Getting the very most for your money when it comes to kid’s clothing is as important as the books they will read and the games they will play while wearing garments sewn to last.
When my babies were little, they wore incredible clothing sewn by their grandmothers, who were/are proficient sewers in their own right. Both of them, coincidentally, specialized in sewing and selling children’s clothing. I learned a lot from both of them while clothing our four children. The first thing I learned was use the best fabric you can get your hands on if you want it to last longer than one season and one child. The next thing was to make garments that not only could be passed down from one to another, (without it looking like it went through the war) but for the first child to hopefully wear the garment *most* of the year – in our northeastern climate. Depending on which growth stage they were in, the garments were patterned so that they were easily lengthened with cuffs that may (or may not!) coordinate or contrast with the rest of the garment.
When we figured all of that out, both Nannies got busy and those kids looked like a million bucks non-stop until they were too big and they wanted designer jeans etc. (Ugh). These kids are all in their twenties now, but “back then” they wore pants made out of corduroy, denim, twill, cotton fleece, polar fleece, flannel, bottom-weight, mostly durable soft woven fabrics. Tops were always made out of 100% cotton t-shirt knit fabric, Bare Knits. Coordinating jackets were made with rip-stop, commander shell, or corduroy, if they were getting dressed up for an occasion. I was able to pass many of these garments down even after two maybe three of my kids had their turn with them and they still looked good enough for school.
With three boys, and one girl, our daughter got whatever she wanted when it came to clothing. Taffeta to play in the yard? Yes. A beautifully hand-smocked sundress flew down the hill on a bicycle and wiped out more times than I care to admit. Now, she is a mother herself with two babies and she is looking for those same qualities classic styles in clothing for her own kids, except the taffeta… She remembers the simple colorful styles she wore until she found boys.
Olivia Cabinet – Tiffany Blue – with Blue Quilt Leaf
from: Arrow Companies, LLC
I don’t know how much money we saved by making the style, design and fabric choices we made, and with the greatest luck we had having not just one sewing grandma, but TWO! I do know that if we had to replace those garments with store-bought pieces of the same quality, and durability, we would not have been able to afford it and those garments would not have lasted nearly as long.
Without a pattern, or the energy to brainstorm a pattern, yes, we’re feeling lazy in all of this heat, I was zipping through Etsy, and found Cody Eastlyn Appleton’s Apple Tree Pattern Company based in Saskatchewan, CANADA. Yeah! This looks like what we need.
Apple Tree Pattern Company offers patterns that significantly extend the lifetime of the garment. Using similar techniques, yet more modern styles than we used for my kids, and even more clever ingenuity, these patterns give you what you need to develop and sew a comfortable base wardrobe for your little one(s) that they will wear all year round. Rompers, tops, bottoms, etc. Simple lines, optional sporty “moto-patches“, and peek-a-boo pockets for carrying treasure. Apple Tree Patterns are designed to be used with knit fabrics for stretch and ease, and are for both boys and girls up to size six!
These patterns also can be a more environmentally friendly way to clothe our kids by reducing overall textile waste, manufacturing, shipping, reducing carbon footprints.
I think we will try the Apple Tree Grow Along Pants pattern and see what happens. Cross your fingers for me, I’m on my own now!