When we were young: Elegance and Elephants

August 13, 2014

I am excited to have another lovely instalment in my When we were young series.  Today's guest is the talented pattern maker and blogger, Heidi from Elegance and Elephants. I first found Heidi's blog after seeing her adorable bubble pocket shorts (a pattern I will be making up for the first time this summer).  In all, Heidi has created seven successful sewing patterns for children.  All of which are lovely!  Heidi is hosting her fun series presently -Knock it off - a series where sewers recreate a designer outfit and share their interpretation. I love this series! Heidi has two sweet children - Tobias and Anja.  She lives in Canada and I am very happy to share her post with you today!!!


Where were you born/where did you spend your childhood?
I was born in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada and spent my childhood living in the Lower Mainland area (near Vancouver).  We moved around A LOT (like once a year or more), but generally stayed in the same area of southern BC.

Who did you grow up with?
I grew up with my parents and have three brothers, although one of my brothers is 15 years younger than me, so I was almost grown by the time he was born.

Did you have a childhood ambition?

I wanted to be a zoologist and/or ornithologist and study birds and animals.  I was the kid who would read encyclopedias about animals for fun and was fascinated by National Geographic nature programs.

What did you like doing when you were little?
I loved anything to do with animals, creating things (through sewing and crafts), reading, drawing, and singing.

Do you see any similarities between yourself and your child/children?
I do see a few similarities.  Both my children love drawing and crafts, like I did.  My daughter is also a little singer and reminds me of how I would often burst into song as a kid.  Tobias is big time into animals and birds right now, devouring any info he can find about them, much like I did.  Personality-wise, Tobias is more like me.  He's more of an introvert who really savours his down time, but enjoys spending time with loved ones, too.   

Do you live far from where you grew up?
No, I'm right in the same area.

Where do you live now and who with?
I live in Abbotsford, BC with my husband, Michael, son, Tobias (6), and daughter, Anja (3).

When I was young, I loved wearing dresses, so it seemed very fitting to replicate one of them for Anja.  As I think back, I remember having many of the same type of sundress, the kind with the shirring on the top.  I had so many different colours and seeing them, reminds me of spending summer days running around outside.  So, when I came across this photo, I knew that was the dress I wanted to make.  To be honest, I didn't have very many photos to choose from, as my childhood photo albums are missing at the moment.  My mom and I searched her house, but it seems they must be in storage somewhere.  Luckily, this photo was in a frame at her house, and it's just the style I was wanting to make.  

And here's how it looks on my daughter...

In case you're wanting to make one of these sweet dresses, I took a few photos during the process.  It's so easy, I really should make a bunch of them!  After measuring, and then cutting a rectangular piece of fabric, I sewed a rolled hem along one edge.  Next, I wound elastic thread around my bobbin, sewed seven lines of stitching, and stitched up the centre back seam.  Then, I made four straps, sewed them on, hemmed the bottom, and I was done!  Super easy!

And one last shot with a side-by-side re-enactment without the cars.  Not sure why those cars are parked so close together, nor the reason why I'm standing between them with flowers.  It will remain a mystery!

It's so fun to see her wearing this dress that reminds me so much of my childhood!  In hindsight, I should've made it a little wider, but it still looks so cute on her, and there are plenty of sunny summer days left for her to wear it.

Thank you so much, Suz, for inviting me to participate in your series!


Thank you so much Heidi!! It really is a joy to see my sewing blogger friends as children and to see the old photos and to imagine your enjoyment searching through your photos, then deciding on a photo and searching for the fabric, the pattern and recreating the scene!! I am so glad you enjoyed the experience!

You Might Also Like


  1. Heidi did a fantastic job of replicating the look of her childhood dress. So sweet! My mom kept so many of my things that I still have my original dresses from childhood that my daughter has gotten to wear!

  2. so, so, so nice! heidi is one of my favorite bloggers, too. love the dress and how she and her daughter look so much alike!

  3. So cute! I love the side-by-side shot. It's great to find out more about Heidi :)

  4. I love those side by side photos :) What a cute sundress.

  5. Thanks so much for taking part Heidi. I love shirred dresses in the summer time!

  6. This is my favorite sewing series ever! (I think I may have said this on another series before... humm...okay, I have two favorites then! :) ) It is always so great to get to know fellow bloggers a little better. There are always so many great stories and photos... Heidi is awesome... She is so talented!


Thank you for taking the time to comment - it makes my day☼