Tuesday, December 13, 2011


This year I've kept any Christmas sewing to the "nice and simple". Apart from the tea bag wallets, the only other sewing I've had a chance to do is some headbands. Great for using up scraps and pretty quick to sew. There are a few tutorials around on the interne. The Long Thread has a nice tutorial. Do you have any other ideas for using up fabric leftovers to share?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tea bag wallet

These are handy indeed! I love the one I have kept for my handbag and the rest are gifts for Kaiden and Jordan's daycare carers, together with a notebook or other small gift.
The instructions are easy and simple to sew. They use up scraps of fabric as well!



Another Bitti

There is something about chunky yarn and needles and an easy pattern that makes for the ideal knit for camping.
So while we were away over a recent weekend, I was able to knit up the body of this Bitti (mostly when Brett was driving), just leaving the sleeves and finishing for home.
There is no gift recipient in mind at this point of time, it was mostly to finish up some Woolganics which I had on hand. This one will go straight into the 'gift box' as I'm sure I'll find a little girl to give it a home soon.
And yes, I have made one of these before (exactly the same just a smaller size) which made it extra easy.

Wool: Woolganics, Bendigo Wool
Size: 4
Pattern: Itti Bitti Bump

Bitti Bump

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Elsie Dress

Another cute creation, this time an Elsie Dress by Sew Sweet Patterns. Rather than have the contrast hem, I kept the dress plain and added a row of ric rac - not entirely intentional but still works.
Elsie Dress
I used ribbon ties for the back.
Elsie dress (back view)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Saffron Romper

Saffron Romper

Now this pattern is a little cutie. I'd really recommend checking the sizing though before you cut. This one is a size three and it seems a little on the largish size to me but then again I guess it depends on the child's size. Kaiden still fits into size 3 shorts so I'm used to clothes on the smaller size. The legs on these also seemed a little short so I added some trim to the bottom leg. I'm also used to long, baggy boy pants! And I originally had the little frill on the top but it didn't look right and didn't sit properly when I started to sew the top stitching so off it came! I also didn't like how the elastic casing on the waist was left unfinished but that was an easy fix with my overlocker. This one is destined to be gifted...I think it will be a little while before it gets some wear but it is always better to be on the safe side when it comes to sizing.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Skirting around

Now people who regularly read my blog would understand how I like to mix up the boy sewing with a bit of the "pretty". So when I heard that one of my work colleagues was having a girl, well I just couldn't resist.

Pattern: Pink Fig Patchwork Skirthttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
Sizing: 6 to 12 months
Fabric: Mostly leftovers with the bottom trim from Lincraft

Pattern review is here.

And this skirt is in a larger size for a gift. It started off as a dress, and well, as you can see that's that didn't happen and it ended up as a skirt.

Pattern: Adapted dress
Fabric: From stash
Sizing: 2

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Bitti Bump

Another quick and easy knit which is going to be gifted. It is in the 18 month size but I think it could be worn from 12 months+ and would be cross-seasonal wear for here in Brisbane. It is using double-stranded wool (ie two different wools knitted together) which actually didn't cause too many complications for me. Using bulky wool and big needles, if I had sat down and not had any distractions (eg internet), it would have been finished over a couple of nights (remembering that I go to bed early nowdays.
Bitti Bump

The pattern is Bitti Bump by Gina Bonomo and it goes from newborn up to size 4 so I see a few of these quick and easy knits in my future. There is a boy version of the pattern as well but it only goes up to one year so way too small for our boys.

Monday, July 18, 2011


A quick knit - a Shroom beanie which is in a child's s size. This style of hat doesn't suit me, but I'm hoping it will look better on someone alot younger. Hard to tell as Kaiden refused to test model. This pattern is free from here. It uses a super bulky Woolganics yarn, the thicker version of the wool I used for the last project.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Present cuteness

Simple wrapping. Brown paper, a doiley runner from my Mum's stash which was unfinished so I separated off one of the squares, threaded through some ribbon and presto! Present wrapped in cuteness!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Olearia #3

In the "in between" I was well-managed enough to finish off this little Olearia for a friend's little girl who is turning one. This time I went for the shorter version which maybe more practical for a crawler and for Brisbane weather. It is in a size 18 months so I hope it is big enough to get some good wear. I must be more skilled in knitting this pattern now as it all went smoothly and was off the needles pretty quickly! Being the shorter version also made it a bit quicker.

It is made using Woolganics which is an Australian organic wool and is so soft, it is like knitting butter!

Note: don't expect to see too much craftiness around here as I've returned to work full-time and currently trying to build up my "work fitness". Bed time is early, knitting in the sunshine while J naps is non-existent and when I do craft I seem to be unpicking due to clumsy, tired induced mistakes. On the positive side, I have a good job with a good team of people (and a fellow knitter/sewer so can distract myself with craft talk) and I can pay off my overlocker! (which ironically is collecting dust).


Pattern: Olearia by Georgie Hallam (tikki)
Size: 18 months
Made for: Miss A's first birthday

Friday, May 27, 2011

Flirt skirts

The latest book to arrive in my letterbox is "Flirt Skirts" by Patti Gilstrap and Seryn Potter. This book features three basic skirts - a-line, pencil and flared and different ways to customise them. If you are a skirt lover, like me, but are looking for ways to jazz them up, this is a great book. Although there are a couple of ideas I'll be steering away from (like the 'bustle' back - I don't think I need to add more fabric to my rear....) and overall I think more attention could have been paid to how the photos were styled. I do like though the instructions in the front of book on how to get a good fit and picked up a few hints on how to ensure a good fit. I better get onto doing some sewing for myself!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A little Olearia

If I haven't told you before, I should have mentioned that every little girl (up to size eight) needs an Olearia in their wardrobe. And while I've knitted this pattern before so should know what I'm doing, this one encountered some problems which were set to test me (and my lovely MIL who sorted out the sleeve issue) and to teach me some lessons along the way (like to never use dental floss to hold stitches). This is destined to be a gift for a little girl, and while it is little late it is a size one and fortunately she isn't quite at that age...yet. This pattern is designed by Georgie Hallam (Tikki) who was also the master creator behind the design of my other recently finished knitted item, the Milo vest. This was another project that I was able to finish while waiting at the hospital (just in case you think I'm at home madly knitting)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Quilts for Queensland

During the Queensland floods I felt positively helpless and wanted to find a way to let people know that they were in our thoughts. Retro Mummy is co-ordinating Quilts of Queensland drive and I made some 12 1/2 inch blocks to contribute to the cause.

A handmade quilt is great to snuggle under. It keeps you warm. It can help a house feel like a home. It is like a huge hug.

I've made nine blocks in total which should be enough for a small quilt. It now just needs sashing (the pieces that join the blocks together), backing and quilting. I'm hoping that someone can help with this as I don't have any suitable fabric for this or the time/expertise to do the quilting.

Nine blocks for quilts for Queensland

One of the finished blocks

Most of the fabric was gifted to me by a fellow Essential Baby quilter; some are leftovers from other projects and I bought some small pieces from Spotlight as I don't have much quilting fabric in my fabric stash.

Knitting Milos

 This Milo vest is a nine-month size and features a hugs and kisses cable. It is for a gift.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ruffle romper

Not set to finish with the ruffled bloomers, I made a pair of ruffled rompers. They look very cute and while I haven't seen what look like on, the photos here do not do them justice. I think that it adding snaps to the bottom to make nappy changes or toilet training easier for this size (size three) would be a good idea. Here's the link to a finished pair by the pattern designer Tie Dye Diva to give you an idea of the finished look.

quilter's cotton from Spotlight
Made for: Lily
Pattern: Tie Dye Diva, size 3, Ruffle Romper (no pattern alterations)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ruffle pants and swing top

It seems like ages since I have posted about a finished item. I have been crafting; just the time has been shortened, especially as I have been feeling tired at night and knitting a few rows here and there is more appealing. Now also that I'm working full-time my crafting time will be especially tight. Before I changed working days, I was able to make this cute little ensemble for a work friend's little girl. The cuteness factor is huge!! It was also a change to fiddle and learn how to use my new overlocker which deserves a post of its own. The patterns were super easy, especially with doing the rolled hem on my overlocker and for extra cuteness I made a covered button for the back.

Ruffle pants back

Front of the whole outfit showing the swing top

Back of the whole outfit

Made for: Miss Lily, aged nearly 3
Fabric: Cotton from Spotlight
Patterns: Tie Dye Diva

Thursday, March 31, 2011

EB Swap Item Sent - Girl's Outfit

The second outfit I made was for Karen (Brazen)'s little girl, Emelia. When I asked Karen a bit more about what her daughter liked, I was channelling Hannah Montanna which was a pretty scary experience! I guess that was what came to mind when Karen mentioned that Emelia loves clothes which she thinks older girls would wear.

I'd already flicked through my Ottobre magazines and had an idea of what I wanted to make.

I'll show some static shows but Karen has given me permission to share some "action" shots which are below all of the details.

The vest is from Ottobre 1/2008 and is called the "Juliet" vest. I had some fun hammering in the eyelets into the back. The embroidery is by Bunnycup Embroidery and I added some rhinestones which I used the iron to heat-set on. The thread is metallic.

I had some leftover fabric so I decided to make the Izzy and Ivy Jack and Jill hat. A bit fiddly but I'm sure I'd find it easier to sew the next time around. I wasn't happy with how the brim turned out (is a bit wonky) and I unpicked the band a couple of times to get the stripes a bit more even. I think it looks much better on than off and apparently Emelia loves it ALOT! I especially love the big flower and could see myself making these for embellishing other clothes.

For the pants I decided to tackle the knickerbockers also in Issue 1/2008. The instructions sounded deceptively simple (perhaps because they lacked the detail/pictures). But thanks to some help from the ladies at Crafty Mamas I got through it! The embroidery near the pocket is also from Bunnycup Embroidery with rhinestones added.

I also made a top for under the vest but in my sewing stupor I cut a size below what I should have (a 5/6 rather than a 7/8). I thought it would be ok going by the measurements but it ended up that the neck opening was too small which I am disappointed about. I suggest that if you are making this pattern to double-check this on the pattern before cutting.

How the outfit was supposed to look all together

And some photos modelling the outfit

Sewn for: Karen's daughter Emelia
Patterns: Ottobre 1/2008 Juliet vest, knickerbockers, Izzy and Ivy Jack and Jill Hat, Emily Bell Sleeve Tunic by Sis Boom
Alterations: I reduced the height of the hat by 1cm and advise of a fellow sewer who had made this pattern before
Fabric: Vest/hat, pants, tunic and ribbon trim from Spotlight, rhinestones and lining fabric from Lincraft

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kid's clothing sewing swap - second oufit

I have to admit the instructions looked simple and easy but sewing the bottom half of this outfit was a bit of a stretch for me. Partly because I like little diagrams and in-depth instructions that I can follow to the rule, and secondly there were a few things about the bottom half that I'd never attempted (successfully) before. Even in my decades of sewing I've only tried a fly front once and that was a semi (that is, still wearable) disaster. So then when I go to work out how to do it this time, years and years later, I search the internet and find there are lots of different tutorials which show similar yet all different ways to do a fly front which ends up just confusing me more. Yes, I did pick one way and yes, next time I will do it differently. Finally, though it is finished and here is a sneak peek.

One of my favourite bits (from the top piece which is also Ottobre but quicker to sew)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Handy husbands do come in handy!

For a while I have been challenged with the issue of how to store my ever-growing stash of cotton reels. I seemed to have too many to store in containers, impossible to sort by colour and resulting in an overflowing tangled mess as often little fingers would sneak in and have fun unwinding. Consequently, more often than not I'd buy a new reel when I started a new project as I couldn't easily find if I already had it on hand.

So I did a bit of research and asked Brett if he would build me a wall unit to house all of them. So for Christmas my present he built this new cotton storage which now proudly hangs on my wall. Hopefully by seeing what I have I can start to prune it down a bit and fit ALL of them on. And I've put in a request for another one (yes another!) because I have almost the same amount again in machine embroidery thread, all mostly inherited from my Mum who was really into machine embroidery. The space down the bottom I'm using to hang other items like embroidery hoops and scissors (and currently cotton that doesn't fit up the top!).

The next challenge....my pattern drawer. I need to sort it and put into the plastic sleeves and folders that I have on hand. Perhaps when I'm finished my swap items that will be next on the never-ending 'to do' list.