Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bohemian Mama: Dress you family in silk and cashmere

I have a fondness for natural fibers. Most of my clothes are cotton, wool, silk, or linen. I hunt them down in thrift stores, tiny, artsy clothing stores, or make them from the clearance aisle fabric finds. Natural fibers feel nicer against my skin, they breathe better, hold in heat better, and look better. Baby clothing, I’ve discovered, is almost entirely polyester and acrylic. It confuses me to see the rows and rows of rough-fibered, pastel baby clothes, because babies love texture, and they love bright colors. Petka spends huge chunks of time examining the red and blue on my silk kimono - staring, touching, tasting - immersing herself in the experience. We try as much as possible to indulge this fascination by clothing her in fabrics that are rich in experiences; fabrics she can enjoy touching and seeing. Thanks to her Babkas on both sides, Petka has an abundance of knitted things, and the Babkas are graciously aware of our preferences. Yarrow has knitted skirts, sweaters, booties, and hats; she gets no end of compliments on her knits, and can be happily bundled up for our cold December mornings without wearing anything that wasn’t handmade for her by loving grandmothers. She does, of course, often wear things that were not made by the babkas, we have an abundance of funky cotton onesies, pretty dresses, skirts, tights, and toddler blouses tied down to size - making adorable little dresses.

One of my favorite ways to make funky dresses for Yarrow, is by cutting down old shirts, sweaters, or leftover fabrics I have laying around. Right now, I’ve been cutting up an old cashmere sweater for a dress, and a green, lamb’s wool sweater as a winter coat. In a week or so, and an evening or two of intense embroidery, they’ll be wearable, with enough left over for little leg-warmers, mittens, or a pocket.

As she grow, obviously, cutdown sweaters won’t provide enough fabric, but I’m pretty confident that I have a few years left of cut downs from old sweaters, silk skirts, or thrift store sweater-dresses. After that, well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it!

1 comment:

  1. Yarrow looks ready to star in an all-baby production of Auntie Mame.