So, a while back, at the nudging of some friends, I signed up for a sewing class. I had some nice vintage fabrics, and I thought it would be nice to make a dress for Q now and then when the mood struck. Shortly after the second or third class, however, I got busy. Very busy. I had one too many jobs, and time at home became exceptionally tight. I had to drop out of the class.

The instructor was nice enough to offer me make up sessions during a future term of classes, however work has yet to let up, and I have finally moved out of the denial phase I've been in for so long, and realized that I am not likely to have time to sew anything until Q is maybe in college :)

A couple of weeks ago, I had a brilliant idea. Why not, instead of trying to make up those classes, ask the instructor (and accomplished seamstress and pattern designer) if she might want to adapt and sew a few of my designs for Q. She readily agreed.
You know how it is that a mother knows what suits her child? For a three-year-old, it becomes important - what goes on easily and stays on, what is comfortable for your child's activity level and personality, what suits. Well, it occurred to me that I could design a few (very few) simple, combineable and interchangeable pieces that would make a working wardrobe for a season.

For Q, dresses are best at this stage because she is still in that iffy stage of potty training where the rapid and easy removal of clothing is of essence. She is, however, a tomboy and an athlete - always on the move. Put anything binding or fussy on her, and you're in trouble. Her legs need to be free to run and climb, and everything she wears has to be comfortable and simple - no superfluous buttons, bows, frills or ties.

My solution:

- A faux-leather tunic with a deep vee neck and zippered front

- A short, swingy peasant dress that slips over the head, made in three or four different fabrics for variety, to be worn under the faux-leather tunic

- A faux-fur hooded poncho to be worn over all for warmth
Accessories include a stocking cap, legwarmers, and long fingerless gloves, maybe in a light stretch cream-colored wool, and an obi-style belt to be wrapped over the peasant dress when it is worn without the tunic.

I figured, for about the same as it would cost me to purchase a winter wardrobe in the stores, I could have these simple pieces tailor made for Q. All I'll need is warm tights, and we're set for the season. I have an appointment with the seamstress next week, and I have to say I'm excited. Today, we woke to the first cool day of the late summer, and with the scent of apples drifting through the windows, I can begin to imagine the crisp days of the Colorado fall. Now all I have to do is find the time to look for fabrics...

SPEAKING OF WHICH: I have a request for you! Please if you don't mind, share your favorite online fabric sources with me. I need to know!


Yoli said...

Faux fur! Oh I love these Maia! Throw your hat in the net girl, you know you have so much potential. This is how a lot of designers got started.

Yanyan said...

Lovely lovely! I can't wait to see them once they are made. Yoli is right, i started to design kids clothes also like that, not for Landon but for my friends new born girls, I first only sewn them with my hands because I never touched a sewing machine and then I bought a sewing machine and Lotta Jansdotter's sewing book, then one thing leads to another, here is Suvi Ainoa :)

Anne said...

Your ideas are divine! When my daughter was around 4 I had fun designing clothes for her. My Mom who is very talented at sewing, took my ideas and turned them into wearable art. It was very fun. She is now 7 and a bit more picky and my time has been very limited these days. You've inspired me to try it again!
For on-line fabric sources try:


to name a few

Cindy said...

What a fun idea!


I too have ideas and fabric but no time to sew. Someday...

cara said...

So exciting! I can't wait to see them on Q.
I like Fabric.com Not very original, but I always find something I like for a great price (although it takes some looking). And since it's online, I also love that they have free shipping (over $35) and free returns if need be.

anais said...

Oh No!! Sounds like I will be losing my amazing illustrator very soon. Well, Maia, as you know that's how it all started for me. Just wanted to make simple clothes for my Anais and here I am. Love all your ideas. You never got to see my entire fall line but I have faux fur vest, hat and neckwarmer that is very similar design as your idea. I just never photographed it. I should send you some pictures. Can't wait to see those clothes.

sarahthefantastic said...

Perfection! Also looking forward to seeing them in the fabric, as it were. So much fun!!! xo S.

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Haha - thanks guys! But just to qualify, I am not going into clothing design, nor do I have any intention of quitting illustration, which is my great love.

Thanks to all those who have linked fabric shops. Keep 'em coming!!

Yanyan said...

This is my favorite:


I want to buy every single piece of fabric there and I did buy many, but didn't have time to sew them yet...

Daan said...

Woow Maia!! Beutiful, can't wait to see little Q in that outfit!!

(make your own fabric at Spoonflower :-) )


alliot / iza said...

It's FUN! I can't wait to see your ideas realized :)