kids fashion

Little Betty is offering the most divine little girl sunsuit – complete with bonnet and ruffled bloomers.


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

    { Comments on this entry are closed }

    paper bag girly skirt

    by kath_red on 23/08/2010

    in Fashion

    Make it and love it has a tute for making this cute pleated with bow skirt – paper bag skirt.

    { 1 comment }

    Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys’ and Girls’ Outfits Nancy J.S.Langdon & Sabine Pollehn. Creative International Publishing International, 2010.

    Sewing for kids is a craft that has for a long time been so functional that it is easy to forget that kids clothes can be gorgeous, well designed, funky and flexible. The book Sewing Clothes Kids Love ticks all my boxes:

  • Hardcover with wire comb binding so the book sits still when I am using it, which cannot be understated as a feature in crafting books in my opinion, check!
  • Lots of explaining of the motivations and inspirations behind the techniques, design choices and projects, check!
  • Lots of information for beginning sewers about sewing room must haves, techniques, and fabric choices. These are also extra helpful for those of us who’s machine is a little dusty from underuse and really should be unearthed to sew kids clothes and to work down the stash of gorgeous fabrics…. check!
  • A section on measuring your child, and adjusting the pattern to fit. My kids range from petite to lanky, so this is very welcome information! Check!
  • Some great information on tracing, placing and cutting patterns, seam allowances, and fitting. It even has instructions on making a Kinderquin (think mannequin but the exact shape and size of your child). If you have ever tried in vain to have a wriggly or impatient child model stand still for just another fitting of a garment, then this is a must for you. Check!
  • A primer on sewing techniques, including working with knit fabric, gathers, pressing, and embellishment. On embellishment, I love embellished clothes! These patterns allow the sewer to make the clothes as basic or as fancy as you like. Check!
  • A range of projects that, when you look at them, are actually well designed staples of a kid’s wardrobe, including a tshirt, hoodie, leggings, shorts, tank top, skirt, trousers, jacket, windbreaker and dresses. You could make six pairs of trousers and six t-shirts, and nobody would know that they were from the same pattern. Fantastic! Check!
  • Size charts and fabric requirements tables for each pattern + Loads of diagrams and photos of each project + Lots of tips and options for customising each project, and including your child in the design process, check!
  • All of the projects are clothes that are stylish, functional, can be dressed up or down, and really importantly for me, don’t buy into the “dressing children as adults, especially little girls as teenagers or young women”. These are good kids clothes, designed for kids. Check!
  • Last but certainly not least, the book has a pocket with 10 full sized patterns inside, so if the mood takes you, you can just pick your fabric, measure your child, trace off the pattern and start sewing. Check!
  • If sewing kids clothes is something that you do, or have yet to try, or someone you know sews for your kids, or even if your kids want to start sewing for themselves, this book is a great place to start. [check out their website to find out more]

    Reviewed by: Kate is a busy mother of four with many craft projects on the go, including, but not limited to, crochet, knitting, sewing, dyeing, paper making, spinning, felting and bookbinding. Kate has challenges in the areas of finishing things, saying no and craft supplies storage. She also has a very very patient and tolerant husband.


    Day four in the refashion roundup series this week …

    boys shorts from men’s shirt [pic above]

    Pillowcase pyjamas tutorial

    toddler boardwalk t-shirt dress

    Lola bag – refashioned from a favourite t-shirt

    for the grownups
    ballet t-shirt refashion

    Pretty petals t-shirt

    turn t-shirts into underwear

    heart corsage t-shirt

    shirred fashion top