**Note to our very kind blog readers— long time, no post… computer was down!— just got it back last night— tried to post then, but it wouldn't upload… so!
Tips on designing your own girl's clothing collection…
from marie-madeline studio
#1 What does she need? How much sewing time do you have? What is your budget? Consider all of those things when beginning your collection. Also, think about your lifestyle and build your child's wardrobe around the things you do everyday… start planning outfits from there.
It is often easiest to start with a few sewn items. For example– a dress, a jumper, two skirts, a top, a pair of pants or a jacket. Fill in with ready-made items such as t-shirts and leggings or tights. (We'll talk more about that later!)
#2 Pick your patterns! This is always a fun step for us. Browse the pattern books at the fabric store or shops on the internet to find the pieces you want in your collection. Don't buy anything you don't love, or it may end up hanging in your closet gathering dust.
#3 Take notes. Keep your child's measurements on hand. Write down the fabric yardages and notions (thread, buttons, zippers, etc.) you'll need to complete your projects… then never leave home without your little notebook!
#4 Choose a main fabric. What colors look best on your child? What scale of print is most pleasing for her? We like to start with one main print, and then add a few coordinating pieces to achieve the maximum mix-n-match.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the fabric world, here is some helpful info… the latest fabric collections will almost always be in the latest colors. In other words, if you purchase your main fabric from a newer line, it will be easier to find complimentary ready-made pieces. However, there are some lovely older fabric lines, too! And since white and cream are always available, one of those colors is bound to match almost anything you choose.
Mod Girls Park Slope
Ava Rose Farmers Market
#5 Purchase your fabrics and notions, using the information in your notebook. Try doing it this way: make your one-piece outfits (dresses, jumpers) in your main print(s). Make your skirts and tops in coordinating prints so they can be worn together. Then, make your last pieces (pants, etc.) out of a very simple fabric that goes with everything else… that way you can wear the pants under the skirt with the top, or under the dress, or with the jumper and top… you get the idea!
We will typically choose a larger floral print of some sort for our one-piece things. Smaller prints for our skirts/tops, and a check or dot or stripe for our pants and accessories.
#6 Cut swatches of your fabrics! This is so important. We are notorious for literally carrying around half-a-dozen envelopes stuffed with little bits of fabric. Swatches are essential for matching your fabrics to your ready-mades, and make it easier to choose accessories such as cardigans, tights, headbands, etc. Don't underestimate this little tip!
#7 Go shopping! With swatches and notebook in hand, head out to find your ready-mades such as t-shirts and leggings. Stick with a solid color for these– it will be simpler to mix and match your outfits if you choose only one color… then they can be worn with everything. Besides, too many fun prints will give girlie the clown look (oops!).
For our last collection, we found most of our ready-made clothing at our local Target. Target now has an OshKosh brand that is both high-quality and more economical! We also love Lands' End— check out the overstocks.
#8 Sew up a storm. And while you sew, imagine all of the cute little combinations! Here are some of our favorites…
dress + tights
dress + cardigan + leggings
dress + pants
jumper + tee + leggings
jumper + turtleneck + tights
skirt + top
skirt + top + leggings
skirt + tee + pants
skirt + tee + cardigan
skirt + turtleneck + tights
top + pants
top + leggings + cardigan
…and the list could go on and on!
Do any of you have tips you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you!
PS– We plan on hosting an enormous celebration sale in the next couple of weeks! Sign up for our newsletter for the latest.
And one more PS– Gracie Ruffle Skirt pattern available soon!