Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pattern Review: B Line 6362

Do you sew with vintage patterns?  How about just old ones? 

Recently I came across an old pattern my mother had for sewing for me and my sisters.  It is B line 6362, a spin-off pattern line by Butterick.  It contains a dress shirt, vest, skirt, shorts, leggings, and a tie.  Yep, a tie.
If you are my age, you probably remember wearing a similar outfit with very tall bangs.

But I decided that a vest would be a nice addition to Abi's wardrobe so I sewed up this very easy pattern.  It is a lined vest, but this is a simple project.  I have also sewn up the leggings and they are a great one-piece leg pattern.


Sizes available:  The pattern only comes in sizes 7-10.  But the vest looked big so I tried it on.  Well, it fit me so depending on how loose you want it, it could fit most pre-teens.

Special materials required:  2 buttons
Skill level required: beginner

Good:  It is easy.
Bad:  It is quite baggy and does not come in a lot of sizes.

Overall pattern rating  I give this pattern three bolts because it is a bit dated and may be hard to find.  But the individual pieces can be modernized and turn out pretty cute.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February Linky Party Wrap Up

Thank you all for submitting! We loved seeing what you are making and would love to get the word out more, so feel free to pass it along.
Gray All Day made this very lovely outfit for her daughter. We both loved how it looked feminine yet tween appropriate.
houndstooth skirt

And for our boys look, we have this impressive outfit from nest full of eggs. I'm kind of in love with that jacket and wondering if I could make one in my size. The look is great for a tween boy...enough personality, yet it's got the 'cool' factor (or is it sick, wicked, epic....I can't keep up).
Sew In Tune Winter 2014 nest full of eggs

Thank you again for submitting!  All of the entries were so was kind of a fancy/dressy heavy month, which was fun to see! Stop by next month and spread the word!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Not just a t-shirt

Previously, I had reviewed the free draft-it-yourself t-shirt from BurdaStyle.  It is a simple t-shirt and really not fancy.  But let's face it, as much fun as it is to sew fancy clothes, t-shirts are really what our tweens want to live in.

But how many times are you going to sew the same pattern?  Well, with a great t-shirt ... a lot.  Just think, how many t-shirts do you own?  And there are several ways you can do simple adjustments, you can make each shirt unique.

Here is the first version I made.  The t-shirt is made exactly to the pattern except I rounded the hem line.  Then, to keep it from being a solid color, I used my embroidery machine to add this image.  If you do not have one of these machines, there are several other options to add a cool graphic.  You could stencil, iron-on, applique, or hand embroider an image.  For some great ideas, check out these that we featured on a past linky party.

 In this version, I used a stretch velour for the sleeves and a wide neckline to create a turtle neck.  I also placed a lace overlay on the front. To see a tutorial on how to add a lace overlay, click HERE.  Both this shirt and the one in the tutorial are great examples of mixing fabrics to create texture and interest.

 Also, this shirt shows that you can widen the ribbing at the neckline to create different heights of the collar.  It is such an easy adjustment that can create a total different look for the different seasons.

Finally, your fabric choice can create complete different looks.  Here, the basic shirt is changed up with a fabric that comes embellished with sparkles.

How do you change up your basic patterns?  Please share your ideas on this month's linky party. 
For February, click HERE to share!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pattern Review: Ashli's Pleated School Dress by Create Kids Couture

First up, a reminder to post your tween creations...anything you've made for your tween to wear lately, we would love to see!
We already showed you one version of the Ashli Dress and I'm here to show you another version.
Pattern Source: Create Kids Couture  and it is the Ashli Pleated School Dress
It comes as a down loadable pdf file and was quite easy to assemble (my least favorite part of pdf patterns).
Size: 7/8--15/16
Materials: Knit (for the top and if desired, bottom) or light weight woven for the bottom.  I used knit for all 3 colors. You could get by with 2 contrasting fabrics, but oh the possibilities...we were even thinking of rainbow colors for the pleats (there's 6 so it's perfect).
Skill Level: Advanced have to sew with knits, but that is the only tricky part.
Can I just say how excited I was to have my stripes line up!!!!!
Good: My daughter loves how comfortable it was and had fun picking out the fabrics for it as well as thinking up possibilities for future styling. I thought it was a very straight forward pattern that didn't require a lot of thought or figuring out and it came together nicely.
Bad: While my daughter fit in every way to the size 10 that I made, she really didn't like how low the drop waist is. When (not if, she does want more of these) I make this again she's requested that either the middle band be made wider and the shirt part shorter or the skirt longer and the shirt shorter.

I give this out of 5 bolts as well. A great pattern with so many styling possibilities.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pattern Review: Overnight bag

Tweens are usually big fans of sleep overs and it is at this age that they often get involved in sports. So I thought a customized overnight bag would be a lot of fun for our tweens.

I came across this great FREE pattern on the burdastyle website and had to try it out.

I used a fun print I found in the upholstery section of Joann.  I would actually recommend a heavier weight fabric than I used... so go for something the weight of denim.  I used a vinyl for the corners and loved how that added extra durability and textural interest.

Name of the pattern: Overnight bag 12/2010 #142

Pattern Source: Burdastyle

Special materials required:  You will need a 60 inch wide fabric to make the bag as designed.  My fabric was only 56" so, it is a little less deep than originally intended.  That slight modification was fine with me but I should have shortened the straps accordingly.  
pattern review: Overnight bag 12/2010 #142

Other special materials required webbing or some other durable twill fabric to create your straps, piping, hardware for the tag, and a heavy duty zipper.

pattern review: Overnight bag 12/2010 #142

Skill level required:  I would classify this as an advanced beginner project.  You have to draw out your pattern and the corners are a bit tricky.  The techniques were just a bit new for me, but if you read the instructions slowly, the actual construction is not hard.

pattern review: Overnight bag 12/2010 #142
The corners are what really make this bag.
Good:  I love the look of this bag and how it is so functional.  Other fabric great fabric choices would be denim, heavy weight upholstery, and leather.  I also think this bag would be great made in your tween's school colors.

Bad:  Nothing really ... it is free and functional.

Overall pattern rating I give this pattern 4 bolts out of 5. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pattern Review: Anywhere Dress

On January 13th, I shared about an outfit I made my daughter that consisted of a cardigan and and leggings.  Instead of using an actual cardigan pattern, I modified a dress pattern that I knew fit her well and would have the shape I was looking for.  It also was beneficial that I had it on hand and did not need to purchase another pattern.
Pattern review of dress

The pattern I used was the Anywhere Dress available at Go-To Patterns.  I have made this dress before and blogged about it on my personal blog, Without Directions, but I thought I should do an official review here too.

Sizes available:  This dress comes sized from 12 months to 12 years and thus is quite a bargain if you are sewing for multiple girls or if you are using it over and over again while your girl grows.

Pattern review of dress
Special materials required:  There are no closures or special notions required to make the dress but it is designed for knit fabrics and you may want rib knit for cuffs.

Skill level required:  This dress is super easy.  The most novice sewer would have a great time with this pattern.

I first sewed this pattern as a tester but I have sewing it a couple times now just because it is great. 
For the dress version, I did not deviate from the pattern at all.  But for the cardigan, I cut the front piece as two pieces; I did not place it on the fold.  And then I added a facing around the edge and sewed buttons on the facing.

Pattern review of dress

Good:  It is a great basic and comes with 4 sleeve lengths and a faced neckline.  The instructions are are also very clear and there are pictures that display each step.  It is a pdf pattern, so you will need to print and tape it together.

Bad:  There really is nothing negative about this pattern but I do have to say I like a ribbed neckline better than the faced neckline.  I find it easier for construction and for getting over my children's large heads.  I also have had problems with the facing popping out while the kids are wearing the dress.

Overall pattern rating:   I give this pattern 4 of 5 bolts because it is such a great basic that anyone could whip up in an afternoon (faster if you are experienced).

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

February Linky Party--Show Us What You have Been Making!

It's that time again!! Show us what you have been sewing. We really love to see what you have been sewing for you tweens. It's a source of inspiration for all of us.
So go ahead and link up anything that falls into these categories:
1. Please show us something that you have created (sewn, knit, crocheted, crafted, etc) that your tween can wear.
2. It's something for the age group 9-13 years old.
Then if you link up, please grab a button to put on your blog and to pass the word around...we love to be inspired!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Pattern Review: Ashli's Pleated School Dress

My mother sewed my clothes when I was a kid and she really did a great job.  Before the school year would start, she would take me and my sisters to the fabric store to go through the pattern books to pick out the pattern.  Then we would go pick out the fabric for each pattern.

I always had a hard time picking out the patterns because I would get distracted by the fabrics and styling used in the pictures.  If I liked the styling, I wanted the pattern not realizing that the item may not be the best for me.  Or, if I did not like the styling, I would reject the pattern though the shape was perfect for me.

What my mom taught me is to look at the line drawings on the back side.  By looking at the line drawings, you get a better idea of the shape of the clothing article without being distracted by some one's fabric choice.

Well, recently I relearned this lesson.  There is a pdf pattern company that I had passed by because the clothes really did not appeal to me.  But when they contacted Sally and I requesting a review, I gave them a second look.  I then realized what I did not like was their fabric choices, but they really had some cute patterns.  So I told them yes.

I have been away from home the last couple of months for work so I called my daughter and asked her opinion about the dress and asked what colors would she be interested in. She wanted black and light neon blue.  I made no promises but I set out to Joann to see if I could comply.  Well, I was unable to find exactly what she wanted, but I think she will like what I did pick out.  The dress is currently in the mail, so hopefully I can update this review with pictures of it on her soon.
Pattern Source:  Create Kids Couture is an online, pdf pattern store and they have a whole line of tween patterns HERE.

Sizes available:  This dress comes in sizes 7/8 to 15/16; a great range for tweens.

Special materials required:  The top of the dress is a t-shirt style and must be sewn with a knit fabric.  The skirt portion may be knit or woven fabric but since the top is holding it up, I recommend you use a woven that is not too heavy in order to avoid unsightly stretching.

Skill level required:  I would say that this is an advanced beginner project.

The only deviation I made from the pattern is that I added the decorative element at the shoulder.

Good:  This is a fun pattern that I believe will be very comfortable for my daughter.  I really liked how the pleats give an option for contrasting fabrics.

Bad: I think this dress is a bit long.  I think it would be a little better if it was about an inch above her knees.  However, I am sure a growth spurt will fix this problem shortly.

Overall pattern rating:  I give this pattern (4) of 5 lighting bolts.