HOW TO turn characters into clothes

Hi there, it’s Maartje again from huisje boompje boefjes. Here with you today to talk about making a book into a garment. Ari has shown you the possibilities of incorporating the illustration colours into your sewing. Today is all about the characters . How to turn the signature style of a book character into clothes that are not costume-like, but can be worn in everyday life. Just to give you some inspiration and possible pattern ideas to sew up during the challenge week.

Little red riding hood
Let’s start with one of the classics, little red riding hood. A familiar story to everyone I’m sure.  The piece of clothing that stands out is of course her red cape. Now how to achieve this look? There are some fun patterns out there that have the same appearance of red’s cape and can be worn on a more daily basis. Especially for fall season a cape is perfect for layering.

HOW TO: turn characters into clothes // kid's clothes week

Red riding hood by Martine Letterie 2 Forest path cape (oliver+s)

3 Elm poncho (willow & co patterns) 4 Storybook Cape (grosgrain, a free 2T pattern)

Aadje Piraatje
Aadje Piraatje is a storybook about a little pirate and his adventures. He’s quite well-known among Dutch children because it’s one of the books that gets read on tv in Sesame Street. Aadje is wearing quite skinny pants and a long-sleeved tee. For an outfit based on this character, there are a lot of pattern options out there. Here are some suggestions.

aadje piraatje

1 Aadje Piraatje by Marjet Huiberts  2 Kudzu Cargo pants & Ziggy top (willow & co patterns  / madeit patterns)
3 W-pants & Recess raglan ( blank slate patterns / see kate sew)  4 Small fry skinny jeans (titchy threads)


Richard Scarry
As a kid I loved the Richard Scarry books, and so do my two rascals. I still have my book from way back and it is now taped together to prevent it from falling apart. Looking at the characters in the Richard Scarry books I noticed a lot of them are wearing lederhosen and dungarees (overalls for the US/Canadian readers). I rounded up some possible patterns.

richard scarry1 Just for fun by Richard Scarry  2 Bas (zonen 09)
3 Charles dungarees (compagnie M) 4 Okey Dokey overalls (peek-a-boo patterns)

Peter Rabbit
Let’s take a look at another perfect item for fall (or spring if you are in the southern hemisphere), the cardigan. Peter Rabbit from the Beatrix Potter tales is inseparable from his blue one. It is a garment that is also sewn up regularly at previous KCW editions.

HOW TO: turn characters into clothes // kid's clothes week

1 Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter 2 Cool cardigan (Blank slate patterns)

3 Greenpoint cardigan (hey Jude) 4 Slouchy cardigan (heidi & finn)


Peter Pan
I always have something practical on my KCW challenge list, something the boys really need, this time it is PJ’s. It’s getting colder at night and the rascals have outgrown their pajama pants. So let’s make some storybook themed pajamas. What better inspiration than Peter Pan? Wendy , John and Michael are always in their PJ’s.

peter pan

1 Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie 2 Christmas pajamas (Shwin&Shwin free pattern)
3 Sadie Grace nightgown (seamingly smitten) 4 Classic footed pajamas (peek-a-boo patterns)

Stay tuned for more “How To” posts on the KCW blog next week. Want help with your book title now? Give a shout out on the KCW facebook page for the “But does it sew?” online helpdesk.

This article has 9 comments

  1. Anna

    These are all lovely ideas. I’m leaning towards a hobbit and doing something that could work for Halloween as well as every day, which of course means I need to read through Tolkien’s introduction to the Lord of the Rings with his description of hobbits and their habits for ideas.

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