29 going on 5….

A quicky about the fabrics! After I received a number of comments about the bird fabric I thought you might like to know that the lovely Kerrie of Bloom Fabrics sells it here – plus she has a number of other fabrics that are rather dashing too! She sent me some a few months ago and I LOVE it, but was afraid to cut into it since, you know,  its a knit. Seriously a dream to work with! Skirt fabric is a lightweight denim and jacket is corduroy from Hancock’s. Pink T is fabric from Sewzanne’s from forever ago – she also sells great knits!

I don’t think I’ve told you that I have a mini me running around, masquerading as my sister’s daughter – that would make her my niece. It’s really weird, when you have a niece that looks just like you looked when you were a kid. Anyhow, she’s about to start kindergarten. I had been fighting with myself ruminating on whether or not I should make her a little outfit for this “back first time to school” occasion, when one day on the phone with my sis, the words “Can I make MJ a back to school outfit?” came tumbling out of my mouth.

Back to School

Now, I’ll level with you. The thought of making kids’ clothing is something I’ve always, rather snottily, turned my nose up at. Sad, but true. It’s only amplified by the fact that I have no children of my own, and it just seems like a lot of work when kids grow out of their clothes so fast and put their clothes through a serious beating – especially on the playground at recess. But I had some serious back to school fever, something I always get around this time of year, and I wanted to make something school-ish for someone and MJ was raising her hand the highest out of the bunch.

Back to School

This was fun. Have to admit. I was going for separates because the idea of giving her a mini wardrobe that she could incorporate into her own wardrobe gave me a thrilling sense of satisfaction. Don’t ask why, because I have no idea. What’s way strange is that it was so easy to come up with what I was going to do as far as picking a pattern and cloth. I mean, its never that easy for me to do for myself. In fact I daresay I had an amazing time coordinating everything. Which reminds me that I’ve got to start doing this for myself – oh wait! I’ve already said that here before…somewhere in the blogging archive….Oy….

Back to School

I used this Lizzy McGuire pattern from Simplicity, just in case you absolutely had to know. Funny thing, I had no idea who Lizzy McGuire was and yes, I was almost put off by the fact that the outfit looked atrocious on the poor dear that had to model it for the pattern envelope. It had everything I wanted though – skirt, jacket and a T. I brought it home and had it on my inspiration board when Mr. S walked by and laughed and mentioned Hillary Duff and how she is Lizzy McGuire. Who knows these things? I mean, unless you have kids, because then I know that you know. I’m actually shocked that I know Hannah Montana’s Miley Cyrus’ real identity.

Back to School

Anyway, I whipped this entire ensemble – skirt, jacket, 2 T’s & flower brooch – out in one weekend. Wam, Bam, Thank you Mam! I was pretty thrilled with myself, plus I also tackled the knit. Yup. I’m now ready to make a knit T-shirt for myself. And here I thought it was going to be scary. Silly, silly me. Knits are definitely easy – I think I had brainwashed myself into thinking they were hard or something. There you go. Wish I was 5.

Ever sewn for kids before? What was your take?



40 thoughts on “29 going on 5….

  1. So cute – I want one of those jackets for myself! I’ve only ever sewn for babies as baby shower gifts but I foresee that with al these babies growing up rather fast there will be some sewing for kids in my future. I imagine that part of the satisfaction is that the items are much smaller, and therefore faster, and that kids are not as picky as one is about things fitting just so. These items are adorable and your niece is a lucky kid – way to go!

  2. I sew for my daughters occasionally – they’re 2 and 4. I don’t do it all the time because, like you said, they grow out of it so quickly and it’s such work for a short-lived thing. I can buy them “expendable” clothes for a few dollars at the stores.

    But I’ll tell you – when you make them something special (a costume or a dress for a special occasion) and they REALLY appreciate it, it makes it all worthwhile! A back-to-school outfit, a Valentine party dress, or a costume… perfect reason to spend the time and energy on something they’ll wear briefly.

    I LOVE your separates and she’ll definitely be able to wear them for a while, if she’s 5. They don’t grow quite as quickly at that age, so she should have some time to enjoy your handiwork. And she’ll feel totally special that no one else will have an outfit like it!

  3. Very cute! Yes, sewing for kids can be seem like a lot of work for nothing because they outgrow everything so fast, but it’s also a good opportunity to practice new techniques for your own clothes, just like you discovered that there’s nothing scary about knits 🙂

  4. this is adorable. all i can think of is the whomping it’ll take on the playground! i cringe in fear!

    i’ve sewn for kids before– a little apron that took about 5 hours, because i had to make each stitch perfect; as naturally the child would SEE if i was a sixteenth of an inch off– i’m not sure i’ll do it again.

    1. Awww! The joy of having a serger now really made this outfit whip out quick! Hopefully it will be able to stand up to the beating – we’ll see! I’m expecting to hear detailed reports from my sis!

  5. Oh my goodness! Where did you get that bird print? It’s so cute!

    I have to admit, I recently made my first piece of kid’s clothing for my niece. I made a dress, and wasn’t very impressed with the end result. I was so caught up in making sure I got a pattern that I’d be able to complete with my rather novice sewing skills, that I didn’t think too hard about whether I LIKED the pattern, and was a bit unimpressed with how the dress turned out. This outfit is some serious inspiration however, so I might give it another go! (With a more interesting pattern!)

    1. Oh definitely do! I ran over to the Oilily website before getting my color scheme to be what I wanted. They had some great inspiration for kid’s clothing. Totally darling with pieces that can go with other pieces really well!

  6. That is adorable! I loved sewing wee people clothes, my niece and nephews are all grown up and apparently it is not cool to receive handmade clothes anymore. Cherish this time… and beautiful work, your mini-me will look very stylish on her first day of school.

  7. I love to sew for kids because I probably wish I could still dress like one. I love all that ric-rac and bright colors. Plus, the clothes are easy to fit. Sadly, I have two boys who want things like jeans.

    Anyway, that outfit is so wonderful and I am guessing that you have created something that your niece will always remember. Seriously, that bird top is unforgettable.

  8. When I made my first childrens’wear, I was also delighted. It was so fast and satisfying- it seemed quite gratifying and simple compared to what I’d built it up in my mind. Plus there’s such satisfaction for me to sew garments where whimsy doesn’t require irony or very careful placement, as they do in adult garments. I’m glad you loved it! I especially like how sophisticated the tiered rickrack skirt came out. I’ve been dreaming of tiered skirts for months…That being said, I would totally wear those separates in my size. I don’t know if they’d sew up in a weekend though!

    1. I couldn’t agree more! I would love to use the ric rac in a skirt for me, but have done so and found that I truly do look like I’m 29 going on 5. I personally can’t get away with it, though I have seen several ladies do it and they can. This project was great and indulged that inner child for me so much so that I might have to sew more outfits for my nieces and nephew!

  9. Really really cute. The thing I love about sewing for kids is that the fitting is so easy. It makes you realize why fashion designers like the size zero models, no curves to fit around.

  10. I have 3 kids who I sew for quite often (although not as much as for myself!), and what I love about kid sewing is that it is fast and easy with minimal fit challenges. After a complicated dress or jacket, a quick elastic waist skirt or tee shirt is a nice palate cleanser.

    1. Me too! This was a great palate cleanser. I was feeling a bit uninspired about sewing up another daunting creation for myself and wanted something “light.” This totally did the trick!

  11. I’ve never sewn for a child myself but if I did I would hope that what I sewed looked as cute and beautiful as the mini-wardrobe you have created. Your niece is a very lucky girl to have such a nice Aunt – she is going to look adorable when she goes to school!

  12. What a fantastic outfit, she’ll be delighted. I want that bird print tee for myself!

    I only have nephews and I find boys blogged a little…uninspiring, so I’ve only made a superhero cape (& one for his Tigger toy). I’d love some little girls to make for!

  13. that is just precious! i’ve never fancied the idea of sewing clothes for kids – for the reasons you mentioned, plus my niece (who i’d sew for) seems to hate everything my mom sews for her & that would absolutely hurt my feelings.

    i do love the outfit(s) you made, i’d totally wear those myself 🙂 the bird print is especially cute – where did you find that? i used to have a set of curtains that were the *exact* same fabric… they were from urban outfitters lol

  14. Your niece is so lucky!! What a fun ensemble!!

    Yes, I sew for my two year old daughter all the time. I actually started sewing b/c of her and LOVE that I can make her unique clothes that don’t involve Elmo or Dora. 🙂 I definitely have a lot to learn when it comes to sewing for myself. 🙂 PS I LOVE sewing with knits!

  15. I, like you, have my own mini-me/niece (my brother’s daughter), who I make it a point to sew for. I actually made a dress for her before I started sewing my own garments. I agree with you regarding the time/money invested being greater that the time they will spend wearing the garment, but this is a sacrifice I am willing to make. I have no intention of having children myself, so I plan on spoiling with relish her and any of her future siblings!
    I find sewing for a child to be great practice, because garments so small show more flaws than those that are larger. As an architect by training, I consider the baby dresses “scale models,” which I learn on, making smaller (less expensive) projects as practice for my own clothes. And since I only get to see the little darling a few times a year, I enjoy showing up every time with several new additions to her wardrobe.
    I love the outfits you’ve made for your niece, and look forward to the day when mine is that big. Thanks for the post!

    1. This is awesome! I felt afterwards, that in the end, it didn’t take as much time as I had thought it would. Mostly because the fitting on kid’s clothing is way easier to do than when you are an adult. I mean, what’s to fit – their bodies are mostly rectangular. What I will say though is that if she had been a few sizes smaller, this would have been harder because those sewing in those really small areas was a bit of a strain. Seriously good fun though, being able to get away with using things like the ric rac which looks way silly if I were to use that on myself.

  16. I love the outfit. I have sewn a little for my 11 year old daughter. She is not a dress girl, but I have found that if she picks out the fabric and pattern I can get her to wear the product. I have made her many costumes, but I don’t really count that as real sewing, since I always cut corners and fudge on anything that isn’t essential for safety and modesty!

  17. Sunni – Do you sew knits on a standard machine? I haven’t yet gone into the serger arena and am wondering if good results can be had using a standard machine. Appreciate any advice,

    1. I sewed the knits on my standard machine in conjunction with my serger. However, I will say that you don’t need a serger to sew with knits. But its terribly fabulous to have a walking foot for your machine – now I know why my earlier attempts didn’t work so well. Definitely invest in a walking foot if you can! They make knit sewing a dream!

  18. Hello!
    I am new to your blog but I am already loving it!
    I really love this girl’s ensemble you whipped up, it’s really smart and attractive!
    I sew for my little girl and I tend to sew her dresses for formals so they do not take a lot ‘beating’ from daily wear. There’s a big satisfaction when I see my little girl wearing my own creation.
    Hope you will visit my blog some time and have a look at those dresses.
    Now I am off to seeing your other wonderful creations.

  19. that outfit is so adorable. She’ll love it and whens she grows out of it her mom can pack it away for another little girl someday. My son wears the bathrobe i wore when i was little and i love seeing him in it and i love that my mom saved it for me.

    so many years ago i bought curtains in that same bird fabric (it was a thin lawn though) from urban outfitters just so that i could make myself a dress out of it someday! Too bad i had used them as curtains in the meantime and they faded… http://www.flickr.com/photos/halfwaythere/4609828431/

    1. I really do hope my sis will keep it for her 2nd daughter too! It won’t be too long before she grows into it I’m sure.
      Kerrie at Bloom fabrics has some of the same bird fabric you’re talking about – white and in a poplin, not a knit. You should definitely head on over and check it out!

  20. Love your outfits, I must admit when I look at some of those hideous pattern photos I get put off and don’t have the imagination to think what it would look like in other fabrics etc. So I love to see your interpretation.
    I have just been over to Blooms to get some of that wonderful bird fabric. My 3 yr old daughter will love it!

    1. Me too! I almost couldn’t buy the thing, it was so hideous, but when you add your own spin to it, it usually doesn’t end up looking like Barbie gone bad. Sigh. When will the Big 4 learn?

  21. I absolutely adored sewing for my daughters when they were little. DD 15 is now far to cool for homesewn. While DD 19 away at university has discovered the cost benefits of a mother who sews. See my last post par example.

  22. You are an amazing aunt! I was thinking of sewing up some gifts for my two nieces (7 and 9) and I completely overlooked this pattern at the store. I love the bird knit(?) fabric. Where did you find that? Also, I was shopping at a local, rural Mennonite fabric store this past week and noticed they had belt making supplies. I think I read a while back that you were having problems sourcing good belting materials. This little store is a gem when you need to find unique sewing related items. If you want their info to see if they have what you need, email me.

    1. Thank you! The bird knit is from Bloom Fabrics! There is a direct link to the fabric at the top of the post. It’s way darling in person too! Gah! I’m excited to sew a T for myself out of it. And I actually sell my own beltmaking materials in my shop! Ha ha! But thank you very much for your source! It is really good to know that more and more sewing shops are carrying those hard to find items.

  23. That oversize ric-rac is ridic! I’m in love. And totally want some. I have sewn for my friends’ children, and I actually kinda like it. What I don’t like, is that I feel like it’s not as well-appreciated. Don’t get me wrong – my friend loves what I’ve make, but there is so much time that goes into the garment, and then it’s off to the sandbox, ice cream cone in hand 🙂 But hey, that’s one stylish kid in the sand, right?! And I remember with great fondness some of the treasures my mom stitched up for me, so I don’t think it’s all lost on the kiddos. (Oh, and pre-vacation lazy post due out tomorrow…the most recent items I made for my “nieces”. Hehe!)

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