DIY Fashion

Keeping It Cool In Culottes

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If someone asked you what your favorite outfit as a child was do you think you could remember? I sure could. In fact there are a dozen photos of my fifth year here on earth wearing in it. Exhibit A: my favorite photo of my mom and I.

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I distinctly remember begging my mom to wash this “oh, no, the dog ate my homework” outfit midweek just so I could wear it again and again. I don’t know if it was because I loved school and the idea of homework was such a “big girl” thing or if this was some sort of foreshadowing of my adult obsession with leggings. All I do know is I always wanted to wear it and she never fought me on it. See exhibit B: kindergarten school photos:

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It was my absolute favorite outfit, however outside the memory of wearing it to shreds is my mother’s “coolness.” Remember, I was able to wear this more times than most parents would let their child wear a single outfit, all without a fight.

Simply put, getting worked up over the little things was not her style (P.S. I hope to acquire this trait before I have kids of my own) so when I finished sewing this culotte jumpsuit I couldn’t help but think of this childhood memory. 1) It was so easy to make 2) like my favorite kindergarten outfit I couldn’t stop wearing it (yep, twice in one week as a 30 something old) and 3) it was the color my mom told me was her favorite “once.”

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See my mother didn’t have a favorite anything (except daughter). Whenever I would play 20 questions and ask her her favorite color, food, song or movie she would just say, “I like so many things Robbie.”

Makes sense for a lady who was liked by so many.

However one day while she was washing dishes I kept asking her over and over again what her favorite color was. Finally she said, “green Robbie, it’s green.” I thought, “really, why all of a sudden green?!” Then when I went into the kitchen where she was I saw her quickly shove a green Tupperware bowl in the dishwasher. Giggling to herself. “You just said that because you were washing that green bowl!” I shouted. “Fine Robbie. You caught me. But I told you I don’t have a favorite color. A favorite anything.” We laughed and I left the “favorite” question game alone.

I never forgot this memory.

There were many memories like this over our 31 years together. Her letting me be me, her being her and us laughing at each other along the way.

So when she passed and I found this bowl while cleaning out her kitchen the memory flooded in as if it were just yesterday.

In fact every time I see this shade of green I think of that day.

Anyways, back to present time. When I was on a window shopping spree at Club Monaco early this month I absolutely had to pop in and try on a black culotte jumpsuit sitting in the window. I thought, “Yes, welcome back culottes!” However when I tried it on I was disappointed that the 8 fit my hips like a glove but my bodice size was more like a 4.

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Clearly I couldn’t mix and match this onesie and honestly $300+ was out of my price range if I could. So I did what any “newly-self-taught-sewer” would do – I took a gazillion photos (and a video) of the garment inside out and headed to the fabric store.

It was five minutes until the store closed once I arrived and hurriedly asked the clerk for 2 1/2 yards of some rayon polyester blend in black. This sounded simple enough to me, but I guess my rushed request made the clerk anxious and instead of returning with black he showed me this color green.

I almost yelled no, but then the kitchen memory of my mom and her “favorite” color rushed in and I smiled with a yes instead.

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But here’s the crazy part. Despite the fact that I had to catch a flight the next morning (and had not packed) I managed to pull an all nighter and pull off this cool culotte jumper. Gasp. It was easy to make thanks to my iPhone images and video (so unlike my last jumper by the way) and considering I have wore it more times than I am comfortable typing I am sure that this project will always remind me of how “cool” and easy breezy my “no favorite” having mother was.

Oh how I love you green culotte jumper!

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