February 1, 2011

Sewing for Girls

Or at least sewing for one of my girls.

Has anyone else with school-age daughters found the clothing selection for the 7 - 12 set a little, um, appalling? Hmm.

Sure there are a few lines that offer styles that are more appropriate for young girls than others, but often we have to pay a premium to keep logos to a minimum, bums and tummies adequately covered, and color palettes in the range of the natural world.

This particular girl of mine is all about dresses and skirts. Which makes sewing for her so much fun. While our opinions about fabric differ (she doesn't have the same issues with neon pink that I do) and certain styles might appeal to one or the other of us more (I like simple, classic styles, she likes anything with lots of tulle), more often than not we can find something that we both like.

I've made several of the dresses from Carefree Clothes for Girls, with varying degrees of success. And Ofelia is a lovely, easy pattern. Any seamstress with a daughter has likely discovered Oliver + S's lazy days skirt (I've made so many of those I honestly don't know the final tally). And I love their Music Box Jumper pattern, which I've used several times now.

But this week I'm venturing into new territory. And I'm really excited.

Awhile ago I ordered a bunch of patterns from the French company, Citronillle, knowing full well that the patterns were not translated. And that I don't speak French. At all.


Eugenie (nightgown)
No matter. The patterns are simply too darling and I am just ridiculous enough to give them a try anyway. {Despite the astronomical shipping rates from France.}

It seems worth it to me, you know? Choosing what our kids wear rather than being at the mercy of manufacturers. Of course this whole business of buying patterns in a foreign language, I can see how that may be getting a bit carried away. But then, that's part of the fun, right?

Anyway, if there are any of you non-French residents who do speak French, or are as ridiculous as me and don't care if you can actually read the instructions, and would be interested in seeing these patterns stocked in the shop, please let me know!

Happy sewing!


Caroline @ Atelier Caroline said...

Good morning,
I grew up in France and have moved to the USA 8 years ago. I'm mostly self taught in the sewing department but I'm pretty sure I can help out translating the instructions. Just let me know if you are interested.

Tiphaine said...

Hello !! I am french and I did sew some of citronille patterns. There is a big fuss about it because many patterns are not properly drawn and some size are very very huge. So outside of the fact that effectively they are very cute, you have to be aware of the "dark" side of them : not being precise, lacking of explanations and being too big !!!!

Molly said...

I am totally with you on the styles offered for girls in the 6X-14 category at larger retailers! It's horrendous! Even the littler girls are all pink and purple and my 4yr old is dead set against pink! (weird, I know) I have decided to try making more of my daughters' clothes due to this. The patterns are adorable! Can't wait to hear how you fare with them! I especially love that nightgown. My daughters are all about "jammie dresses".

Mama Magpie said...

Oh, thanks for the heads up Tiphaine! And thank you Caroline - that is so sweet of you!

michie said...

I've bought the adult size patterns from this line. I do not speak french - not in a little bit - and I managed to make the Primerose top for myself. (that includes my attempts to size it up so that it fit me). The patterns are really intuitive and easy to understand from the graphics.

Good luck! And I can't wait to see what you make!

Jeanne said...

I also love Japanese pattern books for girls this age...simple lines, just beautiful!

loved1 said...

I don't have anything to say about the patterns, but am agreeing with the shock value of the clothes! You put it nicely...keeping tummies AND bums covered.

Good luck sewing! You are much more brave than I!

Miranda in Canada

Wendy said...

Agreed: the clothing out there for girls is appalling; thankfully, it's a good excuse to sew! I don't speak French, but I've been eyeing Cintronille's patterns for awhile now. Glad to know about potential problems from Tiphaine's comment. Will be interested in hearing how they work for you!