All posts may contain affiliate links

Choosing Fabric for Children’s Clothing

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.

Top 10 tips for choosing the right fabric for children's clothing


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.

Sweet Bonnie Top & Holly Trousers Fabric Suggestions: Choosing great fabrics for girls

  1. Swiss Black & White Tuffed Cotton Voile, Oscar de la Renta Tribal Print Twill
  2. Ivory Ponte Knit, Rose/White Herringbone Suiting
  3. Cranberry Solid Jersey, Marine/Forrest/Red/Black Plaid Suiting
  4. Donna Karen Black Solid Voile, Gray/Magenta/Beige Wool Suiting
  5. Cornflour Blue Diamond Jacquard Jersey KnitItalian Cotton Viscose Blend
  6. Dark Pink Solid JerseyItalian Cotton Blend Tweed

Sweet Bonnie Top & Holly Trousers found HERE.

Berkshire Blazer & Tree Climber Trouser Fabric Recommendations:

Choosing great fabrics for boys

  1. Pixelated Camo Cotton CavasTheory Navy Solid Demin
  2. Black Checks CoatingGray/Black Striped Denim
  3. Heathered Gray Solid CoatingBlack Solid Cotton Twill
  4. Ralph Laren Olive Herringbone SuitingBlack/Gray/White Plaid Suiting
  5. Black Solid CoatingMark Jacobs Black/Heather Gray Herringbone Suiting
  6. Dark Tweed Nubby WoolItalian Khaki Solid Cotton Twill

Berkshire Blazer & Tree Climber Trousers found HERE.

Thank you to Mood Fabrics for sponsoring the fabric in the Winter Wonderland Collection. You can find all the fabrics from these photos at the Mood online store.

Holly Trousers and Sweet Bonnie top sewing patterns for girls

Tree Climber Trousers pattern for boys and girls

Carousel Top and Holly Trousers sewing patterns for girls(here the Holly Trousers are shown with the Carousel Top)

Winter wonderland holly (1 of 1)-4

Winter wonderland holly (1 of 1)

I’ve actually made 5 girl outfits and 2 boy outfits from this collection. More photos to come!!!

Don’t forget to check out the tour bloggers over at Melly SewsShwin & Shwin, and See Kate Sew.

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?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. says

    OOH! Love the fabric recommendations. Lately I’ve been really inspired the other way around – I see a fabric and and immediately envision it as a specific garment. Then I have to find the pattern that fits my vision. I’m having a lot of fun with it – it helps to have such a great collection of patterns to choose from!

  2. says

    Great tips! I’ve come a long way in my fabric choices but I still have so far to go :) (Now I just have to find ways to use up that hideous stash I collected at first!)
    It’s so true that the childish prints that look great on the bolt often don’t work well as a garment. If it’s knit, it might be a great choice for pajamas, but other than that, stick with blankets and quilts, in my opinion. :)
    I really love the Tree Climber Trouser fabric recommendations!

  3. says

    Clothing for children is going to need to be laundered and after many washings you don’t want all of the color in the fabric to be washed out. Look at the print on the fabric, does the dye go through the fibers or is it rolled on and barely saturating the fibers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>