Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just like Mummy's!

After spending the afternoon "lounging" in my lounge pants, Rose came and told me that she really liked my pants and asked if she could have a pair just like them so that we could be the same. I didn't have very much material left so I looked for a pattern that took up the least amount of fabric. One of the patterns I got from Gisborne had some three quarter pants on it so I used that. I made them as long as the fabric allowed and in the photos she is wearing them on her hips, as really the material only allowed for 7/8th pants! She put them on after her bath tonight and was very proud that she has some exactly like her Mum. She looks far better than me in them though! :-)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cross Cushions

I made these cushions a while ago but have just got around to "blogging" them now. I had long admired the 'Smoke and Ocean Cross' cushions from but at $70 a piece, they were cost prohibitive for me. Through a stroke of good luck, I was able to source an old Thread Design duvet cover on Trademe. I didn't like the colour...BUT it did have a stripe each of the 'smoke' and 'ocean' fabric in it. I chopped it into pieces and created my own cushions which are slightly larger than the originals. I invested in some lovely feather inners and they were done. My attempt at inserting an invisible zip in each cushion wasn't perfect but I have since been advised on how to fix it. The second photo is from the Thread Design website and the top photo shows my own cushions. :)

The Zebra Double Buggy

I made up these liners for the double Mountain Buggy last night. I followed the template of the newly released MB liners which retail at $59.95. I had some of the zebra print cotton fabric left and used a pale aqua fleece on the reverse. Good practise for my buttonholes as these two liners required me to make 22 large buttonholes for the harnesses to fit through (not all at once of course, they are adjustable).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Duvet Inspiration

When I was down in Gisborne a couple of weeks ago, I popped into Arthur Toye fabrics to see Nana, who happened to be working there that day. They had a great sale and Nana helped me choose several patterns for half price. I was on my way out to meet Taff (who had gone across the road to check out Muir's Bookshop) and I spotted a gorgeous nautical print canvas peeking out from amongst a rack of fabric. I headed straight for it and saw that it was half price, down to $8.90 per metre. It was exactly what I was looking for! With Harry's white bunks on order from, I wanted to make a pair of duvet covers for him. Realistically, he won't be in his bunks for a while as he is quite happy in his cot but I like to plan ahead! lol. I got the last 6 metres left on the roll and have it tucked away in my sewing room as a future project. Imagine my surprise to see the EXACT same fabric being used for duvets on one of my favourite children's bedding websites,, however they are selling them for $152 each excluding pillowcase! I got a bargain! Here is a picture of the Treehouse ones. My piece of fabric from Arthur Toye is also pictured. Hard to tell the difference don't you think?

An afternoon of skill building...the results!

I had really come to a halt with my sewing because there were skills I had yet to master. Namely, putting in zips! I have a lot of patterns that I have avoided due to my fear of zips. Yesterday afternoon, with guidance from Karen, I finally did it! I made two jackets, one for Rose and one for my niece Eden, who is 6. I also learnt how to top-stitch, make a kangaroo pocket and attach a curved rib collar. I was so proud of myself! We had to shorten the zips as they were too long for the girls and this was a little tricky but I learnt that if I sew very slowly and make every stitch count, I am less likely to stuff it up, especially around the collar and pocket areas! We used a simple slim fit top pattern and adjusted it. Now that I have made this style of jacket, I can see the potential for making similar styles for Winter. Eg. Hooded and lined jackets. I can just adapt the skills I have learnt to suit the fabric and pattern of future jackets. I hope to make a grown up version for myself (in more subdued colours to suit my conservative personality!) and Chelsea has also requested a black check bomber style one. This garment was a milestone for me, I no longer have to fear the dreaded zip!

The 5 Minute Circle Twirl Skirt

What a great idea! Karen showed me how to fold a piece of fabric to make a circle skirt for Rose. I didn't believe her when she said it would take 5 minutes but it really does! You just use a piece of rib (we used pink), add some elastic, sew it to the top of your circle and then hem it. Simple! I think it is really cute and Rose likes it too. Here she is modelling it out in our new back garden which we finished a couple of days ago.

Floral PJ/Lounge Pants

Last night after I dropped Karen at the airport I whipped up these pants in the material she gave to me, specifically for the purpose. This piece had been in her "stash" for several years! I found out that the fabric is called rayon and I have decided that I love rayon! It falls really nicely and feels great to wear. Although strictly speaking, these are PJ pants, I have been using them more like "lounge" pants. Holiday mode dictates that I "lounge" in them till around midday! lol.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Is it a Nightie or a Dress?

Rose saw me cutting out my PJ pants this afternoon and asked if I could make her a nightie so that we could "be the same". I did a bit of juggling around and had to forego the waist tie on my PJ pants but Rose was able to get her gown. It's one of life's simple pleasures when all your pattern pieces fit perfectly and you can achieve all your projects without any wastage! After I had finished it, I had the thought that it doesn't "strictly" look like a nightie, it may be just me but I think it is passable as a dress too! It looks like a little girl's version of a maxi dress. I am still not 100% sure on the yellow bows I attached, it was the only colour I had, apart from pink and I was just experimenting, I may just remove them and leave it plain, or find some other embellishments. Rose was thrilled with it and has worn it to bed tonight.

My New PJ Pants

A few weeks ago I was admiring a pair of Karen's PJ pants and she said that she had made them several years ago and despite that, they still looked fab! She even had some of the same material in her stash and very kindly passed it onto me so that I could make myself a pair. I popped into Spotlight on the weekend and picked up this McCalls PJ pattern as I really liked the shape of the pants. I thought I would test the pattern out on another piece of fabric that Karen gave me, just to make sure the fit was right before I cut into the gorgeous white floral piece! Well, the fit was perfect and I am wearing them as I write this. I love them! Stay tuned for the next pair in the white floral! :-)

Vintage Nightgown Pattern

Last night I ventured out to the sleepout, aka sewing room for the first time in many weeks. I was so busy at school towards the end of 2008 that there wasn't any time to sew unfortunately.

I decided I needed something quick and easy for my first garment for 2009! This vintage nightgown was the answer. I bought the pattern last year in my Red Cross haul but it has sat unused, largely because it is a Summer pattern and I couldn't begin to think about sewing it in Winter! Rose "consulted" with me throughout the process and chose the style she wanted (long and flowy of course!), along with the fabric which was one of the $1per metre Spotlight purchases. She sat with me while I cut out the pattern and fabric and then it was time for bed. It was a quick and easy pattern and although my gathering at the bottom isn't perfect, next time I think I will just do the one frill rather than the double frill. I think it will look just as effective, use less material and still "twirl" sufficiently for Rose's liking. The nightgown has been a big success already and I got up this morning to discover that she had ditched last nights Pumpkin Patch nighty and had donned the new one. I think I might have to make a few more as they are super cute and like nothing you can buy in shops here. Now....onto the next project!