Handmade Back to School Clothes for kids
I find complete joy in sewing handmade back to school clothes for kids. My grandkids that is!!
Making handmade clothes guarantees that they will be of the finest quality available.
First of all, you need to purchase quality material. That’s the key! The cheaper material is loosely woven, as a result, it wears out fast. The best material is tightly woven. You can hold the fabric up to the light and if you can see through the weave, then keep shopping. You will learn to know the feel of it. Another way is the price. You get what you pay for, right? I have a fabric company I recommend at the bottom of this post.
Start by pre-washing your fabric. Serge the raw edges before you wash it to keep it from fraying out so much.
Next, press your fabric.
Cut out the pattern of your choice. Here are some instructions to learn how to read a sewing pattern.
This first pattern I want to share with you is from CKC Patterns.
Larkin’s Fancy Party Dress by Create Kids Couture for handmade back to school clothes for kids
It is the simple version of Larkin.
The pattern is a download and is available in lots of different sizes. (6-12 months up to size 8). Simply – cut out the size you need. Check out this pdf of How to find your size from your measurements. It is a Simplified Measurement Guide. Follow the directions to cut out your pattern. For the bodice, fold material to center on both sides, after that, fold again so that you have two folds together. You will need two pieces, which is why you have two folds together.
Put the selvage edges together and make sure the material lays flat to the fold.
Follow the directions to cut out the rest of the pieces in the size indicated. There are sizes listed for the rest of the pieces instead of pattern pieces. There is a back bodice, skirt front, skirt back, sleeve, and a ruffle. I left the ruffle off of this dress, therefore added the length to the bottom edge of the skirt pieces.
This is the skirt front and back. They are the same, likewise, you will cut two from the measurements.
Here is the back bodice.
Make a seam in the sleeve, turn, then press.
Gather each end of both sleeves and place on the front bodice indicated on the pattern piece.
The bodice is lined. Follow the rest of the directions in the pattern to put the rest of the dress together. CKC has great instructions with all their patterns.
This sweetheart dress with ruffled skirt and gathered sleeves turned out so cute. My granddaughter loved it. She can’t wait to wear it to her first day of Pre-K next week.
The back has casings with elastic in them. (affiliate link)
Here is the Fancy version of the Larkin’s Fancy Party Dress by Create Kids Couture (CKC)
This pattern from CKC Patterns is the:
Jewel’s Stripwork Peasant Dress by Create Kids Couture for handmade back to school clothes for kids
Serge the edges of the fabric, pre-wash, then press.
Put selvages together and get all the ripples out. As a result, this makes sure that it is on the straight of grain.
Square up the edge and cut out the pieces designated on the pattern. The pattern tells you the size of pieces to cut in length and width, and how many to cut out, according to what size you want to make. It is available from 6-12 months up to size 8. All the sizes are included in the download.
Place the fold and the selvages along the grid lines on your rotary mat and square up the edge. (affiliate link)
Follow the pattern piece and cut out the sleeve inserts on the sleeve and on the bodice front and back.
I cut out the 3/4 sleeves for this dress. The sleeves are larger than the bodice.
Sew (I serged) the sleeves to the bodice on both sides. Then sew the underarm seams and the side seams.
Fold under 1/4″ and press. Fold another 1/4″ and press again. Stitch 1/8″ from edge of fold.
Finished edge of the sleeve.
Follow the directions for how to put a casing in the neck edge for elastic. The pattern has all the measurements for each size.
Put a gathering stitch in the top of the skirt front and back. Pin to the bodice and sew together.
See below for an easy way to gather that evenly spaces your gathers.
Top stitch being sure to catch the seam underneath.
Mark the sleeve as indicated on the pattern. Measure down from the sleeve seam for the size you are constructing. Use a chalk marker to mark where you will shirr the sleeve. (affiliate link) This is going to be amazing.
You now have the seam marked where the shirring will be.
To shirr – Wind elastic thread on the bobbin. (affiliate link) Set your tension to the largest number (7). Set your stitch length to 3.5. Sew on the chalk line that you drew on. Sew again 1/2″ up. This gathers up the seam. I was amazed at how easy this was the first time I tried it. Practice on scrap material the first time. It helps to shoot it with steam after sewed.
Here is the finished dress.
For the third (and fourth) dresses, I made the:
Marilyn’s Slim Fit Peasant Dress and Top by Create Kids Couture for handmade back to school clothes for kids
This one is a beginners level pattern and quick to sew up.
It includes size 18 months through size 6 on the download.
I believe this pattern has been put away in their vault.
Follow the Cutting Instructions for the size you want to make.
Follow the directions to put it together. It is very similar to the above pattern. It has short sleeves with elastic, a dress or top, and a ruffle.
Here is the hem on the ruffle. Fold up 1/4″ and another 1/4″ and sew 1/8″ from fold.
Here is my simple way of how to gather and add a ruffle:
First, hem the ruffle as stated above. You could also do a rolled hem on the serger. Add a gathering stitch at the top of the ruffle. I set my stitch length to a 4.0. Do Not backstitch. Start about 1/8″ from the seam and sew till you get to the other seam. Leave long pieces of thread at the beginning and end of the seam. Start again at the next seam and sew around to the beginning leaving thread to grab ahold of.
Find the center of the front and the center of the back and put a pin in it to mark it. Likewise, do the same on the bottom of the dress that you are attaching it to.
Match up the pins on the center of the ruffle and the center of the dress. Put right sides together.
Attach the ruffle to the dress. Attach at the seams and in the center front and back.
Start at one of the side seams and pull the top thread to start gathering it up. Pull it until it gathers to the center pin.
As soon as the ruffle is the same width as the dress:
Wrap the thread around the pin at the side seam, making a figure 8 around the pin to hold it in place.
Here is the thread wrapped in a figure 8.
Next, spread the gathers out evenly.
Pin it in place.
Now repeat that on the other three sections, securing to pins each time.
Serge the ruffle to the dress, then topstitch.
Here are the two finished dresses:
My model (aka, my lovely granddaughter), loved her dress!!!
Makes for a nice twirl also!
Heres another fabric with unicorns made for a customer:
I had to make some school shirts for my Grandson too! And I used CKC for these also. Pattern:
Porter’s Button-Up Shirt by Create Kids Couture for handmade back to school clothes for kids
Difficulty level: Intermediate
He loves Minecraft, so I embroidered his favorite, a creeper, on the sleeves. Found him on Etsy. He can’t wait to wear it to school.
In conclusion, These school clothes ended up all being patterns from Create Kids Couture.
It is great being able to just download and print out the patterns. You can use the patterns for multiple sizes so you can use them for years to come.
They have great instructions with pictures which makes it easy to follow along.
I highly recommend ckc patterns.