Saturday, 31 March 2012

Tutorial: Stormpooper Potty

That's right, you read correctly, we're going toilet humour here!

Little Monster is becoming a true nerd, and I couldn't be prouder. He is obsessed with Batman, he can identify and name Superman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Robin, Blue Beetle, Ironman, The Hulk, Spiderman and Green Goblin. And then there's Star Wars. He's almost got the hang of telling Stormtroopers and Clone Troopers apart, he calls Darth Vader "Duck Bay", he makes awesome lightsaber sound effects and really likes it when the bad guy loses {He doesn't realise Darth Vader is a bad guy, shhh}.

So when I decided to decorate one of his potties I thought something Star Warsy was in order. And then it came to me, Stormpooper. You could also do a Clonepooper. Or just a picture of Jabba the Hutt since he looks like a giant turd.

Ahhh I'm so amusing.

The idea was way better in my head, and if I did this again I probably wouldn't! I just hate fiddly projects and this was fiddly. Hit the link below to go to the tutorial!


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Ugly Shirt

This just got uglier and uglier the more I stitched it. And then I fell in love with it, hard!

I used some strange stretch fabric I was saving for a different project but decided I needed something soon for my ever-expanding belly/boobs. It's slightly sheer, but you can't tell when it's on. The fabric stretches and has this rough bumps of white over it. I think I used the wrong side as the outside, but I liked it better.

I cut slits into the front and wove strips of grey fleece fabric through it in a basket-weave sort of thing. Then I stitched a heart around the weaving and trimmed around the top but snipped up the bottom of the heart to make a fringe.

It's so ridiculous I love it.

And it's so dang comfortable.

It even has a cute back. I actually took photos for a tutorial for this hideous thing, do you want it?

Entering this top into Rae's Springt Top Sewalong too!


Monday, 26 March 2012

Frankenstructed Sweater

I've seen this a few places now and seriously? Easiest kids sweater to make EVER!

I went to the op-shop and got two sweaters of similar weight. The black one was a bit heavier than the red but it worked out okay. If I did this again I would have made sure they had similar hems, the red one had hems but the black one had ribbing, would have skipped more corners if they were more alike!

I cut half a front, half a back and one sleeve out of the red and then did the reverse for the black. Then I stitched the fronts together, the backs together and then sewed the sweater up like a regular tee-shirt.

Monster has gotten more solid since I sewed for him last. His skinny little chest is getting more stocky and although this sweater fits him, I don't think he'd be comfortable in it for long.

And here's the Inspiration!


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Selfish Sewing: Retro Maternity Top

Can I just say I despise this top? I gave up on it after sewing one sleeve on but then I went back to it and pushed through my anger toward this thing. It didn't turn out So bad!

In case you're wondering I am 24 weeks :)
I winged the whole thing, deciding to make myself a cute top out of non-stretch fabric. That's all very well and good but I'm pregnant, so non-stretch isn't going to work in my favour. I used this red fabric with black stripes on it - for no other reason than it was the most fabric I had in my stash in the colours I would actually wear.

I almost made it up in floral. But seriously, I would have looked like a couch!

I didn't use a pattern and I dearly paid for it, but it turned out alright. I would like this top on me more if I wasn't pregnant and my breasts didn't look like I was about to have rockmelons exploding out of my chest. I believe non-Australians called them cantaloupes...

'Scuse me Max... is that an attempt at a smile?
I was going to put a side zipper in but I don't think that would have helped me get it over my chest much {my body is growing. and growing. and growing...} so a zipper down the back was the answer.

To help with a little bit of fitting to the top, I added pintucks at the centre front so it is smaller at the top than it is at the bottom.

Believe it or not this was the inspiration...

Yehh. In all my dreams this gorgeous non-pregnant model in plaid was really going to work for me...

I'm entering this top into Rae's Spring Top Challenge!


Friday, 23 March 2012

Tutorial: The 'Watch Me Jump' Shorts

Little Monster has never been a crazy energetic kid. I mean, he is energetic and he has my stubbornness so that is kind of crazy, but he's never been the kid that climbs everything, runs everywhere, falls off stuff. I know. I'm really lucky.

He can jump though. He loves to jump. Monster jumps over cracks in the sidewalk, he jumps in puddles, he jumps down the hallway. He's pretty good at it too!

Inspired by a pair of shorts I saw at Big W, I whipped these cute comfy shorts up for him so he can jump to his little heart's content and look awesome doing it.

I know. I know. It's interesting when I can't even bring myself to spend money on something at Big W! But seriously. These cost me totally nothing and I made them my own.

Here's the covert shot I took of the shorts so I wouldn't forget them. Do you ever do that? I usually make sure the price tag is sticking out so that if anyone asks I'm like "Oh it's a visual shopping list." Heheh.

So basically I liked the knit waistband, but omitted it from my final pair of shorts {although I saw a similar pair today and am going to replicate them too!}. The design features I ended up working with was the fleece and the contrast patch pockets.

Click the link below to expand this post and view the full tutorial!


Friday, 16 March 2012

Ikea Sheets into Baby Shift Dresses

About a year ago I found a sheet set at the op-shop that was CLEARLY from Ikea. You know how you can look at fabric and it just screams Ikea at you? This fabric was doing that. Being me, of course, I didn't think "Oh cool. Brand new sheets and pillowcases, just what I need". Nope. Instead I thought, "SO MUCH FABRIC TO MAKE STUFF FROM!"

Originally I was thinking a little Mod dress for myself, even though the fabric is so not me at all. Sometimes I betray my style and try something new and then never wear it. So maybe it was a good thing I never got around to it.

Instead I found I had some remnants of blue cotton poplin left over from Monster's backpack and noticed that the blue matched pretty well enough with the blue on the sheets.

I ended up with two little shift dresses. I made the pattern up myself, just a basic shift with a loopy {totally the technical term} section at the back as an opening. I don't know how little girl clothes are supposed to work, but after studying the mountains of pink in her nursery I had a good idea. They both fasten with a press-stud at the top.

I love press-studs. I mean I love buttons but the con is that I hate button holes. Buttons are purely decorative for me at the moment, at this stage in my life. Snaps/Press-Studs however are my love. I order them in bulk off eBay so I always have about 100 on rotation.

The first one is a shift dress, lined in the same fabric. I made bias binding out of one of the pillowcases. Have I blogged about the AMAZING bias tape maker you can DOWNLOAD AND PRINT FOR FREE at The Scientific Seamstress? You print it on cardboard, cut it, glue it and TADA. It seriously works. I made one in each size and I am SO IN LOVE. She's so amazing. I am typing this shaking my head at her genius, even after using it about fifty times.

Anyway I made some bias binding using the maker and stitched it to the bottom of the dress and around the neckline and back opening. The collar is made from the scraps of the blue poplin and I embellished it with an off-white ribbon I found in my ribbon box.

The second dress {which I made first}, is made from the blue cotton poplin and lined in the Ikea bedsheet fabric. I made the lining longer than the front, so the hem isn't bias binding at all. It's just the lining folded over twice and stitched down.

This one doesn't have a collar, but has a little ruffled gathered strip down the front. I was originally going to have three, but I liked the simplicity of just the one.

These dresses are very... not my style at all with the colours and the fabric. I guess I'm being influenced by all the mama bloggers I've been reading? I'll be making a pair of matching bloomers to go with these dresses

Check out The Scientific Seamstress blog here. You can download her 0.5" bias tape maker here and the 1" bias tape maker here.


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Toddler Backpack

Little Monster started Daycare a few weeks ago. It's not that he needs to go, its a number of things that we thought would be good for him. He gets to play with other kids, it's a family daycare so it's a lady's house and not in a big centre, and the best part is he knows the lady that runs it. It's his BFF's grandma!

I was excited for him, I do get lonely, but he only goes one day a week and I know it's good for him. I decided he needed a backpack, and I'd had this backpack pattern for AGES - like a year!- and had never made it up! Well. I did it.

The pattern is the Toddler Backpack pattern made by Rae! It's only $8 and let me tell you it's REALLY well written. This is the third pattern of Rae's I've used and I really love the way she writes, the step-by-step photos and the flawless pattern pieces!

It was my first time making + using piping too. I'm addicted.

I used this cute space-themed fabric from Spotlight, since I he loves space.

The straps and base are padded, it has adjustable straps... everything about it is like a REAL backpack! And I MADE IT. With help from Rae :)

I made his jacket and t-shirt too, for Project Run and Play's Signature Look theme with their sew-along, but unfortunately I couldn't enter due to some really crappy family stuff. Still, Monster got a new jacket, a new shirt and the cutest damn skinnies ever {more on all that another day}


Thursday, 8 March 2012

Blue Tartan Baby Boots

I had these cuties cut out and semi-made for some time, when I wasn't sure if I was having a boy or a girl. I finished them last weekend and am SO impressed with them!

The pattern was clear and easy to follow, I only had to unpick once because I didn't read what I was supposed to be doing.

These boots are tiny, they both fit in the palm of my hand {I need to start taking more comparison shots with these clothes so you can see how cute and little they are!}. I made them from blue tartan flannelette and lined them with stiff black felt. They're interfaced too, so next time I might just use a fleece or regular fabric for the lining.

You know what I'm having fun doing? Sewing buttons on with my machine. I know I said it before but oh my goodness! It's so quick AND I know they'll be super secure!

The pattern is the Baby 3-Button boots you can buy at

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Polar Bear Hood

This is ridiculous right? I tried it on Monster and while it was a little small for him it's going to perfect for the Doll.

It's so soft and fluffy!

I used a vintage Enid Gilchrist pattern for a hood and changed it a bit to suit me. The bottom ties up with white ricrac


Monday, 5 March 2012

Itty Bitty inspired

I know I rock making little boy stuff for the Monster. I know because I try REALLY hard to make it easy for other people, to inspire them that little boys can wear rad things too! When I had him I was so disappointed that the stuff available in the shops was neither stylish nor very rad at all.

So for the last 3 years, it's all been boy-focused.

As you can see from the photo above though, I may or may not be having WAY too much fun making stuff for my daughter. I do feel guilty! This weekend I've knocked out about a dozen little pieces for her. It's so EASY and so little. I really have to make sure I balance stuff out with the Monster too, but he's got 3 years of handmade goodness on her so I shouldn't be feeling guilty!

I was so anxious, so terrified of making anything for a little girl. Much like when I was pregnant with Monster, I didn't actually sew anything until after he was born because I had no idea what shape a baby was, how big my baby would be, would the clothes I make him sit okay on him? 

Lucky for my living Doll, I've now had three years practice on her big brother! I was still anxious though. I'd never made a tiny dress before! I'd never made anything with an obscene amount of ruffles! 

To the rescue comes Rae, of course. One of my top 2 favourite DIY blogging mamas. I'm serious. Between her and Dana, they inspire me and motivate me to sew better, to share more with you. One day I'll be up there with them *dreamy face*. 

Rae had on her blog a tutorial and pattern I'd never looked at. It was for a GIRL. A BABY GIRL. A species I was totally not familiar or interested in. I seriously thought I was going to be like Tim's mother and have three boys. Yep. It was my job in the family to have the boys, and everyone else would have girls. I don't know WHY i thought that, that's just the way it was. Why would I be lucky enough to have a boy AND a girl? The best of both worlds! That's too perfect!

Thanks to Rae's Itty Bitty Baby Dress, I had a free pattern to download, print and try out. And you know what? I was brave enough to branch out from it! I didn't even make the dress in the pattern!

I made the bodice section up as instructed. Using a t-shirt I was embellishing as a guide, I made a gathered skirt for the bodice, it's shorter than the tutorial, but I wanted it like a short tunic length. Then I went nuts with layers and layers of vintage lace I had sitting at the top of a shelf in the studio. LAYERS AND LAYERS. Look at that. Isn't it ridiculous?

And to show you just how tiny this dress is!

Don't mind my decorated sewing machine, Monster decided to paint the top and scribble along the bottom. He's an artiste you know...

This dress will fit her if she is the same size Monster was at birth, 8lb 4oz. If she is any bigger, it's not going to happen. Unless she's long and skinny. I'm a bit excited to see!

And then of course, what happens in the blogging world when you google search hard enough, you will find more free tutorials and patterns. Thank you to Dana, I was able to make a diaper cover to go underneath this ridiculous little dress. I added lace across the bottom because I have discovered, when it comes to little girls - there's no such thing as too much lace!