Retro Dots Dress for Kids Choice

Retro Dots Dress | SewsNBows

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.

Elegance & Elephants

The only rule is that kids get to choose.

Sometimes, letting kids choose is a hot mess.

Retro Dots Dress- designed by a 9 year old

Now, I know you’re thinking I’m really mean to diss my kids fabric and design choices. Let me clarify some things.

Retro Dots Dress | SewsNBows

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.

Retro Dots Dress | SewsNBows

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?

Retro Dots Dress | SewsNBows

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.

Drop-waist retro dress with boots

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.

Retro Dots Dress | Sleeve Tab

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.

Girls retro dress with boots

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.

Retro dress for tween girls

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.

Texas Rose dress pattern from Ellie Inspired

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.

Texas Rose pattern for Ellie Inspired

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!


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  1. She will looks great in whatever she is wearing! Her posing gets better and better, hehe :D I love it that you two collaborate and she gets to decide what fabric you’re using – maybe this didn’t turn out too well, but this happens to adults, too. I’ve made sooo many bad choices when it comes to shopping fabric :D
    thisblogisnotforyou recently posted…DIY Leather Feather EarringsMy Profile

  2. You are such a good mother, Amy, knowing the dress wouldn’t be worn and still putting all that work into it!!! I don’t mind those retro polka dots… just not so much of it in the one garment. The dress itself is a great style, though.
    Pam @Threading My Way recently posted…Rolled Gold Thimble…My Profile

  3. Maybe Bella’s smile and those great photos make the dress look good…does this green look that bad in person? I honestly think the dress looks good! Sounds like you have had great time with your daughter from selecting the fabric to the photo session. That may be more important than making a perfectly pretty dress!
    Annie recently posted…Kids’ Choice Outfit for Little MomoMy Profile

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