Being able to sew is a bonus when it comes to things like this...my son had his first school performance yesterday. The class were dressed as cave boys and girls and danced around the stage to Queen Latifah's "Walk Like a Dinosaur". It was so great to watch them showing so much confidence for five year old's, and of course having a great time performing in front of the school.
As you can see, it was a pretty simple job, so I sewed a few for the class and other mum's just used my sketched pattern to make their own. The stand out though of the costume was the Saber-Tooth Tiger necklace. My husband carved them out of wood, what talent! It really made the costume come alive and of course it was a great story for my son to tell his classmates...of how he got hold of the 'real' teeth....hahaha.
I went oversea's for a wedding a few months ago, and on the way home while waiting in the departure lounge, I decided to have a quick look in the bookstore. I couldn't believe it...they had a range of Japanese sewing books - and two English versions. I bought them straight away, and had a pleasant trip home reading through them on the aeroplane. One of them was "Happy Homemade - Sew Chic Kids". This is the first dress I have made from it called the V Neck Dress. I loved it straight away - the shape of the front yoke and the sectioned pleating down the front.
However, it was very simple and quick to sew, and it looks that way when it is worn. A little too home-made looking for me. The neckline and sleeve edges are finished with a serger and then simply hidden behind a row of lace. My lace doesn't sit very well and I have a feeling it might be abit itchy, though she hasn't complained of that yet...
And the fit is too big. The pattern comes in even sizing - 2, 4, 6, etc - so I took the time to draft the mid-point between 2 and 4 so I got a size 3 (just thinking of her age). This is my fault though, I didn't check the sizing graph and I really should of cut out a size 2. It will fit her for awhile...that's always a bonus!
But, in saying all this, it is nice and airy and free-flowing for the hot summer ahead, so I'm sure it will still get worn.
My little girl attends a gymnastics class, and it's the highlight of her week. She normally goes in tights and a top, but since going to see the circus a few weeks ago, she has been obsessed by the outfit worn by the trapeze artist. So I gave it a go so she could look the part as she swung around (more like dangled) on the bars at gym.
The leotard I made from a handed-down pattern - Knitwit 7500. It has a range of leotards and tights up to size 12 so this is going to be one well used pattern in the coming years! The leotard is made from pretty pink two-way stretch lycra and the little shorts are a stretch velvet with a sparkly pattern on them - hard to see in the photo.
So now, as soon as we get home from the days activities, she hops out of her clothes, into her leotard and shorts, turns on the music and dances around the house...this outfit is not limited to just gymnastics class, hahaha!
My sister's engagement party was in the afternoon in a wonderful garden setting. It was warm and sunny, the drinks were flowing, the canapes were delicious and it was wonderful few hours spent with family and friends.
And you can't go to a party without a new dress, right ??!!
I love how my little girl's dress turned out, but in the beginning I was so worried about the two fabrics going together I almost didn't finish it. But the risk paid off because I think it was perfect for the day.
The pattern is self drafted. The bodice front is my standard pattern I have used now a handful of times. I don't know where it has originally come from, but the neckline I copied from a Simplicity pattern and the flutter sleeves came from one of my Japanese sewing books. The back of the dress I love. It crosses over and does up with two of the most gorgeous buttons, and a tiny press-stud up the top so it doesn't gape open. The skirt is just a rectangle gathered onto the top and because it was so see-through, I had to make a little petticoat to go underneath, trimmed with sparkly yellow lace.
We had such a wonderful afternoon! Next....the wedding, yay!
Pattern by Do Guincho
Click here for this fantastic pattern
Look at these shorts!
Full, gathered and bubbly - so much fun!
I was lucky enough to receive the Bubble Shorts pattern from
Marta at Do Guincho. It was really kind of her to send it to me
and I'm so grateful because I looooooove these shorts!
The pattern was easy to follow, really well written and illustrated and in a couple of hours I had them sewn up.
My sister is having another engagement party (you've got to do these things right!), this time here not interstate, so I was meant to be making a garden party dress for my little girl...but it's just not turning out how I envisioned - so the bubble shorts were the perfect distraction for awhile!
Love! Thanks Marta!
Here it is...my very first pattern!
The City Shorts
It is free and I would love for you to give it a try!
The pattern is for size 100 only (for ages 3 to 4 years) but hopefully in the future I will be able to grade the pattern to include a range of sizes.
If you would like the pattern, please use the form below and I will email
it to you as soon as possible.
If you have any questions at all please ask,
or if you have any comments on the pattern I would love to know.
This is a standard submission form, please don't feel that you
have to disclose any information you don't want to.
About the pattern...
The shorts have a gathered front under a fitted front waistband. Deep side pockets are a must for little girly treasures and the back has a nice fit with an elasticated waistband. Most of the patterns I use come from Japanese sources, so my layout and diagrams will reflect this. I hope they are easy to understand and interpret. Good luck and if you have any problems at all, please contact me :)
I have finished the pattern for these shorts so I had to re-make them again to make sure they were exactly how I wanted them...and they were. So, very soon (as soon as I work out how to get the pattern from my drawing program to a pdf file) I will post it. It will be free, so I hope you come back for it and make a pair for your own little girl.
I can't tell you how excited I am about these shorts! I drafted the pattern myself and I can't believe how they came out. So much so that I am going to draw up a pattern for them. This will be my first ever so I can see it might take some time to do, but I have a drafting and design background, all be it in houses, so I'm sure I can use some of my knowledge to help with this little side project ?!?....I'm hoping anyway! I would love to know if you are interested, just to keep my enthusiasm up :)
The shorts are made of a medium weight denim. They have a fitted front waistband that comes down to a point, a gathered front and angled side pockets. The fur vest I made for her over 2 years ago is still being worn!
For the hem line, I used the selvage of the material. I thought it gave a great effect having an already made frayed edge with the darker denim above.
The side seams are finished off only with a zig-zag stitch so it looks a little messy but I didn't have too much of a choice because it ran all the way down to the frayed edge and I didn't know how to end the serger stitch nicely. I do however always like to put a different fabric on the inside, just for fun.
The kids and I went into the city today, it was a really nice day out. We walked past this wall and I thought it would make a cool backdrop. It was so nice to photograph against something like this rather than trying to find that interesting spot in the backyard that never seems to be right. I might have to cruise into the city more often! Look at her extreme head tilt, its just adorable, hahaha.
This baby doll carrier was so fun to make - purely because I knew the reaction it would receive from my daughter. Most of my sewing is done at night while the kids are asleep so whatever I make I put on their beds so when they wake up in the morning they have a little surprise. Yesterday morning I woke up to my little girl running down to my bedroom so excited yelling "Mummy, Mummy! I have a real baby carrier!!" So so cute. Worth the trouble of sewing it up!
Full credit for the design goes to Oliver + S. The pattern can be found in their Little Things To Sew book. My daughter is baby obsessed...most little girls are at three...but seriously I'm sure my daughter takes it to the next level. She seems to always have a baby stuffed up her top (like she is pregnant), one on her hip and pushing two around in the pram. Yes, all at once!! She's already proving to be better at multi-tasking than me, haha! So now she can add one more baby to her happy little family by carrying it around in this :)
This is my entry into round 4 of Project Run and Play, and the last week of the series. The theme this week is 'Your Signature Style'. After having to really think about the type of clothes I like to make, I went for 'tailored'. I like the clothes to have a really nice fit with extra detail and nice finishing. A while ago I mentioned my son wanted army pants so this was my take on it...however not his. Blue, grey and white camouflage was unfortunately along way from the green and brown he was expecting! Hopefully he'll learn to love them (or forced to, haha!)
The shorts are from the Ben and Mia pants pattern by Lily Bird Studio. I have made them before for both my son and daughter and they fit really well so I just shortened the length to make shorts. I like the extra detailing in the piping around the pockets and the triangular belt loops fastened with buttons.
Going with the 'tailored' theme, I thought that the back patch pockets on the original pattern didn't reflect this, so for the first time I made welt pockets. I used an absolutely fantastic video tutorial to learn how to make them. I can't believe how easy they were and how great they look! Next time I won't use checks because it was hard to line up the lines exactly, but these are the things you learn along the way. Also, I will make the pouch higher so that it can be sewn into the waistband, you can see how it just falls short in the photo above. But all in all, pretty cool shorts, even if they aren't green and brown :)
Yo! Check out my shorts!
Last week at my daughter's swimming lessons, her swimsuit was so perished she was pulling at them and they were filling with air looking like she had a huge tummy. The other little girls in the class thought this was hilarious! As for me...embarrassed that I continued to let her swim in them! So before the next class I got busy and made here these.
The pattern is from Ottobre Design - Summer 3/2009 edition. My mum bought me a couple of these magazine's early on to get me interested in sewing. I haven't made much from them, but the swimsuit has turned out well, and I've made it 3 times now. I still have so much of this floral lycra left, I think I can still get another 2 swimsuits out of it!! Poor thing, she'll be sporting these flowers for years, hahaha!
I changed to the original design slightly by adding the frill through the chest, a layer of lycra and tulle, on a slight curve. I also made single straps over the shoulders, instead of the ties. So much easier putting them on and not having to worry about the bows!
It's week 2 at Project Run and Play and the theme is 'Candy Inspired'.
This little shirt is (loosely) based on my idea of...
Vanilla Ice-cream with Sprinkles On Top.
My husband and I have been oversea's for a wedding so as soon as I got back I started sewing and I think I have only just made it into the play-along group by a few hours! Phew! I was going to make bubble shorts
(as the icecream...get it?) but I just ran out of time. Shame.
This shirt is from the Japanese magazine Cucito Autumn 2012 edition. It has turned out lovely, but oh boy was it a mission to make! This is the first time I have struggled with a pattern from Cucito. The front yoke didn't fit into the front of the shirt, and neither did the collar so there was a bit of re-drafting that had to be done for it to work. I will give the magazine the benefit of the doubt, since before this all their patterns were 100%. I will blame myself for being illiterate in Japanese and overlooking (obviously important) instructions, hahaha.
The instructions on how to bind the sleeves were terrific.
It took me a little while to decipher the drawings, but when done
it created a really neat finish at the openings.
You can click on these drawings to enlarge them if you like.
I have loved being part of the PR&P series. It has opened up my blog to the world...(yes it does sound quite over-dramatic but really my family and friends are my only followers and that's probably only to see cute pics of the kids) and I have received some wonderful comments...equally so, I now have an extensive list of blogs I now follow after seeing some wonderful creations from Week 1. And here I leave you with some funny shots...
I have decided to sew along with Season 7 of Project Run and Play. This is the first time I have tried anything like this, so I'm looking forward to it.
The first challenge was to re-mix the Oliver and S pattern, the Popover Sundress....and here is mine. I must say, it isn't so re-mixed as it is just made :)
As a slight change-up, I did add a white contrasting band to the bottom of the dress, and added pink ribbon detailing which gives it a little pop of colour.
Its nice to make something from an Oliver and S pattern. I'm so used to fumbling my way through Japanese patterns using only diagrams to tell me what to do...its great when you can read how to make a dress step by step!
And best of all, no front or back, so she can choose if she wants the big flower or four little flowers facing the front :)
I made this top for a baby girl that has turned a very special one year old. When my little girl saw it she desperately wanted to keep it for herself, so it looks like I may be sewing another one in the near future. It is a handy top because you can layer underneath it in Winter or wear it by itself in Summer. The pattern is one that my mum has handed down to me. It looks well used so I suppose it was a staple in my wardrobe when I was growing up too! It is Simplicity pattern 9501.
My sister got engaged - absolutely wonderful! The engagement party was interstate, so we flew over last weekend for the celebrations. And of course, what was needed?? You're right....a new party dress!
The dress was a mish-mash of all different patterns I have used lately. The lined bodice is done up with an invisible zipper at the back as I did for her Birthday Girl Dress. The neckline shape is my favourite thing about the dress. I used Butterick 3350 pattern for this. And the sleeves were from her Plaid Winter Dress. Somehow I got it all to work together! The lined skirt is just a rectangle, three times her waist circumference. And not to forget, the little pink bow I made for her hair.
I don't know why I keep using patterned fabric...plaid...hippo's...dots! It takes so much time to line everything up and make sure everything is symmetrical. I wish I'd learn to make things easy on myself! The material I used was a shiny silver taffeta and the dots have a velvety touch to them.
I hemmed the sleeves with binding and hand sewed them on the inside for a neater finish.
I lined the skirt as well, just so I didn't have a hem line. I thought it would look better without a stitch running through the dots.
It was a wonderful night!
And another pattern from my favourite sewing magazine Cucito - Autumn 2012 edition. I loved this dress as soon as I saw it in the magazine. It was made out of a denim chambray and I wanted to copy it exactly, however....when I went to get the material, there was nothing even close. I was so desperate to make the dress, and make the trip to the fabric store worthwhile, that when I saw the hippo fabric I thought "well maybe this could work??" A whole lot quirkier than what I had planned, but alot more fun! On the hippo's back is a little aqua bird, and that's how I have tied in the spotted aqua fabric.
It probably took a good six hours to sew this up, a few nights work, but the instructions were clear and came together easily. It's really nicely finished off inside too. There are 8 buttons down the front and another 2 on the cuffs which are fastened with little aqua loops. The material is quite a thin cordoroy so I wish it was lined so it was a bit warmer through Winter, but I will just layer her up underneath and she'll be fine. I love the little collar and turned up cuffs. Cute.
September 2013 - Update....
I've entered this into Week 3 of Project Run and Play
where the theme is 'Plaid'. Perfect!
While it seems everyone in sewing blog-land is making beautiful Summer dresses I'm digging out Winter dress patterns. I was skeptical of this material...it was warm and thick and soft, perfect for a Winter dress, but was it too old fashioned dressing my three year old in plaid??? The amount of time it took to make this dress, I'm glad I ended up liking it! The pattern for this dress is from the Japanese magazine Cucito - 2012 Winter and Early Spring Edition.
Usually, the dresses are really straight forward, but this had a lot of extra detailing. Side tabs, pockets, binding and lace around the neckline and binding around the sleeve hems. Added to this was trying to get the pattern centered and lining up! But when it was finished and lovely it was all worth the effort. The front is only one panel, but the back is in two pieces so you can button it up. When I make this dress again (in a simpler fabric, haha) I will put a zip down the back instead.
And...I found some online photo filters, so that's why today's photo's are over-the-top edited, but I liked trying it out :)
Usually I omit the curved hemline and make it straight, but for some reason I made my life hard and stuck with the curve. I had to be really careful to get it even because you could tell otherwise due to the pattern. I ended up hand sewing the hem in place...not my favourite past-time.
I really enjoy getting my BurdaStyle magazines every month. I spend hours reading through them, dreaming of things I would love to make, only for the next one to arrive a month later in the mail, and I have made nothing! It would be nice to have more time to sew, but that would come at the expense of less time with the kids or less sleep at night and I wouldn't like to give up either, so I will just keep dreaming. However, over the last little while I have managed a few things which I thought I would show you...
I love this sunny yellow skirt. It had so many 'new' things for me to learn, the hip pockets, fly front, darts, pleats, back (fake) pockets....I started this skirt last October, and finished only a few weeks ago! Now it's in the middle of Winter, so I'm going to have to wait a while longer to wear it.
This is a light cotton summer top with elastic shirring.
A stretch jersey raglan top with gathers
and satin binding around the neckline.
I almost didn't blog these pants, it was hard to photograph them well. You'll have to trust me that they look ok on :) They have a fitted waist band with fly front, side pockets and elasticated hems. They are so comfy to wear!
We have been invited to a wedding overseas so next will be
some lovely summer resort wear dresses.
I'm looking forward to that! (The sewing and the holiday, haha)
A library bag was required this term. The first week I forgot all about it, the second week I remembered the night before...so luckily I had the perfect piece of material left over from another outfit. I didn't even need to cut it, it just seemed to be exactly the rectangle I needed. Perfect. A couple of straps, the inside lined with white poplin and she was ready to choose a book the following day :)
This is the first jumper I have made. It is made out of a nice warm fleece with ribbing on the cuffs and hem. It was a straight-forward pattern from Cucito - Autumn 2011 edition. The pattern didn't have the pouch pocket at the front, I copied that from one of his existing jumpers.
I like the hood - although a tad too small - how it comes from under the bias binding on the neckline. I made size 110, and although he is slightly shorter than that, I still had to increase the top and sleeve length considerably. He gets his long arms from me :) Really happy with this, it came out alot better than I had expected. I always find it harder to sew for my boy than my girl, but he loves it when I do so it makes me try. His next request is army pants....hmmmm we'll see if I can pull that one off.