When Sophia and I have looked at the next size up (juniors), the majority of the clothes are not appropriate for a child to wear. The necklines are cut way too low, the tops are often too short, the skirts too short, and the pants too long. It's incredibly difficult to find clothes that are comfortable to wear and reflect the age of the wearer.
So, when I saw that there's a Kids Clothes Week Challenge (KCWC) on Elsie Marley's site, I thought it would be a great opportunity to make the time to sew some clothes for Sophia.
KCWC is (obviously) a one-week time period where participants commit to sewing for one hour a day for 7 days. The purpose is to sew clothes for children (one's own or other people's kids).
I'm thinking that it also would be a good week to make at least one item to donate to a child in need. There are a lot of programs out there that welcome handmade clothes for children (e.g., pillowcase dresses for girls in developing countries, hats for newborns)
Olivia showing a pillowcase dress I made for
Little Dresses for Africa.
The KCWC challenge says that knitting and crocheting are fine as well as pattern making, fabric cutting, and seam ripping. I think my main focus will be on sewing (rather than on knitting and crocheting) since the weather will be hot in a matter of months.
The last time I sewed for the girls, I made each of them a dress for their First Communion. My mother (who made a lot of clothes for my sister, brother, and me when we were children and teenagers) helped guide me in putting in the zippers, making sure the sleeves were done right (and comfortable to wear), and ruffling the skirts and attaching them to the bodice of the dress. I hand-sewed over 200 clear beads onto each of the dresses to embellish the bottom part of the dress and make them a bit more special for the girls.
Sophia and Olivia in dresses
I made for them.
The next step in the KCWC is determining what items would be most useful and worn during the summer; and picking out patterns and fabric. I've taken a look at the Flickr group that shows clothes that people have made (HERE), and saw some cute ideas. There were some ideas for "re-inventing" clothes and giving them new purpose (e.g., jeans made into shorts).
Jeans to shorts made with homemade bias tape.
I'm thinking that it may be good for Sophia and Olivia also to learn how to make something easy - perhaps a skirt - so they can learn some basic clothes-making skills as well. They could also learn how to do applique on clothes.
One woman who did the KCWC challenge last year embellished a new top that had become immediately stained with food. She did some cute applique work that covered the stains so she didn't have to throw out the shirt.
Applique shirt that was made to cover stains on a shirt
so it could be worn and not thrown away.
As the KCWC website says, "A lot can happen in a week if you put in a little time each day. And with hundreds of people sewing along with you and cheering you on, well, you can't help but make great stuff!"