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October 2016
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Be Creative With Children’s Clothing

Whether you’re making new clothing items, altering outgrown clothing or just want to add something “extra” to a childs’ garment, we have a few suggestions for you.

When my daughter was in elementary school I made “patchwork” pants for her as well as a “patchwork” jacket.  Her friends LOVED her special clothing, and immediately I started getting calls from the mothers asking if I could make their daughters “patchwork” clothes like my daughter had.  These are easy to make and can use up some of your scraps!

patchwork skirtpatchwork jacket

Cut your skirt, slacks or jacket pattern out of muslin and sew in any darts.  Next, arrange your fabric scraps to cover the muslin pieces (begin at the top and pin the scraps as you go, overlapping them as you work your way to the bottom).  When the muslin pieces are covered with fabric scraps, take it to the sewing machine and do a satin stitch all around each piece, securing it to the muslin.  After securing all the fabric pieces on the muslin pieces, sew the slacks, skirt or jacket pieces together.  Add a zipper, waistband and hook/eye closure as needed for that particular garment.  Children love these “patchwork” garments!

** A “different” way of lengthening a child’s skirt or dress is to cut OFF the hem, then insert a wide band of lace or trim and sew the hem back on under the trim.  You might want to add a piece of the same lace or trim on a pocket, or make a design out of the trim to place somewhere else on the skirt or dress to make it look like it “belongs” there rather than being an addition.

** When making elastic waist skirts, shorts or slacks for children, if you sew a small square of contrasting colored fabric at the center back casing (where tags would be if the garment was purchased), it will be easy for the child to tell the front from the back when dressing.

**Don’t give away your old clothes when you clean out your closet.  Your “last year’s” styles and designs are not worn out – maybe just outdated.  Use these clothes to make a wardrobe for your child.  See the book “Make a Child’s Wardrobe From Your Old Clothing” for a multitude of ideas.

**If you’ve made a fancy dress for that “special occasion” picture of your child, try making a padded fabric picture frame from the same fabric.  This special photo makes a great gift for grandparents.

** To help prevent loss of buttons on purchased clothing for children, reinforce the buttons with dental floss BEFORE the children wear the garment.  The buttons will NOT disappear from the garment.

** And speaking of buttons, there is nothing written in stone that says you HAVE to sew four hole buttons a certain way.  Especially in children’s clothing, try sewing them on “decorator” fashion – see samples below:

decorator buttons

The above tips are from the 500 Kwik & Easy Sewing Tips book.  Check out the “sneak preview” of other tips in the book and what people are saying about it.


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Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author


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