Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow" - Snow Suits

Today we are welcoming back Amy from Peek-a-Boo Patterns.  (Update: Sew Cool now has a few affiliate links and Peek-a-boo Patterns is one of them.  We think Amy carries great patterns for tweens so we think the affiliate program is a good fit.)  This summer, she shared with us her line of swimsuit patterns and now she is sharing the opposite, snow suits.  Snow gear can be very expensive but very necessary in some climates.  Amy has developed a pattern that can give your child quality snow gear that fits their tastes.


Winter is almost here and it's time to think about snow gear! This is something I never thought I would sew but you know what? I did it and it was a lot of fun! And not nearly as intimidated as I thought it might be :) Most importantly my little girl is so happy to have a snow suit made just for her in fabrics she loves!


The Polar Pal Parka is new to Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop (affiliate link)and includes all of the details you'd expect to find in high end snow gear. The 4-piece hood zips up nice and high to keep little chins snug and warm.

The color blocking on the side seams is optional but it does add an extra bit of fun!


My favorite features is the cuffs! These are not hard at all but give your parka such a professional finish! The back half is elastic and the front has a velcro tab so you can adjust the cuff to get a nice snug fit over any size mitten and keep the snow out.


And of course every parka needs pockets! The pattern includes zippered pockets or inseam pockets.


The Polar Pal Parka is an advanced sew and took my testing team an average of 4-5 hours to complete. If you choose to skip the color blocking and pockets you can definitely whip it up a bit more quickly :) It has 3 layers for added warmth and coziness. While it is a bit more time consuming of a project you will be so proud when you're finished! I love that it's something I know will get tons of wear this winter (and probably next year too)!


Don't forget some Blizzard Buddy Snow Pants to go with your Parka! If you buy both patterns remember to use the code "snowman" to save $3 at checkout. These are an intermediate sew and took my testing an average of 2 hours to complete so this is a much quicker project with a nice professional finish


My favorite part is the optional powder cuff to keep the snow out of boots :)


Both patterns include a very detailed section on choosing your fabrics. Believe it or not you can get everything you need for this project at most chain fabric stores! The pattern will walk you through the different options depending on your budge and the warmth factor you're looking for. I made my set from PUL outer layer, batting interlining and fleece lining and it is super cozy! I was really happy with how the PUL sewed up and it comes in lots of fun prints and patterns.


Feel free to contact me

affiliate link

Monday, October 20, 2014

Making Jeans

 Do you sew your tween's jeans?  I think this is one of the most intimidating of all articles of clothing for a home sewer.  There is the fly and then all that top-stitching.  But really, they are not as hard as they look and with the right hardware and embellishments, you can make a very cool looking pair of jeans.

But are they worth it?  You can buy jeans pretty cheap at most kids clothing stores, so you may wonder if it make sense to make jean.  I (Major Moma) did not feel like making any one year for my daughter and Old Navy had their back to schools sales with $10 jeans.  How could I pass that up?  Well, the first day my daughter wore a pair that I bought, she went riding on her bike and fell; the knee in those jeans had a huge rip in it.  On day one.  Isn't that supposed to be the beauty of denim, its strength and durability?

I have made several pairs of jeans for my son and a few for my daughter and the fabric at Joanns (not a retailer known for its high end fabrics) is a high enough quality that it takes a lot of abuse to wear them out.

So it may be worth it to you to sew jeans.  But what patterns to use?  Sew Cool has reviewed a couple patterns and so you can see what we think of some options.

Ottobre 3/2010 by Land of KA
Burda Kids 9500
Burdastyle #149

Below is a roundup of various patterns, some I have sewn and some that I have seen around on the internet.

Slim Jim Pants by Felicity
Burdastyle corduroy pants 11/2013

Only up to size 10; but Peek-a-Boo skinny jeans
have great reviews. (affiliate)
Burdastyle Boy's corduroy pants 08/2013

small fry skinny jean

And now that you see some options, we would like all of you to show the jeans patterns that you love and share your experiences.  We have a special linky party open just for jeans and pants.  Please link up any jeans patterns that you have sewn for your tween or at least the pattern has tween sizes.

Finally, we have started a new board on our Pinterest account that is solely dedicated to jeans.  You can pop on over to there to see various patterns and tutorials to make you home made jeans custom and cool.

Let's sew some jeans!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Making Colored Fur Coats

Now that you have decided whether your tween would wear colored fur, how are you going to make it?

Pale Cloud

Fur is not hard to sew, but it does have some special considerations.  One is all that fur.  What you will need to do in order to reduce bulk, is to trim the seam allowances down.  That way, you can sew without all that fur in the way and your seams will not be too bulky.  Second after sewing, you will need to take a small tool, like a stylus, and gently pull the fur on the right side out of the seam.

For more tips on how to sew fur, you can go to this Instructables post or Sew 4 Home.

Several stores carry colored fur and minky is a nice alternative to faux fur.  Here are a couple fabric options that caught my eye on

Minky Crushed Cuddle fabric

Minky Soft Lattice Cuddle fabric
Minky Crushed Cuddle fabric

There are several jacket patterns out there, many that we featured on our "Making Moto" post in September.  But as winter is coming around the corner, I thought I would also point out some great heavier jacket patterns.

Burdastyle Long Dress Coat

And if making a whole coat is not on your list, then what about a hat, scarf, or some mittens.  Then your tween can follow this trend without you giving up a couple weekends.  Here are a few tutorials you may find useful.

Sew Creative
Flamingo Toes

How to Sew a Fur Hat video  

If you make something with fur, colored or otherwise, we would love to see it and hear about your experience.  You can link up to our monthly party or shoot us an email and maybe we can have you guest post!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

October Linky Party--Special Jeans/Pants Edition

Link up any jeans or pants that you've sewn for your tween in the last little while.  We're all about sharing the love here and not only would we, but others as well, would love to see your go-to pants pattern for your tweens!
We'll keep this one open a little longer and would love for you to invite others to share as well.  We've had some requests for great pants patterns and since we can't sew them all (nor do they all look good on our tweens), we thought it best to open it up for you to all share!  So link a way!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Would they were that? Colored Fur

It is time for another installment of Would They Wear That?   And this time I am featuring a very fun and wild trend ... colored fur.  I know that tweens can be very self conscious and not want to stand out, and this is definitely a stand out kind of trend.  But, I also think when you are young, you can really have fun with some of these crazy trends.  When you are young, you do not need to worry about looking 'professional' or being taken seriously.

So here are a few takes of colored fur that are on the runway for this fall:



And the colored fur trends are not staying on the runway or in adult fashion.  Several boutique children's designers are using colored fur in their lines.

Pale Cloud

Mayoral Girls Pink Gilet

Super Trash girls jacket

I love how different designers are using the colored fur to create accents or go all out bold and rocker. This is a style that I think my daughter would love because she has always enjoyed a little bit of edge or something different in the clothes that I make her.

So what about your tween?  Would they wear colored fur?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pattern Review: Ethan Shirt

Hey there! This is Audrey from over at Skirt Fixation! Although we mostly blog about skirts, today we won’t be mentioning the word! That's because one of the two tweens we sew for is a BOY! We’re here today to tell you about an awesome shirt pattern for tweens. We love this one so much we’ve sewed some version of it 3 times for 2 different tweens!

3 Ethan PDF patterns

Name of the pattern: Ethan Shirt

Pattern Source: Sis Boom Patterns

Sizes available: 1-14 I sewed up two size 7s and a size 14

Special materials required: Interfacing and patience

Skill level required: Advanced Beginner or Intermediate Seamstress

How you came to choose the pattern: This pattern was the Flip This Pattern choice for August over at Frances Suzanne. But we’ve been challenged by the males in our family to learn to sew tailored men’s clothing, so we were on the lookout for a good button up shirt pattern anyway!

Did you deviate from the pattern? If yes, how? You can read all the details of how I changed the Ethan shirt when I flipped it into a Black Denim Jacket here on our blog, Skirt Fixation. The only change I made when I sewed it up for my 9-year-old boy was to make it a button down collar. Because of the aforementioned challenge from the males! For the vest he is wearing, I did use the Ethan pattern, but I changed it quite a bit. (This was the easiest of the three ways I sewed the Ethan Shirt.) You can read exactly how over on the blog for the vest tutorial.

3 Ethan Shirt patterns

Good: If you want to look like an accomplished seamstress, this is the pattern you will sew! And, as an accessory to go with this shirt I made a bow tie and learned how to tie it. Bonus skill!

Bad: As mentioned above, this pattern takes time and patience. Don’t plan on sewing it all in one sitting because you will get tired and mess up!

Ugly: We won a prize for our flip of the Ethan Shirt into a denim jacket. Between that and the way the males in our house are gloating over our sewing abilities, we are now strutting around like peacocks! This pattern will seriously inflate the size of your sewing ego!

3 Ethan Shirt patterns

Overall pattern rating: 5 bolts. Seriously! You can do it…just be patient and take your time!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Dress Pattern No. 15 by E+M Designs

 Welcome to the next stop on this fun blog hop, show casing this wonderful dress pattern by E+M Designs!  I'm also sharing another look for my younger daughter over at Daisy Chain Creations, if you want to get another look at the dress.
Can I just say, we love this dress around our house!  Having a daughter who is middle school means she is a little pickier about what she wears to said middle school and this dress has passed the test.  The other great thing she has told me is that it will be good to layer in the colder months and then wear with boots....I like her style and thinking.
It is a simple knit dress with a couple different variations to hem length/design.  As you can see, it has shirring at the waist (can you believe I've never done that before...even old dogs learn new tricks:)  and some fun ruched shoulder ties.
I already have requests for more of these and plans to play around with the length for some different looks.  This dress goes up to a size not the most inclusive for a tween pattern, but it certainly could be lengthened to accommodate taller tweens.  While there are many possibilities with this dress, I think the nicest thing about it is it's really comes together in just a couple of hours. The instructions are clear and easy to follow and there isn't much needed in the way of notions or material. There are just 2 main pattern pieces and the ties and casing piece for the ties. That's it!
So if you want a simple and easy to assemble dress that your daughter will love, you should go check out the Dress Pattern No. 15 by E+M Patterns! Right now you can use a discount code TOUR15 to get the pattern for $5.
Displaying Blog Tour.png
(If you want to see what everyone else has made head over to the first stop, Sprouting Jube Jube and she has all of the links:)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Project Run & Play Signature Style Plus a Review...Kind Of

Classic Gone Global...
That's what I'm calling my signature look for Project Run and Play.
This look takes a little global twist to a great classic of a pattern. And since we appear to be global with all of the things my globe trotting husband brings home from places like Africa and India, I thought it would fit to make this my signature look. I love the simplicity and longevity of a good classic garment, but it's always fun to spin it a slightly different way. 
I originally made this dress and posted about it here, as part of the summer FLIP series over at Frances Suzanne.

The original pattern is the Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom
It is a great pattern for a button up shirt that would work well for a boy or girl, that is well written and easy to follow. I would put it at an advanced beginner level. The pattern really does walk you through all of the steps, even if you haven't done a collar with a stand of sleeve cuffs you should give it a try!  So while I haven't sewn it up as is yet...I would still give this one 4 bolts for being a great pattern!  When I actually sew it up as is, I will give it a more thorough review, but I would highly recommend it if you need a button up shirt pattern!
 To get this look, I left off the collar and used the collar stand to create a Mandarin looking collar.  I obviously elongated the hem to make it a dress instead of a shirt and gave it more of an A-line shape. I also added 2 pockets instead of one, cuffed the sleeves with a tab and added black piping throughout. Oh and I put in one back pleat in the middle instead of the pleats on each side.
 We had visions of taking pictures at the botanical gardens here because there is a cool Oriental Gardens there, including some cool outer structures and bridges...but life happens and that didn't. I'm always in awe of the amazing 'photo shoots' people do to document the clothes they've created...then I remind myself they are usually little kids and those people don't usually have 2 teenagers going 2 different directions, a pre-teen with her own activities and a 6 year old as well. It's not that we have our kids in a lot of activities, it's just that as they get older those activities require more time, the kids require more running around and frankly taking pictures is not what they want to be doing with their free bribery at that age is a little more expensive. A lolly pop just doesn't cut it anymore. That being said, I love how these pictures turned out...she looks beautiful in them.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Costumes --> Steampunk style

Halloween is fast approaching and I am sure your tweens are trying to figure out what they want to dress as.  I (Major Moma) have never been especially a fan of Halloween as a holiday but I have always loved dress up and creative play.  When my kids were little, their Halloween costumes went straight into the dress up box and were used all year around.

But when the kids get older, it can get a bit awkward.  They still like to dress up and they definitely like getting candy, but they are starting to get too old for trick-or-treating.  And have you seen some of the older/bigger sized costumes?  I think the shortness of the skirts are more scary than the blood and gore.  And that is the beauty of a homemade or semi-homemade costume, you can adjust it to be age appropriate to fit your family's values.

The other issue with kids at this age is getting a more 'grown up' look to their costumes.  I would like to highlight a genre that I think can really help with this dilemma.  It is Steampunk.

According to the Urban Dictionary Steampunk is:

Star Wars done Steampunk
... a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It could be described by the slogan "What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner." It includes fiction with science fiction, fantasy or horror themes. 

Medieval Steampunk: Speculative fiction set during the Middle Ages. 

Victorian Steampunk: A modern Science Fiction work (post-1930s) that is set in the early parts of the industrial revolution. 

Western Steampunk: Science fiction set in the American Old West. 

Western style Steampunk

Industrial/Modern Steampunk: Science fiction taking place in the late industrial age, early modern age; i.e. World War 1, World War 2
Examples of steampunk: 
Wild Wild West 
Final Fantasy 7 
Van Helsing 
The Time Machine 
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

You can see from this definition and examples that the Steampunk genre really has a lot of variety.  And, you can take just about any character and make it a Steampunk version.  Like, you could take that old princess costume that still fits and add some gears, make the skirt a bustle and call it a 'Steampunk Princess."


Here is a tutorial on how to make a gear that can be added to clothing to create a Steampunk look.
gear tutorial
Goggles also are an accessory used quite frequently in Steampunk cosplay.  Here are several examples of DIY goggles that people have put together.  Some are quite elaborate, but you could get some great ideas from looking at them.

I have added a lot of Steampunk ideas to our Pinterest Costumes board and you could see if any of them work for your tween.  We have other Halloween costume ideas also pinned on that board, so feel free to check them out.  I hope you got some ideas on how to get creative with your tween's costumes this year!

What is your tween dressing as this year?