Childhood is a special time for imagination and learning. Children especially enjoy clothing with originality and personalisation. Whether the garments are for everyday use, school, formal occasions or pretend play, you can have fun making creative clothing for children.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Fabric selections
- Thrift store clothing
- Clothing patterns
Begin the process by finding ideas for creative clothing for kids. You can make notes of sources familiar to children by asking them to point out images from their favourite books, television shows and movies. Younger children may select clothing ideas from Mother Goose illustrations, such as the Empire dresses and shawls shown in "Lucy Locket Lost Her Pocket." Older children might want clothing from a favourite historical period, such as Egyptian or Anglo-Saxon garments. Children's films such as "Peter Pan," "Chronicles of Narnia" and "Alice in Wonderland" are filled with creative clothing to inspire you. Keep a brainstorming notebook handy for ideas.
Gather materials. Visit fabric stores and websites to survey the wide variety of material available. These resources provide detailed information to help you choose the best material to create the children's clothing. For fancy ballroom-type dresses, Duchess satin gives a shimmering effect. For peasant clothing, burlap and plain cotton gives the appearance and feel of rough woollen cloth. Search through thrift stores and yard sales for velvets, satins, silks, real and imitation furs, and distinctive plaids and prints.
Construct the clothing to meet the garment's purpose. Children who are playing for the afternoon can make creative clothing by simply mixing and matching clothing from thrift stores, yard sales and the family closets. For special, one-time occasions, the clothes can be pieced together with safety pins or sewing tape. For creative clothing that lasts, take time to use a costume pattern and sewing machine to stitch together a durable garment. Take time to enjoy the construction process and find ways for children to observe and help. Smaller children enjoy simple tasks such as gathering scraps. Older children can help with the taping and stitching.
Tips and warnings
- While having a plan can result in creative clothing, allow opportunities for invention and discovery. Children's imaginations provide a wonderful resource.
- Take precautions when selecting and working with fabrics, notions and accessories. Some glittery fabrics might irritate skin or eyes. Scissors and straight pins can cause injuries. Buttons and other decorations might be a choking hazard.
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