Today, the Kids' Clothes Belgian Style series kicks off! And I couldn't dream of a better opening guest than Kristin from Skirt As Top. Everyone knows Kristin from the gorgeous clothes she sews for her two kids. Always whimsical, colorful, and original, without ever looking over-the-top or cheap. The Film Petit series she co-organizes is the coolest project ever, and everyone loves her many tutorials. Make sure to visit her blog if you haven't already!
Kristen has had a more important role in this series than she probably realizes herself. I had been having the idea for a Belgian style inspired series in my head for months, but I was very insecure about it. I was convinced no international blogger on earth would be interested in it. But when Kristin commented on my blog that she loved the Belgian style, and that she had some "pastoral horses fabric" ready to be sewn into a dress, I finally found the confidence to ask her and all the other great bloggers to participate. Only 1 person didn't respond; all the others were in immediately. So thank you for that, Kristin!
Hello StraightGrain readers! I'm especially excited that An invited me to be a guest in this series - why? Because I had actually made this dress a couple days before she even emailed me, inspired by An herself! I laughed out loud when I got her invitation to participate, it was so perfectly-timed. Talk about serendipity.
When I saw An's deer dress, I thought it was pretty much genius. And then she made her cow dress and it was immediately elevated to "must make" status for me. I LOVED it.
Honestly, this type of pastoral/photographic print is in the section of the fabric store I tended to give a wide berth, assuming it was for hunters and people looking to make curtains for their cabins in the woods. Never in a million years would I have had the foresight to gravitate toward a print with deer all over it to make a dress for my little gal, but BEHOLD! An had me doing just that. It's not the type of look you see in America too often, but I'm hoping we can change that because it's fantastic.
I have the same philosophy as An where I think a loud print pairs best with a simple silhouette, so I used the Made by Rae Geranium Dress (such a great and versatile pattern). I made it in a 3T with a 4T skirt - options are scoop neck, faux cap sleeve, pleated skirt. My daughter loves it.
As I browsed An's Kid's Clothes Belgian Style Pinterest board, I noticed a few trends in styling - colorful belts, rain boots, brightly colored tights, white backgrounds. I had no idea that Belgians had such a specific style, but it's so inspirational to me - I love the playfulness and lighthearted attitude of the outfits, which have very classic silhouettes. I want to make more!
Living in a pretty gray and rainy place (Portland, Oregon, USA), people tend to layer up around here a lot, so it's especially fun to add bright pops of color to the mix. I made the belt in golden shot cotton, left over from my daughter's Sunshine Dress. It has sunshiny buttons, too.
I got my fabric locally, and the selvedge says "Sanctuary by Wade Butler for Wilmington Prints."
To play with the forest-y theme even more, I lined it with a woodgrain print (Tina Givens for Free Spirit). I think kid's clothes should have an element of fun to them, which is why I'm falling so hard for Belgian style.
Feel free to visit me over at skirt as top anytime! Thanks so much for having me, An!