Monday, July 27, 2015

The Mia Summer Dress and Top

Hello, this is Stacy here.  I blog at, and have been working on sewing up fun clothes that my tweens will wear!

I will start out with reviewing some patterns from the new Simple Life Pattern Company.  It started this winter, as one of the designers left CKC.  They have had some cute clothes that work for both tweens and little ones.  Some of them really don't hit the majority of tween demographic, but I have been pretty happy with the ones I have tested and made.

Name of the pattern: Mia Summer Top and Dress

Sizes available: 2T - 12

Special materials required: Woven cotton (about 1 yard for the top, and 2.5 – 3 yds for the tiered maxi dress), elastic and bias tape (or you can make your own!)

Skill level required: Experienced beginner

How you came to choose the pattern: I am a pattern tester for this company, and I asked my tween if she would wear this particular top/dress.  She said YES!  First I made the top out of a ombre dot by Michael Miller.  The binding on the back is purchased bias tape, and I added a ribbon to the waist band. 

For the maxi dress, I used another MM ombre dot, only this was a glitter dot one.  I didn't have quite enough, but I made it work.  The bands in between the tiers I added a gold ribbon to give it some extra bling.

Did you deviate from the pattern?  Yes
If yes, how?  The pattern does not enclose the waist seam on the inside.  I did a fully enclosed bodice.

This top and dress basically fit her right off the bat.  I went with her measurements and graded between sizes (in this case I did 8W, 10L).  The pattern instructions were fairly straight forward, and this is a pretty easy pattern to make.

The non-enclosed waist seam bugs me.  It just seems like it would be scratchy for them, especially with all the gathering.  When I enclose a waist seam, I usually sew the wrong side of the skirt to the right side of the inside lining.  Iron the seam upwards.  Then, I iron a seam allowance on the outside bodice and pin it over the seam.  Topstitch.

Nothing really ugly, but a caveat.  If your tween is wearing a bra, then this might show it a little bit.  I would say to wear one with a thin back, and it should work.  This was a cute pattern as both the maxi dress and top. 

Overall pattern rating:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

More Support for Tween Sewing

Recently Sally and I were contacted by Stacy of the blog Land of KA.  She has been a guest here on Sew Cool a couple of times (lace overlay tutorial and breeze top) in the past and has sewn many amazing outfits for her boy and girl.  She invited us to be a part of a new FaceBook group that is focused on tween sewing.  Hmmm, tween sewing, do we like to do that?  Yes!
The group is simply a place to share about the ups and downs of sewing for tweens and give feedback on patterns.  It is a closed group, so you simply need to ask to join and we will let you in.  The only reason we are closed is to try to keep spam and off topic posts to a minimum.  There are rules, but most of them revolve around keeping the topics tween sewing related and being respectful.

Are you interested?  Well here is the link:  Sewing for Tweens.

And we have even more news!

We have invited Stacy to join the Sew Cool team and she said yes.  We thought it would be good to have more variety in our reviews and she has a great style that would provide more ideas for our readers.

Did you know that we pay for most of our patterns we review?  Since we pay for them, we usually pick ones that our particular kids will like and we can use multiple times.  But that does limit the range of patterns we can share.  Having another person on the team should help out.  (This is also why we started being an affiliate for Peek-A-Boo patterns and BurdaStyle; and more soon.)

In the last two years we have noticed that the community of people who sew for tweens have been growing and we look forward to Sew Cool growing and adapting to assisting that community.

Major Moma and Sally

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sewing Culottes

Last week we asked you all if your tween (girl; sorry sewers for boys) would wear cullottes?  Well, I since I was anxious to sew some up, I searched far and wide accross the internet looking for patterns that would be good options.

Guess what?  I could only find one.  Just one.  Surely someone who designs patterns for tweens also loves this trend.  There are actually a few for women.  Burdastyle and the other big pattern makers have various culotte options for the home sewist.  It is when you start looking for tween sizes, it gets more difficult.

What was the one I found?  Well it is the Nina Skirt and Culotte by Compagnie M..  It is actually a Teen and Ladies pattern so it only comes in the upper ranges of tween sizing.

I have this pattern and I hope to sew it up before summer ends.  If I don't get to it, then you may see an Autumn version in corduroy or wool in the future.

Now it was not exactly true that this is the only pattern.  There are a few vintage patterns available out there on Etsy and other sources of various lengths of culottes.


Do you guys know of any culotte patterns that would fit tweens?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Would They Wear Culottes?

This spring I noticed that culottes had come back into fashion for the spring/summer 2014 and have been more prevalent this year.  I am pretty excited about this trend because I have always loved them. They have the comfort and practicality of shorts but have a dressy quality about them.  I think they are a lovely option for a tween girl.

And what makes a culotte different from shorts?

According to Wikipedia it is "Culottes are an item of clothing, originally the knee-breeches commonly worn by gentlemen of the European upper-classes from the late Middle Ages or Renaissance through the early nineteenth century."  To learn more about this fashionable short pant read the rest of the Wiki article HERE.

Elle Magazine's 2014 picks
Glamour's Spring 2015 most wearable trend

I also like a shorter version of the culotte that hits at the knee.  I think it is a great length for active tweens running around at home, the playground, or on family outings.

So what do you think?  Would your tween wear culottes?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Lotus Blossom Top by Love Notions--Pattern Review

If you are looking for a pattern designer that 'gets' tweens, you really should check out Love Notions!  Everything that I've sewn from her not only has my tween loved because they are comfortable and trendy looking, but they have been easy, well written patterns that come together like a breeze. 
The Lotus Blossom Top is no exception.
 It's a high/low dolmen style top, that has a cool twist in the front.
You'll need about 1 1/2 yards of fabric and that is it!
 Tami does a great job of explaining how to sew with knits in her instructions, so this really would be a great beginner pattern for those of you yet to try knit.
I think that is Tami's secret though, she knows how to write great patterns for knit and that is just what the changing bodies of tweens look great in.
 The pattern calls for double sided knit (printed/same on both sides), but there are instructions on how to do it with single sided...which is what I used.  That's the only drawback to the pattern. The front is one really long pattern piece that will take almost the length of your fabric, so there is a lot left over...for some other fun project like maybe sleeves for the Wrigley Raglan.
So here's the rundown:
Supplies: Up to 1 1/2 yards of knit fabric
Difficulty: EASY
Good: Easy to make; trendy, comfortable top; great and easy to follow instructions
Bad: Lots of leftover fabric because of long pattern piece
Ugly: Absolutely none
Rating: 5 Lightening Bolts!!!!!