I want to make my five-year-old daughter cute dresses. I once bought her a second-hand home-made dress from a nearly new sale and it was admired every time she wore it.
I'm tired of the grown-up clothes on offer to little girls and, around here, don't want her to look like all the other children sporting Mini Boden. So home-made it is then.
But there's a hitch. I can't sew. Enter Clothkits, offering skirts, dresses, jackets and dungarees in kit form but the question is, will I be able to make one?The kit arrives beautifully packaged and even contains thread, buttons and a little Clothkits tag. It all looks amazing, I hope it still will after I've made it, which apparently should take me an evening or two.
The dress, with a bird and flower design, has three sizes printed on it. I just need to follow the particular dashes for the five-year-old size. I'm nervous cutting it out – well aware mistakes are irreversible.
I have to stop at this stage because I'm confused about the length I need to cut. Luckily there's a video tutorial on the website, which is so helpful.
Although designed for use by novices as well as experienced sewers, there is a level of experience expected. I mean, what is a placket? I have to keep dashing to the computer where I've paused the video.
Soon it starts to come together and I feel smug. My kit comes with a lining I have to cut out which gives me a few wobbly moments. I wish it was pre-printed like the one on the video.
I decide not to add it, I'm sure it will be fine. This makes the whole project quicker so eventually just the hemming is left, but I need my daughter for that and her busy social life means she's been unable to squeeze a fitting in.
Admittedly, I couldn't see the point of something like Clothkits before I started. If I was good at sewing I would make a dress the conventional way, choosing my own material so it really would be a one-off.
But after making this I can see the appeal. It's great for novices like me, my sewing confidence has been given a huge boost, while others who can sew no doubt make them because they love the wonderful designs and prints.
I have a couple of gripes though: I wish the instructions contained a bit more information although I can see the appeal of keeping everything on a manageable two sides of A4.
The other thing is I wish the boys' clothes were a tad more contemporary. The dungarees look fab, but I'd have liked them in plain babycord.
Emboldened, I am now eyeing up the funky chicken skirt. They'll be no stopping me now.
ParentView rating: 4.5/5