Create a children’s capsule wardrobe with these helpful tips!
Thank you to Georgina Warren-Porter for creating this guide for our Below The Kowhai community.
To see more of Georgina’s beautiful sewing visit @sew.exhausted on Instagram.
For me, creating a capsule wardrobe means I have less to sew, buy and launder for the kids!
Everyone has a different idea of what a capsule wardrobe means for them, but for me it means making (and buying – I’m not superwoman!) clothes that all coordinate with each other, in colour and style.
Having coordinating garments allows for more combinations or ‘outfits’ with a small number of actual pieces. Here are my aims when I’m planning a capsule wardrobe:
(for context – I have two girls, but it doesn’t make a lot of difference)
Choose a particular colour scheme – I tend to stick to muted and natural colours, usually choosing dusty pinks, cream, sage, rust etc. Having a colour scheme also means, apart from trainers and flipflops, my kids only need one pair of nice shoes as they go with everything in their wardrobe!
To prioritise my time, I aim to make either one-piece outfits such as dresses or rompers, or pieces that pair easily with t-shirts or nice blouses, such as skirts, shorts and pinafores.
Be realistic. Most of us are busy. I’m a busy mum with other commitments, for instance, and as hard as it is sometimes, I have to admit I can’t do it all.
So, I usually buy a couple of packs of plain pastel coloured t-shirts (it helps that both my girls wear the same size tops at the moment!) with short or long sleeves, depending on the season. I would usually buy one pack of each per year.
Remember that you can layer clothes, so one handmade capsule wardrobe can be used all year round (in most places). T-shirts can be swapped for long sleeves, jumpers/cardigans added and dresses/skirts/pinafores can be worn with tights, for example.
Layering pieces for a capsule wardrobe:
Below The Kowhai patterns are wonderful for creating your child’s capsule wardrobe!
Here are some of my favourites for layering:
- Tipa Dungarees
- Tui Pinafore
- Manuka skirt
- Pai Shorts
Allowing for growth
I do a couple of really simple things to make handmade clothes wearable for longer:
- Place a few buttons/poppers, roughly 1.5cm apart on the strap, to allow for growth in height (shown above).
- Add 5cm to the bottom of the hem when cutting out the fabric. Hem as normal, then turn up the sewn hem, and hem again. Unpick and drop second hem when the child grows in height.
Notes On Fabrics
- For children’s clothing it is best to use harder wearing fabrics for longevity. Quilting cottons and linens are durable, but get softer with every wash.
- If gender neutral garments will be passed down to friends or siblings, then you may wish to consider the print of the fabric.
These ideas are NOT a list of rules! I make fancy dresses and pretty blouses for occasions for my girls too, if and when I have time. The ideas above form the basis of their wardrobes as adaptable, multi-seasonal pieces. It brings me joy to teach my girls sustainability in a world of fast fashion, and they love being involved in the process.
Thanks for this capsule wardrobe inspiration Georgina! If you have any tips to add to make your Handmades’ last longer and be worn more, share them in our VIP Community on Facebook or tag us on Instagram!
Love and happy sewing,