Sunday, 27 December 2015

My Year in Sewing {2015}

My year in sewing 2015

As the year wraps up I’ve been reflecting on a lot of things, including the things that I’ve made during the year. As usual there are a lot of things on my ‘to make’ list that I never quite got around too (most of which come from the so called ‘selfish sewing’/ sewing for me category.)

It’s definitely been the year of  undies and pajamas, with me making Noah three pairs of PJs (rabbit, night-time adventurer and batman ), Isabelle two (merino pair 1 and 2) and Pipi just the one pair. And as for undies, I’ve literally made hundreds this year! I’ve also made quite a few baby gifts this year.

If I had to pick a favourite make it would have to be Pipi's wool coat. This was also the most technically challenging for me too. It’s closely followed by Isabelle's 'Belle' dress.

My year in sewing 2 2015

Looking back at these photos it seems that I do have a particular style, sticking to mainly a pastel colour palate, with soft pinks and mint, lots of floral, and also lots of navy stripes, black and white triangles and a bit of mustard…. and as always, a lot of grey marle!

my year in sewing 3 (2015)

I’m looking forward to sewing a bunch of things in 2016, including, hopefully a few more things for me and I’d love to learn a few more skills and acquire some lovely new fabric too of course!

What was your favourite make of 2015? What are you hoping to sew more of in 2016?

Jen x

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Noah’s Bat Man PJs (and 7th Birthday)

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Last Sunday was Noah’s 7th birthday! I am really not sure where those SEVEN years have gone, I know it’s cliche to say but it really does feel like yesterday that he was my little baby!

Noah’s birthday present from us ended up being rather ‘bat’ themed. I bought the Batman Lego alarm clock and Little Pop Studios bat hanger online, found the batman mask at the op shop for a dollar and made the PJs (the day before his birthday!!!)

Talk about leaving things until the last minute! At least they were a super easy sew. I used the Little Kiwi’s Closet 4 seasons tank and tee for the top, and the free Oliver & S Sunny Day Shorts pattern for the pants (modified to be sewn in knit with a yoga style waist band.) He loves them (so much so that he asked to wear them to church this morning…. ahhh no!)

We had a nice subdued day celebrating, after what has been a pretty hectic last few weeks! No fancy party and amazing cake for him this year, just this simple yet delicious banana cake (below) and an afternoon playing Lego. I should really have cropped the Mcnuggets pack out of the shot. Yes, there may have been a bit of that too #soclassy.

But all in all it was a lovely day.


Happy Birthday Mr Noah we all love you so much!


Sunday, 29 November 2015

Isabelle’s Beauty & the Beast Party

November has been a busy month for us! We’ve had Isabelle turn 5, start school and have her birthday party, we’ve had family visit and I’ve just helped organise a baby shower for my sister in law in the weekend just been. (Not to mention a few custom orders I’m waaaay behind on! But shhhh let’s not think about that right now!)

When the kids went away with my Mum and Step Dad last school holidays, Isabelle became fascinated with our old ‘Beauty & the Beast’ book from our childhood. Upon learning this, I, on the spur of the moment decided to make her a ‘Belle’ dress – you can read more about that here, if you wish! … And the idea of the theme for the party grew from there.


My super clever Mum came down from Tauranga for the party and made this cool costume for her dog, Moko. If you are familiar with the Disney Beauty & the Beast you will know that Moko is dressed as ‘the footstool.’ (And if not, you can get ‘educated’ here.)

I think all of Isabelle’s royal guests enjoyed themselves and the party games; and we all enjoyed the yummy party food and the beautiful ‘Belle’ cake made by my very talented friend, Katie.

My in-laws also travelled up from Otaki for the party and very helpfully brought up their silverware including a candelabra which helped give authenticity to the theme.


Happy 5th Birthday to my beautiful Isa(Belle)!

Thanks to everyone who helped make it a special day!

Jen x

Isy first day of school!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Isabelle’s ‘Belle’ dress (Beauty & the Beast)

Belle 1Belle 6DSC_0049Belle 3Belle 5

If you follow me on Instagram then you might have seen a photo I posted of this little dress right before the beginning of Kid's Clothes Week. It was around a month ago that I made it. At the time I had 3 custom orders on the go and was going into KCW, but then I had a sudden urge to make this little dress! (Craziness!)

When the kids went away with my Mum in the school holidays Isabelle became fascinated with my childhood ‘Beauty & the Beast’ book. Because of her newfound fascination we decided to go with a ‘Beauty & the Beast’ / Royal/ Princess theme for her upcoming 5th birthday (which is THIS Thursday! Eeek!) I wasn’t planning on making her dress straight away, but then Spotlight discounted it’s satin and tulle, so I took it as a sign. I bought a metre of satin (used on the bodice outer and underskirt), rayon (overskirt and bodice lining) and also a small bit of tulle (I was going to use this for a little detail around her shoulders, but decided to keep it simple.) All up it cost $13 I think.

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The pattern I used was The Little Kiwis Closet Scalloped Princess Dress with a couple of modifications. My petite almost 5 year old usually still wears a size 4 normally but I want this to last for a bit so I made a size 5 but with a size 4 skirt length. My first modification was accidental – I hadn’t bought enough fabric to do a complete circle skirt, so I cut 2 half circles with added seam allowances and joined them together. The second modification was the overskirt. For inspiration I was wanting to achieve something like this, and I found this tutorial on how to do the ruching (you essentially stretch sew pieces of elastic to get this effect.) I didn’t follow the tutorial exactly, but just enough to get the look as per my inspiration image.

Isabelle is also wearing an pettiskirt underneath which gives dress a bit more lift!

I can’t wait until Isabelle wears it at her Beauty & Beast party this coming Saturday.

Jen x

Saturday, 24 October 2015

KCW Oct 2015: Noah’s Black & White Pants

Yay! I made it! Today is the final day of Kid's Clothes Week, day 7. I’ve enjoyed it as always, but we’ve been busy with not much spare time for sewing – hence another easy project today!

Some simple black and white stripe harem pants for Noah!

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I love how they turned out and so does Noah. I’m not really into track pants but I love pants like these that are both comfy and styly. The fabric is some lovely and thick cotton lycra that I bought from Levana during the school holidays. The tie at the top is made from an old knit scrap (off cut from my overlocker) that I’d saved. It’s just for looks as the waist is elasticated.

I used The Little Kiwis Closet Hip Hop harem pattern by Little Kiwis Closet as a base, but I modified it a bit. I didn’t do cuffs at the bottom and instead of a yoga waistband I used elastic (so added a bit of length to the top.) I also tapered the ankles a bit because I wanted that narrow/ fitted look.

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I quickly whipped these up this morning and now Noah is out fishing with Andrew in them. The girls and I went out to the Keirunga gardens that was running it’s miniature railway/ ride-on trains over this long weekend. It’s a beautiful day in the Hawke’s Bay all round!

Next on the sewing list … is hemming the husband’s pants – not quite so exciting… and then I’ll finish a couple of custom orders.

What’s on your sewing list… or are you just glad to have got through Kid’s Clothes Week?

[EDITED to add – this pic of all my sewing from this KCW. If you missed any of my blog posts then check them out here.]

KCW Oct 2015

Jen x

Joining in with…


KCW Oct 2015: Isabelle’s Upcycled Tee

I’ve just now realised that I seem to have followed a bit of a rule this Kid's Clothes Week, that being – ‘if it looks nice, make it twice.’

I’ve made 2 pairs of Liberty leggings, 2 mustard cardis and little dresses and now this is the second upcycled tee that I’ve made this week. (The first being, Noah's Transformers tee that I made for day 3.

Isabelle's Upcycled Tee 4Isabelle's Upcycled Tee 5Isabelle's Upcycled top 3Isabelle's Upcycled top 2

I saw this tee at the op shop (a women’s size small) and knew that it would make an awesome upcycled tee for Miss Isabelle… (whom I think looks a little like a younger version of the girl on the front, especially with her glasses on.) Don’t you think?

This was one of those projects that truly did only use the minimum 1 hour sewing time that you’re meant to do for KCW. Actually just under, I worked fast and timed myself. Excluding pattern cutting time (which I’d already done), it took 45 minutes start to finish! (I needed to get it done, get the photos and get onto dinner prep ASAP!)

The pattern I used was the four seasons tank and tee pattern by Little Kiwis Closet, in size 5. For fabric, I used the original tee for the front and back panels and added contrast by using some striped knit from my stash and grey trim along the neckline. (The original tee was solid dark grey.)

Isabelle's upcycled teeIsabelle's Upcycled teeIsabelle Upcycled tee 7Isabelle's Upcycled tee 6

My little poser was in fine form today! That ‘face’ that she’s pulling in the photo next to the poking out tongue one really cracks me up. It was the result of my suggestion that she ‘pull the same face, as the girl on her tee.’ I think she nailed it!

I’ll hopefully be back here tomorrow to share my final make for this KCW!  (Phew!) Another simple one I think!

Thanks for following along with my makes and for your lovely comments here and on other forms of social media.

Jen x

Joining in with …