took a photo of it so I must squeeze her into it one more time and record for posterity.


  1. Your ideals were very much like mine, oh how they change when they arrive.

    I've looked through the books that you lent to T and I am in love with them. So many stunning patterns in them.

    Totally love the dress you made Hazel, very simple but also stunning at the same time.

    Thought I should let you know that Spotlight have a heap of cotton fabric on clearance for between $3 - $6 per mtr and a heap of quilting fabric from $5 - $8. It's worth a look :)

  2. No no, don't tell me that! :)) And you're welcome to borrow those books back anytime you want.

  3. The cuteness of that dress is awesome. And (speaking as someone who doesn't have kids but has worked with them in the past) I think your solutions are a good idea. Good luck!

  4. I love that style of halter for girls. It looks really simple to make. My favourite book is Sassy Little Girls. Hubby has banned me from buying any more books of those books for a while. You never know what lies ahead when you're a mum. You just do what makes life easier for both you and your daughter. I'm sure we got even less when we were being brought up and still came out fine!



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