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Making Clothes for Your Little Girl

Making Clothes for Your Little Girl

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Making Clothes for Your Little Girl

5/5 (1 valutazione)
287 pagine
1 ora
Apr 16, 2013


This book contains a vintage guide to designing and making clothes for young girls, with information on buying material, fitting, and making a range of items ranging from skirts to jumpers. With simple directions and helpful illustrations, this timeless volume is ideal for those with little previous experience, and would make for a worthy addition to family collections. Contents include: “What is Important”, “Planning Your Child's Wardrobe”, “Selecting the Fabric”, “How Much Material to Buy”, “Let's Make it Fit!”, “The Hard-to-Fit Child”, “The Basic Patterns”, “Long Gathered Sleeve”, “Skirts”, “Circle Skirt”, “Preparing your Patterns”, “How Long Will it Take?”, “Assembling the Garment”, etc. Many vintage books such as this are becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. We are republishing this volume now in an affordable, high-quality edition complete with a specially commissioned new introduction on dressmaking and tailoring.
Apr 16, 2013

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Making Clothes for Your Little Girl - Helen Nicol Tanous



Making Clothes For

Your Little Girl

YOUNG children are clothes conscious little animals and love to preen themselves in their finery; added to the fact that we, as parents, take great interest in having them shine, there does seem to be ample reward in making them as cute and appealing as possible.

It has been said that clothes make the man; and certainly it is true that beautiful clothes enhance the endearing young charms of even the most adorable child. And don’t forget what the godmother’s magic wand did for Cinderella. It was the fabulous gown and glass slippers that pointed up her girlish beauty and won her the Prince. He would never have known how lovely she was had he seen her dressed in the tattered rags that were her everyday lot.

Most little girls love to dress dolls, and when they grow up these same girls find great pleasure in making clothes for their children. Dressing children is even more fun than dressing dolls for a lot of reasons; one of which is that the children take great pride in their mother’s accomplishments and are really thrilled over wearing clothes that are made for them alone! My own greatest reward came recently when my four-year-old said to me earnestly, I and Kathe have the prettiest dresses in Burbank. I think that when you can make your little ones feel like that and still save more than half the price of ready-mades you have acquired a very fine skill indeed. Boys too like to be able to say, My mother made it, when complimented upon a particularly attractive shirt.

You will also find that you can have much more attractive pajamas and robes for both boys and girls if you design and make them yourself. Most manufacturers in that field make all girl’s pajamas either pale pink or pale blue (which fades into no-color after the third wash) and practically all boy’s robes are navy blue or maroon. Your own little girl might prefer pajamas of an exotic Hawaiian print, and perhaps your young son would look good enough to eat in a robe of soft yellow corduroy. The wonderful thing about making clothes is that you have none of the restrictions that are imposed on you in selecting ready-to-wears.

You will find too that your child genuinely likes to be dressed as an individual and really does not care to meet half a dozen other boys or girls wearing identical clothes.

In making clothes yourself you can cut them as full as you like so that they never have to look skimpy. Only in the most expensive ready-mades is the amount of material used not a vital consideration.

If you enjoy doing handwork you can put beautiful detail on your clothes which will change them from homemade to Handmade. Hand picking on boy’s shirts and slax makes them look elegant and expensive. Embroidery and appliqué on dresses add a real coutourier look and these projects are fine to have at hand in the evenings when you want to sit and talk and still not be idle.

Making life more comfortable and more beautiful for her loved ones gives every woman a warm and satisfied feeling, and many homemakers feel that sewing is one of the most satisfactory outlets for this creative urge. Sewing certainly is a useful art and one that costs nothing to pursue, as, I repeat, by making your children’s clothes you can save at least half of their total clothing cost.

Sewing also has the advantage of being a hobby that is relatively neat and can be done in the few scattered moments of leisure that even the busiest mother can find between tasks.

Once you master the rudiments of sewing and understand the construction of a garment you will find that making clothes will be a relaxation and a pleasure. You will be repaid a thousand times over if you will take the time to thoroughly understand the process. As in all skills, repetition is the key to perfection.

The purpose of this book is to stimulate your own designing talent by showing you how to make an almost endless variety of styles from one or two basic patterns. If you sew at all you are already designing clothes, for selecting the material, patterns, and trim are the most important phases of designing.


Most of the clothes in this book are rather simple in character and, consequently, are very easy to care for. The reason for this might be that I loathe ironing—especially tricky ironing—and so I concentrate on things that not only look cute on the first wearing but continue to look cute with a minimum of effort.

Some mothers like to dress their little girls like storybook dolls and they do certainly look adorable that way, but it does seem as though a girl who is more simply dressed has greater scope for activitiy and is not so hampered by fear of spoiling her pretty things. Nor will it upset the mother as much when the child comes in with muddied clothes (which is inevitable) if the clothes are simple to wash and iron.

PRACTICALITY then is the watchword of this book. Clothes that suit the occasion are not confining to the child within them nor difficult for the mother to care for.

Practicality, however, must be combined with BEAUTY in order to satisfy our esthetic sense. So BEAUTY is our second watchword.

Then, since clothes which do not fit, especially those that are too loose all over, make the child look so saggy and baggy and so un-chic, let our third watchword be FIT. Have the clothes fit. They should be free so that the child can move with ease, but have the skirt the proper length, the collar snugly fitted, the waist high enough and don’t make clothes for a little girl to grow into! Making little girls’ clothing is such fun and so easy and so inexpensive that why not make them to fit right now and when the child grows out of them give them to a smaller child? Then you can have the joy of making more pretty things!

Let these three words, then, be your guide: PRACTICALITY, BEAUTY, and FIT.


In planning a wardrobe for your child, it is first important to consider her activities. If she leads a busy social life in school and out, she will need several things to wear that are fairly dressy. Once a girl starts to school there seems to be no end to the parties she attends. All children, of course, need sturdy clothes for playtime, warm sleepwear for winter and cool ones for summer. A child who is too young to go to school does not need so many dresses as her older sister but will likely need more playclothes. If the girl takes dancing or skating lessons you will probably want to make her a special garment for that activity. It is more fun to practice dancing in a tutu than in ordinary clothes, for instance.

Most mothers like to outfit their children completely just before school starts in the fall or spring and that, of course, is a good idea. The child will then start out the semester with clothes which all fit and should not need replacements until the next term. Also it makes a real production out of sewing and that is much more fun than just making one garment at a time throughout the year. Once you get into the swing of sewing it is a self-sustaining occupation. One dress leads to another. If you started with a red dress, then you think it would look prettier in the closet next to a blue dress. And the blue one calls for a green one. And then that last piece of material you just had to buy because it was on sale really should be made up too! So you will probably spend two weeks or more just on a happy sewing spree.

A little later in the year you can make doll clothes. They are a never-ending source of joy to a little girl and no Christmas is complete without a box of new clothes for her new doll, or for her favorite old one. Little girls dearly love to have their dolls wear duplicates of their own clothes, so save the scraps for Christmastime.

A little girl’s basic wardrobe should include six or eight school dresses. (This is a school-age child under discussion at the moment.) Two party dresses or Sunday School dresses; two pairs of sturdy slax and at least two pairs of shorts with cute blouses for playwear; a coat, a sweater or two, a robe and pajamas, and, in California at any ṙate, a raincoat.

A pre-school child, unless she goes out a lot with her mother, does not need so many dresses unless she wears them to play in. However, slax and shorts are so cute on little girls, so much more comfortable for playing, and require so much less care in laundering that they do seem to be a better solution for everyday wear.

A good idea in planning your little girl’s clothes is to decide first what colors show her

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