Hello again and happy July! I'm working my way through a backlog of sewing in an attempt to catch the blog up with my recent output. Miss Margaret Joy, soon to be three years old (on July 9th! verklempt!) has been the recipient of several recent sewing projects that have yet to be blogged. Today I'm sharing a dress I made as a pattern tester for the lovely Laura of Craftstorming a.k.a. Titchy Threads Patterns. I present the recently released Safari Raglan!
The Safari Raglan is a unisex t-shirt pattern with short or long sleeves, with a dress option. I made the raglan dress option for Mags in size 18-24 months. After I made this shirt for Joe, Maggie requested "a shirt with a pink pocket" but a pure copy of Joe's shirt didn't sound that interesting to me (variety is the spice of life and I'm a fickle seamstress) and I was postponing that ... until this project came around and I thought ... I could make a raglan dress with PINK pockets! Yes! Funny how that works, right?
I don't do much pattern testing these days, mostly because I really don't need any more obligatory sewing/deadlines in my life. But I will make exceptions for a few of my favorite indie pattern-makers. Laura fits solidly in this camp. In addition to being cute (and mostly unisex!), her patterns are extremely well drafted and precise. One example of the precision - Laura gives specific measurements for
children who are one size in width and a different size in length. In an email exchange, I told her "You obviously have the mathy/spatial reasoning brain." (Can you tell I don't? Haha! Cuz "mathy" is totally a word, right?) Anyway, she responded, "I have a maths degree and used to be an actuary, haha. It was such a great moment for me when I realised how mathematical pattern drafting is!" I believe it.
This is such a versatile pattern, and the dress version is just the sort of thing that girls love to wear - a simple, comfortable, knit dress. There is also the option of puppet sleeves for a fun detail! It doesn't get much more practical and wearable than this - Maggie has worn this dress frequently since I made it.
The fabric for this dress came from the stash - Riley Blake stripes and a basic cotton lycra in pink, with some lovely purple ribbing (with lycra and good recovery!) I bought from Stone Mountain recently. This pattern is a great basic, and a great stash buster. I bought some pink striped Riley Blake and I think I might make another of these (as well as some leggings) for more practical summer wear.
Maggie is almost three now, and I think she's pretty much decided she is three (I base this on the severity of her recent tantrums - it is my opinion that anyone who complains about the terrible twos just hasn't had a three year old yet). She is talking all the time, and in full and complex sentences, which is very unlike her older brother, who was barely talking at all at her age. Her answer to "what would you like for your birthday?" is "PINK! I want PINK!" Um, okay. Also very unlike her brother, Maggie has been potty trained for several months now! And by that I mean, undies all the time, zero accidents. Lest this sound like a brag, let me remind you that Joe only finally pottytrained when he was almost four, so clearly Maggie's aptitude in this area has nothing to do with our parenting. If anything, I was so traumatized by Joe that I was willing and happy to just change diapers rather than deal with potty struggles again! But Maggie had her own plans, and pottytrained herself with very little help from us. It just goes to show: Every child is different, and they all figure this stuff out on their own schedule! When they are ready, they do it!
With the second kid, I feel like, wow, parents are way less important than I used to think. Not that they aren't important at all - they obviously are. But we do not mold our young nearly as much as I imagined parents do; rather, their personalities and temperaments are pretty well set from the beginning. This is both slightly alarming and a huge relief.
During this photo shoot, my brother Harpal came out to join us and have a beer. Maggie and Harpal have a special bond. Harpal was here when Maggie came home from the hospital, and he held and carried her as a tiny newborn. Harpal and Joe are pretty close and tight too, but I see his bond with Maggie as special and unique. They just adore each other.
It's especially special for me to see this because my brother Harpal was 13 years younger than me, and I cared for him as a baby and just adored him in a similar way. I still do! This will probably embarrass him, poor guy, but he'll always be my baby brother who I showered with kisses as a baby. He was the cutest baby. Seriously - red ringlets! And he's grown up to be a strapping, handsome lad who is kind and fun to hang out with, even if he does beat me at Hive almost every single time.
Not every child likes being tickled. I did not, and neither does Joe. I hated it, in fact. But Maggie loves it - she begs for more!
Could they be any cuter? I think it has been really great that my kids have grown up around their Uncle Harpal; he's a pretty fun uncle! He's always down to spin the kids around, rough house, or help with Legos. And his knowledge of Star Wars and Batman is nothing less than expansive!