But, I did promise there would be a new backpack and lunch bag when it was time for Kindergarten.
So, we placed those two items onto our school supplies list...
I did mention though, that if she wanted I could make her a backpack and/or lunch bag, but it was completely and totally up to her.
We wandered the aisles of Target, she was not satisfied...Then we headed off to the local hardware store, and then to Whole Foods. At some point in the middle of all of this Violet had decided that she wanted me to make her a backpack so we were just looking for a lunch bag. Sounds simple enough right?
Maybe I gave her too many options. Maybe we should have stuck to just one store. Maybe I should have stayed out of it all together...But there we were in the middle of Whole Foods, standing in line to buy Violet's new lunch bag, one with primary colored vehicles driving all around and, a meltdown...
A moment that should have been fun and exciting, one that had started in such a manner, had become a crying in the middle of a store moment. Why? Because she couldn't decide and because she thought that if she got the car lunch bag then everyone would think that it was too boyish!
And there we were, stuck somewhere between things that are "too boyish" and things that are "too girlish". Goodness! Of course I told her that it was her lunch bag and that she could choose whatever she wanted to choose and not to worry about what everyone else was going to have. She was frustrated that things were too pink and too princessy...And those that weren't seemed to be more geared for boys. I understand and told her so. I totally understand wanting something with cars or trains on them...because they are awesome, right? And I'm not much for over the top girly either.
Why can't there be some sort of middle ground?
In the end, honestly, I'm not quite sure how we got to the end, but...she decided on an owl lunch bag...a pink one because there were only pink owls. Of course she wished it was blue and green, but she was happy about her decision and excited again. So, what next? A mama made backpack. One that could be whatever she wanted it to be, boyish, girlish, or somewhere in between...
She sat down next to me while we scrolled through fabric swatches online and she picked exactly what she wanted. We went to the store to buy the notions (along with fabric for our other collaboration). This backpack was going to be just the way she wanted it to be.
So, we had all of the supplies...but mama was starting to get nervous. Especially since it was one day before school started and I still had so much of the backpack to make! What if I messed up?
I worked slowly and carefully, and yay, it was finished in time, phew! And, she loved it so very much!
"It's the bestest backpack ever!" Ahhhh...relief! That it was done. That she liked loved it! That I could do it, that I could make just what she wanted that was somewhere in between and suited her perfectly.
She walked proudly to school carrying her new backpack. The backpack itself is Rae's toddler backpack pattern, enlarged to the larger size. It's made using Woodpecker and Whose Who fabric from Eric & Julie Comstock's S'more Love line, in two of Violet's favorite colors, of course, turquoise and green! I added some side pockets, but didn't make them too big. I didn't want them to be too bulky and they are mostly for any treasures that will inevitably be found on the walk to or from school, although, her smallish water bottle does fit as well. I also added a little pocket on the front of the bag and inside, and a little zippy pencil pouch too, of course! The bottom was made with oilcloth, in case it is rested down in a puddle or mud or something...because you really never can tell. I ironed clear vinyl (which I had leftover from Violet's Pippa Pocket) to the back of the backpack and the main front panel to, hopefully, make the backpack more durable and less likely to get stained, plus a little more water resisitant. (Thanks to Kelley for her super awesome "all things oilcloth" knowledge.) The vinyl is why it looks a little shiny...
I'm super happy with the way it turned out. Especially the way the owls line up at the zipper and on the outside pocket...cute little owl eyes peeking out! Also, her little name tag, which I made the same way I make my labels, inside makes me smile! So, yay, she didn't get any new clothes, but she got a pretty fantastic new backpack for her first year as an elementary school student!
Have a great day!