Oliver + S

How do you plan your child's wardrobe?

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    ML @ML

    My daughter is turning 2 soon, and between my buying ahead and hand-me-downs, she has a full wardrobe in 2t. But for the next year, I want to attempt to make a majority of her clothes. I know many of you here make a lot (if not all) of your kids’ clothes. Any tips on how to plan? The thought feels overwhelming to me right now, but I know once I break it down, it will be more doable. She will probably be in preschool 2 days a week by then, but the rest of the time, she will be hanging out with me and doing play dates. (Ah, the rough life of a toddler. 🙂 I’m thinking plenty of comfy knit clothes. But then what else? I have most of the o+s patterns. What pieces do find you’re making year after year for your little ones?

    Nicole @motherof5

    Oh,what fun!

    I try to start with a piece of fabric I adore,make sure she has shoes that work with that and then go from there.

    I find layers work well with children as items then move through seasons better. A Ruffled Halter is great for summer and then works well over a Hopscotch tee for Autumn,pop a Sunday Brunch Jacket over that and it moves into winter.

    I love the Sailboat pants,I put tights under them for winter. The Sketchbook shorts with length make easy jeans,the 2+2 skirt is adorable and short enough for easy play. I have made so many 2+2 blouse’s,they are so cute under a cardy when it is cool and offer great sun protection in the warmer months.

    I always seem to have a PlayDate dress(or two)in the wardrobe. They look dressy for going out but are great for play clothes as well as they is not a bulk of fabric to catch in trees or on the slippery dip.

    I had best stop,because I could go on and on,I will let someone else have a turn.

    Sarvi @Sarvi

    Mine is only 2, so my advice might not be too useful, but I find that what I actually sew most (dresses!) are not actually what she wears most. She gets the most use from trousers and long-sleeved tops, which don’t bunch up when I buckle her into the car seat for trips to the market, playground, library, etc. but do keep the sun off her skin and prevent skinned knees if she takes a tumble. I seem to keep making those dresses, though, because they’re just so much fun! I suppose investing in a couple of good sets of leggings would make it much easier to wear dresses and skirts.

    I guess my one tip is to maybe pick a couple of colors (yellow & green for spring? red & navy for fall?) and buy a few bigger cuts of yardage in those colors. That way all the pieces you make will work together. Again, I keep meaning to do that, but I have the attention span of a gnat, so whenever I see some pretty new fabric I forget my sensible plan.

    juliamom2009 @juliamom2009

    I have a two and a half year old. I’m just starting summer sewing. She’s in daycare 5 days a week and is HARD on clothes. No pretty dresses for daycare. I do buy some used clothing on eBay, but am trying to make most of her wardrobe other than the secondhand stuff. I make mostly tops for that reason, and send her off to preschool in “jeggings” or leggings or jeans. I get so many compliments on my ice cream social tops, music class, and class picnic tops because they’re not the typical stuff you see on the pre-school set.

    Also, I’m lazy, so I’ll try to sew only stuff with white serger thread for a while, then I’ll re-thread my serger, and sew black serger thread stuff for the next bit.

    Masha Richart

    I have a 1.5-year-old and a 2.5-year-old and I decided to sew the older girl’s entire summer wardrobe (save leggings and things that still fit from last year). What I did was sew all my bottoms in solid colors, making sure that I have enough neutrals (like denim) to mix and match. I’ve made her two pairs of denim shorts, a denim Sailboat Skirt, red Sailboat pants and charcoal After School Pants. I am also planning some sage green corduroy pants and a skirt. Then I feel free to use the prints I like for the tops. This is how I tend to dress, too – solids on the bottom, prints on the top – so it sort of came naturally.

    Masha Richart

    Oh, I forgot to finish reading your post when I responded. The Class PIcnic top is my current favorite – I’ve made one for each girl and I have two more cut out to sew this week. It’s such a nice piece for spring and fall, and in a light-enough cotton I think it is good for summer too. I have also made a sleeveless 2+2 top and a Sailboat Top (though i haven’t gotten that last one to work much to my liking so far; I think it was too big).

    Mama_Knowles @Mama_Knowles

    My little toddler girl is 2 years and pretty much all her clohtes have been home made for a while. She likes the Swing set top and skirt, the Puppet show shorts and love the hopscotch top. She has a few outfits in every O+S pattern that I own right now. My favorites are the tea party dress, bubble dress, family reunion dress and the puppet show. I am going to be giving the sail boat pattern a try this next too. I do make her an outfit or two every week just about so her closet and dresser is very full all the time. I try to make the next size up so that they last a bit longer. She is still 18 month size but is on the tall side.

    Kim @kmac0107

    I am sewing for a newly turned 3 year old and last year I bought 1 yard each of the City Weekend interlock in cafe dots and in park ramble in different colors. I made the hopscotch top in both short sleeves and long sleeves and the nature walk pants. She loves the soft fabric and you can mix and match. You can get more than one pattern out of each yard. This year I am making the pants into shorts.

    beachmom @beachmom

    I think what RTWG said is important to consider…making sure there are enough neutrals and that you can mix and match pieces. You also need to consider how often you’ll be doing laundry so that you know how many outfits you need have for her wardrobe.

    My tried and true O+S patterns are the Sandbox pants, Sailboat pants, Class Picnic Top, Hopscotch Top, Ice Cream Top, Puppet Show shorts, and the 2 + 2 top. I like skirts and dresses but my girls aren’t so quick to wear those unless it’s for church.

    Please share your wardrobe plans when you decide…I, for one, would love to see what you’re thinking of sewing.:)


    Tamara @justsewit

    Last year I made most of my children’s clothing, even the bottoms of school uniforms. I have a 9.5 year old daughter and a nearly 7 year old son so I go for durability in the fabrics I use because they need to wear them and not ware them out!

    For my daughter this winter I am planning to make more trousers and tops than anything else. I will incorporate a few skirts into the mix and maybe one or two dresses but she is growing so fast that the Oliver and s patterns are hardly keeping up and that means altering the pattern to make it fit which takes time. Fortunately it isn’t drastic size ups and I plan to make plenty of roomy things that hopefully will carry through. So for her I am planning to use the after school outfit, trench coat pattern, an enlarged 2+2 skirt (that I found when sorting out my sewing area) she wants a croquet dress and another apple picking dress, not to mention the hopsctotch tops and the dresses I use for her nightwear.

    For my son, it will be sandbox and sketchbook pants, some more sketchbook shirts, ottobre tshirts, trench coat, nature walk tops and sailboat tops. Winter pjs for both of them using the sleepover pattern and because I made a school days jacket for him last year, He’ll be able to we’re that this winter.

    The kids along the way seem to put in requests for what they like but mostly I get to pick the styles and they

    pick the colors unless it is for farm clothes and then it is stick standard Brown!

    This list may change and grow depending on the weather. It is supposed to be raining but no sign as yet so at the moment we are still wearing mid season type things.

    What Nicole said about layering is a practical way to stretch the clothing out especially as you put the time and effort into them so naturally you want them to be worn and if it still fits them, then make good use of that whilst you can.

    I like to go neutral on the bottoms also. I generally pick a print for the top and them make a skirt and/ or pants to compliment so that there is potentially two outfits out of three garments. This way the skirt could be say red and the pants in denim with a top featuring red and navy blue for example. The bottoms don’t have to be just for that top as other prints featuring red can go with say the skirt and anything could go with denim.

    With our weather, we tend not to make things that are too wooly as we find they mostly sit in the wardrobe and we’d have to go visit family in Melbourne to wear them. Layering can be the option when you find the weather very transient. For this reason, I may attempt a body warmer using the vest from the school days pattern as my inspiration. Perfect for those time when doing sheep work in windy conditions.

    mcholley1 @mcholley1

    I echo the same as everyone else. I like to start with shoes, a few cardigans, leggings, tights, and hairbows/headbands first. I hate it when I finish a garment and then have to go hunt for matching accessories! It is usually difficult b/c mainstream colors are so much more predictable than what most people pick to sew. I sew more dresses than separates b/c it is what my daughter prefers and what I like making. I try to plan a few puppet show shorts (or bloomers when she was 3 and younger) that go under several different dresses or can be worn alone with t shirts. As far as which o+s patterns are good for everyday wear…the bubble dress, picnic blouse, and tea party have been our favorites in the past (and now I predict the croquet). They work great alone or with layers so can be worn year round in our climate. They are also easy to launder and care for…which becomes a factor when your kids wear handmade on a daily basis. For example, I love the birthday party dress but find myself saving it for “special days” since it is a bit more time consuming to press all those pleats every time. I second Nicole on always having at least a couple of playdate dresses around, though I think the apple picking dress may fill that niche for us in the future.

    Lightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch

    Planning? Having just photographed all my O+S things I’ve made I’ve realised I subscribe to the “ooh that’s pretty” method of buying fabric, then work out what to do with it. I always seem to buy a metre of anything, Then I make one garment that it suits (usually a dress or something fun for me to sew). Finally I’m left with lots of little bits of fabric that I try and stick together to make something else.

    I get immense satisfaction from cutting a pattern out of an absurdly small bit of fabric….

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