Sewing With Kids – Illustration + Draping

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Hello, hello!! It has been awhile since I posted for the Sewing With Kids series, but not for lack of sewing! My littles have been sewing up a storm and it is SO fun to teach them, since this is my jam! My oldest and littlest little have been really interested in fashion illustration lately. I took out a few books from our local library for myself a while back, so that I could brush up on my illustration skills and they both quickly took over the books! I decided that this would be a great way to to introduce some fun aspects of the sewing world … Fashion Illustration and Draping!


I just rolled with their natural curiosity and we would sit down together to sketch out designs. These were the two books that we seemed to use the most, although I had taken out about 20 books! I plan to eventually add them to our book collection, you can check them out here and here. My oldest was also liking Essential Fashion Illustration – Men and spent many hours using it as inspiration for his drawings. I have a few history of fashion books laying around the house, leftover from my college years, that also made for great inspiration and even good conversation! Sometimes, my littlest would even use Bob, our artists mannequin, to help her with the poses.



My littlest little begged and begged to to sew her designs, but she isn’t quite ready to use the sewing machine yet. I had the idea to let her create them on Mabel. Mabel is my Grandma’s old dressform. She is old, worn and doesn’t stand up straight, but she is completely perfect because every time I see her, it makes me think of my Grandma. A few years ago I recovered her, but she getting due for a new makeover once again.

I gave my little some scraps of fabric, straight pins and Mabel (any dressform will work!). She got to work making her designs come to life, all with an ear to ear grin on her face! All she has to do is pin the fabric onto the dress form, however she likes. She spends countless hours creating with Mabel and it makes my heart want to explode! A while back when Kristine was here to visit, my littlest little was so excited to share this with her cousin and the two girlies pinned and draped to create beautiful dresses.




The girls were so happy with their finished designs!

While they were creating, my niece and I were having fun talking about Project Runway and all the crazy outfits they make. I LOVE Project Runway, especially Tim Gunn. His phrase ‘Make It Work’ is something that has constantly stuck in my head. It is such a great encouragement through any project! I created a fun little print and put it up beside my sewing machine to remind when I’m working … Quilt seams not matching up? Make it work! That zipper doesn’t want to go into the dress right … Make it work! Your needle has broken for the 4th time? Make it work!

You can grab a free Make it Work printable below!

Make it Work – Black Text

Make it Work – Blue Text


Fashion Illustration and Fabric Draping are a fun, easy, no sew way for you or the littles in your life to explore fashion design! You can also check out the other posts in our Sewing With Kids series here …

Sewing With Kids – Getting Started

Sewing With Kids – Cross Stitch


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