In case you missed this a few weeks ago, we participated in Katy’s Once Upon a Thread series and made these outfits based on this children’s book that we love:
The book Caps For Sale, by Esphyr Slodbodkina, is the story of a mustached peddler who wears his entire stock of caps on his head and strolls through towns and villages chanting, “Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!” One day, while napping under a tree all the caps are stolen by a troop of monkeys. The peddler orders them to return them but the monkeys only imitate him. It is not until he stumbles on a simple solution that he can once again chant, “Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!”
There are many reasons why we love this book. First of all, the vintage feel of the story is so our style….and secondly, the color palette and artwork is just so inspiring (I originally wrote sew inspiring….which is so true! ) And the story, well you already know, is so well-loved by children of all ages.
So here are our interpretations of this classic children’s book….
It was really the illustrations of this book that fired my imagination…the black outlined images, patches of white, and clean patterns. Simple. Understated. Awesome. And I wanted to create something with that same understated coolness.
Then as I kept looking at the images I started to get an old time circus vibe from the prints…and it even brought to mind images from the movie “Big Fish” (don’t worry if you don’t know it—it’s strange but I LOVE the imagery). So I started thinking about the traveling peddler and traveling perfomers and came up with this—black knickers made from heavy black fabric with pleats in the front and just enough body to make them interesting, paired with a black and white cape with antiqued gold rick rack. Worn with a white T-shirt and knee highs that she already owned I was happy with the look but became even happier when she put on one of Elizabeth’s caps and a crocheted pin made by her mother.
It’s simple, understated and something that I’m going to have her wearing throughout the holiday season.
Hannah’s outfit was inspired by both the black and white feel of the illustrations with splashes of color. I also love the look of the stripes in the fields and so I envisioned a black and white striped skirt with a mustard colored jacket and a red hat. I never found black and white stripes with as wide of stripes as I wanted, so I pieced some heavy-weight twills together to get the kind of stripes that fit the vision. (They are 4 1/2 inches wide if you are interested.) The skirt is a gathered skirt with a flat-front waistband and is made much like this one if you need a tutorial.
Her cropped jacket is simple a-line shape with a single vintage button closure in the front that I made from a mustard cotton and linen blend.
And what about the caps? You can’t not have caps in Caps For Sale.
Well, you are in luck…because here is the tutorial for these little vintage-esque beauties. They were inspired by a knit hat that my grandma made me when I was young, straight from a 1950’s knitting pattern that was cream angora wool. I so didn’t appreciate the hat at the time (it wasn’t cool at the time) but now I am in love with recreating it. And so I came up with the following little hats for girls.
You are first going to need the pattern. It is HERE.
Have a great day….see you tomorrow.
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