My daughter has a milestone birthday coming up. She is going to be six. This is important because she started Kindergarten this year, and therefore will be having her first (and last, if it's a disaster) "Big Girl" school party.
This is a huge source of angst for me. When my teenager was younger, every birthday party that he went to turned out to be a competition to see how many gift cards one kid could rack up. One year he went to a birthday party for a cousin who lives in a fairly affluent neighborhood out in the 'burbs. He brought a DVD and a $10 gift card, which I thought was a completely appropriate gift for a 10-year-old (although I've got to say that I DETEST gift cards because they are so impersonal ... more on that some other time). One of the friends at the party said (loud enough for my EXTREMELY SENSITIVE child to hear) "Ten dollars? Is he kidding?"
Wow. I am way off the subject. I want to have a nice, enjoyable birthday party for my sweet (?) little girl, but let's face it. I don't have a lot of money to throw at it. It seems that these days kids all want to go to Chuck E Cheese or Build A Bear Workshop. Either one of these options could cost me a month's wages if enough kids show up, and I don't believe in the type of party where guests are expected to pay their own way, especially when they are so young.
So it hit me ... Build a Bear ... dressing a toy up and taking it home ... I could just let a bunch of little kids sort through my daughter's massive pile of stuffed animals, pick one, and dress it up in scraps of fabric and handkerchiefs.
But I sort of liked the idea of having a big crafting birthday party. Not long after that, I was at a thrift store and noticed the shelf covered with naked Barbie dolls. BINGO. Dress a Barbie party! I immediately chose the least disgusting dolls from the pile and purchased them. I only got a couple that day, but I've been watching for non-scuzzy Barbies ever since.
Last weekend I gave them a bath in the kitchen sink (I only managed to collect 11 so far) and started my project ... with dresses.
I decided that I am going to dress all of the dolls in similar plain dresses and let the party guests decorate them any way they want from my massive collection of lace, fabric, buttons, beads ... then take them home. I started by making this dress eleven times. I also found a bag of small straw hats which are a bit small for a Barbie head, but by adding a ribbon and bow I have been able to achieve jaunty little hats for the project.
I just hope that I will have enough time to finish the hats ... and purses. I'm going to find a Barbie purse pattern ... and possibly a nightgown as well ... but that feels a bit like I'm going overboard!
Her birthday isn't until July, but I know myself well enough to admit that if I don't force myself to get started on all of this right now then I'll be spending the day at Chuck E Cheese's.
Ick. I'm SO sewing!