What to Wear to 1st Grade – Euro Edition

September 19, 2012

What to Wear to 1st Grade

This lovely creature is Betty Blair, age 6. She is kind, and funny (and giggly) and she takes ballet classes. Side note: I think ballet is a French word, but Betty’s classes are called “Classique.”

Would you like a tour of what she’ll be wearing to 1st Grade?

What to Wear to 1st Grade

Outfit #1 is a blue floral skirt from Benetton with a layering henley and cotton sweater from the grocery store. The brown flats are from the same grocery store but they were a mistake. They’ve only been worn a few times but they’re already scratched up and looking sad. We’re on the lookout for some better replacements.

What to Wear to 1st Grade
What to Wear to 1st Grade
What to Wear to 1st Grade

Betty is number 5 in our line up and I was number 5 in my family. I remember mostly trying to stay out of my older siblings way, and I see that in Betty sometimes too.

What to Wear to 1st Grade

Outfit #2 is a trapeze dress from the Next outlet and red tights from H&M. (The shoes show up better below.)

What to Wear to 1st Grade
What to Wear to 1st Grade
What to Wear to 1st Grade

Outfit #3 is one that Betty received last Christmas. The blouse, cardigan and corduroys are all from Carrefour. The suitcase was picked up at a Vide Grenier.

What to Wear to 1st Grade
What to Wear to 1st Grade
What to Wear to 1st Grade

Outfit #4 is a denim jumper from last year, a stripey top from Polarn O. Pyret, and rainbow socks from Sock It To Me.

What to Wear to 1st Grade

Sometimes Betty’s hair feels a little red, sometimes it feels a lot red. But her skin is definitely the skin of a redhead — we have to keep her super-sunscreened.

What to Wear to 1st Grade

Outfit #5 is made up of trousers from H&M, a turtleneck from Carrefour, and a cardigan she’s had for ages — I believe it was from Zara Kids. (FYI: We’ve had good luck with Zara cardigans.)

What to Wear to 1st Grade
What to Wear to 1st Grade
What to Wear to 1st Grade

This is outfit #6. Betty is wearing striped leggings and a blue tunic that we bought at a grocery store in Swtizerland called COOP. The scarf was originally bought for Baby June when we were in Rome and she was cold. It’s from Zara.

What to Wear to 1st Grade

The sneakers are hand me downs from Olive. You can see them in a What to Wear to School post years back. They’re still family favorites.

What to Wear to 1st Grade
What to Wear to 1st Grade

Outfit #7 is another cute one. Betty is wearing a striped dress from Benetton and socks from Next. The maryjanes are from Carrefour.

What to Wear to 1st Grade
What to Wear to 1st Grade

Last of all comes outfit #8. Eight! That’s too many in my opinion. I don’t like keeping track of so many clothes. I’m not sure what was up with me this year — my mental notes were off as far as Betty’s closet was concerned. Every time I went to any store I would be like, we definitely need to find something for Betty, she’s grown out of everything… And ended up with way too much stuff. Sigh.

You may recognize the sweet ensemble of outfit #8 from the French Bakery video.

What to Wear to 1st Grade

Polka dot blouse, pale green/blue dress and blue cardigan are all from Olive Juice Kids. Socks are hand me downs from Olive, originally from H&M.

What to Wear to 1st Grade

And that, my friends, is the end. What to Wear to School 2012 has officially wrapped! Thank you for coming along for the tour. You know I love good excuses to post photos of the kids. : )

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Fewer Decisions Creates More Focus | The Minimalist Mom
September 24, 2012 at 4:53 am

{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 val September 19, 2012 at 11:38 am

All those shots of Betty are absolutely darling. I particularly love that she has so many dresses. So girlie and fun!

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2 Yamila September 19, 2012 at 11:52 am

Your kids are gorgeous, such individuals. You are also very cute in the kitchen clean up video too. What a great mum. We have also left comforts of our home in Sysney and just moved to Patagonia, Argentina. My son is 5 he started preschool this week as we just moved here last week. It’s great for them to learn another language but so tiring, preschool hours are 8-12 and they give them milk, biscuits and snacks at preschool. Next year he turns 6 and starts school. My 2 year old is at home with me. Take care Yamila xx

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3 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag September 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Ooooooh, this is my favorite clothes post! Your children are ALL gorgeous, but I have great fondness for this one simply because I have a six year old 1st grade daughter as well! Thank you for reminding me about Olive Juice Kids — I used to get their catalog but this yr I didn’t — their clothes are so charming!

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4 Design Mom September 20, 2012 at 7:53 am

Olive Juice makes such great clothes! You should totally come back later today, because I’m posting a giveaway from them.

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5 patricia September 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Adorable, I just can’t stop giggling. She’s so cute, it’s beyond speech. The outfits are perfect in every way! Funny that you mentioned the “grocery store” Carrefour, it’s the only place where I have been able to find real French baguettes when I’m in the island (DR), they come frozen all the way from France! We also have the only IKEA in all of Latin America. We are lucky in that sense!

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6 Jennifer F. - American Mom in Bordeaux September 19, 2012 at 12:27 pm

So adorable – and yes, the French layering works super with everyone. Betty looks so French to me! She probably blends right in with her classmates. My kids also loved H& M and Zara kids this year! The look in Southweastern France is similar. Thanks for sharing – very enjoyable!

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7 Lucy Mitchell September 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm

You pick the perfect colours for your kids skintones. Those soft blues, greys and greens are hard to find! I know, I’m always on the lookout for them – three of my kids are redheads. Thanks for the posts.

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8 Design Mom September 20, 2012 at 7:55 am

Thanks for the complement, Lucy. Finding muted, soft colors is fun to do in France because they offer some many options! Softer colors definitely win out here.

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9 Birgit September 19, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Aw she is beautiful, and poses so sweet. I have a first grader too. Do they have K in France or is this her first year ever in a formal school setting?
In some pics she reminds me of Ginny Weasley :)

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10 Design Mom September 20, 2012 at 7:57 am

They do have kindergarten here, called Maternelle, so this will be Betty’s second year.

And we happen to be reading Harry Potter as a family this month and Betty definitely gets teased by her older siblings that she’s going to marry Harry someday.

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11 Charity September 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Oh she looks like such a sweet, sweet hearted girl! Love the pics too :)

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12 Robin k September 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Sigh…

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13 Kate September 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I love so many of these outfits, especially the one with the striped leggings and the fantastic red scarf! I hadn’t realized that you were also the fifth-born child of your family — what a wonderful little connection for you and Betty to share!

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14 Lata September 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Your little girl is adorable. Love her Back to School wardrobe! I have a 2nd grader but she has uniforms at school. Not that it stops me from putting together her wardrobe!

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15 Maike September 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Love them!
I was laughing when you said you kept buying stuff for her because you thought she grew out of everything.
Just happened to me with winter tights for my four year old. I was really convinced that half of them were too small and we didn’t have enough anyway.
yesterday I counted them: 20 pairs of tights. They all fit.

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16 hyzen September 19, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Yes, I relate to this too! Even though we have too many clothes in our house, I couldn’t seem to find any shorts that fit my toddler this spring, so I started picking some up whenever I found a good deal, continually feeling that we didn’t have enough. I accidentally accumulated about 8-10 pairs for him! This fall, I made sure to do an accurate inventory of the pants that fit him before buying anything, and I found we didn’t need any more, and should probably give some away!

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17 Design Mom September 20, 2012 at 7:58 am

That’s hilarious! And it could totally happen to me. Especially with things like tights or underwear. It’s hard to keep track of who needs what!

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18 Robin September 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm

That profile shot of her in the blue sweater looks just like her sister Olive!

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19 Joy G September 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm

You have such beautiful girls and handsome boys! I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking I’d love to see what Baby June is wearing these days, even though she doesn’t go to school. Babies have cute clothes, too! :)

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20 Design Mom September 20, 2012 at 8:00 am

I definitely want to do a little post on on Baby June’s clothes. But first, I need to do some shopping! Since she’s not in school, she was last in line for new clothes. I’ll have to show you what I find once I get out there.

Crossing my fingers she’ll be up for spending some time in front of the camera. : )

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21 hyzen September 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm

So, I have to ask–does she really have just 8 outfits? I say “just” because clothes in our house seem to multiply like crazy, and we only have 2 kids! I bought my 4 year old a few special things to wear this fall, but I find that most of her tops from last winter/spring still fit, as well as many skirts and dresses, and all of the cropped pants and leggings (I have tended to buy a size up throughout her life because she seemed to grow so fast, but now she is evening out a bit and last year’s stuff is often just right). Add to that the many gifts we receive, and hand-me-downs from friends, and the girl has more clothes than she could possibly wear. Her little brother’s situation is about the same, only I haven’t bought *anything* for him lately since he is drowning in hand-me-downs from his sister (I try to buy gender neutral clothes for that purpose, as much as possible) and from our friends. I would not be exaggerating to say that each kid has 20+ pants/bottoms, 30+ tops, etc. Sometimes I think life would be simpler if I just gave away 60-75% of what they have (our space is limited, and my young fashionista spends a bit too much time sifting through her options to find exactly what she wants to wear each day), but it is nice never having to worry they’ll run out of clothes if laundry isn’t done on time! With all your kids, I would think the hand-me-downs would multiply, too–or are you just very vigilant about weeding things out and giving them away?

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22 Darci September 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm

I was about to ask the same question. Do you really only have a weeks worth of clothes ? I need to get my kids there, but it’s hard. I am sure I have at least a months worth of unique outfits. It’s too much really. Our shelves are overflowing

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23 SEC September 20, 2012 at 2:48 am

I’ll “third” this question. And add, do the kids then really stick with the combinations you have come up with? Because my kids would pick, for example, the purple striped dress and the rainbow striped socks and insist they match and must be worn together because they are both striped. (In fact, this happened yesterday when my son came downstairs in green-and-blue plaid shorts, and a (different) green-and-blue plaid button down shirt. Both green and blue, both plaid, and no amount of persuasion could convince him they don’t match!

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24 Design Mom September 20, 2012 at 8:03 am

Oh my goodness, you guys. I am hard core about clearing out their closets! It’s definitely one of my house-management tricks. With every child we’ve added, it’s like I can handle less “stuff” around. I am constantly clearing out overflow

My kids definitely have more clothes than what we show. Think specialized items like a sweatsuit for gym class and a drawer full of pajamas. But not exaggerating, I think you’re seeing about 85% of their entire wardrobes.

I should do a whole post on it!

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25 Lynn September 20, 2012 at 9:47 am

Yes, please do!!!

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26 hyzen September 20, 2012 at 9:48 am

I’d love a post on this! I’m sure you have a lot of great house management tricks we could learn from, especially with respect to keeping “stuff” at a manageable level even with a full house of kids!

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27 Claire September 20, 2012 at 11:19 am

Yes!! I agree. Please post on this! We’ve often spent a few months away in the summer and it was so liberating for me to have only a few outfits for myself and the kids. But I could have done a better job picking up things that could mix and match better — not in a G’rranimals matchy-matchy kind of way, but in an awesome and stylish Blair family way.

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28 Tara Jane September 20, 2012 at 11:55 am

Yes please, also an article on how to handle gifts!

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29 Christine September 21, 2012 at 3:53 am

Yes please! So happy to see this question raised and seconded. Do you have specific rules on how to build your children’s wardrobe? (I might even need this info for my own wardrobe). A post would be good reading to me.

30 Mrs. LIAYF September 19, 2012 at 3:27 pm

All the outfits are adorable, but I LOVE the rainbow socks! We saw the same pair from Sock It To Me at our local shoe store – the Sneakery – when I was looking for stripey socks for my son. It’s harder to find cute striped socks for boys here, but we did find some wonderful pirate knee-high socks he loves. :)

I notice you said that 8 outfits was too many – I agree. Many kids in the US have so much clothing – I have noticed this especially with my friends who have little girls. When we were shopping for school clothes for Lukas we focused on 4-5 nice tops and 4-5 nice pants. And, of course, the classic jean. His Kindergarten focuses on a lot of outdoor time and art, so he sometimes comes home a little dirty. While I may regret having to do laudry more often I want him to appreciate and take care of the clothes he has and love what he wears.

Question – we also layer a lot here in Seattle. Do you have a good source for a light all-weather jacket for a slightly small 5 year old boy? I was thinking REI, but perhaps you have a different suggestion?

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31 Tara Jane September 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

Boden and H&M have great striped socks for boys. The LLBean rain coats are awesome, albeit a bit sporty, all weather jackets.

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32 Katherine September 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Gabrielle – thanks for this series – you mentioned that Betty’s French is the best. Can you give us a roundup of where and how the kids are doing in terms of the language as well as overall school work? Do they esp the older kids feel more settled at school this year? Which subjects do they enjoy and which ones do they still find difficult? Differences between the French and American classrooms? I’m so fascinated by your family’s undertaking to plunge all your kids into a French school and French country life. Bravo and bonne continuation!

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33 Design Mom September 20, 2012 at 8:03 am

Good idea, Katherine. I haven’t done a language update in months. I’ll put one on the editorial calendar.

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34 Tasha September 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Didn’t we once see a post about the Euro way vs. American of re-wearing items to coordinate into new outfits? I really love this idea on so many levels…back to basics – in all ways! Economically, environmentally, personally!!! Was it here or else where that I recall a young woman trying this “challenge” recently. Probably a magazine, perhaps “Real Simple” or…?
Post Script – Betty looks like a lady and so darn cute!

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35 Stella September 19, 2012 at 4:03 pm

She is so adorable! Love the clothes.

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36 Anne Evans September 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Adorable in everything. :)
Such a cute and smiley girl!

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37 Lisa September 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm

This little lady is developing some great style. I like her tendency of mixing patterns (future fashionista). She is such a sweet girl. Like all your children of course :)

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38 sofija September 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Thank you so much for putting these posts together. Very inspiring. Since you are so good at it, how about a “what to wear for Christmas” post? I had to ask.

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39 Design Mom September 20, 2012 at 8:08 am

Hi Sofija! I love sharing what my kids wear for Christmas — although some years it hasn’t happened till January (December can get so crazy!).

Here are a couple posts from past years, and I’ll do my best to get a head start on this year:

http://www.designmom.com/2012/03/prepping-for-a-family-photoshoot/
http://www.designmom.com/2011/02/holiday-clothes-2010/

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40 Kym September 19, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Really enjoy these posts. I love their style. Any chance of a toddler edition?

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41 Emily September 19, 2012 at 8:24 pm

if I can ask what I hope isn’t a ridiculous question: you said you thought Betty had too many clothes to keep track of. So–as far as each of your children’s outfits–are those all the clothes they have and do they just rotate through those outfits? Do you mix them up a bit? Do they each have a stash of random items or do you try to clean those out fairly well? I just went over all my children’s clothes and while my oldest boy has a couple pairs of pants and 5 or 6 shirts, boy number 3 has about 15 shirts since all the hand-me-down’s pile up in his closet. Do you hold on to that or try to keep it lean? Thanks for the tips :)

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42 Design Mom September 20, 2012 at 8:12 am

Not a ridiculous question at all, Emily! My kids definitely mix it up. Jeans get paired with any top in the wardrobe. Sweaters get layered over whatever they might be wearing that day.

But we totally embrace trying to keep it lean! That’s a big priority for me. If there’s a hole that can’t be mended or a stain that can’t be removed, or it’s just generally looking worn or depressing, the clothing is taken out of rotation. If it’s too small or too big, it’s gone. If we thought it was a good idea, but it never looks quite right when it’s actually worn, we say good bye.

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43 Emily September 20, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Thanks for the reply Garielle. And as I read through all the comments–yes! please! I would love to see a post about this. How much hand-me-down stuff do you hold on to? Do things make it from Maude to Betty? Or from Ralph to Oscar? I always seems to have a couple buckets of different sized clothes in the basement but assume with your move to France if you did that before it doesn’t so much work right now. I don’t know how to balance the urge to hold on to stuff that might possibly be used at some point again with the need to keep clutter to a minimum. The frugal mother in me wants to save everything while my longing for tidiness says throw it all out and buy new when needed–how do you handle this? And (one more question, sorry) what do you do with your worn out clothes? Are they still donate-able, or do you just toss them? I find I keep too many thinking I’ll one day patch them or cut them up to patch others things and they just pile up.

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44 hyzen September 21, 2012 at 11:44 am

This describes my issue pretty well, too–the battle between frugal and tidy. And because we are planning on having another kid or two, I don’t get rid of anything after it’s outgrown, either, unless it was something that is either damaged or which didn’t work well for us. They all go into big bins in the basement, labeled with size and gender, to be raided at a later date.

Emily, to your question about whether things are too worn out to donate, our local Goodwill will accept donations of all qualities, and if the garment is too worn out to sell, they have a textile recycling program where they send out the old clothes to be milled and made into other stuff. I know that helps cut down on my concerns about whether something is worth donating or not. Maybe your local donation centers have a similar program?

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45 kirsten September 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm

that is one stylin’ first grader! tres a la mode… :)

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46 Torey September 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Yes, please tell us how many clothes the kids have. :) I thought these were just the nicer/newer school outfits. Do they have a bunch of other play clothes and other seasonal stuff?

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47 Joy September 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm

OMG is she so precious. Love this cute dressing kids series.

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48 The Happy Mother September 20, 2012 at 4:55 am

I love seeing all of these posts about your kids and their clothing! Do your kids wear JUST these outifts? Or do they have random tops and bottoms that they switch out with the pieces you featured to make more outfits? I think many Americans (me included) tend to buy WAY too many clothes for their kids. I would love to get your take on what is a good number of pieces to own. Do you shop separates for them? Or do you just buy outfits? Do they have fancier clothes (like what would they wear to church or out for a nice dinner?) I also have six kids, so it really adds up when you start buying tons of stuff!

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49 Kimberly September 20, 2012 at 5:07 am

Looking at Betty’s picture in the sidebar, I can’t believe what a difference a year can make! Thanks for the series! Now to find an adult version of the purple/blue Carrefour cardigan.

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50 jen September 20, 2012 at 7:14 am

Precious. I saw Maude’s what to wear to school series yesterday and now Betty’s fashion shoot. Is it wrong that I’d totally wear the same outfits if I could as an adult? Such a stylie family!

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51 Sarah September 20, 2012 at 7:26 am

really sweet. i have to say, i wish american kids dressed like french ones! it seems like there’s much less in the way of big labels and branded characters on clothing – is that your experience? these looks are all so refreshing!

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52 Corina September 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Betty is a classy First Grader. My twin first graders outfits (and there are waaay too many) mostly resemble her Outfit No 4. Yes- my girls are rocking the clown look. I have to work harder on their wardrobe next year…otherwise they never graduate to classy from clown ! Doe Betty have to wear particular shoes/clothing for her gym/sport days? I find that 2 of 5 days they must wear gym appropriate clothing and shoes which also messes with my vision of dressing them so I am beginning to suck up to the idea of spending more on nicer sneakers!

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53 Tanya September 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm

So fancy and grown up :)

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54 Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 22, 2012 at 5:35 pm

I love the skirt! I just came in the kitchen to give the chidren their snacks. I was just about to finish up making a skirt for my daughter with a simple elastic waist, when I saw this skirt! So cute! I’m going to unpick the top now and construct a waistband like that one in some other fabric.

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55 Stoich91 September 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Love, love, love! She is adorable! :D And yes, I think ballet means “dance” in French; so funny how they have a different name for it! :D She must have the patience of a Saint to do ballet at six. Such a sweatpea!

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56 Béa October 16, 2012 at 10:36 am

a very late comment, but have you ever been to a ‘Papa pique et Maman coud’ shop in France?
They have very cute (hair) accessories for girls. Betty’s first liberty skirt reminded me of them.

And in case you’re intrigued by the name :
http://www.ina.fr/divertissement/chansons/video/I05042312/catherine-sauvage-papa-pique-et-maman-coud.fr.html

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