Teen Sewing Bonanza

Hello, my friends! How are you doing? Are you still sheltering in place? Or has your area reopened and have you cautiously stepped out into the wild world?

K and I are still in full self-quarantine mode and we’re heading into day 80. M — the most extroverted of us all in desperate need of contact with other humans — has been venturing out a little more while remaining diligent about safety. At this point of lengthy cocooning, I’m not sure if I’m capable of having normal (i.e. coherent) conversations with people and I’m a little nervous about inserting myself into society when Seattle finally reopens.

Anyway! What with my books getting reshuffled schedule-wise and the necessary cancellations of many of my in-person events, I have found a treasure trove of abundant time. And for the first time in years, I’ve been inspired to sew for K. I may have had a poor showing for Me-Made-May, but I kept my sewing machine revved all month.

It’s been a long time since I’ve sewn for K at this pace. I might have overdone it, however, because after sewing up the ruffle top that failed, my mojo skittered to a halt this week.

I self-drafted all of the garments and I’m really proud of this fact. It’s always been my goal to be able to do this, and after 10 years of sewing, I’ve finally arrived. I’m sure it would take most people far less time but I’m a slow learner, especially when it comes to skills that have spatial and 3-dimensional elements.

So how did I decide what to make for K? She and I have a shared Pinterest board and she added all the clothes she fancied, and I used those pins as a springboard to come up with designs. So here they are:

PAJAMAS – she wanted lots and lots of pajamas. I’m happy to report that she loves them all and wears them constantly.


SHORTS – Nothing too special about these French terry knit shorts other than its off-the-charts comfort level. I created two separate casings for the waist band because I ran out of 3/4″ elastic and thought two rows of 3/8″ elastic would work (I did the same for the pink gingham pajama pants above). It did. Notice the fancy label. “Koom Koom” is her toddlerhood nickname and I had these labels made 10 years ago.

TOPS – she favors fitted and slightly cropped tops, I’ve noticed. I was trying to make the ones I sewed a little looser than the images I saw on our shared Pinterest board, but I miscalculated the stretch of this grey fabric and it turned out very snug:

She loves it and wears this top frequently. I’m quite pleased with how the lettuce edge hem turned out and you can see the original H & M top that I modeled it after. The stripey H & M top was a hand-me-down from a neighbor and it’s probably one of the most worn items in K’s wardrobe.

This tie-front top was fun to make. I’ve stopped worrying about finishing raw edges with most of the knit projects and K doesn’t seem to mind.

And finally…the failed ruffle top:

The idea behind this top is that it can be worn over or off the shoulder. Unfortunately, the fabric is too sheer, the armholes too deep and I sewed on the ruffle crookedly. I can easily fix the armholes and the ruffle, and I can probably add a lining, but I really, really dislike ripping the seams of knit fabric. We’ll see how I feel after a couple of days.

I’ve featured some of these on Instagram already, which was a lucky thing because quite a few of my photos mysteriously disappeared from my hard drive. Yay for cloud technology — though it tends to be hit-or-miss for me, this time it was a hit and I found the IG images stored on the cloud.

Alright, I’m off to figure out what else I can sew for K. Or maybe I’ll just veg out for a while. However you’re choosing to spend your time, I hope you’re staying safe and healthy!

10 thoughts on “Teen Sewing Bonanza

  1. K is a lucky girl! My girls sometimes come to me and say things like “Mom remember when we never left the house without something you made”. I remember but as they’ve grown I have stopped sewing for them. My tailoring skills are pretty dismal and as you noticed, teen like fitted clothing. My Sid has started sewing for herself and she doesn’t take it too seriously which I love. None of the agonizing over details that I do. She just sews and if it works, great, if it doesn’t that is great too. Happy Friday Sanae and family. It was nice to see a post from you!!!

    1. That’s so cool that Sid is sewing for herself! I constantly think about how my skills would be so much better if I’d started earlier. K tried sewing but decided it’s not her thing — music’s where it’s at for her 🙂 Thanks, Tracy!

  2. Such lovely clothes for K. She does look mighty pleased with them–no small feat for a mum of a teenager!
    I hope your self drafting book comes out soon–can’t wait to see it out in print.
    Stay safe Sanae.

    1. Thank you, Asmita! Due to Covid, my sewing book has been postponed, but I’m thrilled that I’ll be able to take extra time to make it as lovely as I can! xo

  3. So many beautiful clothes. I’ve made a few similar things for my tween – ruffle tops, front ties – but nothing self-drafted. All K’s PJs are lovely and I like the camisole-style top with the long pants; I’m now inspired to do something like this for R. Sounds like isolation has been a productive time for you! Stay safe 🙂

    1. Thanks Marisa! K was so disappointed that the ruffle top didn’t come out well, but I’m on it and will try again! Isolation has been a mixed bag — I flip flop between extreme productivity and extreme sitting around and staring into space :). Hope you’re staying safe and healthy!

    1. Thank you so much, Tammy! I’m steadily working on the book and a, excited to see it out in the world in the future!

  4. Lovely new wardrobe! I especially like the tie front top. I’m designing one myself for summer.

    1. The tie front top is a super cute design and I was surprised by how easy it was to make! Thank you, Asteride and have fun!

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