Tuesday, 22 October 2013

White Country Dress

Lol the surprised garden gnome behind her!

I'm a little in love with pom-pom trim. It's SO CUTE. And it washes well too! I cut up a dress that mum donated to me for sewing, and made Edison this sweet little white dress. It's basically like a pillowcase dress (there's a million tutorials for those on the web!) but I made straps for it and sewed elastic in the front and back and a little bit on the straps.

I kept the existing hem of the dress, and sewed some teal pom-pom trim around it. It's such a cute little dress, and I really plan on making more (how many dresses does a little girl need? I don't care!)

I was inspired by Scary from the Shaffer Sisters' little nightgown for her girl Boston, as well as this dress.

It's so fun and summery and perfect for our new country life!


Monday, 21 October 2013

Bubble Tops

Don't you hate it when you go somewhere and you are wearing the exact same thing as someone else?

Lucky for these two, they are not old enough to protest to being dressed alike. Meet Edison's friend Megan! She is 3 weeks older than Eddie, and was born and has spent most of her little life in Tasmania. Her family just recently moved back up our way, and it is fun for Eddie (and me!) to have someone here that is her age. Her older brother is one of Vinnie's friends so playdates work out well!

I used Sew Chibi's peasant top pattern, keeping the sleeve length the same. I added about 10cm to the bodice pattern to make these little cropped tops. I ran elastic around the sleeve hems, the neckline and the bottom hem of the shirt. They're so easy and quick!

They go off the shoulder as well, which also looked ADORABLE, but on little babies the shirts just didn't sit like that for very long at all ^_^

Megan was already wearing little denim shorts when we took the pics, and I just loved the way it looked on her with the shorts, so when I dressed Eddie in hers I grabbed her denim jeans shorts off the line too. I styled both the little girls with bandannas, the one Megan is wearing is the one I made Eddie during the Sew Fab Sale when I made her a nightgown into a dress.

Speaking of using nightgown patterns as something else, the Sew Chibi pattern I used for this is actually for a nightgown too ^_^ best of all, it's a free pattern! I used the 12 month size, which is the smallest, and it goes right up to a size 7 (yay multi-sized patterns!)

I know a lot of people aren't comfortable with cropped tops or bikinis on children, and although we don't let Eddie wear bikinis, we are totally fine with her flashing a bit of baby belly at this age.

I'm a bit excited to have two little 'twins' to sew for now, expect a lot more matching outfits for Eddie and Megan!


Sunday, 20 October 2013

Kids Clothes Week - October!

Tomorrow is the first day of this season of Kids Clothes Week!

And tomorrow is also the day the house we are buying settles! Which means during KCW, I will be an official homeowner and am most likely running around the house with paint swatches and dreaming big! We bought a cute-ugly house just out of our town. It's on an acre, has a pool and lots and lots of space! Most importantly, I also have a sewing room again. YAY.

SO, instead of sewing for KCW, I will be actually moving and unpacking and cleaning and changing the locks and trying to find which lightswitch turns on which light. It's okay though, I have a bunch of posts queued up as I actually did Kids Clothes Week LAST WEEK.

A lot of people ask me how I find time to sew *so much*.

During the day, I will randomly pull out a few patterns and look at my fabrics and mentally pair them up. If I have some spare time I will cut out a few things and stack them up in a plastic box well away from exploring hands. I have a four year old who is at Kindy on Mondays and Tuesdays (and every second Wednesday) and a one year old who is always by my side, so when I have time to myself I make the most of it. Sometimes I will sew during the day, but most times I will grab those stacks of pre-cut fabrics and start sewing them up when the kids are in bed at night.

If I have made the pattern before, I can sew it up quite quickly. I know how the pieces go and if it is a pattern I really like I will usually cut out two or three of it in different fabrics and sew them up like a little mini construction line.

Anway, I can't wait to look through all your Kids Clothes Week things this week! Even if you manage to sew one complete item, or a bunch, the main thing is you are sewing! Whether you are sewing for fall, or like me sewing for Spring, just sew! Check out the Kids Clothes Week site, make a profile and upload your projects there. Read the blog for inspiration, tutorials and round-ups of the best on the blogosphere. Most importantly though, just sew ^_^


Saturday, 19 October 2013

Lego Indiana Jones Tutorial & Free Pattern

When I was first asked to participate in Sew Ready to Play I was all like YES IMMA DO JENGA! But then the only thing I could think of was to appliqué the Jenga blocks to a shirt. And that wasn't as awesome as I wanted it to be (And all my other ideas about DIYing wooden Jenga planks were just dangerous). So I sat for WEEKS thinking about what sort of games we played here as a family, and in the end I decided I would make a costume for the video game that Vincent loves the most and re-enacts every afternoon on the trampoline with the gym ball.

Lego Indiana Jones!

(obviously not affiliated with Lego or Lucasarts in any way ^_^ )
As our son, there was no question Vincent would eventually enjoy playing Xbox. Don't worry, he's only allowed to play it maybe twice a week if he has been SUPER good. He does enjoy jumping around on the trampoline pretending he is Indiana Jones (He used to call him the Lego Cowboy) with the gym ball pretending it's after him (you know! The big stone boulder scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark?).

So I thought that since the kid has the best imagination, I would make him a Lego Indiana Jones costume! Today I'm going to show you how to make a Lego Indiana Jones shirt. It looks a little complicated, but I promise it's basically just an embellished t-shirt!

Using freezer paper I made a collared shirt stencil and painted it onto the front panel of the shirt. I stitched a zipper into the sides, and although it's a real zipper it's purely for decoration. The shirt also has little a little revere collar and patch pockets.

I have a pattern available for you to download here, which is in a size 4T, however in the tutorial I take you step by step how to make your own too!

You're going to need:
Paper to make a pattern (or the printed pattern pdf you can download here)
About a yard of brown stretch fabric
A scrap of cream/off-white stretch fabric
Brown zipper, it doesn't have to work!
Black acrylic/fabric paint
Freezer Paper
The rest of your sewing supplies!

Now there's a million t-shirt patterns and tutorials on how to make a pattern from a t-shirt, so instead of re-inventing the wheel here, I'm just going to get you to grab a t-shirt pattern you like to use! I have a Pinterest board full of free patterns and tutorials for kids shirts right here, as well as a tutorial on how to make a pattern from a much-loved t-shirt here!

"I hate Snakes!"

Okay you have your t-shirt pattern? Good! If you are downloading the free pattern, skip ahead to Stitch It, if you're making the pattern, read on...

Making the Pattern

Trace around the front, so we can start cutting it up ^_^  From the neckline side of the shoulder, draw a line down the front of the front piece. I made it kind of wavy, but you can do it straight if you like it really doesn't matter in the end! I was hoping for the fake jacket piece to look like it was moving, but in the end it made no difference haha.

Once you cut up your line, you will need to add seam allowance on both pieces along that fresh cut. Don't forget to do this! You can either retrace your pieces and add the seam allowance, or just add it when you cut it from the fabric.

Trace around your centre front piece, then flip it and trace the other side.

trace around the top part of the side front piece. It doesn't have to be the whole thing, just the armhole, shoulder, neckline and some of the panel line. Sketch out a revere collar shape. Again I used the Indiana Jones lego piece picture for reference. In the sketch below, my curves are wayyyy too curvy. In the pattern piece available I made it mush more straighter.

Add a seam allowance along the side edge and cut it out :)

You are also going to need a little pocket pattern. I just freehanded this one, it's a basic rectangle with a triangular flap on top. Add seam allowance along all edges.

Now it is time to...

Stitch It
Cut the following from dark brown stretch:
  2 x sleeves
  1 x back with the centre-back line on the fold of fabric
  2 x patch pockets
  1 x PAIR of side fronts (one left and one right)
  2 x PAIRS of revere collars (two left and two right)
  2 x pockets

We'll be cutting out the centre front piece from contrast later :)

 Grab your centre front pattern piece. Sketch a shirt collar and placket (I also ended up adding a little patch pocket). I used this picture for reference.

Grab your freezer paper and trace your sketched fake shirt. I made the lines extend a little bit further out than the pattern piece JUST in case.

Cut out the lines, making them a little thicker

Iron your freezer paper stencil onto the off-white fabric you have.

Stipple the black paint onto fabric witha paintbrush. Don't use stroked, just dab at it. I used two coats. Put it the side to dry, or if you're impatient, hit it with a hair dryer!

Peel off the freezer paper when dry and iron it to heat-set.

We're finally ready to sew! Let's start with the little fake collar!

Place the collar pieces right sides together so you have two left and two right. Stitch around the outside collar section leaving the shoulder section, the neckline and the panel line parts unsewn. Trim close to the edge so you can turn them right sides out.

Turn them and give them a bit of an iron :)

Now let's do the pockets! Iron the angle edges up a cm.

Now fold them up so they form a flap.

 Stitch along the edge. The pocket flaps are purely cosmetic, like most of this shirt haha, but the actual pockets are going to be pockets. Stitch a button to the centre of the 'flap'.

Iron the side and bottom edges of the pockets under a cm and then pin them to the bottom section of your side fronts. It's up to you where you want them. Stitch!

Right. Here is where all the construction is going to go down and your shirt will now take shape very rapidly! Get your fake revere collars and place them ontop of your side fronts. Cut the zipper in half, so the tracks are two separate pieces. Pin them ontop of the collars with the tracks facing down onto the collars.

Cut out the centre front piece now.

Pin it face down over the zip (obviously removing any pins that were underneath). Using a zipper foot, stitch down this line.

Once sewn you will have this!

Do the same for the other side, sandwiching the collar and the zip between the side panel and the centre front. You will be left with this:

Oh hey look it's already a shirt front! Stitch the front to the back at the shoulders.

We are going to make a neckband now. Measure the width of your centre front piece at the neck, cut a rectangle of fabric this width and the height you want your neckband (remember you will be folding it in half and also seam allowances). Do the same for the rest of the neckline and cut out a matching rectangle from the dark brown fabric.

Sew them into a loop so you have a neckband.

Pin & Sew to neckline and then assemble t-shirt as you normally would!

All done!

Thanks for having me Louise and thank you for inspiring me to finally make a new dress-up costume for Vincent Lego Cowboy. Come by Max California to see the rest of the photos (and stay tuned for an appearance by Short Round in the next week)


Monday, 14 October 2013


Good morning! Today I am super pleased to be the first stop on the Skipper Top tour!

The Skipper Top is a sweet little dolman style t-shirt that is a miniature version of Sew Much Ado's Seafarer Top (a women's pattern!). It is available in sizes 6months right up to 10years and it is highly customisable - two things I really love in patterns!

The Skipper Top is a nice quick and satisfying sew, and so I made two!

The first shirt I used the heart shaped pocket guide as shoulder patches! I used leftovers of Vincent's bat shirt, it's a slinky mustardy-gold stretch fabric, and used black snake-printed lycra for the shoulders! I love how trendy this shirt looks, and I think in future I will pair them with little black leggings (maybe I should use the black snakeprint?!)

This version uses the neckband, sleeve bands and the hem is a slight hi-lo hem, dipping down in the back and just going straight across the front. I just zig-zagged the hem.

There is a way convenient printing guide, so you're not going to be printing off a gazillion pages in sizes you don't need, and neither do you manually have to go through all the pages and choose which ones you need to use (and end up skipping one or two like I often do). The instructions come with step by step photos, and each variation of neckline, sleeve, hem and pocket is clearly shown. There is an entire page dedicated to tips for sewing with knits (stretch fabric) as well as using clear elastic to stabilise a few of the seams in the pattern.

The second Skipper Top sewed up just as easy! I used some of the fabric I bought with my gift voucher at Girl Charlee from Project Run & Play! it's called Rainbow Tiny Hearts, and I don't think it is available anymore!

 In this version, I used the neckband, sleeve bands and also the waistband pattern pieces. I think I really like it with the wide waistband! I used the little heart shaped pocket feature, but failed a bit at making it look like a pocket. Next time I need to stitch the sides of the heart up a little more, and use an iron!

My little heart is looking depressed V_V

Check out the other Skipper tops in the Sew Much Ado Flickr Pool for inspiration and motivation! And stay tuned for other Skipper tops in the Skipper Tour!

(While I didn't make a Skipper Top for Vincent, I honestly think this pattern could also be for boys and I have full intentions of using it as such at a later date!)

You can buy the Skipper Top right here!