I've just finished teaching some lovely mums how to make clothes for their kids. They approached me as a group, wanting to learn how to make the character dungarees and dresses from the Wild Things book by Kirsty Hartley.
I made this bunny dress as a sample before the course started.
I had a bit of a spree of dungaree making last autumn. I had initially made this pair for my eldest daughter, and then somehow got talked into making a pair for each of them (for the sake of a bit of peace and quiet). Actually, the youngest ended up with three pairs, because everyone wanted her to have a pair that matched theirs. The final dungaree count in the house was foxes x2, badgers x2, and, mice x2. They saw me coming.
Understandably, after all that, I refused to make anything else for them for a while, for fear I'd end up making four of whatever I made! I went back to my only birthdays and Christmas making things for little people rule. Or, only birthdays and Christmas, and Easter - if you are the youngest, and your mother has had a weak moment over making something with a pom pom on the bum. Who could resist?
Here's the finished dresses and dungarees made on the course - there are going to be some cool looking kids around these parts. Some of the mums are already onto a second garment from the book - these designs are kind of compelling, I think.
The biggest amount of time in this design is the face and pockets - we spent the first three weeks getting these parts done, and the final assembling was finished off in one session. The sizing is quite generous, especially on the dungarees - worth bearing in mind if you make any.
I shouldn't play favourites, but - I think that shark face is pretty awesome.
There is no disputing the mums enjoyed making clothes for their kids, and, they have done a great job of creating something really special for them to wear (I'm sure they'll get loads of nice comments at play groups!). But, it was a slow process - and this really hit home with them all. Creating something so detailed takes time. Kirsty Hartley employs British seamstresses to make garments for her shop - knowing how much effort is involved, I think her prices are very reasonable. Once again, big respect to anyone who can make beautiful clothing and turn a profit out of it.
There was a lot of cake and tea, and gossip - this was a wonderfully sociable and fun process. I guess that is the privilege we have in today's society. Sewing has become something of a pleasure for those who choose it. A hobby, rather than a necessity. And, one to be savoured over gossip and cake.