Sunday, 20 November 2016

Lately… Isabelle turns 6 and other things…

Somehow another year has flown by and my (not so) little girl, my middle child, Isabelle is now SIX!

I mean, how has it been a whole year since her beauty & the beast/ Belle party!? Because I’d thrown her that big party last year, and because this time of year is always a busy time, I hadn’t originally planned to do a party for her this year, however somehow managed to wrangle one anyway!

We kept it pretty simple, 6 little friends, no theme this time, a basic cake and  DIY decorate your own waffles (because our waffle iron is still a bit of a novelty ‘round here.) It was a super hot day and we all had a lot of fun!


You might be able to guess from that last photo what the ‘other things’ mentioned in the post title is…. yes, we are having baby number 4! I’m now 20 weeks along with baby due April next year. We are all very excited – especially the kids!


This little baby seems to be a very wiggly one! We had made the decision to find out gender this time (Pipi was a suprise but we found out with the oldest too), only to have our plans foiled by an unco-operative fetus! So, for now at least, the mystery remains!

I did however, manage to get the 3 babes on the outside to stay still and look at the camera for the announcement photo above (no mean feat!) So I call that a win!


… It did take a couple of shots though! ^

So that’s what’s new around here! I’m still sewing away and will probably back here soon enough to blog about another project, or Noah’s 8th birthday in a couple of weeks!

What is happening in your neck of the woods? Doing any Christmas crafting?

Jen x

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Sofilantjes Down Under Blog Tour

DSC_0096Solis on hanger backDSC_0113

Recently I was invited to be part of the ‘Sofilantjes Down Under Blog Tour’, involving some of us sewing bloggers from New Zealand and Australia. I’d seen Sofilantjes patterns (a Dutch company) before and thought that they looked nice, but this was my first time making one. When I clicked over to the Sofilantjes website I was immediately taken by the Solis dress (and tunic) and knew that was what I wanted to sew for the blog tour. (I mean how cool is the back on it?)


I sewed little Miss Isy a size 5 (based on her measurements) and it fits her absolutely perfectly! There is a pleated skirt option (with either tunic length or dress) and also a circle skirt option. I chose the circle skirt, because my little ballerina loves to twirl!

The sew was so quick and easy! I sewed it up one afternoon (I actually think the cutting out possibly took longer than the actual sew!) I opted to leave the dress unhemmed which made it even faster. The pattern instructions very easy to follow, and I definitely will be making more. In fact, little Miss 3 has requested one exactly the same in her size, thank you very much!

For fabric I used black stroke Elvelyckan Design fabric for the bodice outer, the back strap is a mustard and triangle design from there too, the floral neck strap is a Birch Organic knit (if my memory serves me correctly) and the skirt and bodice lining are a candyfloss pink from NZ made Levana Textiles. (All of these fabrics are knit). A lot of pattern mixing, but I’m really happy with how it turned out!

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Thanks so much for having me as part of the ‘Sofilantjes Down Under Blog Tour’

Today is the last day of the blog tour, but make sure (if you haven't already), to go back and check out the other posts by my amazing fellow 'down under' sewers! The schedule was as follows:

There is also a GIVEAWAY! You could win a copy of the Nivalis Tunic and Dress Pattern.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The code to use is DOWNUNDER. This discount expires on October 16th and, is valid on Summer patterns only.

Happy sewing!

Jenny x

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Twig + Tale Blog Tour (Featuring Art Gallery Fabrics)


T T-Blog-Tour-Graphic
I’m so pleased to be part of the Twig + Tale (formally ‘Big Little) welcome blog tour. For this week long blog tour, myself and a bunch of other amazing sewing bloggers have been busy sewing a few of Twig + Tale patterns to celebrate the launch of their brand new name. (More about the tour schedule, and a giveaway at the end of the post!)

We were very lucky to have the blog tour sponsored by the amazing Art Gallery Fabrics, which meant I was able to pick out some beautiful fabric to sew with!

Twig   Tale Blog Tour
I made Isabelle the Twig + Tale 'Pixie Shorts' in size 5. The Art Gallery Fabric I selected for this project was 'Dabbling Swan' in Plum from the 'Hello, Ollie' Collection, by Bonnie Christine. (I requested 1 yard and still have quite a lot left over which I’m looking forward to using for other projects.)
This fabric is just stunning. It is 100% premium organic cotton and has the most soft and luxurious feel. I wanted to showcase the gorgeous swan print on the front, with a swan facing in on each leg, so I decided to fussy cut it to achieve this (and managed to do so, while still economically cutting my precious fabric! Phew!)

I’ve made the Pixie Shorts a number of times before and they came together quickly. I omitted the pockets this time, so as to have optimal amounts of swan on display. The fabric was a dream to sew with and I’m really happy with the result. (As is my little girl!)

Twig + Tale  is a celebration of the innocence of childhood and the wonder of nature, and I think that this collaboration between them and Art Gallery Fabrics (with all their whimsical and often nature inspired designs), is a match made in heaven. I also think that my wee girl, Isabelle epitomizes this too – it was hard to get a still photo of her, all she wanted to do was climb trees, feed the ducks and blow dandelions!


As well as these swan pixie shorts, I also made Twig + Tale’s super cute Wild Things Baby Shoes. It was my first time making these, and it was a lot of fun.

We have a couple of babies on the way in our family, so I can see myself making a few of these as gifts! I choose to make a bunny pair in the smallest size (0-3 months). The pattern also contains templates to make other animals, such as pandas, foxes, cats, bears, mice and raccoons, and goes right up to size 12-18 months+.

While on the topic of Twig + Tale's Wild Things patterns, it’s worth mentioning that there is currently a 20% off sale on some of the Wild Things range, including these baby shoes (and just in time for Halloween sewing if you’re into that sort of thing!) (Sale ends midnight Friday, no code required.)

These little shoes are such a great scrap busting pattern, and I just used various vintage bits ‘n bobs that I found in my stash, including grey wool for the outer fabric and mustard corduroy for the soles.
The only modification that I made was adding the little ‘cotton-tails’ on the back – inspiration struck when I opened my sewing draw and spotted some pom pom trim!


Thanks again to Twig + Tale for including me in this amazing blog tour (see schedule below), and of course Art Gallery Fabrics for providing me with the amazing swan fabric to sew with!

Finally, what would a Blog Tour be without a giveaway?!

twig   tale logo




Art Gallery Fabrics is kindly sponsoring 2 yards of Art Gallery fabric of your choice. To make the prize extra sweet, we are also adding a collection of 5 Twig + Tale patterns of your choice.
International entries are very welcome. Our bloggers come from every corner of the world to celebrate the global nature of Twig +Tale too.  Enter using the rafflecopter below. (The winning entry will be checked to ensure all criteria are met).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy sewing!

Jen x

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wayfarer Shoes by Twig & Tale

Quite some time ago, (which my computer photo filing system informs me was back in April) I tested a the Wayfarer Shoes pattern for the designer formally known as ‘Big Little’ (I’ve always wanted to say something like that!) For those of you that hasn’t already heard, Big Little has now re-branded under the amazing and very fitting name of Twig & Tale.

Twig & Tale patterns are distinct from others out there in the PDF pattern market, in that they are whimsical, inspired by nature and play and they emphasise the use of recycled materials and beautiful embroidery!

Anyway, back to these cute little shoes! Wayfarer Shoes are fully reversible, use minimal fabric and are super quick and easy to make! The pattern features are as follows:

  • Extensive size range  0-3 months - approximately 9 years
  • Choose size bundle using dropdown menu when ordering
  • Fully lined, no exposed seams
  • Skill level:  Beginner - adventurous beginner

reversible shoes (sole)reversible shoes sqreversible shoes insidesreversible shoes 2

You can also use recycled fabrics as I have done here (a recycled op-shopped/ thrifted dog blanket for the main, a vintage pillowcase for the inner and an old pair of jeans for the sole.)

I also decided to embroider them using this jasmine design, which is one of a few embroidery options that are contained within the tutorial. I really love the way the embroidery looks!

DSC_0027-001reversible shoes on grassreversible shoes side

My little one informs me that they are nice and cosy and comfy too!

Go and grab yourself a copy of the pattern and create your own pair of gorgeous little shoes!

Jen x

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

{Sewn} Isabelle’s Ballet Cross-Over Top (and ballet bag)


Isabelle recently started ballet lessons, something I, myself enjoyed as a child from ages 4-13. Naturally, this is something that I’m pretty excited about - my little girl is a ballerina!

Also, I was rather excited as to the prospect of more sewing. After all, we can’t have my little ballerina getting cold after her lesson can we? Armed with gorgeous blush pink merino that I already had in my stash (a generous gift from my husband last year from The Fabric Store, that I already used to make these toasty PJs), I was amped and ready to make a ballet cross-over top … apart from the fact that I didn’t have a pattern.

I searched online and found 2 PDF patterns, one had a hood (not what I was after) and the other was a faux cross-over that your had to pull over your head. What is the point of a faux cross-over??? The whole point of a cross-over is so the precious ballerina does not have to mess up her immaculate ballet bun, getting on or off her top over her head, thus the cross-over! So of course that would not do! So back to the drawing board – literally! Instead of buying a new pattern I decided to use my favourite tee pattern - 4 seasons tank & tee as a base and modify it to have the cross over front, different binding and ties. I made a size 6 for my little 5 year old, hoping to make it last for next year too, but I shortened it a bit in keeping with the look I wanted.

It was a bit of gamble (especially using that lovely merino, and no muslin), but I’m so glad it paid off!


I also made Isabelle a simple draw-string ballet bag, just like my Mama made for me when I was a little girl. All up, both the bag and the top took about 2 hours sewing time, plus about another 30 mins of me faffing about modifying the pattern.


With all this thinking about ballet, I decided to dig up some of my old ballet photos – see below. Usually when I look Isy I see her Father, but when I look these photos me, and then her … I see a little similarity, don’t you think?


Have you got any sewing projects on the go at the moment?

I’m still chipping away at this in the background, but am also hoping to get a start on some Summer sewing, and a few baby gifts.

Happy Sewing!

Jen x