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‘Slim Fit’ Clothing

I have used European standard sizing when making clothes for my boys because the patterns I mostly used for them were European, and when I started drafting my own patterns I used body measurements from an English book. I recently obtained a copy of the Australian Standard size coding scheme for infants and childrens clothing (AS1182 – 1997) and realised that there are substantial differences between the Australian Standard and the European size measurements. This certainly wasn’t a problem when making clothes for my own kids, but I saw it as a problem for selling clothes.

Because I wanted to use Australian standard sizing, I first adjusted all my jumpsuit patterns to correspond to the Australian Standard measurements for infants which was pretty easy since the body measurements were similar. I hit problems, however, with variability of body size when I started making clothes for those who weren’t babies. I have two children with vastly different body shapes. The Australian Standard body measurements seem to be generous (compared to the European measurements) for each specified height. My elder boy, who is 4.5 years old, tends to be a little more solid than his peers and his body measurements match the Australian Standard size 4 measurements almost exactly. I drafted a size 4 t-shirt using those measurements and it fit him nicely. On the other hand, my younger son is quite slim and the size 2 t-shirt I made him from the Australian Standard measurements fit him like a sack. Even using the European body measurements for his height resulted in a fairly baggy garment.

Consequently, I’m thinking that if I wish to stick with the size coding as specified by the Australian Standard, then I will also need to make a ‘slim fit’ t-shirt for those who are a little on the skinnier side. So, below are some photos of my first ‘slim fit’ t-shirt in size 2, being modelled by my younger son at 2 years and 9 months of age, 91 cm tall and a chest girth of 50 cm (the Australian Standard size 2 is made to fit a child 92 cm tall with a 56 cm chest).

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Hat Sizing

I am currently making four sizes of kids sun hats.  For each product I provide a measurement range for the head circumference that the hat should fit. To determine the head circumference of your child, use a dressmaking tape measure and measure the head where a hat is expected to sit (across the middle of the forehead and above the ears). Do not pull tightly on the tape measure, but also make sure that the tape measure is not loose. If a tape measure is not available, use a piece of string (or similar) around the head and then measure with a ruler.

It is difficult to give an age range for each hat size. The average head circumference of boys and girls differ substantially, with girls generally having a smaller head circumference than boys of the same age. However, as a bit of a guide for the younger children, I would expect the XS size to fit babies 10 – 18 months of age, and the S size to fit 18 months – 3 years (girls 2 – 3.5 years).

Size XS will fit a head circumference of ~45 – 47 cm.

Size S will fit a head circumference of ~48 – 50 cm.

Size M will fit a head circumference of ~51 – 53 cm.

Size L will fit a head circumference of ~54 – 56 cm.

Until the online shop is active, please contact me by email ( if you wish to purchase any hats from the shop.  Please be advised that I will be away from Dec 15 – Dec 26, so I will be unable to fill any purchase requests until I return. A flat rate of $6* is charged for delivery.

*All prices on the Wispy Threads website are in AUD.

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About Hats

While it is lovely to have a beautiful hat, it is probably more important that the hat functions well in shading the face, ears and neck of the wearer (though if the wearer doesn’t like the hat and won’t wear it, it doesn’t matter how much shade the hat provides). Since I have been making hats I have been doing a lot of hat-spotting while out, and I have seen many pre-school aged children (in particular) wearing bucket hats with very small brims that really don’t provide much shade, or they sit high on the head which again results in less shade for the face and neck. Also, if the brim is too large such that it is folded up to be worn, the protective effect of the larger brim is negated.

I did a bit of searching on the Internet and found that the Cancer Council has guidelines for hats and a document on Sun Smart Hats. They recommend that bucket hats shade the face, neck and ears by having:
– a deep crown so the hat sits low on the head,
– a brim width of at least 5 cm for a pre-school aged child or 6 cm for primary school aged children and older (including adults), and
– hats should be made from a close weave fabric, should not obscure vision and have good ventilation
– should have a dark lining to reduce the amount of UV radiation being reflected onto the face and eyes

Using the above information, and without getting any hats tested for an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating, I made the following decisions:
1) I would make the hats out of cotton patchwork fabrics for both the outside of the hats and the lining. Patchwork fabrics come in a wide variety of patterns and colours and tend to have a more dense weave compared to other lightweight cotton fabrics. The first hat I made my son had one layer of patchwork fabric on the outside and was lined with cotton drill which is a much heavier fabric. The drill made the hat heavier and hotter to wear than it needed to be for summer hat.

2) I would attempt to have dark fabrics on the inside of the hats, though that would depend on what I can find to match prints, and what is available in collections since it is easier to match fabrics if they come from the same collection.

3) I would make the hat brims for kids more than 5 cm wide, but less than 7 cm which was the width of the first hat (medium size) I made my 3.5-year-old son (it appeared to obscure his vision at times). Brim sizes for the kids hats now range from 5.5 cm for the XS size (for older babies, approximately 10 months+) through to 6.25 cm for the large hats (though brims may vary a few millimetres in size due to the nature of being handmade).

I will be posting photographs of hats that are available for sale soon, as well as fabrics I have available should anyone want a hat customised (change brim size, add chin strap, etc.).

*I have no association with the Cancer Council, all information was found via Internet searches*