I’m not sure if I have mentioned before what a determined little girl Islay is. I’m very proud of her for that but sometimes it does get in the way of my plans rather inconveniently. Around about this time last year she decided that she wouldn’t wear dresses or skirts ever, at all, no way, no, no and no.
Okay I thought, don’t stress, this will be shortlived. But no. As I said she’s very determined and its still ‘no’ one year on…mostly. She does occasionally have a dress or skirt day but its about once every 4 or 5 weeks.
I suspect I know where she gets it from from, both with the determination and the lack of interest in dresses – there’s really no need to look further than me for an answer! I’ve never wanted to dress her up as a little doll all pink and frilly or even anything too impractical but I had hoped that she wouldn’t wear trousers all the time.
So in the summer I came up with a cunning plan. I made a couple of dresses disguised as tops. I found a pattern I loved in Issue 6 of Sew Hip (it is also available on the Oliver and S blog as free pattern – popover sundress) and very quickly and easily made two cute tops which she wore loads last summer with plain t-shirts underneath. I shortened the pattern so they are less like the dreaded ‘d’ word (especially the blue and red one). She was happy with them because they were tops and could be worn with shorts or trousers and I was happy because they were properly little girly.
As Christmas approached I had a sudden urge for her to have a Christmas dress but knew there would be no point buying her anything. So I went back to the same pattern but didn’t shorten it this time. I kept with Christmassy colours so its a bit lurid (in fact the red corduroy was some from mum’s stash – I think I had dungarees made from it when I was about Islay’s age!) and added a pocket to distract her attention from the length. Success – she loves the pocket and so is prepared to wear it (I have had to reinforce the stitching around the pocket as it gets a lot of use).
Moral of this story – two determined girls can both be happy if one of them gets a cunning plan worked out properly. No doubt she’ll be working out many cunning plans of her own to get past me in the years to come – oh help!