Growing up I thought my mother was magical because she could sew. I remember her sewing me a red dress with red roses in the first grade. She seemed to make it overnight…in fact, I think she did! It was my favorite dress when I was six.
When my friend Margot was four, she remembers her dad bringing back a soft green dress from Italy with stitchery in the front and lace at the bottom edge. When she grew out of it, her mom altered it for her baby doll to wear.
My daughter has several favorite pieces that she’s outgrown. I often wish I was a savvy D.I.Y. (do it yourself) kind of mom who could be like Mary Poppins and magically (as Boni Ashburn says) “make a molehill out of a mountain.”
I think most of us have a few items of clothing that we are so in love with that when we wear them out, we are heartbroken!
The little girl in Boni Ashburn’s I Had a Favorite Dress is so lucky to have a mom who can make alterations that keep her daughter smiling. I very much want to do this for my daughter; I think it teaches resourcefulness.
I love how the mom’s boho-chic style influences her daughter’s appearance in what looks to be like a trendy Greenwich Village neighborhood.
As the girl grows, her salmon colored favorite dress is transformed into a shirt, tank top, skirt, scarf, socks, and hair bow. The mom keeps saving the day by using her creativity to solve a problem every time her daughter says, “Mama dear…” and there’s nothing to worry about when mama smiles and does a, “SNIP, SNIP, sew, sew… New shirt, hello!”
Julia Denos, the illustrator of I Had a Favorite Dress, has a fresh whimsical style that is childlike with an old fashioned 1950’s feel. She is also the illustrator of another book I adore, Just Being Audrey.
I would like to decorate my daughter’s room with Julia’s illustrations from both of these books.
I have already recommended I Had a Favorite Dress to our school librarian. It will be one of those books that never has a chance to be "checked-in!"