10 March 2011

Biro, Crayon, Linen ,Thread

Like lots of kids, mine draw a lot.  We put their drawings on walls, and in folios, we give them away and make them into cards and wrapping paper.  But demand cannot keep up with supply....

Some of their drawings are so quirky, or lovely or different, that I really want to keep them permanently on display.  However we have only so much wall space.  (Angry Chicken has just done a useful posted about storing kids art.)  Here is a slightly novel way of using some of their art.
Ruby's flower garden

For Christmas I decided to sew each of the girls a dress, embroidered with a drawing they had done.  (Lily was a little young so I embroidered hers with a picture of my own choosing.)

For Ruby I made a linen dressed based on the smocked sundress from 'Weekend Sewing'.
I had never used shirring elastic before and it really was as easy as Heather promises in the book.

Ruby's smocked sundress with embroidery
Ruby's original flower garden drawing
I thought Ruby's flowers were pretty fabulous and wanted to capture them in a somewhat permanent way. 
Nina drew this snail family one day when we were at the museum, and I thought these little guys (as Nina would say) would look good crawling along the border of her dress.    

Nina's snail family

Nina's snail family dress
The dress is loosely based on the pillowcase dress from 'Handmade Home'  though I must have seriously mucked up the measurements as this was originally intended for Grace. I made it way too wide at the arm and then had to add the border to make it long enough for Nina.
Christmas Eve dresses
Here it is hanging up on Christmas Eve with a label made from a bit of gum tree bark (an idea shamelessly borrowed from SouleMama).

Grace had only fairly recently started figurative drawing at the time I did this.  Her little fellow seemed just perfect to be popping out of a pocket.
Grace's pocket
Grace's original drawing

I made the dress pattern up using a bit of leftover shirred fabric from Ruby's dress for the back.  It's a bit of a tight fit to get into but looks gorgeous and old fashioned on.

And just for the sake of completeness, here is Lily's dress.  It couldn't be easier- two rectangles of fabric, a casing at the top to thread ribbon through, bias binding at the bottom. (ahem, my ironing leaves something to be desired...)

Lily's Christmas dress
I can't claim the bird motif as my own.  I got it from one of the ever popular japanese craft books. 
Bird embroidery
 Already this dress is more like a top on her.  Too fast she is growing, too fast.


  1. These are amazing!! I have struggled with archiving the kid's artwork for so long, but this is fantastic, and such a great way for the girls to take pride in what they have created, and for you to share in their creations.

  2. These are beautiful, Ju. Great to see the finished products! lv Cath

  3. really awesome idea!! (cant quite beat my tattoo drawing of a cat by 3 yr old molly)
    You are very talented ju. their dresses look fantastic