Saturday, April 07, 2007

Spandex and Colonial Times

In the course of parenting a lively child who is richly engaged with the world around her, you find you have to sew things. Difficult things. Spandex things.

Sadie loves her leotards. She wants to wear one every day. When she's wearing some other vile outfit that doesn't qualify as a leotard, she says, with great pathos, "But MOMMY, now I not a ballewina!" Trying to convince her that being a ballewina starts in the heart and not in the closet is... not effective. She really thinks it starts in the closet.

When she first started ballet, I bought her one leotard. Insufficient! I bought a second leotard! Also insufficient! So I dragged my sorry carcass to Hancock fabrics and approached the aisle I'd never explored before -- the lycra and spandex aisle. The aisle of the lovely leotards. I told Sadie she could pick out her own leotard fabric, and she (predictably) chose the pink. I chose some other fabric too, kind of a mottled green/gold. Here's the one I made in my fabric:

Not appropriate for ballet (pink only!) but she wears it to gymnastics.

Here's the one I made from her fabric:

I actually made two of each fabric, both identical, so now she has six total, and she doesn't seem to run out as fast. Whew. Nice sewing, mom. But, let's be honest. Do you notice what both of these leotards (and by extension the others that I made) have in common? Little flowers at the neck? Yes, I explained that to myself by saying I intended to use those flowers, to make the pink leotard more like Kelly's leotard in "Barbie and the Nutcracker." In fact, I must admit, those flowers are there to hide the hideous gapping and puckering that happened when I was doing the neckline. And let's not even pretend that these leotards fit her. They are baggy in all the wrong places. Meaning all the places. As a leotard-ist, I have fallen short of the mark.

Now I have another chance to test my sewing skills. Ahno made Sadie this dress and bonnet to wear to Colonial Williamsburg:

Awesome, right? I was so in love with the overall effect, and Sadie was so charmed with it too, that I borrowed the pattern and vowed to do the same style in all pink for her Easter dress.

Here we are on Easter Eve! I am not Ahno. I cannot do this shearing and keep it straight. I cannot do this gathering and keep it even. Yet, having set my task before me, I cannot at this hour run to Nordstrom and buy something respectable. I have to persevere. I'm sitting here with the dress done (sort of), the apron in pieces and the hat only a dull throb in my head.

Tune in tomorrow to see if I managed it...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:25 PM

    Hello, I happened upon your blog while browsing for ballet info. for my daughter, now 17. I've since read the ballet related entries and had fun with memories. I, too, was surprised to find my daughter wanting to dance, and used the YMCA's program for 3 years before moving to a studio in second grade. And we luckily found a good one. Concerned about over achieving in one area, she spent only 2 days a week doing dance until 4 years ago. She spent time doing Scouts and learning Violin; those now set aside. Now she dances about 16 hours a week and she has blossomed into quite a ballerina and is considering pursuing it as professional. She is continuing in College bound courses, as a backup if she decides differently along the way. Last year, we sewed a romantic tutu with tons of tuile. It seemed taunting at first, but it was at its worst, time consuming. The studio owner instructed 4 girls in constructing their own costumes. It was a great bonding experience for them.
    It was fun to reminesce with you. Have fun with your ballerina.