In the past couple of years, I have noticed a renewed interest in classic style clothing for children. And I am delighted!
For quite some time, it seemed the trend was toward lots of ruffles, mismatched fabrics and ruffled leggings under dresses or tops. I love those too, but my first love is for the classics.
Just what are classic styles? It is the same as in adult clothing: classic styling that is timeless and never really goes out of style. They are typically made from classic fabrics such as pique, gingham, plaid, corduroy and broadcloth.
Many of the styles that your mother, grandmother and maybe great grandmother wore from the 1940's, 1950s and 1960's have been made into patterns by Children's Corner Patterns, by Elizabeth Travis Johnson and Lezette Thomason, both masters in design and pattern drafting. I have seen many small companies making and selling these adorable, age appropriate garments.
You may recognize these perennial favorites;
The "Carol" is just about my all time favorite!!!
While heirloom dress lengths are typically to the ankle, these little dresses look best with length to the knee. If made too long, the overall look tends to be rather "hobbled"!
And please don't pack away those pastels from summer once the weather turns cool. A pink or blue checked outfit is just as sweet in the fall or winter as it is in warmer months. They look adorable with a classic cardigan!
It has always been my philosophy that an heirloom outfit should be worn over and over and I feel the same about the classics. An outfit with a touch of red can take you from Christmas, through Valentine's Day, Easter and through Memorial Day and July 4th!
Children tend to grow "up" quicker than they grow "out". With careful planning of an outfit, you can extend the wear .For example, a boy's shorts and top: Add enough length to the shorts to turn up a cuff, then let it down as he grows. He is not likely to outgrow an elastic waist in 6 month's time. The tucked in or button on shirt can have a band added to the bottom and worn on the outside as he grows. A dress can have grow tucks added near the hem that can be let out.
In another blog post, I will show you how one little girl wore the first heirloom dress I made her for three years!!!