Choosing fabric for children’s clothing can be tricky. The fabrics available in many local stores lend themselves well to quilting and home decor but often not clothing, especially for children. Left with few option, most home sewists turn to quilting cotton. This can work great for structured dresses or ruffly skirts but not for other garments, especially pants and tops.
Tips for Choosing the Right Fabric:
1. Read the pattern fabric recommendations. Those are there for a reason! If it calls for canvas, twill, demin or corduroy, don’t assume a cotton lawn would be a good substitute.
2. Pay attention to the weight of the fabric. A medium or heavy weight fabric won’t work well for a top or dress, usually. Conversely, a light weight fabric shouldn’t be used for pants.
3. Is it opaque, sheer, see through?? Think twice.
4. Is it made for apparel? This is a top priority!
5. Many online shops have a recommended use for the fabric. If it mentions that it is suitable for a dress you know it has good drape and might be nice for a shirt or skirt as well. If it mentions it is suitable for a jacket or outerwear then you know it’s heavier or stiffer.
6. Avoid childish prints for school age children. You may love it and they may love it on the bolt, but they probably won’t wear it twice.
7. Think twice about your pattern matching. Would you wear it? If you wouldn’t, then maybe you shouldn’t put it on your school aged child. They don’t have to wear completely grown up styles but recognize that they are no longer toddlers so find a balance.
8. Don’t be afraid of solids! I don’t see a lot of home sewers using “boring” solids but when I do their outfits are often some of my favorites!
9. Consider drape and weight. You want tops, skirts, and dresses to have a nice drape and not a stiff look. Consider lawn, voile, lightweight woven cottons, silk blends, some linen etc. For pants you want something thicker that will provide warmth and structure. Corduroy, twill, medium weight canvas, denim, and suiting are good choices.
10. Be careful with contrast. If you add a bold contrasting pocket it will become the focal piece. That’s great if that’s what you want. But if you’d rather showcase the design you might think twice.
- Swiss Black & White Tuffed Cotton Voile, Oscar de la Renta Tribal Print Twill
- Ivory Ponte Knit, Rose/White Herringbone Suiting
- Cranberry Solid Jersey, Marine/Forrest/Red/Black Plaid Suiting
- Donna Karen Black Solid Voile, Gray/Magenta/Beige Wool Suiting
- Cornflour Blue Diamond Jacquard Jersey Knit, Italian Cotton Viscose Blend
- Dark Pink Solid Jersey, Italian Cotton Blend Tweed
Berkshire Blazer & Tree Climber Trouser Fabric Recommendations:
- Pixelated Camo Cotton Cavas, Theory Navy Solid Demin
- Black Checks Coating, Gray/Black Striped Denim
- Heathered Gray Solid Coating, Black Solid Cotton Twill
- Ralph Laren Olive Herringbone Suiting, Black/Gray/White Plaid Suiting
- Black Solid Coating, Mark Jacobs Black/Heather Gray Herringbone Suiting
- Dark Tweed Nubby Wool, Italian Khaki Solid Cotton Twill
I’ve actually made 5 girl outfits and 2 boy outfits from this collection. More photos to come!!!
Thank you to our wonderful sponsors of this collection. Mood Fabrics supplied all the fabric you see in these photos, Minnetonka Moccasins gave us the adorable shoes, andOne Little Belt donated the belts! Have you entered the giveaway today?