Today came at me fast like the cliched freight train. My first daughter's third birthday. Today.
Yesterday, having done nothing to prepare for her birthday, I decided to sew her a birthday outfit. I picked a tried and true peplum pattern (Pippa by See Kate Sew). It's a style I've sewn before for my daughter and she wears without a fuss. Since we're approaching summer, I decided to make the top sleeveless. It's not something I've done with this pattern before, but I knew I could do it, if only my brain could wrap itself around the magical origami dance of fabric that's required to finish a lined sleeveless top. I sewed the neckline of the lining and main fabric together and, before stubbornly trying to sew the armsyces together in a way that I knew would result in spending too much time with a seam ripper, I did the smart thing. And I Googled.
And the first hit saved me. It smartly described the burrito roll/sandwich technique I needed. So a big kudos to Blithe of Blithe Stitches. I'm grateful you blog, ma'am!
Anyway, not much else about making the outfit was really noteworthy. I used a circle skirt because I mostly dread gathering fabric. It often feels like a short eternity has passed during the time it takes to neatly gather a skirt. I used a few fabrics I totally loved. A popular floral and striped Art Gallery print for the leggings and an eyelet jersey in the perfect shade of coral for the peplum. And it was the color of the top that sent me back.
Coral. And my daughter. They were the reasons I started sewing. I'm just not a fan of that pale pink color that's universal for baby girl. I couldn't find any nursery sets worth buying. So back in late 2013, when I was nesting for the baby girl I was expecting, I bought a sewing machine and fabric. Coral coordinates. Not pink. Nope. Coral. And I made her nursery linens- crib sheets, changing pad covers, burp cloths, nursing pillow covers. I painted an end table coral and I lined the drawers with fabric scraps.
And thus began my current love affair with fabric and sewing. One can find a tutorial or free pattern for almost anything online. So I started sewing other simple things. Headbands. Kids' aprons. Small tote bags. I copied the simple reversible pinafore I had purchased for my daughter. A friend asked me to make something for her daughter. So I found the simplest looking tunic I could find. And I bought a real pattern. I sewed that tunic, gained confidence thanks to the thorough and detailed instructions. And just kept sewing. Buying more patterns. Sewing. Learning. That was 2015.
And now my daughter is 3. It's 2017. Three years old. I've learned a lot. Though, the more I learn, the more I realize I still have to learn. Sewing isn't a skill set you master in a year's time. It's one you hone over your lifetime.
I was anxious in showing her the outfit. She's a fickle and opinionated small being. Hubby has taken to calling her a cat. (And has recently added feral to that descriptor.) She often won't even try on the things I sew for her. Let alone model them. And so, I mostly stopped sewing for her. I started sewing for my friend's older daughter instead. Because she would wear the clothing. And she would smile while wearing it.
So this morning, when my daughter happily agreed to wear the peplum I was thrilled. But then she put me back in my place and refused to wear the leggings. She picked a pair of rtw denim shorts instead and topped the look off with her snow boots. I know better than to argue. And I took the requisite photos on the front porch to mark the occasion.
I marveled at how well it looked on her. The eyelets are playful and light.. She's got a little room to grow in it and it should carry her through the summer.
Like I said before, no other preparations were made for her birthday. No party planned. No gifts purchased. No cake baked. Dear Middle Child- I'm sorry. My plan was to take her to the toy store and let her pick her present this morning. But the toy store doesn't open until 10. We went to breakfast to kill time. A fast food place with a play area.
The next part gets ugly. If you don't want to read about something we all do nearly everyday, stop now. If you're eating and can't deal with talk of body fluids or semi solids, skip to the last paragraph. Because a few minutes after going in to play, my daughter needed help. She had poop-ed her pants. She says it like it's conjugated. Poop-ed. So she's standing there, barefoot, with the signs of the sort of bowel movement she had had running down the back of one of her legs. What follows, I found rather amusing. But we have 3 kids now. It's the sort of scene that makes first-time parents cry. We're nonchalant now. We don't pack much to go out. So this diaper change required a trip to the car to get the diaper bag. The diaper bag that didn't even have wipes in it. So I was insanely grateful to discover her top was completely spared and then it hit me that she had made the right choice in bottoms this morning. And the luscious Art Gallery leggings were sparred the same fate her shorts suffered. I had no spare clothes in the car. So she rocked her peplum sans pants to the car. Past the sweet employee we had to notify of the incident that had transgressed in the play area. We thanked her again on our way out and chuckled that it was a birthday we would never forget. And then this gracious woman went out of her way to get my daughter a toy from the back.
The squeamish can join us again as this is the end of this story. My daughter turned 3 today. She's the reason I started sewing. I won't ever forget that or this birthday.