There is no word to describe Michael Gardner as a father other than “proud.” Using his passion for sewing as a way to bond with his daughter, he creates hundreds of outfits for her by refashioning thrifted women’s clothing. The only things he needed to master his craft were a few YouTube tutorials and a model, which in his case was his own daughter, Ava.
Bright Side picked 24 of our favorite outfits and, trust us, it was not an easy job since all of them are super-impressive and creative.
Michael was looking for a unique way to bond with his daughter.
Michael started sewing when Ava was 3-years-old. He started small, by making a pair of pants from a woman’s skirt, which Ava fell in love with. Seeing how something so simple had given so much happiness and confidence to his daughter, he knew he had hit the jackpot. He says that he has created more than 200 outfits so far and he often matches her clothes with his — something that makes them look even more adorable.
His goal is to build up Ava’s self-esteem and confidence.
They both try to empower each other through listening and talking and Michael wants to teach Ava to love herself and others around her. That’s why he is always asking for her opinion when it comes to picking the design and the colors. She is usually the one to pick the fabric and he then turns it into a beautiful outfit he knows Ava will actually wear in her everyday life.
Sometimes he matches her outfits with his clothes.
Like he said, Ava is the absolute boss, so when she wants them to wear a matching outfit, all Michael has to do is make it happen. She will decide on everything else, including the cut, the style, and even the location of the shoot.
Michael is always trying to find new things to do with Ava.
He just recently started to learn how to braid her hair and paint her nails. Another addition to their bonding routine includes teaching Ava how to sew herself, on her lovely pink sewing machine. She actually sewed her own dress for her Pre-K graduation and her talent is growing. Michael hopes that one day he will be able to create her prom dress if she agrees to it.
Ava is very proud of her dad and the outfits he makes for her.
She loves everything her dad creates, simply because it comes from a great place of love and care. Ava loves her dad’s smile and how attentive he is to her. And as far as his sewing talent goes, she likes to talk about the time that someone at school asked her where she bought something when in reality it was her dad’s creation.
Despite him being a great dad, he grew up with an absent father.
One of Michael’s goals, when he started sharing his sewing journey, was to encourage all dads to be as present as possible in their kids’ lives. And that’s because he suffered from a broken relationship with his father. His dad wasn’t really there when he was growing up and he wouldn’t even say “hi” to him. This behavior made him feel abandoned and unworthy throughout his life, a feeling he would never want Ava to experience.
He launched his very own merch shop.
For a long time, Michael would only sew outfits for Ava, but recently he decided to expand his hobby and turn it into a business. “For the Love of Sewing” is his custom made apparel where he sells hats, t-shirts, hoodies, and tote bags dedicated to the art of sewing. As he puts it, this project is a celebration of his passion for creativity.
He recently made his first men’s striped shirt, which made him super proud.
While Ava has always been his muse and fit model, he decided to go a bit further and make himself a navy blue and white striped shirt. Despite being unsure as to whether he could pull it off, he put in his best efforts, and the result definitely satisfied him. His next goal is to conquer the task of sewing on buttons.
What was that one fun activity you used to do with your dad that made your relationship stronger? Please, tell us more.