Building a FREE Pattern Girl's Spring Wardrobe Part 110:43 AM
I don't know about you, but I don't have an unlimited fabric and pattern budget. So I'm always a train wreck when I have to choo...
I don't know about you, but I don't have an unlimited fabric and pattern budget. So I'm always a train wreck when I have to choose. New pattern or new fabric? BUT, if we can assemble a really good selection of free patterns, you'll have even more money for fabric. And everyone knows, that's a VERY good thing.
And before you go asking why I'm talking about Spring Wardrobes before Christmas, its all about planning ahead. If you wait until Spring to start thinking about what you need, it'll be too late. By the time you're done sewing, it'll be summer and many of the clothes will go unworn! And that would be a shame far worse than spending all your money on patterns!
So let's first talk about what a girl's wardrobe needs. Every girl is unique. I have 3 daughters, so I know this first hand. They each have their own sense of style. I have a tom boy, all about comfort and leggings girl, and all frilly dresses all the time girl. But I can still build a wardrobe for them from free patterns. For clarification, when I say "girl" I'm referring to girls from about age 2/3 through around 8 or 9. A lot of designers don't include designs up through size 14/16. That's a shame. But since I had to break my size range down to keep it simple, I'm going with clothes that will fit my 3 kids, which are sizes 3 through about 6/7. I'll be sure to note size ranges, so you can save some time from having to click and go "I love that" and then realize it doesn't come in the size you need.
When you read through the list you'll probably think, but what about this, and ruffles and some other thing. Let's be clear. This list is meant to get you as far as you can go WITHOUT spending a penny on patterns. There are going to be patterns that completely break the mold and offer details that you just can't hack from your base patterns. That's ok! Because you've got an entire selection of free patterns to choose from, you can feel comfortable paying for a pattern that isn't something you can build for free. EVEN at full price, you've saved enough on other patterns to get you through.
AND, don't forget the value of the patterns you already own. Few seamstresses own zero paid patterns. So if you already have a pattern that fills one of these categories, you're already ahead of the game. Because you already own them, you aren't spending more money. So do a good job of keeping track of what you have.
I'll be including a simple chart at the end of this post series, where you can list which patterns are going to work for your wardrobe needs. This way, if you ever have a question as to what pattern to use, you can double check your list and not spend hours browsing the internet looking for an elusive pattern that you know you own but can't remember the name of! I can't tell you how many hours I've spent browsing the internet only to realize I already own the pattern I need. FRUSTRATING!
Please note: to keep things simple and readily available, I am doing my best to search craftsy and patterns I'm already familiar with. I'm sure there are MANY more free patterns that should be on this list. Please PLEASE add other excellent free patterns in the comments so that no one misses any of the great free patterns out there. FURTHER, this post got SO long as I tried to compile ALL the free patterns. I'm breaking it up into 2 parts (maybe more) to help keep you from getting brain over load. :) Round 1 is shirts and pants only!
So what does the average girl wardrobe need?
Knits: Everyone wears t-shirts sometimes. A perfect selection of t-shirts would include a standard t-shirt, raglan and maybe a v-neck. A variety of lengths would be good too since many girls wear leggings with their t-shirts.
Nap Time Creations has us pretty well covered in this category. Short and long sleeve girls and boy's t-shirts in size 2-12. Please note, I have not yet tried these patterns so cannot vouch for their fit.
I'm still in search of a good v-neck and raglan t-shirt in a reasonable size range. Everything I found ended at size 6.
UPDATE: I stumbled across this blog and realized she has a LOT of what we need to complete our free capsules. Including this long sleeve dress pattern from scattered thoughts of a crafty mom! I haven't tried it yet, but visually the drafting looks really well done! She's got at on of stuff on her blog, so definitely look around.
Never discount the value of a good peasant top/tunic/dress. The Create Kids Couture Marilyn Slim Fit Peasant Dress and Top is a super simple peasant in sizes 18 months through 6. Please note, Peasant Dresses are by FAR the most commonly available free pattern. There are TONS of them available in both short and long sleeves. If you already have a free one somewhere, use that one, but please add it in the comments so others can get a chance to see what is out there!Peasant tops and dresses aren't just for wovens either, so feel free to experiment with knits too.
A simple a-line top would be good too. I haven't found one yet, but it must be out there.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you should know the Climbing the Willow Izzy Top. It comes in size 18 months through 12 and is a GREAT little top. I've sewn more than a few of these and they always come together so nicely.
Knits: Leggings and Lounge Pants. This is an easy one to find for free. And just about everyone needs leggings and lounge pants.
You can see my Free Leggings Reviews here:
Round 1- Love Notions and Made For Mermaids
(Round 2 to come soon)
Lounge pants can be made in knits or wovens.
Unisex sweatpants from Nap Time Creations. Sizes 2-10. I haven't tried these yet.
PJ bottoms by Sew Can She * My last experience with Sew Can She patterns wasn't so good (you can read about that here). :( I haven't tried these yet, but I'm not so sure I want to. This pattern does include margin lines but no size chart measurements. Sizes 12 mo through 7/8.
The Cloth Parcel Perfect Pj Pants comes in sizes 6 months through 8 years. The pattern includes an inseam measurement but no waist measurement. Pattern pieces look ok.
Create Kids Couture Taylor's Lounge Pants is a free pants pattern. It has the same front and back. That means the fit will be less than perfect. It comes in sizes 6-12 months through 8 years.
Wovens: Jeans and skinny pants cover this category. I've yet to find free patterns for these. Definitely something to find a good design you like and pay for it.
Stay tuned for the next part to this series on creating a free (or nearly so) Girl's Spring Wardrobe.