Getting Practical

Sometimes it seems rather silly to me that I spend anytime at all sewing clothing for my girls.  Those pretty handmade dresses are worn to make mudpies, or to pick berries, becoming as well stained as they are well loved.  But what is the point of sewing something that I am only going to allow them to wear to church or indoors when all of their favorite activities occur outdoors?  Sewing for my girls shouldn’t be a selfish activity, with only my own pleasure in seeing them wearing something I’ve made being my goal.  Sewing for my girls should be a gift to them, and therefore I let them wear all their handmade clothes to do all of their favorite things and pray that the stains will wash out.
This doesn’t mean that I can’t get practical.  I love cotton lawn for summer dresses, not that I’ve made that many with it, but in theory, I love it.  It’s light and cool and if you pull it quickly from the dryer it doesn’t need ironing, especially if the dresses are worn mainly for play.  I came to the conclusion recently that the perfect dresses for my girls would be sewn from a dark, patterned, cotton lawn that wouldn’t show stains.  When I found some on sale, I bought a few yards and sewed the girls matching peasant dresses (sorry that pattern is still unavailable!)  Nevermind that I did it while the girls were sleeping, so Larkspur’s turned out too short, and Beatrix’s a bit too long….they’ll do.
The girls discovered their dresses right away the next morning, got dressed, and headed outdoors to hunt for honeysuckle (and didn’t bother to brush their hair of course.)
Later in the day, the girls decided to gather wild strawberries (technically wild Indian mock strawberries according to Seth.)
Those berries, while edible, are pretty flavorless.  This doesn’t stop my kids from picking and eating them.
Over the past few days, basket after basketful of little wild strawberries has been gathered, and Larkspur of course decided that she wanted to make jam from her berries.  Here’s the recipe she created (in her words from the notecard where she insisted I write it down):
Wild Indian Mock Strawberry Jam
Gather a lot of wild strawberries
then you put them in a bowl
grind them up and add some water
then add two spoonfuls of sugar and boil them.
And yes, she and the boys have made several batches of this jam and have been eating it on toast.  Much to their dismay, I, as usual won’t taste their creation.  I’m sorry, I just don’t go there.  Can’t do it.
And while I am sharing Larkspur’s recipes, here’s another good one.  She created this one today and dictated it to Jonny:
Nature Sandwich
Make some blueberry muffins
get two pieces of bread
then, spread jam on it (recipe above)
then, put on crumbles of the muffins
add some honeysuckle
smush the sandwich flat
Larkspur actually made one of these for Beatrix today.  I am not sure how much of it she ate….
Anyway, the new dresses are working out well.  Any stains are blending right in as I had hoped.  Funny though, Larkspur told me that I needed to add white aprons to these dresses just like their Easter dresses.  No, I don’t think so!


  1. I just got lost clicking on old links of little girls in dresses…….. goodness our babies have gotten big! xo

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