Apr 27, 2012

Pajama Party

I have been busy this week, working on a top secret project for a special niece who is about to have a birthday...

Hopefully I will have some photos to share after the weekend.  In the meantime, I thought it was about time I blogged these cute jammies I made for Ellie.  I traced a pattern from an existing pair she had, so they are not perfect, but she doesn't seem to mind.

Fabric was on the clearance table at Spotlight and I picked up the ribbing in assorted colours at an op-shop  a little while ago (where else could you fill a shopping bag with fabric for $1).

Apr 22, 2012

Not-so-skinny Cargos

I keep forgetting how tiny my "big" girl is.  I finally got around to making her a pair of skinny cargo pants (from Ottobre 1/2012) only to find they are too big.  I measured her height but I didn't worry too much about the waist as for some reason I thought they were elasticated at the back... nope!  Not to worry, I added some anyway!  The length was spot-on, but they are still a bit baggy in the legs.

Oh well, she will grow into them (eventually).

You can see they are a bit baggy around the bottom where I have cinched them in with elastic.

The side pockets were a bit fiddly to attach, but I'm glad I persevered with them.  They are pretty cute.

She didn't seem to mind that they were a bit big, and was happy to keep wearing them to play in even after I stopped taking photos.

Like most of her clothes, she will probably get a couple of years wear out of them.  I wonder why she stays so tiny?  Must be because of all the energy she burns off.

Art Smocks

My girls have got making mischief down to a fine art.

They love anything messy and I'm sure sometimes they make more mess than is really necessary.  Katherine in particular is always coming home from kindy with her clothes covered in paint.  So I made up a couple of art smocks with this ultra cute pattern (Simplicity 4286) and some plastic raincoating from Spotlight (it's not as nice as laminated cotton, but it was on sale and I thought it would be perfect for this project).

Little ties at the back.

...and look at this pocket here! 

Katherine's eyes lit up as soon as she saw them hanging up in the sewing room.  "Wow, painting clothes!  Are we doing painting today?"  She loves painting.  I love when they stay clean.  Now everybody wins.

Apr 21, 2012


While browsing Gumtree a couple of days ago, I came across an ad for a whole heap of sewing patterns, going cheap. Somebody was cleaning out their pattern stash. I got a chance today to go and check them out, and wow, there were so many patterns!  Literally hundreds.  I wasn't the first to get to them, and quite a few of them had been sold already, but I managed to pick up a few goodies.

 I got all of these for only $10! Can you believe it?

 I can't wait to try some of them out!  I'm just not sure where to start...

Apr 16, 2012

Autumn Pinnie & Recycled Jeans

Katherine is going through a stage where she insists on choosing her own clothes, which is fine by me as I can just send her into her room in the mornings and tell her to "get dressed." Today she came out wearing one of the dresses I made her a while ago, so I decided to get some photos and finally post it on my blog.  It's McCalls M5613 (view C) with a bit of extra length in the bodice.

She didn't really want to pose and was much happier when I said she could go back to her play-doh.

I spent the better part of yesterday morning turning an old pair of my jeans into some "Strawberry Shortcake" jeans for a certain little girl.  I'd had these old cuffed jeans of mine in my scrap basket for a while, thinking of turning them into *something* eventually.  Anyway, yesterday, I think I was procrastinating about doing the housework and I decided to do something with them.

I used the "Plum" cargo pants pattern from Ottobre 1/11 that I'd already cut out last year, as I didn't want to waste time tracing off and cutting another pattern.  Work with what you have, I say.  Here's a photo of that finished project in action.

I just added an inch or so to the bottom and another inch or so at the top to allow for the fact that she'd gotten taller.  I also trimmed the legs in slightly - the cargos were pretty roomy and I wanted more of a straight leg jean - not too baggy, but not a skinny style either.  I used some scraps to make the belt and a little patch to cover up a hole (don't look too closely at my dodgy applique!).

Might have to find some more old jeans to cut up now...!

Or I could just mop that floor...

Apr 12, 2012

On a roll

I wanted to do something different for Easter this year, so I decided to try making some crayon rolls for my girls and their cousins. We all went on a big family camping trip - it's a bit of an Easter tradition in our family - so I made up some little packs with a crayon roll, an Easter colouring book and of course the obligatory chocolate egg or two.  I thought they would be handy to take with us and to keep them amused while we were away.  The girls loved them, and I loved how simple they were to make. Google it, if you haven't made one before. There are about a thousand tutes online.

Most of these were made out of scraps I had lying around. I'm a bit of a scrap hoarder, so I love when I find little projects I can make that reduce the size of my scrap pile! 

Loved using all the bright colours in these.

This one makes me think of chocolate - I think it's the chocolatey centre!

Apr 9, 2012

Hood things come to those who wait

For ages I've been meaning to make some little hooded dresses for my girls.  You know the ones that you can wear before and after you go swimming.  Katherine used to have a little Dora one a couple of years back, and I went looking through boxes of her old clothes to see if I could find it for Ellie to use, but I must have given it away to one of my nieces as we don't have it any more.  Then the other day when I was out I found a bunch of terry towelling for $3 a metre.  It was perfect for this project.

I had a look around online for a tute, but couldn't find anything like what I wanted (plenty of hooded towels, but that was about it).  So I decided to wing it.  I used one of the dress patterns I have lying around to cut out a simple A-line dress shape and then traced around the hood part of a hoodie in their current size.  Then I cut out the hood pieces about an inch bigger all the way around.
They came together really well, and the girls and I are pretty happy with them.

No more shivering while we wait for our swimming lessons to begin!

Apr 1, 2012

Autumn Dress Fest

I was recently inspired by this blog post to create a lace dress for little Miss K. The tutorial can be found here . As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make one.

I used an old lace curtain that I picked up at a secondhand store for $4, and an old calico tab top curtain that I had lying around in my stash. These curtains have served me well - years and years ago we were in a rental that didn't have any window dressings, so I went to Spotlight and bought a whole bunch of these calico curtains for next to nothing to put up throughout the house. We haven't used them as curtains for years but I have kept them for sewing projects and they are awesome!

I dyed both curtains (the calico and the lace) with a pack of Rit dye in 'Rojo Escarlata' which is apparently Spanish for 'pale apricot.' Who knew? Actually, it was supposed to be scarlet but I'm not unappy with the colour. It's just not as vibrant as I imagined.  I put a bow on the front of the dress, which wasn't in the original version but I just felt it needed something extra.

Invisible (ok, partly visible) zip in the back.  Still learning how to do these properly, and it's not my best effort, but it's ok.

I also found an old skirt at the secondhand store, a ladies skirt which I loved the print of and thought it would make a lovely peasant dress. I cut it down to size and made some sleeves from the off-cuts. I kept the original hem and lace trim, and it was lined - bonus - so I kept the original lining in the body of the dress, but not in the sleeves.  I thought it would make a nice Autumn dress, and then in the Winter she could rock it with a little skivvy underneath, some tights and her brown boots.

I also made a little matching headband out of some brown ribbon and some vintage lace I pinched from my Grandma.

I am in love with this next dress.  This was today's project.  The pattern is New Look 6088 and it is super sweet.  I already have more of these dresses in mind and can see myself making them over and over.  I also learnt some new things with this pattern - like the hem facing, and the long sleeve tabs. 

The back has a little button tab opening, which is great as I'm not a big fan of zips. 

Katherine chose the buttons for the front placket, and the ric rac.  I picked up the chambray fabric from Spotlight, on special for $5 a metre.  It was the last metre and half on the roll. 

I did deviate from the pattern a little, with the extra topsticthing and the ric rac on the pockets.  I also shortened the sleeve tabs as Katherine has short little arms.  And I added a little flower iron-on motiff on the pocket too.  As with the lace dress, this little dress looks so cute on - it is a shame I didn't think to take some photos while she was wearing it this afternoon.