The retro dots dress should’ve quietly died in a closet somewhere. I’m bringing out this dirty little secret to link up at the Kids Choice series hosted by Elegance & Elephants.
The only rule is that kids get to choose.
Sometimes, letting kids choose is a hot mess.
Now, I know you’re thinking I’m really mean to diss my kids fabric and design choices. Let me clarify some things.
My kid is 9. I haven’t had a “choice” for almost 2 years. I mean, yeah- I make sure her clothing is clean, weather appropriate, and fits properly. But I gladly let her hold her own reins in the fashion department. My focus is health, character, & academics. All the rest is small potatoes.
In retaliation for my choices to enforce a bedtime and serve broccoli; my daughter likes to torture me with her wardrobe freedom. Fair enough, right?
When we’re planning to sew (or buy) a garment I’ve learned to keep a poker face. My daughters natural instinct is to have the exact opposite opinion as me when it comes to fabric and patterns.
Sometimes I can reverse psychology her into loving something by pretending I don’t like it. Except it didn’t work this time.
She chose the Texas Rose dress pattern from Ellie Inspired. I acted nonchalant, because I really love this pattern. My sneakiness was still intact.
But I must’ve flinched or wrinkled my nose when she saw the lime green dots fabric. I quickly tried to cover my tracks with my usual tactics. I raved about how cute her dots dress would be. I even “liked” it so much, I’d make myself a matching dress. (That’s the ultimate threat to a kid who doesn’t think their mom is cool anymore.)
I guess I oversold the whole act, because this little girl called my bluff!! She knew I hated it; and she pounced on the retro dots dress idea.
Tween girls have this need to define themselves as different from their parents. I decided to sacrifice the fabric and labor, knowing this project had a higher purpose than something to wear.
I swear the fabric was burning my eyes while I sewed it. The more evident my disdain became, the more gleefully involved she became in the design process. I had to oblige her request for a chest pocket, covered buttons, and sleeve tabs; each detail more painful than the rest. It was all just too much!
There was an unspoken knowledge that this dress would never be worn. I knew it and she knew it. I know it sounds crazy…but this dress was an affirmation of her individuality.
After the whole song and dance, Bella tried it on. We stared at each other for a long minute before we both burst out laughing. We agreed that this dress was indeed; not our finest collaboration.
Bella learned a valuable design lesson. Pairing fabric you like with a pattern you like doesn’t always produce a winning garment. We talked about fabric properties and design aesthetics. And we had this unspoken bonding thing.
I guess the retro dots dress kind of grew on me. Or maybe I just think my kid makes everything look good. We had a great time laughing and taking photos for you. My daughter and I can’t wait to collaborate again. I think she’ll make choices based on what she loves instead of what’s different than me. And I’ll be more open minded too. And no more psychology!