12 May 2010

kids' clothes week: inspired by books [ida pearle's alphabet of play].

Still sewing away at my theme for the elsie marley challenge: clothes inspired by children's books.  And I can't think of any book that makes me want to sew for my kids more than Ida Pearle's Alphabet of Play

kids' clothes week: inspired by books [ida pearle's alphabet of play].

This is her letter "C", for "catch"--I could have picked almost any other letter, though (and I may have at least one more up my sleeve for this week... shhh!).  Her illustrations are so simple, classic, and cleanly depicted that translating them from the page to the sewing machine seems like a natural outgrowth. 

I've updated the outfit in the picture a bit for summer wear--a short-sleeved envelope shirt from a thrifted men's tee and the 90-minute tutorial, pants cut from a lightweight cotton voile (also thrifted), a turned up cuff that will roll down to a plain pant for fall.  That last part was the trickiest--finding a pink that wouldn't feel too girly but would still "pop" against the grey and turquoise.  I hunted through my own stash--mostly florals--then remembered the fantastic house on hill road scrap bag I recently ordered and found just the thing: a heather bailey print in dark pinks and golds.  Even though the cuff in the Ida Pearle pictures is solid, I think the print captures the look of the patterned cut papers she uses in so many of her other illustrations.

kids' clothes week: ida pearle's alphabet of play

One more funny note: to manage to stay honest on the time for the challenge this week, I dragged my sewing machine out to the dining room table to try to get some work done in between the little guy switching the power on and off (that little light bulb IS pretty darn cute to watch, I have to admit). And that's when I realized why I picked the turquoise+yellow combination for this first attempt at the envelope shirt:

kids' clothes week: ida pearle's alphabet of play

apparently it's a pairing I've been surrounding myself with lately, right down to my dining room curtains. Here's to consistency, I guess!


Cotton Kiwi said...

Love it. So funny that you picked the colours from your curtains for the shirt. I found a vintage Frog & Toad book in the op shop (thrift store) today and thought of the outfit you made yesterday. I bought it for my girls because our original one that belonged to my husband when he was little is starting to fall to pieces.

mama-pan | Mary Frances said...

how great, cotton kiwi! I could read Arnold Lobel all day. If you don't have /Mouse Soup/, your kids might enjoy that one, too...

Yes, I'll have to either avoid those colors next time I sew for my boys or just throw in the towel and cut the curtains into jumpsuits a la the Von Trapps!

Melody said...

cute, cute, cute! I love the color combination.


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