KID ART: outfits inspired by kid art

Hi, Kristi from SweetKM here with my own interpretation of the KCW Kid Art theme. Shelley focused on the Masters, I’m going to focus on abstract expressionists a little closer to home – my kids. Kid’s artwork is so full of color, imagination, and personal style – I thought it would make for some interesting sewing inspiration. I also have piles of it laying around, just waiting to be repurposed. Rather than taking the drawings at face value, I tried to find some abstract qualities that could be used to translate the works on paper into wearable works of art. Here is the process I used to get some ideas rolling. First, I photographed a few of the more interesting and colorful drawings my daughter has done lately. Having a digital copy allowed me to make a Pinterest board for each drawing where I could try fabrics and patterns out along side the drawing to see how they work together. Here are a few examples of how I am translating elements of a drawing into elements of an outfit.


Outline Collage


1. dress pattern 1a. navy piping 1b. sash fabric 1c. dress fabric 2. headband 3. sandals

Outline. So many of the drawings my kids do are simple lines on paper. Sometimes they color them in, sometimes not. For this outfit I’m using the piping and sash of the spectacular Roma Dress from c’est dimanche to define areas of the dress in much the same way that my little one has defined areas of her drawing using crayon. The fabric body of the dress represents the scribble scrabble (as my guys call it) inside those lines. Just about any fabric would work for this illustration, and a custom fabric would be very cool. The pale pink strappy sandals and pencil thin red headband create even more layers of lines on the outfit.


Form Collage

1. hair bow 2. dress pattern 2a. accent fabric 2b. dress fabric 3. shoes

Shape. My daughter was very annoyed when I stashed away this drawing, she has been calling it her shape board, and she insists she isn’t finished with it yet. The ameba form in the drawing is nearly a prefect match for the plunging back of the Figgy’s Eos Dress. The relatively plain khaki chambray body fabric picks up on the sparseness of this drawing, and allows the accent fabric used on the back bow to really pop. The forms in the abstract bow print are again drawing on the ovular theme. I’m reiterating that shape again with the big soft loops of the orange hair bow, and the iconic toe of the converse sneaker. Sounds like serious stuff, but there is nothing serious about this look. (Okay L, you may have your drawing back now!)


Color Collage

1. tights 2. dress pattern 2a. bodice fabric 2b. skirt fabric 3. turban 4. boots

Color. When my kids paint with watercolor half of the fun is experimenting with how the paint goes on to the paper. Wet brush, dry brush, the whole cup of brush washing water sloshed across the page, each technique creates a different level of transparency and saturation. For this outfit I looked for fabrics that picked up on the layering and contrasting of colors in the painting. The skirt fabric has a similar monochrome blue color scheme, and similar variation in hard and soft edges to the drawing’s forms. The gray pin stripe of the bodice picks up on the contrast between the hard and soft edges of the different colors. The pale teal turban draws on the lighter blue tones. The black tights and fringed boots were inspired by the wispy black brush strokes across the top of the paper.

There you have it – three dresses from three different examples of kid art. I could go on and on with some of the zany things my kids make, but I would rather wait and see what you make. Where are you headed with the kid art theme?


Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply sophie July 1, 2014 at 6:39 am

    I love this post so much! so well done and I want to make each of these outfits now!!:)

  • Reply Lightning McStitch July 1, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Brilliant! I love how those little mood boards look. You’ve translated the “vibe” of the artwork really well.

  • Reply Kristi Morrow July 1, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Thank you Lightning and Sophie. The mood boards were almost as much fun do make as they would be to sew. 

  • Reply Annika July 2, 2014 at 3:11 am

    Great post. And that blue water color painting is just beautiful!

    • Reply Kristi July 3, 2014 at 6:53 am

      Thank you Annika. Little ones make the best artwork, probably because they are only trying to please themselves.

  • Reply Pj July 8, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Great post!  I had no idea you could translate child’s art work into fashion.  The best part it is a critical look at both the child’s art and the fashion.   I wonder if you would design an outfit based on my kids art:)

  • Reply Kristi July 8, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Thank you, thank you Pj! This was really a fun post to make, and its given me a chance to make a few changes to the way I plan sewing projects. 

  • Reply Deb Cameron July 18, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Beautiful! What a fabulous way to let you children’s art inspire 

  • Leave a Reply