Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Artist Grandmother

Becoming a grandmother was the inspiration for creating Magic Baby Designs. When my own children were babies and my husband was still in college, I had to make do with what we had. I recycled sweaters, coats and usable cottons to make all of their clothes. I started making quilts in earnest about the same time. The first Christmas we were married, I got my first sewing machine, a $99 Singer. I still have it. It's the machine I use to stitch paper.

When I was still living at home, I sewed on my grandmother's converted treadle machine. Having come very close to getting kicked out of Home Ec. in Junior High for making a bikini instead of an apron, it should have already been clear to anyone who knew me that I was going to follow my own path.

When my first granddaughter was born a few years ago, I was thrilled. Although I have sewn several things for my grandson, I admit that making fancy baby dresses for little girls is a lot more fun than a Thomas the Train pillowcase. I made her this dotted dress outfit for her first Valentine's Day. I now own more baby patterns than I ever had when my own children were small. Of course, I never follow the pattern instructions. I prefer to use them as a suggestion, and proceed as I do when making my artwork: do something, respond, do something else; collage and layers upon layers.

Happy first Valentine's Day, Miss E!
My own grandmother was very artistic. Even though I was still little when she died, I remember how she always encouraged my artistic efforts. And when she was able to finally have the time, she started making art and craft pieces for the sheer enjoyment of it. She was the only grandparent I knew, and I absolutely adored her, even though I only saw her a few times a year.

As a grandmother of three, the youngest born two years ago already, I cherish taking some time away from work to make special things for my grandchildren. With my Magic Baby line of clothing, the hardest part is not making everything for them. I have told their mothers that the baby girls will be the recipients of my learning curve process; the prototypes go to them, or, as in the case of Baby E's Valentine dress, are designed for them. Some patterns are just too intricate and detailed to make for anything but a custom order.

The Little Frenchy dress, to the left and below, was my very first Magic Baby design. I made this one, the prototype, for my oldest granddaughter. She wore it for years, then passed it on to my youngest granddaughter just this year. It is designed to fit for a very long time, is completely reversible (two dresses in one,)and transitions easily from dress to cute top! These are now available in many color combinations for custom order in my etsy shop, from newborn sizes on up to girl's size 8. I also have designed a Frenchy Girl style, which is has a patchwork skirt. Very cute! 
With fall around the corner and a wearable art exhibition and a fashion show booth coming up, I am busy finishing up new fall designs. I would love to know what clothes YOU loved wearing as a kid. Leave me a note in the comments section!


Baby dress to cute top, several years of wearable cuteness!

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