Kimono sleeve jumpsuit for Miss Five

After such a great success sewing my Hannah top, I was quite keen to get stuck into another Salme sewing pattern, in particular the kiddie kimono sleeve playsuit. Well, it turned out an absolute treat! I really think I am developing a soft spot for Salme sewing patterns. The drafting is impeccable. The only complaint I have is that seam allowances aren’t included in the pdf downloads, meaning a bit more time is spent on my hands and knees tracing around the pattern pieces when I would really just prefer to cut and go. But maybe this feature would come in handy if I decided baste in my seamlines by hand for that extra special project.

The gorgeous Liberty of London I used is from Tessuti Fabrics. I only needed a mere 70cm to make this playsuit in a size seven for my little Miss 5. She’s quite tall for her age, so I knew I would have to size up in order to get the length right.

I would recommend putting three snap fasteners in the front instead of two to prevent gaping. And do you like my first attempt at beading? The fabulous gold sequins came from the Fabric Store.

It’s a bit wonky but I am so pleased with myself for finally having a go. I think I will practice a bit more on kiddie clothes before I jump into that special beading project. Thank you Laura Mae from Lilacs and Lace for putting together this little beading tutorial. It has been on my want-to-learn list for positively eons. And I have had a bag of beading stash under my sewing table waiting for me to get started for at least that long too.

I’ve gone all Zsa Zsa

I’m not usually one for animal print, but I have seen a bit of it around at my favourite haunt this season. I resisted temptation several months ago when there was some gorgeous Dolce and Gabbana printed silk crepe de chine on display at Tessuti Fabrics. Unfortunately it sold out before I could make up my mind. So when I saw a remnant of similar print in silk chiffon, I simply had to take it.

I used my Satsuki pattern from Victory Patterns. I’ve made a lovely top in the past using this pattern (as a gift for a very good friend), so I was confident it would turn out well. The only modification I needed to make was in lowering the neckline by about 1.5cm. It’s a very simple pattern to follow with only two main pattern pieces, but the element of difficulty was increased by my choice of fabric. I used French seams to keep the insides tidy and machine stitched a narrow hem on the bottom and sleeves. The neckline is finished with facing only.

Just another jersey top

With the recent rainy weather, I realised I was a bit low on trans-seasonal tops. Lucky for me, I had some gorgeous soft jersey from a recent trip to Tessuti Fabrics. I am a bit fussy about what prints I like on jersey fabrics, but this one managed to catch my eye. Unfortunately, I only purchased one metre of it so I had to top it up with my stash of super soft modal/silk in order to complete the top. I think I quite like the colour blocking after all. And the end result is a top so soft and comfy, that I’m not totally sure I won’t be wearing it 24/7.

Summer sunshine skirts

I mostly only buy remnants, partly because of the frequency at which I shop for fabrics, and also because most of the fabrics that I covet are a little out of my budget. But every now and then I walk past a particular fabric that I just have to have, love at first sight if you will. This happened a few months ago when I saw this summery yellow and silver polyester mix at Tessuti Fabrics

I turned most of it into a skirt for myself, a lovely knee length skirt with a few pleats and big pockets. A little later, I shortened it into a mini version. I’ve worn it so much that it isn’t really in the same condition as it was made, but the fabric has worn very well for a poly and the silver is still as silver as ever.

There was only a little bit of this lovely fabric leftover after making my skirt, just enough for a couple of little skirts (as long as I got creative with piecing all the small bits of fabric together). I added some divine ivory circle poly for one skirt (a lucky remnant from Tessuti Fabrics) and a some vintage floral I am trying to use up for the other.

I used a pattern from one of my Japanese pattern books that I have used many times before, so I was assured the skirts would turn out fabulously (albeit a little large for Miss nearly-four).

As usual, it was super easy to get some great shots of Miss Five in her new skirt.

But next to impossible getting a decent photo of the ever moving, ever wriggling Miss nearly-four.

I think she may have been twerking…

Sew sweetness bag contest

Introducing my Naughty Secretary Bag.


It’s a far cry from this sorry thing I have been carting around for the past few years. I love it, but it has definitely seen better days. It was one of the first things I ever sewed.

But these days I seem to be sharing it a lot. And yes, that’s the expression I get when I ask for it back.
Making a new bag has been on my to-do list for the past six months or more, but the allure of dressmaking, and jacket making, and pants making…I could go on…is just that bit too strong for me to resist. So, I never really got past purchasing my fabric (and I am very good at purchasing fabric!). I just love the French script on my new bag. The story is Le Petit Prince.
And check out this secret message I was able to include on the bottom inner lining panel.
This fabulous bag was made using a Sew Sweetness pattern and it is absolutely perfect for my mummy bag requirements. It is a massive tote that I can happily (and stylishly) carry everywhere, and yet it is completely machine washable. You can find the free pattern and tutorial here. There are so many amazing tutorials and free patterns on the Sew Sweetness site that it took me a while to decide which one to make.
The instructions included with the pattern were simple to follow and I love the idea of interfacing the lining as well as the external fabric. It gives my bag a whole new dimension of sturdiness.
I would highly recommend having a go at one of the Sew Sweetness bags, especially for anyone new to sewing. Making bags is just so incredibly satisfying, without the hassles of improper fit (in clothes patterns) that can easily deter new sewers when starting out. I learnt to sew by making totes using a Vogue pattern that I have since passed on to a good friend in the hopes she will discover her own sewing joy. But I would rate this Sew Sweetness pattern right up there with any of the Vogue bags I have made in the past.
Go on, give it a go! And don’t forget to show me some pictures when you do!

Twinkly tulle all ready to be wrapped

I am officially all tulle-ed out.

But Simplicity 2464 worked a treat with the added tulle, and just look at all those sparkles. I didn’t want to overdo the tulle, but there is still over four metres of ruffles in that skirt. I can’t wait for my little princess to unwrap it. Now the next item on her list is a sparkly, diamond encrusted tiara…

Layers of tulle for my Christmas baby

My middle Miss turns four only three days after Christmas. She is my Christmas baby. I always try very hard to make her birthday special, since it could so easily get lost amongst the hype of the festive season. This year we are at home for Christmas which makes things simpler, but we are also on an exceptionally tight budget while we renovate our house to sell.

But that’s no problem, because this middle child of mine has a few very specific and doable wishes for Christmas and her birthday. Her list consists of and is limited to:

1. A massive layered tulle ballerina dress
2. A tiara
3. A fairy wand

I am aiming for Christmas to be a mostly handmade affair within our family this year. So bearing this in mind, I got started early and already have some lovely summer frocks and handbags (bento bags) wrapped and packed for Christmas Eve. So now I am free to get started on this extra special birthday dress. Although I hate to say, the thought of this project does not excite me at all.

Over the past few years, I have made several fancy frou-frou dresses for my girls. And there’s been others too!

All three of my girls love these dresses, but no one so much as my middle girl. She is a ballerina girl through and through. She nearly passes out in excitement at the mere glimpse of glittery tulle. I, on the other hand, am well and truly over those big ‘ballerina’ dresses. I mean, have you ever tried doing up a seatbelt around one of those things… in the pouring rain no less!

So despite my lacklustre feelings, I am making this dress entirely for her, all the way down to the OTT sparkly pink tulle on vintage floral. The pattern I will be using is actually very sweet and I am hoping to pick up a few more ideas on construction technique by doing it. I particularly love the cute little bodice section of the dress with the elastic in casing on the back.

The fabric I’ve chosen for her is not my cup of tea, but then this dress isn’t for me. It is for my sparkly fairy ballerina and I am hoping it will tick every one of her fantasy dress boxes. Unfortunately though, I am anticipating seeing this blasted dress on her every second day throughout the entirety of 2014…

Hand dyed Hannah

Remember my first fabric dyeing foray here? Well, I finally found a use for the smaller remnant. I always had a top in mind for it, but it took me a while to decide on exactly what to sew. But the other day I stumbled across Salme Sewing Patterns and the lovely Hannah top. Immediately I was smitten.

My fabric was silk crepe de chine from Tessuti Fabrics, which worked beautifully with the design. This particular top was also a muslin of sorts for me since I wasn’t ‘in love’ with my dye job and figured near enough would be good enough with this loose fitting style. However, now that it has been put together, I really like the pattern, especially the way it comes together on the back. 

My Hannah is a fraction too big for me (just in that little area between my bust and armpits) but nothing I can’t get away with, especially if I stand up tall and stick out my bust! I will definitely sew this top again (maybe with the last little bit of my fabric splurge!) but I am not sure if I should do a small bust adjustment or perhaps nip in each side seam by about 1/5 cm each. Doing this might lift the armscyes a little too which wouldn’t hurt. What would you do?

Lace and ruffles

This stash busting exercise was inspired by a fellow blogger. Check out this gorgeous little creation here on True Bias. The minute I saw the lace overlay on that jumper, I just knew I had to go out and get sewing for one of my daughters. 

I had a little bit of white daisy lace in my stash that I purchased from Spotlight eons ago. I’ve used little bits of it over the years, but have always been frustrated at the lay of the pattern. The flowers don’t line up with the grain/stretch so making anything special with it was always out of the question.

I also had a little bit of leftover grey (ever so slightly stretchy) wool. I ALMOST had enough for this project. But unfortunately I didn’t have enough for a bottom band for the jumper. I couldn’t get away without a band since the sweater would have been too short. I actually contemplated going out to purchase some more similar grey fabric, but in the end, I rummaged around in my stash until I found a little length of grey merino suiting that I could turn into bottom ruffles. It was stash busting at it’s finest!

I used the Kwik Sew pattern below. All I did was quilt the lace overlay to the front section and shorten it to the casing line so I could add the bottom band (or ruffle) instead.


The size I chose for my daughter is just a smidgen too large, but I think it is perfect for layering. I will definitely use this pattern again, but with stretchier fabric next time! My wool didn’t have nearly enough stretch so the neckband is a little snug when squeezing a head through.

And here is my beautiful model in her fabulous new jumper! At least someone is happy with the cold and rainy days we have been having.

A little bit of Lisa Ho for hubby

A few months ago, I made a great pair of Suzy pants using some of the most amazing Lisa Ho fabric that I picked up from the Fabric Store. The fabric was gorgeous, a lovely lightweight silk and cotton blend, with the most beautiful silky satin finish. Now as I was making my own pants, the fabric caught hubby’s eye. After a closer investigation of my fabric he declared that HE would like some pants in this fabric too. Now he may very well have been joking…but as it turned out, I had the exact amount left to make him his very own pair of boxers slash pj’s!

I used this great little pattern and made up the longer version of boxer without the side slit.

But I can definitely see the shorter style of boxer coming in handy for an 80’s night/Magnum PI party down the track.

I think they turned out rather swanky in the end. Who would have thought Lisa Ho could translate so beautifully into a pair of men’s boxers? Not I said the cat. But I am really hoping they fit…I used his undies elastic as a guide since I wanted them to be a surprise. But even if they don’t, I know they will make him smile because he loves a joke. I’m not totally sure he will model these for a photo but if he relents, I will be sure to update this post in a few weeks.