Monday, October 3, 2011

christmas pictures

Okay, I have very classic tastes when it comes to dressing Bit and Boo.  Lucky for me, her mommy and grandma do, too.  I think kids should look their age instead of miniature adults or mini-hookers. That's one of the big reasons why I sew for my nieces--a dress for a three year old that makes her look three is either 1) hard to find or 2) expensive.  That's not to say that they spend all their time in dresses, but they always wear them on Sundays, and sometimes during the week.  (Boo lives in knitwear right now, and Bit mostly in jeans.)

It's become something of a traditional present to my brother and SIL from Mom and me for me to make Bit a fancy dress or buy one (the one next to us was a thrift store find, and I made matching panties with ruffles on the butt because the panties were missing)  and then get her all dressed up for pictures at the local Olan Mills in Wal-Mart.

We did it for her first Christmas, skipped one and then did it again last year--

This year, I'm going the heirloom sewing route again, only in blue.  That way, she can wear it more than once or twice, and it will coordinate nicely with the blue wool coats I'm making for both of them.  And Boo is getting a matching dress.  Her coat will match, too, because I found a pattern from the 90s that almost matched the 50s one I'm using for Bit.  I had to go with Children's Corner patterns for the dresses to get them to match, and I'm going to have to do some revamping for them to look like they're not from the early 80s or getting christened, but they should look adorable.  (The matching infant pattern is for christening gowns)  I'm making bows to match and they'll be wearing white tights and hopefully matching shoes.

Which brings me to the shoes.  I'm a bargain shopper.  And since Peter did a post a while back about quality shoes he bought second hand off ebay, I started there.  We're on a fixed income, so I have a definite budget.

But I also have expensive tastes.  We buy a lot of the girls' clothes second hand and invariably, I will pick up the most expensive thing there and want to buy it.  It's the same if I walk into a department store--I'm attracted to the most expensive thing on the rack... all without looking at the price.  Which leads back to shoes.  I will happily buy second hand shoes for Boo.  At her age, they grow so fast that there's rarely any real wear on them. She's going to be an early walker, so we got shoes to help her stand up (with us holding her hands) on our slippery floors.  (Standing and "walking" are favorite things for her do do. She can be throwing a fit and if you stand her up, she's all smiles)

But not so with Bit.  At her age, kids wear shoes out and get them yucky, so I want 'em new.  Which I can get on ebay for a fraction of the retail price.  She jumped to a size ten recently in toddler shoes, which means that I want 10.5 in dress shoes.  She only wears those once a week, so I need them to last a while.  And Stride Rite is a favorite brand.  They have a great reputation, I wore 'em as a kid, and they have the classic, plain black patent mary jane that I'm looking for.  It also helps that Bit loves the sound the hard soles make against the wood floors.

But I refuse to pay retail.  That's somewhere around $50-$60 which in my mind is too much for shoes that she could grow out of in a couple months if she hits another growth spurt.  I've set myself a $20 budget, which isn't much above what I'd pay for the cheap ones at Payless.  It's funny--I got her new sneakers for less that that ($15 brand new second hand because the child they were originally purchased for outgrew them before she wore them), some white sneakerish t-straps for $5.50, and I've even found boots for her, brand new, for under that.  Heck, I got two pairs of Stride Rites and one pair of Pedipeds for Boo for under that!  (*Those* were second hand--$15 for what amounts to around $150 worth of shoes)  I can buy new Sunday shoes for Boo for about $15, but I'm having problems with Bit.  I can get 10s.  It's $6 over budget, but I can live with that.  It's just that I can't seem to find them in 10.5 M.  Wide, yes.  Narrow, yes.  But medium?  Good luck.

Mom claims that I'm developing a shoe obsession because I check once a day to make sure I haven't missed a pair going up.  There were pairs in the right size, but by the time I got back from having her feet measured (another reason to do Stride Rite--we have a local store that will measure her feet so I know that she'll fit that size in that brand)  they were all sold.  Probably, I have until the first week in December.  So until then, I'll keep combing auction sites and crossing my fingers.  In the meantime--I should probably go buy Boo's shoes in the next size up, because she just turned five months today and she's on her way out of the size 2s....

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