How To Make and Design Children's Clothing

Clothing design basics and the techniques required to sew children's clothes can be learned through online design classes. There was a time when mothers would make their own child’s clothing. This was before the advent of retails stores and malls. Mothers would go to the local store to purchase yards of clothing material, make patterns and sew the clothes themselves. It was a skill required of women.

But in today’s modern world, dress making and designing is left to the professionals. There are dime a dozen fashion designers for all types of clothing – men’s, women’s, and children’s. You can buy any kind of outfit you want for a child in different designs, shades, shapes, sizes and materials.

If you are looking for a fun and worthwhile project, make and design your own children's clothing. You don’t have to make a full line of clothes. Start with one or two easy pieces. Depending on your child’s age, you may want to involve her in the project. After all, she will be wearing the item to her play date or to another kid’s party.

Of course before you start designing or making clothes for your kid, you need to have a good working knowledge of making a pattern, cutting the fabric and sewing.

Design phase

  1. In designing the outfit, start by determining where your child will wear it: in school, a party, Sunday service, playing at the park, everyday home wear or in bed. Always aim for comfort and unrestricted movement.
  2. Identify what type of clothing you want to make: pair of pants, shorts, jumper, dress, skirt, lightweight jacket, etc.
  3. Decide on the fabric: cotton, denim, flannel, and others.
  4. Choose the design on the fabric:  solid color (what color), striped, polka dots, floral, cars, ballerinas, cartoon characters, animals, vintage and many, many more.
  5. Sketch the design on your drawing pad.
  6. Identify the type of closure you will use like buttons or Velcro.
  7. Identify any embellishments you will put: ribbons, studs, appliqués and more.
  8. Have your design approved by the little person who will wear it!

Sewing phase

1.    Prior to sewing, gather all your sewing materials:

  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Closures – buttons, snaps, zippers, Velcro, etc
  • Embellishments – ribbons, ric-racs, patches and others
  • Additional sewing tools and materials – threads, needles and more
  • Sewing machine

2.    Measure your child. Using a measuring tape, measure your child based on the design.

3.    Create the pattern. Based on the measurements and the approved design, make a pattern of the outfit. In making the pattern, leave a little room for movement and growth.

4.    Cut the fabric. Using the pattern you made, cut the fabric accordingly.

5.    Sew. Depending on your sewing skills, you can either hand stitch the fabric or use a sewing machine. As you go through each step of sewing, you may want to have your child fit the parts of the clothing just to make sure the measurements are perfect. Adjust as necessary.

6.    Add the embellishment to the outfit.

Sewing your children's clothing can be a greatly satisfying project. It is a good way of channeling your creative juices towards something that will benefit your child. If you are not good at designing but know a thing or two about sewing, you can make use of pre-made patterns. You can find these patterns on the web or in your local department stores. If you have an older child, it would be good to get her involved. After all, she will be wearing the outfit to her next engagements.  You can take your new hobby to the next level by taking online design classes and coming up with truly innovative patterns and designs for your children's clothes.


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