Something in me really wanted to make a dress with Neo. Maybe it’s that she really loves dresses and I needed a creative outlet, or maybe it was her own sense of creativity that inspires me. Or maybe it was just wanting to connect with her on a different level now that she’s getting “older”. Four going on seventeen.
She’s such a fun kid. She’s strong and knows what she wants, but she also has a tender side that is very reassuring. She loves people. She protects people.
I’ve had a few dress designs in my head that I was wanting to try, so I decided on which one to start with and decided it was time to kick this project off. So I did what anyone making their first dress would do (or not). I pulled out the parchment paper, painter’s tape and a pencil and got to work. I taped together a few sheets of parchment, found a dress that was somewhat close to what I wanted the dress shape to be and started drawing. I made some modifications here and there, not knowing what in the world I was doing, and before I knew it, I had a full dress pattern in front of me. It was a simple dress, with a place for a fun, quirky print in the back. Pretty and fun all in one.
When I asked her what color she wanted her new dress to be, I thought for sure she would immediately respond with an exuberant “pink!”, but to my surprise she wanted a blue dress. I don’t think she’s ever picked out anything blue. But that day, she most definitely wanted a blue dress. We went to the fabric store together and we were walking through all of the prints and I saw the unicorn fabric and KNEW she would pick it. It had a little Neo radar beeping for her heart to come close. And she did. So we grabbed it up and found a navy blue jersey knit (girl’s gotta be comfy) that also had a nice drape and I knew would make for a pretty, flowy dress.
I used some scrap fabric I had around the house to make a prototype and made a few more modifications before diving in with the blue jersey and unicorns. I definitely don’t have master seamstress skills, but was able to get a dress together that she could love even just for playtime. I knew going into making it that it wouldn’t be perfect. Perfection wasn’t the goal, even though I do strive for excellence in everything…it was more about doing something with her that was special and that we could learn and grow together through. I’m looking for more of those opportunities with my kids, and I know they’re there. We just have to be intentional about making the connections and making time to grow together.
I think it’s time to make another dress…