One of my favorite slow fashion practices is also my one of my most creative – figuring out how to make use of small bits of leftover fabric from my own clothing projects to make dresses for my daughter, Sadie. She only wears fancy dresses, of course. ;) I'm always smitten with the results: truly unique pieces of wearable art.
The canvas for Sadie's dresses is almost always the Geranium pattern from my dear friend, Rae Hoekstra. It's my tried-and-true Sadie pattern, and when Rae released the Geranium XP a few months back, I was excited to add sleeves, bows, and collars to the mix.
Sadie is a complicated child to dress nowadays. When your primary goal is to be amazingly fancy AND comfortable, but when that often translates into wearing your most favorite dress (also a Geranium, shown above) WITHOUT a long-sleeved shirt underneath and WITHOUT a cardigan or jacket (because, well, it somehow detracts from the fancy quotient) then you have a recipe for cool weather meltdowns.
I believe strongly in letting my children pick out their own clothes and define their own styles, and if that means leaving the house on a 40 degree morning wearing the child's choice of garments, then so be it. I'll bring along a jacket once the child decides that warmth is a desirable feeling. This strategy always worked for my boys, but it doesn't seem to work for Sadie. She would rather freeze and be grumpy than wear a hand-knit cardigan. (Sigh.)
And sew …
I made this long, fancy, Geranium XP out of some wool flannel I had left over from an Ashland Dress sample. The accent fabric on the bodice and the hem band are scraps of raw silk that I had dyed using indigo and logwood for my Strata Top. I love the nubby texture of the raw silk, and how the bow is accented with darker fabric on the underside (my own little hack.)
The bodice of the dress is fully lined with the brushed side of the wool flannel facing her body, so the whole thing is both cozy and warm. I think it could just as easily be nightgown, it's so comfortable.
The larger scraps become clothes for small people, and the leftovers from this process are still in my scrap pile, waiting for the day that I have enough time to quilt. By that time, I hope all these little snippets of fabric will be full of memories of life lived in their larger counterparts – both on my body, and those of my children. What magnificent quilts they will become.