Sunday, March 17, 2013


Tweens.....Ah, they have a mind of their own, and are also trying to develop a style of their own as well. Miss Abigail is well on her way to being a full-fledged "tween" herself. Thankfully, she is still easily persuaded to wear things that I love, but she is certainly starting to notice what all the other girls are wearing. I've been busy experimenting with new ideas for Spring for her to add to her wardrobe and It's not easy. She no longer wants puffed sleeves and sashes tied in pretty bows, but rather things that look a bit more "grown-up". Gosh, I just hate the sound of that, but it had to happen sometime and the time has arrived. I've spent hours on-line looking at popular shops and Pinterest to see what the tween girls are wearing and to be honest I absolutely hate most of it. Garish colors, a mish-mash of everything from hippy to hoochie and it's just not how I want her my daughter to dress. So my challenge is to use the acceptable pieces that I manage to find out there to mix and match with things that I make for her to help her come up with her own style that is not only age appropriate, but still fun, wearable and "not too babyish", quite a tall order. I am thinking it's going to be a lot more separates that she can then mix with the pieces that we buy. I have started gathering sweet little T's and tanks and other basics that could easily go with dozens of other things and trust me it hasn't been easy to find just classic little pieces that are not covered with glitter, rhinestones, skulls or peace signs. Thankfully, my mom and I are both awesome shoppers and have the ability to find those needles in the haystack. We are both on the job and working hard to put together what we feel is the "right" style for Abby. Plus, add in the fact that at 9 she is already wearing a girls size 12-14 because she is so tall and a women's size 5 shoe. I told you she grew A LOT over the winter. I have been putting together a few cute ideas for how to dress our girls in ways that us mom's and grand-moms approve of. This is just one outfit that I have put together for her that she just loves. A fun twirly skirt with a built-in petticoat so that it is fun and sassy and still very girly. I have been making her a lot of these all embellished differently so you would never know that they are actually the same skirt design. I paired it up with a white tank top which I embellished with more of the same flowers and a stripy cardigan which we also purchased. Add a fun pair of sun glasses and a headband and I think it makes for a pretty cute outfit. Not babyish, classic, modest, and very stylish. This one meets all my criteria for a sweet "tween" look that makes us mom's and grand-mom's happy too.



barb said...

your are so right about girls styles. i do like the leggings under skirts like this though.

samanthasmom said...

This is really cute. I'm a sewing grandmother these days for a wee one, but I remember going through the "tweens" with her mother. I know you choose not to sew with knits, but you might want to rethink that. The "tweens" love to wear them, and you would have much more control over what message the clothes were sending if you sew them yourself. Even shopping for an 18-month-old I have a hard time finding an undecorated tee shirt. But my daughter loved the knit dresses I made for her when she was a "tween" and gladly put up with my ban on what I considered inappropriate messages if the base dress looked like what the other kids were wearing. The dresses themselves weren't offensive to me so it was a nice compromise. With today's sewing equipment, knits are easily tamed.

Dawn said...

Hi Barb,

Yes, Ido agree about the leggings. Abby has been wearing the cute little Capri length leggings with the lace on the bottom with these skirts and it looks adorable, stylish and still sweet and girly.

To Samanthasmom I also agree with what you say about the knits. They are very cozy and easy to wear and care for. However, there are several other designers who are currently working with knits.

Laurie said...

This is so cute! Is this one of your current pattern? We had an unexpected family reunion and I now have measurements for the kids?

Glad to see you are feeling well and moving on to sewing.

kathy said...

That is a very pretty outfit. I have a tween, too, the same age as your. I am lucky enough to have a younger daughter, too, so I get to still make the pretty, feminine dresses for one child. I agree with Samantha about the knits. They are what tweens want to wear. Knits and jeans. And you don't have to make the patterns for them, necessarily. If you could find yourself a new model, a younger girl, you could continue to design your style, which we all love, but the sew for Miss Abigail the more mature clothing she craves. My daughter loves knit tees that I make her. I have found lovely knits at Banberry Fabrics so we don't have to see those awful character tees or those tees with hoochie mama sayings. She wears them with solid knit leggings or jeggings or jeans. I make a lot of her clothing, still. She still wears dresses and skirts, but not as often and they tend to be more simple.

So, my suggestion, since I feel your tween girl pain, is to get yourself a friend with a young girl. Design for her! Then make Abbigail some tweener clothing.

Rachel Proffitt said...

My DD is the same age as Abby, so I totally get it. Luckily, my 9 year old has a thing for the vintage styles, and is quite happy to wear vintage pattern styles ;) My mum supplies her with all her other clothes LOL

Jenny said...

Adorable! I wish I had a grown up version of that outfit in my own closet!

Cheryl said...

I applaud you for wanting to dress your daughters modestly, but with style.
My daughter is in college now, but I totally understand where you are coming from. The clothing in stores for young girls is not fitting for them to wear. It really is a childs version of what the grown ups where and quite frankly, we didn't want our daughter dressing that way either.

Found your blog looking for sewing room inspiration and your post did not disappoint. You have given me great inspiration.

Oh,and the outfit above is adoreable. Classic...and that never goes out of style.

MooCowMonkeyPig said...

Sooo cute!

Tots and Tails said...

Don't you dare Change your model!! She is like your muse, the pretty face or your company! And we really need modest classics to be brought in as a mom of 2 girls ( one on the way) that don't have JUICY printed across the butt!


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