Sewing for Plus-Size Girls

When I published my post in the Curvy Sewing Collection about sewing patterns for those little girls who are outside of the boutique clothing sizes, I was convinced there was a large gap in the clothing market for these little girls.  The plus-size community has really received a lot of attention over the past year and is finally gaining the voice that it long has needed.  So what about the little girls?  I expressed my opinions in my CSC post and here we are, months later, and I’m feeling even more convicted than before.

I’ve spent several months researching children’s, specifically little girls, clothing and if you do not fit into the cookie cutter sizes, you are completely out of luck.  So, I am determined to design some patterns.  I have several designs in mind. I follow lots of sewing and boutique clothing stores and designers on social media.  I see what is popular. I have enlisted the aid of a your 6-year old fashionista and she is advising me on what is hip and cool.

If I can stay on task, I want to design a few garment patterns for those healthy, but above or below average, size.  We all know those standardized size charts are merely suggestions anyway.  Real people come in all shapes and sizes.

So, here goes.  I would appreciate any suggestions, links, information about those sewists out there that are struggling with sewing for children who do not fit into the boutique fashions.

 

My Very First Label

10291267_518727338227539_2001256388388161428_nWhen I finally decided on a brand for myself and my creations, the first thing I wanted to do (after acquiring the services of a graphic artist) was to create my own fabric labels for my handmade items.  I sent my shiny new professional graphic image off the an Etsy vendor who crafted me my very own rubber stamp of my brand.  I love it.  And then it went in a pile in the sewing room and has been forgotten.  I sewed a few gifts, gave them away and had some regret they didn’t have my label.  But not enough regret to motivate me to dig out the rubber stamp.  I put stamp pads on my craft store list and finally purchased some cheap ones.  I recently stitched up a very cute little baby snuggle wrap for a baby shower gift and had to physically force myself to dig out the stamp, stamp some fabric, heat-set it using the method described in Crafty Blossom’s blogpost.  I made so many excuses on why this wasn’t going to work.  I don’t understand why it is sooooooo hard to do.  It must be fear.  Anyway, I have stamped and sewn in my first one.  The house did not burst into flames, I did not get struck by lighting and the baby swaddle blanket or label did not spontaneously combust.  So………it will be easier to do next time and as I get more comfortable doing it, I want to eventually design a yard of fabric labels at Spoonflower as in these instructions at Things for Boys blog.

 

Goal:  label everything I make!

Blue Jean Baby Bibs

2013-11-23 16.45.27-2I love working with denim.  The new Re-purpose, Recycle trend really has me intrigued.  I was recycling denim before it was cool.  My mother insists that each family member receive a homemade denim throw on the successful completion of a driver’s license test. This denim throw is to go in the car trunk for anything, accidental or otherwise, that might come up.  And each time a new significant other has been brought into the family, she very promptly gifts them with one.  So it is natural for me to make purses, tote bags, and other fun accessories out of denim.  I find it to be a very sturdy serviceable fabric that needs very little special treatment. If it gets dirty, throw it in the washing machine.

I pinned an adorable set of baby bibs on Pinterest that linked back to a Notes From The Patch blog tutorial.  I think that image has been pinned thousands of times.  It is very well-liked.  I printed off her .pdf pattern and set about making my own version of these bibs.  I had several baby showers coming up and several pairs of jeans stored up in the sewing stash.  I couldn’t help adding the heart nailheads on each.  But I did lay my pattern with the wrong sides together and cut out 2 bibs that fastened on the right side and 2 bibs that fastened on the left side.  Oh, well. As long as I give them away to separate people, no one will know the difference.  Ah, the joys of making mistakes look like a creative twist!

Owl Baby Car Seat Cover

 

 

photoI forget that not everyone has a friend or family member who sews.  I take for granted that I have the skills to easily whip up anything I see on Pinterest.  I can choose the colors and the fabrics that I like for any project and then make it to fit whatever situation.  I assume that other people can either make what they want or order it off the internet.  Then I chat with people around me.  In chatting, I find out that very few people have the skill to make things.  One such conversation with an expectant mother and coworker led to an adorable baby car seat cover.

While planning this young mother-to-be’s baby shower, we were discussing her gift registries.  I enquired as to her chosen nursery color scheme and theme with the plans of sewing her something.  Then it hit me.  I follow her on Pinterest so I know she has been pinning baby things.  So I asked, ” Would you like me to make you something for the baby?”  She hesitated only a moment before telling me that she had been looking at baby car seat covers and would really like one but thought they were too pricey on Etsy.  A few minutes of internet searching led me to many tutorials and free patterns.  We agreed on colors, she emailed me a picture of the baby car seat she planned to purchase and a project was born.

I chose the tutorial, Baby Care Seat Cover Tutorial, from the blog, Make it Do.  The dimensions made sense to me and used basic fabric pieces with a minimum amount of cutting.  The instructions were clear and easy to follow until I reached the strap assembly steps.  I struggled with where to attach the hook and loop fasteners.  The instructions on placement of the hook and loop fasteners and attachment of the finished strap to the cover were a little limited.  I needed a photo illustrating the placement of the hook and loop fasteners on the strap. I needed another step or two with a couple more photos for clarity.  I’m not sure the straps pictured are as they were intended but I hope they will work.

All in all, it turned out pretty cute!