I love a parade! But I also love creating handmade patriotic outfits for a parade!
Every year from the time my first born was 10 months old, I dressed our girls in red, white and blue attire for our annual neighborhood children’s parade in the Sugarhouse. Most everyone did. It’s what you did on the Fourth of July; eat lots and look patriotic. We didn’t have a huge selection of children’s clothing at a Baby Gap or Old Navy like we do now offering $3 tees and $5 shorts. Baby Gap was still in the beginning phases and Old Navy was one month old with only one store open. There wasn’t even a Target in Utah. No, no we were left to the clothing racks at Kmart or the skills of an amateur seamstress (me) to come up with something of parade substance. I created their handmade patriotic outfits for several years after our first neighborhood parade.
Embellishing an existing t-shirt is one way to create a handmade patriotic outfit piece without the complication of sewing it from scratch.
This particular Fourth of July morning pictured below, I made shorts by altering a Simplicity pattern. But I cheated on creating the top, and used a basic t-shirt. I customized it by adding embellishments. I pieced flags from scrap cotton fabric. Then stitched a ribbon trim using irregular pleats around the armholes of the sleeves. To personalize the tees, using my sewing machine, I free-motion embroidered their names just below the flag appliqué.
I found these little handmade gems in one of my boxes of patriotic decor this last week. My heart did just a little firework inside as I held these up in the light of the window. I remember how tiny my older girls once were. They were full of excitement with the news that “Yankee Doodle” came to the house in the night and brought red, white and blue outfits for not only them, but also for their American Doll Bitty Babies. They also received a handful of small treats to eat in little cellophane bags and sparkling decorations to adorn their bikes.
What. A. Day.
I hope you find some little surprises to share with your family that personalize the day. Whether it be bike adornments, handmade patriotic outfits or little accessories to wear throughout the day, it makes memories for the little ones, and great photos for the big ones! Hope your Fourth was a bang with a few sparkles!