Today was spent in the classroom teaching my students some hand sewing, so I didn’t get to complete anything new for KCWC. I did spend time adapting a pattern for tomorrow; I’m still participating wholeheartedly! One of the reasons meg’s event is so popular is because any of us handmaking moms can commit an hour a day for one week and see some pretty impressive results. Since I have nothing new and shiny to show today, I thought I’d take a moment to appreciate one of my favorite parts of handmade clothing: if you take the time to make it right, it’s made to last.
It’s not easy to make every garment a kid ever wears by hand. Even if I could do it, I couldn’t (in good consience) discourage my parents from purchasing things for Ella that they know she will love (sparkly, Hello Kitty, Fairies, did I mention sparkly?) but there’s a reason the things that last around here are the things I make myself. It’s because I made them.
Making clothes brings me a deep sense of satisfaction. Now that I have friends who have daughters, too, I know that I’m not only making a dress for Ella, but also for my neice Sophia, and our little friends Ramona, Madeleine, Clementine, and Zora. After they wear what I’ve made, the garments come back to me; often with a story about where they were worn and which were favorites. Then, I can share in turn with my smallest neice, Chelsea. All of those girls get a big handmade hug from me, because whatever I’ve made has been made with a great deal of love and care.
Not to mention, if an outfit can make it through Ella, it’s solid for any kid.
Here’s a dress I made in 2009 and named after my mother: The Bonnie Dress. You can see it’s been loved and worn over 3 years by 3 different girls (up ’til now). Spending a couple days making a single dress seems like such a tiny investment of time and effort when it’s worn for so long. (And look, the vintage buttons are still attached!)
How many more generations will wear what I’ve made for my kids? I don’t know, but I hope there will be many.