Saturday, May 12, 2007

Something for the Morning

Busy day...but what day isn't? And does anyone write, "Did nothing today. Felt good"? Actually, maybe they do... Not sure I could say, "felt good," but willing to give it a shot...

Spent most of the morning with my mother-in-law, who came through for a bit on her way back from Canada. Pancakes for breakfast with REAL maple syrup--yum! Then spent the afternoon and early evening completing a new style for the Tween Stuff section of the site. My older girl will debut it her very own self at church in the morning, and she's pretty excited. I like two things about this project. One: it's from recycled/rescued fabric, so it's got this amazingly soft, vintage cotton feel to it, so nice to work with, and hopefully nice to wear. I want to keep using LOTS of these vintage textiles as I come across them, am looking at developing a "Vintage Pretty Jane" line of new garments from resuced fibers--really love that idea. The other thing I like about this piece (i.e. Two): the body of the top is pieced, then the seams are serged and stitched down, giving it a faux-flat fell seam effect that has a great textural quality to it. I'm pleased, and can't wait to see how it looks in a bunch of different color schemes--am planning to put out one in primaries, one in jewel tones, one in pinks, and this one in soft neutrals.

And had so many waves of realization as I worked on this. It's HARD to design for this age group! I don't forgive the garment industry for wussing out and making adult clothing (and not very good adult clothing at that) in tiny sizes, by any means. But somehow it seems clear why they ignore this age group altogether--we're talking about girls who aren't little any more, but aren't big yet, either. They're in such an in-between place, and clothes look either far too babyish (try convincing an 11-year-old to wear pinks and bows) or far too grown (like tight tees or button-up blouses with one too few buttons). And summer time is a whole 'nother issue, right?? So I ask my older girl to be the bouncing board for ideas, and help me determine how to allow her to be part of some of the bigger, over-arching fashion trends but at the same time retain her ability to move freely between her two identities as little girl and young woman. I want her to navigate the transition but hang on to the freedom of retreating to her old identity as a little girl for just a bit longer--let her play with dolls just one more year, I ask, or build forts in the backyard one last summer before... Remember Toy Story 2, the montage scene where Jessie (the Yodeling Cowgirl) is her owner's favorite, but the girl grows up and all the cowgirl toys are replaced by lipsticks and nail polish and posters of bands? I want to take our time with that--not stave it off forever, she SHOULD grow up, but not at lightening fast, break-neck speed. Can clothes slow it down some? I hope so. I read the other day that the biggest statistical indicator of what age girls will be when they have their first sexual experience--of any kind--is how old she looks. Who knew?

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