I’ve been sewing strikes and pattern tests since late 2018. Over the course of this time, I’ve often rotated between sewing for myself, our two kiddos, or my husband. I often have a vision for the fabrics that I sign up to sew or combos of them to put together for new patterns. It’s always kinda seemed like everyone just accepted whatever I said and went with it. Last year when the pandemic struck, sewing was legitimately the only thing keeping my mental health in check. It got to a point where I was just sewing, pics, sewing, pics, sewing pics…it became such an automated process. I was making all the twirly things, all the cutesy things, and our daughter just kept accepting them and smiling for the camera. I can now see that I think she was doing what made me “happy.” At the same time, she was experiencing burnout by always having to hop in front of a camera and be “on” when she was also struggling with her own mental health. Realizing this a year later makes me feel so incredibly selfish.
Soon, the twirly peplums and dresses of the past began to fade away. I noticed she stopped wearing them and opted, instead, for hoodies or simple t-shirts from her drawers with one of her dad’s old zip ups. I started seeing the baby face morph into that of a tween who now needed a gentle skincare regimen. I realized that as much as I loved sewing for her, I had to let my ideals go, and let it be on her terms. In order to do this, it meant saying “no thanks” to rounds and leaving teams whose fabrics mainly suited her tastes. I feel like with every round I skipped, with every team I left, I felt a sense of mourning. It’s silly, I know…but I felt like when her style changed so much from mine, how will we ever get to keep taking our mommy & me pics that I’ve grown fond of? But I told myself I had to accept and respect her style, and let go of what “used to be.”
Enter the Oversized Tee from Ellie and Mac*. It’s a drop shoulder, relaxed fit tee PDF sewing pattern that comes in multiple lengths, with short or long sleeves, and boatneck, hood, or crew necklines. Drop shoulder, relaxed fit has been my girl’s JAM, based on things she has pointed out in the store or on TV. The adult version was released a month or two ago, and after I took my final photos, she immediately confiscated two of them saying they were hers and perfect and OMGGGG (dense the fact they’re considerably too big on her). I sent the designer, Lindsey, a message about it to which she said “we need a kid’s version” and shortly after, it was drafted, pretested, tested, and now here we are! When I was choosing fabrics from my stash, I picked out fabrics that I remembered my girl had loved before. (Also ran them by her again to double check and confirmed she’d be okay for me to take pics…this is our new routine now and works out pretty well). She chose these rust and ivory colored heart DBP called Paige from Amelia Lane Designs, which I made the short sleeved, regular length boatneck with chest pocket. She loves the softness of brushed poly (just like her dad) and I enjoy sewing with it and the way it fits and drapes well on us.
She also loves hoodies, especially since her hair’s been short. I got this tie dye French Terry from the The Material Girls* and it just seemed sooo her. I showed it to her and she was like “is that even a question?!” so it obviously had to become the hoodie. For this version I sewed the banded regular shirt length with extra long sleeves + cuffs and the kangaroo pocket. I really love the colors in this and will probably have to buy some of this for myself if it stocks again. I don’t think I’ll make the same style, as unlike her, I don’t like hoodies lol!
And this brings me to my favorite. OUR favorite. This fabric was another French Terry that I got from The Material Girls*. It was a remnant piece that I just so happened to have enough to make us both a shirt from. Since this has been my favorite pattern lately, and defiantly checks all of her boxes, I couldn’t think of a better thing to do than to make us a matching set. Hers is the crew neck, regular length, with extra long sleeves + cuffs and mine is cut at the hood neckline with a neckband and 2″ subtracted from the regular length. I absolutely ADORE how they turned out and our shoot was so much fun!
This kid was convinced she could give me a piggy back ride and had to prove it!
Though it was hard letting go of my daughter’s old sense of style, I can’t help but wonder if maybe it was only ever mine, and I projected my wants/desires on her. I saw fabric and patterns and said “yes, this is the winning combo” to which she just agreed. I am so happy that she has developed more of her voice, the she has learned to easily say “no” to what she doesn’t want. I am loving watching her claim fabrics again when they come in the house. It’s so heartwarming to see her laugh again during shoots. Smile authentically because she is wearing a shirt she truly, truly loves. To just be her. No matter how old she gets, I’ll always cherish these moments and the photos I get out of them. The memories of the garments I stitched with love and that she wore with pride.
And I’m glad we have a favorite….together.
*Any links in this post containing asterisks are affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you, but I do earn a tiny commission from your purchase. Thank you for helping support my love of sewing and sharing.