Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Hobby horse pattern and tutorial

On a recent VIP night at my local Spotlight store, we created very cute Christmas Hobby Horses, so I thought I would share the project here, as an easy to make gift for the little ones in your life this Christmas.

Here is a photo from the event. I am wearing a dress made a few years ago from New Look 6457, view D, in some adorable carolling kitties fabric from Spotlight. Bub is wearing Kwik Sew 3730, view C, in a current season Australian Fauna Christmas fabric from Spotlight (there will be matching outfits for Hubby and I in the same fabric, as well as a blog post about them soon)

This template has been provided by one of the wonderful staff members who work at my local Spotlight, through her facebook page. Print the image to fill an A4 page and you should get the correct size.

Approx 40cm of fabric (quilting cotton will do)
Safety eyes
Feather boa or trim
Polyfill stuffing
75cm dowel or curtain rod
Satin ribbon or trim
Sewing machine
Needle and thread
Hot glue gun and glue

1. Cut out the paper pattern, then trace around it onto your fabric, giving you a sewing line to follow. Fold your fabric in half so you get mirror images, and cut roughly 1cm/1/2" outside that sewing line, you will need 2 sides for the head and 4 ear pieces (2 for each ear).

2. With right sides together, machine sew along the sewing lines around the head and both ears, making sure to leave the bottoms open. Clip any curves, turn right side out and press. Fold the raw edges of the bottom of the ears inside themselves and press.

3. Fold the ears in half length ways, either hand sew or hot glue in place on the head, using pattern to help with placement. You can also attach the eyes at this stage, by glue or sewing, or you can firmly stuff the head with polyfill, then sew on the eyes, sewing between them through the head and pulling the thread so that it sinks the eyes slightly into the head.

4. Once the head is firmly stuffed, insert the end of the dowel into the neck and gather in the bottom edge of the fabric using a running stitch. Applying some hot glue around the dowel before inserting helps to create a ridge so that the dowel cannot be pulled out. A bit more hot glue to hold the fabric, then cover the gathered raw edge with some ribbon.

5. Glue or hand sew the feather boa or trim along the top and back of the neck for the mane. Wrap a piece of ribbon around the nose, up around the top of the head just behind the ears and then around the back of the head with plenty of slack to make the reigns, secure with glue or hand sewing under the chin.

The finished product should look a  bit like this!

Apologies for the lack of step by step photos, as I decided to type this up a few weeks after the event when I made mine. With University over for another year, I am hoping to get a few more blog posts up over the next few months, as well as finally getting more sewing done.


Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Kitty Pram Liner by Muffy Duck Designs

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to try out Muffy Duck Designs' latest Pram liner pattern. She has a lot of pram liner patterns available for all sorts of different prams, but this time released a "draft it yourself" pattern to cover the many other styles and brands of prams in the world. Conveniently, my mother had just bought us this 3 wheel stroller from Aldi the week before.

I used an adorable kitty print flannel purchased from spotlight last year, with some lightweight wadding that I had on hand. The drafting instructions are very clear and make this a very simple project. The pattern also includes links to some helpful video tutorials for making the extra large buttonholes for the straps to go through.

So all these photos were from long before my little man was actually born, so here's one hubby snapped of us finally leaving hospital when bub was 1 week old (he's almost 10 weeks old now!)Yes I'm looking pretty rough, but I had been in hospital for a week..... 

I love that it provides a nice soft surface for my baby to lie on, and he likes having a suck on the shoulder strap covers, so being able to easily remove those for a wash is super handy. Now that he is born, I am tempted to sew another set in more boyish fabrics for him, but I haven't even managed to do much sewing at all since he was born, so I'm not sure how likely that will be. 


Saturday, 13 January 2018

Adorable Baby Sets from Simplicity 5982

With less than 10 weeks left of my pregnancy (this was back a while, just a bit over 4 weeks left now!), a family friend (who is also due less than 2 weeks after me) was having her baby shower. At this point I hadn't heard what gender her baby was going to be, so, while trying to figure out what to give her for her baby shower, I went through my limited collection of baby sewing patterns, as well as my fabric stash. I managed to decide on Simplicity 5982 made with this lemon and white polka dot poly cotton. 

I figured, if I was going to sew up a set for her, I may as well sew up a set for my little Jellybean as well. I decided to use the smallest size, which should fit around 6 months old, but may run big, as a lot of commercial patterns tend to, so I'm hoping it should fit our bubs around next spring/summer. For a little extra cuteness, I added a couple of little embroidered designs using my Brother Innovis 1200. A cat playing a fiddle on ours and bluebirds on my friends'.

Just the shoulder buttons left to add

I went for the simple singlet top and shorts (shorts aren't pictured), and they both went together very easily. I can't say much about the sizing or fit yet, as I have no models to try them on, but regardless of that, they have turned out very cute, and I think my friend liked the set I made her, as she asked if I could also make one in her size. As I still have quite a few meters of this fabric left, I am now thinking we could both have a matching set, using the Burda Pyjama pattern that I have used previously.

Any other ideas for cute unisex baby outfits?


Saturday, 9 December 2017

New Portia Party Dress by Rebecca Page

I recently tested yet another pattern for Rebecca Page, this time the newest Party Dress pattern, the Portia Party Dress. I made a 3xl, graded to 4xl at the hips (instead of my usual Xxl graded to 4xl at the hips) due to my larger bust and waist from this pregnancy. The pattern can be made in either knit or woven, but I like my woven fabrics, so made mine using a grey poodle print polyester crepe from Gertie's range at spotlight a few years ago.

I made the knee length version, but as I am a bit on the short side, it falls just past my knees. Happily, I did not need to shorten the bodice on this pattern, which is unusual for me. I left the back bodice open, so found I didn't actual need to bother inserting a side zip, which is great, as they usually irritate my skin. I thought the dress had a slight 1940's feel to it, so attempted some victory rolls in my hair, but as I haven't done them in a few years, I was a bit rusty.

Hubby and I went for a bit of a drive around our local area, looking for a new spot to take some photographs. We happened upon a park in one of our town's surrounding suburbs, with a reasonable size pond that had a fairly new looking jetty. Whilst taking these photos, we also got to see an adorable family of black swans, who came over to where we were. I think they were hoping for some food, but unfortunately, we had nothing for them.

This dress is a very quick sew, with minimal pattern pieces, as the sleeves are cut on with the bodice. The trickiest bits are the point in the middle of the underbust seam, and the V neckline, but like every Rebecca Page pattern, this one comes with extensive instructions with full colour photographs to help. Even better, Rebecca Page has decided to release the Knee-Length Knit version for FREE! It is slightly more fitted than the woven version, and all of the tester's dresses I have seen look amazing. I especially love some of the versions I have seen that have been made with stretch velvet, they look so opulent! I think I will be sewing one myself next winter (maybe as a birthday dress?)


Monday, 20 November 2017

A Wrap Dress for my Baby Shower

Now that I have finally finished all my University assessments for the year, I can get back to sewing, Yay! About a week and a half after my last assessment was due, I had my baby shower. We had it a bit earlier than I would have liked, in order to avoid the craziness of Christmas and the New year. Naturally I used this as an opportunity to make myself another pretty maternity gown. After trawling through pinterest I knew I wanted a wrap style of dress, but the only wrap dress pattern I had was for knit fabrics, and I really wanted to use a gorgeous floral Japanese lawn that I bought from Spotlight a bit less than a year ago. So, of course, I decided to hack a pattern I already owned, into something suitable.

I decided to use New Look 6123 in a size 18, as it already had a crossover neckline, so I figured it would work. I shortened each bodice by 4 inches, to bring the waistline up to an empire line, then simply cut 2 long 4 inch wide strips for the ties and divided up the rest of the yardage into 3 skirt panels, with the front 2 panels being a bit fuller than the back panel, to accommodate my still growing baby bump.

It all went together very easily, until I got up to pressing the hems on the front edges, and I realised one of the front skirt panels had been sewn with the wrong side facing out! Fortunately (and probably why I made the mistake in the first place) there is not a great deal of difference between the right and wrong sides of this fabric, but it happened to be the front panel that was crossing over in front of the other. I decided to unpick a bit of the opposite side seam on the bodice, so that I could cross it over the other way, and hide the backwards panel behind the other front panel. This was a whole lot easier than unpicking the whole panel and turning it the right way out, especially for a dress I may only get a few months wear out of.

There is some slight gaping in the neckline, and it sits a bit lower than I would have liked, but other than that, I love how the dress turned out, especially as I managed it out of only 3m of fabric. Unfortunately we didn't remember to take many photos with our good camera, so instead, mostly just have photos taken with my mother's iphone 7, and honestly, I cannot see why people rave about them at all, the photo quality is pretty horrendous.

My Grandparents, me and Mum

Hubby and I with his parents

My beautiful sis in law

My crazy bestie
And here is about when we remembered to use the good camera.

Cutting the cake, jellybeans and all.

The only full length photo of my dress

Anyone else done any Maternity sewing lately?


Friday, 10 November 2017

Free Maternity Patterns and Tutorials

Seeing as I am now almost up to my third trimester! I thought I would share a list of my favourite maternity patterns and tutorials that I have found online. I really would like to say that I will wear vintage inspired fashion throughout this whole pregnancy, but I know myself better than that. There have already been daggy stretchy comfy clothes. But I will endeavour to keep my wardrobe as cute as I can, with the help of these patterns and tutorials.

This is a list of ones that I think I will use, not just your everyday "cut out the front and put a stretch panel in" or "trace a shirt that fits you". I hope this list helps any other vintage-style, sewing, expectant mothers out there.


The So-Sew-Easy Wrap Dress: A great maternity wardrobe staple if you are comfortable sewing with stretchy fabrics. I would probably shorten the bodice slightly and add more fullness to the skirt. It would also be great for breast-feeding access. There are plenty more free patterns on Deb's site, and many of them could be used for maternity/breastfeeding. Comes in a range of sizes, up to a 44" bust.

The turn about the room dress: A cute dress with a twist detail in front and almost elbow length sleeves. only comes in 2 sizes S/M and M/L, but would be easy to grade.

1950's style Maternity Tops: No explanation needed here as to why I'll be making this one. A basic 50's style maternity top with yoke, facings and gathered fullness.

Contoured Maternity Pillow: I love pillows, and usually have a mountain of them anyway, not sure if hubby will have any room on the bed with this one though...

Any other good maternity patterns and tutorials I should know about?


Saturday, 14 October 2017

Tiger Stripes for an Urban Jungle

Recently(ish) for a University assignment, I had to use fabric to create a 3D shape using the theme "Urban Jungle" and some sort of fabric printing. Naturally, I chose to make a garment for my assignment, and drafted up a simple princess seam sheath dress with cap sleeves, using pieces from 3 different patterns, and grading up slightly.

Original Sketch
The center front, center back and sleeve pieces were cut from some black drill from my stash, and the front and back sides were cut from some mystery cotton type yellow fabric I found in the supplies at Uni. I then traced the side pieces onto a very large piece of paper, and drew out my design for the tiger stripes, then cut them out, stuck the paper to a screen and carefully screen printed the stripes onto the side panels. Once the paint was dry, I carefully pressed each piece to set the print, then took it all home to sew together.

Construction was super simple, and I finished the neckline with a scrap of whimsical black and white striped bias binding. Although I had intended to make this dress to fit my pre-pregnancy body, I had included a little too much ease, so when I finished sewing it up, I decided to try it on just to see. 

And wouldn't you know, the damn thing fit almost perfectly! So it seems I can't make things that don't fit, even when I try.

A few weeks after getting the dress back from being marked, a friend's eldest daughter was turning 18, so we headed to the pub for some karaoke (as you do) This was pretty much the only time so far this pregnancy that I have bothered curling my hair and making an effort, so my dear hubby snapped a few quick photos for me (these were actually when I got home afterwards)

20 week baby bump!
I haven't taken many bump photos so far, as I don't really have that cute little bump thing going on, what with being plus size already, but it is starting to look like a proper bump more and more these days (I'm almost 23 weeks now!)

I have a couple of maternity things I have sewn so far, although admittedly not much, my sewing room is a bit neglected these days. So I will be trying to keep posting, however sporadically here. Also, while I have not yet done any more work on my vintage cyclops pram project, my hubby and father-in-law have decided to finish it for me as a father son project, so I will try to keep you all updated on that as well.