Sewing for Tweens?

OK, so what’s up with sewing for Tweens? How come there’s hardly any sewing patterns for Tweens & Teens?

I haven’t got kids of my own. But my niece has just turned 11. And as I have been such a neglectful aunty in so many other ways I thought it’s about time I make her something. But it’s such a nightmare! Not least because she lives in Ohio. Is it possible to sew long distance? Especially for fast growing kids? Or should I give up before I even start?

While I visited recently, I took her shopping at Jo-Ann‘s. She was so indecisive. Her parents have been buying all her clothing so far. Judging from the few times I tagged along, it seems like the stuff that she likes get vetoed. Poor girl – I think it affected her interest in clothing and/or her confidence in choosing clothing.

Anyway, here are the patterns I picked with some input from her…


But she much prefers the adult patterns, like this one from Project Runway collections.

I thought this one might look too old on her. I tried looking for teen fashion magazines to get a bearing on what’s fashionable but still age appropriate. Not much luck.

Choosing fabrics was just as difficult. We ended up with these:


The black floral netting she chose. She wanted a transparent jacket in this. I’m not so sure it’d be age appropriate. I’m thinking maybe an underlined top or dress using one of the McCall patterns we bought.

She also chose the sparkly foil faux suede – oh how kids love their sparkly stuff! Maybe the Burda jacket pattern would work well for this with a red or bright contrasting lining.

The faux suede cut lace I chose. I thought this might look cute with a bright underlining as a dress, top, and/or skirt.

What do you think?

Do you have daughters of similar age whom you sew for? Where do you find patterns for them? Any other advice on sewing for Tweens much appreciated!

I think these will have to be my next few sewing projects. I’m afraid that if I wait her measurements would change and nothing will fit! }:-)

0 comments on “Sewing for Tweens?

  1. I have three daughters: 10, 13, and 15, and they LOVE Burda magazine patterns. I often drag them with me to the fabric store and they spend the time browsing through the pattern catalogues, but they never seem that inspired by what they see in them. Burda mag is a whole different story. They’ll pore over them for hours and make lists of what they’d like me to sew up for them.

    The other thing I’ve learned, from DD1 at least, is that my style sure ain’t their style, in fabric or patterns, never mind the marriage of the two. But I bite my tongue and say, “That’s a great idea!” and sew it up and they’re happy and wear the garments with aplomb!

    • Do they choose from the adult patterns? I checked my Burda magzine collection, but most of the kids patterns seem to be for younger children. How do you adept adult patterns for your younger daughters? I presume your eldest need very little adjustments.

      • Yes, they most often do. My 9 yr old wears a size 140/146 and my 13 yr old wears a 152 (which fits her perfectly, I may add) and most Burda mag children’s patterns don’t go up that high. So if they choose something from the women’s patterns, I usually trace off the smallest and sew it up without any seam allowances. It does involve a little bit of tweaking, but it works. My 15 yr old fits a size 38 pretty much straight sized, so at this point it’s really easier to sew up a Burda mag pattern than convince them to try one of the more limited styles in a correct size.

    • When using adult patterns for your young ones, do you ever have to do the opposite of a FBA – ie bust reduction adjustment?

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