Tag Archives: finished projects 2013

KCW Spring 2013 – Giverny Ruffle Top – FO 8/2013



edited to link to Make it Wear it over at The Train to Crazy

I’m pushing the boundaries of Kids Clothes Week by including this as it was finished last week, but, hey, isn’t that what boundaries are for?

IMG_7881_edited-2It’s Elegance & Elephant’s Ruffle Top in the tunic length made up in the last bit of Liberty cotton leftover from my Giverny dress of last year.

IMG_7887_edited-1I did consider using the pink from the shorts to make the bias for the ties and the neckline, but I’d purchased this ready made bias as it’s a perfect match for the pink in the pattern.

I think it would have worked well either way, but I do like the extra dimension the two pinks bring to the outfit.


Now all we need is some lovely weather. When it does arrived, we are prepared!

PS… These pictures make our garden look fabulous…but don’t be fooled.  It’s not!  It needs a lot of work.

KCW Spring 2013 – Navy Bubble Pocket Shorts – FO 7/2013

Wow – I’m on a roll.  Today I finished another pair of Bubble Pocket shorts.

IMG_7837_edited-1These are in a very stable double knit jersey which gives them quite a different look and feel.  They are a little bulkier than the cotton versions, obviously, but I think they’ll work.  We’ll see when I can pin down a wee small girl long enough for her to try them on!

I now only have a pair of red shorts to sew and my plan for Kids Clothes Week is complete…watch this space!

KCW Spring 2013 – Holy High Speed Tee Shirts, Batman – FO 5 & 6/2013


I really didn’t think I’d get any sewing done yesterday. I’d been at a PTFA cinema club all afternoon and we didn’t get home from school until gone 6.30pm.  As bedtime is normally around 7pm, this was late by our standards. By the time the kids were abed I was one tired mummy and not really up for anything except sitting on the sofa waiting for the Great British Sewing Bee to start.  But I thought I’d just have half an hour in the sewing loft….

40 minutes later I had the first tee shirt finished!


I’ve never made a garment so quickly in my life.

I did take a short-cut – the original tee shirt that this was upcycled from was a v-neck, and I was a little short on length for the fronts and backs…so this version is straight across at the hem rather than shaped as per the pattern. I cut all 4 pieces on the original hemlines – saving myself having to stitch the bottom of the shirt and the sleeves.


I’d been really reluctant to purchase a pattern for such a simple garment, but I’m really glad I did. This is perfect.  Sure, I could have drafted it myself, but it took all of 15 minutes to print, tape, pin and cut out. Sometimes it really is worth spending the money for someone else’s (superior) expertise and to save yourself some time.  No way could I have drafted this in that space of time.

Cost wise, the pattern came in at a little over £5 at the current exchange rate. As the fabric is upcycled and the thread was already in my stash, each of these little tees cost less than £3. And they are a really good weight of jersey, so perfect for spring days when it’s a bit chilly.  £3 will normally get you a skimpy supermarket tee which will shrink the first time you wash it and be constructed from much thinner jersey, so these represent very good value for money in my book!

Also, going forward, I won’t need to include the price of the pattern in the cost of future tees.

This is a very well drafted pattern. I swear that any beginner who can pin fabric together and sew a straight line could make this shirt and get a great result. And you don’t need an overlocker (serger).

I can see myself making this over and over again…and making cute little tee shirt dresses too. A Blank Slate indeed!

Today I also finished the red/cream striped tee.


Again I cut the sleeves using the existing hems, but this one had sufficient fabric in the original shirt to allow me to cut the shaped hemline.  I finished it with a quick twin-needle hem


I am in love with this pattern.  It’s unisex, so great for The Boy too – he’s a small growth spurt away from being out of all of his tee shirts, and as he flatly refuses to wear a cotton button through shirt this pattern will be a life saver.

I’m planning a photoshoot for the weekend to capture these tees and their matching shorts (the blue pair is nearly done!), together with a couple of other garments that were finished before KCW began, but still haven’t been showcased here.

Now…the waistband and cuffs of the blue shorts are calling…hopefully I’ll get them finished tonight too!

Elegance & Elephants Bubble Pocket Shorts – FO 4/2013

Oh, that Heidi! She’s a marvel!


She makes the most delicious patterns.

bpsHot on the heels of the fabulous Ruffle Top pattern, today she’s launching the much anticipated Bubble Pocket Shorts pattern.

I swoon!

I was delighted to be asked to participate in pattern testing them.  Lucky me!

IMG_7701_edited-1Hot pink embroidered cotton.

IMG_7759_edited-1They are too adorable for words. I just know this will be my go-to pattern for the summer.

IMG_7717_edited-1These shorts are a joy to make – simple and straightforward to sew.  The pattern is beautifully drafted and the PDF is so well tiled. The pattern pieces tape together perfectly and in a jiffy.

You can go from inbox to completed in a gentle afternoon’s sewing.  With tea breaks.

IMG_7716_edited-1Heidi’s instructions are a joy!  Clear, detailed and beautifully illustrated with step-by-step photographs.  She holds your hand every step of the way.  I would recommend this pattern to any confident beginner.  The Sailor version might need a bit more experience, but the Classic version, shown here, are really not at all difficult…if you can sew straight lines and insert elastic, I promise you that you can make these shorts.

IMG_7681_edited-1One word of warning, though…when you do make them you’ll have no end of trouble getting your little fashionista to take them off.  We nearly had tears, she loves them so much.

And you’ll have to make her a matching ruffle top tunic too!  More of that when I can convince madam to partake in a photoshoot (stroppy little minx!).

But I can deal with that…and I recommend you dash off now and get your copy.  New shorts for the weekend, anybody?

The-rod-for-my-own-back shirt – FO 3/2013

The Husband’s shirt was finished last weekend and has already been worn twice.  It would have been worn more if I’d been swifter with the laundry and ironing.

IMG_7338_edited-1The days he couldn’t wear it I got the big sad eyes.

IMG_7344_edited-1I also been given details of plenty of variations on the theme that he feels would look just perfect in his wardrobe.  Different colours, contrasts, trims. He’s got it all sussed.


So it appears that as well as making my husband a shirt that he absolutely loves, I’ve also made a rod for my own back…I’ll be making this shirt again, for sure.

The pattern, you may recall, is McCalls 6613.



I have to admit to having quite mixed feelings about this pattern.

It’s actually drafted really well, except that there is no placket on the sleeve. Seriously…would it have been that much extra work for them to include a sleeve placket.  It’s a SHIRT, for heaven’s sake.

The instructions also don’t call for flat felled seams.  At which point I’m compelled to repeat myself…its. a. SHIRT. people!  Every RTW shirt in The Husband’s wardrobe has flat felled seams.

I chose to add them…which then resulted in the need for a “design feature” on the sleeve opening…because there’s no placket!  Hence the red grosgrain…which has turned out to be a favourite feature.

Funky details

But whilst I was frustrated with these omissions, and the generally weak instructions, the shirt itself fitted perfectly pretty much out of the envelope. The only adjustment I needed to make was to add 6cms across the back to accommodate his rugby shoulders.


You can’t really complain about that, can you?

So, I will be making this again, but next time I’ll draft a sleeve placket just to make it perfect.  But either way, I’ve got a happy husband…and that’s always a good thing, in my book.

Elegance & Elephants Ruffle Tunic Top – FO 02/2013

Last week I was giddy with excitement to be chosen as one of the pattern testers for the new Ruffle Tunic Top for Elegance & Elephants.   It’s Heidi’s first PDF pattern (hopefully the first of many) and it’s just delightful.

ruffle collage 2Each of the 3 versions, tunic top, A Line dress and swing dress are adorable. Can’t you see the swing dress in cotton voile or eyelet for summer birthday parties?

For the testing I made the A Line dress from some cute nautical print cotton that I’d been gifted by Himmelbjerget.


I’m not the worlds speediest seamstress, but even I had this dress sewn and on a small girl within an afternoon. I was amazed!

IMG_7243_edited-1The pattern is so beautifully drafted and it’s a joy to sew.  It’s hard to believe this is Heidi’s first pattern…she’s done an amazing job on it.  I’ve sewn PDFs for the kids from several independent companies and this is without a doubt the best drafting of them all.


The ruffles add a cute edge to the styling…and wouldn’t they look great in contrasting fabric?


You could also add contrast neck binding and ties.  And piping at the princess seams.  So many options!


There are no zips or buttonholes or tricky fastenings. The instructions are clear with great photos to help you along. This dress could easily be sewn by a confident beginner with great results.

And although I tested the age 6 pattern, which I’d thought would absolutely drown Button as she’s so petite, the ties at the back cinch it in nicely so she can wear it now, with room to grow.

IMG_7264_edited-1Which is a relief, because she absolutely loves this dress…and it passed the twirl test.  Which, as we all know is the most important test of all!

I’m delighted to say that this pattern will be on sale next week.  If I were you I’d be hanging around Elegance & Elephants until it becomes available, then nab your pattern as soon as possible. Or maybe just follow her blog and FB so you don’t miss out.

Either way,  I think you’ll love this pattern as much as we do.

***Edited to link up to***


Good grief…I finally finished something! FO 01/2013

Ok….it’s not like it’s nearly the end of February or anything.

What…it IS nearly the end of February!  And I’m only just posting my first finished item of the year?  And it’s not The Husband’s shirt?

What is the world coming to?

I’d better just shush and show you the goodies.


This is the Necessities Sampler from Little House Needleworks.

I’ve got a very soft spot for samplers and really love Little House designs. Remember the Home of a Needleworker pincushion?

home of a needleworker

It’s by the same designers.

‘Necessities’ is just a little bit special, though, as Alice-who-isn’t-a-cat bought me the threads for it last year.

IMG_7178_edited-1I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get pictures last week when the sun was shining.  Today the skies have reverted to their usual state of leaden greyness that makes everything look a little gloomy. The second picture shows the colours more true to life.

Hey ho…not even grey skies can spoil my happiness with this little sampler. One day, when my sewing room is renovated (in some distant Utopian future ;-)), this will hang in a little burr walnut frame in pride of place.

Until then…I have buttonholes to make!

The wrong trousers

The children have been introduced to Wallace and Gromit over the Christmas break and they are entranced.

wrong trousers

Unfortunately, Wallace’s genius for incompetence in his creations has spilled over to my sewing loft.

I finally got the 2 pairs of upcycled jeans finished for Button this week.


You know…the ones I started in October of last year.

Just the 2 1/2 months then.

Which, whilst not a hanging offence in itself, doesn’t take into account the annoying tendency of small people to grow.

Right out of the jeans you should have finished for her 2 months ago!

Cue expletive of your own choice!  I had several!

For a split second I was tempted to let The Boy wear them…but figured that floral Liberty print pocket linings probably weren’t a look he’d want to rock…and that the grandparents wouldn’t forgive me.

Thankfully, his best friend at nursery is a delightful, curly haired little moppet and these jeans will fit her perfectly.