Little One-Yard Wonders contributor Caroline Critchfield’s designs develop naturally from the needs and wants of her four children.

Caroline Critchfield is a long-time sewist who now focuses much of what she makes on her four children. What better contributor than one who loves to sew things that her family wears and uses? We were certainly drawn to her designs and knew she would be a perfect contributor to Little One-Yard Wonders— Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins, co-authors

Caroline Critchfield

Tell us about the inspiration behind your projects in Little One-Yard Wonders.
Creating projects for Little One-Yard Wonders was easier for me than some other projects have been because I have so much inspiration at home: four sassy, rowdy, and adorable (to me) children. Most of what I sew is for them, and new designs develop naturally based on what they need and want.

Simple Pants Caroline Crichfield

Simple Pants, designed by Caroline Critchfield. Photo © Julie Toy, excerpted from Little One-Yard Wonders.

How did you learn to sew? What’s your earliest sewing memory?
I learned to sew from my mom on an old Singer sewing machine. I made teddy bears and other stuffies from about age 6, and as I grew older I made clothes, too. I remember a pair of “knickers” I made when I was 9… complete with button-on suspenders. I sure wish I had those to look at and laugh about now!

cargo board shorts caroline critchfield

Cargo Board Shorts, designed by Caroline Critchfield. Photo © Julie Toy, excerpted from Little One-Yard Wonders.

What’s your favorite thing about sewing for children? How do you engage them in the process?
I always show my children pictures of the item I’m making first, and ask about design elements that they like or don’t like. Then I guide them in fabric choices. There’s no point putting time and love into a project if they won’t end up using it. The funny thing about kids is oftentimes they only notice embellishments, not the structure of an item. If I can put the embellishments they like (such as rick-rack or a monster appliqué) on something that I would rather make, we are all happy.

Merry-Go-Round Dress, designed by Caroline Critchfield. Photo © Julie Toy, excerpted from Little One-Yard Wonders.

There are so many amazing fabrics available. Which are must-haves for your own personal stash?
All fabric is must-have! But sadly it is not all can-have. I like to keep on hand lots of woven cottons in different weights for apparel, tote bags, and quilts. I also love stretch knit (cotton with a touch of Lycra) because it makes perfect leggings and tees for the whole family. My personal tastes include about an equal amount of prints and solids. Heather Ross is my favorite designer at the moment and turquoise is my favorite color.

Ruffled romper caroline critchfield

Ruffled Romper, designed by Caroline Critchfield. Photos © Julie Toy, excerpted from Little One-Yard Wonders.

What projects (sewing or otherwise) will be keeping you busy this summer?
I’m so excited to be putting the final touches on a book that I co-authored: Just for You: Selfish Sewing Projects From Your Favorite SewCanShe Bloggers. It’s kind of the opposite of Little One-Yard Wonders because it contains sweet little things to sew for yourself, like purses, dresses, and accessories. Watch for it this fall. I’ll also be savoring the last long days I have to enjoy my littlest one before she starts kindergarten in August. I can’t believe how fast that happened!

Toddler Naptime Mat, designed by Caroline Critchfield. Photo © Julie Toy, excerpted from Little One-Yard Wonders.

Thanks, Caroline!

You can find more from Caroline on:

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Little One-Yard Wonders

by Patricia Hoskins and Rebecca Yaker

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