Sunday, October 16, 2011

Proud, but not prideful

You can tell this isn't Kansas because it's in color.
One of the first full garments I ever sewed by myself was a Wednesday Addams dress for Halloween one year and I still have it in my closet. Mom helped, of course, but she claims it's all my work and I can't help but be a little proud of it.

I made the above dress for Iris in '04 and the pattern is more fiddly than it looks, but that there is Dorothy Gale's dress. It's a licensed pattern, so it's the official Wizard of Oz Dorothy dress. I even compared it to the movie to make sure it was right and not some half-baked approximation.

There's been a Halloween costume dry spell the past few years and I've partly been thankful for it. Grad school occupies my brain like the 99% on Wall St., only it's been going on for much longer and I'm more willing to give into its demands. She's been wearing the costumes from her dance recitals and it's great she gets some additional use from them, but every year she doesn't ask me to make something for her, I feel a little bit like a kicked puppy.

Maybe that's silly, but in my head Mama is supposed to make the Halloween costumes. That's part of what a good mama does and it's one of the parts I really like. I like making something for the offspring that she's excited to wear and while I've made her lots of clothes, a Halloween costume is special.

Anyway, it's that time of year again and much to my relief, she's asked me to make her a fairy costume. She wanted a skirt and I suggested a vest to help hold up her wings. First, she wanted to be a woodland fairy and I'm thinking, "Browns and greens - no problem." I even found a camo that might have worked very well for such a thing. Unfortunately, she changed her mind in the fabric store. She wanted to be a rainbow fairy instead and no, there was no way to change her mind.

We got the last bit of a rainbow striped quilter's cotton and it was perfect. In fact, I think this is some of my best work. The black panel has a black lace layered in front of the cotton to give it a little opacity and it makes the other colors really grab your retinas and smack 'em around a bit. Both of the black fabrics were stash. Pro tip: Children grow. Measure them before you cut fabric to make a garment. Sure, you may have measured them last week, but they probably grew last night. I must admit to inserting this panel because I failed to measure the kiddo before cutting. It turned out to be a happy accident.

The closure is an invisible zipper and hook-and-eye, but the waistband has elastic in it to allow for growth of said kiddo. She should be able to wear it for a couple more inches of tummy growth. That might be a month or a couple years-- it's hard to say. Anyway, it fits perfectly, drapes well, the zipper looks great, and it the whole garment is the exact perfect thing for her. Not to mention that she loves it and is excited to wear it for Halloween. The part I'm really proud of is that I made this entirely without a pattern. I made it with maths from my brain.

I feel like a good mom again and that here's something that's as it should be. I feel talented and competent. I feel proud.

...but not prideful. I thank Athene for granting me skill with a needle, I thank Bekah for being a good influence in the use of references, I thank Iris for asking me to make this for her, I thank the Kindergarten teacher who suggested I learn to sew, and most of all, I thank my mom for teaching me.

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