Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Linky Party Wrap Up

This week I thought we'd show case something a little fancy for a girl:
copycat tulle skirt

And something a little casual (and perfect for Fall!)

As well as something a little more formal for the tween guys:
Green Shirt 4

And something a little more casual:

Thanks to all for sharing! We love to see what everyone has made and come up with new ideas for out tweens!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tutorial: conserving patterns

Do you use PDF or paper patterns?  I use both, and they each have their own draw backs and highlights.  But what I do like about a pdf pattern is that I can cut it to the size I need, and then, when my kids grow reprint and cut the new size.

But with paper patterns, if you cut out the size you need, you are pretty much stuck and would have to re-purchase the pattern.  If I want to save a paper pattern for future use, I will use the following technique.

using the small size without cutting away the larger size

First, I cut the pattern out using the outermost line, regardless of size.  On the straight lines, it is easy; fold on the size you want to use.  It is on the curved parts that things can get tricky.  I slice down to the size I want to use perpindicular to the cutting line.

This will make small wedges that can now be folded under smoothly.  Continue around all curved edges.

When you cut around the pattern, you will need to be careful to not snip the edge of the pattern.  That would cut the fold, and defeat the purpose of all that work for conserving.

Do you have any tricks to conserve your patterns?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Review--Shawl Collar Pullover by Greenstyle

 Remember a little while ago there was that Bundle Up sale for boys patterns?  Well I decided it just isn't for boys, so I'm set on trying out some of those "boys" patterns...but for my girls (mostly because my boys don't really want me to sew for them).
First up, the Shawl Collar Pullover from Greenstyle Creations and this one was a hit.
Sophia picked out some aqua micro fleece at JoAnn's and decided she didn't want anything else, no contrasts, no embellishments...just a simple pullover for those cool Fall days that are coming.
 For this pattern you don't really need anything special, just middle to heavy weight knit fabric. Check the pattern for fabric requirements, but I got mine out of 1 1/2 yards. I sewed up a size 10 and it's roomy enough for layering, but not with anything too bulky.
 Good: This pullover is a quick and easy sew, with minimal pieces, great instructions and details when needed. Plus it comes in a wide range of sizes (2-16) and would work for boys and girls.
 Bad: This is probably more user error than anything, but attaching the shawl collar got me. I really had to sit and think about how it went on there and even though there were pictures, my brain just wasn't getting it (do you ever have those moments?). And even after all of that puzzling, I still got little puckers on my corners. Next time I'll do better though.
Ugly: No ugly for this's a great pattern!
I give the Shawl Collar Pullover by Greenstyle Creations 4 bolts out of 5. If you are looking for a great unisex pattern perfect for the coming months you should check it out!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Look at Fall Fashion Trends and the Patterns to Make Them

This Fall it looks like colors and mixing patterns is on trend...which is always kind of fun for tweens. What better way to express one's self than going for a statement, whether it be bold or subtle with colors and patterns?
Here are just a few that caught my eyes for some great girl's looks.
All sources are linked in the caption of the pictures...all patterns are suggestions. We haven't sewn most of them...they are just thoughts on how to achieve the look.
First up a great simple look that could go casual or a little more formal...just throw on a colorful scarf and you are set for Fall!
Autumn Skirt
Olive Juice
Want to try for this are some suggestions for patterns:
Boardwalk Skirt Pattern
Tinley Tee
And here are some tutorials:
A great skirt tutorial for this look
A t-Shirt tutorial
I love how this look just SAYS Fall.  And again it would be simple to achieve.
Liberty Print Bailey Top
Olive Juice
Josephine Blouse and Dress Pattern
Top Pattern
V-Neck Cardigan
Cardigan Sweater Pattern
This look is another great one that mixes casual and fancy, as well as adding texture with different types of fabrics.
Easy to wear with strong graphic details, girlswear from Angel and Rocket fall/winter 14
Great Mix of Fabrics and Prints by Angel and Rocket
Easy to follow Tulle skirt tutorial
Leggings Pattern by Go To Patterns
Love Notions Leggin's 2T - 14yrs
Free Leggings Pattern by Love Notions
This is probably my favorite Fall look that I came across.  Simple lines, pops of color and understated beauty of the tunic it. And I kind of love the boots too...
Fall/winter 2014 kids fashion collections at
Colorful Look from Ladida
Here are 2 tunic patterns that you could lengthen for the longer tunic look:
PDF Pattern - Fay Top for 4 - 10 years old and tutorial.
Esme Top Sewing Pattern by Sew Liberated
Esme Top...goes down to a women's size 2
Another colorful Fall outfit
Fall/winter 2014 kids fashion collections at
Great Fall Look with lots of Color from Ladida
An Easy Vest Pattern
Anywhere Dress
The Anywhere Dress by Go To Patterns
The mixing of patterns just says tween to me for some reason and this outfit is just adorable!
What are some great Fall looks/trends you've seen around?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pattern Review: Simplicity 3881

pattern review

Today I want to review a pattern I have had for a while but use at least once a year; Simplicity 3881. I sewed this version for my daughter a while ago but had not yet reviewed it here on Sew Cool. It is a pattern containing many options.  It comes with a dress, pants, and top.  I have sewn the dress a couple times; once for my niece and once for my daughter.

In this version I substituted the bubble skirt with a circle skirt and my daughter loves it.  The V-neckline does run a bit low, so she always layers it; either with a tank top when it is warm, or a long sleeve during cooler temperatures.

Sizing:  The pattern goes up to size 14 and has a plus size version, if you can find it.

Special Materials:  This and the other views on this pattern require knit fabrics.

The Good and Bad:  The pattern is simple and great for beginners and has some details.  It is a bit trendy and to me has an 80's vibe, so if you don't like that kind of thing, it is not the pattern for you.

Overall rating:  I give this pattern 4 bolts.  It is not one of my favorites but the fact I have sewn it so many times really does say something.   I think a novice and an experienced sewer could get some good use out of it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Making Moto

We asked if your tween would wear the fashion trend moto.  So now that your tween said "YES, I would wear moto," you need to go find a pattern.

On 8 September we showed you that motorcycle inspired jackets were hitting the runway for Fall 2014 and the children designer stores.  But how to make one?  That is just a little bit harder.  There are some great zip up jackets out there, but not a lot with the signature asymmetrical zip that a moto jacket is famous for.

So I have gathered some pattern options and a tutorial that should help you in creating your own moto jacket.

This first pattern is a hoodie, but it has a great asymmetrical zipper.
And I think this jacket is just about perfect!  And it goes up to size 16.  WHAT?
Terra's Treasures
Over at Burda Style they have a how-to video for this look
The following patterns do not have the asymmetrical zipper but are a more traditional jacket pattern.  If they suit your child more, they could be modified to creat a moto look.
burdastyle blouson jacket
burdastyle zippered blouson jacket
Burda Kids 9484

I think all of these jackets have a nice shape.  They may be a bit boxy for a true moto look, but I think with some adjustments to the side seams you could manage to tailor them down.  The next step would be to modify the front opening.  Here are tutorials that look like they would get the job done using these, or similar patterns.
ana evers tutorial
Sew What tutorial
After modifying the opening, then you just need to add all the cool hardware.  I think zipper welt pockets and a few rivets and buckles should do the trick.

If you give this pattern alteration a shot, please share it with us.  And if you know of a better tutorial, or you make one, let us know!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September Linky Party

It's September, the kids are back in that means more time for sewing right? If it only worked that way.  But regardless of whether or not you are getting more done, we would love to see what you have been sewing...back to school items, Fall wardrobe, last minute Summer patterns...please share!
The rules:
1. Show us something you have CREATED (sewn, knit, get the idea) that your tween can wear or accessorize with.
2.  Make sure it's something for the ages of 9-13.
3. Grab a link and spread the love...we are all about sharing!
Show us what you've been creating!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Another Great Skirt Pattern--Magnolia Skirt by Elegance and Elephants

 Wow...another great knit, quick to sew pattern....I can get used to these.  I love being able to whip something out quickly. This pattern that is being released as we speak,by Heidi over Elegance and Elephants, is another great pattern.
Presenting the Magnolia Skirt
 The Good--This is a fast and easy skirt with 6 panels...oh the possibilities. The only thing you need is the knit fabric and some elastic.  We are already thinking of what you could do with the 6 different panels...there are some great customization possibilities there.
 The Bad--Technically this really isn't a tween only goes up to size 9. But I have put the bug in Heidi's ear that she really needs to size this skirt up. It is easy, trendy and would go great in a tween's wardrobe. Crossing my fingers she goes ahead with the sizing up!
Another great thing is the spin factor...even tweens like to let loose some.

Disclaimer--I was given this pattern for testing purposes, but the opinions are my own.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Would they wear that? Moto

First off, we here at Sew Cool for the Tween Scene want to say THANK YOU to all of our guest posts and to all of the blogaversary wishes! We so much appreciative the support from all of you!  Thank you also for the congratulations on the making the Top 50 blogs for Sewing Enthusiasts List and for voting for us (which if you haven't yet but still want to vote, you can here)  It's been a fun week for us here.
Now on to our next installment of:
series for tween fashion

A big trend for Fall 2014 is supposed to be the "moto" look.  For all of us non-slang users, that is the motorcycle/biker look.  I did not know this was a trend because to me the moto jacket is pretty much a tough girl classic.  But, since they are showing up on the runways in various forms, I guess it is more trendy this year.
Tween Moto by Pale Cloud
Especially for our kids that don't want to look like little anymore, this is a fun way to make an outfit more grown up but not inappropriate.
Some designers of children's wear are also getting in on this trend.
Pale Cloud, Autumn Winter 2014, Delany Coat
Pale Cloud
Super Trash
Pepe Jeans

Pale Cloud, Autumn Winter 2014, Jaya Skirt
How about Moto in Leather Skirt form--Pale Cloud
I think this is a great look for boys or girls.  And how cool would you be if you sewed moto jackets???

But the big question is, would your tween wear it?