Budding Fashionistas Unite!

I just spent the weekend in San Francisco with my friends, a family that was obsessed with Project Runway. It seemed to me that if they weren’t watching the show, the kids 11, 8, and 7 were downstairs in the craft room sewing (yep, the craft room)! Sunday morning before their parents were awake, the kids were all making outfits for Sasha’s American Girl Doll and her horse. I know that they also re-construct old clothing; make animal sweater scarves, felt creatures and wrist-warmers.

My daughter is not that skilled yet, but she is quite the budding fashionista. You should see some of her outfits. Today she wore a dress with a shirt and skirt over it. I went to a Mommy and me class where the instructor said, “let them wear what they like. It gives them control and confidence. And luckily, most people will assume that you did not dress her/him.” I am crossing my fingers.

My daughter is too young to pick up needle and thread. But I found Woodkins, which are basically two wooden boards with a doll cut out of the top of one. The bottom one provides the back. It is like a doll sandwich press. Some even have interchangeable heads! The most fun part is that the Woodkins come with little swatches of fabric. The child puts the pieces of fabric between the boards to dress the doll. It is super simple and kind of low-tech in a nice way. And the best thing is that you can get crafty yourself by cutting up old clothing to make new options for the dolls. Now my daughter can make interesting outfits for her doll as well as herself.

* In case you are interested, this is the sewing machine that the family uses. It is pretty tough.