Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fabric, fabric, and fabric!

There are several factors that go into planning a wardrobe for a child (or anyone, really.)

* Type of clothing
* Type of fabric
* Color
* Print
* Function
* Specific Style

In the first four categories, I strongly suggest you go with your child's preferences. That little sailor dress might be so precious it makes your teeth hurt, but if your child hates dresses, or thinks its babyish, it is a waste of your sewing time.

I also cautiously suggest you consider current fashion when wardrobe planning. Generally, the clothes that are out there for the elementary set make me ill. I could go on about how sick it is that society insists on sexualizing our young girls through "fashion" but I won't. You need to know what's out there, though, because that is what your child's peers will be wearing.

I figure out type of clothing first. Alice prefers leggings and dresses. Tunic tops are also fine. Jeans are not. Jeans precipitate a screaming, crying fit. They hurt her ears. (I don't exactly understand either.) I don't let her wear teeshirts with leggings because I don't think it's modest, so regular length tees are out too unless they are going under a jumper. Then I figure out what she needs so we don't wind up with 22 dresses and 3 pairs of leggings. This year that part is easy because she needs everything, lol.

Next I figure out my fabrics, colors and prints. Following the Gymboree model, I try to pick things that have commonalities. Here are the prints I've chosen for this year:
Wovens are on the left, knits on the right. These will all be made into tops or dresses. I *may* make her one pair of woven pants.
We'll see.

Then I pick colors for leggings. My rule is that each print MUST match at least two colors of leggings and each color of legging must match at least two prints. The more the better. Here are the colors I've chosen for leggings:
I generally stick to solids for leggings. The green / white polka dot was free (I won it for having a sewing disaster!) and I think it's neutral enough to work.

Here are the fabrics they match:
Brown leggings

Pink leggings

Aqua leggings

Green / white polka dot leggings

Orange leggings. They only match two things right now, but this is U of Tennessee Vol country and people bleed orange here. During football season the kids are encouraged to wear orange every Friday. No beating it, so why fight it? Besides, orange leggings are surprisingly versatile (who would have thought?!). These will also go with the few dresses she still has in her closet and any Halloween dress I make.

Now the fun begins! I get to decide what styles to make! To make this easier (and portable) I glued one inch square swatches of each fabric onto a piece of paper. This is totally optional, but it makes the planning process portable rather than tied to your sewing area.

Tomorrow I'll show you what I've got planned....

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