I hate to be the one to break the spell of summer, but I am already hearing and seeing rumblings of back-to-school in stores and among friends and family. My sister who is a teacher in Missouri is heading into the classroom next week to prepare for the next school year.
Recently, Barb Delaney, an assistant editor on the mixed media team, brought in the most darling dress that she had made for her granddaughter. (Yes, we really do practice what we edit!) By the time she had gotten done customizing the dress to her granddaughter, she had basically redrafted the pattern. And then she added the finishing touch: bright red rickrack along the hemline.
The result was the perfect little girl's dress for summer. Nautical and happy, it was simply made, without fussy details. It's the sort of classic dress that will be used now and hang in the closet for generations to come. My mother has just those sorts of dresses in her closet–dresses she made for me and my sisters and dresses her mother made for her.
I have 19 nieces and nephews, and I often don't sew for them unless it's a special occasion, because I know just how fast children grow, and I wonder if all my efforts will really be put to use. But the fact is that the casual clothing we make for children becomes heirlooms, just as much as quilts and christening gowns. They don't have to be fancy-they can be both useful and delightful and still qualify as heirlooms.
This dress by Barb really inspired me to rethink how I use my sewing time, and I have resolved to make more outfits for my nieces and nephews, even though I know they will be outgrown in a matter of months. There's always another child to wear it, and the knowledge that it was handmade with love and will likely be handed down through the generations adds to its importance.
Now that school bells will soon be ringing, why don't you and your child make a useful and pretty gift for teacher that will become an heirloom? Find lots of excellent presents in Stitch Teacher Gifts e-book, which you can download at SewDaily.com.