Well, you probably have noticed I haven't been able to sew or post as much as I did last year. This is for several reasons.
1.) Two kids in middle school involved in several different things equals crazy schedules.
2.) Honestly, my sewing mojo has taken a hit since my mom got sick. I really kind of feel just blah a lot lately. And its not really just sewing, its pretty much in most areas of my life. I am really trying to get back into a groove, but it has been really hard.
3.) Finally, sewing for a developing tween is hard.
Let's focus on number 3, shall we?
So, why did I title this post 'Where the Wild Things Are?', well it serves several purposes. First, middle school is definitely a phase in the lives of our children where things go wild. Hormones are raging, attitudes are fierce, moods are all over the place, and different body parts are growing all our of sync with each other. You get braces and acne, body hair and awkwardness.
Last year, when I was sewing all of her clothes - she fit pretty standard into a 12 all year. She just started developing in the bust but stayed pretty true to fit. Now, her sizing is all over the place. Most of her major measurements put her in a women's clothing category (bust, waist, and hips), but height (4'9) and general proportion (torso length, inseam) keep her in a child size. So, how do you handle fitting a woman-child? I got to face this question head on when I was asked to participate in the Jocole pattern blog tour.
If you haven't heard of Jocole patterns, let me happily introduce you. Jodi Jean Baird is the owner of this amazing line. She has a background in fashion designs and drafts and digitizes all of her patterns. She has an amazing line of patterns ranging from NB all the way up to plus size womens. Many of her patterns are basics that you can mix and match and use over and over again in your wardrobe.
As my daughter's tastes are taking a turn toward the grown up, she has started turning her nose up at the fluffles and ruffles and voluminous frocks of elementary school trending more now toward streamlined silhouettes. She is also very self-conscious both of her developing bust line and her currently round tummy. (Both of my children tend to get a little round in the belly before they have a major growth spurt and slim down.) So, when Jocole asked me to review some of their patterns, it was a definite in my book.
I decided to use two of the newer adult patterns -
On first glance, you might think - how can I make this for a 4'9 11 year old? Jocole has great instructions on how to lengthen AND shorten all of these patterns. And these pants have a super secret. Fits all sophisticated like, feels like jammies. Nice, right? I made the peplum top out of a fierce liquid spandex I found in the Joanns remnant pile and the peplum is a black sequin layered on top of the spandex. The pants are leopard knit with the skinny pant secret knit waistband. You can make these out of pretty much any fabric and you use knit as the waistband, And these can be made in any length from shorts to full. I ended up shortening the bodice of the peplum top and using the ladies petite length for the pants. And what we ended up with is a rocking outfit that is wild, rock n roll and all tween girl. And the flattering fit of the peplum covers her tummy and the lean skinny fit of the pants make her legs look thin and a million miles long. Not to mention since the fall air is making its way in, she can rock her boots with them. Now, I want a pair! And the great thing with this pattern is I can make them for her AND for me!
Check out where the wild things are indeed
It was awesome to have a fun photo shoot with her where she felt good about herself and felt pretty. These years are hard on pretty much everyone who goes through them. I am grateful to have a skill that I can use to help her feel good and know that she is always beautiful. She truly is a special spirit and it is humbling to watch her grow into this amazing young woman.
Jocole is such an amazing pattern company to work with that they have offered a prize for my readers. In two days, we will draw for a winner of two Jocole patterns (might I suggest the Ladies Peplum Top and Skinny Pants??)
Thanks to Jodi, Kara, and the Jocole family for inviting me to be a part of the pattern blog tour! If you have any questions about adjusting these patterns or others for a tween - feel free to ask. I am learning in a trial by fire manner!