Thursday, May 15, 2014

Where to Find Free Dress Patterns for Girls

Once upon a time, most women and girls wore clothing that was made at home by either themselves or another family member. As "store-bought" dresses and other items became more easily available, and affordable, more and more people of means started to purchase their clothing "ready to wear".

Over time, it not only became cheaper to buy clothing off the rack, fabrics, patterns and notions became more costly, relegating home sewing to the diehard purists and eager-for-something-unique hobbyists. Store-bought clothing also served as a sign of status in some communities, and children (as well as others) who wore home-sewn garments were often ridiculed.

Even though clothing construction at home saw a decline as more people were able to pay for clothing made by others, there were still plenty of men, (yes, men!) women, and even children all over the world sewing in the hems of pants, replacing buttons on shirts, and even adding patches to torn clothing. The reality of the matter is some people simply didn't have a choice.

As a result of those with limited means not having a choice, old clothing was often recycled, or rather upcycled to make new garments -- as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. Even though those "hippie" and "peasant" items were looked down upon at the time, many were later inspiration for high fashion garments. Now upcycling has become "the new black" of sewing.

It drives me nuts when people say that sewing is a lost art. If that were even remotely true we'd all be walking around naked. There would be no fashion designers or clothing stores or even upholstered furniture.

Four years ago I wrote a craft article for helium listing a number of web sites which offered free sewing patterns for creating dresses for girls and teens. If I were writing that article today I would probably stop at listing Pinterest. There are so many great projects pinned on the popular bookmarking site, it's completely changed the way we search the internet.

The article:

Sewing is a great way to save money on clothing and set yourself apart from the crowd.  When it comes to dresses and skirts for little girls and teens it’s even more economical because you don’t need a lot of fabric to complete a garment.  Thanks to the internet there are a plethora of sewing patterns and tutorials accessible at your fingertips that are available absolutely free of charge.
With free internet based patterns to download and print at home, making custom clothing for babies, toddlers, young girls or even teens is quick and affordable, especially if you have a stash of fabric on hand already.  Patterns and tutorials that show you how to repurpose adult clothing and other textiles for kids’ stuff make sewing items yourself the way to go even when you’re on a strict budget.
The Happy Hearts at Home blog has several free patterns for girls’ dresses and skirts in the February 24, 2009 post.  Many of the projects listed are made from recycling T-shirts, scarves, pillowcases and towels.
Modern Sewing Patterns has a number of attractive girls dress and skirt patterns available for download in .pdf format as well as many for pants and outerwear.  There are patterns for men, women and boys clothing as well. has an extensive collection of pattern links for children's clothing.  Many of the items listed are made by recycling and repurposing existing clothing such as this adorable toddler dress from a man's shirt:
The site lists an extensive collection of free sewing patterns.  In the kids’ section you’ll find patterns for regular clothing, including sizes for babies and toddlers, as well as outerwear and a number of links for costumes.
On the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog site you’ll find a number of links to cute, quick and simple skirts and dresses in the Girls’ Clothes Tutorial Round-Up posted during Kids’ Clothes Month.  (There is one for boys’ clothing as well.)
BellaOnline lists several links for free sewing patterns for girls clothing which includes a number of skirts and dresses.  Among the patterns listed are four for sundresses.
Last, but certainly not least, this adorable, super cute, Itty Bitty Baby Dress pattern was found on the web site, Made by Rae.
Sewing is a rewarding pastime that provides you and your loved ones with unique and original garments and helps you save money in the process.  With such a wealth of patterns available online any girl can grow into a miniature fashionista in no time.
For those interested in greening their sewing room and reusing other items besides clothing and textiles, check out my Pinterest board, Upcycle!

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