Thursday, 16 February 2017

My Favourite Free Children's Sewing Patterns


If you're reading this then I'm going to assume that you're into sewing. And therefore you'll already be acutely aware that, these days, sewing clothes is almost always more expensive than buying them from a shop. However, there are a number of ways that us sewers/sewists can keep the costs down (I've written about this here and here), and today I want to focus more on saving money on sewing patterns, specifically for children. Thanks to the generosity of many sewing pattern designers, it is entirely possible to create most of a fantastic child's wardrobe (or simply some lovely additions), just using free patterns.

This is not intended as an exhaustive list of free patterns, mind. These are patterns that appeal to me: that I've already tried or intend to try. Plus, I'll freely admit that I'm writing this post as a resource for myself as much as for anyone else! If there are any other free babies' or children's sewing patterns that you like, please do mention them in the comments section of this post.


Tops:



sizes 0 months - 6 years

I really enjoyed making the hoodie pictured above, and seeing my then-much-smaller little girl wearing it. I used some lovely, soft interlock which worked a treat. I'm already planning one for Frankie for when he gets a bit bigger. I'm not sure a hoodie is suitable for a baby who has yet to grow much of a neck! 


(image source: Shwin and Shwin)

sizes 1 - 5 years

This cute jacket/cardigan pattern is made from ponte de roma knit, and you could go to town with the embellishment or leave it plain. I think the biggest challenge would be finding an open ended zip that short! 


(image source: Brindille & Twig)

sizes 0 months - 6 years

This would be a great pattern for reusing old adult T-shirts, plus you could easily lengthen the sleeve piece to make a long-sleeved version for cooler weather. I've just downloaded this to make as sleepwear. 


(image source: Petitboo)

sizes 2 - 10 years

There are some super cute versions of this top pattern out there on the interwebs. I love the curved hem and folded sleeve details, and it could be lengthed into a dress pattern. 


(image source: Ikatee patterns)

sizes 3 - 8 years (also Copenhagen blouse sizes 6 - 24 months) 

This beautiful summer blouse pattern is one of the five free patterns on offer from the gorgeous French sewing pattern company, Ikatee, when you sign up to their mailing list. 


Bottoms:

(image source: Elegance and Elephants)

sizes 12 months - 9 years

These look so comfy!


(image source: Ikatee patterns)

sizes 3 - 8 years (also Barcelona jogpants sizes 6 - 24 months) 

Another of the five free patterns on offer from Ikatee when you sign up to their mailing list. I'm seriously struggling to decide which to pick!


(image source: Sprouting Jube Jube)

sizes 2 - 10 years

I'm excited to give this one a whirl as my previous toddler/kids leggings attempts didn't fit well. This could also be lengthened to make a full length version.



(image source: Made by Rae)

sizes 3 - 6 months with instructions to modify pattern for larger sizes

I think that Rae is such an excellent designer, and being able to sample her work for free is a real treat. It can be hard to find fun baby tights, and even harder to find any that you might want to put a boy in (the benefit being that they feet stay covered, unlike with socks which so often come off). I reckon this could be a super useful pattern which could easily be made from the leftovers from other projects or from unwanted adult garments. 


(image source: @botterman_empire on Instagram)

sizes 2 - 11 years (plus adult women's sizes)

I had forgotten all about this pattern until my amazingly talented friend Emily made the utterly perfect pair pictured above. I'll have to wait until Dolores is out of her phase of exclusively wearing dresses, then I will make a million pairs!



(image source: @horsesloveapples on Instagram)

sizes 6 months - 12 years

Check out this incredible festive pair pictured above! It immediately makes you start to think about what small pieces of awesome fabric you own to make into these shorts, doesn't it?! I think this is a wonderful basic shorts pattern, however I know I'm not alone in finding that it comes up a bit small, so you might want to opt for a size larger than you'd usually pick. These also could be lengthened to make trousers or pyjama bottoms. Fun patch pockets on the front or the bum would make great additions too.  


(image source: lilypadmontana)

tutorial for full width of fabric, adjust elastic to fit wearer

There are probably about 20,000 basic gathered skirt tutorials out there, but Oliver + S instructions are always excellent so I'd be inclined to try this one. I like the little addition of the ribbon around the hem. This would be a great project to give as a gift; no non-sewer would realise how quick and simple it was to make!


Dresses/Playsuits:


(image source: Elegance and Elephants)

sizes 12 months - 9 years

It'd make sense holding off making this until the child you are making it for can tell you that they need to wee more than four seconds before it starts to happen.


(image source: Made By Oranges)

Scarlet dress by Made by Oranges
sizes EU 74 - 164 (approx. height in cms)

The 'Made by Oranges' design team are the people behind My Image, B*Inspired and B-Trendy pattern magazines, and they've made a number of their patterns available in PDF form also. This spec drawing may not look super inspiring, but the modelled images that you can see here look really sweet. Plus a dress pattern with long sleeves can be a rare and valuable thing, depending on the climate where you live of course.


(image source: Elegance and Elephants)

sizes 6 months - 9 years

Knit dresses don't need ironing. Fact.


Underwear and accessories:


(image source: Shwin and Shwin)

size approx. 5/6 years

Sadly this is not a multi-sized pattern, but if your lad is about this age I reckon it would be fun to try. It might also work as swimwear pattern by using the version without the fly.  



Sizes approx. 6 months - 8 years

This version was my first whirl at this pattern, but I've made five in total so far and have no intention of stopping any time soon! It's such a fun and satisfying make, and my daughter completely lived in hers last summer. 


(image source: swoodsonsays)

This useful blog post reviews four free beanie hat patterns. I like the look of the grey and black striped one and the blue one, both of which I'm hoping can be made from scraps or old garments. 

12 comments:

Mother of Reinvention said...

Very cute patterns. I wish that more had been available online when Sprogzilla was wee. They look like a brilliant way to use up odd bits of fabric or small remnants. Xx

Kathryn said...

Thanks for compiling this list Zoe, it'll be so useful! The sunny day shorts & buccket hat will be making an appearance in my kids clothes week sewing I'm sure - they're firm favourites on this house! I hadn't seen that tee pattern before so I might give that a go too.

Knitlass said...

Great list - there is a nice baby top/tee pattern on the sew mama sew website. It's called the busy kid bib t-shirt which I fancy having a go at...

CMT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CMT said...

Thanks - very useful post!

Kristen said...

Your playsuit comment made me laugh. I've got a gorgeous pattern I won last year, but as potty training is taking for.e.v.e.r. over her, I haven't had any motivation to make it yet! Thank you so much for this list, though, it's a great resource! Sometimes it's really hard to know whether a free pattern floating around on the web will actually turn out OK, sort of like trying recipes on Pinterest. There are some real winners but also some terrible losers...

Fabric Tragic said...

Goodness what a selection. You could dress your poppets in freebies all year round! Cute!

emily said...

Thank you so much for this list Zoe! I'm going to check out Brindle & Twig. xx

Lysy said...

The designer Made By Jack's Mum has a free pattern for children's pants (briefs) and boxers which are really good and in a big range of sizes. It's free if you join the Facebook group or newsletter :)

badmomgoodmom said...

I'd like to give a shout-out to Kwik Sew's "Sewing for Baby/Toddlers/Children" master pattern book series. They give you a few master patterns on thick white paper that you can trace and a book of detailed instructions and variations. Used copies were as low as $3, but have gone up as more people recognize their value.

They are patterns and sewing lessons.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=kwik+sew+sewing+for+%27kerstin+martensson%27&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Akwik+sew+sewing+for+%27kerstin+martensson%27

Kathryn said...

That Kwik sew book sounds brilliant Badmomgoodmom, thanks! I have the Sew U Home Stretch book for women's sewing which sounds similar idea & I love it! I'll need to check U.K amazon & other websites for the Kwik Sew one.

Pecia said...

Thank you for the post and some new to me patterns that will help with gaps in my girls' wardrobe.

Hey June Handmade has some good free patterns. Our favourites, which might appeal to Delores, are the racer back dress and monkey bar skirt.

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