Today we’re going to share some things we’ve learned about sewing for tweens. We’re going to focus on pattern choices; what’s available, what they’ll wear! You can also check out our thoughts on fabric choices over at the Cali Fabrics blog, later next week.
We’re joining the Growing Up Handmade blog tour. It’s all about handmade clothing for tweens. This is the age when my kids really start to express themselves. Their unique style begins to shine. I have 2 kids in this age category, so it was fun for all of us to plan and sew up 7 items for them to add to their wardrobes. Yes 7! That’s quite a lot of things to talk about, which is why this post is going to focus on patterns for tweens, and another post will focus on fabrics for tweens.
First of all, we sewed up black themed outfits. While kids of this age don’t clamor to be dressed in matching clothes, they still tolerate coordinated ones.
There are definitely less patterns for boys in the sewing world than for girls. So patterns for tween boys are even scarcer! After looking through all my patterns for boys, I decided to buy 2 new patterns for Thomas’ black outfit. The t-shirt is the Lennon Tee by Shwin & Shwin, a pattern designed specifically for tween boys. It’s a fast and easy sew, and comes in sizes XS to XXL which is a 26” chest to 33.5” chest. We made view A, the plain Tee, but there are 3 more versions we’ll be trying out. We sewed a size L for Thomas.
His pants are the Adventure Cargo Pants and Shorts by Pattern Emporium. This pattern is very detailed, but not hard to sew. There are so many different options for pockets, and pants and waistband and flies, that it’s a good idea to plan out exactly what you want first. Thomas and I went over each option carefully and he told me exactly what he wanted. The Adventure Cargo Pants can be made in sizes 2 to 14. This was my muslin pair, and I made size 14 for Thomas, but the waist was 4 inches too big! Good thing it has waistband elastic and he always wears a belt. We added belt loops to these pants, made a zip fly, and allllllll the pocket options!
Annie is just starting to go into tween sizes. She also is starting to put in more requests for certain items or details or patterns. For the black theme, Annie got a mash up of 2 of her favorite girl tween patterns, the Camden Raglan by Hey June Handmade (affiliate link) and the Uptown Downtown Dress by Sew Straight and Gather. You could also use this tutorial to do the same thing.
Annie particularly loves the pockets which come from the bottom half of the Uptown Downtown Dress and the shoulder stripes which come from the Camden Raglan on top in this dress. The fabric is bamboo rayon from CaliFabrics, a perfect lightweight and soft fabric for summer. The Camden Raglan can be made in sizes 6-16, and the Uptown Downtown Dress can be made in sizes 2-14.
For the next set of outfits, we actually went closer to matching than coordinating, but when it’s camo, who will notice?
For Thomas we used the same patterns, because they worked out so well. On these I adjusted the waist area and took out 2 inches for this second pair of Adventure Cargos Pants. This kid is actually very lucky that I sew for him because RTW (ready to wear) clothing does N.O.T. fit his tall and lanky frame!
The fabric is real, true Carhartt canvas from Cali Fabrics. He’s pretty pumped about a real pair of Carhartts…that fits! We promise a post really soon about how amazing it is! And the desert camo jersey fabric from Cali Fabrics is perfect for t-shirts.
Click on the links below to see our reviews of other patterns we have sewn in tween boy sizing:
Big Little Wild Things vest by Twig & Tale
Classic Chinos by PeekABoo Pattern Shop
Which Way Out Jacket by Fishsticks Designs
Knight Hoodie by Charming Doodle
Newsboy Cap by Waffle Patterns
Small Fry Skinny Jeans by Titchy Threads
And 2 that are next up on our sewing list:
Spring Showers Jacket by E&E Patterns
Parachute Polo and Sweatpants by Oliver+S
For Annie’s camo outfit, we planned a look that uniquely expresses who she is! Girly and tomboy all mixed together in one. She loves to dress up and look nice with a cute hairdo styled by one of her teenage sisters. And she also loves to tear around in the woods with her brothers, playing hide and seek.
We made her the Laramie Shirt by Hey June Handmade (affiliate link) using the most amazing Indigo Ranchero Rayon Chambray from Cali Fabrics. The Laramie Shirt is the little sister pattern of the Cheyenne Tunic, and you KNOW how much we love the Cheyenne Tunic around here! It is just as wonderful of a pattern, in sizes 6-16. Plus there is an extra option for a dress, which we’ve already promised to make for Annie. We made 2 changes to the Laramie Shirt pattern, we added the ruffle down the front by cutting out 2 extra button plackets at 2x the normal length along the selvedges of the fabric. Then we gathered them and sewed them inside the button placket as we topstitched it in place. The other change was to make short sleeves, but still add the cuff and placket from the 3/4 sleeve option. We had to make the cuff a little narrower in width and gather the sleeve a little bit to fit accordingly. Plus we added 2 buttons instead of one on the cuffs. For the girly factor!
Annie loves pencil skirts, and this one is the Jocole Girls Pencil Skirt which can be made in sizes doll and newborn to 14. The only change we made was to add a pair of shorts underneath so Annie can stay covered during those rambunctious games of hide and seek with her brothers in the woods.
Click on each link below to read our reviews of other patterns we’ve sewn in tween girl sizing:
Polina Peplum by Coffee & Thread
Uptown Downtown Dress by Sew Straight and Gather
Miss Marlene from the Naeh Connection Shop
Molly Jacket by Violette Field Threads
Girl’s Yoga A-line Skirt by Jocole
Wild Things Vest by Twig & Tale
Longihood from the Naeh Connection Shop
City Park Tee by Hey June Handmade
Cabana Swim Bottoms by Peekaboo Pattern Shop
Just Keep Swimming Rashguard by The Wolf and the Tree
Classic Malliot by Call Ajaire
Slim Trousers by Lil Luxe Collection
Whew! If you’re still with us, please visit all the other great moms who are sewing for their tweens on this blog tour. I’ve picked up so many helpful tips!
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 |
And enter the giveaway too! It’s a great one. Plus if you’re sewing for tween, link up here, for another chance to win some great prizes.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
11 thoughts on “Sewing for Tweens – Pattern Choices”
I am just venturing into the realm of tween girl sewing, and I am looking for a modest shorts pattern to fit my 11-yo. Have you got any suggestions? We need to start accommodating “girl shape”, but with a still-tiny waist! I feel like patterns should exist, but I’ve got no idea where to start.
Love this post!
That’s a lot of sewing!! I love the mash up dress:)
I love the way the selvedge looks as ruffles on that Laramie! I like the change to short sleeves with a cuff too… I’ve been thinking about doing something similar for myself!
Oh, I hear your pain about fitting clothes on tall lanky kids! My kids also cannot wear RTW pants, except for leggings, so I have to sew their pants! Both sets of outfits look great and your kids look happy to wear them! 🙂 Lisa
These are fantastic! I especially love the laramie!!
These are great! I can’t wait to try some new ones for my kiddos 🙂 (Love love that ruffly top!)