Sewing Birthday Presents for my Niece!

I love to sew for my niece. Tiny clothes are so adorable! She’s turning 3 this month, so I’ve been busy sewing. My favourite kid’s patterns are basically mini versions of what I make myself: knit dresses, tees, leggings, and stretchy pants. Everyone deserves to wear secret pyjamas, right?

bimaa dresses Collage

Sticking with the theme of cute-but-comfy, the first two dresses are based on the Bimaa shirt pattern by LouBee Clothing. It’s basically a child’s Renfrew/hoodie pattern. For these dresses I just used the bodice (and sleeves) and winged the skirt. Recognise the fabrics from my swing tank, maxi dress, and Art Gallery Anna?

ruffles stripes Collage

Next is a new-to-me free pattern for a kimono sleeve dress. I was sewing these up before I had exact measurements, so I figured that a kimono sleeve dress can either be loose or tight, short or long, and somehow still work! Since my niece is getting old enough to have opinions on her clothes, I wanted to make fun girly clothes (she loves pink and purple) without being over-the-top. Lots of stripes and ruffles!

The pink and purple is rayon knit with shiny gold stripes seperating the colours. I did circular ruffles at the neckline, much like I did on a tank to for myself here and here. The strawberry print is a Heather Ross print that I ordered online a few years ago – it’s like a more expensive version of that super stable Girl Charlee knit I hate! I’d cut out a Scout tee for myself in it at the time, but given up on sewing it because it is so stable. It’s perfect for a kid though – with some ruffly lingerie elastic to finish the armholes, and a gathered ruffle at the hem!

pink tulle Collage

This one is my favourite! The striped fabric comes form a tee I thrifted for myself years ago, which never got much wear, and the pink is mesh that I got when FunkiFabrics sent me fabric. Finally a use for ballerina pink! For the ruffle at the hem I used basting stitches to gather up a 60″ strip, then I zigzaged it on. The top half folds down over the stitching so it all looks neat and precise! For the heart, I used a disappearing pen to sketch the shape, then a tiny zigzag to stitch on a 1″ wide strip. The mesh naturally folded in to the centre in some areas, so I folded it all inwards and topstitched it down with a zigzag. I’m hoping it all holds up well in the wash – it should!

leggings and pants Collage

Finally, I refashioned two pairs of my pants and 2 pairs of leggings into kiddy sized clothes. All 4 are made with the Hosh Pants pattern, also by LouBee. It’s designed to have adjustable elastic in the back, but I admit I skip that… I really like that it’s made for stretch wovens though, and has plenty of room for a big diapered butt. For the leggings I just fold out about 2″ of width, and fold down the waist with elastic instead of adding a folded waistband.

Nostalgically, I bought the railroad stripe pants back in Teacher’s College in 2007… and the jeans I cut up were my first pair of pull-on, stretchy skinny jeans, bought in Japan. Just think of how many Elle pants and Ginger jeans I’ve made since this first RTW pair! Goodness knows why I’ve hoarded this stuff for so long, but it feels good to refashion it and give the fabric new life.

I’ve got a Pinterest board going of kid’s clothing inspiration – lots and lots of Boden and anything I find with a cat face on it! As she get’s older I’d like to try out a few new patterns to shake things up. Do you have any favourite children’s clothing patterns to suggest? 

PS. The Better Pictures Project starts on September 1st, and I’m so excited. The first month is about taking pictures out and about with Heather B! As practice, I’m going to be taking my DSLR to my niece’s birthday party so I can experiment with settings from behind the camera for once!


13 thoughts on “Sewing Birthday Presents for my Niece!

  1. Very cute! And that’s great that you were able to refashion those pants. I have to admit that I’m very excited that I have a tiny person to recycle for, though it’s most likely going to be his daddy’s work shirts that get this treatment.

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    1. I was really nervous the pants and leggings would be too tight – but thanksfully, they were just right or a little loose! Phew. The pants refashioning worked really well – I’ll definitely be saving more pairs to cut up! You little mr is going to be styling in Daddy’s shirts!

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  2. These are all lovely. You are a very nice Auntie and she is a lucky girl. I tried the Studio Tantrum Redondo skirt for Sprogzilla when she was wee and got loads of compliments. It is very swirly. If your niece likes girly things then this is a good one. As they get bigger you just add in sections. Only downside is the length of the hems. Xx

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    1. What a cool pattern! I’ve never heard of it before, but it looks really cool. She does like swirly clothes – she went straight for the circle skirt dress and put it on to do twirls! 🙂

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    1. I wish I could post pics of her – she is so stinkin’ cute, and I have highhopes she’ll be mischievous when she grows up!🙂

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    1. Her winter wardrobe (aka her Christmas gift) is for sure going to be lots of Perri Pullovers and Jalie Bella dresses with twirly skirts!

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  3. In my humble opinion, you can’t go wrong with Kitschy Coo’s patterns for little ones. I’ve made the little girl’s Skater dress and the Penny Pinafore countless times for my God daughter, who’s 7 yrs old now.
    There’s also a really nice pattern for a hoodie, I fancy trying that.

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  4. So cute! The heart tee is adorable, and I adore that particular Heather Ross print. Kids clothes are such a good palate cleanser. Ottobre is my go to for kids’ patterns. Their styles are so fun and very RTW level quality, but they take a little time to get through. Still, I’ve never been disappointed with any of their patterns. The only bummer is that the size range on each pattern is not always the biggest, and since I’m usually sewing for 3 (or 4 if I’m making stuff for my nieces), being able to use the same pattern for everyone is ideal. For that reason, I’ve been checking out Blank Slate Patterns more lately (all of those are 18mos-8), though I still like Ottobre’s draft better.

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