First, I laid out the sweater and used a tunic she already had as a makeshift pattern. (I traced around it with a marker, then cut it out)
I used the little extra piece of material at the top as the ruffle sleeve, I just flipped it around so that the flat side was in towards the sleeve hole, allowing the rounded side to ruffle.
Then I just sewed up both sides along the marker line, hemmed the outside edge of the sleeves (I think that's easier to do before you put them on) and then I put the ruffle sleeves on.
IT WAS THAT EASY! The sweater was headed to the Goodwill anyway...so it doesn't even matter if you screw it up. That's the beauty of up-cycling, it allows you to experiment without spending a lot on fabric.
While sorting through clothes to donate I found a bunch of stuff that could pretty easily be converted to little girls clothes...
Maternity shirt into...little girls skirt
This couldn't have been easier, I just chopped it and sewed the casing for the elastic and put the elastic in. I used all the original hems, so this one was minimal work. (maybe 10 minutes)
Maternity shirt into...a little girls shirt
This one took even LESS work, I just took up the side seams and shortened the straps. Instant tunic. (less than 10 minutes)
I did cut out the Motherhood Maternity tag, because
frankly, it's a little creepy to have your 7 year old wearing clothes
from a maternity store.
Old undershirt into...a little girls t-shirt
Laurel has this t-shirt that she loves (and I like the way it fits), so I
laid it down on top of the old shirt and and used it like a pattern. I
cut 1/4" around the whole shirt. I used the scraps to make the new
neck-hole, then I just sewed the front to the back, hemmed the sleeves
and put elastic in the shoulders and bottom hem for some shaping. (I
used the original bottom hem of the t-shirt, so I didn't even have to
hem it!) (30+ minutes)
I have a one happy girl.
I feel like Maria from The Sound of Music, making play clothes out of curtains...and there is nothing wrong with that.
The National Forest Service was running a special program for school-aged kids this week at one of our very close and very incredible parks. It focused on orienteering, local wildlife, local fish and insects and local plants. Living in Southeast Alaska we spend LOTS of time indoors in the winter.
So when opportunities like this arise...and it's good weather...it's
like the planets have aligned just for us.
Everything was hands on and outside. The experts (park rangers, fish & wildlife biologists, etc) ran the classes. The homeschooling moms mostly just watched (and learned).
This is where I love to watch Laurel grow up and become her own person. There are those adults out there with the special gift of treating children like small adults with fully valid points of view. It is these few adults that really help kids shine and begin their own path to discovery and passionate exploration. Ms. Leslie Swada of the Forest Service is one of those people. She seems to bring the best out of the kids that are ready to make that leap into learning something new.
There was so much to see and do and learn. It was an exciting, fun and tiring day for us. But it was WELL worth it.
Thanks to our local Forest Service crew!!
Seriously...this is what it's like to homeschool in Southeast Alaska. (at least when it's not raining)
Inspiration comes from so many places. A book, a movie, a friend. I read a lot of books and articles about being a better mom, better homeschooler, being more present in my life. I read so much that sometimes I just have to put down whatever I'm reading and let my head rest.
And then---sometimes---you just have to touch the cover of a children's book to be inspired.
Then open up the pages and get lost in the amazing world that someone else has created.
And then realize that this is what you want for your children.
I want my children's lives to be like a Doris Burn illustration.
It's that simple.
And what I find disturbing is that publishers seem to think that old is bad, and so they replace amazing with something that is brightly colored but completely devoid of passion and depth. No offense to Joe Cepeda, but come on...I think even he can see the difference. Doris Burn created a wonderland for children to live in for hours, a place for the imagination to roam even after the book is closed. Why would any publisher think that some bright colors could replace that.
Becoming Maggie Blue is the journey to becoming the person I want to be. After many years of living a conventional life, we decided to move to Alaska and live on a boat. Currently we're traveling full time in a camper with our two kids, exploring North America. We have no plan beyond going slowly and seeing all there is to see, and taking the time to connect and be together as much as possible in these special years.