Monday, 9 March 2015

‘Wild Things’: KCW Inspiration

I was extremely gutted to miss the last Kids Clothes Week challenge, we were busy and had family visiting. I think the reason I was most gutted; (apart from the fact that I think it was the first KCW I hadn’t joined in with to some degree in 3(?) years) was because the theme was so cool! It was upcycling, and we all know how much I love upcycling!!

So, just when I thought that theme couldn’t be topped, the good people at Kids Clothes Week announced the theme for the up-coming season: “Wild Things” … um are they picking the themes tailor made for me???


A cursory glance at my Pinterest boards, particularly 'Little Girl Style' and 'Noah Style' will show you that I have a penchant for: yellow, grey, pastels, a touch of monochrome, stripes and polka dots, floral (especially Liberty) …. AND quirky animal-themed clothing!

Here’s just a small selection of the animal themed clothing from those 2 Pinterest boards (see the boards for source links.)

Sewing Inspiration

I realise now that about 80% of the animal themed clothing I’ve pinned has cats on it, so I guess I have a subconscious obsession with all things feline! (#closetcatlady) … also, I guess cats aren’t exactly ‘wild’ animals … so I’m not sure if domestic animals come within the theme – but who cares… I’d claim it!

There are so many ways this theme could be interpreted. On the most basic level you could use fabric with an animals printed on it (like Pipi's Bambi vest or Isabelle's Budgie Dress), leopard print, you could applique or embroider an animal on your garment (similar to the rabbit on the yellow pinafore above); OR you could go all out and make your child actually look like an animal! There are varying degrees of that last option as well – ranging from something subtle  like Isabelle's Owl Sweatshit (below) to full blow animal costume!











budgie dress

Speaking of full costume, it just so happens that not too long ago I purchased a copy of Molly Goodall’s book  'Wild Things' to Sew and Wear  from Book Depository. I haven’t sewn anything in it yet, but I am tempted to make something in it for KCW… maybe the racoon vest or bumblebee rain jacket!

wild things book

See, I told you this theme was tailor made for me!

Are you sewing along this time? (You’ve got time to plan, it’s not until 20 April) How would you interpret the theme?

Jen x

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Monochrome Fabric Baskets

My poor boy-child shares his room with his little sister. He loves sharing a room with her for the most part (I often find them snuggled in on the same bed together); but I do feel for him in that the room is quite girly. The colour pink is like food colouring, a little bit goes a long way!

Noah doesn’t seem to care (yet), but I have tried recently to add some more boyish touches to the room. The eventual plan is that the two girls will share and he will likely have his own room in the future, I’m not sure how exactly he’ll want to decorate that, so for now I’m embracing the monochrome theme; because monochrome goes with anything!

A couple of weeks ago I made him these 2 fabric storage baskets. The fabric is a thicker weight cotton duck from Spotlight and is lined with with white, coated curtain fabric remnants. I didn’t follow a tutorial per sae, but drew on a bit of high school maths to work out the circumference of the circles bases and therefore the width of fabric I needed. Who knew ‘Circumference = Pi x diameter’ would come in handy in the ‘real’ world?

Because both the lining and the outer fabrics are quite thick combined with the fact that I’d run out; I decided to forgo interfacing – which was perhaps a bit of a mistake. The baskets are definitely on the ‘slouchy’ side! However, that doesn’t seem to matter – they seem to hold bats and balls and other boyish paraphernalia quite well!


Other boyish things I have collected include: Maiko Nagao Print found at Collected, Needle & Nail Wooden Fishing Rod (a birthday gift from Nana & Grandad) and Tinch Restickable Drawer Organisers (which I like to morph into one word ‘draworganisers’)

I have a few other things in mind to sew for Noah’s room so watch this space!

What have you been sewing lately? Have you found yourself using Math in sewing much before?

Jen x

Monday, 23 February 2015

Snippets of Summer


We enjoyed some great Summer holidays, got away for a fun family camp, have had a few visits from family, and now we’re firmly back in the grasp of the school (and Kindy) routine. In true Jenny style I managed to forgo photographing our holiday, family visits and pretty much anything else really of note, but I did manage to pull my camera out on those quiet / ‘ordinary’ at home moments – moments of sibling love, backyard paddling, a back-to-school-Mum-done hair cut, Lego play, and some special Mother-daughter cookie baking and eating time. I just love those ordinarily extra-ordinary moments with my kids, and my childhood memories consist of many of the same things.

As this blog has grown it’s become more and more of a place to share ‘things I’ve sewn’; but I always love sharing snippets of everyday life with my kids. It’s great to reflect back on my sewing projects and developing skills but I love to use this blog to document the growth of my kids too! So, you can expect more ‘Snippets of the Everyday’ here in 2015.

I just have to remember to wipe off that cookie dough and grab the camera!


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

LKC Fancy Flounce Skirt

Pipi Lace SkirtDSC_0004-002DSC_0002-002DSC_0002-001

OK, true confession time; I’m not normally overly into frills and ruffles. Normally, I’m more of a less is more kinda girl. But I really do have to make an exception for Lydia of Little Kiwi's Closet’s latest triumph in pattern design – the Fancy Flounce Skirt.

I’ve just finished testing this newly launched pattern and despite the fact that it is very fancy and flouncy, it isn’t OTT. It’s perfect. Perfect for a tea party or a good bounce on the tramp, as demonstrated by my very active model!

This pattern ranges from 6-12 months size all the way through to 12 years and looks great on all. I love how the 2 year old size I made for Pipi looks so darling with it’s lace and light pink knit flounces and vintage floral lining; yet on a tween in different fabrics it almost looks like a different skirt, with the cascade of the flounces even more obvious. I really enjoyed seeing some of the other testers photos, everyone did such a great job – click through to the pattern to see what I mean!


As Lydia puts it, this skirt definitely is a ‘labour of love’ – (well mainly just the cutting out and rolling the hems of the flounces); but it is most definitely worth it. I found the construction of it fascinating and unlike anything I’ve made before. So quite enjoyable really. Because of the rolled hems this is a pattern that you do need a serger/ overlocker in order to make it.

Apart from the end result, which I’m just so happy with, probably my other favourite part of the pattern was that I didn’t have to print too many pages off! I LOVE PDF patterns, but one thing I like least about them is printing screeds of paper (grrrr expensive printer ink) and all the taping and cutting of pattern pieces! However with this pattern and making the size 2 I only had to print 4 pages (I don’t print the tutorial out to save paper). Lydia also helpfully includes a little guide near the beginning of the tutorial telling which pattern piece pages you need to print out depending on which size you are doing! So helpful! This might not sound like a big thing, but if you’re experienced with PDF patterns, I know you understand where I’m coming from!

So, yeah I love my little fancy flounce skirt… in fact I would go so far to say that I’m frilled with it (sorry couldn’t help myself!) Make sure you grab your own copy of this pattern while it is on sale! (An already applied 15% discount is available for a limited time!)

Happy Sewing!

Jen x

Monday, 16 February 2015

Flower Boots–a new pattern by Big Little


I’ve recently tested another pattern for Lisa of Big Little. This time it was Lisa’s beautifully cosy Flower boots pattern (available in both Baby and Children-Youth sizes). The size I made was children’s size 8 (for Isabelle) in grey wool with Liberty of London lining. The sole is a black swede and they have elastic around the back of the ankle to stay on little wiggly feet.

The Baby sized pattern includes 5 sizes from 0-3 months through to 12-18+ months and the Children-Youth sized pattern includes 12 (!) sizes; Children's sizes 6-13 and Youth 1-4. Both of these patterns are currently 30% off at the special price of $5 (USD) each for a limited time, so get in quick!

These are a pretty easy sew and as always Lisa does a great job of simplifying each step with her clear instructions. I enjoyed making the flowers especially and have plans to embellish a few other things with them – maybe I’ll make the girls some hair clips, brooches with them. My flowers look a little different than Lisa’s and some of the other testers, I think because I used a very lightweight wool. I still like them, but next time I make this pattern I think I’ll try a thicker wool! Good thing I have a few woollen blankets to recycle!

Thanks Lisa, for producing another quality sewing pattern!

Jen x

Want to read more? Check out the other Big Little patterns I’ve made:

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Meeting Eli

On Tuesday we met Eli, our new nephew and the kids’ new cousin. He is squishy and delicious.


It was so cute seeing the kids interact with him, especially Isabelle who was totally besotted! It made me think about how great it is to have cousins, and remember something Franny of Breastmates said on her Facebook page recently. She had been to China for a work trip and found it very hard to explain the concept of cousins to her hosts. A sad Reality of one child policy. I had never thought about that, and I’m so glad that both I and my kids get to experience the joy of cousins.

You might remember me sharing some photos of Toby & Tash’s (Eli’s parents) wedding a couple of years ago,  here and here; and more recently I blogged about Natasha's baby shower and a quilt I made for wee Eli.

It’s great to now have a baby boy to sew for, anyone have any suggestions or links to share for cute things to make for baby boys?

Jen x

Sunday, 25 January 2015

{Operation Handmade Wardrobe} A Vintage Tea Dress

my summer dress 3Summer dressMy Summer dressSummer dress

I’m pretty sure this is my first make for the year… yup, in fact it is. With plans to sew a few more things for my wardrobe this year (including, but not limited to this list), I thought that it was fitting that I start with something for me.

I originally planned to use this this gorgeous Joel Dewberry Bungalow Rayon Challis fabric for a different dress. But I really love the vintage style and instead decided to make New Look 6262, (my first paper/ non-PDF pattern in quite a while); which I purchased from Pattern Postie. I liked that it was a simple pattern with many different sleeve and neckline variations, and I also liked the versions others had made that I discovered when I did a Google image search of the pattern.

After mulling over a few pre-sewing concerns I had about fit/ cutting the right size, I chose to make the size 12 Misses based on my measurements and I’m pretty happy with how the fit turned out. The front is perfect, I’m so happy with my darts and invisible zipper installation and hot pink binding around the arm holes; but I do have a slight gape at the top of the back neckline, which only became obvious after I’d completed the dress. (It turns out that I should have done a narrow shoulders adjustment.) Ah well, live and learn – and I’m going to try and put some small darts in the back to rectify this (I’m not taking that zip out for anyone!)

I can’t wait to make more of these dresses. Next time I might shorten the torso a touch to make the waist a little higher, and of course I’ll do a narrow back adjustment.



Have you been doing any sewing so far this year? What are your sewing plans? I’d love to know!

Jen x