My friend introduced me to Hanna Andersson a couple years ago. (Bad, Caitlin, bad!) I love their stuff. However, as much as it wears beautifully and stays new looking forever, I cough every time I see the price tag. Costco will sometimes carry leggings or pajamas and I'll get new Hannas there but that's about all the new of that brand I will pay for. Last summer I found several play dresses for Bebe Sister and some sweatpants for T Rex on eBay. However, this year, it seems everyone has that idea. There are few deals to be had.
I still get the Hanna catalog, though. I saw this dress and thought it would be so lovely on Bebe Sister but at $46 plus shipping, no go. Even if I was not on a super tight budget I probably would not pay full price for this. The catalog does give me lots of ideas and with that dress in mind I set out to make one as close to it as I could with what I had in my sewing stash. Then others followed. Before I knew it, I had a clothing line designed and sewed by me.
So here I present to you Bebe Sister's fall clothing preview...
This first dress is the one I made using the Hanna dress as inspiration. I should have taken photos of the process as I made my own patterns for almost all of these, too. It would make a nice dress tutorial for you crafty people out there. Alas, I was sewing during nap times so time was precious and limited. This material is cotton. It was a remnant fabric piece. The almost one yard cost less than $3.
Then I finished a pillow case dress that had been cut for months. It was supposed to be ready for summer but since fall is fast approaching I put it with a black body suit making it perfect for fall. I also made some short bloomers to go with it.
Then my mother-in-law gave me some scraps left over from one of her mother's square dancing dresses. The material is probably from the late sixties or early seventies but it was still in excellent shape. Fabric these days is rarely so nice. These scraps were made into a skirt and matching purse. Bebe Sister loves purses/bags. I paired these with a basic white girls' shirt. What is cool to me is that I kept the original stitching for the hem of the skirt. Bebe Sister never met her great-grandma Besta but she was a pretty special lady and lived nearly 102 years.
When I work out I watch Little House on the Prairie videos. I just love the clothing from that period. I wanted to make something for our daughter with a pioneer flair. This is what I came up with. I had some wooden buttons that completed the look as when I tried the dress on her it was way too big. The pleats in front needed a little clean up and this worked perfectly. Bloomers were a must, too. Additionally, and not pictured here, I made some pajama pants for me with the left over bloomer fabric. It was actually quite fun to finally have a pair of my-style pants for me. They really are comfortable! Now I know why the kids like them so much. (I'm wearing them right now actually.)
In January I made an outfit with this really cute black cat print. You can see what it looked like here. I still had some fabric left over. I saved it intentionally because it was so cute. I turned it into a dress. I think this one is my favorite as it is also Bebe Sister's, too. When she tried it on I could not get her to take it off. I think the silver belt adds just the right touch. Currently, I am looking for some matching silver shoes on eBay - hoping to score some barely used ones.
In a later posting, I will show you the kids' Halloween costumes. They are complete and I have to say I am pretty excited. Bebe Sister's costume is the one of the hardest things I've ever sewn - it took me 3 dedicated days to get it done. T Rex's took about three hours. Both turned out exactly how I wanted. Here's a sneak peek...I made this dress using the pattern from Bebe Sister's costume dress (with some changes, of course) using the left overs from the material from T Rex's costume.
Remember that $46 dress as inspiration? I made all these things, plus a couple of pairs of shorts for T Rex (which will be posted on his blog) for less than the cost of that Hanna dress. Not too shabby.
Oh, and in case you were curious, I did all this the week before school. I have had zero time for crafting since this fall semester started almost 3 weeks ago.
What do you think of Bebe Sister's fall clothing styles? One you like? How do you dress your kids or yourself on a budget?