Kid Sewing - Making it Work

As much as I enjoy sewing stuff for my daughter (now 4 1/2), it's a pretty hit and miss business. Now she can say quite clearly what she likes and dislikes, it should be easier to make things she will happily wear, but I find it can still be unpredictable.

I recently sewed a couple of things using patterns that were sent to me by Simplicity New Look - they kindly let me choose 3 patterns and I VERY UNSELFISHLY chose two for Miss Kestrel and one for my husband. These are the two kids ones:
Burda 9447 and Simplicity 1785

Burda first - I had been looking for a simple dress like this for ages, as I think the style is so cute. This was the first time I had tried a Burda packet pattern - I had an ill-fated attempt to use a Burda pdf early in my sewing career and it was tough going. This was pretty straightforward as a pattern, so I didn't have any issues with the instructions. I added patch pockets.

I let my daughter choose the fabric for this from my stash (blue needlecord), and she also chose to add the iron-on transfer applique things that I had in my stash - plus she loves pockets. What could go wrong? Well, despite it turning out as I had hoped, Miss Kestrel just didn't really like wearing it. Despite me hoping to overcome this my giving her a stake in choosing fabric and applique, I think it's just not the kind of thing she really wears. So while I think it is adorable and she looks great in it (you'll have to take my word that she does), she is more used to wearing trousers, leggings and jersey tops, which are comfortable and allow for ease of movement.

I'm sad the dress didn't meet with approval as I would totally wear it if it as my size. There's a chance I would make it again though, as I think it would be a cute party dress made up in a (kid chosen) fancier fabric.

Onto the Simplicity pattern - I picked this one as it has good basics in the top and leggings - the styling and extras aren't for me, but girls always need jersey tops and leggings. I made the longer version of the top.

I had been approached by Cotton Bee, a company based in Poland who now offer bespoke fabric printing to the UK. You can design your own fabric, but I decided to choose a design from their selection along with my daughter. I chose three designs all on a jersey base (single jersey with lycra), which would suit tops or leggings:
She chose the pink cat one, and I had a heavy steer in the underwater cat one.

This is how her dress turned out:
And she really likes it! Getting her to choose the fabric, along with jersey being the fabric she normally wears, were key to the success of the project. It is a bit big, but that's par for the course when sewing kids clothes, isn't it?

My comments on the pattern are that the zip at the back neck isn't required, and it's a great basic with lots of potential. I will be making the leggings too.
Blurry photos to show movement :)
The neckline and seams caused some weird pattern things to happen to the poor cats

My comments on the fabric printing service are that it was easy to use and the fabric was sent quickly. It's nice quality fabric - it can be hard to find nice and interesting patterned jerseys so I was very happy to be able to have a wide range of designs to choose from.

I'm looking forward to using more of the fabric in another project - probably the cat fabric as leggings, and the leaf print fabric is for me!

K x

Thanks to Simplicity New Look for the patterns and Cotton Bee for the fabric - I wasn't asked to blog about receiving either the patterns or the fabric and all opinions are my own.


  1. Oh my gosh I can't believe how fast your daughter is growing. She looks adorable and I'm glad she likes pockets too :)

  2. I had a similar experience with a granddaughter. She picked out the material then rejected the finished garment because it wasn't colorful enough!

  3. I still have loads of stunning cuts of embroidered linens chosen for dresses for Sprogzilla but she wasn't interested in wearing things that I made by that point. It can be quite annoying to spend ages making something and then it never ever gets worn. Now I am getting pestered to make Cosplay outfits so it all comes full circle. I love the garments that you have made and your daughter looks adorable. The fabric for that little jersey dress is so cute. However, I am in love with the underwater cat fabric so am off to check out Cotton Bee. Xx

  4. I always struggled when mine were little mostly because I didn't sew much then so by time I had got around to making what ever it was they had grown out of it or I finished it then they grew almost immediately! My older 2 are mid & late teens and have stopped growing, and I sew a lot more so I find it more worthwhile to sew for them now!


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