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There’s no denying it. Mothers who sew clothes just LOVE sewing clothes for their little girls.
It takes considerably less fabric to sew a child’s garment. It’s an awesome feeling when your kid is happy to wear something you made. And you feel way cool when the other parents at school ask you where you bought it and are amazed to find out that you made it yourself.
But generally when kids, especially girls, get to be around 10 years old, they start resisting wearing whatever you lay out for her. And- gasp!- they start having their own very definite opinions on what they will or will not wear. My Sofia is now 10 1/2 and will be starting middle school in September. She is still very much a child, but is also starting to become a little lady. Which means that her love for girly girl things is definitely on the wane.
So when I heard that Carrie from Beri Bee Designs was organizing a Growing Up Handmade blog tour about sewing clothes for tweens and teenagers, I signed up right away!
And guess what else? There’s also a fantastic giveaway from lots of sponsors as part of the blog tour with over $300 worth of awesome sewing materials and patterns! Continue reading to find the box to enter!
I recently discovered Olu at Needle and Ted and fell in love with her fun and modern sewing aesthetic. So when I was brainstorming what outfit to sew for this tour, I checked out the patterns in her pattern shop, Madeit Patterns, and nearly fell off my chair when I saw the Pocket Fold Skirt. I mean, a skirt with a design based on origami folding?! AMAZING.
My original plan was to draft my own flutter sleeve T-shirt, however I didn’t manage to finish the pattern in time, so I instead decided on the Butterfly Sleeve Tunic by Make It and Love It. I am a massive fan of Ashley’s, and I love what a simple yet very cool-looking top this is.
Let me tell you a little bit more about how I made this outfit.
The Pocket Fold Skirt
Like I said before, a fantastic thing about sewing for kids is that it takes a lot less fabric than it does to sew an adult garment. After having my first child, I had to retire this long burgundy corduroy skirt because there was no way it could fit around my newly chunk-ified waist and hips. I’d been holding onto it for all these years to reuse the fabric in some way (or hoping that I might go back to my previous shape, which obviously never happened), and the pattern pieces for the Pocket Fold Skirt fit perfectly onto the old skirt’s shaped panels. (And I love refashioning my old clothing into new clothing for my kids!)
The Pocket Fold Skirt is a wrap skirt with a snap closure in the center front. The yoke has contrast details and the front features folded panels set askew with contrast pockets built into them. I have sewn a lot of clothing, but I had never seen a design like this before. The construction is total genius, and I told Olu that I so want for them to create a women’s version of this pattern so I can have one, too!
Isn’t that just so cool?
As far as I’m concerned, one detail that really makes a given sewing pattern great is when the inside of the garment is finished nicely with a pleasing look. This skirt has a nice facing with contrast bias binding.
I used smaller snaps than what was called for, so I added extras.
And pockets! Pockets are a must in our family’s wardrobe! I always feel like something is missing when I don’t have pockets. And these pockets are exceptionally cool.
The Pocket Fold Skirt pattern is for ages 2-10 and is intermediate level because of the facing and some parts of the instructions which are a different from most skirt construction methods. It’s really a fantastic pattern and I highly recommend it!
The Butterfly Sleeve Tunic
I really love the clothing tutorials that Ashley from Make It and Love It publishes. She frequently uses clothing you already have to draft your own simple patterns, and that is exactly what she did in the tutorial for the Butterfly Sleeve Tunic. Basically you trace a curved line around a long-sleeved T-shirt, and finish it off in a similar way to a T-shirt.
This is fast and easy to sew and, as far as I’m concerned, it looks really cool on. The one annoying part is hemming around the whole thing. I am planning on making one of these for me, too, and I will probably either just overlock and fold over the edges around or use a thin strip of bias tape to hem around the curves, as I showed in this tutorial.
The trick to making this cool shirt is sewing a line of stitching from each armpit down to the hem. You can just barely see it in the photo above.
This stitching makes the more or less semicircle fit properly around the body, giving it shape, and also forms the butterfly sleeves.
You can also add elastic under the bust to give it more of a womanly shape, but I decided to omit it. I will definitely add it when I make one for myself.
It looks really cool from the side, too. I love the drapey effect where the front and back come together.
I chose yellow jersey to match details in the skirt’s contrast fabric and snaps. This is the same fabric as I used for one of Sofia’s Skip Skirts and Leggings a year and a half ago. Sofia has always loved yellow, ever since she was a baby, so I always try to have yellow fabric on hand. I love how the neck opening of this tunic looks like a big happy smile!
Sofia LOVED this outfit and didn’t want to take it off. The key to her 10-year-old happiness was having a girly outfit with grown-up touches. Heck, I certainly can’t blame her; I want this outfit for myself, too!
If you want to recreate this look for your daughter, too, make sure you check out the Pocket Fold Skirt and the Butterfly Sleeve Tunic. And don’t forget to see the other amazing tween- and teen-friendly home-sewn outfits in the Growing Up Handmade tour!
Monday – April 17th
Handmade Boy | Paisley Roots | Cucicucicoo: Eco Sewing & Crafting
Tuesday – April 18th
Beri Bee Designs | Phat Quarters | Sewing By Ti | Sew and Tell Project
Wednesday – April 19th
Courtney Zadik | Rebel & Malice | Vicky Myers Creations
Thursday – April 20th
Pattern Revolution | Skirt Fixation | SewSophieLynn | EYMM
Friday – April 21st
Round Up and Giveway Winners
And thank you so much to the sponsors of the Growing Up Handmade tour!
I know you want to enter the giveaway, too!
If you love sewing clothes for tweens and teens (and also little girls), make sure you check out the fantastic One Cardigan pattern by Serger Pepper! It’s a modern and versatile design that ladies big and small love!
14 thoughts on “Growing Up Handmade – sewing clothes for tweens”
Wow- this outfit has definite style! I love it. Amazing work by you, and Sofia wears it beautifully!
Thanks, Linda! Seriously, sometimes when I sew for Sofia, I get kind of envious because I want that same garment or entire outfit for myself, too! 🙂
That skirt is beautiful! Love how gorgeous it is inside out. Thanks for the tutorial too!
Isn’t that design awesome, Karly? I wish so much that the pattern existed in women’s sizes, too, because I just LOVE it! Thanks so much!
My tip is to allow the kids at much input as possible into their clothes, and let them help (in age-appropriate ways). They are much more likely to wear clothes they are invested in.
YES, absolutely, Wehaf! This is true at any age, but even more so when they get older. What a shame to spend time working on a garment that will never get worn!
Oh I love that skirt! How beautiful inside and out. And I think I want one of those amazingly fun shirts too!
Isn’t that skirt just so cool, Audrey? And even though it really doesn’t matter, I love it when a garment is pretty on the inside too! 🙂
Oh! This is so pretty! My also 10 ½ years old daughter loves your butterfly sleeve tunic, not the skirt because she is more comfy wearing leggings ;-). So from now on I will follow all your outfit ideas for her. Thanks for sharing!
My daughter pretty much lives in leggings, too, Nuria! I actually had been planning on sewing leggings for this outfit, but ran out of time! Whoops! But my daughter is a skirt junkie, too, wearing them over leggings in the winter or without leggings in the summer. So glad to hear your daughter likes this outfit, too! She’s the same age as mine, so it’s good to know that the outfit is spot on for that age!
The skirt is stunning, I love all the details:) What a lovely way to reuse the fabric.
Thanks, Vicky! It always feels good to reuse fabric that’s been sitting around gathering dust!
That skirt is stunning! What a cool design. I love the bright colors, too.
Isn’t the design just fantastic?! Thanks so much!