My favourite kids patterns

The best kids sewing patterns of 2020

Whenever people find out I love sewing (almost as much as I love polish) they always ask about my favourites. That’s a big question, so instead of panic-answering, here’s a thought-out list with my favourite patterns for kids from 2020:

You may not know, but I have two Tiny Knights. That’s right, I’m a boy mama times two! I very rarely sew for girls (only occasionally for nieces and friends’ kids). I love thinking up designs for girls, but very rarely get to sew them.

T-Shirt Patterns for Kids

If you want an all-rounder, basic and consistent T-shirt then I’d always recommend the EMMM by Peek-a-boo patterns. (review here)

EMMM is a set-in-sleeve pattern. The downside is they only go up to size four. Given my Tiny Knight is in that size now, it might be time for me to start thinking about where to next…let me know your recommendations below.

(EMMM with long sleeves and a self-drafted colour block)

I’ve tried a few t-shirt patterns in my search to find my favourite. When it comes to kids, I’m not too picky about the fit through the body. Kids don’t have many curves and as long as it’s accurate to size I’m pretty happy with a straight-lined boxy feel.

I’ve narrowed my favourites down and just find that the EMMM fit is the best for my kids. 

My follow up faves are:

Declan by Peek-a-boo (paid pattern)

(Left with polo collar; right with henley collar)

Movie night PJs by Sew a Little Seam (free pattern)

The ringer tee by Brindille & Twig (free pattern)

The Declan by Peek-a-boo, I a contender for someone looking for a large size range. This is a big fit so needs to be sized down. It’s designed as a Henley/polo shirt so the pattern calls for the insertion of a placket (but I cut it straight for a basic tee).

(Declan without Placket from when I had a sewing business)

The Movie Night PJs come with a t-shirt and legging bundle. The t-shirt is very basic and a quick sew, in a more fitted style than the Declan and Ringer Tee. The downside is that it starts at 12m. This may not be a deal-breaker for most people, but if you’re into sewing baby clothes then you’ll want to start with something smaller.

The Ringer Tee from Brindille and Twig is probably one of my first sews. Initially, I didn’t like this pattern which I’ll put that down to user error, as I selected the size based on ready to wear sizing and not based on measurements. I also don’t actually like ringer tee styles (a band on the bottom and cuff bands on the sleeve) for your everyday tee. If you are using this pattern for a t-shirt then size down (even from the measurements) and add an inch to the waist cut line so you can fold and hem.

(Ringer Tee and Helmet Hat by Brindille and Twig)

I also want to note that I’m obsessing right now over the Kids Over the Top Tee (OTT) from Little Kiwis Closet and kicking myself for not buying this in their latest sale. From the photos I’ve see this looks like the perfect kids tee for colour blocking, and I love the over the shoulder detail. I have this for myself and it’s one of my faves!

Watch this space- you may see it featured in a future favourite patterns review.

I do on occasion like to sew a raglan. I find this style particularly fun for patterned front and plain sleeves or vice versa.

I’ve used the Duck Duck Goose by Peek-a-boo patterns (review here) a lot for a raglan style but I really don’t love the neckline (I find I have to lower it a bit before sewing on the neck band). I’ve actually found a pattern I like more, the neighbourhood raglan by Rad Patterns, however it doesn’t go smaller than a size two (which currently excluded my Tiniest Knight).

(Neighbourhood Raglan by Rad Patterns with self-drafted colour block)

I’m lazy and haven’t been using this pattern much because I haven’t been bothered to print, cut and tape the size I currently need. I like that this pattern has two fit options, a tighter fit and a looser fit. I think my Tiny Knight suits the looser fit best; however, I can’t wait to sew up a swimming rash top in the fitted style!

Jumper Patterns for Kids

(twinning Ringer Tee jumpers)

To be honest, I just love the Ringer Tee by Brindille and Twig for a good basic jumper. I’m not hugely fussed on hoods on babies so this is the perfect go to for me. Like I mentioned above in general the pattern is a looser fit, a boxy design, which lends itself well to jumpers as wells as loose tees.

It’s a free pattern but the main drawback is the limited size range, stopping at size four. I do know Brindille and Twig are working on a collection for older children, but I’m unsure if this extends to the free patterns (including the ringer tee).

I’ve also made a few hoodies using the undercover hoody pattern by Ellie and Mac.

(undercover hoody) Again, this is a good basic boxy fit hoody. The bonus with this pattern is that it contains everything you need to make a basic hoody, or jumper (no hood) and a hoody with a cool slash pocket. I’ve used this pattern to make a few basic jumpers too from time-to-time and even made a kids tee. This is a paid pattern; however I find Ellie and Mac have the best sales and occasionally you can pick this up for $1 on Wacky Wednesday.

A notable mention is that Brindille and Twig have free hoody. This has a raglan sleeve and is an easy sew. I haven't actually made it with the hood designed for the pattern as it’s a scuba hood and I’m not a fan of those. I have made a heavily hacked version with a cross over cowl neck and large front pocket. In general, it’s a fine pattern.

Nothing amazing, but nothing to terribly hate. It’s a boxy fit, large neckline (because really it needs the scuba hood) and I found it a tad short so added some extra length. I will probably make this again if I’m after a raglan hoody; but will do some research and invest in a good hoody pattern which goes up to larger sizing as my Tiny Knight grows.

Pants Patterns for Kids

Oh gosh, don’t get me started on pants. I’ve gone through many pants patterns!

(left - right: Maxaloon; side pocket pants (no pocket); plain pants; Savanna Smiles)

I’ve actually landed on the Brindille and Twig side pocket pant, which I most often make without the side pocket and add two inches to the waist band and sew a casing for elastic. I've made many hacked versions of these including colour blocked, legging style, true to pattern and with fancy set in pockets (shown here)

I prefer elastic waistbands on my Tiny Knight because he is so active and sometimes the fold over style can get a bit lose with the active playing – that being said fold over is primo for comfy PJs!

I said I’ve gone through many pant patterns and that is no lie. All the legging patterns I tried were a bit too tight, and others a bit too loose. The side pocket pant is almost a fitted harem style. The crotch is not too baggy and the calf not too tight.

Some notable mentions are:

Plain Pants by Duck Butt Designs – these are a goodie, and as a small baby I liked these on my tiny knight. They’re a free pattern and have a large size range! I have made a few of these into shorts and used my hack of adding inches to the top so I can use elastic. The only note here is that for my kids they run a bit short, so I either add a longer cuff or add length to the legs.

(Plain Pants and EMMM bodysuit)

Maxaloons – these are well known in the fluff community and have the cute circle on the butt. These fit terrible on my stocky boys (they are a grow with my style so go from baggy to fitted). I just couldn’t work out the right sizing on my kids initially and gave up. I should give them a go again as my friend’s baby has been wearing the pair I made her from about 3 months until 15months (and they’re still going strong!)


Rad savanna smiles – I actually think this has been discontinued. These are a baggy crotch harem style pant with a fitted calf and ankle cuff. They are a very trendy looking style and easy to sew. They weren’t right for my Tiny knight as that baggy crotch just gets in the way of fun (like bike riding and tree climbing!)

(Savanna Smiles pants; EMMM tee with self-drafted colourblocking)

Shorts Patterns for Kids

As above. I’d use my favourite pants patterns and cut them off at the knee. 

I hands down love the spring romper by Brindille and Twig (review here) . This can be made with woven or knit and fits almost like overalls (dungarees for you Brits).

I've also enjoyed making a Lullaby Line Snap PJs, by peek-a-boo. It's a bit more complex than a basic t-shirt but was still surprisingly easy for me when I was a beginner.

Hat Patterns for Kids

I’ve made to hats in my life, and one ended up with the lining the wrong way around (haha!) I used the sandcastle bucket hat which is a free pattern from made by jack's mum. It has good to follow instructions, and I’m proud I finally managed it, but be warned, if you’re a beginner or it’s your first time sewing a sun hat it is a time investment.

As for a beanie I love the slouch beanie pattern by …. And for babies the knotted beanie pattern from Patterns for Pirates (both are free)

We haven’t progressed into the undies stage; however, I’ve heard very good things about made by jack's mum so when the time comes, I think I’ll start there.

I’m yet to make swimwear; however I have the fabric here and I’m planning on using the rad neighbourhood raglan fitted and one of my favourite pants patterns.

Overall, favourite pattern company for kids

This would be a hard toss-up between Brindille and Twig and Peek-a-boo patterns. My Tiny Knights are still small so Brindille and Twig are serving me well. Their limited size range may become an issue as the Tiny Knights grow. Peek-a-boo is just a general all-rounder – they have such a lot of variety, but have a glaringly obvious lack of harem style pants!!

So there we go.

Let me know your favourites and stay tuned for the favourite patterns for me 2020.