KCWC: Days 1 to 3
KCWC: Days 5 & 6

KCWC: Day 4


I taped the pdf download of the Wiksten Tank together last night (day 3) and cut it out (size XS) and sewed up the dress version for day 4.

So cute, right?

It's too big for Jane.

I'm bummed.

I thought it looked kind of big when I cut it out, but I forged ahead because the girls were at school and I didn't have a body to try it on. The main issue is that the neckline is too low. It's also a smidge big overall, but if the neckline were ok, we could belt it and call it good. No go. Note to self: trust your gut.

BUT not all is lost - Kate had not yet tried it on. And although she is the younger sister, she is the taller and bigger sister so it may fit her. Worse case scenario, it'll be a nightgown for Jane - a plan she wholeheartedly embraces.

Also, it's a stellar pattern and came together quickly. It just not suitable for the big-little-girl-not-quite-woman body we have going on here. That said, I think I'll make the top for myself.

Which brings us to the rest of my list...based on sizing, I'm afraid the Tova is out.  (Insert sad face here). And while the Little Lisette dress is adorable, I'm worried about sizing on that too.

What's a girl (er, mom sewing for her girls) to do?



The top is so lovely in Genine's fabric!!! So sorry it doesn't fit!! I haven't tried out the Renfrew yet for my girl.... At least the shorts were a success!!

Habit Blog

i just ordered that fabric. (also, what about a tank underneath?)

Habit Blog

i knew that was going to happen the minute i pressed post. it's me. xo.


Can she wear a little tank or cami under this ? It is super cute!!.........Just noticed someone else suggested tank too. Oops. I love that you are sewing for the girls. What a way to feel adored by your mom. :-)


could you sew a piece of aqua in the neck to fill it in and give it a layered look?


My first thought was also to layer it with a tank underneath. It's a gorgeous top!

I have an 11-year-old who is in that same sort of spot body wise. Almost as tall as me, but she (thank goodness) doesn't have the shape to fill out clothes designed for women. I think it's great that you're trying to make the women's patterns work! But I can see how it would be REALLY hard.


i was going to suggest tank underneath too. how about that?


I have had this problem in the past and am facing it again. I have found that women's petites are a better fit for the young lady/not quite a women fit. The petites are cut a bit smaller and fit my middle one (who is now taller than me at 5'8") when she was your girls exact ages. We just tried those same clothes on her little 10 yr old sister and they fit again. Yeah! Good luck!


maybe the scout tee? http://shop.grainlinestudio.com/product/scout-woven-tee


Bummer about the tank. I've had fit issues on that one too. In case it's of any help, I found the tank to run bigger than the Tova. I make the Tova in a s/m, but had to size down to the XS for the tank... So perhaps the XS Tova would work?


I had the same instinct as everyone else, but i was going to suggest the yellow and add a fake "camisole" at the neck. It turned out so beautifully, it would be a shame to give up now. Good luck!


the Wiksten tank was too low a neck on me too - FYI - and I'm 44. :)
it'll make a lovely nightgown anyway! :)


oooh that fabric is so pretty - i love that you're sewing for your bigger girls. i'm with the others here - i'm sure you could layer it up and make it work, right? and for the future i bet it wouldn't be too hard to raise the neckline a bit. love that wiksten tank - easy to tweak.


I have trouble finding patterns appropriate for my 12 year old as well. It seems like that market is a bit empty--either too sexy or too little girly or just plain too big. Wish there was a good source for that age/size patterns! It looks lovely though! She'll fit into it someday luckily (hopefully)and a tank and some well placed pin tucks might work?


It is a gorgeous top and better too big than too small. Someone will get to wear it. Have you looked at Citronelle's patterns for tween-y, teen-y girls? http://www.citronille.fr/produit.php?id_collection=8? I have tried them but I've been keeping them in mind for when my girls grow larger.


It is still just lovely...too bad on the fit.


Great minds think alike, I was going to say layer it over a tank or sweet tshirt too. But, I also know that if it's not exactly right on a teen, they won't wear it. Love the fabric.


Is it too low a neckline and too wide in the body? I am 34 but unfortunately have the body of a 12 year old girl. Actually, more like a 12 year old boy! Anyway, I've avoided the Wiksten tank for that reason, but on most patterns I end up significantly shortening the straps to bring the neckline up and then also wear a tank top. Any possibility of taking apart the shoulder seams and bringing up the front of the top? That fabric is so pretty.

FYI, the Sorbetto pattern was fine for me with the high neckline, so that might be an option if they happen to like it. I cut a size 0 (2 at the waist) took 2 inches out of the middle, narrowed the pleat to make it look proportional, increased the shoulder seam allowance and then trimmed the armsyce a little, and raised the bust darts.

Mama Urchin

Katie is creeping into that too big for little girl clothes and not big enough for juniors territory too. She's not there yet but I can see that outfitting her in those years is going to be hard.


Well, I love it just the same. I've been eyeing this pattern FOREVER and had no idea it had come out in a PDF format.... I am off to buy it!


Such great fabric ... I'd layer a tank under it with a skinny belt. She'll look so cute.


Having two girls the same age and being a garment sewer, I deal with the same fit issues. Although I rather alter a pattern by increasing a size for myself to get a better fit, it is better to decrease a woman pattern than go up in a kids size from my experience. Usually I would tske simple patterns like the tova and trace it again. Then cut a vertical slice through the middle on back and front so I can overlap and tape. It takes the wide width out the back and front scoop. Followed by a horizontal slice in the shoulder/chest area then overlap and tape. Don't forget to take same out of the back/shoulder area too. Hope you understand my ramblings. I have done a lot of pattern alterations for my girls! The xs women sizing does allow for curves that are appearing then the kids 14/16!


Man - I hated, hated when my daughter was in this size place last year - Easter dress shopping was a misery - misery! Nothing really fit right and I couldn't even sew, so I was at the mercy of the retail establishment. Could she wear a camisole, tank under it? That mitigated some of our problems. And also shopping in kids plus-size. My daughter wasn't a plus size, but she wasn't developed enough for junior clothing, but regular sizes were too short and too tight in the bust. I would also go on-line, like at the Gap and read the reviews, if the review was that it fit bigger than a typical size, we got that. Good luck!


The Tova does fit a bit smaller than the tank. I've made a number of the tanks for my teen. She is thin, so I raised the neck and also took it in at the fold- it brings the straps in nicely for her. I have made Citronille patterns for her as well- they have a whole line of patterns for these sizes and they are lovely made up. I've also made her the famous Built by Wendy elastic tops- always so cute! I've ended up making up more patterns for her now than in any other size- skirt with front pockets, dress with cinched waist. It is tougher at this age, but I so want her to know that she can sew clothing for herself as she gets older! Good luck! I love the shorts too!

Gina f.

Such a beautiful top! Hope you can belt it with a camisole or tank under it so she can wear it!!


its a great tank, and there are lots of great suggestions for making it work...but reading your post took me back to my childhood...because im the younger 'bigger' sister and i heard that alot...and never once did i like hearing it.in fact, im still the younger bigger sister!! have a great weekend.

Erin | house on hill road

I guess I should just say younger and taller - she's really not bigger!


Hi Erin! I just found your blog and I love it. May I have your permission to feature some of your tutorials on SewCanShe.com? Please drop me a line and let me know. Thanks!
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Alegria! So exciting to see Geninne's fabric in use, I haven't had a chance to get any yet. And I'm with the "tank underneath" crowd, that would solve the problem handily (and look at all the different colors of tank she could choose!).

Chase  l  Oh The Cuteness!

The fabric you chose for the dress is so pretty, I would wear it as a shirt is a second! Also the shorts turned out great. I've been seeing so many people sewing those as the weather warms, I might have to give it a go!


I'm so into that Alegria fabric. I want to make myself a dress with it -- maybe this one: http://www.simplicity.com/p-5908-misses-miss-petite-dresses-cynthia-rowley-collection.aspx

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