I love to sew for my niece. Tiny clothes are so adorable! She’s turning 3 this month, so I’ve been busy sewing. My favourite kid’s patterns are basically mini versions of what I make myself: knit dresses, tees, leggings, and stretchy pants. Everyone deserves to wear secret pyjamas, right?
Sticking with the theme of cute-but-comfy, the first two dresses are based on the Bimaa shirt pattern by LouBee Clothing. It’s basically a child’s Renfrew/hoodie pattern. For these dresses I just used the bodice (and sleeves) and winged the skirt. Recognise the fabrics from my swing tank, maxi dress, and Art Gallery Anna?
Next is a new-to-me free pattern for a kimono sleeve dress. I was sewing these up before I had exact measurements, so I figured that a kimono sleeve dress can either be loose or tight, short or long, and somehow still work! Since my niece is getting old enough to have opinions on her clothes, I wanted to make fun girly clothes (she loves pink and purple) without being over-the-top. Lots of stripes and ruffles!
The pink and purple is rayon knit with shiny gold stripes seperating the colours. I did circular ruffles at the neckline, much like I did on a tank to for myself here and here. The strawberry print is a Heather Ross print that I ordered online a few years ago – it’s like a more expensive version of that super stable Girl Charlee knit I hate! I’d cut out a Scout tee for myself in it at the time, but given up on sewing it because it is so stable. It’s perfect for a kid though – with some ruffly lingerie elastic to finish the armholes, and a gathered ruffle at the hem!
This one is my favourite! The striped fabric comes form a tee I thrifted for myself years ago, which never got much wear, and the pink is mesh that I got when FunkiFabrics sent me fabric. Finally a use for ballerina pink! For the ruffle at the hem I used basting stitches to gather up a 60″ strip, then I zigzaged it on. The top half folds down over the stitching so it all looks neat and precise! For the heart, I used a disappearing pen to sketch the shape, then a tiny zigzag to stitch on a 1″ wide strip. The mesh naturally folded in to the centre in some areas, so I folded it all inwards and topstitched it down with a zigzag. I’m hoping it all holds up well in the wash – it should!
Finally, I refashioned two pairs of my pants and 2 pairs of leggings into kiddy sized clothes. All 4 are made with the Hosh Pants pattern, also by LouBee. It’s designed to have adjustable elastic in the back, but I admit I skip that… I really like that it’s made for stretch wovens though, and has plenty of room for a big diapered butt. For the leggings I just fold out about 2″ of width, and fold down the waist with elastic instead of adding a folded waistband.
Nostalgically, I bought the railroad stripe pants back in Teacher’s College in 2007… and the jeans I cut up were my first pair of pull-on, stretchy skinny jeans, bought in Japan. Just think of how many Elle pants and Ginger jeans I’ve made since this first RTW pair! Goodness knows why I’ve hoarded this stuff for so long, but it feels good to refashion it and give the fabric new life.
I’ve got a Pinterest board going of kid’s clothing inspiration – lots and lots of Boden and anything I find with a cat face on it! As she get’s older I’d like to try out a few new patterns to shake things up. Do you have any favourite children’s clothing patterns to suggest?
PS. The Better Pictures Project starts on September 1st, and I’m so excited. The first month is about taking pictures out and about with Heather B! As practice, I’m going to be taking my DSLR to my niece’s birthday party so I can experiment with settings from behind the camera for once!