How to make patterns for children's clothing

Written by samantha cabrera
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Making your own patterns for children's clothing allows you to make clothes for your children over and over again. The pattern provides the guide for the apparel, allowing you to create custom clothes for your kids. Creating patterns is a great way to improve your sewing skills and customise fit on all of the clothing you create. Before starting to create your own patterns and moving on to complex designs, you should have at least an intermediate skill level of sewing.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Muslin
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Scrap fabric
  • Sewing machine

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  1. 1

    Measure the child to get a general feel for measurements. Be sure to take into account the circumference of his neck, from the end of the neck to the end of the torso, around the waist, inseam and total length. Keep the measurements in a notebook, and also note the age of the child so you have something to go on for future projects.

  2. 2

    Apply the measurements to your muslin fabric, noting the measurements with your pencil. Start at the top of your pattern and apply your measurements from top to bottom. For larger proportions or draping, be sure you add extra centimetres to create volume. To create larger proportions or draping, you will need to gather the muslin you anticipate using and pinning it as it will be sewn. Actual details such as darting and seams will be created in the sewing stage of the garment, which is why it's important to have your sewing skills at an intermediate to advanced level prior to creating your own patterns. Measurements for these methods will also need to be adjusted after you decide what fabric you are using, as different textures and weights hang and drape differently. You are creating an outline of the garment--and future garments will be based on this pattern--so measure and mark carefully.

  3. 3

    Consider leaving extra space. Because this is the pattern, consider leaving a bit of extra space (a few centimetres or so) to allow for give on the clothing. When you want to make a more fitted piece, you can always take in the fabric you apply to the pattern, but it will be more difficult to let it out. Leaving extra room gives you more options.

  4. 4

    Do a mock run. When you have created your patterns, do a mock run by whipping up a garment in each pattern you create. These don't have to be perfect pieces, just a brief run-through to make sure the patterns are correct. You can have the child try them on to examine the fit and re-evaluate your patterns if needed.

  5. 5

    Create your children's clothing. With a few simple patterns on hand, you'll always be able to create unique, affordable clothing for your children. Shop online to find great deals on fabric, and also scour thrift stores and discount bins at fabric shops for fabric that can be used on future projects. If you regularly make clothing, it's always smart to have fabric on hand in the event your child needs something special to wear.

Tips and warnings

  • Store your muslin patterns draped over a hanger, or carefully roll them up and store them in plastic storage bins.

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