Croft Mill

Sewing for Children: Fabric Essentials

Hey there, fellow sewing superheroes and welcome to our go-to guide for creating adorable and comfortable garments for the little ones in your life!

Whether it's a twirly dress, a snugly onesie, or a pair of trendy trousers, there's something magical about sewing clothes specifically tailored for our little bundles of joy.

We've scoured the fabric universe (yes, it's a thing) to bring you our top picks that are guaranteed to make your sewing projects shine brighter than a shooting star.

We're talking about fabrics that feel like a dream against their delicate skin, ensuring maximum comfort for those wild adventures and impromptu dance parties. Plus, we've handpicked options that are as durable as they come, so your creations can survive the playground, the backyard, and even the occasional spaghetti sauce mishap (because, let's be honest, kids and messes go hand in hand).

Choosing the Right Fabrics

French Terry is a fantastic fabric choice for children's clothing because it strikes the perfect balance between comfort and durability. It's soft and cosy on the inside, making it ideal for sweatshirts, hoodies, and loungewear. Plus, it has excellent moisture-wicking properties, keeping little ones dry during their adventures.

Cotton and denim chambray is a lightweight and breathable fabric that is perfect for warm weather clothing. It has a subtle, denim-like appearance with a softer touch, making it comfortable for kids to wear. It's great for creating summer dresses, shirts, and lightweight pants.

4oz & 8oz denim never really goes out of style. With its sturdy and durable nature, it can handle all the rough and tumble activities kids engage in. Our 4 ounce and 8 ounce denim options strike a good balance between weight and comfort, making them ideal for jeans, shorts, and overalls that can withstand a bit of rough and tumble.

Printed cotton poplin is a versatile fabric that works well for a variety of children's clothing items. It's lightweight, smooth, and has a crisp finish, making it perfect for creating shirts, blouses, dresses, and even summer pyjamas. It's breathable, easy to care for, and comes in a wide range of colours and prints.

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Cotton lawn is a lightweight and soft fabric that drapes beautifully, making it ideal for creating delicate and flowing garments. It's perfect for making breezy summer dresses, skirts, and blouses. Its breathability keeps little ones cool, while its smooth texture feels gentle against their skin.

Licensed cotton and cotton jersey fabrics feature popular characters, designs, and themes that children love. These fabrics add a touch of whimsy and personalisation to kids' clothing. Whether it's their favourite superheroes, Disney characters, or cartoon icons, using licensed fabrics can make clothing extra special and exciting for young ones.

Jersey fabrics are stretchy, soft, and comfortable, making them an excellent choice for children's clothing. They allow freedom of movement and are perfect for creating t-shirts, leggings, pyjamas, and casual dresses. With their elasticity, they can accommodate active play and growth spurts.

Corduroy is a versatile fabric that offers both style and durability, making it a popular choice for children's clothing. Its distinctive ribbed texture adds visual interest to garments and provides a cosy and warm feel. Corduroy is also known for its strength, which makes it suitable for kids who love to explore and play outdoors. It can withstand the wear and tear of active lifestyles and is often used for creating pants, skirts, jackets, and overalls. Additionally, corduroy is easy to care for and retains its shape well, making it a practical option for parents.

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Broderie anglaise, also known as eyelet fabric, is a delicate and feminine fabric often used in children's clothing. Its characteristic embroidered patterns, typically featuring cut-out designs and decorative stitching, add a touch of elegance and charm to garments. Broderie anglaise is lightweight and breathable, making it suitable for warm weather clothing such as dresses, tops, and rompers. It creates a beautiful textured look while allowing air circulation, keeping kids comfortable during hot summer days. This fabric is often associated with a timeless and classic aesthetic, making it a favourite for special occasions and dressier outfits.

Towelling fabric, commonly known as terry cloth, is highly absorbent, making it suitable for items like bathrobes, towels, and swim cover-ups. Children can quickly dry off after bath time or swimming lessons when wearing clothes made from towelling fabric. Similar to fleece, towelling is soft and gentle against the skin. It provides a cosy and comfortable feel, making it ideal for loungewear and sleepwear. Towelling fabric is known for its durability and ability to withstand frequent washing. Create bathrobes, pyjamas, bibs, and burp cloths

Double gauze is renowned for its exceptional softness and gentle touch against the skin, making it ideal for children's clothing. The fabric consists of two layers of fine cotton gauze that are loosely woven together, resulting in a lightweight and breathable material that keeps kids comfortable in various weather conditions. It doesn't require special handling or ironing, making it a practical choice for parents.

Fleece is renowned for its exceptional warmth. It has excellent insulating properties, making it ideal for colder weather or winter garments. Children's clothes made with fleece will help keep them cosy and comfortable. Fleece is a low-maintenance fabric. It is machine washable, quick-drying, and does not require ironing. Can be used to create a wide range of children's garments, including jackets, hoodies, vests, hats, mittens, and blankets. It is easy to cut and sew, making it an excellent choice for beginners or those looking for quick and straightforward projects.

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Choosing the Best Sewing Patterns

When it comes to the "best" patterns, it often depends on personal preferences and the specific needs of the project. Some popular and highly recommended brands for children's sewing patterns include Jalie, Sewaholic Patterns, Made by Rae, and Tilly and the Buttons. It's a good idea to read reviews, check out pattern testers' feedback, and explore pattern options that align with your style and skill level.

To allow for growth spurts when sewing children's clothing, consider the following techniques:

  • Choose Adjustable Features: Incorporate adjustable elements into the design, such as elastic waistbands with adjustable buttons or buttonhole elastic, adjustable straps, or lengthening hems with extra fabric for future alterations.
  • Include Extra Seam Allowance: When cutting and sewing the pattern, you can add extra seam allowance to specific areas, such as side seams or hems. This allows you to let out or lengthen the garment when needed.
  • Create Room for Layering: Consider designing garments with a bit of extra room to allow for layering. This can involve adding a bit more ease to the pattern, especially in areas like the chest, shoulders, or arms, ensuring the clothing can accommodate additional layers during colder months.
  • Consider Functional Design Elements: Incorporate design elements that allow for adjustability and growth, such as button tabs that can be moved to different positions, straps that can be lengthened or shortened, or foldable cuffs that can be unfolded as needed.


We hope you enjoyed this blog, see ya next time and happy sewing!

Posted in Product news, The Great British Sewing Bee and tagged sewing for children, fabric guide, gbsb on