Can I take a survey of opinions about the styles in patterns for little and school age girls these days? I’d really be interested in what you think, as sewists, and as parents, for those of you who are.
I sew for a niece, who is just starting first grade. She loves to wear dresses, and she loves the stuff I make for her. She did go through a phase where she was uncomfortable with people who noticed her clothes because they were special in some way, but that passed. Now that she’s older, I’m starting to look at the patterns in the size 7 and up range, and I’m prepared to admit that she may reach a point where she doesn’t want cute smocked stuff.
Here’s my problem. A lot of what I see in the pattern catalogs in that size range, to my taste, looks garbagy. My main complaint is the patterns that deliberately mimic that patterns for older girls, and are just too sexy for the younger age group. I think a lot of them are too sexy for the older girls as well, but . . .
I know that kids see clothes as fun, as fashion, as a way of feeling secure in a group, as a way of expressing individuality. And I know that when I see one of my little 15 year old friends in a lovely gown, I see a beautiful girl. But I know some individuals in our society see something very different, and some of those folks are dangerous. It’s very hard to explain to the teens that their clothes send different messages to different people, and that part of how we respect and treasure ourselves is reflected in how we dress.
But I get really angry when I see clothing that sexualizes littler girls, and sometimes is just ugly. Tell me, for those of you who sew for the size 6 and on up crowd. Do they really like the stuff that I am seeing in the pattern books?
I am committed to making my niece what she wants to wear. So far, it has been an absolute joy, and she has loved her traditional tasteful little girl stuff. Right now, I’m not thinking I’m going to enjoy making some of the stuff I’m seeing in the older sizes. I have to remember I’m sewing for her, but for myself as well.
What are your experiences?
Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January.
– Hal Borland