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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:


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.


Her second favorite was the dress I made for the plaid challenge.


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!


  1. I sewed the Washi (made by Rae) for my "tween" niece and it was a cute, age-appropriate style (I thought). I eliminated the darts, but it still accommodated her bust area.

    Good luck! I can't wait to see what you make this school year!

  2. Thanks for the recap of her favorites! Can't wait to see the "middle school approved" styles for this year. :)