book: blog tour with Tina Givens (+ a great giveaway)

by kath_red on 15/10/2010

in Books

Sew Tina!: 30 Cute Projects & Adorable Decor Items for Kids By Tina Givens. Lark Books (October 5, 2010).

Today I want to welcome Tina Givens on her Blog tour stop here at Whip Up. Tina’s book has just been released and is full of colourful and fun clothing and accessories for kids – all using her exciting and fanciful fabrics. Today Tina is discussing her sewing journey and how she came to be a fabric designer and children’s clothing designer.


Like you I love to sew. I sewed from an early age, and made crazy things for my dolls then went on to create a unique wardrobe much to my family’s delight {sarcasm}. Sewing for me went through stages… where I made everything for me in my teens and twenties, then married and made things for the house… worked corporately for a while and didn’t sew much at all, well I did but squeezed things in when I could. Quit working with the ‘crazies’ in corporate kingdom and started sewing again, this time for my kids.

My little adopted guy at 7 never had it so good for Halloween… and whew did he hate the perfectionism I threw into the ‘Pokemon’ costumes… to the point we had to visit the store at the last minute and end up with the ol’ Ninja. He was happy so I was happy. We still talk about ‘Que-bone the Pokemon’, crafted out of teddy bear fabric, a scaled and stuffed tail and complete with paper-mache mask and weapon…

Pregnant with twins came next and I sewed little blankets and hats. When they came into the world all sewing stopped for about a year. Yikes, busy times and sleepless nights don’t make good seamstresses… well, for me anyway. And then the toddler years the flood gates opened and I sewed and sewed to my hearts content. As toddlers, kids will wear just about anything you put on them so… even Halloween was crazy! Mel was the bride of Frankenstein one year….

I have always sewed for myself, and the house of course, but sewing for kids is so rewarding for me. Thus when I started designing textiles, kids clothing patterns and such was a natural move. I love it. Kids are free and expressive and I design with that in mind. Each piece evolves through a creative process and often the mistakes in working through something becomes part of the pattern. I start with a basic idea, then sketch; then cutting, and marking, sewing and starting over in some cases. But in the end I have something I love and want to celebrate.

Being a non-traditional seamstress I had to learn to be more specific with sewing techniques. I still have a casual approach to sewing but it’s been refined with the help of a technical editor… (of which I went through a few before I worked with a fabulous woman, who just got it. She helped me master the specifics and details needed to communicate instruction to others so they can sew in a similar way. Hopefully this will inspire creativity and prevent any insecurity one may have about sewing. Sewing should be fun, relaxing and a creative process no matter what you are making. So my whole thing is ~ have fun with it!

Here are my rules:

  • Use fabric you love
  • Follow the pattern, but if you have a better idea use it
  • Follow the instruction but if you mess up, don’t worry about it, use it (patch it up, sew around it, make a pleat.. somehow work it in!
  • Break the norm, and insert something unexpected, could be as simple as an unexpected color combination or added button
  • Play with embellishment or trim… add a little somethin’
  • If you don’t feel like hemming, don’t… sew around the hem to prevent fraying… it’ll add some ‘couture’ believe it or not
  • Sew for fun
  • My book, SEW TINA! is a perfect combination of lovely and fun things for kids from infancy to about 8 years for both boys and girls. This is such a magical age group and they do transition from tiny, to toddler fashion, mad young children at 4 and 5, and then opinionated little beings from 6 on. Believe me, I know! Everything I created for the book I thoroughly enjoyed, and sometimes a little giggle would burst out… The little Mary-Jane booties for instance, and of course the little embellishments. Using my own fabrics throughout the book was super fun, and of course my lovely editor encouraged me to include my illustrations for kids (usually printed in my stationery products), but you’ll recognize some of the fairies from the Tip-Toe Fairy collection.

    here is the blog tour schedule so far:

    9/24 Lark Crafts Blog
    9/27 A La Mode Fabrics
    9/29 Quilter’s Buzz
    10/1 Sew Baby
    10/4 Sew Chic
    10/6 Sew Mama Sew
    10/8 Hazelnuts
    10/11 Mama’s Pocketbook
    10/13 House on Hill Road
    10/15 Whip Up (thats us!)
    10/18 Quilt Dad
    10/20 Hodge Podge Farm
    10/22 Pink Chalk Studios

    Update: There’s a giveaway – prizes to be won: the book, 4 yards of fabric, 2 boxes of stationery, and 2 extra sewing patterns. Leave a comment here for your chance to win – you have 48 hours to enter comments now closed – winner will be contacted via email.

    More info here

    and for more chances to win check out the rest of the blog tour – its quilt dad next

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    1 Chris October 15, 2010 at 6:46 am

    I love the chef hat! That would be cool to make.
    Thanks for the interview.

    2 Colleen October 15, 2010 at 6:47 am

    I have enjoyed the book tour. 30 different patterns – I would really use this book. Thanks!

    3 Tanya October 15, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Sew for fun!-this is a great rule! I used to sew step by step before. Now I bearly read instructions-I just rely on my feelings:)

    4 patricia October 15, 2010 at 8:43 am

    This book looks fantastic. I agree with all the “rules” of sewing. It is much more fun, rewarding and creative that way.

    5 Lisa October 15, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Awesome! I love that sweet little dress. Thanks for sharing.

    6 Carol October 15, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Can’t wait to visit the bookstore and check out Tina’s new book!

    7 Teresa W October 15, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I love the chef’s hat! I would LOVE to make that for my daughter! I think this whole book just looks so fun!

    ~Teresa :)

    8 Susan Spiers October 15, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    I luv the little dress & the fabric is just wonderful! Sewing is fun, why else do it?

    9 Jennifer October 15, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    I love the fabric combinations. Not typical kid fair and yet it works so well. I also like the idea of just plowing ahead through a mistake. That has been the driving force behind some of my own best design features.

    10 sonya h October 15, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    lovely lovely lovely!

    11 Rachel at Stitched in Color October 15, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    That first rule is my #1 – Sew with fabric you love. It makes all the difference!

    12 Barbara October 15, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    I can’t wait to see the book in person–it looks great. I love the list of sewing tips.

    13 Marcia W. October 15, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    This is one of the best interviews have read in a while, especially the tips of sewing. Chuckled when read if don’t want to hem the garment, don’t. Leave it ragged – couture. Please enter me into the drawing. Thanks to you and Tina for the opportunity.

    14 gloria October 15, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    Too cute! I really want this.I need some inspiration.

    15 sequinK October 16, 2010 at 1:38 am

    fantastic! gotta love tina’s style,…

    16 Rebekah October 16, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I would love this!

    17 Marsha October 16, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Oh, what a fun book! I can’t wait to try everything in it!

    18 Jen October 16, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Looks like a fun book!

    19 bess October 16, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    i love it – a “nontraditional seamstress” – that i can relate to! :)

    20 Tara October 16, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    I love her description of herself! I am also a non-traditional seamstress, although just beginning. I love making things for my three (!!!) kids and my eldest son especially seems to love everything that comes from my machine, no matter how *unique* it is. :) I can’t wait to check out the book!

    21 Bec R October 16, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Looks like a great book!!

    22 vonda October 16, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Oh how fun. I can’t wait to get a better look at all the wonderfully fun fabric and ideas. thanks.

    23 Shaelee Evans October 16, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I’m working on making more time to sew. Its awesome!

    24 melanie October 16, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    This looks great! I am getting more adventurous in my sewing

    25 Casey H. October 16, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    I love your improvisational instructions – the book looks lovely!

    26 Seema October 16, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Wow the book sounds great!!! CAnt wait to make some projects.

    27 mar October 16, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    I definitely am a non-traditional seamstress, and could use some refining – would love her book, I’m sure!

    28 rilojane October 17, 2010 at 1:41 am

    ok- sorry for the multiple comments. I got an error page for the first one and it wouldn’t let me submit it as is, so I switched it up and then it showed the first comment AND the second comment. And now, here’s a THIRD comment. Sorry to muck up the works. Is there anybody out there that correct my accidental extras?
    Yours lamely,

    29 kath_red October 17, 2010 at 3:38 am


    30 Pamela October 17, 2010 at 2:29 am

    Love your book. Such fun clothes for girls and boys! I can see both my granddaughter and grandson wearing them. Thanks for such a wonderful giveaway.

    31 Catherine October 17, 2010 at 6:01 am

    thanks – looks like a really fun book!

    32 Jessie October 17, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I’ve very much enjoyed reading the posts lately!
    This book looks like it’s totally up my alley. I love sewing for fun with a little “eh, this looks about right” and with fabric I love :)
    I’d love to add it to my library!

    33 Lidija Miklavcic October 17, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I totally agree sewing is something fun to do. And your projects are just that fun sewing project with gorgeous fabric. Nice book, I love the photos in it.

    34 Sherry J October 17, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I would love that book, I have 4 grandkids that i love to sew for. thanks for the opportunity.

    35 Wehaf October 17, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    The chef’s hat is adorable. Is it wrong to want one for myself?

    36 Amanda October 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    I am so excited that I found your blog through this blog tour!! It’s a new favorite! Tina’s book looks awesome!!!

    37 Gill Watson October 18, 2010 at 8:52 am

    I’d love to win a copy of Tina’s book – I’m a big fan of her fabrics!

    38 Sonja October 18, 2010 at 11:38 am

    This book looks awesome!

    39 Sivje Parish October 18, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Oh thank you for the chance! I hope I win because I am dying to try the patterns in her book. I love her fabric already.

    40 Rebecca October 18, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Looks like a great book! I LOVE her fabric lines ~ so beautiful!

    41 Mary on Lake Pulaski October 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    That little dress is adorable!

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