sewing patterns

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 }

    I love the two new patterns from Amy Butler – the domestic goddess apron and the sun surf halter. Both of these patterns are very detailed in their instruction and contain full size patterns with several variations possible.

    I love how Amy is expanding her pattern line – the new range of clothing is lovely in its simplicity of line and sweet details.


    Hundreds of free downloadable sewing patterns. Link. Sorry, forgotten where I found this.