Category Archives: Sewing

The photos are a bit average! What have you been DOING?!

My Christmas Photo challenge Was a great idea only I didn’t count on having no time! You think I would know that having two young kids. Anyway here is what I have been doing. Sewing. Shorts this time. Christmas theme of course! Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to sew I go…



Boys Clothing: Olympic Themed Pants

After my son E decided he loved the flannel pirate pants in the pyjamas I made him so much we wasn’t going to take it off, I realised that little kids love colour and pictures. They love them and they couldn’t care less if they are not fashionable. Boys fashion is horrible. Sure they look nice enough, sophisticated toddlers in their navy, grey and brown, but they don’t care about our social construction, they just want to love the pattern and colour on their clothing. So I have decided to make E some pants, in kid’s pattern material. As summer comes the cotton fabrics will be great. I will make pants into shorts and let him love what he is wearing. He can have the rest of his life to conform to society’s norms. As an adult he will be confined to typical men’s clothing and shunned if he dares to commit the worst crime of wearing pink! So while he is little enough to just like what he likes I am going to let him enjoy it.


I made him some pants with an Olympic theme in honor of the London games. I found a brightly coloured fabric with beefeaters in Beatlesque style and throught it was great. I decided in addition I would add a red stripey cuff for good measure (mainly because they were replacing the pyjamas which had a cuff). I procrastinated on these pants. They were half done then I couldn’t bring myself to sew again to add the cuff. I even did one cuff, then took a few days to do the other! In the end the realisation that the games had started and the pants weren’t finished moved me into action and I finished them.

E loves them! (He still wouldn’t oblige by turning around to have a photo though!)

Two days in a row now he has come to me carrying the pants asking to change out of his other clothing into them and he says to me, “Mum, I am going to wear these for a really long time”. “OK, E” I say. And I mean it too. I made them about 2 sizes too big so he can wear them ’til they fall apart!

How did I make them?

I used my favourite boys pants pattern, here. I use the FLAT FRONT PANTS. The pattern has options for both. I think they look better for day wear. Incidentally if you add extra size to the pattern and use the gathered pattern they make good shape pj pants that aren’t bag shaped (perhaps its only me that doesn’t like bag shaped pjs?). I added about 1cm to the outside of the pattern. Added the cuff giving me extra length in two ways. 1. by not hemming the pattern the legs were longer anyway and 2. obviously the extra length of the cuff. The cuff means that I can fold that up until his legs get longer. Coming up to 3, he will no doubt lengthen in the coming months!
I also added extra length to the top at the back as he still wears a nappy and it helps to cover the extra bulk.

Now I just need to make some for W. Poor thing never gets the new pants because E has so many that he has outgrown!

Go forth and multiply…pyjamas.

I have had a few sewing projects I have been meaning to put on here and haven’t got around to it. Here is the other one.

I needed to get my son some pyjamas as he has just had a growth spurt. He spurted right into a bigger clothing size. Well, boys pyjamas are frankly uninspiring. Its like the designers went ‘let’s make great girls designs, colourful, interesting…what about boys? well there is this grey material or perhaps another set of skulls in blue or black?’ Bleurggghhhhh (insert fake vomit here)

So with that I decided to make some. Pants no problem. Top…hang on that looks harder than I had thought…make a pattern???? um……ok?

I did.

I am exceedingly proud of the fact that the pyjamas did not fall off, or apart and that despite being not perfect, they were given the stamp of approval when E refused to take them off.


I do have another pair to make, but I need to recover from the trauma of my first fiddly pattern making exercise before I go there again. Kind of like having babies…only completely different.

Refashion – women’s halter top to toddler tunic

Friends of ours recently celebrated their daughter’s first birthday. These particular friends love op shops and are into refashioning so I thought I would do one for the birthday. They are NOT into pink. Considering that 99% of the clothing for girls in stores is a variant on that particular colour I took that as confirmation that I had had a stroke of genius and set to work. I found a ladies halter neck in a jersey fabric that I thought was nice. Jersey is great for toddlers who tend to fall, crawl, scrape and so on, so something stretchy with give is better in my mind than something that will tear.

It had a nice design on the bottom which I loved so I made it into a tunic using the standard pillowcase dress idea.

I cut of the edges and used them as the ties at the top. I love it. It can be worn with a turtleneck skivvy underneath and jeans or leggings in winter and with shorts in summer. I hope she gets a lot of wear out of it.

Happy Birthday C.


Week 4 June Challenge: Final

It’s the final week of my June Challenge and I wanted to make something useful and push myself so I made it up as I went. I found it time consuming and my brain hurts, but even though it isn’t perfect I am proud of the result.

I made a stable table for my son to use in the car on trips and us to hijack and use for tv dinners at home too!

I found this bug table in a thrift shop. It cost $3 and it’s fine. It was a bit worn looking, but I had been looking for a table for a while so I grabbed it as this one comes off.


I wanted to use the top and make another bottom with a pocket for books and side bits to store pencils etc. for my son to use in the car.

I bought some cotton drill (heavy duty fabric) for the main parts and some decorative fabric for the pockets. I also wanted to be able to fill it with beanbag beans but also wash it so I made an empty zippered compartment and an extra bag from raincoat material that I filled with beans.


I used normal priced fabric because I didn’t have time this week to find exactly what I wanted in a thrift shop, but it could be made cheaply by taking time and doing so. I used hair ties to join to the table and obviously zips (you can also get them at thrift shops, but I wanted green and red like traffic lights so my 2yr old would know which one to open for paper and which not to open as it contained the bag of beans)

It took me 2 days (albeit interrupted by children and life in general) to conceptualize it and make it. I made it up as I went, but my goal was to get it done on time and it is so I am happy!

Here is the result





I am…finished my June Challenge.

In July I will be doing a daily photo challenge. The first in my colour series, I will be including red in all of my July photos.

June Challenge, Week 2&3 Double Challenge Finished!

For June I have been buying 2 items from a thrift shop and joining them together to make something else.

Week 1 I made boys linen pants from 2 women’s skirts. Then I hit a slight hurdle in week 2 and didn’t have time to sew! So, I went double or nothing. Week 3 joined together with Week 2.

I had a women’s maxi dress that cost $1, that I joined first with a white and purple striped shirt that also cost $1, then with a black and white striped girls top, cost 75c, and made an extra piece with the left over fabric.



So the total cost for these three is $2.75. Can’t really go wrong with that!

This is the result from the dress and shirt. I made a girl’s skirt for a 2-4yr old. I liked the fabrics together. I sewed up the front, cut off the bottom, added pockets and a waist band. I don’t have a photo of it on because I don’t have a girl!



I liked the girls top from the second week challenge so I decided to just add a bit of interest. I added Ruffles to the sleeves in the maxi dress fabric and to the pocket.



Finally with the left overs (the bottom of the dress was left!) I made a simple knee length skirt for myself. It’s a light fabric so it will be great for summer. Excuse the poor photo, the light in the room was bad, but I couldn’t miss another deadline!!




Next week I will try something a bit out of the square…if I get it done!

June Challenge – Week 2. Um… it’s coming…

I have had no time to sew this week. I have the pieces of this weeks challenge cut and ready to go, along with next weeks challenge and an extra as I have decided to use one of the clothing items in several ways with other items. This week I used this collared shirt and maxi dress. Each cost $1. My next weeks challenge was to use the same maxi dress and a childrens t-shirt that cost 75c. I will be making an item of kids clothing from each and an extra something for me from the maxi dress left overs. So that will be 3 clothing items for $2.75.


However, as I have had no time this week, I will be revealing them all as a double challenge week next Friday. I had better get sewing.

I am…busy.

June Challenge Week 1, Part 2 – The Result!

Here is a recap. My challenge for June is to take 1 or 2 items from a thrift shop and make them into something else. Here are the 2 things I used this week.

Item 1 – a brown linen skirt with crochet detail around the bottom. (a truly hideous garment made worse by overstretching, personal taste of course)
Cost $1


Item 2 – a brown cotton skirt with a print that reminds me of dandelions and lovely black pen marks scribbled across the front.
Cost $1




My son E modeling the result! Brown linen toddler pants with dandelion pockets.

Although that linen skirt was truly awful, I LOVE linen. I really LOVE linen pants for $1.


And I especially love linen pants with interesting and USEFUL pockets. A boy has to have a place to keep his treasures you know?, sticks, biscuits etc

My husband was a bit horrified when I showed him the skirts initially and said that E would be having pants made out of flowers, but he was fine with the result. I wanted to start with pants because I was a bit nervous at refashioning, having never done it before and I had made pants using this pattern before…just not quite this way.


I love using patterns that are traditionally considered to be feminine with a twist (like the silhouette dandelion print) on men or boys. I think if they are worn the right way they emphasise the masculinity (by contrast I suppose). These pants will be great in spring with a loose white shirt and sandals. They could equally be worn by a girl, but when I saw the skirt immediately thought of boys clothing.


I used my favourite pants pattern from here (the greatest shape I have found ANYWHERE!) combining the basic pants with the pocket pants.

I made the pants a bit bigger than the pattern to suit the loose nature of linen pants and because it made it possible to adapt the pattern pieces to fit the side seams of the skirt. Also, because I used the side seams of the linen skirt that already existed, I had to unpick the sides to insert the pockets and resew.


The bottom hem has been left fairly long underneath to allow for the rapid growth of a 2 year old boy! Folded and ready for Spring.


Although they aren’t perfect, I am happy with my first ever attempt at refashioning something into something else.

I am… satisfied.