Friday, April 17, 2015

Would They Wear That...Boys in Capris?

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So this time around, we have a male/boy fashion trend version of "Would they wear THAT?"

Capris....what do you think? Will your male tween go for them?
image source
There seem to be a couple different trends within a trend though.  There is the classic twill version, like the ones above. Kind of like a good pair of khaki pants cut off.
Then there is the more fitted 'skinny' look, as seen below.
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There is the cargo pants look, which I personally think is the easiest for men/boys to pull off.
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And finally, the more harem style look...
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So what do you think, will your male tween wear capris...please tell us what you think!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pattern Review: Gloria Dress and Top

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Recently I (Major Moma), had a chance to test the add on to the Gloria Dress by Peek-a-Boo Patterns. (affiliate link)  I love sewing PAB patterns, so I felt quite lucky to test this one. It was a wonderful sew and I am happy to review it.

sewing pattern review

Name of the pattern:

The Gloria Dress pattern is a lovely dress that is designed for a lace overlay.  After several requests, Amy designed an add on that gives directions for a circle skirt and a peplum option.

Gloria Party Dress
The dress can be purchased alone HERE.  Additionally, you can purchase an add-on (affiliate links) to the pattern that gives a pattern and instructions for a circle skirt; both at a dress length and a peplum length.  The add-on costs an additional $3.50.

sewing pattern review

Sizes available:  It comes in sizes 3 months to 12.  Picking the size for your child based on their measurements is essential.  My first one I made a straight 12 because I just wanted to get the construction down when testing.  Then, I adjusted the width according to Abi's size.  She runs a couple sizes smaller on the width than the length and that made an amazing difference.  The second run fit her beautifully so that adjustment made a big difference.

sewing pattern review

Special materials required:  The shirt can be made with just knit and be a casual top with a fun peplum.  Of course what is special about this pattern is the lace overlay option.  It has an option for the under layer to cut straight across the the chest or as a tank.  I chose a tank in order to give her more modesty as we are at that space in time when such things are growing more important to her.

sewing pattern review

Skill level required:  The lace overlay may look tricky, but it is not at all.  The pattern is great for beginners as it has no closures and is very simple.

Good:  Simple and beautiful.

Bad:  Here are the shots of my first shirt.  As you can see, the pattern is nice but it looks a bit odd if the width is not right.  But, isn't that the beauty of sewing for our children?  We get to make things custom for them!

Where as in the black lace versions, the cut is elegant, here it looks rather frumpy.  But, she still wears this practice version so it is not a complete loss.

Overall pattern rating:  I love this pattern.  Frankly, it is one of my favorites and I will definitely sew it again.  I give it 5 bolts!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Fresh Air by BurdaStyle

Pin It Do you have a wedding to attend this summer or is your tween in need of some new dress clothes?

I know Easter is usually the big push for fancy clothes and that just passed.  But there always seems to be events in our lives that we need the kids to clean up and put on something other than jeans and a tee shirt.

BurdaStyle recently released a collection of dressy clothes that fit both tween girls and boys called the Fresh Air Collection. (This post contains affiliate links.)

Boy's Suit Jacket

Let's start with the boys.  Look at this stylish blazer!  I can just see a handsome 11 year old in this jacket with its trendy collar.

Boy's trouser
And to go with the blazer here are some trousers that are not too skinny but still hip.

Lace Dress with Peter Pan Collar

And now for the girls; here is a beautiful lace overlay dress with a peter pan collar and special button up back.

Open Blouse
I adore this open blouse that could dress up any outfit and could be used separate from this fancy collection.
Long Capped Sleeve Dress

And if you are looking for a longer dress, what do you think of this one?  I love the bow at the back too ... very feminine but not too little girl.

If you choose to sew any of these up, we would love to see how they look!  Let us know any tips or tricks you learned.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Haven acres Mini Collection

Pin It I recently had the chance to pattern test an entire mini collection by Jennuine Designs. The Haven Acres mini collection is inspired by equestrian clothing and consists of leggings,  blouse, and a hat.  Jennuine Designs is ran by Jennifer and most of her designs are for the younger set.

Until recently, Jennuine Designs only carried patterns up to size 8.  But much to our delight, Jenn has been working hard this spring to add patterns designed for tween sizes and I really want to commend Jennifer's dedication to making this collection work for older girls.

pattern review

Name of the pattern:

There are three pieces to this collection; Haven Acres Blouse, Dressage Leggings, and Sweet Pea Cap.  The top is a lovely peplum blouse designed for woven fabrics. It has a single button closure and elastic at the waist.  The leggings are inspired by riding pants and have an insert in the inner portion of the legs.  The legging pattern also comes with a standard version without the insert (like two patterns in one!).  And then there is a sweet riding hat with little ears on it.  I have to be honest here, even though this hat is sized so that most tweens could fit it, they may not want it.  Abi thought it was very cute, but she did not see herself wearing it.  (But one time she did leave the house in it and someone did give her a compliment.)  My four year old did love it though depending on who else lives at your house, it may be worth the purchase.

Pattern Source:  You can buy all of these patterns at Jennuine designs individually (I have links in the above paragraph for each garment.) or as a bundle.  If your girl is likes 18 inch dolls, she also has matching doll versions of these patterns available.

Pattern Review

Sizes available:The collection is sized from 3 months to 12 years and the hat ranges from XXS to L. 

Special materials required:  For the top, just about any woven would work great and you will also need bias tape (home made or purchased), 1/4 and 1/8 inch elastic, and a button (optional).  The leggings need knit fabric but the inner portion can be successful with a stretch denim or similar fabric if the outer leg is sufficiently stretchy.  And finally the cap needs an outer fabric, a lining and super stiff interfacing for the brim.  Some people used flexible cutting boards and I used an old plastic place mat instead and that worked great.

sewing pattern review

Skill level required:  The top is easy but the hat and leggings require a little (not a lot) of skill.  The inserts in the leggings require some easing, so I would not pick this for my first knit project.  But, it is not that hard and a confident beginner could tackle them with success.  The hat is not complicated, but it does require accurate and straight sewing.  So again, not a project for first time sewers but with a few garments under your belt you will do just fine.

I did deviate from the pattern a couple times for the blouse.  The keyhole opening is designed to be in the front and either button or tie closed at the neckline.  However, my daughter is very self conscious about her newly required undergarments and strongly objected to the key hole.  So, I moved it to the back and made it a little smaller.  This adjustment was super easy and did not effect the fit of the top.  Also, on the below version I opted to not use elastic on the sleeves.

sewing pattern review

One tip is to carefully measure your child and cut the size accordingly.  My girl wears a twelve for length but I cut an eight for width.  This is a bit tricky for the inserts but it worked out great for the fit.  I gave her a little more width right at the rear end because she needed it there.  So, as always, sew the size and shape your tween needs.

Good:  The pattern instructions were very clear and easy to follow.  There were colored pictures and lots of diagrams.  She writes clearly and I did not have to read the instructions over and over.  I love the style of the Dressage leggings. The fit was excellent and I think there are lots of fun ways you could use color blocking or mixing of textures with this pattern.  We decided on one with bright colors and one that had a navy knit on the outside and navy stretch denim on the inside.  She wears the navy ones quite frequently.

sewing pattern review

Bad: Abi is not a big fan of the placement of the elastic on the top.  I think she would prefer it to be lower and we both would like the top to be longer.  These are easy adjustments and are a matter of taste though.

Ugly:  Nothing

Overall pattern rating: I would give the hat and blouse 3 bolts but the leggings 5 bolts.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Pattern Review: M6596 top

Pin It I was looking for a way to try some new techniques and use up some of my knit left-overs from other projects and I grabbed out McCall's M6596 to assist.

The pattern is very basic, so I knew it would be perfect for letting me concentrate on my new skill building.  What I wanted to learn how to do was a flatlock seam on my serger.

I sewed up view D for this project.

Pattern Source:  I bought the pattern at JoAnn's on sale but you can buy it on McCall's website too.

pattern review

Sizes available:  It come in sizes 3 to 14 and consists of variations on the same flared knit top and sweat pants.

pattern review

Special materials required:  The pattern is designed for moderate stretch knits for the top and lightweight woven fabrics for the pants and accent fabrics on the top.

pattern review
an upcycled version I did with a sweater that was given to me 

Skill level required:  The pattern is labeled easy and certainly deserves that label.  I found the pattern to be incredibly simple.  But, I think the sleeve insertion method is unnecessarily complicated.  It has you sew the main body, then the sleeve, then insert the sleeve.  I like the technique of sewing the shoulder seams and then the cap of the sleeve to the shoulder.  Then you sew from the wrist down to the hem for your side seams.  It is soooo (or sew) much easier.

pattern reveiw

Good: A cute and comfortable top.

Bad: The way the side flares out is the trend now but I don't find it especially appealing.  My tween does though, so that is good.  And I already said that I found the instructions did not teach you the most efficient way to construct this simple garment.

Overall pattern rating:  3 Bolts 

Now, on to my flatlocking experiment.  Flatlocking is a technique that you do with three threads in your serger where you sew your seams together but then pull the fabric apart so the edges of the fabric actually butt up against each other joined by the visible threads.  The technique is popular for work out clothing so that the seams don't chafe and for thicker fabrics that would have a bulky seam allowance if sewn the normal way.

pattern review and flatlocking a seam
a view of my semi successful flatlocking

If you are interesting in learning more, here are a couple tutorials with some helpful sights.

Tutorial by Made by me & Shared with you