Spin Skirt | Tween Pattern Showcase & Skirting The Issue

Spin Skirt by Elegance & Elephants, poplin from L’Ouseau Fabrics

Spin Skirt pattern from Elegance & Elephants

Today I’m at E&E talking about knit fabrics from L’Ouseau. Check out the post here!

Aside from their amazing selection of knits; L’Ouseau also carries hard to find Euro prints. Poplin is a fabric with a plain weave, but it’s different than quilters cotton. The fibers are woven tighter, which makes the fabric feel lighter and more crisp. It’s usually cotton or a cotton blend, and it’s specifically designed for clothing. It can have a bit of sheerness, and has a nice drape for garments.

Poplin print from L'Ouseau Fabrics

This print sang to me. (Get it? Because birds sing?! Just laugh please.)

I wanted to make something for Skirting The Issue and Bella agreed to wear it for you; with the requirement that readers must be informed that she doesn’t wear much pink or flowers. She doesn’t want her tomboy reputation ruined, I guess?

(I love pink, and so does 99% of the world. Moving on.)

Spin Skirt in L'Ouseau Fabric | SewsNBows

I also thought this would be a good opportunity to show you why Heidi’s Spin Skirt is on my Tween PDF Pattern MasterList; when it only goes up to girls size 10.

E&E Spin Skirt pattern | SewsNBows

The Spin Skirt is a very full skirt. You can add length to the elastic & waistband pieces to adjust this skirt to any size you like. I added about 2″ to the elastic and casing in order to size up to a 12. That was pretty generous, and I think this skirt would easily fit a size 14 as well.

Spin Skirt | SewsNBows

So the Spin Skirt pattern could be used for anyone, adults included. All you have to do is use your judgement on the waistband and casing. I wrapped the elastic around my daughter’s waist, and added enough ease to the casing so that it could pull over her hips. No adjustments to the skirt are needed.

Elastic & drawstring waistband | SewsNBows

My favorite part of this pattern is the waistband. Using two pieces of thin elastic with a drawstring results in a really couture look. This style of waistband is very prevalent in higher end ready to wear. It also provides a really custom fit, so comfortable!

Spin Skirt from Elegance & Elephants | Tween Pattern Showcase

The Spin Skirt pattern and instructions  are included when you purchase the Bubble Pocket Top. Pattern pieces are self drafted. (I am an affiliate of E&E patterns.) Visit Elegance & Elephants to check out this pattern and more!

You can read up on Skirting The Issue at Project Sewn if you’re curious about it. People are sewing skirts for girls in foster homes, hospitals…there’s plenty of causes to donate to.

SewsNBows Tween Pattern Showcase: The Spin Skirt from Elegance & Elephants

Well, I think that’s enough writing for today, I’m off to wash laundry and dishes. Always laundry and dishes….lol!


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Betty Skirt Pattern : Pleated Skirt for 18″ Doll

The Shaffer Sisters are hard at work again; adding extended sizes to the Betty Skirt pattern! (There may also be some fun add-ons…but we’ll have to wait and see:) I can’t say too much; but I can confirm this:

The Betty Skirt from Shaffer Sisters will soon include 18" doll sizes!

It will include a bonus 18″ doll pattern!

Betty Skirt Pattern Variations

The new size chart will go up to size 16. It still includes small or large pleat options; a gathered skirt, and a gathered skirt with a front button placket. I made a button placket version in denim earlier this year, and loved the finished skirt!

The Betty Skirt with Pixie Faire Baseball Tee for American Girl Doll

So this time I sewed the pleated Betty Skirt. (Large pleat option.) I’m not a big fan of precision pressing; so maybe the stars were just aligned. My pleats magically lined themselves properly with no adjusting. Tell me I’m not the only one who battles it out with pleats?!

The Betty Skirt pattern with extended sizes: will include 18" doll bonus pattern!

The end result is so sweet! I’m less intimidated by doll clothes, and maybe that was a factor. But this little pleated skirt came together so easily. There’s an easy to use pleat guide. I just transferred the markings to my fabric, folded, and pressed.

Pleated Betty Skirt & Baseball Tee with sneakers, American Girl Doll Sewing

I also really love the waistband technique for this skirt. The yoke folds down on itself. You make your elastic loop and just pop it in there. I used 5/8″ elastic.

Pleated Chambray Skirt with Striped Tee for American Girl Doll

This fabric is a little thicker than regular quilting cotton or poplin. I added fake bartacks to keep my pleats in place. (Fake because I haven’t figured out how to use the automatic bartack feature on my machine. This is just back stitching!)

The Betty Skirt pattern from Shaffer Sisters

I’m looking forward to making the button placket skirt in something light and drapey. I’d like to make matching girl/doll skirts! I’ll let you know all the new details about the Betty Skirt as soon as it’s official. See ya soon!


Posted in Dolls, Toys | Tagged , | 5 Comments
Overall Dress Refashion

Its Refashion Month at House of Estrella!

Refashion Month

Here’s my easy overall dress refashion tutorial. It takes 20 minutes or less, and very little sewing experience is needed.

Refashion boys overalls into a cute dress! Easy tutorial.

We started with a perfectly respectable pair of overalls. There’s nothing wrong with them at all. I’ll just let Sofie’s face tell you how she feels about them.

Toddler overalls into dress refashion | SewsNBows

It’s safe to say she ain’t feelin’ this outfit. So grab your scissors and thread your machine!

Overall Dress Refashion Tutorial

Overalls To Dress Refashion | SewsNBows

Cut your overalls in half, leaving the back pockets intact. Be careful not to cut the front pocket linings!

Overalls refashioned into a dress tutorial | SewsNBows

Determine the length and width of your skirt.

Overalls refashion | SewsNBows

At this point, you can hem your skirt and/or finish your edges. (I chose not to hem my dress until I had my niece available to try it on.)

Boys overalls to girls dress | SewsNBows

Pin the pocket linings up so they don’t get caught in the seam.

Overalls to Dress refashion | SewsNBows

Sew a double row of gathering stitches in your skirt.

Overalls Refashion | SewsNBows

Pin your skirt to the overalls at the side seams; right sides together. Pull your gathers to fit. Pin a bunch more. Then stitch.

Overall Dress Tutorial | SewsNBows

Here’s an inside view of my dress. I ended up using a bubble style skirt, which eliminated the need for a hem.

Overall Dress Refashion | SewsNBows

Now, we have a happy girl!!

Overall Dress Refashion | SewsNBows

Pretty simple, right? I have lots more sewing inspiration & tutorials on Pinterest, so feel free to check out my boards. If you’re visiting from House of Estrella, thanks so much for coming by! And if you’re already a friend, I hope you know how much I love your visits.

Until next time,



Posted in Girls Clothing, Repurposing, Tutorial | Tagged , | 7 Comments
Stenciled T-shirt Refashion for Tweens

I’m sharing a stenciled t-shirt refashion today! (Its another mama-daughter collaboration!)

Easy Stenciled T-shirt Refashion  Tutorial | SewsNBows

The spray painting is easy enough for older kids to handle, but we did pick up some tips for you. By that, I mean that we ruined a shirt prior to this one.

Stenciled T-shirt with Fabric Spray Paint | SewsNBows

Bella & I used Simply Spray Soft Fabric Paint and Martha Stewart craft stencilsto create this look. (Those are Amazon affiliate links:)

Zig Zag Stitch Detail for T-shirt Tefashion

We started with a plain white t-shirt. I purchased a few a while back when they were on sale for $1. The fit is pretty boxy, so I chopped the sides down and capped the sleeves. We embellished the seams with a quick zig-zag stitch.

Stenciled T-Shirt Refashion for Kids | SewsNBows

We removed the ribbing around the neck. The neckline and sleeves are unfinished, super easy.

Easy Stenciled T-shirt Refashion | SewsNBows

Once the shirt was “reconstructed”, it was time to go to town with our fabric spray paint and stencils.

Easy Stenciled T-shirt Refashion | SewsNBows

Our first stenciled t-shirt refashion was awful. You or your tween may be tempted to get right up on the t-shirt and spray: Don’t! Stand a couple feet away and spray a “practice” stream of paint into the air first. (It helps to read the instructions.)

Fabric Spray Painted T-shirt | SewsNBows

You’ll want to go light, and try to let one layer of paint dry before you add another. If not, it will result in muddy color. We have a couple muddy spots on ours, but hey; our last shirt could stand up on it’s own!

Stenciled T-shirt Refashion | SewsNBows

My daughter really loves her stenciled t-shirt refashion, and it was a fun way to beat summer boredom. We’ve also been at work in the kitchen, making ice cream, jams, and last night we tried homemade butter. Thankfully, were also doing lots of swimming to burn off some of those calories. What’s everybody else up to?

Easy Stenciled T-shirt For Kids | SewsNBows


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Top 10 Summer Dress Patterns (with tween sizes)

Top 10 Summer Dress Patterns, especially chosen for tweens. These patterns go up to at least size 12, and aren’t too babyish for older girls.

Summer Dress Patterns (with tween sizes)

Soleil Dress by Selvedge Designs, size 12 months-12

Soliel Dress from Selvedge Designs | top 10 Summer Dress Patterns

The Soliel dress pattern is sewn in knit, with exposed pockets and 2 bodice back variations. Shown here are lovely tester photos that really show the versatility and design options. The dress on the left shows how you can play with prints and colors for fun, original look. The dress on the right was made by Shawnta Sews, who does lots of awesome tween sewing on her blog!

Knotlin Nautical Dress by Blaverry, size 9 mos- to 12

Knotlin Nautical Dress from blaverry | Top 10 Summer Dress Patterns

This pattern is from the Anchors Away 2014 Nautical collection at Blaverry. With commercial grade techniques, Blaverry designs are for home sewists who make quality garments built to last. The Knotlin Dress features 6 sailor style buttons on the bodice with capped sleeves, and a slightly gathered, lightweight skirt.

Trendy Tunic by Love Notions, size 2-14

Trendy Tunic from Love Notions | Top 10 Summer Dress Patterns

How sweet is the Trendy Tunic? It’s as comfy as a basic tee, with fun color blocking and must have pockets. This pattern even won over my tomboy!

Audrey Peasant Dress by Sig Creations, size 7-14

Audrey Peasant Dress | top 10 Summer Dress Patterns

The Audrey Peasant Dress requires no zippers or buttons, so it’s perfect for beginner sewists. It would look great in a knit or woven fabric, and has 3 sleeve options. As your daughter grows taller, it can be worn as a tunic or a top.

Sis Boom Maddie Top & Dress, size 6/12 months- 11/12 years

SisBoom Maddie Top & Dress | Top 10 Summer Dress Patterns

Here’s a fun dress or top from SisBoom Patterns, which is known for excellent, easy to follow instructions and beautifully made PDFs. The Maddie Dress can be made with or without the flutter sleeves. Definitely a summer staple!

Texas Rose Shirtdress by Ellie Inspired, size 1-16

Texas Rose Shirtdress by Ellie Inspired | Top 10 Summer Dress Patterns

This is one of my favorite summer dress patterns for girly tweens! It offers long or short sleeves, which makes it a great dress pattern all year long. Also included is a pattern for ruffle pants, & a set of 18″ doll matching patterns.

Paris Tea Time Dress by Terra’s Treasures, 18 months-14

Paris Tea Time Dress from Terra's Treasures | Top 10 Summer Dress Patterns

The Paris Tea Time Dress has a vintage 1940′s flavor, with cute shoulder ties, bodice details, and banded waist and hem. This tween sized pattern allows for lots of fun fabric combinations.

Sweet Bow Top & Dress by Patterns For Pirates, 3 months-14

Sweet Bow Top & Dress from Pirates For Pirates | Top 10 Summer Dress Patterns

The open backs have it this summer, and the criss-crossed straps on this dress are a fun take on that trend. The Sweet Bow Dress includes options for a small or mega sized bow.

Rio Racerback Tank & Dress by Peekaboo Patterns, 3 mos-12 

Rio Racerback Tank & Dress from Peekaboo Patterns | Top 10 Summer Dress Patterns

The Rio Racerback Tank Dress (tank option shown) is sure to please older girls. A simple design makes this dress a quick sew, and it’s sure to be worn a lot. Use contrasting ribbing for a fun look!

Go To Signature Dress by Go To Patterns, 12 mos-12 years

Go To Signature Dress from Go To Patterns | Top 10 Summer Dress Patterns

The Signature Dress is a big duh for summer dresses. There are 3 lengths, 7 sleeve variations, 4 pockets options, and a hoodie. The capped sleeve maxi has been our favorite! I’ve never gone wrong with this pattern…in fact I think I could sew it in my sleep by now. Fast, easy, cute.

Hope you enjoyed my top 10 summer dress patterns! Be sure to check out my Tween PDF Pattern MasterList for more tween sewing patterns. Some patterns may contain affiliate links. Thanks for reading!



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