kcw inspiration: traveling around the world

Hi I’m Jenny,  hailing all the way from New Zealand! (Kia Ora!)

I sew for my three kids (and occasionally for myself) and document it all over at my blog, Mend & Make New. I’ve been joining in with the seasonal KCW challenges for a little while now and just love it!

I’m very excited to be bringing you some sewing inspiration from around the world. I don’t know about you but I’d love to go on a fabric and sewing tour of this planet. I would fill my suitcase with Liberty fabrics from London and hand embroidered dresses from Mexico, I’d marvel at the traditional batik fabric stamping methods in India and run my hands through beautiful silks from China. I’d admire the simplicity of Japanese patterns and take photos of French fashion while strolling along the River Seine. Although this is only a dream, it doesn’t mean we can’t take a virtual trip right now!

Today’s destinations? France, India and Japan.

International sewing inspiration

top row (l-r): 1. Mango Kids  2. Dr Seuss art print  (used as inspiration) 3. Arnhem Child; bottom row (l-r) 4. Le Carrousel A/W 2011 5. Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids book by Ruriko Yamada  6. Tea Collection Metallic Print Harem Pants 

Grab your croissant because our first stop is France, the fashion capital of the World.

When I think French children’s wear, I think of crisp linen, blue and white stripes, beautiful tailoring and smartly dressed boys. It’s true that often boys get the raw end of the deal in terms of patterns available and general sewing inspiration out there online. However, there is just so much you can sew for your petit homme within the French theme. I’ve used the Blank Slate Basic Blazer in my collage below, but so many of the Blank Slate patterns can be used with a French twist.

French inspiration

(l-r) 1. Gardenia Dress PDF pattern by CaliFaye 2.Reversible blue and white striped double knit fabric from Miss Matatabi 3. Basic Blazer by Blank Slate Patterns 4.Kaufman Essex yarn dyed linen blend flax from Fabric.com  5. Pixie Shorts Pattern by BigLittle Handmade 

Now we say ‘au revoir’ to France and ‘namaste’ to India. When I think of Indian clothing I think of vibrant colours, gorgeous saris, lovely lightweight cotton often hand stamped with the most elaborate designs. You might want to have a go at stamping some fabric yourself and then whip your child up a one of a kind kaftan or pair of harem pants. You should be able to find a stamp either on Etsy (like this beautiful one) or perhaps at your local craft store. (Or you could just buy some pre-made; Fabric.com has a great selection … including metallics ohh!)

Indian theme

(l-r) 1. Artisan Block Printing in Bagru Village, image via Mehera Shaw 2. Indian Batik Tribal Diamond Metallic Fabric (Rose/Green) from Fabric.com 3. Flutterby Romper PDF pattern by LittleKiwisCloset 4.Indian Batik Montego Metallic Peacock Feathers Fabric (Blue/Purple) from Fabric.com  5. Valori Wells Karavan Marrakech Artis Bone fabric from Fabric.com

Our final destination in this jet setting adventure is Japan. I love Japanese fabric and Japanese clothing designs, don’t  you? How could you not love gorgeous Nani Iro fabric and simple, classic pattern designs?

The little unisex hoodie design featured below is the ‘pullover parka’ from the beautiful Japanese kid’s sewing patterns book: Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids book by Ruriko Yamada and would look gorgeous made from a lovely Japanese linen. Or, if you have a brand new baby to sew for you could make this Newborn Kimono Shirt, a free pattern and tutorial by the Purl Bee.

Japanese Inspiration

(l-r) 1. Nani Iro EN GARDEN double gauze – michi from Miss Matatabi 2.Nani Iro Kokka Fuccra: rakuen Japanese Fabric – light butter yellow from Miss Matatabi  3. Free pom pom kimono tutorial from iCandy Handmade 4. The pull-over parka pattern from Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids book by Ruriko Yamada (line drawing by You & Mie.) 5. Kokochi double gauze – reversible dots BK from Miss Matatabi

Well, that short lived adventure has come to an end, but if you’re anything like me you may have collected some Japanese fabric or PDF patterns along the way!

Be sure to be back here tomorrow for more KCW travel inspiration!

Jenny x

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