a flowered peplum and the unacceptable bow

i finally (FINALLY!) got to sew something for the bee again! hooray! i’ve been working so hard on techniques and classes that i felt like i hadn’t sewn anything cute in forever.

150503_PEPLUM_blog_1the bee and i had a brief but informative talk a few weeks ago about what she wants me to make for her. or, more accurately, what she’ll wear (because right now, she does not care if i make her clothes or if they’re store-bought.) here are the rules:

  • it should be in one of her favorite colors. acceptable colors are bright pink (not light pink – how dare you!), purple, sometimes blue (sometimes? huh?), and…. that’s it.
  • she wants dresses that go down, and then go way out, like this (spread your arms as wide as they go. no, further. that’s not far enough! ok, fine, like that.) i think she’s describing a fitted-ish bodice with a very full skirt.
  • if said dress (of requisite shape, style and fullness) cannot be in the correct colors, then it must be soft. very soft. polar fleece or faux fur preferably, and it doesn’t matter what season it is. but have the correct length arms (?). and still be full.
  • but also, it should be the right color.

i did discover that shirts that go down, then out, are acceptable as well. peplums she can get behind! so that’s what i made. and this shirt has been well received. success!

150503_PEPLUM_blog_5the leggings that go with, however, not so much. i promised a bow at the ankle, like another pair of (store-bought) leggings that she owns. this is not the same bow. this bow is unacceptable. i think it’s pretty cute!


the aforementioned “bow”. these leggings are quite large on her, and i suspect that she’ll come around on wearing them sometime before they fit well. i mean, the color is superb, right?!


she might not like the leggings (for now) but she really loves the top. which is pretty awesome. (this photo shoot does not do her enthusiasm justice; she was at the tail end of a stomach bug, and she knew there was no candy payment for this shoot!)

four is kind of amazing. such strong opinions based in such a limited reality, you know? but it’s also heart-explodingly incredible to see her as an independent, strong-willed human being. i want to foster her right to voice her opinions with conviction. i fear for that day when she begins to second-guess herself, and keeps quiet as a result, instead of speaking out and up. i hope that day never comes.

so i’m working very hard to find some middle ground between the things she wants to wear and the things i want to make. i want to be challenged creatively, and i want to spend my hours making something that i enjoy looking at, and something that will make her smile. that’s an achievable goal, right? we share a very big love of crazy color combinations, so i have a lot of hope that i can do this!

have any of you sewing mamas gone through this with your kids? any words of wisdom you can impart?


  • shirt pattern is the tumble tee by imagine gnats, no color-blocking, shortened and with an added peplum and arm/sleeve bands
  • fabric flowered engrams delicate knit by art gallery fabrics
  • trim is laguna jersey in emerald



6 responses to “a flowered peplum and the unacceptable bow

  1. oh my goodness, that it TOO funny!! I do find that my girls are much happier to wear things if they “help” with the process, though Brenna went through a phase for about a year where she was convinced that everything I made her was pajamas. and neither of my girls will wear actual pants, so it’s all leggings and skirts, all the time 😉

    • oh no, no pants here either! only leggings. and of course i’m seeing cute pants patterns and idea everywhere! and no shorts. i guess they’re too similar to pants?

  2. Oh yes, I’ve got a super opinionated 4 year old also. I don’t have any wisdom though- I think you’re way ahead of me in that realm! I’ve just recently stopped making so many black and white things as she deplores black, apparently. I think the bows are fab (and I’m a long time Mim fan, so that doesn’t hurt:)

    • holli, you’re so brave for suggesting black! that would never fly here. except for the black leggings with sparkles. and the black and white striped ones with a tiny hello kitty on the ankle. i think the thing that amuses me (or baffles me) the most is the inconsistency of the rules. i want to make a flow chart with crossing, zigzagging lines, just to prove that i’m not crazy!

  3. Yes! I can so relate to this. I made a skirt for my daughter, because she wanted a skirt. I was so excited that she wanted me to make something that I dropped what I was in the middle of and got to sewing. We picked out the pattern together. She agreed on the fabric, saying it was cute. But then…. I decided that since it was a double layered skirt, and both layers were the same fabric, it would look good with a line of ribbon around the bottom of each layer. And it really does look good- it turned out adorable. But sadly, I used turquoise ribbon. I guess I should have used pink. Sadly, it sits in the closet, and she will not wear it. Here’s hoping my younger daughter wants to wear it when she gets bigger. lol

    • jamie, as i was reading this and i got to the “but then… i decided…” i actually said out loud ‘oh no!’ it seems that deciding for ourselves is what gets us into trouble!

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