Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Words of Advice from Shannon of Little Kids Grow

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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. 


  1. Beautiful clothing! Your young ladies are beautiful, too.


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