Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Bow Back Beauty Blog Hop

Today I’m joining in with the Little Kiwi's Closet Bow Back Beauty Blog Hop.

Isabelle BBBIsabelle BBB 3

It’s no secret that I love Little Kiwi's Closet Patterns. But really, this pattern is beautiful.
I do love my little girl in a peplum top, but the really beauty in this design is the bow design at the back!


The Bow Back Beauty is an extremely versatile pattern. The size range is from Newborn – 12 years and can be made as a onesie (in sizes NB – 4 years), a peplum top (either with the peplum beginning at the natural waist, as I've done - or lower on the hip), a high low top or a dress! Of course there are 3 sleeve options too (sleeveless, short sleeved and long sleeved) and you can also omit the bow and leave the back plain if you wish.

Apart from the bow, the key features of the design are the envelope neck and pretty binding. The envelope neck is both practical (especially when dealing with big headed babies) and beautiful and binding method is not one I've used before, but I really love the finish... and it's easy too - Lydia steps you right through it in the tutorial.

For my version I made a peplum top (on the natural waist) with short sleeves in size 4 for my little 4 year old. The pattern is designed to be fitting and I think the fit is spot on! I used a re-purposed adults T-shirt  for the bodice and sleeves. Despite looking black and white stripe in the pics I can assure you it's navy... and there a little lines of gold through the stripes too as you can see in the last pic above. I paired this with some lovely drapey floral knit I can in my stash and I love it! Stripes and floral are such a classic combo!

Make sure you snap up a copy of this pattern OR enter to win you own copy below... and make sure you check out the other bloggers part of this blog hop - see schedule at the end of this post.

Jen x
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 24 April 2015

KCW Day 6: Shark Hoodie

Duunnn dunnn... duuuunnnn duun... duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn dunnnn … (In case you didn’t quite catch that, that’s just me doing the famous Jaw’s theme song.)

Shark hoodieDSC_0006-003

Anywho, for day 6 of Kid's Clothes Week I made Noah a shark hoodie and so happy with it! I’m glad I can end my KCW on a sewing high after yesterday's less satisfying sew“Ummm, Jenny” – I hear you saying… “you do realise that there’s one more day to sew tomorrow?” Well not for me there’s not! We are going away for the weekend leaving today and I can’t wait. And as much as I’ve enjoyed KCW, I’ll be enjoying a bit of time away from my sewing machine too.

Truth be told I made most of this last night. (Please don’t tell on me!)

This was a pretty quick sew.

Once again I used the Streetsmart Sweatshirt Collection pattern by Little Kiwis Closet (size 6). I have completely lost count of how many times I’ve made this pattern now, and if I was to hazard a guess I’d say I’d probably have made more than 20, possibly closer to 30 tops using this pattern. (I will count them up and get back to you!) This is the 4th time I’ve used it this KCW – twice using it to make sweaters with out hoods (crewnecks?); and on day 1 I altered it to make a dress. This is the first time this KCW that I’ve made the hooded style.

For the shark teeth I looked around for white fabric to use and found that I had some scraps of white coated curtain fabric that I’d used to line these fabric baskets. This was perfect because the weight and stiffness of the fabric meant I didn’t need to stabilise the teeth with interfacing or anything, as I’d originally thought I’d have to. (No-one wants floppy shark’s teeth.) I didn’t use a template or anything, I just started cutting a long strip of teeth through 2 layers of fabric (zig zags on one side and flat on the side which end up sandwiched between the outer and lining of the hood.) I sewed the 2 layers of teeth together along the zig zags and was intending turning them out , but realised that this would be a bit fiddly, involving clip corners, topstitching and what not. Fortunately it looked good as is, and the curtain fabric doesn’t fray so I left them as they were. I then followed the hoodie pattern instructions and sewed the teeth in when joining the hood outer and lining.

The light grey sweat shirting is from Levana, the black ribbing from Spotlight and the fabric lining the hood is a lightweight knit from Girl Charlee.

I was thinking of adding a pocket or some eyes, but decided to keep it simple, and let the main focus be on the teeth. I was thinking of keeping it simple, but when your son wakes you up super excited asking you to add a ‘teeth pocket’ how could you refuse? He loves this hoodie so much, which makes me love it more!

This is by no means an original idea, there are many different versions on Pinterest; but after a quick browse I’m of the firm view that shark hoodies lot much better on little kids, rather than say, adults or dogs.




Hmmm… trust Pinterest!

Anyway no time for modelled pics or fancy collages we are away for the weekend!


Jen x

KCW Day 5: Cheetah Patch Pants

Cheetah Patch Pants

To be honest this was the project I struggled the most with this Kids Clothes Week – it was one of those projects that should be a really quick sew with good results, but it didn’t really end up that way… And the photos make it look better than it is.

I used my old standby leggings pattern from the book 'Growing Up Sew Liberated' and the fabric was repurposed T-shirts. The sew took around an hour, so not that long – but it feels like most of that time was spent fidgeting with the appliques/ cheetah patches that my machine was so determined to eat. (I must have been feeling over confident after such a good applique experience the other day. Although that involved appliqueing woven onto a nice thick sweat shirting, whereas this involved 2 thin knits = recipe for disaster!)

Ah well, they turned out OK… and although they are currently a little below Isabelle’s knees, these leggings are quite long (there’s an inch or so folded under) so I think they will look better as she grows! I definitely could have done worse, at least I didn’t sew them onto the the back of the leggings!

Cheetah Patch Pants 2

The fact of the matter is, the best thing about these pants is that they are modelled by Isabelle. That girl can make anything look good. She was a little ‘wild thing’ today though, non-blurry photos were hard to come by. I took these photos right after picking her up from Kindy when she was hyped up from making cardboard robots, feet dirty from the Kindy garden and hair sticky from eating a very juicy pineapple!

We are going away this weekend, so I wont quite finish out the whole challenge. However I’m hoping I’ll have time to finish and share one last project with you tomorrow and hopefully I can finish the week of sewing on a high.

And now I leave you with a couple of photos that I’ve already used, because like I said: non-blurry photos were hard to come by today!

Cheetah pantsCheetah pants3

Also, while I’m in the mood for confessing things, is it bad that I had to google what the difference between a Cheetah and Leopard is … because I couldn’t remember?

Have you had any sewing projects that haven’t gone quite to plan recently?

Jen x

Want to read more?

Thursday, 23 April 2015

KCW Day 4: Bunny Jammies

Bunny Jammies Collages

Here we are at day 4 of Kid's Clothes Week. Today I made Pipi a pair of bunny jammies and then I tried to photograph her as she ran around the house and yard.

Honestly, most of the photos looked like this. #reallife


Yep, she is one fast and blurry bunny!

OK, back to the photos where you can actually see what I made!

Bunny Jammies 2DSC_0036DSC_0008-002

The finer details:

Pattern: For the top I used the four seasons tank and tee by Little Kiwis Closet in size 2 and for the leggings I used the ‘Sleeping Johns’ pattern from the Growing Up Sew Liberated book, also in size 2.

Fabric: The rabbit fabric is from Ixat… actually I think they have some in stock at the time I’m writing this. It’s a lovely reasonably thick cotton lycra and has really good stretch. I used a bit of solid grey for the neckline and waist band which was from a repurposed old T-shirt of mine.

Well that’s about all I have to say about that.

I haven’t quite worked out what I’m sewing tomorrow for day 5 and I probably won’t quite finish the week because we are going away for the weekend! YAY!

Have you been sewing along? Post a link!

Jen x

Want to read more?

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

KCW Day 3: Hooded Bunny Scarf

Isabelle Bunny Scarf collage

Today for day 3 of Kid's Clothes Week (and still in keeping with the ‘Wild Things’ theme) I made this super cute bunny hooded scarft for Isabelle. The pattern for this is by the very talented Lisa of Big Little (go and check out her beautiful blog for lovely handmakes, gorgeous kids – one of which is brand spanking new, and wonderful patterns.) This make is a pre-test of this pattern … BUT it’s almost ready to undergo testing, so if you’re interested follow Big Little on Facebook, or join the Big Little pattern group on Facebook so you don’t miss the testing call!

Here are some more details about the pattern in case you’re interested: The sizing will go from baby right through to ladies. It can be made as a hooded scarf, or as a hooded cowl  (buttons/velcros together at the neck.) It’s a great scrap buster and can be made from recycled materials and  it makes for a great handmade birthday present for your children's school friends etc. You can also make so many different animals – fox, cat, bear, giraffe… to name a few!

Isabelle's bunny scarf

Today was a bit busy and I knew I was going to find it hard to steal an hour or so to sew. I did manage to find an hour between 4-5pm, but I needed to get all the sewing and photos done in this time because it’s Autumn here now and daylight savings ended not long ago, so I was literally racing the daylight!

Because of this, and the fact that (despite being bribed with dried nutrigrain (?)) my model was less co-operative than the other day; which resulted in me getting photos that don’t quite do this hooded scarf justice! (I guess my daughter’s short-lived ‘modelling career’ has officially peaked!)

For fabric I used some pink wool that I scored at the op shop a while back for the outer. (I also used this for her Anna Cape, also a Big Little pattern.) For the lining I used scraps of a cream and black polka fabric from spotlight that I had in my stash – I didn’t quite have enough for the whole thing, so I used a vintage floral cotton for the scarf part.

I think I’m going to have to make one of these for Pipi – she’d be such a cute wee bunny!

What are you sewing at the moment? Are you joining in with KCW?

Jen x

Want to read more?

KCW Day 2: Cat & Dog Sweaters

If you’ve been following my sewing and are familiar with my makings for previous Kid’s Clothing Weeks, then I bet I can guess what you’re thinking! You’re thinking, ‘I knew Jenny was going to sew another cat sweater, given that she’s sewed 1, 2, no make that 3 of them before!’ Fair call!

Well… I wasn’t really intending on sewing another cat sweater, but I was in Spotlight a couple of weeks ago and discovered this panel in the half price pile. As well as the pug and the cat I’ve used here it contains 4 more cat and dog faces and instructions on how to turn each face into an animal mask. But as soon as I saw it this idea popped into my head!

Cat & Pug Sweaters

Now for the finer details:

Pattern: The same as yesterday, would you believe? The Streetsmart Sweatshirt by Little Kiwi's Closet – obviously with out the ‘lengthen-to-become-a-dress-modifications’ this time! I normally sew Isabelle, who will be 5 (!?) in November a size 4 and Noah (7 in December) a size 5; as they are both quite small kids… However, this time I made Isabelle a size 5 and Noah size 6 as I wanted a slouchier look and want them to be able to wear them next Winter too. (Looking at Noah, he’s obviously needs that size now anyway. Growth spurt!)

Fabric: See above for information about the cat and dog faces. I also got the black ribbing and faux fur used on Isabelle’s sleeves from Spotlight too. The light grey sweat shirting is from Levana (I think I bought about 3 metres a while back – I use it all the time) and the dark grey on Noah’s arms was just something I had in my stash. All of the sweat shirting is fleece backed and deliciously cosy, so will be perfect for Winter.


As regards to the applique… I used vliesofix to glue on and then sewed around using a very narrow zig zag stitch. I was very happy with how the stitching turned out (fluke) and like all good sewing geeks I decided to photograph my sewing machine settings so I’ll remember them for next time! (I’m sure all you other sewing geeks out there will understand this!)


Funnily enough, I discovered that some of my stationery went with the KCW theme of ‘Wild things’…


Joining in with Kid's Clothes Week! Are you sewing along? Post a link!

Jen xx

…. Oh and super braggy moment… I was featured on the KCW blog for day 1! YAY!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

KCW Day 1: ‘Doe a deer, a sweater dress deer’

First off, apologies for the cheesy title. I just couldn’t help myself.

As mentioned here previously I am in LOVE with this season’s Kid's Clothes Week theme of ‘Wild Things.’ That’s because my ‘Modus Operandi’ when it comes to comes to sewing kid’s clothes is pretty much floral, polka dots, grey, pastels and quirky animals (and preferably altogether if possible!)

With the last 2 weeks having been school holidays and my older two having a few days at Nana & Granddad’s I was able to approach this KCW pretty organised, having pretty much everything planned and cut out (leaving a little room for spontaneity of course!) I seem to do my best work this way.

Today I sewed up this little deer sweater dress.

Isabelle 3Isabelle 4the many faces of IsabelleIsabelle 5Isabelle 6Isabelle 8

Sorry for the sheer number of photos … but honestly how I could pick only a couple? Isabelle’s poses were on point today! (My husband keeps telling me to get the girl an agent, and I can see why!)

Anyway, before she steals any more of the spotlight off this little dress, here are the details:

Pattern: A modified version of The Streetsmart Sweatshirt by Little Kiwi's Closet in size 4. I modified it by lengthening it and gathered the waist with clear elastic using this technique. (This was actually a happy accident because my original attempt at gathering was an uneven mess, so I rescued it this way.)

Fabric: Vintage Deer Cotton Loopback (also known as French Terry) from here… essentially it’s a lightweight sweatshirt dress, perfect for Autumn as it is here.

…Any way enough of that… I bring you the many faces of Isabelle in GIF format. (You’re welcome.)

Tune in tomorrow when I show you (all things going to plan) a garment sewn with animal print.


Joining in with Kid's Clothes Week… Are you joining in? Post a link if you are!

Jen x

Friday, 17 April 2015

Friday Faves (Animal Print)

I thought it was about time for another edition of … dum dum dum … ‘Friday Faves!’ Yay! This time with the theme of ‘Animal Print.’

I don’t know about you, but it was not too long ago, if you said animal print I would have thought of the words ‘tacky’ and ‘bogan’ … judgemental I know!

Over the last year or so animal print has grown on me, and now I actually quite like it, well in small carefully selected doses that is. (Unless you’re a kid and you can totally get away with wearing leggings with a giant tiger face on them of course!)

Animal print collage

ONE: Emerge Animal Sprint Shell Top from Ezibuy

TWO: MNG Leopard Print Belt from The Iconic

THREE: Adidas Brown ZX Flux Animal Print Trainers from ASOS

FOUR: Eastpak Animal Print Shopper Bag with Leather Handles from ASOS

FIVE: Xcesri Animal Print Umbrella from Farmers

SIX: Aldo Olylia Shoes from The Iconic (I just bought these the other day!)

SEVEN: Baggy Tiger Leggings from Beau Monde Babe

Next week is Kid's Clothes Week and the (awesome) theme is ‘Wild Things’ … rest assured I will be sewing with a bit of animal print.. so if you are a fellow animal print fan make sure you pop in to see how I go!

So animal print…? Do you loathe it or love it?

Jen x

Want to read more? Check out my other Friday Faves posts

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Handmade Baby Gifts (Part 2)


Following on from my recent Handmade Baby Gifts (part 1) post,  here are a couple more baby gifts I have made recently. The two gifts featured here bring the total to 5. I did contemplate making a few more to put away in a bit of a ‘gift stash’, but as handy as that is, I really like being able to make the gift with the recipient in mind. (Also, by the end  I was kind of over sewing baby things for a bit haha!)

The little spotty top and baby jeans were made as a gift for the guy that works for Andrew and his wife who have just welcomed their second little girl into their family. I was stoked because upon completion, Andrew took a photo on his phone and texted them. I’m counting his proudness in my work as a win!

The little jeans are self drafted and have a little Liberty of London butt patch on the back. (If you say ‘Liberty of London’ next to ‘butt patch’ does that make it sound more classy? I’m not sure!) And of the little top I used the Little Kiwi's Closet Flutterby Playsuit Pattern as a base, but obviously modified it to be a top rather than a playsuit and I also curved the hemline slightly. The fabric on the sleeves is scraps from when I made this dress.


The final gift was for a dear sweet friend of mine who has recently had a little boy called Giovanni. He has a big sister called Giselle so I thought I have a bit of fun with the big ‘G’ and little ‘g’ thing by appliquéing a couple of store bought tees. The only problem is now every time I look at the little ‘g’ I see the number 9! Haha… I guess big G and little g will just have to wear them at the same time in order to prevent confusion! I also made a couple of pairs of  Little Kiwi's Closet Hip Hop Harem pants (I’ve made this pattern so many times now!) The pair on the right are made of a merino cotton blend so will be nice and snuggly for Winter!

Now I’m enjoying the school holidays but have embarked on a project for big girl, plus I have dreams of making all 3 some badly needed Winter PJs… and a gazillion other things on the ‘to do’ list!

Are you sewing anything at the moment?


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Autumnal Snippets


I don’t about you, but I just love the word ‘Autumnal.’ As a Southern Hemisphere dweller of course I’m biased, but really isn’t Autumn a much nicer word than Fall?

Apart from a few slightly frosty mornings, it’s still been beautiful weather up here and we’ve still been able to enjoy being outside and often still eating our meals out there too.

Our passion fruit vine has produced a bumper crop this year and we’ve collected a few blackberries too. (A few from our bush, but most from Auntie Lish’s abundant supply!) The kid’s would eat all the blackberries fresh if they could, but I managed to save some to make berry slice.

On the topic of food, this time of year and the cooler weather makes me hanker for fruit crumbles and cobblers. My Mother-in-law visited recently and bought some end of season golden queen peaches and generously gave some to us. We used the seconds to make peach crumble which was delicious.

On the sewing front I should really be making merino singlets and woollen coats for the Winter ahead, yet I’m inspired by summery florals. Perhaps there will have to be some Winter sewing lined with pretty florals. Knowing me the colour grey will likely make an appearance too!

What are you sewing, eating doing this change of season?