A photo gallery of clothing-making inspiration - for parents, grandparents and unattached adults - reclaiming another lost skill of working with fiber arts, making clothing with love and meaning - sized and tailored and envisioned and imbued with love just for that special person - to keep them warm, to dress them up, to cheer and to make feel special. Above is a girl's dress made for my God Daughter - woolen dresses are so good to keep the little bottoms warm while looking feminine and lovely. Knitted dresses are also great for long time - as the child grows, the dress becomes more of a long top, still functional and much loved!Child's body needs to grow so fast! Unrestricted belly is important for proper organ development, and many modern day outfits have very restricting waist designs. Until about age of seven, children's bellies are big and round and need to be comfortably unrestricted by tight-waist clothing. This little summer number below is very light and loose - and it worked for two seasons. Made out of old linen shirt, so soft and comfortable - and without any elastic to restrict the body.
|Linen summer pants.|
|Striped Summer Pants|
|Infant pants, flannel with knit lining.|
Lined pants are a must for cold long winters in our region - and the top layer can be commercially made pants like on the picture below, or you can make the entire set from scratch as you see in the picture above.
In this case my son really insisted on wearing jeans so he can look like his father. Jeans are the worst possible outfit in frosty weather - especially so when worn by children who spend long stretches of time outdoors. Jeans are made with cotton, which offers no protection from cold and wearing cotton can result in frost bites. Lining jeans with thick soft flannel offers some protection while keeping the basic look:
|Lined child's jeans.|
|Top-down vest, pattern here.|
Stretch fabric holds a lot of appeal - with the potential of making softer t-shirts, pj's or even dresses that are so soft and easy on the body. Regular sewing machine will sew stretch, if you replace your sewing needle with special Stretch Fabric needle - and set it to sew in zigzag fist and then regular stitch next to zigzag for added strength. Use very high quality sewing thread (polyester is the best) for strong stitches. Try making your own woolens - like these below, 100% merino wool knit from fabrics.com at fraction of cost of comparable commercially made!
|Woolen undershirt/ pajama top|
|Long Johns/Pajama bottoms|
|Kittens on a boy's outfit!|
|The whole picture.|
|Made out of adult used sweater.|
To keep delicate skin protected from harsh sun in the high desert climate, we committed to wearing only long sleeves in the warm season. Finding long sleeved shirts made with light-weight summer fabrics is not easy, at least for boys. Things are either too heavy for comfort, or too formal looking (who, by the way, wants their two-year old looking like he is going to work in the office with tailored shirts proliferating in stores?). Here is the home-made linen shirt, traditional Russian design, the pattern is amazingly made to only sew rectangular pieces! Pattern can be seen here and adapted further as needed for child or man. Made with rectangular pieces only, this shirt is delightfully simple and comfortable. The top is hemmed with bias tape, with hand stitches.
|Linen shirt for a young boy.|
Vests are critical in keeping active and warm. This one is in its third season of use (from 1.5 year old to 3.5 year old). I took it apart when my son was 2.5 years old and added to length, essentially giving this garment 2-3 more years of use. With knitted items it is possible to alter them to certain degree - this one needed shoulders and v-neck taken apart and lengthened to work for an older, taller child. Baby Alpaca yarn, by now my most favorite - holding up to some very, very serious abuse of tree climbing, goat riding, ground explorations and much more. Soft, darling yarn and sweetest garment to put on a child.
|Knit one, I invite you! Pattern is here.|
|Hand-made napkin set.|
For snacks, found objects, water bottles and all little items that toddlers wish to bring with them anywhere they go: a "Postman's" Bag. It seems that every household has a collection of fabric bags decorated with some brand names, professing saving the Earth by using it for shopping. Yes, kind of... Too ugly to use, not ugly enough to throw away. Facelift to a lovely bag with some good fabric applique - new life to an old bag, no need to buy anything new!
|Old bag, new life|