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40 Years of Children's Corner Patterns

Updated: Jun 3, 2023

A christening dress crafted with batiste and lace, memories and meaning. A flower girl dress fit for the dreams of a child and a bride. A portrait dress or boy’s first special Sunday outfit, capturing a moment in a youngster’s life. These types of creations are the foundation of the Children’s Corner, launched four decades ago, and remain its legacy today. And as the business evolves, incorporating styles appropriate for today’s world, the future remains bright for a company that values families and relationships as much as the art of fine sewing. Lezette Thomason, Ginger Caldwell and Cathy Jones, who were all involved from the start of Children’s Corner, say they couldn’t imagine today’s CC back in 1978. “It was a little pipe dream to begin with,” says Lezette. “For Children’s Corner to have grown so fast and to have turned it over to the hands of two such capable young women who have continued to make it thrive – it’s just wonderful.” Cathy and Ginger say it’s the classic styles – as well as the fact that CC patterns fit well – that have kept Children’s Corner strong through the years. “We’ve stuck with classic designs through the years, and tried to give them a more modern, updated edge, but never deviated from the classic designs,” Cathy explains. “The second thing that’s kept CC alive through many owners is the fact that they fit. … Our patterns fit the child.” “It’s so classic – it never goes out of style,” Ginger echoes. “And they do come up with some designs that are in the moment. I think Children’s Corner remains because it’s so very classic. “I never envisioned it would be what it is today,” she continues. “I remember the first SAGA convention we went to. We had a booth to show our patterns and didn’t know if anyone would buy them. We were swamped! We thought then, ‘Well, maybe we’ve got something.’ ” Lezette, who retired from teaching three years ago, says the love of sewing keeps women connected – in person and with the Internet. She founded a Facebook group, Sew Classic for Children, for sharing and learning about CC patterns, which has thousands of members all over the world. On the site, she also includes teaching files with sewing techniques and adaptations. Current owners Emily Douglas and Karen Gooch say “providing a place for people to gather and exchange inspiration is a wonderful feeling.”

“Maybe it’s because we wish our little ones could just say little ‘forever,’ ” Emily says. “Or maybe it’s because classic style reminds us of our childhoods. Either way, there is a draw to sew clothes that make children look like children. “We see this common desire connect women from several generations. At any given time, we have new mothers and great-grandmothers in our shop at the same time. Seeing these connections and the shared joy of sewing is one of my greatest delights of our shop,” Emily adds

“We have the unique opportunity to build upon an incredible product. Our patterns were among the first for children that entered homes so every mom could sew classic and technical garments. We are humbled by this tradition and are committed to finding a way to preserve our patterns for years to come.”

Written by

Anne Gillem

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