Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Oh, the times they are a changin'

We are finishing up the 3rd week of school (how is that EVEN possible?) And it definitely has been a big change not making her clothes this year. Before I go into the changes, let me address a comment left on the last blog post. I was asked which of the garments we made did we keep. The irony is, even of the ones we kept, we are pretty much at the donate those at this point since most of those were a size 12 and she is now firmly in a 14. I won't post all of the pictures, but she did keep most of the Disney knits that I made towards the end of last year, too.

These were her favorites overall:

1.)

Her custom designed birthday dress. She said that was her absolute favorite. And she indeed looked like a princess. Her 11th birthday was actually yesterday and she wore one of my dresses that I will be blogging about soon. It was nowhere near this type of style.

2.)


Her second favorite was the dress I made for the plaid http://www.projectrunplay.com/ challenge.

3.)

Her third favorite was the self drafted dress I made her for the first day of school. 

In contrast, here is the Justice dress and vest she wore for her first day of middle school.


I really liked this style on her. She has to wear a vest or sweater with it due to the dress code requirements (3" straps). It has a small pettiskirt built in under the plaid circle skirt. It was very cute. It breaks my heart how grown she is getting. Middle school - ugh! And check out her with my son


He is pretty much a grown man now (or so HE thinks). He is now an 8th grader and has informed me that this time next year he will be in high school AND will be getting his permit...Him DRIVING??? How is that possible that one of my children will be driving next year.

Some of my pet peeves about actually SHOPPING for clothes for her:

* Poor quality of clothing. Most everything is sheer and cheaply made - even expensive things.
* A little too much skin? A lot of the tween skirts are way too short and some of the tops just aren't right for a maturing bust line.
* Not a lot of selection that is age appropriate. She either has to be little girlie or grown. There isn't much in between.


And this brings me to some thoughts on tween patterns currently available. Don't take this the wrong way - I am SO happy there has been an expansion in tween patterns and designs. First, I think it needs to happen because even the younger girls are sizing up faster. An 8 yr old girl in a size 12 doesn't need to be necessarily wearing tween style clothing. However, I have found that a lot of the up to size 14 patterns are now way too young. I knew we were on that cusp last year, but we are definitely there now. I am going to continue to make her clothes, not every day, but often. However, my challenge is going to be to find actual middle school approved clothes. Unfortunately, the ruffles and bows don't fit in there as well as they did in Elementary school. 

Soooo - shoot me suggestions on middle school girl patterns. I already know some that I am going to do, but I am always open for new ideas. Also, I am going to try my hand at drafting some styles that I know look good on her. Ironically, she actually fits into several adult patterns now, so we will be reviewing those this school year too!

So, stick around - lots of great things are on tap for our first year of middle school! Hope you will enjoy the ride with us!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Creating Kids Couture

If you sew for children at all, I am sure one of the things you often get asked to make is boutique style clothes along the vein of Matilda Jane, Persnickety, etc. And if you have looked at all for patterns to make these styles of garment, then I am sure you have come across Create Kids Couture. Create Kids Couture has exploded over the last several years in regard to their pattern offering and size ranges. When I first started sewing their clothes, most of them went up to around a size 8 and I had to upsize the patterns myself. However, now they have grown their design team and now offer tween sizes, womens sizes, plus sizes and even boys.

I was privileged to be able to test two of Create Kids Couture newest tween patterns, the Suzie Tween Twirly Halter Top/Dress and the Briannas tween tiered ruffle pants and capris. You can find both of these patterns currently on sale at the following links

Suzies Tween Halter Top and Dress
Briannas Tween Tiered Ruffle Capris/Pants

Here are the pictures from the pattern



One thing I really like about the Create Kids Couture tween line is that most of their bodices come with a cup size bodice option. This is great because I know some girls are needed the bigger sizes because of just being larger in the measurements and may not need to accommodate booblets yet and they have a regular size option for that BUT if you are battling the booblets *sigh*, then this cup bodice provides the shape the developing tween needs.

Here is our rendition of the Suzie Tween Twirly Halter Top and Briannas Tiered Ruffle Capris







And if you just love that cute retro headband she is wearing, it is actually a free tutorial from the Create Kids Couture blog. You can find the link here Headband Tutorial and here is a picture from it


Aren't they darling? For a tween head, I may add another inch to it as she said this was a little snug, but that will be a your mileage may vary thing based on the circumference of the head. Some adults said they could wear. I have a big melon, so I would definitely have to add some more :)

I hope you have enjoyed today's patterns and we will see you soon!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cherry Blossom Festival

I had the privilege of testing the newest pattern from Mandy K Designs. It is a beautiful Asian inspired dress with amazing details and a beautiful mandarin collar. Mandy K Designs is part of the Aspiring Designers Challenge that is currently being sponsored by Pattern Revolution. This classic stunner comes in sizes 12m - 14 and includes a doll size. Here is the picture from the pattern cover


From the contrast band on the skirt to the ruched sash, you can see this dress is very detail oriented. It would be gorgeous as a dressier dress as well. Here is our version in the girls size 14.






As a new release, Amanda is offering this gorgeous pattern and all of her other patterns on sale right now for 20% off. The price is automatically reflected on Craftsy here Cherry Blossom Dress or on Etsy here https://www.etsy.com/listing/200332843/pdf-sewing-pattern-for-girls-the-cherry. To get the 20% off on Etsy use code cherry20.

If you want to know more about Amanda and Mandy K Designs, visit her blog at http://mandykdesigns.com/.

Thank you for stopping by! We have been drowning in back to school. We are in our first full week of school this week and OH the homework already!! I will have a blog post about that soon!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Love Notion Number Mine!

I have had an amazing week. My mom was released from rehab this past Wednesday and is now back home. My husband, kids and I had a long weekend up in the North Georgia Mountains which was so peaceful and relaxing. And I have been able to participate in some awesome pattern tests.

If you have been watching PDF patterns lately, you have probably heard of Love Notions Patterns https://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveNotionsPatterns or you can follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lovenotions. They have lots of fun options and their size will accommodate not only tweens but several patterns even go up for mommies to have some selfish sewing. Their newest release - the Mallory dress - will be just up your alley for tweens and your little ones alike. The size range is 12m - girls 14. It is a quick knit sew with a fun hood and unique crossover bodice that lets you use up some of those expensive knit scraps you couldn't bear to throw away. You can find the pattern here https://www.etsy.com/listing/199046482/love-notions-mallory-dress-pattern?ref=shop_home_feat_1 and here is the pattern cover


A couple of the unique design features that I really like are, of course, the optional POCKETS. We loves our pocketses over here. I also loved the fact that you can print just ONE size. What a paper saver! 

Here is our size 14 Love Notions Mallory dress.






So, if you are looking for a cute, quick back to school sew this weekend, I highly recommend the Mallory dress. AND right now if you are one of the first 100 to purchase it on Etsy and use the code Mallory you will save 15%! We go back to school next Tuesday and I will have TWO middle schoolers. Isn't that crazy?? I wish everyone a blessed and prosperous school year this year and while I won't be sewing her outfits EVERY day this year, she will still have plenty Mom made clothes and I hope you will continue coming by and checking them out!