Monday, 9 March 2015

'So, Zo...' Investigates: Independent Children's Sewing Pattern Companies, Part 2

(image source: Shwin & Shwin)


Hi peops! Here's the second and final (for now) instalment on my mini-feature about independent children's sewing pattern companies....


(image source: Kitschy Coo)

Kitschy Coo

Amanda from Kitschy Coo is a rather awesome knit fabric purveyor as well as pattern designer/seller. I had to look at her online shop through my fingers to try and avoid being tempted to buy some of the incredible printed organic cotton jersey.

Check out: She's developed some wonderful patterns for women and children, the Lady and Little Girl's Skater dress patterns being particularly popular. However, if I'm going to do some spends on any of them, and I most likely will, it'll be for the Boy cut unisex brief (pictured above), entirely due to Jenna's amazing versions and her daughter's approval of the fit.


(image source: Made by Rae)

Made by Rae

Rae is the design genius who came up with awesome Washi dress pattern, that must have saved sooooo many preggers women since it was released (myself included), Rae has also release a some children's patterns (as well as designed some pretty awesome fabric prints for Cloud 9, which I learned by hanging out at the Village Haberdashery).

Check out: The Geranium dress pattern (pictured above). Yes, one pattern can make all those different looking garments. I told you she's a freakin' design genius! The pattern includes heaps variations for different lengths, necklines, sleeves, gathering etc. That is some serious value for money right there and as soon as I get round to making some of the patterns I bought during a recent splurge, I'm going to chuck money her way to get my hands on a copy.


(image source: Oliver +S)

Oliver + S

If you haven't seen their patterns before then you can't be into sewing and I don't know why you're reading this blog. Go away. I'm joking, I'm joking, come back! Maybe you just hate kids... Another joke, I promise. Don't be so sensitive.

In short: Oliver + S are to children's sewing patterns what This American Life is to podcasts: better quality, more prolific, and deservedly very successful. If you aren't into PDF's then you're in luck because Oliver + S patterns are available in both digital and paper format. And from my experience of them so far, their instructions are excellent.

Check out: Their range is ridiculous. So many wonderful patterns it'll make your eyes water (figuratively, otherwise you should probably turn down the brightness on your screen). I already own four or five Oliver + S patterns, but another that I certainly aim to get my mitts on in the future is the Sailboat Top, Skirt and Pants/Trousers pattern (pictured above). I think I'll get it in the larger size batch (4-8 rather than 6 mths-3) so I can make the most of every size included.


(image source: Shwin & Shwin)

Shwin & Shwin

This crew actually produce patterns for girls, boys and women, and have clearly been busy because there's heaps of them! Their products seems really lovely, I especially like how many of the kid's patterns are unisex.

Check out: there are quite a few I'm tempted by. The Lucille top which is pictured at the top of this post looks like a fun pattern for using up colourful scraps of jersey. Plus I imagine there's many a little girl who would go crazy for a Georgia Twirl top/dress (pictured above).


(image source: Too Sweets)

Too Sweets 

Too Sweets patterns came onto my radar when I took part in the blog tour for the little girl's Perfect Pattern Parcel by making their September tunic/dress pattern. It was an enjoyable make, and having just a nose at their Etsy site, I can see there's some other lovely options. However, as someone who lives in a more temperate climate, I think it's clear the designer lives somewhere pretty warm (Arizona) as there's not really any cooler weather garment patterns in this collection. That's something I've been thinking a lot about recently, as I find I'm making Dolores heaps of lovely things that will see her through for the warmest part of the year, but for the chilly part (i.e. the majority)? I'd best get re-thinking my next few sewing projects, or start hitting the charity shops even harder than I already do!

Check out: I reckon the Roo Romper pattern would be ace for fully potty-trained kids. No way I'd make it before that point though. You know how long it can take to get out of a playsuit when you need a wee!


(image source: Willow & Co)

Willow & Co

So what's unusual and very cool about Willow and Co, is that they are a design collective. Five women for the price of one! I really love the idea of a collaborative effort like that, hopefully a super-supportive and no-egos type thing.

Check out: The Fawn Lily dress/tunic (pictured above) is hands down the most awesome. Soooo many fabulous fabric combo opportunities I can hardly breathe! But do check out the rest of their small but perfectly formed current collection. Plus the sneaky peak of their SS 2015 collection looks very promising also...

15 comments:

Minnado said...

I love the Willow dress. There are so many children's patterns it's overwhelming. At the moment I've got no spare cash to buy any patterns,so I just keep rehashing an old New Look pattern for my daughter. I'd recommend ottobre for cold weather clothes. Plus I've a book Sewing Clothes Kids Love, it has hoodie,two jackets, leggings and tee patterns....I've made a skirt and tee shirt dress so far

GiddyAunt Lola said...

I love the Willow dress! Gorgeous pattern and thanks for introducing me to two new pattern makers for kids. I'm a big fan of oliver and s and have the sailboat pattern. I was particularly keen on this one as it's unisex.

http://asaucystitch.blogspot.co.uk/

Mother of Reinvention said...

These are really cute. I almost wish that I had a small person to sew for. Sprogzilla is now the same height as me. Have you seen tha Studio Tantrum patterns? Some of them are a bit frou frou for my tastes but I made Sprogzilla the Rodondo skirt several times and it always got lots of compliments.. To make it bigger you just keep adding in panels and/ or lenghtening them. Xx

Kathryn said...

Thanks for these posts Zoe, there's so many companies i hadn't heard of before. In trying of be good and not spend any more cash until I get sewing some of the things I've got cut out & waiting! I've started really hitting the charity shops again recently, and trying to think ahead instead of just why fits my wee boy now.

Lijssie said...

Hello, I want mention Zonen09.com. This lady from Belgium is making wonderful patterns for boys! Good instructions as well!

cucicucicoo: ecological living said...

So many wonderful designers! Great feature, Zoe! :) Lisa

brooke said...

Thanks for these lists Zoe, so much planning to do! Not sure why you wouldn't count Oliver + S as indie? From what I can tell, they were one of the first on the scene for children's patterns besides the big 4. Liesl started it all by herself and because her patterns are so fabulous, plus the way they manage the product is so professional, they've grown exponentially and been able to expand into other areas (women, accessories, fabric design etc). Does that mean they're no longer indie? I'm really curious.
Clearly I'm also an avid fan :)

Zoe said...

Thanks everyone for your comments!

@brooke I was questioning if Oliver + S would fit into the indie category because I thought it might be a tie-in with Simplicity, but now I realise that it's just Liesl's Lisette range that is, and not the other two ranges. BTW, have you listened to her interview on the Thread Cult podcast? I did yesterday and it was fascinating. I recommend that you do, especially as you are a super fan! xxx

Louise Perry said...

I hear you on the romper suit/toilet training. I took Immy to the park on Friday in a cute boiler-suit. Sadly we couldn't get it off quick enough when she needed a wee. We came home wet and cold!

Christals Creations said...

These posts have been great to follow. I favourited a few of your last designers and I shall pop over and look at all of these too. :)

Isa GarcĂ­a-Onlylola said...

Thanks your for that informations!!

sam said...

That Willow dress is gorgeous! Great post. Thanks. X

gingermakes.com said...

The Geranium dress is really lovely- I've made it for four different little girls now and it's just a pleasure to sew. :) It's my go-to baby girl gift these days!

Veronica Darling said...

This round up is great... I've only heard of Oliver + S and have the boy's shorts patterns in that (or maybe the vest + trousers combo - I forget!) because it's just sooooooooo cute. But, I agree, there is not as many boy/gender neutral wear in child's patterns... so I've refashioned a lot or just made up styles for my boy. Refashioning his dad's tshirts are the best!

Love to you - I'm back sewing in Shanghai now! See you soon x

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