Thursday, 14 April 2011

bonny babies & chubby children

The first ever nationwide sizing survey is out today and it shows children are significantly taller and fatter than their parents were at the same age.  Both typical waist-lines and height have increased over the last 30 years.  Girls are typically 2cm taller, with waist measurements up by 8cm, and boys are 4cm taller, with waists up by 7cm.
I was asked what I thought by reporter Tamsin Smith for BBC Breakfast TV.  It's a sensitive issue and I'm sympathetic to parents with children who are larger than average as I was definitely a 'bonny' baby.  
a bonny me - apparently aged only 18 months!
In fact I recently found an old pattern for a dress that Mum used to make for me with sizing for girls and "chubbies"!  I think it's affected my designs. 
I try and make clothes that will flatter the skinniest minnies as well as covering little tummies.  But undoubtedly I have a huge advantage over the mass manufacturers because I'm able to cut a bodice a little larger and mix and match it with a skirt that's a little longer to fit your child.  But the high street retailers will have to adapt their sizing to reflect the changing shape of today's generation of children.    

I'd love to know what you think.


  1. I have just seen you on the news and googled you as your designs are just beautiful. I have an 8 month old girl who's more on the small size and still fit in some high street 0-3 clothes so I think it shows that manufacturers have increased their sizes.

    Your designs are very cute and very reasonable given that you make them to order. I have been looking for a bonnet for Millie and all I could find were american ones. Yours are much cuter! Now, I just need to decide on which fabric I want - and which dress to go with it! :-)

  2. In the last 30years years we have also become faster, cleverer, happier and live longer - things change !
    I don't understand your comment about 'flattering skinny minnies', how many of the age group you make for come to you because they feel the need to be flattered ?? or hide their tum - that sort of language sets girls up for torment of the 'ideal body size and shape' we are all different and that should be celebrated not hidden, your dresses are beautiful because of their material and cut not because they make the children look anything they aren't !

  3. Hi Minnie - thanks ever so much for your kind comments. I'd be delighted to make you a bonnet and dress.
    Hi Anon - love your comment about being faster, cleverer, happier and living longer. Take your point about language - really difficult to get the wording exactly right. Guess what I'm trying to say is simply that I also get parents who struggle to find clothes for daughters who are thinner than average as well as those who have difficulty because, as I used to be, their little girls are a bit bigger than average. And totally agree about it being about cut and fabric. I just remember loving the feeling of those special dresses Mum made me - including my wedding dress! Thanks for posting. best wishes, Lissa