Turtle power

turtle pizzaIt’s birthday season around here so we’re spending most weekends partying as hard as 4 year olds with sugar highs can. And that means … it’s pizza turtle time!

This new TMNT craze makes me feel old. Mostly because I’m not having any of that new scary looking movie. Classic turtles all the way. So I decided to make a Classic Michelangelo costume for this TMNT-loving 4 year old. diy tmnt costumesOf course I had to make a second outfit for the birthday boy’s best mate, designated Leonardo. Because the turtles are a team! And it is no fun facing up to “Shred-Head” on your own. Also, unless there’s a request for a Kermit costume in the near future, I am not going to be using this green fleece for anything else any time soon.

Leo costume back frontI used Kwiksew K3773 in View A (extra small) as my base. I thought separates would work best so that the birthday boy could dress himself and so he doesn’t have to wear it all if he is only feeling a little bit mutant turtle. The TMNT details were very slightly modified from the shell templates at Vanilla Joy. The cuffs here look slightly wonkus because I didn’t quite have enough green to finish the legs on the second suit properly and had to patch pieces together.

Leo costumeAnd the sign of a successful gift? Two boys who refused to take off the fleece tracksuits worn over clothes on a hot Sydney spring day. Cowabunga!turtle power


Off to kindy Oliver+S backpack


It’s kids clothes week, so of course I have spent the week not sewing clothing, but at least it is kid-related! In case you can’t tell, it’s a bumblebee backpack! The pattern is from the Oliver+S Little things to sew book by Liesl Gibson, with design mods by my 3.5 year old for his first day at kindy.


When I told him that we could design a backpack for kindy together I was imagining dark blue (his favourite colour) and some sort of beast (dragon? dinosaur? shark?). But he chose a bee, probably because he’s seen something like it in the playground or the shops. He wanted a zip pocket up front and somewhere to put his water bottle.

bee backpack backThe teeny wings are cut from an old pair of khaki cargo pants, mostly because white + boys + kindy might not last long. The lining is a quilting cotton with a fun cityscape print. This is taken in bad light, the colours are much brighter and bolder. Love all the tiny details – all the different buildings, Chinatown, ferris wheels etc.

cityscape fabricI finished this about 2 minutes before we jumped in the car on the first morning of kindy. Phew! So proud of my boy. I hope we can collaborate again soon!

Fabric: Canvas and quilting fabric from Spotlight.

The small McCoy – mini seventh doctor vest

knit seventh doctor vestFinally, FINALLY, I have finished my 3 year old’s 50th anniversary outfit! And there’s less than one day left to #savetheday.

seventh doctor vest backThis was my first attempt at knitting stranded colour work and while it is far from perfect I am really pleased with it, particularly since I was working with department store yarn bought on a last-minute whim. A little tight here and there perhaps. But overall! How cute is my mini doctor?

seventh doctor vestI worked the ring bear vest pattern with a few mods and used the witty little knitter’s pattern for the colour work. So lucky that these talented people offer their patterns for free!

3D printed tardisMy mini TARDIS was 3D printed by Zebra Atoms. If I had access to a real TARDIS I might have found the time to make a tiny version of Ace‘s bomber jacket for my nearly 2 year old daughter as well. Maybe I will eventually get around to it – Halloween 2014 perhaps? Here are some cute bomber jacket options: crocheted, self drafted, vintage pattern.

Upcycled basic tees

ImageIt’s the final day of kids clothes week and I finally have something to share. Basic tees! My son is now the perfect size for Dana’s wonderful free pattern and tutorial and I can’t seem to stop making these… They really are very fast. Thanks Dana!

It feels so great to take old things that are going to be thrown out and make something new from them! And when they are free, who cares if they get wrecked in the playground or at kindy? Plus, he loves them. Long may that last!

From top: American Apparel stripe tee (already worn and retrieved from the laundry basket for the photo!); Boris Johnson Piffle tee bought eons ago when I lived in London; Perkins Paste tee from Remo General Store which is sadly no more (this was a ladies small, but I just managed it); and thrifted Dalek tee (hello Doctor Who 50th anniversary!!).

Upcycled fire fighter dress-up

fire fighter dress upI love making dress ups! This little jacket was perfect for my little fireman.  Inspired by a high-viz cycling vest that was in our donate pile and a ladies jacket from the thrift shop (half price!), it came together quickly.

Let's go out girls pattern bookThe pattern is a modified little girl’s jacket (W) from one of my Japanese pattern books, Let’s Go Out Girls, bought at Kinokuniya in Sydney.

It’s swingy and big, which is great for a fire fighter on the go! Hopefully will last longer than the $2 plastic helmet we got at Kmart!

Knight dress-up

knight dress-upI made a knight costume for my son’s third birthday! The tunic is from this tutorial and I love how plush and ‘royal’ it looks. The crest is a simplified version of one I found online for our surname.

Of course you can’t be a knight without a helmet, right? I started with the Oliver + S bear hat from Little things to sew (have I said how much I love that book?) and added a neck, so it is more of a hood. And because it’s hard to get the threenager to stand still for photos, here’s the helmet on its own.knight helmet If it looks big, that’s because it is! I made size 4-6 so that he doesn’t grow out of it too quickly. I winged the extra neck/shoulders section of the hood. Here’s what I cut out, although I did have to modify that again at the front to fit:

knight helmet piecesTo attach the visor I reinforced the fabric with the eyelet feature on my machine before pushing a pair of jeans buttons through so it does actually move up and down, but he prefers it up away from his face mostly. And with both tunic and hood lined with flannel, it is nice and warm for our cooler weather right now.

Fabric: Stretch velvet, flannel and satin blanket binding from Spotlight. Thrifted wool for the helmet.

Oliver + S bear carrier (boy version)

Oliver + S bear carrierThis is the third bear carrier I have made from Oliver+S Little Things to Sew and I love it just as much as the first two. This one is for a third birthday boy, described by his mother as very loud, busy and dirty (aren’t they all?) and his beloved bear. Surprisingly patiently modeled here by my son with a different (smaller) bear.

Oliver + S bear carrier frontIt’s made from corduroy left over from another project, which is almost teddy-like in itself. Although it was not intentional, I decided to leave the pocket askew in acknowledgment of the messy little owner.

secret horse pocketInside the pocket is a secret horse you can only see if you are wearing the carrier.

bear carrier backThe pocket lining and reverse is cut from a repurposed quilt cover given to me by a friend. I think it is a very ‘boy’ version and hope it will help to keep that precious bear out of the dirt! Happy birthday T!

Fabric: Cord from Spotlight, repurposed quilt cover lining.