Thursday, April 25, 2013

How many Bloom dresses does a girl need?

Bloom Dress from Modkids style sewing book.

Who else is joining in on Kids Clothes Week (KCW) Challenge? 

Same Bloom dress sewn in reverse colorway.

There's a complete sewing frenzy reflected on Instagram, Flickr and daily blog posts that may induce you to increase your own sewing momentum or most certainly die trying. Death is not appealing to me right now ... so for me, KCW is simply a phenomena that I summarize in one word:inspiration. I love that KCW is encouragement to make extra effort to do a little sewing. 

Just one hour a day is the suggested commitment. Its fascinating to me to see how others put together fabrics and trims and patterns. I learn a lot that way, actually. Its much fun, comforting in fact, knowing there are others out there as insane as me when it comes to sewing! KCW also puts me onto a lot of really awesome patterns that aren't found in the big box pattern stores.

I do have a love-hate relationship with kids clothes though. True. I love them in the store and I love creating them. I love seeing children in really adorable outfits because they look so, well, sweet. It can be a bit obsessive.

Katie's Bloom dress ended up looking like lovely pyjamas. So that's what we're going with.

But I hate clothes strewn all over my kids' bedroom floor because honestly, they have too many. The dressers are bursting. Three little girls means by the time they get handed down to Katie they seem to have exponentially increased. I don't even bother saving Brittany's old clothes due to the age gap. Storage space is expensive real estate, no?

I'm trying to be more purposeful and intentional with their clothing in general. That includes what I sew. I'm thinking hard about what a kid needs in a season and what's comfortable and how I want to scale down. I am really good about purging out and decluttering. But I do have attachments to some of their clothes, so that if I were to pick only 4-5 outfits per season per kid, I'm not sure I could part with some of the rest of the beautiful clothing they own and I love. And paid good money for. That's the point when the waste really occurred, right? The point of sale? Anyone else experience that feeling?

I was driving today and I had a vision of my girls' bedroom with a clean floor - no toys, clothes, dress-up clothes - but not only that. My vision included complete ease to keep clean and sustainable. Because right now, you can put in place all the discipline in tidying up you want, its still overwhelming for a child to have so much. Clean and easy and simple sounds heavenly. Which reminded how consecrated people  living in a religious community have very simple bedrooms - usually just a bed, a crucifix on the wall and maybe a small table. Not a dresser full of Habits. 

I had an epiphany then.

In the past I've failed to part with the "good quality clothing" or the outfits that are "really too sweet to give away." But what if I did choose 4-5 5-7 outfits per child for this season, and then just packaged up the rest in garbage bags or large bins and store them away for now. It might ease the pain of just giving them all away at once, right? Sort of an experiment? Its not a new concept in the world of organization. 

I just really hate the mess. I don't have time for it. I think I'll do this with toys too, and dress-up clothes. I've gotten rid of so many toys but I'd like to really pare down again.

I'm going to be more purposeful with my sewing. Oh, I'll still keep sewing. I want to sew what I know they will wear and love and play in all the time.  The Sewing Modkid Style book by Patty Young is great for that. That's what I'm reading right now.

This week I made three knit dresses, all variations of the Bloom dress. Kate's ended up looking more like a pajamas which is fine, she needs pjs. I know the girls will wear these Bloom dresses. They are cute, comfy, stretchy and can be paired with leggings. They love leggings. 

Speaking of leggings, I will make a pair for each girl. These are great go-to's - they help make shorter dresses more modest, they are fun with tunics, and they give a little more skin protection when they're wearing the knit dress. You know, like when they are out in the yard collecting a zillion rocks. Leggings can be really fun - with fabric choices and trims on the bottom.

Yeah, so that's what's on my mind these days. I think that's it for me for KCW this season. Three dresses - not bad!  The rest of the evenings left in the week? Sit back, relax and enjoy a drink with my husband. Haven't seen him all week :). 

God bless all your sewing and reading adventures!

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