At the beginning of my sewing adventures I bought a copy of 'Happy homemade sew chic kids':
I added some button holes and threaded ribbon through them for a false drawstring, I'm so glad I took the time for this extra step as it makes them look more PJ like!
I didn't have time to make her a top for the PJ's so I bought an inexpensive plain jersey top. She has been learning 'you are my Sunshine' on the ukulele recently and I thought it would be nice to embroider the words onto the top to personalise it - she loved it! Phew!
My second make was planned as the smock dress (on the left) but with short sleeves:
I had bought a beautiful (and expensive) Scandinavian designed cotton with colourful birds and flowers on it, looking back I chose to ignore the fact that when I showed it to my daughter she had politely said it was nice but you couldn't have said she was thrilled by it. 5 days before my daughters birthday I turned up to my sewing class temporarily abandoning my Colette clovers and armed with everything I needed to make the dress. I excitedly explained to my teacher about the dress, my teacher asked how old my daughter would be on her birthday, then looked at me and asked if I wanted her to be honest with me.........
She explained (rightly) that the patterns in the book were 'up to' age 8 ie they were designed for much younger children and that given the fabric I had chosen the dress would probably end up looking like a nightdress, she said I needed to be looking at fabrics and designs that children my daughters age were wearing and go from there. I'm so glad she was honest with me and I instantly saw that she was 100% right.
I began searching for 'tween' patterns with the added problem that my daughter is tall and skinny, will not wear buttons, is not keen on zips, refuses to wear trousers (other than legging's or jeggings at a push), and won't wear a skirt unless it has an elasticated waist. I struggled to find much that matched the remit, and my search is ongoing! Needless to say I did not manage to make the dress in time for her birthday but promised to make it the weekend afterwards.
I needed something quick and easy and chose the go-to-shift dress
OK so I realise that this is modelled on a younger girl and has a dreaded button, but I thought that with a belt it would still look quite grown up and by extending the neck bias binding I would be able to add a popper at the back rather than use a button. I chose an inexpensive fabric from Ikea that I thought had the right mixture of 'girliness' and 'funkiness'. I found the neckline way too high so I decided not to gather it as much as the pattern suggested - I should have positioned my minimal gathering all at the front centre neck but instead I followed the pattern instructions and spread it out so unfortunately after adding the bias binding I only had a few random pleats, it is still wearable and my little lady (or should I say tween) loves it!!
She likes how the skirt flares out with the belt - so I will be trying to find a pattern with a fitted bodice and slightly flared skirt that is not too 'little girlish'. I think I have a long way to go before I understand her fashion ideas and taste in fabric and I know this will change rapidly as she gets older but hopefully it is a journey we can enjoy together as she grows up. I have certainly learnt a lot about myself and come closer to accepting that my little ones will not be little for ever and have their own tastes and ideas, I need to accept this and embrace it!
Thanks for stopping by!!