Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Elephant & Piggy

I've been sewing again and it feels great to not be doing it on a deadline!

I just love the Once Upon a Thread series Katy runs over at No Big Dill, where her and other bloggers create clothing and crafts inspired by books. It combines two of my greatest passions, sewing and children's literature! I thought I would join in on the fun. (What? I'll take any excuse to sew something for Drew!)

We are big Elephant & Piggie fans. Mo Willems is a genius.

The first book we read from the series is My Friend is Sad. It's also a special book for us because it was the first book Drew was able to read independently (besides those silly little phonics readers that aren't real literature anyway). The Elephant & Piggie books are perfect for beginning readers who need practice reading fluently (easily, smoothly, and with expression). In contrast, some children are so focused on "sounding out" words, that they sound choppy and stumble over the text. Think the kid reading on Billy Madison ("T-t-t-today Junior!"). Just try reading these books without expression!

Okay, don't get me started about children and reading. The first grade teacher in me gets all excited! Let's talk about the dress...






This dress is inspired by gray elephant and pink piggy, which is such a perfect color combo! Sophisticated, but girly. I had a completely different dress design in mind using solid gray and a solid pink and actually had both bolts in hand walking to the cutting counter when I happened upon this striped woven gloriousness. I practically dropped the other bolts right there on the floor. Because first of all, it was on clearance! And second of all, I am a complete sucker for stripes. You would be disgusted to know how much striped clothing I have bought for myself and my two children.

I played with the stripes on the bodice and the pockets to create some visual interest, but wanted to echo Willems' perfectly simple illustrations, by keeping it simple yet playful. No frills. No ruffles. There's nothing flashy about this dress, but it still makes a statement.

Drew was more than willing to be my model once more. She even had a few new moves and poses ready for me...



I am supposed to snap the camera every time she freezes, whether I approve of the pose or not. Thank goodness for digital cameras!






More about My Friend is Sad.

It begins with Piggie who notices that his friend, Gerald, is sad.



And Piggie resolves to cheer him up!



Piggie tries to cheer up Gerald by dressing up as some of his favorite things, like a cowboy, a clown, and a robot. But none of these seem to make Gerald happy!



Until...



You must read the book to find out what finally makes Gerald happy again!

Why do I think Mo Willems is a genius? Because with so few pen strokes and minimal text he is able to convey so many emotions, great story lines, and of course, humor. I enjoy these books as much as Drew does. We haven't met an Elephant & Piggie book that we don't love! Not to even mention Willems' Pigeon books.

I am so excited to have found yet another source of inspiration for children's clothing... literature!

20 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 1. Mo Willems is our fave.
    2. Your pictures are perfect.
    3. That dress is adorable!!!!
    D. Drew is such a cutie.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm a preschool teacher with two kids of my own and I agree that Mo Willem's is a freakin' genius--totally our favorite author too. But we love "Can I Play Too?" Hillarious! Your dress is absolutely adorable and perfect too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yay! You're back! Missed you :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your dress is so flipping cute! I'm also a stripe freak so it speaks to me on that level. And I love a feminine dress with nothing ruffly on it. So this is just perfect. The piece in the front bodice is great. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gorgeous dress! I can't believe Drew's modelling skills. All our photo shoots inevitably degrade into bribery!!
    Good to see you sewing again. I hope my mojo and some time reveal themselves soon!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. wow, i love this dress!! Stripes are awesome, another in agreement with you!!! And, I love how you played around with the stripes so much! Adorable photo session too! :) oh and the pink and grey together, i think my daughter would want to live in this dress :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. So you made one in Graces size too? Love the dress sis. And now i am quite certain that I must own some elephant and piggy books. love you

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are a marvel! Still waiting for oyu to tell me you will make them in my size ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. You are a marvel! Still waiting for oyu to tell me you will make them in my size ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. This dress is beautiful! I love your interpretation. Gorgeous work, as usual.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Visiting from PR&P. Thank you for leaving such an encouraging comment on my Bubble Top tutorial.

    This is my first time visiting your site. Your work is amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love this dress! Makes me want a little girl haha!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for the author recommendation. We are doing the summer reading program and now I have some good books for Rendon (my 5 year old) to practice on. He starts kindergarten this coming August and really, really wants to read. Throw any other book ideas our way!

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a cute book and perfect dress!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ooooh man. I think my daughter needs this book, like, NOW, to further fuel her elephant obsession. I love the dress you made to go with it!

    ReplyDelete
  17. First of all, that dress is gorgeous!!! I too am a stripe fan and don't think you can ever have too many! And the design is fantastic! I can't wait to show my daughter. Agreed on all accounts about Mo Williams and the Elephant and Piggy series. Absolute genius!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Can you please be my girls mom for a year and send them with all your designs back to me?! You are amazing! Drew is so LUCKY! Miss you guys.

    ReplyDelete
  19. did you use a pattern? make up your own? I am absolutely smitten with this dress!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Adorable dress!! I just posted a somewhat similar dress with stripes too. I'm off to check out those books at our library!

    ReplyDelete