Tag Archive for sewing for girls

Book Review: Growing Up Sew Liberated

Growing Up Sew Liberated (Interweave) by Meg McElwee is full of fun and functional items you can make for any boy or girl in your life. It’s a great mix of clothing staples for infants and toddlers, playthings for all ages, and useful everyday pieces.

The book is nicely divided up into five chapters that each focus on a different part of the day: Greeting the Morning, Bread Sharing + Homemaking, Inside Play, Outside Play, and Good Night, Sleep Tight. The back of the book includes a helpful section on sewing tools, techniques, terms and stitches. In all, the book includes patterns for 9 clothing items, 13 play items/clothes and includes an envelope with full size pattern pieces.

Chapters one (daytime) and five (nighttime) include clothing items for newborns to size 5. The actual sizes included for each individual clothing item varies depending on the type of clothing and what stage in life your child would wear it (ie. the baby sleep sack is only available in 0-6 month size). The clothing patterns are all gender neutral with classic shapes. Chapter two is about items used around the house including a ring sling, bib, and embroidered placemat. Chapters three and four focus on inside and outside play with patterns for a variety of creative play items. A few of the items include a cat blankie for babies, a doll for younger kids, and a messenger bag for older kids.

Overall this book has a nice variety of gender neutral clothes and projects. It’s just slightly more biased towards girls with three of the patterns being for a doll, doll clothes and doll backpack and most of the models are girls. That certainly didn’t keep me from enjoying the book though. The instructions are well written and easy to follow and the diagrams are simple and easy to understand. The overall layout is well organized with a nice balance of color and white space with beautiful photographs throughout.

My Project

I initially thought about making the hooded play cape or art satchel, but then I realized my son had suddenly outgrown all the new pajamas we had just bought! So I decided to make a long sleeved envelope tee and sleeping johns. There are patterns printed on both sides of the pattern paper in the back of the book so you have to trace out the patterns you want to use. The envelope tee pattern only goes up to 18-24 months and I needed a 2T. The pattern was simple enough to make larger for my son and it was easy to trace out the patterns on sheets of computer paper I taped together.

After cutting out all my pieces I got started sewing everything together. I was a bit intimidated to sew this small pair pajamas out of knit fabrics but the instructions were very clear and easy to follow. There’s even tips for sewing knit fabric in the back of the book! I appreciated that you don’t have to use a serger and the instructions tell you what stitch to use where. In not too much time, I had a cute pair of pjs that fit my son perfectly! The neck may look a bit too big in the photo but that’s because my son tried to tear off the shirt because it was 90 degrees out when I took the photos :).

 

Craft Book Month at Craft Buds

Book Review: Girl’s World by Jennifer Paganelli

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I’ve been pretty anxious to get my hands on this book. The reviews so far have been amazing, and although I don’t have any young girls in my life, the mere look and feel of Jennifer Paganelli‘s new book Girl’s World makes you want to put on a ruffled apron and host a garden party.

I’m in.

Girl’s World: Twenty-One Sewing Projects to Make For Little Girls (Chronicle Books) is the first book by Paganelli, creator of Sis Boom fabrics (FreeSpirit). Fans of her fabrics will eat up the pages of this project book, which are beautifully printed in colorful patterned swirls and florals. Did I mention that the book covers are tied shut with pink ribbon, an invitation to unlock this pretty little world?

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Getting Started, the book’s intro, includes some sewing basics, including notes on dress sizes—for this book, girl’s x-small (2-3) to x-large (12-14). Filled with illustrations and diagrams for the visual sewist, the hardcover book has patterns tucked inside a pretty paper pocket.

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The next section, Dress-up includes seven dresses worn by sassy little girls who are having so much fun wearing them that you almost forget to look at the clothes. But then you catch a glance and don’t want to flip the page. Far from basic but simple enough not to intimidate the sewist, the dresses range from poufy to comfy. Little additions of a sash, pleat or pocket define each dress as its own. The Agnes Tunic Dress is a bit grown-up and sophisticated, while the Annabel Apron really pushes the envelope of cuteness, edged in tight ruffles and featuring a keyhole-and-tie ruffled pocket.

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In the Accessories section, the five patterns are one-size-fits-all, including a purse and a floral headband. Glue guns replace sewing machines in a couple accessories, a trend that continues toward the end of the book. The Chloe Paper Doll Overnight Bag is such a darling and clever design that moms will swoon for it more than their little girls, who will already be adorned in tulle-and-pearl Fiona Fabric Flowers.

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The book’s final 9 projects are group together in the Home section. The Gigi Ruffled Pillow and George the Puppy really caught my attention, and both would make great gifts. The Genevieve Patchwork Square Quilt is suited to beginners, with its large blocks and suggested hand-tied quilting. Two of the projects in this section are basically the same project with a slight twist, so they could have been grouped together.

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Whether you’re sewing for a girl, or teaching a girl to sew, the projects in Girl’s World really engage all levels of crafters. And the book really is beautiful! I recommend it and so appreciate Jennifer sending me a copy to review.

In fact, she was just as fun to interview, and now we have her next book Happy Home to look forward to next year! As well as new fabric lines, Crazy Love and Super Fly, due out this fall.

Would you like to win a copy of Girl’s World? Stay tuned, because there’s a giveaway coming up next week!

Business Tips from Jennifer Paganelli, and her book Girl’s World

I had the privilege to interview fabric designer Jennifer Paganelli, the business woman behind Sis Boom. She’s a crafty mom who seems to do a little bit of everything!

Jennifer’s creative work includes sewing patterns and juicy, vintage-inspired fabrics (produced by FreeSpirit). We got to chat a little bit about her journey as a creative business woman, as well as her first book, Girl’s World, with 21 projects made for little girls!

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Jennifer, congrats on your first book, Girl’s World. Can you tell me a little bit about how this project came to fruition?

JP: Well I’ve always wanted to do a book for years and it just took time to find the right fit. I also am not a great sewer so I wasn’t certain I could do a how-to book, but then I found Dolin Oshea who is the technical writer and illustrator for Girl’s World and it was a marriage made in heaven!

How have you enjoyed the process of working on Girl’s World as compared to working on individual patterns or fabric lines?

Girl's World by Jennifer Paganelli Girl’s World is an incredible platform for me. Until now the vision I had set forth for Sis Boom had really never been seen. It’s colorful but decidedly vintage, and I wanted that to be the principle factor. The book coming to life reveals the sensibility that Sis Boom is all about. It’s about color, but also draws back to a simpler time.

What’s the general theme or idea behind Girl’s World?

The general theme is how to create a pretty room or dress for a certain occasion, all the while being inspired by that cozy nook in your home. I love that these dresses are all cotton and washable, not fussy or demanding.

Do you have a favorite project in this book?

I love the Josie dress. I love that it can be used as short or long and I love that it can be worn to the beach or fancied up for a wedding.

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Aside from the cute Bosco Bowtie, can we look forward to any Sis Boom patterns for boys?

I love this question, and yes you will see more! Don’t forget the Sis Boom Louey Boxer as well as Carla Crim’s own collection of Scientific Seamstress items for boys.

You are an inspiration to moms who dream of having their own creative business, while balancing work with family life. Can you tell us how you’ve made it through the tough times?

You know I love highlighting other women and giving them a chance to shine because it can be so competitive out there and I think we are coming into a new time of more cooperation and sharing. Coveting keeps us lonely and isolated. Sharing is really the better route to a successful business. I have amazing and very talented women that work with me and pursue their own visions and dreams and they need to be supported in that.

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What’s your best advice for an aspiring designer or handmade author?

Never give up! Don’t quit before the miracle and always count your blessings! There is room for everyone and you are right where you are supposed to be.

What’s next for you, Jennifer?

I am super excited about my next book Happy Home, to be published by Chronicle next year. I love my fabrics for fall, Crazy love and Super Fly! And I am so grateful to everyone for their love of Girl’s World, because it’s just the beginning.

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Thanks for the inspiration, Jennifer! You can check out the book here.

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