My Forever Dress
I'm constantly looking for children's books about sewing — not necessarily instructional, but more historical and inspirational. Penelope's still too young for most of the instructional books out there, and while I hope she'll want to sew along with Mom some day, she's far more interested in story books.
Yesterday, at the library, I stumbled onto a promising book in the stacks. With a title like "My Forever Dress," I was expecting a tearfest. Before I even opened the book, I had the entire plot written out in my mind: someone makes a dress for a child, child grows up and out of the dress, dress is neglected and then one day the dress has a new life for her own child. Then someone gets old and dies. Thankfully, this book isn't melancholic at all. Instead, it's a cute little story of a dress that a (youngish) grandmother makes for her grandaughter and, over the course of four years, the dress is adapted and modified to fit a growing girl.
A couple aspects make this book charming. One, the illustrations are beautiful. The artist uses found materials (old letters, fabric, vintage patterns) in her collages which adds a nice texture to the pages. Secondly, the message of the book is about recycling old materials to make new things. At one point the greening aspect gets a bit too much with some knitting propaganda ("I don't have to use my sewing machine"), but I'll let that pass. Third, the little girl reminds me of Penelope.
A definite recommendation for small children who are interested or exposed to sewing!