Down Memory Lane: Ba-chan Made


Good morning! I’m here in Indianapolis enjoying my family vacation, and I wish I could say I have a new Monday outfit to share, but I didn’t get a chance to sew much last week (no surprise). However, my mom is coming to visit us in Seattle as soon as we get back from Indy, and I was thinking about all the little outfits she used to make K. I’ve posted the crazy story of my mother’s enthusiastic sewing turning into an art show before and you’ve seen the wizardry of her doll-clothes-making, but there were so many other clothes that never got the limelight it deserved.

Now, my mom and I have very different tastes. When K was a baby and even before I got into sewing, I used to clothe her in simple, understated garb like so:

bachan-made7 bachan-made8

Occasionally I would get wild with a pretty print — I apologize that it looks like she’s flipping the bird here:


But for my mom, there’s no such thing as too many embellishments:


And no color or pattern is too bold (can you tell that she likes to add lace detailing?):

bachan-made3 bachan-made5 bachan-made6

She also knit sweaters and hats for K like the world was freezing over any second (and yes, she made that doll):

bachan-made10bachan-made12bachan-made11It was, of course, this grey number that I loved most (my mom complained bitterly about how boring it was, but she did it for me):

bachan-made13My mom tried her hand at making costumes too:

bachan-made14Friends, this is only just a teeny tiny representation of what she whipped up those early years….these photos are pre-DSLR from when K was 3 months to about 6 months, and I’m confident that she had the most abundant wardrobe known to man already at that point.

I’m excited to see what my mom will come up with while she’s in town. She always concocts something brazen and unexpected. Amazing, right?



29 thoughts on “Down Memory Lane: Ba-chan Made

    1. πŸ™‚ That striped hat just cracks me up — K looks so startled in so many of those photos and the hat just seems to emphasizes it.

  1. What a wild creative burst of energy–a beautiful example of how clothing gets designed. I have looked at the dresses 6 times all ready! Your Mom is a complete dynamo. Have a wonderful visit!

    1. The most amazing part to me is that my mom doesn’t use any sort of pattern and just free forms everything she creates. She IS a dynamo. Thanks, Greta!

  2. It is so interesting that your Mother’s sewing style is so different from yours! I love the best of both worlds, which fits my personality and my grand daughters’ eclectic tastes . It shows how much Grandmother put her love into her sewing for her granddaughter K. And how a busy Mom also put her love into her sewing for her daughter. K is a very lucky girl!! When my girls were little they loved my creations and wore whatever I made for them. Then came the teenage years and if I made it they would not let it touch their bodies. With my grand daughters I have two that are very picky about what they wear and I let them help chose fabric and patterns. One who is very modest and anything must have sleeves and not be too short. And three who love anything that I make for them and will wear it everyday if Mom lets them. But I enjoy every minute I sew for all of them. And although I don’t sew clothing for my daughters anymore I do sew handbags and totes and home dΓ©cor for them. What I do need to do is to sew for myself again. When I first learned how to sew as a girl I made almost all my clothing but as I had children my time was spent sewing for them. I must say your personal sewing keeps sparking my interest in sewing more for myself. I just need to get out of my yoga pants! Sorry for the long reply, your blog just sparked some sweet memories.

    1. How wonderful that you’ve had such a long history of sewing not only for yourself, but for your daughters and now your grandchildren. And yes! I hope you absolutely sew more for yourself again. I’m sure your skills are mind-blowing, Karen!

  3. K is one cute baby! It seems that those of us who are interested in clothes also generally had mothers who were interested in clothes. Funny that your styles diverge – maybe it’s your form of unconscious rebellion? – though you inherited her love of sewing and creating. Love your mom’s cherry jacket, and your patterned T, and the beautiful knit grey sweater.

    1. Oh, I miss baby K…she’s a blast now, but there’s nothing like a newborn, you know? It’s very possible that my style is a result of wanting calmness amid the overwhelm of color and patterns that I grew up in. πŸ˜‰

  4. That green number with the frilly front placket is nearly Baroque!! How lovely! I never really imagined my own baby in such frilly garb, but that isn’t too far off from how they dressed me. My mom and grandmas loved putting me in poofy, frilly, lacy, ruffled stuff all the time. My baby boy is currently in footsy pj’s. πŸ˜€

    1. You’re right – my mom veers toward Baroque/Victorian/frou frou πŸ™‚ She LOVES lace and lots of it. Footsy PJs are the best in my opinion, especially for little ones!

  5. Wow, your mum is amazing, I see where you getting the sewing gene/bug from!
    And, K as a baby – super cute and gorgeous.

    1. Thank you, Rhoda! K was a very striking baby and people constantly stopped to admire her. It actually got a little weird, actually. Anyway yes, my mom is nothing short of miraculous!

    1. The handy thing is that my mom often gets these fabric bags from the fashion district (sort of like a surprise bag — you never know what you’ll get). It’s pretty much guaranteed that I like the fabrics she doesn’t, so it always works out πŸ™‚

  6. Wow! I got such a kick out of seeing your mother’s embellished creations, peter pan collars, lace, big buttons, and lots of bright color, kind of like old fashioned doll clothes! She must have enjoyed making them for her real dolly. I saved all of my children’s patterns and hope someday to use them again. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Definitely like old-fashioned doll clothes, Kay! Oh, my mom had a blast sewing for K — and really, K prefers my mom’s stuff over mine.

  7. I have to admit, I loved out loud when I saw K covered in ruffles and lace! But she wore it well and with attitude! I think can already see some of the future skateboarding girl in her eyes! Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. πŸ™‚ Oh yes, the glint of grit in her eyes were there from her newborn days. She loved and still loves the lace and frill! Such a funny blend of girly and tomboy, I love it!

    1. Thank you! Back then, my cheapo camera was woefully inadequate (though I probably just didn’t know how to use it properly), but I’m so glad we have these photos πŸ™‚

  8. such much love has been bestowed upon K through the creation of handmade clothes – ever since infancy! Yes, your style and your mother’s cover both ends of the spectrum. But isn’t that part of the charm and delight of handmade goods – infusing a part of yourself into them? Such a lovely walk through K’s early years – thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures!

    1. If there’s one thing K has had throughout her somewhat short life thus far, it’s love manifested through handmade goods. πŸ™‚ K looks sufficiently different now, so we feel comfortable showing these pics — they make me so nostalgic!

  9. Bless ba-chan for her talent and love for K, though I’m with you on her choice of fabric and embellishments..hehe. K was so adorable (still is). Sorry I haven’t been leaving comments. Life is just crazy with a new baby, 2 & 5 yo, and no home help, but you can count on me to keep reading your blog!

    1. Hi Lulita! Life does sound busy for you — thank you so much for taking the time to comment, but don’t ever feel pressured to! I’m barely keeping it together with just one child, so I have no idea how you do it with three. And yes, my mom is amazingly talented!

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