Do you have a tween to sew for? Google tells me that a "tween" is a person between the ages of 8 and 12. My 9 year old loves for me to sew for her still (thankfully!). I definitely feel that over the last year, though, she has become much more opinionated on what she wants me to sew her vs. purchase. I have also learned to ask her before signing her up as a model for a pattern test. She was previously not as opinionated in her style and was very happy with whatever I chose, but as she has matured, I have noticed she is losing interest in designs that feel baby or kid like to her. Hello tween years! How did they seem to sneak up on me!?!
I recently got the opportunity to test an update to the Ellie and Mac Cold Shoulder top pattern, and I absolutely loved the enthusiasm she had when I asked her if she wanted a cold shoulder top. She loved everything about the pattern and quickly picked out a fabric I had been hoarding for myself to be her top. She told me that she has wanted a top exactly like this for forever.
The Girls' Cold Shoulder Pattern was originally released in June of 2017. The version that I tested this past month is an update to that pattern. The updated version is slimmer through the bodice and is not as long as the original. Also, the neckline is more modest. The basic features are the same, though. You can sew it with a ruffle that is gathered along the bottom, or you can simply hem the bottom and wear it as a top. All versions include the shoulder cut outs. The size range on this pattern is 2T to 12. I made a size 10 based on her measurements. To ensure that the bands laid properly for the neckline and cold shoulders, I measured and calculated them at 85% of the opening.
The fabric that I used for her top is a double brushed polyester from Knitpop. As her tween style is evolving, she seems to be gravitating to fabrics that I like and away from all the kid prints in my stash. I guess this is all the more reason to buy more fabric? She looks really pretty in this floral so I am glad she picked it!
Time to Gather
This top took me about 2 hours to sew (in shifts!). The longest part is gathering for me. I usually run a straight stitch along the ruffle with my stitch length set at the highest for my machine. I just do one row of stitching on the front and then another row for the back. I then put the shirt in my "to do stack" to take with me while I am in the homeschool room with the kids the next day. To do the gathering, I pull my bobbin thread on the top of the ruffle until it matches the bottom of the shirt. I make sure to match the side seams and the middle of the front and back. Then, I clip like crazy. This makes it go really quick when I am back at my sewing machine later that night.
While I am sitting at our homeschool table, I can give each of my older children their instructions on whatever subject they are working on and make sure the 4 year old has a stack of paper, glue, and crayons. The baby is usually napping or crawling around us. Then, I go through my stack of "to do" projects, which is usually a stack of patterns to tape together, stitches to be ripped, or ruffles to be gathered. This helps make me more efficient with my time when I do get to sew in my office, which is usually late in the evening once the house is quiet. Also, it is a bonus for the kids for me to have occupied hands because I stay available right where they are. It is a great way to hover close without being too close. I have learned that if I instruct and then walk away, they will walk away too, which makes for a long school day.
If you have a little girl or tween who would want a Cold Shoulder Top, the pattern can be found here. If you have already purchased this pattern, you can get the update by re-downloading the pattern from your account at Ellie and Mac.
Disclosures: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small compensation when you purchase via my link. There is no cost to you, and it allows me to continue to tell you all about my latest favorite sewing finds.
I was also getting photos of the Gemma top on the same day, so Abby and I got photos together. I absolutely love that I have these memories. So, here is a wonderful photo overload of memories of us goofing off.