(image source: Brindille & Twig)
If I'm sounding a bit weary these days, it's because I've been out there on the front line investigating where exactly to find the bestest children's sewing patterns so you don't have to! So what are my findings? Here's the options:
Obviously there's the Big Four children's patterns offerings, many of which are quite nice and some are full of potential, if you can overlook the super-traditional fabric choices and styling. You could try to scout out some fantastic vintage children's patterns on eBay or wherever. Then of course you've got pattern magazines (Ottobre Design magazine being the most awesome), which can work out great value if you like several of the designs in an issue. And finally, and for me most excitingly, there are a whole host of independent children's sewing pattern companies. Basically, it's just like the world of adult sewing patterns in terms of sources. Who knew?!?
(image source: Ottobre Design magazine blog)
So today I want to start talking about the indies. I've only just scratched the surface but initial research suggests that there are loads. And more seem to be appearing almost every day. There's even a flashy online magazine called Stylo dedicated to them! As you would expect, the independent companies often offer less traditional styles, more like the kind of things most parents actually want their kids (or even themselves, some are that good!) to wear. Something I love about these companies is that many/most of them seem to be run by mums from their homes whilst looking after their own kids, and selling their designs through their own sites and blogs or via Etsy.
If, like me, you are new to this subsection of the sewing pattern world but would like to investigate further, here's Part 1 of my little guide to some of the companies that are well worth a look, with Part 2 coming in a few days time. Please note: due to the fact that I have a daughter rather than a son, I've highlighted a few more patterns for girls' clothing than for boys'. Plus I have to say that, just like the adult sewing pattern world, there sadly seems to be far more choice of products for females than males (boys-and-unisex-only company Titchy Threads being a great exception).
(image source: Brindille & Twig)
You can tell that designer Melissa Hendrickson is a mum herself designing with her daughter in mind because the entire collection is, or can be, made in jersey! The majority of these patterns are unisex and the vibrant fabrics used on this site brings a real sense of fun, and I feel that that is what sewing for kids really should be about.
Check out: My personal favourites are the excellent unisex crew neck sweatshirt (pictured above) and the darling flutter sleeve tunic (pictured at the top of the post).
(image source: Compagnie M)
This small but perfectly formed selection of patterns is predominantly for girls and I literally want to buy them ALL. Also one of the few children's sewing pattern companies not to include 'and' or '&' in their name. Fact. Their strength lays in the potential for awesome fabric combinations and bold button usage.
Check out: The Louisa dress pattern, which if Pinterest is to be believed simply cannot be made into a bad version (I've already snaffled it up). Also the amazing unisex Charles pants/shorts/dungarees pattern pictured above.
(image source: E & E Patterns)
Elegance & Elephants (AKA E & E Patterns)
These are some pretty hip but wearable patterns here, all modelled (as most are, let's be honest) by the designer's own kids. I nearly wrote 'kiddos' then. I have never actually said 'kiddo' out loud in real life. I've clearly been spending too much time reading children's sewing blogs lately.
Check out: The rather excellent unisex Spring Showers jacket pattern (pictured above). The Bubble Pocket Shorts pattern is also all kinds of amazing!
(image source: Figgy's)
I am not cool enough for Figgy's patterns. If they were made in adult sizes I would not be allowed to sew them, I'd look like I'd stolen someone else's clothes because they are far too contemporary. Figgy's are available as PDF's AND as actual paper patterns from actual shops. Each non-virtual pattern pack contains a sweet little woven label that you can sew into your finished creation.
Check out: The effortlessly chic Stellar Tunic/Dress pattern (pictured above) which is ripe for all many of wonderful contrast fabric fun. The unisex Banyan Trousers/Shorts pattern is also a winner and I'm excited to say that I own it. I'm going to wait a couple of years before I make it for Dolores though, I feel they'd suit older children better.
Ok folks, that'll do for today. Tune in again very soon for the next instalment when I'll reveal a further five independent children's pattern companies that you should know about....