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.


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!

Spring Sonja dress

sonja dressHooray for spring and free dress patterns! This is the Sonja dress from Salme. I made this a while back and have worn it quite a bit. I love it. It’s easy to dress up or down and it’s comfy. The only niggle I had making it was the invisible zipper – totally worth the investment in an invisible zipper foot!

Fabric: Reprodepot fabric from Spotlight.

Sewing for our big trip

beachIt has been quiet on this blog lately while we’ve been away on our first family holiday overseas. So much fun! So much planning/purchasing/packing involved when traveling with toddlers! We love Fiji!

I’m ready to start on so many things, but I promised myself I would finish off some of the half-completed projects that are lying around, starting with the knitted blanket I cast on in Jan 2012…. Anyway, here’s a few things I made for this trip, mostly from scraps leftover from other projects.

kindle caseI planned to do a lot of reading while we were away, so my Kindle was one of the first things I packed. I used this tutorial from Whipstitch to make the cover and it is perfect. If I had more time (next time?) I would make something similar for our passports and travel documents.

Fabric: Stripe fabric is Bozoku Cotton Duck #4 from Spotlight.

toy sleeping bagsQuilted sleeping bags for Mama and Papa bear! I thought this might help with sleeping in strange places, ha. I made these the night before we left (when I should have been packing), using this tutorial.

Fabric:  Lemon print is ‘Montreaux drill grocer #6′ from Spotlight; Castles print is a Lizzy House Castle Peeps fat quarter from Big W. Bias tape from Hobbysew.

hatAnd another Oliver + S bucket hat. Here it is straight from the wash, looking more than a little crushed! This one is made from fabrics that were already well traveled. The hippos were among a stash brought back from Tokyo by my lovely friend S and the floral was a gift from a trip my in-laws made to the UK and Ireland.

Fabric: Hippo print is Trefle by Kokka from Nomura Tailor, floral print is Alexander Henry Fulham Road Mulberry Moss in Tawny Plum.

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.

Fast flounce hem skirt

Flounce hem skirtI can’t believe I only discovered it was skirt week the day before deadline! Actually, I’m discovering that working to a tight deadline is fairly typical of me. It was hard to choose, but I popped this into A-line because I felt that the shape worked best with that category.

I realise that a lot of the other skirts will be bright spring numbers, but since it is nearly winter here I’ve gone with dark colours. My skirt was inspired by this one by Club Monaco. We don’t have access to this label here in Australia and although the name sounds to me rather like clothes to wear on a retirees cruise holiday (nothing wrong with that, just not my usual look), they make some cute things! Unfortunately they don’t even ship here. skirt CollageTo make the skirt I traced around the top of a knit skirt I already owned for the shape and then cut the front into panels. I used this tutorial to measure and cut the circle for the flounce hem. I cut up and reused some thrifted knit fabric that I had sewn into a tunic to wear when I was pregnant with the little one, which meant there wasn’t a lot of fabric to cut my circle from. I also had to make the waistband against the grain, so I added a tab of very stretchy knit at the back so I could get it on! Looks like it needs a good iron to tame those waves too.

flounce hem action shotOf course then there’s the vital ‘is-it-too-short’ action test: somersaults with the little one. I’m happy!

Fabric: Thrifted knit fabric.