Two weeks ago, I finished a toddler outfit for my daughter, Zaynab. I took my inspiration from a toddler dress made in the Regency period. The measurements of the dress fit Zaynab's measurements. If you want to find out more on this little treasure, go here: Vintage Textiles
It was perfect: simple yet chic. The front was flat while back was gathered by drawstings and a sash. Zaynab plays hard so I could not make her dress long and the drawstring that gathered the back was out of the question. I was fighting the urge to make Zaynab an historic dress that she would not be too comfortable and my work would be ruin. I wanted all the makings of the historic dress but without the historic issues like drawstrings.
Then it dawned on me to replace the drawstrings with narrow elastic so the back can still be gathered while allowing her to play without snagging anything.
Then I turned the very broad neckline into a simple square neckline. After much thought and sketching, I made the pattern from an old blouse and I pulled this off:
I was happy, Zaynab was ecstatic. After twirling and bouncing about the apartment in the mock, she fought me off when I tried to take it. She didnt want to take the dress off and she cried.
I promised her another dress just like it but better. Then she agreed and took off the dress.
Isn't that just the smartest thing that a toddler can do: make a deal with the parents.
From there came a beautiful little minty creation called: Peppermint Gal.
I found the fabric at the local Walmart and I loved it. I didn't like stripes however I loved this one. It had an "antique look" to it. The colors very lively without being gaudy. It was just what I wanted for Zaynab. I brought four yards and produced a tunic top, bloomers and a chic little fichu.
I let Zaynab wore the outfit outside. She dirtied it within five minutes of playing. I let her play in the outfit to see how she moved in the garment, how garment reacted to motion and to see what I needed to fix. Also I have developed a bad habit of making dresses for Zaynab and as soon as she got them dirtied, I clean them and pack them away somewhere. So Zaynab has three great dresses that have been worn just a few times.
Then it dawned on me that I was wasting my time sewing all these clothes, then locking them away just because I could not bear seeing them on dirty. This could also explain her fighting over the mock. She loved and enjoyed her handmade clothes...and I was depriving her of them. I had to come to the conclusion that Zaynab was a toddler and she was going to mess up her clothes. I wanted to make pretty clothes for her but I had to deal with the stains, the rips and other dismays that were inflicted on my creations. Insha'allah (Allah willing) I kept putting away her handmade clothes every time they got ruined then my effort and time would be wasted. So I simply smiled at Zaynab as she played in the dirt then proceeded to sit down on the ground.