Sewing for Girls is Fun, But I Need Ideas!

Growing up sewing, I expected to sew for my own kids some day. Having sons put a different spin on it. When they were infants, it was fun to stitch things for them, sleepers and blankies, and all. But as they went through the toddler and small child stage, well, one can only make so many striped shirts and pull-on pants and still feel creative. Halloween was a fun outlet, as costumes are much more fun than little coveralls! At a certain stage they wanted skateboard shorts, and that is when I taught them to sew their own.

I was a tad bit jealous of my friends with little girls, who had so many more options for making fun clothes for their kids. Only on the sewing front, however, as I am enough of a tomboy-type myself that I was happy not to have to deal with the princess dresses and all on an everyday basis.

However, I have three grand-nieces, and sewing for them has been a blast over the years. Baby clothes were easy, and fun little jammies made great gifts. Princess dresses with fairy wings were a new (one-time) experience. Then the doll stage hit. I do not think I had made doll clothes since I was a kid myself. It was fun looking at the fancy, frilly patterns, but I was happy to see how much they enjoyed the active-wear and sporty things I choose to sew for the dolls. You can get a lot of mileage out of miniature fleece hoodies with perfect, tiny zippers.

Doll Clothes

Doll clothes, in triplicate!

Now the grand-nieces are getting past the doll stage. Two are firmly preteens and have their own sense of fashion and decor. I may have to shift to other types of gifts, but I have always liked passing down the joy of handmade gifts. As I look towards holiday gifts this year, I am stumped.
A friend suggested making them quilts, but I think they are not quite ready yet. They have delightful rooms that are well buried in decoration already. I have given things like beading sets and knitting kits for kids in the past. If they lived near me, I would probably have them each come over for a day of sewing something themselves (no sewing machines in their homes) but they are scattered about across the country.

So I am asking for suggestions. Any ideas out there for 10-12 year old girls?? I keep a very limited budget for gifts, but have a healthy supply of stash to draw from if I sew for them. I will probably resort to books if no great inspiration hits me. Do not get me wrong. Books are great gifts, but, well, I still like the personal touch.Needle and thread line copyright The Curious Quilter at WordPress dot comSignature©2011, The Curious Quilter,,


About thecuriousquilter

Quilter, sewer, writer, gardener, mother, sister, friend, always learning, always curious.
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11 Responses to Sewing for Girls is Fun, But I Need Ideas!

  1. Wendy P says:

    Girls that age would probably really love their own tote bag, backpack or book/Ipod/phone covers. There might be a place for some cute pjs if you get the right fabric print. And then there is always the cool new pillowcase with coordinated trimmed sheets.

  2. coloradolady says:

    I was going to say ipod or cell phone case. There are some really cute ones I have seen online. I have also seen some cute little makeup bags, throw in a little lip gloss! Or…….I swear I would have loved to have this back in the day….a tampon case. they slide in the little case, velcro lid, no one knows what it is in your purse…..

  3. coloradolady says:

    forgive me…I just saw 10 year old…maybe scratch the tampon case……I need to read more closely!

  4. Cecilia says:

    What about totes or some of the great looking bags? There is also covers for ereaders or sleevrs for laptops. I hope this helps.

  5. Keith says:

    If you were into 18th century living history I could give you plenty of ideas. As it is, how about aprons, easy and practicle. Housewife [sewing kit], useful regardless of period. Pocket books the same.
    A Woodsrunner’s Diary.

  6. Jayne says:

    There’s also exercise/note book covers/keepers. Even handmade kimono style slippers too! You could match those with the cute Pj’s suggestion. With the tote bag suggestion, you could also make a toilet bag to match, or a jewellery roll-up. ‘Cos they are likely having sleepover parties & such with their friends at this stage too.

  7. Meloney says:

    IPOD covers, pillows that are fluffy, purses, cell phone covers, book covers, towel coverups, hair coverups after the shower…..

  8. PJ’s, of course. Notebook/journal covers. Slouch bags/drawstring backpacks. Pencil cases. Hair things. Scarves. Lunch boxes/bags.

  9. Laura M says:

    When my nieces were that age, they loved little purses and bags. They also liked themed pillow cases. They were fun to sew for!

  10. Hope says:

    well when my step daughter turned 11 she also was into bags adn such, but I made her personalized towel and washrag set for birthday and for christmas she got a specially made stocking, a really cool blue jean jaket that i found at a resale shop and she loves cats so i did a mama cat and kittens on the back and a kitten chasing a ball of arn up the sleeve she loved it and now she 18 and asked me to put it on a pillow or quilt.
    you might also think about if they are into barbie dolls you could do things like bags for them, i did a tote for a boy who had oodles of cars and trucks,
    hope this helped you

  11. Sue Patee says:

    How about purchasing a book with blank pages (lined or unlined) and cover the book with some of your leftover fabric. They could use it as a “journal” or as we called them: diaries!

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