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Sewing For Kids

I don’t know why people spend so much time sewing for their kids when they outgrow the clothes so fast

This is what I used to wonder. *BEFORE* I became a mom. And even though I still didn’t sew for Dia too much in her first year, I now know WHY. Well at least I know why I sew for her. And this blog post is MY answer to the question above for anyone who may be wondering like I used to.

This post is also a little bit about gushing… you’ll see why.

The First Year

In their first year babies do outgrow their clothes every 2 to 3 months, so I didn’t sew too many things for my little one. However I still wanted to, so upon a friend’s suggestion I decided to sew for special occasions and events. I made birthday clothes, and one for each age bracket (0-3, 3-6… you get the idea).


Jalie 3133


Minikrea 20003 (Thanks to my friend Maria of MariaDenmark)


Ottobre 04-2008-02


Pattern Hacked from a free Ottobre t-shirt


When it comes to patterns for kids, there are two pattern companies I absolutely love and admire. Oliver & S and Jalie. Both of these indie companies produce REALLY high quality patterns with EXCELLENT instructions and sewing techniques. Not only that, I admire the people behind O&S and Jalie. Both are family owned businesses who have a passion for sewing. Like us they SEW! ย Over the last few years I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and connecting with them personally and I like them even more. ย I guess this is one of the perks of running PatternReview. I have made some lovely friends!



A Learning Tool

As I was finishing up a Swingset Skirt (elastic waist twirly skirt) for Dia, following the instructions and making the drawstring, it struck me how much I learn with each and every pattern I have sewn using Oliver & S. Even though this is a simple elastic waist skirt, but the fact that there are channels of narrow elastic on both sides of a drawstring casing, combined with a lining which can be totally reversible is what sets this apart from millions (ok maybe not millions) of patterns out there.



I’ve always been terrified of making jackets for myself, but I made this gorgeous unlined, jacket for Dia using liberty bias bound (self made of course) seam finishes. Pattern – Oliver & S Sunday Brunch Jacket.



I think of sewing kids clothes as mini-lessons.ย  Even if they don’t work out, its less investment in time and fabric ๐Ÿ™‚ And if they do? Your child is probably going to be the best dressed kid in school (like mine).IMG_5752


Faced hem and piping was a first for me when I sewed this Tea Party Sundress.

IMG_1193_comp IMG_1201

This Ruffled Halter – a Free Pattern was my basis for many gifts.





Every summer, I make a new summer hat for Dia and up until this year, I used the Bucket Hat pattern. I practiced my topstitching skills with rows and rows of concentric circles.


I did my first Vent Hem in a skirt when I made this thanksgiving outfit for miss D. Also my first time making a partial elasticized waistband. Pattern Sunday Brunch Skirt.


Oliver & S Sunday Brunch Skirt

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve used the Hopscotch shirt pattern.


This may be simple PJ bottoms but the addition of contrasting bound hem and casing takes it to a whole different level.


Oliver & S Bedtime Story Pajamas

I’ve been a Tea Collection Fan for years so imagine how thrilled I was when there was a pattern hack post on Oliver and S blog for hacking their library dress to make the famous Wrap Dress. I’ve made two already and on my way to the third. This is one of my favorite dresses on Dia.



Hacked Oliver & S Library Dress

Here’s another project I made for her following a tutorial on Oliver & S blog. How cute are these leggings?

Oliver & S Playtime Leggings

Taking it slow

I have my #mommysweatshop moments when I am cranking out leggings and basics for her (because I love it) but when I am sewing with Oliver & S patterns, I take my time. I enjoy each step and do it leisurely, taking care to press each and every seam, making sure everything lines up. Carefully pressing the bias tape. There is no need to rush because I know when I am done with the project, I am going to be proud of it. So don’t look at Oliver & S patterns if you are in need of some quick and easy sewing. But do try them if you want to create a quality garment you’d be proud to claim as me-made and when someone asks “where do you buy your girls clothes“, tell them with all the smug you can manage “Oh I make them myself” and then watch the expression on their faces ๐Ÿ™‚ Precious!

I LOVE Jalie Patterns

Because they make some of the best knit garment patterns out there. And I know my knit patterns. I’ve used Jalie for years for myself but did you know that they come in teeny tiny sizes also? In the same envelope! What a bargain! After gaining confidence in hacking patterns, I hacked the 2805 knit t-shirt so many times, the pattern is in tatters..

A Shrug


Peplum Top

Fit and Flare Dress,

Elsa Dress – Costume


Circle Shirt



Another winner is the Dolman Sleeve Top – 3352 for a quick t-shirt. I’ve also used it to make Mom-n-Me Matching outfits ๐Ÿ™‚ because they have 22 sizes in one envelope!


Most recently I’ve used Jalie pattern to make applique gymnastics leotard and I can’t believe how easy it was. Not to mention so cute.



Jalie 3138


Rewards are great when you sew for kids!

Its definitely rewarding to sew for your kids, especially when they “pay” you in hugs and kisses but its also a GREAT way to learn and practice new sewing techniques. Things which I am hesitant to do for grown up clothes, I can always “try” them out on her. Now that she is growing up… (almost 5 years old), I take even more joy in sewing for her because not only can she wear the clothes for a longer period, these are the clothes I will save and cherish and perhaps pass on to a dear friend or her cousins.

So thank you Oliver & S and Jalie. Please don’t ever stop making patterns for kids.

I hope this post encourages some of you to sew for kids. Even if you don’t have any kids to sew for, they make great gifts for friends or even charity!

Yay for Kid Sewing! On another note – Kids Clothes Week has just begun.

Are you participating?






Quick Photos of my Jeans

Ok you guys, this is how much I love you! I dropped everything and took some quick photos to show you the fit of the jeans. There are a few things I would like to change. For example, see how you can see the zipper pull from the front? It’s because a) they are pretty snug and b) there is not enough fabric covering the fly. Now, this is something I’d like to figure out how to change. Any ideas?

The flare is pretty substantial because I added an inch in length at the bottom because I wanted even more flare. But the photos don’t really show it. All in all, I LOVE THEM! And you know you did something right when a bunch of teenagers agree. I was modeling these to my friends here at the studio who run drawing and painting classes. The girls there exclaimed “YOU MADE THESE!”. They kept looking at it. Isn’t that the best compliment ever. I am so proud!

You know, I am going to try to control my emotions when I finally write the review tomorrow but I am noticing that as compared to the quick and easy projects I used to enjoy sewing before, I am loving the details in my last few projects. I sew only on the weekends, which gives me a chance to get away from PatternReview work and enjoy the reason why I started PatternReview in the first place.

My plan was to sew a little bit all week long but as I started working on these on Saturday, I just couldn’t stop. Who needs to eat, right?

Never say never! I made my own JEANS!

Ok so last year I declared confidently “I will never ever sew jeans”. Well, whaddaya know. Three months later, I sewed ’em!

In my defense, I don’t wear jeans that often but that doesn’t stop me from buying them! However out of the 5 pairs of jeans I have, only one fits me like a dream and that’s the only one I wear. It’s GAP.. So it should be easy to find another one just like it right? Wrong! When I now go to the stores, none of the GAP jeans fit me either. Go figure!

So I decided… life’s too short to keep wondering if my own jeans will be better. Well guess what? You guys were absolutely right! Jalie 2908 is an absolutely awesome pattern. I never want to be without it.

This weekend I cut myself off from everything. I didn’t even turn my computer on for the last two days if you can believe that! It did take me one full day and a few hours yesterday (start to finish right from tracing the pattern to topstitching) to sew these.

But boy do I love them or what?

I can now truly see why this pattern is so popular on It was also the BEST pattern of 2009 and I can see it being in the list again this year. I mean everyone needs jeans don’t they?

I am too excited right now to even write a review. I have to add rivets today and I’ll write a full review on PatternReview after that.

Meanwhile here’s another photo.

This is also my February project for the One Garment a Month Sew along.

Related links: Jeans Tips and Tricks from PatternReview Boards

2908 Reviews

Best Patterns of 2009 article

Gagan is giving me the best birthday gift ever! We are going for a quick vacation to Belize this Friday! I am hoping to sew a quick linen top before we leave. That’s also the reason I wanted to finish these jeans this weekend…

Marriage of Fabric and Pattern is important!

A few weeks ago I got to test the prototype of the highly anticipated new tie front Jalie pattern 2921. PR weekend Portland attendees may remember the white top the lovely Emilie was wearing there. So excited I was to get this pattern that I didn’t pay attention to the fabric. I bought this fabric from Metro Textiles last year because I loved the color combo and the fact that it’s rayon jersey. It’s so hard to find good quality rayon jersey isn’t it? Of course what I did not see closely there : the really large concentric circles all over the print. See where I am going with this?

This is an example of a BAD Marriage!

In retrospect, even if I had paid attention on placement, there is simply nothing I could have done to avoid the “target” look. The circles are all over the place! And so engrossed I was in the construction of this top and the sheer excitement of it all, that I didn’t notice it until it was done and I wore it. And when I did, I was shocked to see it. There is no way I could wear it outside the house. My Solution? Wear it under a jacket. But then what’s the point ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Can you imagine the agony I am in? I simply love this pattern and you will too when it comes out (very soon!) But this is the lesson I learned in this project, never jump into a project without placing the fabric on yourself first.

Now, about the pattern. Did I say that I love it? The tie has endless possibilities. My friend Donna was playing with the top and together we were trying to figure out if there is anyway this top can be used. So she took the ties and tied a cute little knot in the back and voila! We have a cowl neck.

I still love the version with the buckle though. I am cutting out another top tonight in a solid rayon jersey which I know I will get lots of use from. The construction of this top is brilliant! My advice, don’t over think it, just go with the flow and it’ll all come together.

Jalie 2921

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