I kept quite a lot of my mom’s clothing because I thought it would be nice to up-cycle it into clothes for my grandkids, as a way to tell them stories about their great-grandma. I know my mom would have been pleased with the idea, and who knows? Maybe she catches glimpses of it and smiles?
So it was, that when my granddaughter came for the day and promptly splattered her only shirt with maple syrup (yum, those pancakes!), that I thought it would be more pleasant to sew up a simple shirt than make a trip to Walmart.
Almost any fabric will work
I picked out a turtle neck of my mom’s from the bin. The fabric was a sumptuous knit, very soft and flowing. Being that it was the middle of winter, with a couple feet of snow on the ground, this seemed a good choice.
A simple pattern
Finding a pattern that suited was a little harder. Sure, I have lots of patterns, but nothing seemed quite right. I also tried looking at a book I have for making easy kids clothing patterns, but much to my dismay found that the instructions do not include important details. Happily, an internet search led me to thestitchingscientist.com, where she has a free peasant shirt pattern.
A video to help, well, visualize what I did!
In my video below, I show how I made this size 4 toddler peasant blouse. Part of the time my granddaughter was on my lap while I was sewing, so she potentially learned something. If nothing else, she will have an idea of where clothes come from.
Several other creative possibilities
As I finished the project, it occurred to me that this might be another use for some t-shirts my husband keeps getting as gifts or from races. It quite obviously would make a great nightgown pattern, too.
This might also be a way for me to turn my race shirts into something more feminine. It looks like a pattern can be made for any size using the instructions at Simple Simon and Company’s Peasant Dress Tutorial. It could be made with ties or elastic. I am thinking it would be a fun, simple way to use some of my Taiwan silk.
Good for beginners and fun for everyone
I would recommend this pattern and style for the most beginning seamstress. Raglan sleeves are so forgiving for fit. For the more experienced or adventurous, there are many simple ways to embellish or slightly alter the pattern for fun affects. Try adding a border or ruffle, make the sleeves longer and straighter, or decorating with simple applique. I will have to look into ways to reduce the gathering on such a style to make easy boys shirts.