Growing Up Handmade with Phat Quarters

I can still remember the thrilling feelings of success when I made matching dresses for my all three girls and in time for our family photo-shoot. The year was 2009, I think, and this was the first time I had made a trio of dresses, but it would not be the last. They are peasant dresses of course- A great starting point for new sewers. The fabrics all coordinated but they did not match exactly. Every time I see this picture my heart melts a bit. They are so little and so cute!

Over the years I have made my children many dresses, shirts, skirts, blankets, accessories, bow ties and other such needful things. I have also watched as they have mixed and matched their clothing in an attempt to discover their own sense of style. I have taught them to sew and watched them make clothes for themselves. My children have truly ‘Grown-up Handmade’! The thing is I am not ready to give this up. I want to keep sewing for them and I want them to wear what I make. There are many great PDF Pattern Companies out there that have stylish clothes for growing girls, like Sew Straight & Gather, Love Notions, and Chalk & Notch. I have to say though, I am a bit biased towards Petite Stitchery & Co! The style of patterns that I create for PS&Co have my tween daughters in mind!

It was a few years ago when I heard that dreaded sentence “This makes me look FAT!” Oh, how my heart broke. But it did teach me something about that daughters style in clothing, she likes fitted items that make her feel beautiful – like a girl not like a princess. While I love a good lose-fitting dress my tweens don’t so much. So what do you do to get them to wear it? Try ‘accessories’.

Belts seem to make my girls feel thin (which they are and which I remind them of such). Here is a great example. I loved this picture of the Zelt Dress by The Eli Monster. But, when I made it for my lady she was not going to wear it not matter the bribe. So what was it that changed her mind…a thin black bow belt from her closet. I simply wrapped it around her waist and she was sold! We went from sweet little girl dress to trend-setting tween dress with a simple belt.

I have also come to learn that my tween daughters are in love with crop tops. Dad & I….not so much. Yet there are a few great options for this too. Think outerwear and layers. We tell our ladies that they can wear crop tops as a layer like in Gracious Threads Henday Zip-up Hoodie. This one makes for a great Spring layer. Another option would be the Rosemary Crop Sweater by Petite Stitchery & Company (head over to the group to see it hacked for summer).

Another thing I have learned while sewing for my tweens is that fabric matters! let me say that again…FABRIC MATTERS!!! The funny thing is that even though they think that fabrics from the SHOP are adorable – they won’t actually wear it. Luckily for me we all share a love of bright colors and bold prints. But the prints are now chosen by them, not me. Let me show you a few of their current favorites….

SHAPES – they love shapes like Leicen dots and rain drops or Riley Blake ginghams.

RELATE-ABLE PRINTS – we love the beach and my girls were able to visit Hawaii last summer with my in-laws (yes I am still jealous). Due to this and a particular new movie that I can not mention out loud, Island Girl by Lewis & Irene is a huge hit right now!


SOLIDS – Even small prints that read as a solid are my constant go to right now.  This Delilah Tunic from Petite Stitchery & Co is made with Studio E Peppered Cottons and they are so soft and beautiful!

The last thing I want to mention is that if you want them to love who they are and what they wear make them accountable for it. Teach them your passion adn skill for sewing! I wrote and article for One Thimble about this and I can tell you that even though not all my girls have a desire to sew (yet) then all feel great about what they can sew and what their hard work looks like on them!

I hope that you are being inspired from this great blog tour! It is so wonderful to see so many tweens who still love to wear handmade! One of my daughters asked me, just the other night, if I would make her wedding dress when she gets married…I should have gotten it in writing but it warmed my heart! Don’t forget to check out all the stops on this tour and to enter the giveaway for some amazing gifts. Happy Sewing!

Thursday – April 20th
Pattern Revolution | Skirt Fixation | SewSophieLynn | EYMM
Friday – April 21st
Round Up and Giveway Winners

0 thoughts on “Growing Up Handmade with Phat Quarters

  1. Sweet girls! I have to say I love the Rosemary crop top more than any other pattern that's been released for a while! But I have the same feelings about crop tops, so haven't purchased it yet. Now that I've seen your layering ideas, I'm going to reconsider!

  2. Love the ideas. I have tween granddaughters, some of whom are quite slim and one who is a nit on the chunky size so I'm always looking for ideas. I'd also like to see some ideas for tween and teen boys. My grandsons have outgrown most boys sizes but are not big enough for men's sizes so it's always a challenge finding things that fit them

  3. Fabric is so important – it can make such a difference as to whether they like the finished item or not!! I particularly love the crop top with the blue, with yellow neck – gorgeous:) I am going to remember your tip re crop tops, I'm not keen on belly buttons out either!!

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