Wednesday, August 22, 2007

playing dress-up

For some children, dress-up is one of the delights of childhood. It is good to have dress-up clothes for your children. However, dress-up clothes do not need to be expensive or character driven.

My children have Disney dress-up clothes, thanks to their California grandma. However, most of their dress-up clothes are either thrift-store purchases or things that my Mother or I make for them. Besides full outfits, children should have lots of accessories. Sometimes, when the mood is right or time is short, an accessory is all that is necessary to make the game.

C models a costume she created from an old dress and an old tunic of mine, a wreath from grandma, a mirror from grandma, and some fancy dress-up slippers from grandma.

K models a sequined dress that looks like lifesavers with all the stripes of bright colors on it. The dress was a purchase from the thrift store. She completes the outfit with a mirror and a crown both from grandma.

Just the accessories please. The girls model fairy wreaths that have jingle bells on them so that they tinkle whenever the girls move.

Good, clothing-quality costumes are wonderful gifts for children and are worth the effort of making, if you know how to sew. Below, the girls wear the Little House on the Prairie costumes I sewed for them for Christmas.

The nice thing about sewing your own costumes it that you can select the fabrics, match a hobby or interest of the child, and be assured that the costume is well-made yet inexpensive.

I cannot stress the value of accessories and thrift purchase. Hats, scarves, purses, and vests are inexpensive and add just the touch that the little actress desires.

1.) Hats are quick and easy and some days are all that a child needs to take off on a flight of fancy.

2.) Scarves can serve a multiplicity of purposes in a costume. Cloaks and robes are versatile and good too.

3.) Purses are essential for little girls. They need a place to stuff their junk.

4.) Vests are awesome. Buy funky vests. Two of my all-time most valuable dress-up purchases have been vests.
One was a fringed leather vest. It has served as an identifying feature for cowboy, Indian princess and dozens of other character props. Another was a holiday vest made for an adult.

It was covered with all the symbols of Christmas - trees, candy canes, gifts, lights. My girls loved it.

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