Staying One Step Ahead – maybe…

“Grandchildren are like a crown to the elderly” – Prov. 17:6a.  There is such truth in this proverb!  We have delighted in our grandchildren these last several years – each one is unique and their personalities as well as antics keep us laughing!

This is Eva – our little whirling dervish granddaughter!  She’s 2-1/2.  That little pixie face and big blue eyes make her look like a little angel, but don’t be fooled!  What goes on her head – well, I cannot even begin to imagine!!!  She’s our modern-day version of Dennis the Menace.  LOL!



Eva is never still.  She’s always into something, and the average adult cannot imagine what she could come up with or what she could get into.  That’s just how it is.  She attacks life with gusto and is fearless.  Case in point……

Eva swing


So, what does this all have to do with sewing?  Funny you should ask.  LOL!  Eva’s independent spirit means that she likes to be in charge of herself and her environment – including, what she’s wearing – or NOT wearing, as the case might be.

As early as she could manage to figure out how to “un-do” things, she has been one to undress herself when you would least expect it.  Frequently it is in bed, right before she falls asleep at nap time or bed time.  Recently that has become more of a challenge since it is happening more frequently.  She’s still in pull-ups.  You can see where this is going!  LOL!

One of the more recent episodes of undressing in bed was due to necessity.  She was uncomfortable.  Her pull-up was “soiled”.  So being the independent little thing that she is, she “handled” it.  Later that evening, her mommy discovered the soiled pull-up, many, many, many wipes and the little angel  sound asleep in bed wearing a clean pull-up.  These are the discoveries that nobody wants to find!  Hahaha!!!  I’m grandma, so I can laugh about it.  However, mommy had to do the clean up.  On the plus side – Eva is so busy all day long, that once she is asleep, she out for the night.  The clean up was done, including steam cleaning the carpet, without her even waking!!!

Upon pondering the situation, I decided that perhaps – and that’s a big perhaps – the situation can be avoided by creating the appropriate sort of “union” suit for her to sleep in.  So, that was my mission this past week.  This isn’t heirloom sewing, couture sewing or anything of the sort – it is fast and dirty sewing.  So, I went out and found a bigger girls polo type dress and re-fashioned it into PJ’s that zip up the back.  The hope is that she won’t be able to get out of these.  LOL!

I have to admit – I feel a bit like the 30-something young women that refashion outfits and then put up a free “tutorial”, including pattern, on their blogs.  LOL!  This isn’t the case – I’m just showing you my pitiful attempt.  I do know how to make a real pattern and have it fit – just don’t want to spend the time doing that for these PJ’s.  I suspect that they won’t be needed for long enough to warrant that kind of dedication to creating a pattern.  🙂

Clearly there’s no pattern for zip up the back PJ’s, so I was wingin’ it on these.  I laid out the dress, and then put a size 3t sleeper over it to come up with the pattern.  I decided this would work with little effort.  I should have realized that this would render HUGE armholes, but I wasn’t thinking about that.  LOL!


I was fearless with the scissors and attacked the sewing in the same manner as Eva attacks life.  I quickly had something to work with.  After about an hour, I had the zipper in, armholes and neckline finished (quick and dirty – just a zig zag) and was ready for a “fitting”.  It was obvious that the armholes and probably the neckline would need adjusting.


The orange zipper is a fashion statement – the whole concept is a little wild, so why not have a wild colored zip in the outfit.


Definitely NOT couture methods.  Hahaha!!!  This is not my usual type of sewing – but it worked for this.


I think the armholes would fit me at this point!  Side seams of the dress were left in tact and leg openings are a rounded out portion at the bottom.  I’ve seen this in little boy rompers, so I was going with it, though NO snaps – she knows how to undo those as well.




Because I had to stop over at our other daughter’s house, I tried the outfit on Livvy, who is only 3 months older and just a bit taller than Eva.  Krissy assured me that our little Houdini could escape through the large armholes!  So, I went home and dusted the neck and arms and this is the finished product.  Tinkerbelle was added in hopes to make this more appealing to Eva.


I reused the buttons from the dress to decorate the box pleat in the front.  It’s functional, not proper technique.  🙂


I addressed the armhole situation by putting in a large inverted box pleat and then stitching it down, twice – inside and outside.  I can only hope that this is enough.


The back is pretty plain, but that’s ok.



Now, the true test of this creation is if it will accomplish the purpose that it was designed for – to keep the girl (including pull-ups) on.  I’m not entirely convinced it will work, only because her little mind can come up with things that I cannot even imagine.  In my rational adult mind, there’s no way out.  However, she could still surprise me!  She’s pretty determined and very creative in her endeavours!  If that’s the case, I’ll have to come up with something else.  LOL!

Love this little sweetheart!  I only hope that I can keep up with her when we keep both girls next week!!!  I’m sure that mommy is ready for a vacation!

Eva swing2

Now, on to some sewing that is more my style…….

16 thoughts on “Staying One Step Ahead – maybe…

  1. Terry Collins

    A creative approach to the problem, for sure! My granddaughter sounds like her little understudy. At two years, two months, she does the same sorts of things. My daughter was at a party with the little one over the weekend and discovered that she’d taken her diaper off a while ago and was running around the party “commando!”

    1. Kathy Post author

      How funny Terry! Yep – Eva does the same. A week ago she showed up in her “big girl panties” while we were all together for my husband’s birthday. LOL!

  2. Judi

    Way too funny!!!!!!!!!!! Chances are you’ll make lots of new memories next week…or I should say, Eva will make them for you!

    1. Kathy Post author

      We already have such a collection of funny stories from the grandkids! LOL! Next week should provide many more. LOL!

  3. Beth

    Oh Memories! Julia did the same thing. I’m not as talented as you, so she had a sleeper that I cut off the sleeves and legs and put on her backwards. We had to find one that had the little flap that snapped over the top of the zipper. The little bugger could get to the zipper otherwise. We survived- she leaves for college next month.

    1. Kathy Post author

      Too funny Beth! That is what I was going to do, but it’s the middle of summer and the only blanket sleepers I can find are fleece. So hot for summer, though if necessary, that may be the next solution. Glad to know that you survived!!!

  4. Rettabug

    What darling little angels, Kathy!!! Yes, they will soon grow out of this stage, but I have to say, that is the cutest little “STRAIGHT JACKET” I have ever seen!! LOL Good luck & keep us posted as to how it works.

    1. Kathy Post author

      I’m anxious to see if it will work as well – and how long before she figures out this one! LOL!

  5. Karen

    Wonderful invention! I hope it works. I love that gorgeous pink smocked dress. Are you ever near the St. Petersburg area to give classes? I’d love to make that dress!

  6. Nancy

    Kathy, when I first saw your creation, I thought the same thing….she’ll get out through the armholes. I’m so glad that you fixed them, lol. I just told Al of her escapades and he laughed as much as I did. However, it’s always funnier when it’s someone else’s grandbaby!!! Sure hope it works!

  7. Kristine Curtis

    Our first granddaughter discovered how to remove her sleepers and diaper too. Fortunately it was winter time and she was in sleepers. We were able to use a diaper pin to pin the zipper tab so she couldn’t get it down. It worked great and I was glad I held on to some of those diaper pins from dd’s cloth diapers. You came up with a great solution for summer pjs – let us know how it works!


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