KCW is a seasonal sewing challenge. Kid’s Clothes Week gets you to sit down in front of your sewing machine and sew a little, then maybe a little more. This momentum feeds your creativity: the more you sew, the more ideas come to you, the more you want to sew!
Oh my goodness, I have recently fallen in love with yet another amazing fabric… Double Gauze!! I am sure some of you may be able to relate to what I am about to say, and for those of you who cannot relate to this, just promise me you won’t judge
I have a moderate fabric stash, but I recently put myself on a mini-fabric buying freeze in an attempt to focus on sewing items from my fabric stash. You see, I tend to buy fabric on impulse either because it is a great price or because the design is so amazing that I cannot pass it up. However, it seems I can buy fabric much faster than I can sew it.
The other day while tending to my fabric stash I came across this amazing navy, polka-dot double gauze that I had gotten Imagine Gnats Fabric a few years ago. I had never sewn with double gauze and I was a little intimidated. However, in an attempt to sew my stash, I decided to it was time to take the plunge and cut into the fabric.
I only had 1 yard of the fabric, so I decided to make a dress for my 4 year old’s upcoming preschool graduation.
I dug deep into my pattern library and decided to try the September Dress by Too Sweets Pattern. I bought this pattern in 2013 when it was released and I had yet to sew it. I did have to get a little creative when cutting out the pattern since I only had 1 yard of fabric and the pattern calls for 1.5 yards. I ended up cutting the skirt in 3 pieces and shortened the arm ruffles. But it worked
For the most part the pattern went together smoothly, and I am absolutely in love with the end result. I think the back button placket is my favorite detail.
Next time I sew the September Dress I will adjust the back placket construction, but that is a personal preference. However, I do want to say that this is a great beginner pattern. The steps are very straightforward and I think it would be very easy for a beginner sewist to construct. The dolman sleeves and the simple button placket make for a great beginner level pattern.
Now its time to talk about the fabric!
Like I mentioned earlier, this was my first experience working with Double Gauze and I loved it. The fabric was quite soft and airy. It made for the perfect summer dress.
I would also like to add that I made the dress just a few hours before my daughter’s preschool graduation. It went straight from my machine, to her body. She wore this dress for over 6 hours before I took these pictures. Although you will see that there are some wrinkles, I am still very happy with how it looks after a full day of wear. Combine that with the light airiness of the fabric, I think I may have found my new favorite woven fabric for my kids’ summer dresses. Double Gauze all summer long!
Sometimes you can find the perfect way to marry the need to make something totally fun and custom, while also filling practical needs for your kids. I’m always on the lookout for fun tee shirts that I can make into a unique item, and a skort is a pretty perfect way to use one if you’re not in need of any kid tees at the moment!
It also happens to be a fast and easy project if you want to get some production line sewing done during a kids clothes week. AND there’s even better news. The pattern I used is free and good! Head to Hey June to grab the PDF
Now, a weird scary Metallica skirt might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but therein lies the beauty of the upcycle. My daughter loves weird scary things, but the likelihood of finding such things in her size at, say, Target is pretty low.
Like me as a kid, Violet doesn’t like to be held back from being wild and crazy by the fear that her underwear will get exposed to everyone. Even now I wear a pair of cut off leggings if I wear a skirt, just in case!
Seriously, that face! Those legs! Hahaha. She looks ready to rumble on our trip to the library……
Do you love to upcycle too? What are some of your favorite things to sew with found fabric?
Happy Mother’s Day everyone!! I can’t believe it’s the end of Mini Me Made May week 2 already! How’s everyone holding up? We’ve gotten together again this week to share a round up post of how we all feel so far into this challenge.
Someone responded to our instagram story yesterday saying they’ve realized that a month is a long time!! Man! I am totally feeling that this week, and we still have 2 1/2 weeks to go! But never the less, I’m forging on! This week I’ve realized that my older three kids really don’t have that many handmades anymore. So the youngest wore 4 things on probably 5 days?! So I think I’m still doing ok though with my personal goal.
Monday we had swim class, so she wore the bottom of the mermaid bikini I made her last year and then she changed into a hand me down flash tee. Tuesday she wore her Elsa PJs to bed, and Thursday night and then somehow she wound up spending Friday in them for the entire day?!? At least she loves them! And the finally Saturday she wore her ‘deer shirt’, one of a handful of tees I made last winter for her the still somehow fit this year… Looking forward to what the next week brings
SewSophieLynn #minimemademay Week 2
This week it’s been fun to see what handmade items my kids have picked each day. My oldest daughter is the one that hates the camera the most but also tends to wear her mama-mades the most! Lucky girl, she got to be in front of the camera everyday this week, lol! She wore a Little Lizard King Montery Romper, Love Notions Leggins’, Love Notions Sloane Sweater, Jalie Mimosa, and True Bias Emerson Shorts. My little guy is all about wearing matching basketball or soccer jerseys with his bff at school these days so he just wore one handmade tee this week (a Pattern for Pirates Jolly Roger Raglan). He did get a new pair of comfy pajamas this week and has worn them every night since! My Payton wore her favorite rainbow Constance Sweater with matching food Leggins’ and an oversized Hey June Hatteras Hoodie. We’ve had weather all over the place again this week so it’s nice that they have their whole wardrobe to pick from- anything from cozy sweatshirts to shorts and tees could work depending on the day. We even had light snow on Tuesday but Saturday was in the 70’s. Gotta love spring weather!
Pyjama sewing… it’s one of those sewing tasks I keep putting off for some odd reason, even though I know everyone needs new PJs and that they’re usually my most worn makes. I usually try to make them to suit their personality or to be fun and quirky. In my mind, just because no one outside the house really sees them doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be fun, and I think I tend to go a little bit extra for that reason. I know that probably doesn’t make too much sense but it’s just how my mind works sometimes.
So this girl has been obsessing over Frozen for about a month or so now. The DVD has been residing in my car and it’s been on constant replay when we’ve been driving to out of town games or whenever we’ve needed to run around and be in there for more then 20 minutes. Probably not the best thing for her, but it helps to keep both of us sane!
And a few weeks ago, I came across an ad in one of the local buy and sell groups I’m in on facebook selling a variety of fabrics. I scanned through it, found a couple of prints that I liked and set up a time to go meet. I can’t remember if this print was actually in the picture or not, but it definitely caught my eye when I got there!! Normally I don’t use character prints, they’re nice, but I just don’t love using them in my own makes, so I tend to steer clear of them. But I knew that the Elsa phase wouldn’t last long and I couldn’t resist it, plus it’s really rare to find knit character prints where I live!
As soon as I pulled the fabrics out of my bag this one shrieked and ran off with my yardage! She couldn’t be happier! So now I had a dilemma…. What do I make with it? Since I don’t usually do character specific prints, I wasn’t sure if a tee with Elsa’s face all over it was appropriate or too kitschy. That night, as I was browsing facebook I saw a post from someone looking for a free pyjama pattern. And then I thought… well why not?!? She’s in need of pyjamas, and really nobody will care if Elsa is legitimately covering her entire body at bedtime!
So I downloaded the Grow with me Pajama by Ellie and Mac, and cut out the size 3. I went off her height measurements rather then her chest and waist this time, since I wanted them to fit her for a while. The fit is actually really good on her! They’re a little loose all over, which is fine, since she’ll grow into them. And thanks to the ‘grow with me’ cuffs that are included in the pattern, she has lots of length in the arms and legs, so they should fit her for a good while! Not sure why the cuffs look so short on her arms in these pictures, but they’ve definitely got good length on them!
You can see in this picture, that the grow with me cuffs are a bit bunched up around her ankles, which is good! I could probably fold them over so that they don’t do that, but I’m not to particular on it. I also went with the front ruffle option to give it a little bit of detail and not be so overwhelmingly ‘Elsa’.
For a free pattern, it’s an amazing option! I would definitely recommend it! It’s a great beginner friendly pattern, with clear step by step instructions, especially if you’re new to sewing with knits! The way I attached the elastic waistband was a new technique for me, more because I’ve always chosen to do it the way I knew then to try doing it this way… but it was well worth trying!! I feel like it’s a really clean way of finishing it off. So I’ll definitely be doing it again. The pattern also includes a couple more views that I’d like to try, including a faux placket and a nightgown option. So there’s lot of possibilities if you’re looking for something versatile.
This was also a really fast sew, maybe a bit more then an hour?! So this would be a great option if you plan on making pyjamas during the next challenge. Which in my case, the boys all need new pyjamas so I might be making them a few!!!
I am so excited to share my latest make with everyone! First, let me just start by saying that I live in the Phoenix, Arizona area and our summers are HOT! I am constantly looking for new casual skirt and dress patterns. Skirts and dresses are just so much easier to wear on those hot days.
This past year I seen a lot of those relaxed, everyday skirts, typically made with french terry fabric. These skirts that I am seeing remind me of a pair of joggers turned into a skirt. Here are just a few examples from my Pinterest Board.
I was looking for a relaxed fit that skims the hips and goes straight down, just past the knee. I hadn’t had any luck finding a pattern, but I had the thought to hack the Mini Hudson Pant pattern by True Bias to make the skirt I had envisioned.
I had it all mapped out in my mind, but before I started executing my plans I decided to do a quick google search to see if there was a tutorial already out there and guess what, there was a tutorial already Kelli with True Bias had a wonderful tutorial already written. The Hudson Skirt Hack, was exactly what I was looking to make and the tutorial was perfect.
Following the tutorial, I made a size 10 using the pattern for the Mini Hudson Pants. For the length, I cut the fabric one inch longer than the cut line for the capri length pants. As for fabric, I used a rayon, spandex french terry form my fabric stash.
I am really happy with the end result. I did choose not to include the drawstring, per my daughter’s request, but otherwise I think it looks quite similar to the inspiration picture.
Even though I did not include the drawstring, I did still stitch the waistband per the instructions in the pattern. I like the look of the stitched waistband, plus is keeps the elastic from rolling and twisting in the wash.
This was a very quick and gratifying project. I see myself making several more this summer for all of my girls. I might even make some for myself
I don’t know about you, but spring (along with fall) is a time my kids always get a pretty big growth spurt (like 2-3″ on average), so I try to hold off as much as I can before starting to make the next seasons outfits. Since I have 5 kids, I start out with just the basics and we add onto it through the season.
Since my girls hit the “tween” stage, they’ve definitely become more opinionated on what style and fabric designs they want to wear. Aevarie has declared she’s absolutely over dresses and skirts, so her wardrobe will have those omitted and have more t’s and shorts in it.
I know this is the age that a lot of kids stop liking hand-made clothing and I think most of that is style. Not long ago there was a dark hole between kids and adult clothing sizes, and thankfully that hole has shrunk! I’ve been able to find many pattern designers whose patterns go up to 14/16 and the patterns are more in style with what tween’s are wanting to wear now. My kids love having items that no one else in their school is wearing, so it’s been a big life saver to me!
Here’s some of the patterns and fabrics on my girls lists for this summer:
As you can tell, they still love some fun kid prints, but they also want some solid graphic tee’s (made on the Cricut so they’re exactly what they want). My oldest daughter has started growing boobs (I know! I’m totally embarrassing her talking about it!), and since she’s so tall (5′ 6.5″ – we just measured her) store bought bra’s are not working at all, so hand-made ones are in order! This is something new to my sewing arsenal, but thankfully there are some amazing (and free!) patterns out there to fill this new need.
Things can get pretty hectic and crazy for me, so I have to have some sort of system in place when sewing up my kids wardrobes. This checklist has, so far, been the best system for me. I have all the check points from choosing which patterns I’m going to be making, to printing them, cutting out fabric, and finally sewing the item up all in one place where I can just quickly look at it to help keep me on track. I’m a very visual person, so this helps so much!
You can download it and print it off. It has 12 spots for each sudoku spot that has a pattern. I personally like to put a piece of fabric I’m using for each pattern in the sudoku, but obviously you can put a picture of your pattern there, or write the pattern name in each square instead.
Do you sew for your tween? What must have patterns are they wanting this summer?
It’s finally here!! If you’re new here or want the recap, Mini Me Made May is a challenge that ties in with Me Made May, but it’s all about the kids instead. The challenge is open to anyone and everyone and it’s up to you how you interpret, but the idea is that your kids wear handmade items throughout the month of May. For instance, I, Julie, has tried to pledge at least one handmade item on one child each day for the month of May.
We’ll be sharing how we’re doing at the end of each week with a collaborative wrap up post, and today’s the day for the first post!
As previously mentioned, my goal was to have one handmade item worn on at least one child each of day of the month. We’ve hit the 5 days each and every time with these Elsa pyjamas, a pattern from Ellie and Mac. The youngest also wore her waterfall raglan with a RTW jean and my oldest son wore a too small for him Chewbacca rowan tee.
One of my goals this month is to see where I need to focus my attention on for makes. And I’ve realized that pants are definitely at the top of my priority list!!
I only snagged one photo of my kiddos in memade this week, but this has to be one of my favorite pieces I made during the fall! Shwin Design’s Ringo Raglan sized up to give plenty of room to grow (and I’ve always been a fan of a slouchy pullover anyways). The heavy sweatshirt knit I used has more than enough stretch which allowed me to use a woven fabric scrap for the front panel. This is definitely a project I’ll be revisiting for fall sewing since the two I made has proven to be very versatile and a good use for large woven scraps.
My three youngest have closets full of handmades and my hopeful goal was that at least one of them would pick a mama-made piece each day this month. We started off day one with all three of them reaching for handmades- win, win!! My oldest daughter loves her Peony Leggings from Sew Like My Mom, my son wore a Constance Sweater from Sew A Little Seam, and my other daughter chose a Love Notions outfit, a Lil LDT top paired with Leggins. Day Two my youngest wore a modified La Bella Donna from Love Notions for dance. Day Three (and also Day Four to be honest, lol) my little guy wore his Fighter Tee from Handmade Boy. My daughter pulled out an old City Park Tee from Hey June for day 4. With Day five falling on Sunday my girls almost always wear mama-made dresses to church each week, this time they were the Modkid Sage and the Love Notions Dolce dresses. The biggest challenge this week has been to get pictures each day so I’m crossing my fingers my little models are up for this all month!
I was at the store with my oldest son a few weeks ago when I noticed that there was a shirt with a fun banana print on it… and I thought it looked pretty cool. Meanwhile, my son picked up a more basic tee but it also came with a banana printed tie. Which made me wonder… are these the new fruits that are dotting the clothing landscape?! So I, of course, turned to my 11 yo son to find out if this might be the case… His answer was a definitive yes!! Well now, not that I don’t trust his judgment, but I went on the hunt to see if I might be able to find this in more then just the one store, and man did I find a lot of examples of this trend!
What I’ve mostly found is that this trend uses classic shapes, like a button up shirt or dress, a basic boxy sweater, but throws a quirky spin on it with the use of a banana print. Wether it’s tone on tone or bananas on a white or coloured background, it gives it a more youth and fun appeal. I’ve even found a few examples of plain tees with fun focal graphics with bananas, like the one with the shades in the example above.
So I went digging through the web to find you the best banana fabric out there! There’s options for both knits and wovens, flashy colours and more traditional ones… And if you don’t want to go full out on the banana print, I even found banana leaf fabric!! My youngest son shocked me a bit by saying the fuchsia pop art print was actually his fabric out of the bunch. He loved the way the colours were used in it.
I’ll definitely be planning on making something with this trend for the upcoming season of KCW, although I’m not sure yet what I’ll decide on. Seriously debating between the fuchsia shirt for my youngest son or a classic button up dress for the youngest of all! What about you… what do you think of this trend? Do you plan on going bananas anytime soon?
This month we’re starting a new feature that hopefully will turn out to be a great resource for everyone. I know I definitely find it difficult keeping track of pattern releases or even new designers that have popped up on the scene. So we’re creating this monthly feature where you’ll be able to find all the info!
The Seed Jumpsuit and Dress pattern by Sewpony. Lots of options on this one, with an elasticized waist, it offers long and short pant options, a skirt, ruffle sleeves, etc. It’s also available in her shop in English and Dutch.
The Caraway Cardigan by Delia Creates is a classic unisex knit cardigan, that also offers different length options, crop, regular and tunic plus instructions for adjusting the pattern for duster and maxi lengths. You can also find the pattern in her shop.
The Up Beet Tee from Petit a Petit & Family is another great basic half raglan tee for both boys and girls and also offers a cocoon shaped dress option. The pattern is also available here.
And finally the D’Anjou Dress by Duchess and Hare is a pinafore style dress that offers different finishing options including a ruffle bottom skirt and patch pockets. Also available in her shop.
Frocks and Frolics has just released their New Baby Collection. As part of the collection they released a the Dungies which combines a romper and pinafore pattern into one. And there’s also the Lollipop Baby Romper, a great basic raglan sleeved romper pattern. The patterns come with instructional videos that are great for beginner sewers. English and German instructions are included and sizes are from newborn to size 3. And it also looks like there’s more that will be released in the future to add to the collection!
Made for Mermaids released the Jordan Top and Dress. A great basic patterns that comes with mutliple options, like sleeveless to long sleeves, hood, split hem and more. Also comes with a dress option.
Oliver + S released the Double Dutch Jacket and Skirt. A colour blocked jacket with a dropped shoulder and a flared hem knit skirt. These two would also make great beginner patterns.
Lowland Kids is another designer that’s been super busy this month! They released 5 patterns! From left to right, there’s the Track Shorts that has a really cute binding hem detail. The Shortie Tank Romper, a sleeveless romper that has an elasticized waist. The Racerback PJ Top which pairs well with their PJ bottom pattern, but could just as well be a great tank basic for the summer. The Ruffle Shorties are a knit short pattern with a cute leg cuff ruffle. And finally the Basic Tee, which let’s be honest, is a great staple for just about any project!
Patterns for Pirates has released the Sporty Piko-Youth top, it’s a dropped sweater pattern that covers a variety of looks from sporty to trendy, with the option for a colour blocked back, a hood, a drawstring waist and much more.
Phew!!! That’s a lot of patterns! Are there any that you’re excited to sew up first? Let us know in the comments! We’d love to know what caught your eye.
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And if you’re a pattern designer that we haven’t reached out to, please feel free to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can discuss adding your to our list! Or if you’ve noticed we’ve missed some releases, let us know in the comments!
I really love the look of harem rompers, and I was hoping to find a free pattern for the style I wanted. When I didn’t find that, I decided to combine a couple of patterns, one that I already had, and one that was free, and voila! I had what I needed. And my daughter has a new romper.
girl in a romper in front of a tiled wall
I used two patterns to make this romper. I started with the Glass Onion Top pattern, which I already owned, but really any fitted bodice would work. Then for the pants, I used the free harem pants pattern found here.
First I cut out the bodice and bodice lining pieces. I lengthened the bodice and used the front bodice to create a back bodice piece also.
Mashing two patterns together is easier when you have gathered pieces, because those leave room for error. Notice in the picture of the two pattern pieces above that the pattern for the skirt of the top and the harem pants are not the same width. Since the pants are going to be gathered to fit the bodice, I just kept them the original width. I did add a few inches in length and made the crotch higher.
And there you have it. A harem romper using a free pattern, and if you sew for your kids, you probably already have a bodice pattern you can use to make the whole thing free. I would recommend making a muslin before you cut into any expensive fabric, to make sure the fit is the way you want it first. Happy sewing!