We often hear the mantra, “Live for today.” Most of us need to slow down, curb our expectations and anxieties, and embrace the present.  And for the most part, I try to approach life that way. But we can’t always live completely in the present. Sometimes we have to plan ahead, we have to think of our future generations and give them the tools they need to make this world a better place.

It’s not always easy to be a mom (single or otherwise) and live constantly in the present. Duties call. Spilled milk may not be something to cry over, but someone still has to clean it up. I was having one of those spilled milk days – dog chaos, bills to pay, groceries to put away – when Maggie came to me with this drawing and said, “I want you to make this dress for me.” It’s a miracle I even heard her.

As you can see, the dress was made, Maggie was ecstatic, and somehow, in the midst of chaos, I was able to inspire her to believe she can make anything. The best Mother’s Day gift of all is just to have that moment when you think, “I do make a difference.”

Happy Mother/Daughter Day (coming soon) to Maggie and me… and to you and yours.


This dress is an adaptation of our T-Shirt pattern, but there are many available options at Oliver + S and Vogue Children’s. We also found this sweet dress pattern that is very similar to Maggie’s dress:  Butterick B5876.


T-shirt Top pattern, adapted from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design or Alabama Studio Style
Paper scissors
1 yard of 60” wide 100% organic medium-weight organic cotton jersey
Button Craft thread
Embroidery scissors
Hand-sewing needle

Basic sewing supplies: fabric scissors, pins, tailor’s chalk, ruler, rotary cutter, Alabama Stitch Book, Alabama Studio Style, or Alabama Studio Sewing + Design: all three of these books contain basic sewing techniques.

Fabric scraps for cutting hearts, peace sign, or any shape you desire.


Fabric weight – Alabama Chanin 100% organic medium-weight cotton jersey
Fabric color – White
Heart appliques – Light Pink
Peace Sign – Blueberry
Button Craft thread for construction – Coats & Clark colors #1 White
Embroidery stitches- Cretan for the binding, whip stitch for the appliqués –  instructions available in Alabama Studio Sewing + Design
Seams – Inside Felled

Once you’ve selected a dress pattern or improvised your own, you can follow directions for the T-Shirt Top on page 31 of Alabama Studio Sewing + Design for construction details. For the appliqués, draw or trace your hearts and peace sign, or any shapes your children draw for you, onto the backside of your fabric scraps. Then, using fabric scissors, cut out the shapes. Sew them to the front piece of the garment using a parallel whipstitch found in all three studio books.


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Click to read 8 comments
  1. angela

    Guess I have to make one for my peace sign loving daughter 🙂 She would love it!!! Thanks for the idea.

  2. Sloane

    Thanks for the inspiration. With a baby on the way, I’m a little scared of the coming chaos. It’s nice to remember the moments that will be sweet.

  3. Patti

    I love this story. Our little ones can sometimes make our life crazy; but at the same time, they also stop our world and help us smell the roses, see the rainbow, or hand us the opportunity to see just how important we are. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Susan

    What an inspiration you’ve been to you daughter. Obviously she’s inhiereted your talent! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story.

  5. jonn

    Glenn and I love Maggie’s design and the beautiful execution of her vision! (He is amazed with the little schiper’s awesome design ability!) Another designer in the family. Future CEO and CCO? Go Maggie and Alabama Chanin. My thanks to all of you for your continued inspiration.

  6. Sue Whelan

    I’m thrilled that your garments still incorporate the peace sign. That sign really meant something to those of us who lived through the ‘sixties and seventies. Maggie’s little dress reminds me that we must work extra hard to pass on our values, especially of peace and kindness, if we are going to counteract the meaner zeitgeist of today.
    Sorry to turn an adorable dress into a polemic. Alabama Chanin represents the best of America to me. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I love your Journal.