Friday, August 30, 2013

Words of Advice from Michelle of Falafel and the Bee

Today we have some words of advice from Michelle, of Falafel and the Bee, who has weathered the storm and is now into the teen years.  Go check out her blog to see the beautiful things she makes for her beautiful daughters. She is great about incorporating their personality into the things she makes for them.
My tween just graduated into "teen" last year, and let me tell you, that sewing for her has gotten a little easier. The Tween years were downright difficult. Not only to sew for her, but to even find anything in the stores.
What saw us through was finding a garment (usually from trying on every size between child size 16, Junior sizes and adult xs/s) regardless of the size, and using that to make a pattern off of. Go with what fits, not the size.
She varied so much (I called her my mutating daughter- *ahem* not to her face), I never could just buy something for her (and honestly, I love to sew for my family and wasn't ready to give that up). Not quite a child anymore, but she didn't have the bust to fill out an adult garment. She absolutely had to be present to try it on.
Luckily, she has classic taste that can be done without too much fuss, or even a pattern.
Blogged about here.
This one: here.
The wonderful thing about sewing, is that you can customize garments for your picky fickle particular tween.
Knits are fabulously forgiving. If you are looking to start to sew for your ever changing tween/teen, I highly recommend using knits! Very fashionable and they stretch while she grows.
Now she actually fits into adult XS patterns which makes life a little easier.
I hope this helps everyone to keep on sewing for their young ladies, no matter how challenging it becomes. It can be done!
Thanks for having me here today!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

We Want to See What You Have Been Making

One thing we wanted to do when we created this blog is to have a place to share ideas with others that are sewing for tweens. So link up and show us what you are making!

We do ask that whatever you link be:
1) something you made (clothing or accessory)
2) for someone between the ages 9 and 13
UPDATE--We decided we'll keep the linky party open for 2 weeks total and then will each pick one entry to highlight! Thanks for linking up!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Words of Advice from Shannon of Little Kids Grow

Today we have Shannon, an amazing mom of 6, with not 1 but 2 daughters that are preteen!  She had some great advice on how to deal with not only developing personalities/opinions but developing bodies as well.  Check out what she has to offer over at her blog.
Hi Lovlies! It's me Shannon from Little Kids Grow. We have twin girls age 11. As they began to mature and develop their own sense of style, I thought my only challenge would be finding a compromise between what they want to wear and what I think is acceptable for their age. Surprisingly, that hasn't been the case. So far, they have a sense of style similar to mine, so we haven't clashed on many things, however, over the last 6 months I've had a crash course in adjusting patterns for their developing figures which I was TOTALLY unprepared for.

Fit is very important to me as well as comfort. Now that my growing girls are starting to develop curves on top (and bottom), I'm learning that while a pattern might be cute on the package and even go up to a size 14, if it doesn't take into account the developing shape of a growing girl, then it may not work.

Earlier this year, I decided to start drafting patterns for them myself. The bodice and pant block that I use both include small darts that have made a HUGE difference in proportion and how everything drapes. I could get around this by just going with loose fitting tops and elastic waisted pants, but I want them to have more style options. They're turning into little fashionistas, and I love seeing them express themselves through fashion.

Since I buy very few items retail (because I don't care for the "less is more" direction that many tween clothing lines are going in),  I'm pretty determined to find ways to give them options that work without drawing unnecessary attention to their new curves (They're just getting used to them themselves.) This is all a new experience for me as a mom that also sews.  It's just been over the last year that I've had to learn to do things a little differently. I haven't found many patterns, yet, that work, but I know they'll come because there is a need. The good thing is that this has caused me to step outside of my comfort zone and create things myself that I know the girls will like.

If you're interested in drafting patterns from scratch, I highly recommend a great book called, Metric Pattern Cutting for Children's Wear and Babywear, by Winifred Aldrich. In it she gives a wonderful description of girl's development and how to make the appropriate adjustment to a bodice block using darts. It's a great, indispensable resource that I always keep close by.

Outside of fit issues, I've also found that when it comes to dressing my tweens, less is more, and that it's usually the tiny details (fabric, trim, and shape) that are the most important. A well fitting garment with a few carefully chosen accents can be the difference between a self-conscious tween and self-confident  growing girl.

I'll definitely be checking in on Sew Cool for the Tween Scene to keep up with the best sewing patterns for our girls. 

Thanks for allowing me to share my current journey with you. Ask me anything, I'm just a blog away. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fall 2013 Pattern Round-up

Are you looking for some great fall patterns for 2013 to sew for a tween?  One of our goals here at Sew Cool for the Tween Scene is to search the market for fun, fashionable, and functional patterns.  We know that you don't have time to search high and low for patterns that will fit and be appropriate for your tween.  Every once in a while we will create a roundup like this one.

I have been doing some back to school sewing for my daughter and saw that I had very few patterns that are her size.  She is 9 1/2 and entering the 4th grade this year.  So, I took a little road trip to JoAnn Fabrics and looked to see what they had in her size.  Let me tell you, it was not a lot.  But, in the coming weeks I will share what I found and how they turned out.

In the meantime, I have scoured the internet and these are a few of the most appealing to my tastes (influenced heavily by my daughter).  I have also included some boy patterns but they are even more rare.

Without further delay, here are a few that I have found. (links in the caption)


McCall's M6784 (skirt)
McCall's M6785 (dress and leggings)
McCall's M6786

Boardwalk Skirt
Violette Field's Josephine Blouse/dress
Blouson Jacket 10/2010 #146

Simply Lovely Dress




Legacy Jacket 08/2011 #143



Go To Cape




Burda Long Sleeve Button Top 10/2010 #147AB


Burda Girl's Dyed Pants 02/2013 #149

Cadet Cap
McCall's M6787 (Tunic and leggings)

Burda Cargo Pants 10/2010 #150






Lounge wear
Burda corduroy pant
Burda children's denim shirt
Burda Peacoat

I have already purchased some of these but not all.  If you have bought any, please let us know how they worked out!

And if you have some favorites that come in sizes 8-14, please share in the comments!

~ Major Moma

Monday, August 26, 2013

Words of Advice from Justine of Sew Country Chick

Today we have our first guest blogger, Justine, with us to kick off this new blogging adventure. Justine is one of those sewing bloggers who has a ton of experience to back up her words of advice. Plus she also makes and creates amazing things for her daughters. Go check out her blog for some great tutorials that would work for your tween.  The Sailor Skirt, pictured below is on my list.~~Sally
Hi, I'm Justine from the Sew Country Chick blog ! I'm excited to be included as guest writer for the first week's kickoff of Sew Cool For The Tween Scene. This blog is a great idea for motivating us to make fashion for our older girls. Why should only the little ones get all the handmade love?

 I sew for my three daughters ages 4, 10 and 18, on a regular basis. I also have a 19 year old son and a 26 year old stepdaughter, but I didn't sew much for them besides Halloween costumes when they were younger. I became more serious about sewing and designing for my kids the past four years, I'd say.

My middle daughter is now 10 and at the age where she is developing her own sense of style. When she was younger I used to love making her dresses from 1940's and 50's patterns.
But she 's not really liking them so much anymore. At her age, 10, most girls don't want to stand out too much. They want to fit in with the crowd. As an experienced mother of four girls, I can tell you that this is a phase and it does pass.

Before you know it they will be wanting to wear all sorts of crazy things. You will have to choose your battles!

Below are a few outfits I've collaborated on with my  pre-teen  and sewed for her that she loves and wears often...

Now here are a few outfits I've made for her without consulting her for her opinion. I just felt like making them and assumed she would like them too, like she always did when she was younger. And as cute as I think these outfits are, they just collect dust in her closet. So sad......

You might be like me and actually like the reject outfits more than the embraced ones! But guess what? That doesn't matter! What matters is that you don't waste your time sewing what you think would look good on your girls but will never get worn.

I can't stress enough how important it is to remember that once your daughter gets to about the age of 9, sewing for her will have to become a collaboration. Unless you want the garment to sit in her closet collecting dust, she needs to feel that the garment was mostly her idea, and you have to take a back seat as designer when it comes to fabric choices, etc.

So welcome to Sewing For The Tween Scene.
Stop by Sew Country Chick and say hi!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Line Up for Our Two Weeks of Guests

One thing about the blogging community is that there are so many people out there with a wealth of experience and knowledge.  We've turned to some of them to offer their words of advice, ideas, sewing tips, tutorials, and much more when it comes to sewing for the pre-teen crowd.  It's a tricky age of more stubborn like independence and firm opinions, but still one where they don't tune you out completely and your opinion still matters to them somewhat. When it comes to sewing for this age group it can get a little complicated, so any advice helps and we have some great things coming your way to help you out.

Without further ado, here is the line up we have for you:
August 26--Justine from Sew Country Chick
August 27--Major Moma from Without Direction
August 28--Shannon from Little Kids Grow
August 30--Michelle from Falafel and the Bee
September 2--Sally form Daisy Chain Creations
September 3--Gina from Party of 8
September 4--Catherine of cathgrace
September 5--Jessica from My Inner Need to Create
September 6--Stacy from the Land of KA
Rachel from nest full of eggs
Like I said, it's a great line up and they have some great things in store.
We hope you check back to see what they have to offer!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hello and Welcome!!!

Welcome to the inaugural post of Sew Cool for the Tween Scene!

We are two ladies who rediscovered sewing in order to provide stylish and well-fitting clothes for our girls.  But our girls no longer so little.  They are growing up into young ladies.  Yet, they are not physically ready or mature enough for adult clothes, and thus adult patterns.  But there is a missing link in the pattern industry; both in the big name patterns and Indie patterns that we love.  Even when there are sizes that fit our girls, they are not designed with a pre-teen in mind.  We know we are not the only ones who are in this dilemma.  Thus, we have decided to start this blog together.

You can find us blogging separately at Without Directions and Daisy Chain Creations, but here we are going to act as curators for pre-teen patterns and pre-teen sewing ideas.  We will go in search of them, sew them, and write reviews.  Also, we will highlight different tutorials that will help you alter and embellish patterns so that they fit the tween lifestyle.  To find out more about our mission and motivation, check out our Why we are here page.

Our pattern reviews will tell you the good the bad, and the ugly about each pattern we try out on our children.  We will let you know where you can find the pattern and how easy, or not so easy, they are to sew.  We even have created our own rating system.  Each pattern will be rated on the bolt system.  One being the lowest and five being the highest rating.

Ultimately, we want this blog to be a place where we can share ideas and resources to sew cool for the tween scene for both parents and young sewers.  We are hoping the blog also encourages those that are designing for the younger set, to add tween patterns to their lines.  And by tween patterns we just don’t mean bigger sizes but really design clothes that girls and boys that are not so little anymore can play and feel confident in.

Finally, to celebrate the opening of Sew Cool for the Tween Scene, we are having two weeks of Kick-off posts starting Monday, August 26th.  We will have guest posts from Justine of Sew Country Chick, Michelle of Falafel and the Bee, Shannon of Little Kids Grow, Catherine of cathgrace, Gina from Party of 8  Jessica from My Inner Need to Create, Rachel from Nest Full of Eggs and Stacy of The Land of K.A.

We hope you join us in our celebration and are assisted by our reviews and tutorials!


Sally and Major Moma