The nice thing about sewing for kids is that their clothes take so little fabric. A shirt or pair of pants for a five-year-old, a dress for a three-year-old, matching bloomers for both–you could sew any of these things using less than a yard of fabric.
For that reason, kids’ clothes are very well-suited for sewing with recycled materials. I’ve sewed smocked sundresses for my girls out of pillowcases, a pants and kimono shirt outfit for a newborn out of one blouse, two sturdy diaper covers out of a felted wool sweater.
I was afraid of sewing from a pattern when I was a novice seamster, ironically, but now that I sew well, I enjoy using patterns to create more complicated clothing with attractive detailing and sophisticated elements. And so, although they’re pricey, I do buy some of the children’s clothing patterns from Oliver + S each season.
I like Oliver + S because the age range on the pattern allows me to use it for both of my girls at the same time, and for a few years to come, and the practice of sewing using mostly thrifted or recycled elements actually makes the patterns pretty cost effective, as well as green.
Anyway, Oliver + S has just put a between-seasons freebie on their site. The Popover Sundress is, perhaps, less distinguished than the other Oliver + S patterns, but it looks quick and simple to sew, includes some of the fun elements that tend to distinguish Oliver + S from many of the other children’s patterns on the market and, best of all, it’s free.
The pattern is designed to print from your home computer, if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader. I’d say it looks completely do-able even for novice sewers, although expert sewers might find it too easy, or too similar to other simple dresses that you’ve likely invented for yourself–if that’s the case, use the pattern to give you ideas for modifications that you can make.
For other free patterns, check out the children’s sewing patterns on Burdastyle.