Monday, July 21, 2014

A Great Summer Skirt

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You know you've found a great pattern when your tween wants to wear it all of the time. That is the case with this newly released pattern from EYMM. It's called the Calla Lily Skirt/Skort and it is by far one of the easiest sews ever! I had the privilege to test it and really loved the end result. 
 It comes in two styles: high/low and fish tail and 3 waist band options.
You'll need knit fabric (the skirt is all one piece so the amount will depend on how long you have to make it) with a good drape...although I had the orange fabric with a tiny bit of stretch but was really a woven that had a flowy drape and it worked out really well too.
 The waist band can be a yoga style just out of knit fabric (something with lycra or spandex works the best) or you can use 2" elastic. 
 Really I only have good things to say about this pattern, except for the frugal side of me says I would not like paying almost $10 for such an easy pattern. If you want to justify it, you get the sizes from newborn to 18 teen (and there is a women's version as well).
If you are looking for a great summer skirt pattern though, I would say go for it! It's an easy, trendy pattern that I'm sure will get a lot of wear and use. And since there are so many great knit options out there now, it could be a very versatile pattern. 
I give this one 5 lightening bolts!

Disclaimer: This pattern was given to me for testing purposes and all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pattern Review: McCalls's M 6689 view E

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I have previously reviewed M6689 using view C as a dress (HERE) and now I thought I would do a review of the pants; view E.  I sewed them as shorts, but the only modification I made was the length.

I loved the pattern as a dress and I am sure I would like the view as a top since it really is the same but shorter.  But I was not as happy with the pants.  They did come together well and the fly zipper did not use my favorite construction techniques (I am a complete fan of the way Burdastyle constructs their zippers) but it turned out fine. 

But, as I have found frequently with the McCalls pants patterns, there was way too much ease.  I slimmed them down two sizes.  And by this I mean my daughter by height wears a size 12 but I cut the width of a size 8 in order to tailor it to her.  Normally, this is enough to not make a good fit.

I did use some different fabrics and decorative stitches to jazz up these standard jean shorts.

I give these shorts only (3) bolts.  The fly is pretty nice and the pattern was straight forward, but the fit really was not that great.  And, look at how these pants look when she pulled them up; the high waist is not in line with today's trends.

Friday, July 11, 2014

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Today we have wonderful guest post from Tami. She has a great Etsy shop as well as a facebook page (Love Notions) so should check out what she is up to!
It’s hard to believe that I have a ‘tween, it seem like she was just born last year. Time really does fly when they’re little. My ‘tween is a ten year old named Mallory. She’ll be starting 5th grade in the fall. We've been blessed with an awesome magnet school she and her younger brother were accepted into and since Mallory’s been in school, I've been in and out of her school helping with class parties, field days, conferences and field trips. Because of my passion for sewing and design I always notice what the other kids are wearing so when I get to peek in the school you can bet I’ll be checking out what the kids these days are wearing. Mallory probably dresses the most ‘different’ of her friends. Sure, she’s got Target t-shirts, Old Navy leggings and Kohl’s shorts like the other kids but she’s also got a drawer full of Trendy Tunic’s (her favorite), a closet filled with Cartwheel Collection pieces (soon to be released), Hip-Hop Tanks, Tuxedo Dresses and other random pieces I haven’t released yet.

I design with her specifically in mind about 80% of the time. I’ll sketch something up and yell for her to come look and ask what she thinks. The most requested thing from her-- “does it have pockets?” She’s such a willing, if sometimes long suffering, model. I've been known to wake her up at 11PM to try something on. She doesn't usually remember those times. ;)

The very first piece we worked together on was a dress I named for her: The Mallory Dress. I actually haven’t released it yet, but look for it in the fall.

With all the pieces I design I keep a couple things in mind-- would I let my child wear this, would Mallory like it and is it comfortable? You’ll find that I mostly design for knits, they’re so much more practical, not to mention comfortable. I have sewn up my fair share of patterns that used cotton wovens but I don’t reach for those nearly as much as the knits. No ironing needed when dressing with knits!
Mallory modeling an early Hip-Hop Tank prototype

Another thing I keep in mind when I design is modesty. Mallory is only 10 but we want to instill good habits and that means how she dresses now should be how she dresses for life as far as modesty goes. You won’t find me designing super short shorts & skirts, backless dresses or low-cut tops. That doesn’t mean she’ll be wearing turtlenecks and jeans, that just means we’re a little more careful about how much skin is showing. I currently have a pattern in testing with a small peek-a-boo back opening. Just the right about a fun and modesty, in my opinion.

My 'tween niece Jill modeling the dress from the Cartwheel Collection (soon to be released)

Mallory is a confident ‘tween in that she really doesn’t care what other people think about how she looks. I love that about her and I hope that attitude lasts forever. She’s definitely more of a trend setter in that way. Now, if I could just get her to brush her hair… ;)

Mallory modeling one of the first Trendy Tunic's made. Still her favorite thing in her closet.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pattern Review: McCalls M4762

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Abi needed some summer pants and I did not have a lot of time so I tried out these pants from McCalls M4762, which was a recent acquisition of mine.  I thought the tank top was pretty cute and Abi has been asking for more pull-on pants.

Pattern Source:  I picked up this pattern on sale while I was a Joann Fabric and Crafts. And boy am I glad I did not pay full price.

pattern review

Sizes available: This pattern comes in sizes 3 to 14.  But it runs very large.  It has a whole lot of ease and would be a better pattern for a plus size gal or one with some curves.  Even after I slimmed down the pants a couple sizes, they are way too big.

Special materials required: The pants are fairly basic and you only need pant weight fabric and elastic.

Skill level required:  A beginner could sew these up as the are not complicated and have no special details.  But I am not sure it is a good idea.  I don't want a beginner to be discouraged by the poor fit.

I deviated from the pattern a bit by adding the ribbon belt. I later added belt loops for the belt after seeing how bunched up the front was.  I also shortened them to be capris for the summer.

Good: Ummmm, I did not like these pants so I don't have really nice to say.  ...they were easy.
Bad: The pants are very plain and should have been a great basic pattern. Instead, the fit was so far off, the look a bit ridiculous.
Overall pattern rating:  Therefore, I give these pants 2 bolts.  I had high hopes for these capris but I am very disappointed with the fit.  I am not saying it is a terrible pattern, but you should be ready to make some modifications if you choose to sew them.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Would Your Tween Wear a Romper/Jumpsuit?

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As I look at tween fashion and catch up on the boards I'm following on Pinterest, I've noticed more and more romper/jumpsuit type outfits creeping into the tween sizes, being marketed towards tweens.
Summer romper in cool graphic pattern mix- blue - tween fashion - kuds clothing
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So my question for you is, Would your tween wear a romper/jumpsuit?
Katrina Tang photography with Pale Cloud kids fashion
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As both of us here at Sew Cool for the Tween Scene are in situations where we can't really sew, we thought it would be fun to have some "discussions" about sewing. So tell us what you think!