Sewing with leftover fabric: sewing for kids

As mentioned in my previous post, I have quite a big amount of leftover fabric to sew, and I’m determined to end the year with half that amount! My favorite way to use small amount of fabric is to sew for kids, simply because I love kids clothing. Projects are quicker and it’s very creative to mix prints and colors.

My friend’s daughter is turning 3 in a couple of weeks, so while I was reorganising my fabric I kept aside those that were kids appropriate (washing machine washable, soft and colorful). I had 5 fabric leftovers that I wanted to use.

The pattern

I choose a pattern from Ikatee called Grand’Ourse because it can be made both in knits and woven. It’s unisex and it has a fair amount of small parts (main fabric for the body, lining, hood, ears..). It is also very versatile, since it could be used both for winter hoodies/jackets and summer. The size range goes from 3 to 12 years old.

Grand’Ourse winter and summer edition

I started to make a winter hoody in knit fabric. The external fabric is a polka dot double knit from Stoffabric Denmark (Avalana) that I bought some time ago on (not available anymore), the hood and cuffs are in a bamboo – organic cotton sweatshirt fabric from Blackbird fabrics (the ivory color is sold out), and the lining is an organic cotton fleece also from Blackbird fabrics in quartz. I decided to use the quartz fleece fabric backwards, keeping the soft part exposed for more comfort, but I didn’t have enough to make the cuffs, hence why they’re matching the hood. The buttons are from my grandma’s stash.

As soon as I finished it I though about making a summer version, for two reasons. First she would have probably wore the “winter” one only for a couple more months. Second, because I had another fabric with fishes and turtles from a previous project that I really wanted to use. I didn’t have enough fabric to make another hooded jacket, so I made a summer coat/jacket version.

The body fabric is a tomato red/orange heavy weight linen from fabrics-store in 4C22 Coral, I only had a very small amount and I cut the sleeves not following the grain-line as shown in the picture below. The lining fabric is a cotton quilt from Joann. The metal buttons with boats are also from my grandma’s stash. I wonder if my dad had a coat with those buttons as a kid :).

In this pattern the seam allowance is included (7mm, 1/4″) and the instructions are quite easy to follow, there is also a freely available video on the pattern page. Instructions are available in french and english. For both versions I added a topstitch on the shoulder seams and all around the body, just to stabilise the lining when she takes it off and on.


As mentioned in a previous post I think that having an idea of the cost of a project is very helpful, sewing is not a cheap hobby. However for these projects I purposefully used leftover fabric that would have been unused otherwise. So these estimates are just to give an idea, and I’ll include the cost of the pattern even if I’m planning to use it multiple times for other gifts for kids.

  • pattern cost : $12
  • fabric: winter $15, summer $5
  • thread: $2
  • button: $0 (thanks grandma)

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