The ultrasound said it was a girl. A girl! I could hardly wait to get home to my sewing room and start to make reality of the visions I had of a wardrobe fit for a princess. I loved the dainty fabrics, the lace, pintucks, and tiny buttons. And I loved the wide array of patterns available to help me make my dreams of sweet baby clothing come true.
So I began to use those patterns to create my baby clothing. I would sew two or three of the same outfit in different colors, with different trims, and then stuff the pattern back in the envelope, never to use again. I already had that outfit, why would I make another? I always needed something new. I found myself buying patterns at an alarming rate, looking for a new cut, a different style. My drawers were filling up with poorly organized envelopes and folders of used patterns I’d surely use again “sometime”. If I had wanted to use a pattern again, how would I have found it?
After a while, I began to realize something. No matter how many patterns I used, I was actually making the same several outfits over and over. Many of them were a basic yoke pattern, with the waist seam cut higher or lower, or a different shape. Many of them were A-line, with the only difference being a uniquely shaped collar, or sleeve. I was building a huge collection of redundant patterns! There had to be a better way to do this.
So I began at the beginning. I bought every book I could find on drafting patterns. Every time I made a garment, I would take my daughter’s measurements and start by drawing a basic block pattern. Then I’d make the changes that made it a style. Again, I had a moment of realization. I was wasting a ton of time, making the same block pattern again and again.
I decided that if I had a set of basic block patterns that I didn’t use up each time, I could save myself that time by starting in at the design stage. And what a difference! Now when I want to sew an outfit, I print out the appropriate size pattern block, grab a roll of blank newsprint, and get busy. It takes me just minutes to make my design idea into a paper pattern, ready to cut out in fabric and sew. No attempting to find a pattern that I can alter to look like my idea, no carefully preserving a fragile tissue pattern, not even a trip to the store to pick up a pattern. Nothing at all to stop my creative momentum.
The purpose of this site is to bring that same option to you. I’ve created the block patterns based on standard child measurements, from 3 months to size 10. The basic alteration lessons give you basic instructions on how to change the block patterns to fit your creative vision. The projects are individual garments designed to inspire and instruct you further. Once you’ve mastered the pattern alterations shown here, only your imagination can limit you as a designer of children’s clothing.
So take these patterns and make your own amazing designs. Sew for your children. Sew things to sell on online auction sites. Design and sew whatever you want, because now you have the keys!
Best of luck!