As an avid sewer, Carli Grant draws outfit inspiration from pretty much anywhere, including her husband Josh's closet. After scoping out fabrics in craft stores in hopes of making her 2-year-old daughter Amelia an outfit to no avail, the mom of three transformed the red flannel he wore on the day she was born into a toddler dress — and talk about sentimental.
"I was exploring some dress designs, and I came across one that I thought would be fun to try," Carli told POPSUGAR. "I went upstairs to the closest to grab a shirt, and I picked a black and red oxford that Josh had on the day he first held Amelia. I went downstairs to start sewing it and found myself with tears in my eyes. I thought other moms could benefit from the feeling that I had when I finished the dress and saw it on her."
Carli knew that she couldn't afford to make a mistake once she got down to business — the shirt held tremendous meaning for Josh, after all.
"Carli asked me if I remembered why that shirt was so special, and I immediately remembered the day I first held my baby girl."
"First, I took a quick measurement of Amelia to get the length and size that I wanted the dress," said Carli. "I was so nervous I was going to ruin the most meaningful shirt in the closest. I made the proper cuts and started the sewing process. I finished it with an elastic waistband and made a matching bow out of the extra material."
Fortunately for Carli, her creation turned out perfectly. All that was left to do was show her husband the finished product.
"I was totally blown away," explained Josh. "I usually get home from work and play acoustic guitar to calm down from the day while Carli sews, but I never quite knew what she was up to," explained Josh. "One day, I got home, and Amelia gives me the biggest hug in her new dress."
That was when a light bulb when off in Josh's head. Amelia was wearing the shirt he had on when he held her on the day she was born.
"Carli asked me if I remembered why that shirt was so special, and I immediately remembered the day I first held my baby girl," he said. "Such an amazing memory. One that is hard to even put into words. From there, we went back through old photos and put together pictures of me holding her during her first few hours of life to the beautiful little girl in the dress asking me to dance with her in the kitchen."
After seeing Josh's eyes light up at the sight of Amelia twirling around, Carli knew she was onto something. She and Josh quickly set up a website that offers the same service to other families — and her other creations are just as charming. So the next time you need a sweet gift for your partner, look no further.