Updated: Jul 10, 2020
"It needs to be poofier!" Emma exclaims as she twirls in the mirror. This is one of our first forays into children's apparel, and our first time incorporating tulle. She's not wrong, you can never have enough volume on a tulle skirt, in my humble opinion.
We're used to churning out purses and accessories, the familiar rhythmic thud of my machine's walking foot on layers of vinyl driving everyone in the office/house crazy. Ear headbands with oversized bows and whimsical character prints; glitzy little clutches with sparkly patent leather accents; gaming backpacks with a thousand zipper pockets to stash cartridges and extra chargers. But like most makers, we're always looking for a new pattern or challenge. Since I'm stuck with my easily bored head designer 24/7 in our house, we've been expanding our repertoire.
One pain point in crafting apparel is that it's difficult to stock when you're hand-crafting each piece, so we decided to incorporate these dresses as custom requests, so each time we come up with a new design, we make it in Emma's size, and have her try it on, model it, critique it, etc. The advantage is that she can take full control over the feel of each seam, how the hem line falls, whether the materials we're using compliment each other. That said, Emma makes a great head designer for a reason: she's got real big ideas, and she's a little bit of a bossy boots. Sometimes what the designer wants and what the seamstress can produce are two different things.
At the end of the day, she's pleased with each result, even if it means I spend some quality time with my seam ripper. And we learn from each and every piece we craft. Being stuck with each other around the clock, mostly staring at the same walls for several months, pushes us to channel our energy and creativity into our newest creations. Scattered throughout the house are drafts and sketches of Emma's. Each time I stumble upon one, I'm inspired to bring those creations to life.
Through all of this stress, these feelings of being trapped in our homes, isolated, we find the good. And when we can't find the good, we make the good.