Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I left the room to put a load of laundry in the washing machine. I could hear Nicholas yelling, but he didn't sound urgent - just sort of wondering where I was. When I came back in a few minutes later, this is where I found him.

Exactly HOW he managed to climb in is beyond me! I guess he must have pulled himself up on the basket and toppled in. What gets me is that later in the day, he did it AGAIN! We are so going to have to watch out for this boy.....

Reducing Keely's stash....

Last year, while I was pregnant with my twins, Keely cleared her stash of baby fabrics. I have been slowly reducing the pile over time, and this is another effort at stash reduction for Keely! It's a bodysuit based on Ottobre 01/06, #4. I made a size 68 for Isabella, who was this morning measured by Plunket (healthcare providers for almost all under fives in New Zealand) at 67cm tall. I reviewed it on Pattern Review , with complete details on how I altered the pattern from a snap shoulder to a cross over front. It's the same pattern that I altered for Nicholas' t shirt, but a bigger size. (She's a little bigger than he is!)

This also counts as a free project, so a winner all around I think! Now to make matching leggings and a denim pinafore to go with them - wouldn't that look cute?

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Free" sewing

I love sewing for free! This little hoodie (the sweatshirt, not the baby), is one of those projects which I class as "free". It isn't really, as I did pay for all of the components, but I justify it thus:

Pattern: Ottobre 06/07 #11, size 62. I already had the magazine, so no further cost.

Fabric: Heavy brushed cotton sweatshirting left over from a garment for one of his older siblings. Too small to make anything bigger than this. Already paid for for another garment, so no extra cost for this one.

Zip: One of several dozen I got at the Tamahine (manufacturer) closing down sale last year. I got 64 zips for $5.00, so each one cost just under 8c.

Thread: Whatever I had lying around, so no further cost either.

So, while I did actually pay for what I used, it feels like it was a free hoodie!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Baby shoes

Nicholas has worn right through the very cute bootees he'd been given by a very kind colleague in Christchurch. (Isabella fits more than one pair, and doesn't crawl all over the floor like Nicholas, so hers are fine!) He has skinny legs, so finding something which would stay on him was going to be a mission. I can sew I think to myself, I can MAKE something that'll stay on! I got a pattern from Inspirations Baby and modified it a little. I wanted to try it out as is, and then decide whether or not I needed to do anything else to the pattern. The pattern is for the shoes pictured in cream and pink in the link above.

The shoes are made from thick warm brushed cotton sweatshirting, with cotton knit lining. It only took a couple of hours to make them from start to finish, and they STAY ON! I did have to get G to hold him for this pic though - have you ever tried to persuade a baby to sit still with his feet on display?!

Next time I will make them a little taller, and I'll notch out the sole joining seam so the curve of the toe sits better. I also just knotted the elastic to try them on. Next time I'll do that properly too. I was lazy today! (Grumble grumble, twins with colds, grumble grumble, both demanding to be fed during the night, grumble grumble, not enough sleep, YAWN!) All in all, a wearable first attempt, and I'll be making more of these for sure.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wordles are cool!

I was randomly clicking around and found a reference to wordles. So I did one

Wordle: Everythingjustsew

Isn't that the coolest thing? It's on Go try it out!

Pink Jeans

These are Ottobre 06/07 #32, size 134. G has been hankering for some skinny jeans, and after seeing the ones that Keely made for her daughter I figured I'd make some for mine! I love how these turned out. The only alteration I made was to slim down the legs to the ankle to make them skinny shaped rather than straight. They fulfill her desire for skinny jeans, and my need for her to be able to bend her legs and run around! After the ho-hum pants I made last, it was nice to do something I actually liked.

And here's the back. I really like how these fit.
I finished them while she was at school, and took these photos when she changed into them after we got really wet walking home. I'm really glad I did, because she promptly went to play with the neighbours and came home with a HOLE in one of the legs! She has no idea how she caught them, and since the pattern of the fabric will hide the necessary repair quite well, I don't really care a lot. It does make me very glad that I can sew though - if I'd paid a lot of money for a garment and had it holed on first wearing I think I would be gritting my teeth a little!
Next up - wool/cashmere baby shoes. (Leftovers from the coat I made myself). Keely thinks I should line them with silk.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Where did I put the matchsticks?

Note to self: if your eight month old twins have their immunisations given on the same day that they both come down with colds, don't expect any sleep. I got about 3 hours total, two of them together! (Bonus to having twins - two very lovely nurses from the immunisation outreach service came to my home to give the jabs! It was sooooo much easier than having to take them to the doctor's surgery!)

I'm torn between sewing G's jeans to keep myself awake till I have to take C to the orthodontist (for the second day running - grrrr, o-rings falling off, grrrr) and not sewing G's jeans because I am in no way certain that I would remember to sew them right side out.

On the plus side, while C was at the orthodontist yesterday I raced around town like a headless chook doing about 15 errands (further note to self: when paying road user charges, note the start distance from your car BEFORE going in to the Post Shop, otherwise you'll have to go back to the car to find out, then back to the shop to pay it!). Last errand was a reel of topstitching thread for G's jeans. Anne's Fabrics (great fabric shop!) had a roll of very good quality, slightly flawed denim for $5/m! Usual price is $35/m! Naturally 3m found it's way home with me so I can make a much nicer pair of those pants for O for winter. Or two. I feel better about the first pair already :-)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Trousers I like, fabric I hate.

I made these this weekend for DS2. They're Ottobre 01/06 #27, in a size 134. I am ambivalent about these pants. I like the style and they fit him nicely, but this is horrible fabric. I only used it because he desperately needs pants, and I bought the end of the roll of this so I (still, sadly) have heaps. It was crinkled (on purpose) when new, and whatever they use to make it stay crinkled feels gummy and makes it stick to the iron unless you really go to town with steam. I ironed out all the wrinkles to make it smooth, and without ever going near the washing machine it looks old already. It's thin and very limp, with a higher degree of shear than I would expect for this type of fabric (shear is the way a fabric deforms from it's correct orientation on grain. For example, chiffon has a higher degree of shear than denim). The print looks worn, and not in a designer way.

All the time I was sewing these I kept telling myself that it's a good way to trial the pattern, and they'll do for a short time. But I felt like I was putting time and effort into a garment that just isn't worth it. I'm going to get some GOOD fabric and do these justice - it's a really neat style and DS loves it - especially the dog embroidery on the pocket.

This was easy peasy to do - I just traced the design from the pattern sheet, pinned the paper to the pocket and stitched along the line with a straight stitch to mark the design. Then I pulled out the paper and just went around it with a satin stitch. Next time I'll do it more carefully, but even a waste of time garment deserves a bit of flair.

Here's the back. They're folded up a little more than the pattern requires, as DS is a little shorter than 134cm tall.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sewing for a Wee Guy

Nicholas is a little guy. He's eight months old, 64.5cm tall, and approximately 6kg. That makes clothing him challenging! It doesn't help that he is the wriggliest baby in the world and hates to lie still long enough for me to do up rows of buttons or snaps. Much of the available RTW is way too wide, and looks like clown clothes on him. There aren't that many patterns for slightly built babies either, so when I found that Ottobre magazine patterns were well scaled for him I was stoked! His jeans are from a legging pattern (Ottobre 04/07 #2) which I altered very simply by drawing design lines for jeans onto, then tracing each component and adding seam allowances.

His T shirt is from a bodysuit pattern with the crotch fastening left off, and the neckline altered to copy a gorgeous merino top I was given. I liked the cross over better than most envelope necks, which can be too shallow, and gape away from the neck. What I do like about envelope necks is that they're really quick to get on! The neckline on this is easy to get on, and snug around his neck.

To alter the pattern, (from Ottobre 01/06 #4) I traced the front as a complete pattern piece (right and left sides), then drew in a new neckline from shoulder to low on the armhole and cut it out. Then to work out how long to make the neckband I traced the back and front necklines, lined up at the shoulder, and drew on a neckband of the width I'd chosen (approximately 2cm). I measured the outer edge of that to get the finished length of my neckband. Easy! The front consists of two layers. The outer layer is the full length of the T shirt, and the under layer is it's mirror image, but about 7cm shorter.

To make the T shirt I first sewed the shoulder seams, then sewed on the neckband and hemmed the sleeves and front underlayer. Then I sewed on the sleeves, sewed the side seams and hemmed the finished T shirt. With no fasteners or binding it was incredibly quick and easy to sew.

It was very quick to do the alteration to the pattern, very quick to sew the T shirt, and as you can see, it fits Nicholas really well!

I am so in love with Ottobre - I love their stylish designs for my kids, and I love that they have these beautifully fitting basic patterns onto which I can put my own creative stamp.

Welcome to my blog

I finally gave in to Keely's nagging and started a blog. Hopefully I will get enough time around feeding and changing my baby twins to sew something worth blogging about