When we were young - Week 3: Suburbia Soup

June 26, 2013

For week three of sewpony's When we were young series I am excited to have Venus from Suburbia Soup along to join in the fun.  I first found Venus' blog through my friend An of Straightgrain's Kids' Clothes Belgian Style where she put together this gorgeous outfit....

I'm a sucker for vintage fabric and was won over by the sweet dress - and Venus' fun photography and styling.  Venus is a super friendly, funny and very creative lady - she is an accomplished artist, sewer and vegie gardener!  She has three daughters, and sews mostly for her youngest - Lala. 

Venus has very generously drafted and digitalised a free pattern for us all - her 'You call it pants'...these babies look so comfy and I will definitely be making a pair soon...

Did I mention she is also a mean washi maker?  I think this one is my favourite of the three she has recently made...

Anyway...I am sure you are going to love the outfit Venus has put together for the series - I love that she has distinct memories of the photo being taken of herself when she was a little girl (who, by the way, was a spitting image of Lala)....And here is a little interview with Venus about when she was young...

Where were you born/where did you spend your childhood?
I was born in San Diego, California and lived here ever since.
Who did you grow up with?
I grew up with my parents, an older sister and two older brothers (yup.. I was the youngest).
Did you have a childhood ambition?
I wanted to have my own advertising agency and design futuristic homes that can change shape at push of a button.
What did you like doing when you were little?
Drawing. I could sit for hours and draw. I'd even set up the TV table in front of the TV and draw during episodes of Scooby Doo and I Dream of Genie.
Do you see any similarities between yourself and your child/children?
OH YEAH. Good and bad, but mostly good.
Do you live far from where you grew up?
No. I've driven by a few times with my girls.
Where do you live now and who with?
We still live San Diego and it's just us chickens (Mr., Sophia, Lily Moon, Lala and myself).

Hello fellow Sewponies!
Venus from Suburbia Soup here and I'm just so giddy to be here and share with you a dress from my past. 
When Suz from SewPony asked me to sew a replica an outfit my mom made for me when I was young, I immediately knew what to make.

I distinctly remember the day going to this photoshoot. I was so excited, I ran onto the little stage and saw all the stuffed toys neatly placed on the bookcase. The assistant asked if I wanted to hold one and there was no question...
I pointed to Raggedy Andy. I chose him over Ann, because he was wearing pants, like me!
With doll in hand, I quickly sat down and gave a HUGE smile.
It's funny the things you remember from your past.
 My mother has been sewing since she was in high school. Living on a farm and not having the luxury to just hop in a car and head down to the local department store, she had to be resourceful and make her own clothes. When she married my dad, had four kids and moved to the United States, money was tight and her skills were well used. I remember hearing the hum of the sewing machine and my mom tickling me whenever she would take my measurements. She had ONE rule when sewing:
A good rule.

After reviewing the photo, I had to make a few revisions. Knowing that we're getting into warmer weather, I shortened the sleeves, ditched the pants and extended the top into a dress. I was worried that with these changes, it would change the whole feel.
Yes? No?
Man... I wished I had those red shoes.
When I initially finished the dress, I looked at it and thought, "wow... it looks like a Raggedy Ann dress" and I really didn't care for it. I even contemplated sewing another dress, but then what is the fun in that?! It was only when Lala wore it, did it speak to me...
It melted my heart.

FABRIC: Kona cotton (red and white), Color Basics from Lecien in blue.
PATTERN: Girls' Clothing (Japanese sewing book) pattern C,*hacked.
*I shortened the top length and added a rectangle skirt.
And there you have it, folks! A snippet of my past and a gift for my youngest daughter. I think the photo above sums it up.
Thank you, Suz for having me!!!
Feelin' nostalgic? Join in the fun and check out what other folks are sewin' for their wee ones HERE.
Bye for now!

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  1. What a great dress! Although is it a bit different from the original, it has the same fell. I love it!

  2. Gorgeous dress, Venus! Another great addition to this lovely series :-)

  3. Thanks for joining in Venus! Your outfit and photos are fab!!

  4. Oh! So sweet!
    I love how the new version still looks so modern on your little girl (the picture of her holding your photo just melted my heart)

  5. I remember a few things my grandma had made for me when I was little. Reading about these gorgeous projects makes me want to recreate special outfits I wore as a little girl :) Venus, your dress turned out so beautiful :) I think your little one enjoyed the photo-shoot as much as you did when you were little :) You both have such a gorgeous smile :) Hope your little one will have warm memories of this dress growing up :) Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Thankyou for such a lovely comment jenya!:)

  6. Very cute, Venus!! I love it, so sweet on your little gal.

  7. Oh, I'm melting here. This is so cute. Love the oversize bow :-)

  8. What brilliant photos! And SUCH a cute dress. I love the giant bow! :-)

  9. Thank you again, everyone! Every girl needs bows and giant bows are even better!!! Jenya, thank you... Lala was really happy that day and when she held the picture and smiled, I was the happiest mom in the world. I'll never forget that moment.

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