A Stitch in Time: Learning to Sew Clothes for Children

September 05 2023 – Lottie & Lysh

chamomile rose floral printed babygrow by Lottie & Lysh
chamomile rose floral printed babygrow by Lottie & Lysh

The art of sewing is a timeless skill that has been passed down through generations. It's a creative, practical, and rewarding hobby that anyone can learn. One of the most delightful aspects of sewing is creating clothes for children. Their smaller size makes the projects manageable, and there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a child's eyes light up when they wear something you made just for them. Whether you are a beginner or have some experience with sewing, this blog post will guide you through the essential steps and tips for sewing children's clothes. And remember, sewing is not just about creating something beautiful, it’s also a fun and cathartic activity that can help you unwind and de-stress. So, let's thread that needle and get stitching!


1. Gather Your Supplies

First things first, let’s talk about supplies. You will need:

- Sewing Machine: A basic sewing machine with a straight stitch and zigzag stitch will do the trick. If you don’t have a sewing machine, don’t fret! You can always go old school and sew by hand. It’ll take a bit longer, but think of the arm workout!
- Fabric: Choose soft, comfortable, and durable fabrics. Cotton, linen, and jersey are excellent choices. Avoid fabrics with funky odours or anything that looks like it belonged to a circus tent (unless that’s the look you’re going for).
- Pattern: Select a pattern appropriate for your skill level and the age of the child. If you’re a beginner, don’t choose a pattern that looks like it requires a PhD in Sewing.
- Thread: Choose a high-quality thread that matches your fabric. Also, make sure you have enough thread. Running out mid-project is a sewist’s nightmare!
- Sewing Notions: Scissors, pins, measuring tape, seam ripper, and an iron. And maybe a chocolate bar. Or two.

2. Select the Right Pattern and Size

This step is crucial for making clothes that fit well. Pay attention to the measurements given in the pattern and compare them to the child’s measurements. Remember, children are not mini-adults. They have different proportions, so it’s essential to use patterns designed specifically for children.

3. Pre-Wash the Fabric

Pre-washing the fabric helps to remove any sizing, dirt, or chemicals and also pre-shrinks the fabric. Wash the fabric following the care instructions given on the bolt or label. And while the fabric is in the wash, you can enjoy one of those chocolate bars.

4. Cut and Mark the Fabric

Lay the fabric on a flat surface and place the pattern pieces on top, aligning the grainline of the pattern with the grainline of the fabric. Use pins to secure the pattern pieces to the fabric and cut carefully along the edges. If you’re new to sewing, you might be tempted to use regular scissors for this step. Resist the urge! Fabric scissors are sharper and will make the job much easier.

5. Start Sewing

Now the fun really begins! Start sewing the pieces together following the instructions given in the pattern. Take your time, and don’t rush through the process. Remember, this is supposed to be fun and cathartic. If you start to feel stressed, take a break, have a cup of tea (or a glass of wine, we won’t judge), and then come back to it.

6. Press as You Go

Pressing the fabric as you go is essential for achieving a professional finish. It helps to set the stitches and gives a crisp, clean look to the garment. And it’s a great excuse to play with a hot, steamy iron. Just be careful not to burn yourself!

7. Try It On

If possible, have the child try on the garment before finishing the seams and adding any final touches. This will allow you to make any necessary adjustments to the fit. If the child is not available, a teddy bear or a doll can be a good substitute for a fitting model. Just don’t tell the child that!

8. Add the Finishing Touches

Once you are satisfied with the fit, you can add any finishing touches like buttons, snaps, or embellishments. Make sure to check that all seams are secure and trim any loose threads. And don’t forget to remove any pins that you may have left in the garment. Pins and children do not mix well!

Don't forget, you can grab a 1kg Scrap Bag featuring all L&L's favourite prints, past and present.

Get started today and discover the joy of sewing children's clothing


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