Thursday, September 27, 2012

More Sewing Plans for Summer (or the value of teaching your child to budget)

Yesterday, I had the glorious experience of shopping for my daughter's summer wardrobe.

In preparation for this expedition, on Tuesday, we dragged out all her summer clothes that had been stashed in various locations around the house for the cool period we get in Queensland. A mammoth trying-on followed, accompanied by moans and groans and exclamations of boredom. My daughter handled it really well, though! ;-)

It seemed as though she had grown out of nearly everything she owned. Great.

Anyway, in the interests of teaching her how to cultivate a workable, affordable wardrobe, we made a list of what she had and what she needed for the summer ahead (which, just quietly, seems to have arrived here already).

We also perused the fabric stash, and went through the pattern collection..just to get an idea of what she liked and what was possible with no expense.

Armed with our information, we braved the shops. She was SO EXCITED ... for about 30 minutes. Then it became a drag. I set her a budget of $200 to cover everything she needed - tops, shorts, skirts, swimsuits, rash shirts, PJs, shoes, accessories...everything. We talked about how to get the best value for your money and how budgeting is not evil. If you manage your money wisely, you can have the things you want guilt free. How good is that? I also may have mentioned that items sewn by Mum from stash were free. Any fabric purchased would have to come from her budget, but labour would be paid for with love (and cups of coffee!). She seemed to think that was a good deal. Not bad for a 9 year old.

In the end, she handled the whole experience admirably well. She concentrated on looking for things she knew I couldn't really replicate (things with prints and foil transfers, etc) and ended up with enough money to buy her ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE DRESS EVER from Pumpkin Patch (which I didn't have the heart to tell her I could make for a lot less - it's pretty simple). She was happy and so was I. That, my friends, is a great shopping trip.

The.Best.Dress.Ever :-)

Of course, I now have a few more items to add to my summer sewing list. But, on the upside, I get all my coffees made for me for the next week and a bit while we're on school holidays.

Just so I don't forget what I've promised to make, here's a list:
  • Black sequin circle skirt
  • Several sets of summer pyjamas
  • 3 or 4 swimsuits (we have a pool)
  • 1 maxi dress
  • Black drapey bolero (based on the hot pink one she already owns)
  • 2 everyday skirts
  • 1 dressier skirt (glittery denim)
  • 2 everyday shorts
  • Black capris/long shorts
I'm fairly certain that I have the fabric to sew a few things from this list, otherwise there'll be a quick trip to The Fabric Store in my future.


  1. I love this! What a great life lesson, not to mention all the snoop shopping.

    1. You better believe it. She tried on so many things. She even ended up buying something that she had always insisted that she 'hated'(a vest). It just so happens I have a pattern to make said vest and have been trying to get her to go for it for quite a while. :-)

  2. She's growing up Kelley, but you are setting her up well for those teenage years when sensibility seems to fly out the window :)
    At least Pumpkin Patch are good quality and should last if RTW needs to be purchased. Enjoy your coffees and summer sewing!

    1. Can't wait for that! LOL.

      But, as far as Pumpkin Patch goes, we've only ever bought two things from there (I'm too cheap to shop there regularly) and both items have needed repairs after the first wear. Needless to say, I'm not actually that impressed with the quality, especially for the $$$. But I remember being young and desperately wanting some clothes from Sportsgirl, and Mum insisting on sewing my clothes. It wasn't a meeting of minds, let's just say that. :-)