I usually don’t make clothes for my niece, figuring that my mom supplies everything she needs. But I recently found myself with some scraps too small to make anything for myself and too cute to trash.
Based on measurements I made Allia a sundress from my circus stripe fabric. It turned out to be a little tight and short, but it does look great on her, especially since she and I made some leggings together. Allia sewed the leg seams herself on my machine. She also picked out the elastic on the legs and waistband, and said the blue stripe fabric leftover from some tops makes her feel like Alice in Wonderland.
I’d also saved some pink satin with glitter from a superhero costume that was just enough to whip up a skirt. Again, Allia sewed the sides and did about half of the hem before asking me to take over. She also designed the pocket, based on a sewing bandoleer I’m working on for Burning Man. She drew the whole thing out and picked out shiny lycra scraps for each part.
Allia also put her mad design skillz to work on her loyal friend Scout (she told me once that at nighttime it’s pronounced Scoot). Using a coiled S I had lying on my worktable and a short piece of elastic she made a lovely flapper headband. After Scout’s glamor shots Allia touched up some scratches on her eyes and nose with glossy black paint.
This was Allia’s first time on a machine and my first time sewing with a kid. It was fun to make her designs come to life, but there was an unexpected challenge in being supervised by an 8 year old. She wanted to keep me on task, and kept asking innocent but irksome questions like Are you sure that’s right? and I don’t think that’s the way to do it, as well as giving me pointers such as You should look at my drawing some more before you cut that fabric!
All in all, it was fun and great to see how excited the whole thing made Allia. I’m looking forward to making her a birthday wardrobe from some fuchsia sweater knit I’ve been eying at Fabric Planet!