And it feels like summer in my part of the woods – Central Illinois. The other day the temperature hit an all time high for March with the thermometer reading 25 degrees above normal and the weather on the Rez is looking similar to ours.
What does this mean? Well with over a week of 80 degree temps my summer clothes have been pulled out of storage and a quick inventory taken of what I need to make or buy for the summer season. I’ve decided that a few pair of shorts, a pair of capri pants, several tops and some sandals were needed this year as I haven’t purchased much the past several years. Since we dress rather casually here in the Midwest I need few clothes. Most of the time you’ll find me dressed in my stained garden attire where I relax talking to and attending to my fruit and veggie friends.
This also means that kids on the Rez will need shorts and tops and welcome additions for the girls, sundresses, skirts and skorts. And of course many need summer sneakers and sandals or flip flops. Babies can get away with a short sleeved onsie and a diaper cover.
Most kids have likely outgrown and/or worn out last summer’s clothing, weather can be extremely hot in the summer months so wearing winter clothing is not an option. Kids being kids, clothes do take a beating with all their summer activities. Another reason for having some new or nearly new clothes is that it raises a child’s self esteem. I’m sure many of us grew up wearing the hand-me-downs from our siblings and wished that just once we would get something new.
So this week I’ve been concentrating on making shorts for girls and boys and tried a few skirt/dress patterns I found on the web as well. I noticed that the last boxes I sent were top heavy in boys clothes. (Could it be because I have 2 grandsons?) I also made a few pair of simple cotton pants to wear in the evenings when mosquitos are out or for those cooler summer days or evenings. I’m going to make a variety of sizes with the piece of fabric I have trying to get the most bang for my buck by using different size patterns. I looked in my stash and found lots of cute cotton prints and knits that I will use to make more shorts for this project.
Sew For Kids concentrates on the 0-10 age group so shorts up to size 12/14 would be the largest size needed. Many kids are larger on the Rez due to a diet top heavy in carbohydrates so kids are wearing bigger sizes at younger ages. I checked our local thrift stores for clothing but what little is available has been worn pretty hard, however I did hit some end of season sales last year and stashed away clothing I got for 50 to 99 cents each. I was able to make shorts and match with tops I bought which made for a very inexpensive but cute outfit.
For some of the shorts I used Kwik Sew pattern books, they have all the sizes of shorts and tops that SFK makes. I’ve also accumulated lots of other patterns over the years which will be used as well. Variety is the spice of life so when I sew for others I like to learn new skills or practice those that have become rusty rather than do assembly line sewing. It’s also a good time to get my creative juices flowing.
If you don’t have a pattern for shorts use a pair you already have and follow Mothership blog on how to make a pattern. My Growing Home has a size 4T short pattern you can print off and so does Craft Passion and how to sew shorts can be found at Ikatbag. If you’re into repurposing check out how to make britches for boys with a T shirt or a dress for a girl from a pillowcase from Nancy Zieman.
Bonnie at fishstickssandfries.com has cute patterns made from knits for kids of all sizes, she finds the cutest knits. Check out cute patterns for boys in a book written by Figgys called Sewing For Boys. My sewing friend and I have been experimenting with Figgy’s patterns since she has 2 boys and I have 2 grandsons. Figgy also has great patterns for girls dresses and I plan to make a few, despite their simplicity they’re very chic looking.
Oliver + S has some fun boy and girl patterns. The nice thing about all the patterns I’m currently using is they are multi-sized and printed on high quality paper so they can be traced off and used over and over again. I will pay extra for a pattern just because of those qualities.
Since I love to sew girl’s clothes and don’t have the chance to do so having 2 grandsons, I’m going to make some skirts and dresses although it is hard to swing from a tree with a dress on. Most girls though do like to dress up from time to time and feel special. I found some cute patterns from online sewing blogs for you to try out if you need a pattern – the simple skirt , market skirt and kid’s shorts from MADE, the peasant dress from Prudent Baby, the skort from Trillium Design, the knot shorts from Grossgrain, the lazy day skirt and popover dress from Oliver +S , the milkmaid skirt from Crafter Hours blog, the paper doll skirt and chiquita dress from No Big Dill, the pillowcase dress from Little Dresses for Africa or Crafty Gemini, the tank shirt dress from Flexible Dreams, the playtime dress from Ruffles and Stuff, the boy’s cargo shorts from Craft Passion and many more on our pattern list or on the web. And of course the pattern companies have lots of simple designs you can make and add your own creative spin to the design.
Here’s a few photos of things I’ve made from the various pattern sources I mentioned above:
Share your creations with us here at SFK, check out our spreadsheet for sizes needed. Help us help the children on the Rez by making or purchasing summer clothing, if there’s a child in need in your local community or family, make a few pair of shorts for them too.Kids need to be outside having fun in the summer not stuck at home because they don’t have the proper clothing or shoes to wear. Follow us here at SFK, we’ll be discussing making simple summer tops in a future blog. Join us on our Sew For Lakota Kids Yahoo Group.
Thanks from Sew For Kids.