Saturday, March 21, 2009

Why I will never throw away my Topkids magazines.

I started buying Topkids magazines before I even had kids. (I made some things for my bosses' grandkids). Then when I did have kids, I bought them regularly. I have used those magazines so much over the last 15 years! Their styles were fashion forward, but quick and easy to sew. (I believe they were largely a reprint of Knipmode). Several years ago they stopped publishing. But I will never throw the old magazines away. Despite some of the styles looking SERIOUSLY outdated now there are still some gems to be had. Like this dress:

I first made it for my now nine year old daughter when she was about two. The magazine is issue 21, which I am fairly sure is one I bought before I had my first child (and he's now 15!) I loved this dress, and had to wait years to make it, and it's still a wearable design now.

One drawback to Topkids, in particular the older issues, is that they had much more limited sizes available. This dress was only available in sizes 74 and 86. It's not hard to use those sizes to grade if they're printed together as these were, but in some issues the sizes were printed totally separately on the pattern sheets, making a simple size grade a much harder proposition. Ottobre has a MUCH wider range of sizes, and they go in 6cm height increments, not the 12cm that this pattern has. Later issues of Topkids usually had each pattern in three sizes, and the smaller sizes were more often only 6cm apart.

The good thing about having made this dress before is that I knew from past experience that it's short and wide (as a lot of styles were at that time) so I graded this to a 62 (Isabella is about 68cm tall) and added length to bodice, sleeves and skirt, judged by comparing the pattern to clothes and patterns that fit her well. The fabric is yet another piece from Keely's stash. I'm sure I'm reducing her stash faster than she is! Thanks Keely :-) Nicholas has jeans made from it too. I think they might look a bit too "twinny" if they wear them at the same time, so I'll have to watch out for that.

Here it is on her. I hadn't realised till I saw it on her how well it brings out her beautiful blue eyes. Lets just pretend I planned that shall we? Thanks

And here she is refusing to sit down. Which at least shows the length and proportions of the dress quite well!

So that is why I will never throw away my old Topkids magazines. They're stored in a box in our roof, with the "all styles at a glance" pages photocopied and kept in a binder near my sewing desk. By the time I have grandkids these patterns will hopefully be highly sought after vintage items!


  1. She is gorgeous, and the dress is so pretty too. I am still using all my 14 year old TopKids magazines also, which is why they will be sought after vintage items - we will all be keeping them in order to sew for the grandchildren!

  2. I love this dress and I love Topkids . I used them for all ny 3 children along witht he Kwiksew children's book and never bought any other patterns for them. I too have a collection, starting at #1 and going to #50. Maibe one day thy will be used again for the grandchildren, but I love them anyway.

  3. The dress looks so cute on I. I still think removable vest pieces would be an idea, given her penchance for wearing her food, lol.

  4. Hello - I (unfortunately) must have passed my Topkids mags & patterns on. I'm looking for a couple that I used for my son. The styling was "Streets of New York" - vests, detailed pants, "old man" shirts - so interesting. I'd love to know the volume numbers. If this description rings a bell, I wonder if you'd email me?

  5. hi I have many topkids magazines as well but I am missing the magazine for baby special I have the patterns but the magazine is missing can you tell me what number it is cheers Kim

  6. I still have some copies of my Topkids. They say everything old is new again. Decided to sell some but before I did that, I started reading them in bed. Whoops - keeping them now and enthused again.