Category Archives: Sewing

Christmas is coming!

I LOVE Christmas! I have a feeling it will be even more fun now there’s a little one in the house (even if she’s heading for Father Christmas’ naughty list due to her current refusal to sleep ever). Of course I couldn’t possibly buy her a Christmas stocking so a bit of 3am pinterest pattern searching was in order.
I used this one for size and this one for lining technique.

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And then I started takingimage

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s!
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A couple of friends requested present sacks so using this tutorial, but the whole width of the fabric I made these.
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I learnt a new technique too – french seams.

I just didn’t want fraying seams on something that will be pulled about by kids every year.

I hope everyone likes them!

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Baby gets older = less time

I have been considering saying goodbye to this blog. I haven’t written anything in such a long time, and have barely made anything since July. It seems as M gets older I have less and less time. Looks like she’s always going to be a demanding baby. Whilst I decide here is a roundup of the summer’s projects:

I was commissioned to make a romper out of the tropical fabric for a friend’s daughter. She’s tall so I lengthened the body 4cm at her mum’s request. Luckily it fitted and she looked great in it.

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I was also given some cool, 80s vintage fabric by a friend’s mum who was clearing out. I used the bottom half of the romper pattern to make some bubble trousers. I love them! They’ve even had compliments from strangers!

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I made M some stretch trousers perfect for crawling using this pattern.
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Next? Well two months ago I started a cardigan for M to wear with the reversible Christmas and birthday dress I’m planning to make. And she’ll need a Christmas stocking… but it’s anyone’s guess whether these things will be achieved!

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Essential baby accessories

I recently bought a new baby carrier as the stretchy wrap isn’t much good for a weak mummy and a big chubby baby combo. This coincided with her starting to chew on everything so it was definitely important to make some suck pads.

I had asked for extra material for my custom made Sleepy Nico so I could make some. I used this tutorial but I added a layer of pul too. I also got aome kam snap pliers so i could add poppers instead of velcro. Apparently an eight or nine year old should be able to use these so it figures that with my weak hands I needed help from the man about the house!

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I am now looking for more things to add poppers to, so when we almost lost the teether chick to the streets I made a couple of toy save clips.
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Then I made a few more for other mums at the local baby group! I used these instructions because I wanted to make sure they were safe to use.

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Super easy speed sew

Ages ago I took a(nother) trip to fabric rehab in Dedham – tis both a blessing and a curse to live close to such a good fabric shop – to buy some incredibly garish summer fabric with toucans on it. I am fully aware many people will think this is disgusting but ha, I like bright stuff and I don’t care!! It reminds me of a crazy jumpsuit I had when I was 9 or 10….

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Anyway, I wanted to make a basic sundress. To me a sundress is something you wear when it is really hot (this definition is another hangover from childhood) so needs to be a bit loose and really comfortable. I trawled Pinterest and found this set of instructions. Hers is made with jersey but I thought I could make it work with a woven cotton – though I did get a bit nervous and do some very small seam allowances. Even I think a maxi dress in this fabric would be a bit much so I based the length on another dress in my wardrobe.

I also didn’t want to use a ribbon for the straps so I made a tie from the fabric itself. After the annoyance I had trying to turn the tubes for the romper straps the right way out, I sewed a strip of the selvedge inside the tube and pulled this to help turn it the right way out. Much easier.

I am pretty happy with the results, it just needs a nice belt to make sure it isn’t a sack and I’m ready for the sunshine!

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*I’ve had this post waiting for over a month for me to take a photo where the dress isn’t creased from being pulled about by a baby – that’s clearly never going to happen so here it is anyway! *

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Two dresses in one

Another go with a Sew Sweet Patterns pattern! This one is the Harper dress. Again I found it easy to print out (though I did have to learn about layers in acrobat) but then I had a few problems. The pattern states that the 6-12 month size fits on half a yard of fabric, following some shopping at an American retailer on Etsy I had some half yards rather than half metres, and it doesn’t!
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It only works if the back is cut out length ways on the fabric, which I did in the end but does cause slight pattern direction problems, and probably other ones I don’t even understand.

Anyway, it was easy to sew up and soon it was time to learn a new skill – buttonholes! I struggled to buy buttons, I can’t quite believe the local fabric shop had a whole wall of buttons and they were all nasty plasticky crap. I got some in a charity shop in the end. After taking advice from my mother in law, and a couple of trial runs on scrap fabric, I was ready to take the plunge. I am no longer scared of buttonholes!

I am so pleased with this dress I already have plans and fabric for a couple more. She’s going to look so cute in it!
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There’s just one slight problem. .. Mindful of all the mums at baby groups who tell me she’s huge I tried it on her. It fits now at four months! And the armholes are a little tight. I see some hacks coming on.
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A first go at patterns

All the sewing I’ve done before has been household stuff (cushions, peg bags etc) and the couple of forays into clothing have used no-pattern internet tutorials. With the exception of the little girl skirts these items haven’t turned out looking very polished.

So, as I continue to build up the summer baby wardrobe I thought I’d have a go at a real pattern. I came across Sew Sweet Patterns via Pinterest and they didn’t look too hard and are very reasonably priced plus they are downloadable so I took the plunge.

I had some suitable fabric from the stash building sale I went mad in from StitchStashDiva (American site via Etsy but even with postage fabric is still cheaper!) So I demanded a day “off” baby care. NB, for the breastfeeding mum of a ravenous baby this does not allow leaving the house. First up, the Summer romper. It was so easy! The only tricky bit was when making the tie, getting it to turn the right wsy out as it was so thin. It ripped from the pressure of fabric trying to push through the channel, so it’s not as neat as it could be, but probably not very noticeable.

I can’t wait to try out more!
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A skirt for spring

Recently I have been sorting the 3-6 month baby wardrobe.  Yes I know that sounds like I am one of these crazy people who have a ‘look’ for their baby, but actually this is for purely practical reasons.  She needs enough to wear but not too much seeing as it lasts only a few weeks before she grows out of it. One of the things I’m learning about having a baby girl is that the shops are packed with the sweetest little outfits and you really have to resist!

Sewing can be pretty useful in these circumstances; no need to pay shop prices when you have a stash of fabric. Baby skirts need so little of it too. I thought she could do with a girly but not pink spring skirt, so here it is!

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A reluctant model

I used the tutorial from Dana Made It that I have used once before, the only thing I think I’d change is to make it a little longer – cloth nappies give quite a large bum!

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