Thursday, 31 December 2015

Tooth Fairy Pillow

When D.'s first tooth fell out this morning after over a week of doing the wiggle dance, a containment  vessel and tooth fairy signal* was required.

I gave him a couple of options of what it could look like, and he decided a tooth pillow was what he liked best.
I used the Tooth Fairy pillow tutorial by Handmade Jane, found here.

He did a stash dive of the fabric ends and small pieces shelf, and came up with a gold denim, and Spiderman print cotton, and so 30 minutes later his pillow was born.

 I did the sewing and  D. helped with the stuffing part.

The tooth is now safely stored in the Spidey pocket, ready for the Tooth Fairy to do their thing.

* Tooth Fairy signal is like a Bat signal only cooler ( and requiring money!)

Tuesday, 21 July 2015


I happened to be looking for a free grocery bag pattern on the internet a little while ago, to use up some fabric stash. In my haphazard, one link leads to another to another to another, I came across the site for Morsbags.

The pattern was a simple, no-frills job that suited my purpose.

But then I got to reading some of the information on the site, and was incredibly impressed with what they are trying to do, and have so far achieved.

Their blurb;

Morsbags are handmade from recycled material, meaning it is completely unique. Over 175,000 morsbags are now being used worldwide (as of July 2015).

Can you sew? Go to to download the free pattern and make morsbags from old curtains, duvet covers, tablecloths etc.

This is a positive way to reduce the hideous number of plastic bags being used and to keep textile waste out of landfill - 1 million plastic bags are consumed per minute globally - of which hundreds of thousands end up in the oceans.

The idea is to get together with people in your local community, eat cake and make reusable morsbags and then give them away for free.

I really love the concept of recycing old textiles to make them - Nan's old flowery duvet, those questionable 90's curtains, and then giving them away by guerilla bagging people!

The 'giving away for free' is their main point of difference, with the idea that people will be a bit shocked to receive something handmade free, and perhaps think on the re-usable bag message a bit more than if they just went and bought one themselves.

If you are interested in making some for yourself or to giveaway, or even just have some unloved fabric that could be recycled into bags by someone else, all the details are on the Morsbags website, where you can also find groups near you if you want to join rather than play along at home.

** I am making bags myself to give away because I think this is a really good cause, but this is not a sponsored/promotional type deal. Just me being overly enthusiastic!!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Hot Patterns Fast and Fabulous Pull-on Palazzo Pants

I've been lamenting my lack of trousers for a while now.

I have a pants block, but am still not entirely sure how to use it to make pants. Ridiculous, eh?
While I was chastising myself for this, Hot Patterns very helpfully came out with a new trouser pattern, that looked like the fit I was trying to achieve.

It was downloaded and printed, toot sweet!

As it was billed as relaxed fit, I waffled on which size to go with, but ultimately went with the sizing that matched my measurements.
It is super quick to cut out and sew with only 2 main pieces in your main fabric, and the waistband in a knit. Pockets are optional - I belatedly decided to add the front ones to practice my pockets.

I initially made them up as per the pattern, and the only fit change I needed to make was to lower the front waist by 3". Fortunately, I suspected this might be the case, so had only basted the waistband on. A quick snip and re-attach the waistband and I have a very wearable pair of pants.

The fabric is a wool suiting I found at the op shop for $3 a metre. This I don't think is as drapey as the pattern suggestions, but it is comfy, and at this time of year - WARM!!

I am still deciding if I should narrow the leg a little, but I will definitely be making these again.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

By Special Request

It started innocently enough ....

T - 'Mummy, I want to be a Ninja'

Me - 'Okay. Have you got a ninja costume in the dress up box?'

T - 'Oh .. no. But I found a picture on the computer, and you can make it for me'. (The google foo is strong in this one!)

Me - 'Oh?! Show me then'.

T- 'See, it has a dragon on the front, and it has to have ... and ... and.... and you can make it for me!

Me - 'That looks a bit tricky to make ...'

T- 'But you are very good at sewing, Mummy :-) '

And thus, I was suckered into making a ninja costume.

I took the cheats way out, and purchased black pants and a long sleeve tee, while hoping I could come up with a good way of getting a ninja-like dragon on the front.

We googled images, and found one that he was happy with, and I thought I had a hope of pulling off.

In the end, I vaguely traced the image onto some red fabric, and then appliqued it to the front of the tee. Cut around the circle on the outside, and the dragon in the middle.

Job done!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

More Parsley Pants

My go-to pattern for pants for my boys is the Made By Rae Parsley pants. You can see my previous review here.

I won't repeat that all again, except to say it is a quick and easy pattern that yields nice results.

First up, some of the fleece versions, or as they are called at our house, fluffy pants! No pockets, straight up tracky daks. I have also made track pants from the more usual sweatshirting.

Avengers, flouro zigzag, and camo.

Next up we have 'jeans'.

2 types of denim, and navy cotton drill.

These I did put pockets on, lined with quilting cotton to reduce bulk.
I also did a faux flat felled outseam by doing a large pintuck and then topstitching it down.

There are at least another 3 pair of these pants that are either being worn or in the wash currently.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

That 70's Blouse - Butterick 6037

This pattern from the mid/late 1970's was a casual style that really appealed to me, so I scooped it up when I came across it.

I made it from a poly/cotton shirting-weight fabric to try it out.
As you can see from the pattern drawings and pattern pieces, it is fairly shapeless, but somehow seems to work.

Hanger appeal isn't one of it's main attractions!

It has a neat drawstring in each of the shoulder seams, that you can adjust to how you like it to sit. I mostly wear this one with it as you see below, sitting just past my shoulder.

It has quite a wide facing right around the back and front neckline, which was a bit floppy and annoying, so I top stitched it down all the way around. This has the added bonus of giving the front neckline and opening a bit more structure.

I do plan to make this again in a more drapey fabric in the future, as it is incredibly comfy, and very easy to throw on and go.

Sidenote: As a way to try out Instagram, I will be sharing a pattern a day from my Classic pattern stash. You can find me here.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Muse Patterns - Jenna Cardi

This is actually my second attempt at making the Jenna Cardi pattern from Muse.

My first, whilst sewn beautifully in a black merino french terry?, was much too big through the shoulder line for me. It was gifted to my lovely friend, Crafty Mermaid.

This time to test fit, I sewed the hip length version with 3/4 sleeves. I did not include the extra yoke detailing.  I made a size 40 through the shoulders and bust, extending out to a 42 through the waist and hips. This now fits much better (than the photos would have you believe!)

The fabric is a merino/cotton I picked up for the absolute bargain price of $1/metre at a manufacturers sale.  It is a charcoal grey with tiny navy/black squares woven into it.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Sewaholic - Pendrell Blouse

Another archive make - the Sewaholic Pendrell blouse. Again, one of my first makes when I started sewing.

This suffered from incorrect fabric choice, and not knowing that I needed to start with a smaller size and do a FBA..
 I went for a cotton lawn?, which was too crisp. What were meant to be lovely draping cap sleeves, ended up as shoulder awnings!

Friday, 20 February 2015

Sewaholic - Crescent Skirt

Back to the sewing archives ....

One of the first patterns I made when I started sewing again about 5 years ago was the Sewaholic Crescent skirt.

I never really wore this, because the fabric was too crisp and not really my colours.

I would consider making it again in a more drapey fabric, with some added back length. Also, the pin at the front waistband suggests I should lower the front also.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Muse Patterns - Gillian Wrap Dress

Kat of the blog, Modern Vintage Cupcakes, has recently started her own pattern line in the midst of having her second child. One very busy lady!
Her line goes by the name of Muse Patterns , and produces modern, wearable patterns with a bit of a vintage twist.

Her second pattern, the Gillian Wrap dress, can also be made as a skirt or top. I have to say I was smitten from the get-go, and purchased this as soon as it was released.

I chose a slinky poly knit, in an alternate colourway to the one I used for the dress I made for my Mum, shown here. I love it!

After making a previous Muse pattern using my full bust measurement, which was much too big in the shoulders, I sized down one size in the shoulders. The rest of the pattern was cut to the size that matched my measurements.
I did end up going back and shortening the bodice by about 1", as the waistband sat just a bit too low, and was causing a little bit of gaping.

After my minor alteration, this has good wrap coverage both in the bodice and skirt, and I really like the skirt length on me - this is the longer of the two options provided.

I have fabric picked out to make another one, as well as a top version.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Colette Patterns Mabel Skirt

More work appropriate skirts.

The Colette Mabel had recently been released, and again was proving to be a quick and successful make in the blogosphere.

I made my first one, Version 3 in the pattern, in a plain charcoal ponte, straight off the pattern. I lined the waistband in cotton lycra, which again gave the waistband a bit more recovery.

The fit was pretty good, and certainly wearable.

For subsequent makes, I have lowered the front waist slightly, and added a little more length to the back to accomodate my ample bottom.

It turns out I really like this skirt, and find it really comfortable for work, so have made a few!
Currently, I have 6 in regualr rotation, and another two cut out!

Saturday, 7 February 2015

SBCC Julep Skirt

Yoohoo! Anyone still there?

Minor blog break there, as not long after my last post I was offered a full time job. This is a big life change, as previously I had only been doing some very part time work from home. It also created a bit of a wardrobe crisis, as my occupation previous to this was jeans and tee-shirt casual.

I needed to come up with some skirts and more work appropriate clothing quick!

Based on the review by Michelle of Happily Caffeinated, I decided to give the Julep skirt by SBCC patterns a go.

This was a super quick sew - essentially centre back seam, side seams, yoga waistband and hem.

I picked a ponte for my first skirt as it was winter when I made it. As you can see, it has a slight dipped back hem. I used a cotton lycra for the waistband for a bit of insurance.

Buoyed by the success of this first one, I then made a second in a blue printed ponte. No pic on me, but a pic of the two of them together.