handmade kids clothing swap

April 4th, 2013

handmade kids clothing swap

A few months ago, Robin from nested in stitches gathered together a very talented bunch of sewists for an amazing swap. She assigned everyone a blogger, then by referring to their pinterest board for inspiration, we sewed an outfit for one of their kids.

raglan shirt

I was lucky enough to have Sanae  assigned to make clothes for my middle son. She is an accomplished and proficient sewer. And she is crazy stylish to boot! You should have seen my kids when we opened the package. They have never been that excited about the clothes I make. Everything they saw was, “Awesome! So soft! Look at this! Super cool!”


I was saying all those things too, because come on! Look at these awesome clothes! All of them are spot on and so unbelievably soft. I need to hook up with her knit fabric supplier, because my knits are not nearly as buttery as hers.


The mismatched stripes and the nani iro knit print are perfect. And I love me some raglan shirts!


The hoodie , though, that is really the piece de resistance. Yes, it’s dirty, because it has been worn nonstop since it came out of the package.


It zips up and down, has secret stripy pockets, oh my goodness the greatest thing ever: the patch inside!


Sanae said that the patch was to cover up a sewing mistake. Well, hooray for mistakes! I teared up a bit when I saw it, because it’s so lovely. And why haven’t I been putting little secret messages like this on all the clothes I make for my kids? When I read it to my son he said, very matter of fact, “Actually, I am awesome!”


The pants, Sanae thought, might be a bit big and they were. But luckily I have children to spare! And they fit my daughter perfectly.


She was so happy to not be left out. The pants suit her really well and it’s a pattern I never would have considered making for her. Her brother will inherit them someday. The littlest will grow into all of them in time. We are so lucky! Thanks, Sanae!

watercolor of handmade clothes

oops, I almost forgot about the little work of art she included in her package. How beautiful! I was inspired to do the same for my swap partner, but came no where close to her artistic ability. Talented in so many ways, that Sanae!

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And here she is to talk about the inspiration behind the clothes:

This was a new and exciting challenge for me since I rarely sew for boys, and I was thrilled to be sewing for Meg of Elsie Marley, because c’mon, she’s Elsie Marley! I love Meg’s cool and fun aesthetic, so for inspiration I chose a few pins from her Pinterest board that seemed to reflect her style that also appealed to me. If you’ve been following Elsie Marley, it’s pretty clear that she’s all about the stripes. So I wanted to incorporate lots of stripes and a bit of pattern, and above all, comfort. Comfort means knits to me, and it’s probably very unoriginal but I can’t help but think of cargo pants for boys. I obviously didn’t truly copy any of the pins, but wanted to create the quirky/cool vibe.

In our household, we’ve been obsessed with the How To Train a Dragon book series, and I had this vague idea of creating an urban viking look with a dragon stencil somewhere – and how awesome would it have been to add viking horns to the side of the hoodie? Sadly, I was more ambitious than time allowed (as always). Also, my serger kept eating the knits and I kept starting over so I ended up with two raglan tees that I salvaged. I added a li’l patch to the hoodie to hide a particularly tragic serger accident, and it became my favorite part of the whole outfit. I was SO nervous about everything I made and as I suspected, the pants were too big. But all in all, it was such a fun experience!

Patterns: Oliver + S Field Trip Raglan Tee for both shirts and the Field Trip Cargo Pants. The hoodie is pattern 25 from this book

Fabric: The blue knit with the cool pattern is Nani Iro Element Collage knit from Drygoods Design, and it’s amazing stuff; the black-and-white stripe is a 100% cotton jersey from Pacific Fabrics. Those are the only two knits I’m certain of. The other knits have been in my stash forever. The geometric mustard and grey fabric is Kokka, also from Drygoods, and the jeans are stretch denim which is the same fabric I used for K’s pants here.

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handmade kids clothing swap

Those four up there are the garments I made for Gail’s little girl. Pop over to her blog, probably actually, to see them all in action! And do visit all the blogs below to see all the amazing handmade kids clothes!!

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cherie from you and mie

danielle from my sparkle

delia from delia creates

gail from probably actually

heather from well-crafted

kristin from skirt as top

meg from elsie marley

robin from nested in stitches

sanae from sanae ishida

vanessa from lbg studio

Posted in sewing clothes.

32 Responses to handmade kids clothing swap

  1. Karin says:

    Ok, everything about this is awesome: swapping, stripes, raglans, too big pants and secret messages. This made me happy.

  2. erin says:

    what a nice package to open! love the fabrics she chose- and that sweet patch! Also, your outfit for Gail’s girl just rocks. I pinned it all asap!

  3. sanae says:

    Hooray! So glad that the shirts and hoodie fit! I love the photos, Meg, and this was such a fun swap!

  4. jess says:

    Oh my goodness! What a terrific swap!
    I’m sad I didn’t know about it!
    All of this is so good.

  5. Danielle says:

    Lucky duck! What a haul. I am so inspired by all these incredible pieces! Makes me want to try more sewing with knits. Looks amazing.

    • meg says:

      oh danielle, you need to get with the knits! I’ve had ups and downs with them, but everything I make with knits gets worn over and over again!

  6. This is amazing! What a wonderful idea and the clothes!!!! Gorgeous! So much talent!!! Way to go ladies!

  7. gail says:

    oh my, sanae! such gorgeous, stylish, cozy stuff! such a fun swap. and, thanks again meg, for outfitting lila in your creations!!

  8. vanessa says:

    such amazing knits! love the stuff sanae created for you – and the little tag is brilliant! off to check out the goodies you made :)

  9. Ana says:

    What a great idea. Love the t-shirt and the “you are awesome”!

  10. Jessica says:

    wow! I love everything. She is super talented and totally nailed your style. It’s so fun to see all of these and I’m kicking myself now for turning this swap down! GRRR!

  11. Robin says:

    sanae, you totally rocked this! those shirts and that sweatshirt are so stylish and look so comfy- i love the fabrics you paired. and the embroidery was a genius save! thanks again for participating, it was so much fun to have you!

  12. Amber says:

    Swaps are so much fun but oh my gosh, this one is amazing! What a lot of love and effort you all put in! So inspiring… I’m off to check out some more of the blogs!

  13. […] blown away by everyone’s outfits and can’t even tell you how much fun I had sewing for Meg‘s son (and daughter, by accident)! And the outfit Cherie made K…I’m speechless. […]

  14. Cherie says:

    Wow. I’m running out of positive adjectives and yours is only the 2nd blog I’ve stopped at :P Those shirts look so awesome!! I’m not sure if you’d agree, but they look so “you.” If I just saw these pictures without the text, I’d be sure that you had made all of it yourself. That hoodie is perfection. This was too much fun.

  15. Cherie says:

    OH and nice work with Lila’s outfit(s)! All the pieces are so cute!! Love the cardigan and that ruffle top kills me – too cute. Hope you enjoyed the circle skirt tutorial – fun to make and even more fun to wear :)

  16. […] Ha! It’s true, my pinterest boards are pretty insane. As for my own sewing…I’ve been a huge fan of Elsie Marley for years, and the creator and doyenne of Kids Clothes Week Challenge is the epitome of hip and happening. Which, of course, made sewing for Meg very daunting. I had a blast though, and here’s a little sneak peek of one of the things I made, and you can read all about the whole outfit over here! […]

  17. Jane says:

    This is the coolest idea EVER and I’m terribly jealous! Off to get my hands on some soft knits now. : )

  18. kristin says:

    WOW Sanae!!! You totally nailed Meg’s style – such great stuff!! I love it all. Meg, I know what you mean about tearing up at this stuff – it just feels so meaningful for someone else to put some much care into making stuff for YOUR kids. Such fun. Love seeing how happy your kids clearly are in Sanae’s creations, too!

  19. Claire says:

    I can not imagine anything cooler than getting a parcel of handmade clothes. We love getting parcels in this house but a parcel of clothes made especially for the recipient would blow the roof off. I teared up too at the “you are awesome patch”. Nice work ladies x

  20. Lucinda says:

    so much awesomeness! can’t get over how cool this clothes swap is – so much talent being shared. That hoodie is especially my favorite, though truly it’s all so amazing. So glad your son loves the patch – and is in full agreement with its sentiment:)

  21. Oh, this is the BEST! What a great and fun idea. I agree, why aren’t I putting sweet messages in my kids clothing!? That’s the best. I love the pockets in that hoodie, and would also love to know where to get buttery soft knits. I mean, who doesn’t want anything with a descriptive like that? Butter = Better. Can’t wait to check out how yours were received, although since I have a little girl I can already guess….!!

  22. Frances says:

    Love everything Sanae made but that message in the hoodie just about made my heart melt. So sweet. I love the outfit you made too, Meg!

  23. […] gail from probably actually | heather from well-crafted | kristin from skirt as top | meg from elsie marley | sanae from sanae ishida | vanessa from lbg studio | robin from nested in […]

  24. Leisl says:

    What a brilliant idea!

  25. Those are some adorable clothes and kids!