Sometimes an offer comes along that seems like it was made for you. When Alida asked me if I’d sew something for her Calling All Kids series I didn’t even have to think about it. I squealed and texted a friend and said yes pretty much all at once.
The gist of the series is that you push the boundaries of the gender divide found in kids clothing departments. Because not every girl wants or needs to constantly be dressed in pink princess gear, and not all boys love trucks on their shirts or brown things with dogs on them. Maybe there’s more wiggle room in kid style than all that.
My three year old daughter Violet is not a fan of the “girl” clothes. Here’s one of her favorite ensembles:
Dresses? Nope. Pink? Double nope. Princesses? Hell nope. Her favorite color is black and she likes Lego and superheroes. She chose Thomas train undies, and there’s no issues telling them apart from her super duper princessy big sister’s undies in the same drawer! My oldest daughter repeats what she’s heard me say before now many times “people like what they like!”
And that’s what calling all kids is about. SO! You want to see what I made for Violet?
Ninja Turtle Girl Gear!
(disclaimer: these photos were taken after several days of her wearing the outfit and dirtying it up/stretching the shirt like crazy, and leaving it on the deck…it was either get photos on time or wash them to make them presentable. Kids, man!)
Knowing that Violet would naturally ask for something that fit well with the series, I just went to her and asked what she would want if I sewed her something. *zero pause* “Ninja turtle suit!! With a green turtle shirt. And pants. And a hood. And a ninja turtle hat, and turtle pack pack and….” The list kept going. And she asked me every day if it was done yet. Lol.
BTW, that fake piece of pizza in her mouth is purely in the spirit of the TMNT for her. She’s not a fan of real pizza in real life. Neither was I as a kid, but I attribute that to chain restaurant pizza with gross toppings on it more than any inherent grossness of pizza.
Not much in the mood for full on costume sewing, I tried to make her an outfit turtley enough to please her imagination, while still wearable as clothes. I’ll admit, as I was shopping for fabric I wasn’t very excited about an all green ensemble. “Violet, what if I made you a black shirt with a turtle face on it?” “No, GREEN!”
Omg ok fine!
“….But what if it was black and white striped with a green hood?…”
So we went with green!
The top is a Flashback Skinny Tee with a hood (approximately my ten thousandth version of this pattern in case you were keeping track) sewn in organic olive colored baby rib from fabric.com. It was supposed to be jersey, but they tried to sneak baby rib on me without my noticing. There was about ten seconds while I was cutting into it where I was like “Man! This stuff doesn’t curl at all! It’s so easy to work with……waaaaaaait.” They ended up being out of stock of the jersey so I had to stick with baby rib, which looks kinda saggy to me when you sew a whole shirt out of it. But what can you do? Kowabunga, baby.
The pants. Oh, the PANTS. They’re made in Kaufman corduroy, kelly green. So nice. There’s something about this particular green in kid sized pants that always makes me smile. I used the small fry skinny jean pattern from titchy threads (hey, both patterns have the word skinny in them! maybe because my kids are toothpicks with skin). People, this pattern was not a quick one. But it was so worth it. Just seeing those profesh, legit, adorable little pants on my tiny person just makes me so happy. These better not get torn apart too bad before Hawthorne fits into them, because I’m counting on passing them down. The instructions for the pattern are great too, btw.
We just wrapped some scraps of red jersey around her knees for kneepads. She’s Raphael. And she decided to add the legwarmers in there for our first, mostly failed, attempt at a photo shoot. She said they made her look extra knee paddy. Lol.
And yes. That is pizza on her butt cheek! Pizza! All that late night Kids Clothes Week sewing got me feeling wild and crazy and I decided to machine embroider with thick top stitching thread. Not the easiest, yo.
One of the great things about this skinny jeans pattern is that it’s got flat felled seams. I’d never sewn them before this project, but it gives you nice strong and enclosed seams like in a good pair of storebought jeans. There’s a half fly and zip fly option. I opted for the half just because she’s three and never uses a zipper anyway.
I stenciled a turtle tummy on the front of her shirt using a freezer paper stencil I drew, and some fabric paint. The shirt hasn’t been washed yet even though it’s now seen several days of wear (because you can’t sew your kid a ninja turtle outfit and then expect her to not wear it until you’re ready to take photos. nope. not at all. she’s gonna wear it at home and to church and march into class like she’s Yertle the freaking turtle, king of the pond and salamasond and all of that business) so her shirt is pretty dirty at this point, and the stiffness of the fabric paint hasn’t been washed away yet.
Clearly I didn’t find the time to make a full on turtle backpack, but I did make her a shell. Just a disposable roasting pan, bent to be more round, spray painted, dabbed with some lighter green, and linen scrap straps sewn into holes I poked in the tin. She rocked that turtle shell all over our suburb this morning.
I remember being a kid, fresh out of a major princess phase, and whiplashing into a “boy stuff” phase that I never fully grew out of. So Violet and I can relate on a lot when it comes to fashion. Her poor big sister finds few allies in our house though. It’s really fun for me to have such different personalities in them. I love seeing how they just have their own personalities and opinions from a very early age.
Violet is wearing the spider-man shoes she picked out for herself at Target. How awesome is it that we can pass things down from Violet to her baby brother?
I feel like this wasn’t my best photo shoot ever. Battling patches of harsh sunlight and light metering changing every 5 feet, trying to capture a moving target, and shooting with a squirming fussing baby strapped to my chest – all before any coffee this morning…..not ideal. But maybe you just get pickier and more critical of your photos the more you learn about making them better? I dunno. The outfit sings to me more in person than in the pictures I guess.
Violet is thrilled with her calling all kids clothes. So thrilled that I couldn’t get her to take them off so I could get closeup shots of her rockin pants!
I’ve got one iPhone shot of her shirt from right after I finished it. Before she stretched it all out by taking it off wrong and getting it dirty with food and kid stuff.
Violet has found her own kind, btw
Ok, that’s all I’ve got!
There’s a fancy little giveaway widget down there at the bottom of my post.