Pillowcase dresses and elastic-waistband skirts are all well and good, but now that my daughters have a full stock of those, it can be a challenge to find the kinds of unfussy, playful outfits that I enjoy sewing and that my girls enjoy wearing.
Carefree Clothes for Girls, written by Junko Okawa, is an excellent assortment of easy-to-wear outfits for girls. It’s light on the details and embellishments that my fancier daughter might prefer, but those that are added–the lace, the buttons, the patchwork pockets–are just the kinds of frills that she likes.
It is this kind of fashion ethic that makes Carefree Clothes for Girls such an eco-friendly book of patterns for children. Okawa prefers natural, unbleached cottons and linens, and vintage fabrics and notions when available. It’s nice to see the modern looks that a sewer can achieve with age-old fabrics and Okawa’s patterns.
All well and good, right? However, when looking through the book for the first time, my much less fancy older daughter didn’t find anything that she liked!
It was a classic opportunity for me to sit down with my girl and point out to her how much difference fabric makes to an outfit. Carefree Clothes for Girls contains plenty of sturdy, comfortable patterns for pants and tops along with those sweet dresses that my younger daughter prefers, and if my older daughter doesn’t like the look of them in unbleached linen and vintage lace, well, then why don’t we make them out of that awesome Batman bedsheet that I thrifted last Saturday?
Believe me, I had her at Batman.
Carefree Clothes for Girls contains the real-size patterns for its outfits in fold-out pattern pieces at the back of the book. Everything that I’ve made so far from the book has worked and is true-ish to size for my own four- and six-year-old girls. Both wear a size five in this book, and I only need to adjust for their differing heights if I’m making them pants. The book’s total size range runs from four to seven, which is the perfect distribution for my own kiddos.
You will now often find my girls in headscarves and apron smocks, although you may not recognize their outfits as coming from the same pattern, since one is done in flowers and vintage lace, and the other?
It’s done in Batman.