News & Reviews

Review: Clothkits Sunflower Dress

A fair few of you have had a trip down memory lane this past couple of weeks when you’ve come in the shop. I’m not talking about the 1930s Singer sewing machine or Gary the vintage Gutermann chest, the thing that seems to have struck many of you the most is the presence of the Clothkits pre-printed clothing and doll kits. These are kits made of cloth. Very aptly named. Clothkits began in 1969 as a mail order company and was sold in 1988. Artist, Kay Mower, bought the brand in 2007 and it was relaunched in 2008, still using the same patterns from the 1970s and ’80s, hence why it all seems so familiar!

In contrast to the reminiscers, there are also a fair few of you who seem unsure of the concept. Making a dress without having to pin a pattern on the fabric first? The pattern is printed on?? What is this madness?!!? Yes, friends, it is true. No need to cut out a paper pattern before cutting out your fabric pieces (and having to sellotape it back together after you’ve realised you’ve cut out the wrong size. Nope? Just me then.). Just cut out the fabric pieces and chocs away!

The kits include everything you need to make each pattern. Except scissors. And a sewing machine, but that would be ridiculous. But everything else you get; a very generous bobbin of cotton, any buttons, elastic etc you need and a cute little Clothkits clothes label so it looks profesh when you’ve finished!


Anyway, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and give the Sunflower Dress kit a whirl, mainly because young Bobbie the kid mannequin was in a state of undress and it’s getting chilly.

To say the pattern instructions were well explained is an understatement. Every little thing that you could possibly need to know was mentioned and who could not like a pattern which used the word “placket” with such free abandon? Oh yes, I made a placket. And I buttonholed like a boss!



The fabric in this kit is a fantastic bright pink and is very nice quality and the dress is even half-lined with a gorgeous contrasting orange fabric, which I thought was a nice touch. The other kiddie kits in the shop are dungarees (which I wouldn’t mind for myself) and trousers. There are also some lovely ladies’ skirt kits, which have proven to be very popular, and also a choice of three doll kits. In fact, you will see young Kitty Brown lurking on the doll kit shelf in the shop, courtesy of The Mother who, surprise, surprise made hers by hand. (It’s not a competition, Mother!!!)

Anyway, I digress. The kits are a great idea for both beginners and those with sewing experience as I have to say, it did make a nice change to not have to cut out the paper pattern first. Sometimes it’s just nice and relaxing to do something relatively easy and still end up with a great result.

To finish, here is a family photo of Bobbie with Rita and Sue. My crew.


Bobbie, you are welcome.

Al si thi later,

P x

2 thoughts on “Review: Clothkits Sunflower Dress

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