Uptown/Downtown Dress Blog Tour + Giveaway


I love the Uptown/Downtown Dress from SewStraightPatterns. It’s designed for knit fabric, fitted through the waist, with just the right amount of flare in the skirt.

Uptown/Downtown Dress by SewStraight Patterns

I ordered this Mint Peach Ella Stripe from Girl Charlee for the tour. It’s a jersey knit, but there’s very little stretch. The pattern recommends % stretch, so I was nervous. I sewed it anyways, because it’s such a fast dress to make. The plan was that if it was a pain to put on or take off, I’d run and get a different fabric.

Peach & Mint Striped Jersey Dress | SewsNBows

But the fabric worked out, and Sofie has worn it several times, so it’s a win. Fabric crisis averted. *wipes sweat from brow* Next time I make this dress (and there will be many next times) I’ll order something I’m familiar with, or find something in a local shop. Or, you know…read the fabric description.

Peach & Mint Striped Uptown/Downtown  Dress | SewsNBows

The pattern has several finishing techniques, sleeve variations, and a tutorial for a stretch lace overlay. I know it can be made so many ways, but I like the sporty/girly feel of my niece’s dress.

Uptown/Downtown Dress by Sew Straight Patterns

So it was sort of fitting when Sof went after a basketball during the photo-shoot.

Uptown/Downtown Dress by Sew Straight Patterns

I really love the length on her too. It’s doesn’t impede her movement, but doesn’t show any butt when she bends and plays like a wild monkey. Also, in a medium wight jersey; there is just enough movement in the skirt for twirls and prancing, but it doesn’t lift and blow in the wind.

Dress Pattern : Ninja Approved


This dress is also suitable for ninja action…

Chillin' in the Uptown/Downtown Dress


And chillin’ like nobody’s business.

Uptown/Downtown Dress | SewsNBows

You can buy the Uptown/Downtown Dress pattern at SewStraightPatterns. Use code uptowndowntowntour for a 30% discount! Or, enter below for a chance to win a copy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Posted in Girls Clothing, Patterns | Tagged , , | 12 Comments
School Uniforms For American Girl Dolls

This week I’ve been sewing school uniforms for American Girl dolls. Here are the patterns I’m using, and some back to school looks. I’m also sharing some tips for sewing doll clothes at the end of this post.

School Uniforms for American Girl Dolls | Cute looks + pattern picks and sewing tips

If you want to sew matching looks for your kids; my top picks for kids school uniform patterns are at Serger Pepper.

School Uniforms For American Girl Dolls

School Uniforms for American Girl Dolls: Patterns, inspiration, & sewing tips

You can download the free Polo Shirt pattern from Doll Duds to make this look.

Khaki Shorts for American Girl Doll, snap closure and heart shaped "button"

These shorts are modified from LJC’s Capris & Shorts pattern. I used a snap front closure and heart shaped faux button. The welt pockets are my favorite!

Button Up Shirt for American Girl Doll

The Button Up Shirt pattern by Liberty Jane is adorable. It has a back yoke and optional front yoke. It’s very detailed, and even has pleated cuffs. This one is tricky for me- I struggle with the cuffs and collar. I’m just going to keep sewing it until I get it right:)

Back To School LookBook for American Girl Dolls

I layered the button up with the Pullover Sweater pattern by Liberty Jane. I used a sheer navy colored knit. There’s a keyhole opening and snap in back to fit over the dolls head.

Skinny Jeans pattern for 18" doll from Peekaboo Patterns

Many of the kids patterns at Peekaboo Pattern Shop have 18″ doll sizes included. I used the Skinny Jeans to make these khaki uniform pants. They include functional front and back pockets.

The Betty Skirt pattern by Shaffer Sisters (18" doll)

This is the Betty Skirt pattern by Shaffer Sisters. It’s a girl pattern with bonus 18″ size. There are lots of options but the pleated version is great for school uniforms.

School Uniforms for 18" Dolls

You may have noticed the ties my girls are wearing: I made them using the Dress Me Up Neck Attire pattern from Doll Tag Clothing. It also includes a bow tie and scarf.

Urban Backpack pattern from Sew Urban | Back to School Sewing for American Girl Dolls

The Urban Backpack pattern by Sew Urban is a really quick sew. Mine is purple and sparkly and I added a Velcro closure.

Tips For Sewing Doll Clothes

  • I like upcycle clothing to make doll things. For back to school looks; old polos are great.  You can use the fabric and ribbing from the collar. Likewise, old khaki pants or jeans are a great fabric source once they get too short or holes in the knee.

School Uniforms For American Girl Doll

  • Keep in mind that some seams are tiny and difficult to press. Use fabric that isn’t too heavy or thick. Fabric with some stretch to it is really nice because a many doll patterns have very little ease. You can use a rolled washcloth to press tricky areas, like inside a sleeve.

School Uniforms for American Girl Doll

  • Likewise, sourcing tiny notions will really give your doll clothes an edge. Scale is everything; from notions to fabric prints.

School Uniforms for American Girl Doll + Pattern Sources & Sewing Tips

  • Keep your seams small. 1/4″ is plenty; you don’t need any bulk that could make it difficult to dress your doll.

School Uniforms for American Girl Dolls | Pattern Sources and Sewing Tips

  • Smaller stitches look nicer, more “to scale”, and hold up better. They are also more annoying to seam rip, so work slowly.

Do as I say, and not as I do. Sometimes I get lazy and break all the rules. I really need to sew that button up shirt again, and practice sewing snaps. I never like they way they look. I’m thinking about buying a KAM Table-Top Snap Button Press Setter Machine. I love pearl snaps on blouses and men’s shirts; and it would def make my doll clothes look nice. Hand stitches are not my strength. I think we all know that :)

Now you have the chance to win the outfits shown in this post! The next big American Girl Wardrobe giveaway is coming at Diana Rambles; and it is a full year’s wardrobe! It’s will include seasonal looks, formal, sports, back to school, holiday, and more. 1 winner takes all!


Posted in Dolls, Patterns, Toys | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments
Top 12 Kids Underwear Patterns + Free Pattern List

So, I’ve been on this underwear sewing kick lately. I wanted to share my top 12 kids underwear patterns to buy, plus 12 more free undie patterns. All patterns, free and paid; are in PDF format.

Top 12 Kids Underwear Patterns | SewsNBows

Continue reading

Posted in Boy's Clothing, Girls Clothing, Patterns, Tween Sewing | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments
School Uniform Sewing Patterns

I’m hanging out with Irene at Serger Pepper today; sharing the best PDF patterns to sew yo babies some school uniforms!

The Best PDF Patterns for Sewing School Uniforms

Click here to read:

The Best Patterns for School Uniforms


Posted in Boy's Clothing, Girls Clothing, Patterns | 1 Comment
Secret Garden Dress Pattern + Giveaway

The Secret Garden Dress pattern is being released tomorrow! Squeal! I know a lot of you have been waiting for it. Wanna see mine?

The Secret Garden Dress Pattern : Love the bow & cascading flounce!!

This pattern is a collaboration between Deb from Sprouting JubeJube Allison from E+M Patterns.

The Secret Garden Dress Pattern

  • Sleeveless, lined bodice with side zip
  • Knee length skirt with peekaboo lining
  • Attached bow with open center back & cascading flounce
  • Size 2-10

The Secret Garden Dress Pattern | SewsNBows

My model measures a size 3T in her chest and waist, but she’s not quite 2 years old in this photo. My dress falls longer on a much younger baby; but if you check out the tester photos you’ll see that the dress is designed to fall about knee length. I sewed the dress exactly according to the pattern for an accurate test fitting. I love the way it looks with the extra length, and sweet little toes peeking out!

The Secret Garden Dress | SewsNBows

As for pattern testing on the Secret Garden Dress, it was a great experience. Since I had never worked with Deb or Allison, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew is that I wanted to own this pattern before everybody else. I know that’s the worst reason to test a pattern; (because you want it right now, right freakin’ now!!)…but I’ve never claimed moral scruples here.

The Secret Garden Dress Pattern from Sprouting JubeJube & E+M Patterns

The minute I saw the tester call I was on it like white on rice. I signed up for a size 3, but I probably would’ve kidnapped someones child and sewed a different size if I needed to. It was that serious. When I got picked; I almost died of happy.

The Secret Garden Dress Pattern | SewsNBows

Pattern testing was involved, and I mean that in a good way. The girls were extremely detail oriented and I could tell that they wanted the Secret Garden Dress to be absolutely perfect. Testers each sewed a bodice muslins before the entire pattern was available. The neckline was lowered a nudge and they made sure the armcyes were a good fit in each size. I loved working so closely with other testers, and appreciate the work ethic of Deb & Allison.

The Secret Garden Dress Pattern

I’d say an advanced beginner could handle this pattern. I didn’t struggle too much, and it’s more challenging than stuff I normally sew. I laid the back dress and flounce out to help me understand this magic. It’s simpler than it looks, and pretty genius too!

The Secret Garden Dress Pattern | SewsNBows

Finding strawberries in the garden :)

I’ve made another Secret Garden Dress that I’ll be showing you soon. Can’t wait! If you’re dying to sew this dress too, you can get it here:

E+M Patterns

Enter below for your chance to win a copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Posted in Girls Clothing, Patterns | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments