Oliver + S

Patterns or modifications for the self-dressing toddler?

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    Profile photo of NikkiTNikkiT @NikkiT

    I’ve been thoroughly enjoying working my way through the O+S patterns thus far but have run into a bit of a snag. My just-turned 2-year old daughter has begun insisting on dressing herself and we want to encourage her budding independence. BUT..so many of the lovely patterns for dresses and tops have buttons on the back that she can’t do herself (including the latest ones, sob). I have completed a hopscotch top (my first serger project!) and a class picnic and she can mostly handle putting the hopscotch but struggles a bit with the class picnic.

    Other suggestions for patterns that might work or could be made to work? Maybe a field trip tee or a 2+2? My next big project will be the school days coat and it sounds like magnetic snaps will do the trick for that one.

    How do other parents of toddlers deal with this phase?

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    Profile photo of MaggieMaggie @Maggie

    She might be able to pull on a roller skate dress. My daughter needs a little help getting it off, but on is no problem.

    If course Lazy Days skirts are easy on, but not modest. The Badminton skort might be ideal. The top is also easy to pull on, but a little summery for those of us entering Fall.

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    Profile photo of with love Heidiwith love Heidi @with love Heidi

    Badminton short, field trip Tee and pants, hopscotch, I think if you used a knit for the Playtime dress you can probably get away without the back opening, also the 2+2 in knit, some people seem to get away with it in woven without undoing the buttons. What about the badminton top?

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    Profile photo of NikkiTNikkiT @NikkiT

    I’ve done several Lazy Day skirts, which are fabulous (and so easy to sew). Not too worried about modesty at this point since we’re potty training; so easy-on easy-off wins the day!

    I’ll be curious to see people’s experiences with the playtime dress/top in knits- the neckline does look fairly wide and I could see being able to forgo using the buttons.

    I do like the badminton top but my daughter is pretty fair-skinned and spends a lot of time outdoors so I prefer to keep her shoulders covered. I’ll have to look on flickr for the 2+2 in knit- that’s a good idea!

    The class picnic top is genius for that since it’s very breezy in a light lawn while still offering sun protection.

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    Profile photo of RobinRobin @Robin

    I’ve made the 2+2 blouse twice without buttons. Saves on a bit of fabric and is much faster to sew. The last one I made without ties in the front, just a button and elastic loop.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/57824542@N08/8670370754/

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    Profile photo of ReeniReeni @Reeni

    I am all about the self-dressing, my daughter loves clothes and changes at least 3x a day for no reason except that. The Popover sundress and Hopscotch tunic dress pull on and off, and Jump Rope, Sailboat and Music Box all have accessible (not in the back) buttons. I’ve made all for my kids (some with snaps or velcro instead of buttons if you’re afraid of choking hazards) and they look good while maintaining their independence. The tutu from LTTS is also a favorite. The Sketchbook also fastens up the front.

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    Outfits that button up the back needn’t be abandoned. If you put them in the cupboard with most of the buttons done up they can pop them over their heads.

    Personally, as my Twins were perpetual nudists, I loved ‘button up the back’ clothing. Kept jolly clothes on them.

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    Profile photo of mcholley1mcholley1 @mcholley1

    I’m with Nicole! So many of these patterns just have one button and a loop in the back. I sometimes use a hair elastic for the loop and it has just enough give that my daughter can slip them on done up. Nicole, I have to laugh… I was so happy for a fun summer wardrobe for G after her first year of uniforms. And, I thought surely a newly potty trained K would need all 8 pairs of shorts I made him. We had a really hot summer, and about half way through I gave up getting my little nudists to put on anything other than underpants and sunscreen unless we were actually leaving the house.

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    Profile photo of NikkiTNikkiT @NikkiT

    What a good idea- I’ll give the mostly buttoned plus a hair-tie loop trick a go. I knew you ladies would come through with fantastic suggestions 🙂

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    Profile photo of melelizameleliza @meleliza

    I have the found the key is that they think they’re “helping” or “do it mah-SEF!” Whether they can actually do all these things unaided is irrelevant. So let her out on her own underpants, or leggings or the easier things. I tend to pull a top over her head and then tell her to do it herself – meaning that she gets her arms through the sleeves. Then I tell her what a big girl she is and how many things she can do for herself. Of course, if I can find clothes that she can actually do for herself I get them. Velcro shoes, kids dishes in a low cabinet drawer so they can reach. That water dispenser in the fridge is awesome because she can get her own “dink”. I’ve always encouraged mine to “help” when they were in this phase with the hopes that it might carry through. Does a 2 year old get every crumb off the floor? No, but they love that dustpan and brush and if they feel good about helping, it will hopefully develop into helping later.

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