Thursday, November 13, 2008

Brother and Sisters

Last post: the Corn Fabric.

This post: Some background.

First, you'll need to know that I'm a lot of different people. I taught school for a long time, theatre and English. Most recently, I was an archaeologist. Really. I have a graduate degree and everything. Wrote a thesis and was offered big fellowships to fancy schools. I studied acorns, mostly--I'm not making this up. My focus was paleoethnobotany, which is just a swanky way of saying that I like food, and I like learning about how food was used in prehistory. And there is simply no way to study prehistoric food in the Americas without studying CORN.

I have some pretty strong feelings about corn. Even as I type that, I am well aware of how crazy cakes it makes me sound, but there it is all the same. I feel powerfully strongly about CORN. So when I saw this fabric with my friend Erin four or five years ago at Jo-Ann, I had to had to had to grab two yards of it. I guess I intended to make a blouse for myself? But this is a much better use of this particular print.

Brother-Sister Outfits.

I used to be one of those moms who sort of "Ewwww"ed when I saw or heard of brother/sister outfits, but maybe that's because I never had a brother, or because sister/sister outfits are so easy and obvious, or because I didn't have any boys. It might be because most of the time when you find a brother/sister outfit set, they're insanely traditional and usually involve smocking and insipid embroidery and probably lace and ruffles (for the brother AND the sister). Not really my style, and not something I aspired to put on my children.

But CORN brother/sister outfits?? Well, now. That's a WHOLE different story.

A quick overview:

For O, a teeny tiny little button-up shirt. No cuffs, since he's still too itzy bitzy; the sleeves are open at the ends. But it does have a shirttail hem and a structured collar, lots of menswear detailing.

And it looks so great under these babywale chocolate overalls. They have a sweet button closure at the crotch for quick diaper changes--this kid can make some poop, it's like Chernobyl in his pants half the time.  I think the red flannel lining and the teeny pockets really make the whole outfit.  And I should point out that this shirt represents the first (and maybe only) time I've made a garment without a pattern of any kind--I totally eyeballed the whole thing.  So, if he tries it on and it doesn't work, E gets new clothes for her dolls, I guess!

For M, a pretty jumper with gathers and a contrast band on the CORN skirt.

Buttons here and on O's whole outfit are coconut ones Sweet Husband and I brought back from our honeymoon in Hawaii.  I even put in pockets on the side seams for all her fall treasures she's sure to collect on our nature walks in the cool weather.

For our big girl, E, an athletic-styled tee with a CORN applique

All this needs is a little freezer paper stencil for humor--I want it to read, "Howdy, Pilgrim," but I loaned out my brown fabric paint at an inopportune time of year. If only I were good enough to do a teeny John Wayne on the sleeve...

We'll need to get a lot of use out of these this next week to make them worth the trouble I went to, but I am crazy insane in love with this silly print, and can' wait to get shots of all of them in their little matching outfits.  Hoping your holidays are cooling off and that the gifts of America's bounty are soon to be on your table!!

**Just for the record, corn is NOT a theme here.  It is a "unifying element."


dana said...

Adorable brother sister outfits! Great color combo and I like the red stitching with the brown corduroy. Fun touch. Great stuff!

jessica said...

i think that's really awesome. you're right it's hard to do the sibling-matching-look well but i think this works. and corn! how much better does that make it with all the history behind corn? thanks for sharing :-) both the history and the great outfits!

erlthegirl said...

I looooove your corn print! I thought so when I saw the original photo. Isn't it funny how we save prints that way?