Archive of ‘Girl’s Clothes’ category

Easy Peasy Princess Dress


My youngest is about to turn three years old and is completely obsessed with princesses.  Last year she was given a Snow White dress for her birthday, and even though I took it up (it was a size 5) she has trampled it and ripped it and it desperately needs replacing.  Recently we were invited to a princess party and I couldn’t help myself.  I had to make Miss 3 a new princess dress.

Princess in the garden

Years ago when my Nanny (grandmother) passed away all of my aunts and uncles were set up with their own homes and my cousins were young so I ended up receiving lots of household items (I still think of her every time I cook a roast in her roasting pan!).  My Nanny was such a stylish lady, one of those women who aged gracefully, was always immaculately dressed and was just the kind of person that you want to be around.  Oh, I still miss her!

Princess picking flowers

Getting back to the point, I inherited Nanny’s gold satin sheets.  I have no idea how she used them, they’re so slippery that you slide right out of bed LOL  I could barely keep them folded in the cupboard, so in the end I stuffed them in my fabric stash. They have been fantastic for costumes!  I’ve made pirate skirts, a snow white skirt for me, appliqué fairies and now a Princess Dress for my little Miss.

Twirling Princess

This has to be the easiest dress around, it only has one seam and you could easily make one in cotton for a summer dress (not all Princesses wear gold satin all of the time) ;)  I’ve written up a tutorial and just need to take some photos to go with it.  We even made some bijoux (jewelry) to go with the dress.

Princess bijoux

I used bead elastic and enclosed the ends in fabric then added snaps.  If it is pulled the snaps should come undone, but at this age she shouldn’t wear jewelry unsupervised anyway.


And if you haven’t got your fill of cute princess photos, here is one last one for you :)

Princess dress back

I’m linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday at Better Off Thread.

Better Off Thread




Gah! No really, argh!


Anyone else experiencing the full blown panic that seems to accompany Christmas?  If I wasn’t completely ashamed of the HUGE MESS that is my sewing room I would share a pic as it really reflects my sewing stress (good stress, not bad).  It really looks like a bunch of monkeys have run to the fabric shelves and randomly pulled out fabric and thrown it all around, stuffed that in to bags, tried to hide it, then started throwing fabric around again.  I’m telling myself (and anyone who will listen) that I’ll tidy in January.  Gosh I hope so or I might get lost in here!

This week I’m finishing off a few WiPs:

A dress (requires button to be made and stitched on):

toddler dress

A cushion cover (Alien needs an pupil and mouth):

Alien cushion cover
A little reverse applique and raw edged applique.  Usually I quilt cushion covers but didn’t this time. I think he is cute :)

A Christmas mini quilt (can’t share as it’s a gift for someone who reads my blog).  It’s super awesome and totally Christmas and I’m thinking I’ll do a tutorial on it as I love it so much :)

A gift for the Director of our school.  Fabric has been selected, PP pattern printed.  Um, work has yet to begin and school finishes in two days…  Gah!!!!

Gifts for Mr 6′s classmates.  Half are done.  No idea what to make the boys (the girls are getting hairclips or ties).  Any suggestions?  I need something quick, simple and suitable for 13 six year old boys.  Like super quick.  Key rings?  Argh!

I did have two finishes today.  If I didn’t have enough on my plate today with an early finish for school, followed by swimming lessons, followed by a birthday party and Mr Husband working super late, I decided that even though I had struck it off the list as it was INSANE, I needed to provide handmade gifts for the birthday boy and girl.  So with less than an hour I made two zippered pouches.  I didn’t even use batting or interfacing.

zippered pouches
About 10″ x 6″ using a 9″ zip

These two pouches (complete with the initial of each child) were gifted along with a bought present (a Hello Kitty makeup set and a Playmobil Pirate set).  And you know what???  The birthday girl was carrying around her pouch for the whole afternoon.  How proud am I?

girls zippered pouch
For a Miss Z

Yep, being a little sewing crazy is so worth it when you make a 6 year old happy :)  Funnily enough I only bought a 25cm cut of Happy Hills to see what all the fuss was about and I really didn’t love it.  Turns out six year old girls think it’s pretty ACE :)

back of spiderman zippered pouch
The back of the Spiderman pouch for a Mr V

On completely different news…  I’m thinking of shutting down my other blog, Suburban Adventures in Nouméa.  I just drafted a post letting readers know but I’m going to sleep on it.  Whilst I’m much, much happier in Nouméa than I was a few months back, my heart just isn’t in that blog.  It was pretty much beaten up and left for dead with a few punches for good measure.  Yeah, you can see why I’m not so keen on being all chipper about life here.  My point being (there is a point!), would you guys mind if I shared some more of my life here?  At present I keep this blog pretty strictly to sewing and quilting.  But what I’m thinking is posts here and there about my life beyond sewing.  Like the awesome school concert we had that the local Kanak, Polynesian and Melanesian auxiliary staff taught the kids dances and decorated the school in palm fronds and local flowers.  Would that fit with your blog reading interests or would you just run screaming from another Crafty/Mummy blogger?  I’d love to hear your thoughts :)

school decorations Nouméa styleschool decorations Nouméa
Would you like to see more of this part of my life?

I’m linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

A busy weekend!


Last night we had two lovely friends stay for a sleep over.  I’m somewhat (!) lacking in sleep today, but we had so much fun.  Nothing like complete kid chaos to make everyone happy :)  Either side of the sleepover I managed to get a little sewing in.  A gift for one of the guests to celebrate his sixth birthday :)

The birthday boy’s name starts with an “M” :)
Pillowcases are one of my favourite handmade gifts for boys.  Both of my boys sleep with Spiderman pillowcases that I made them for Christmas last year.  They love them and it reminds me of the Disneyland Parade pillowcase that I had when I was little :)
I also managed to fit in a trio of skirts (I forgot to take a photo of the first one before it went to it’s new home).
These were fun to make and a pleasant break from quilting and patchwork.  These photos are a good example of colour not showing true in photos.  The middle tier of the second skirt is a deep pink, not the red that shows.  I have photographed this fabric a number of times and have never managed to capture the true colour.
I also got busy while the sun was still in all her glory today and played around with some fat quarters.  I received a few new additions to the stash this week including this gorgeous selection.  I had been toying around with the idea of the blogger bundles/stacks currently available at a few online stores.  In the end I purchased Dancing with Hazel by Rachel (Imagine Gnats) from Pink Castle Fabrics thinking it looked rather nice.  Oh my goodness!  It is absolutely stunning in real life and I am so glad that I purchased it!
I dug into my stash to add some yellow to the pinks and oranges.  I wanted to lighten it up a bit but not go for lots of white.  I’m thinking the bright yellow microdots (top left) would make a good binding and the top left grey linen/cotton blend might be a nice solid to throw around.  Then again, I might change my mind completely after some sleep LOL
So tonight in my sleep deprived state I’m contemplating twin sized quilt patterns that utilise fat quarters.  I played around with some graph paper and came up with one design that mixes square inside square with solid squares but I am not at all confident in my mathematical abilities so I’m thinking I might just purchase a pattern and make my life easy.  Please feel free to make any suggestions :)  I’m envisaging a simple design that will feature the colours and prints.  I also like the idea of something quick to work on until my white homespun arrives so I can finish off my I Spy quilt :)
Don’t you just want to dive in and play?
I’m linking up with Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth.
Finding Fifth

Upcycling knits – Another pretty dress!


Do you ever buy an item of clothing and later wish that you had bought more of the exact same one? A few years ago I came across a singlet that was so soft and such a lovely shade of pink that I decided to get the same one in a nice dark grey.  Turns out I never really wore them in the end, maybe only once or twice.  But the knit fabric was so wonderfully soft that I knew I had to keep it in my upcycling stash.  Then I decided the other day that Little Miss definitely needed a winter dress and that I felt like sewing with knits so I went hunting through my stash and decided it was time to tackle the matching singlets.

I love Ottobre patterns so had a hunt through my back issues and selected a dress that I decided could be altered to be exactly what I was after.  The Mail Express Tunic from Ottobre 1/2012.  The instructions were easy to follow and the dress came together just as I hoped.

I really wanted a long sleeve, loose and comfortable winter dress that would serve as a tunic next year.  I didn’t have any clear elastic so went with a bit of shirring for the gathering which worked well.

The pattern called for clear elastic tape but two rows of shirring did the job.
Back of dress with gathering visible

Because I was upcycling two existing garments I decided some colour blocking was in order which I think works well.  I didn’t want to bother with binding and didn’t have any ribbing handy so I used a couple of strips of the darker fabric to finish my edges.

Look at those lovely finished edges on the neck :)

There is a great tutorial here if you want a similar finish.  I also found this fantastic tutorial on sewing with knits if you find the whole concept a bit daunting.  After reading the second tutorial I decided to put my project on hold over night and went out and invested in a double ballpoint needle.

I’m glad I did though, look at that lovely flat curved seam!

In addition to altering the pattern to long sleeves, I also dropped the hemline by about 6″, brought in the width and gave myself a headache by using the original hem of the tops.  I have this thing that when I’m upcycling I like to keep some of the original features.  It always makes it harder, but it feels more “upcycled” than “recycled”.  I’m not sure there is actually a difference though LOL

I don’t have any good photos despite two “photo sessions” so this will have to do, sorry!  I hope you like it as much as I do.  It is lovely and soft and is a great weight for our New Caledonian winter.

Another Pretty Toddler Dress


This dress was inspired by the cover of Ottobre Kids magazine 1/2008 which I won late last year from Crafty Mamas.  If you’re interested in Ottobre she talks about it fairly often on her blog.

Have you sewn any Ottobre patterns?  They’re fantastic and a great way of developing your techniques!  The pattern sheets are not for the faint hearted…
The dress on the cover is GORGEOUS but too big for my Little Miss and rather than resize their pattern I decided to draft my own.  Nothing like feeling a little clever…  First I drew up what I had envisaged.
I then took the pattern pieces I had drafted for the Men’s Shirt into Princess Dress and rejigged them slightly so that the bodice encompassed the sleeve holes.
I also wanted to try a little cutout in the neckline while keeping the gathering that I loved from the Otto dress.
I have some gorgeous maroon velvet ribbon that I could have used but I ADORE this butterfly fabric and who can resist making matching buttons?  So I made a long band that can be tied in a bow at the back.
My Little Miss likes loose, airy clothing so I gathered the skirt both where it meets the bodice and at the band on the hem line.
The hem can be taken down another 1.5″ so the dress should last a year or so.
What do you think?  Do you ever draft your own patterns?  This is something I want to learn more about.  It is so satisfying!  I’d love any tips you have on pattern drafting.
Bon weekend!

Men’s shirt into Princess Dress!


I sew for stress relief.  I’ve been sewing a lot this week.  Mr Husband has donated a pile of old business shirts to my sewing stash and I’ve been thinking about refashioning (upcycling) them for awhile.  Then I bought some tulle.  Then I had a bad week.  And out of that came the Princess Dress!

What do you think?  I’m very proud of myself!!

So, I started with this old shirt.

Not much of it is left now.  I’ll keep the sleeves though, there’s still potential there ;)

Scribbled an idea on some graph paper.

My original idea.  Funnily enough I don’t think I looked at this
once I started.

Found some fantastic inspiration on some great blogs here at Girl Inspired, here at Dana Made It and here at tidbits.

Had a lot of fun with some rolls of 6″ tulle.

I used the original placket which I thought was a nice detail but was probably way more fiddly that starting afresh!

Threw it all together and before I knew it (OK, it actually took ALL day) we had a beautiful Princess in our garden!

I decided it needed a fabric brooch as the front is rather simple to compensate for the back :)  Oh, and I love making fabric broochs!

Cute as a button!

I’m going out for a girl’s night tonight and I’m taking my Little Miss’s Princess Dress to show off :)  Then I am going to get her to wear it every day until she grows out of it ;)  Well, I might wash it occasionally…

Did you want that back detail again Mummy?

Cross Over Kimono and Reversible Tunic


I won’t bore you with my week, suffice to say it has been hectic and stressful with far too many Doctor’s visits involved.  I’ve just organised a simple dinner and am hoping that the second half of the week will calm down somewhat!

What I will share with you is the gorgeous cross-over Kimono I made last night as a gift for a one year old girl.  I hope she likes it!

Amy from Habitual….A Creature of Habit created the tutorial and you can get a copy by emailing her (all details are on her blog which is linked here).  It is a really straight forward pattern and you don’t even need to print it!!!!  The sizing seems spot on too, which is always nice :)

I hope the Little Miss who received it today likes it.  The fabric is a gorgeous soft, Chinese folk fabric that I bought when we lived in China.  Technically Kimonos are Japanese, but I just couldn’t resist this combination.

I had actually planned to give the birthday girl a reversible cross over pinny.  I found a Little Bird Pattern in my drawer, it looked lovely, their patterns are super simple and it all seemed perfect.  Then I googled…  Mr Google told me that Little Bird Patterns are on the large size and to go up a size or even 2.  So I did…  When my Little Miss 18 Months found herself swimming in the pinny I decided it was way too big for a one year old.  I still think it’s lovely, but it will find another home :)

Sorry for the photo, it rained for two days straight…

In the end I am happy that I managed to produce two pretty little girl items even with the stress of the week :)

The Saffron Romper


You might have read in my last post that I’m considering making myself a romper.  I think it will be ultra sexy in a laid back beach way, or a total mistake and just make my tummy, boobs and bum look bigger than they are.  I also wonder about getting completely undressed every time I have to go to the bathroom…  Not that convenience should ever get in the way of fashion!  Anyway, I decided not to waste nap time today with further pondering and at least make a start with a little girl’s romper.

I bought the Saffron Romper awhile ago, the picture on the PDF file is super cute and I’d heard it was a pretty easy pattern to make.  It was SUPER easy.  Definitely a good one for beginners.  It isn’t perfect, for example she doesn’t give you guidance on finishing your edges and the pattern calls for a 5/8″ seam, which in my opinion is a waste of fabric.  I didn’t attach the frill.  I cut it out, hemmed it, held it up to the front top piece and decided it looked clown-like.  Plus, I might be a little over ruffles.  Well, not completely, but I don’t think they’re needed on a romper.
I made a size two, the shorts fit my petite 18 month old (she was wearing a very trim modern cloth nappy) but the top was too large.  I would say the top is true to size but the shorts need to be scaled up.  She doesn’t tell you how to finish the elastic casing on the waist, her instructions are to trim one seam (which is then caught in the casing) but she leaves the casing piece with a raw edge.  I think that it would eventually fray as you would be tugging at it every time you take the romper on and off.  I over-locked the top of the shorts and the bottom of the top separately and then sewed them together, but you could probably sew your pieces together then over-lock them, then sew your casing.  Confused yet?  It’s easy, just finish you seam :)
Next time I make a romper I will make the shorts bigger and add snaps at the crotch to make nappy changes easier.  I think I will also put the casing on the outside (or an additional casing on the outside) to run a tie through.  I think a nice simple tie would finish it for me.  Or maybe I’m just thinking about a romper for me!
I love the fabric that I used, but it is too pale for my Little Miss so I’m thinking of giving it to a friend for her daughter.

To romp or not?


I’ve spent most of this week pondering what to sew and very little of it sewing.  I thought I would make Little Miss the Saffron Romper as I bought the pattern a while back.  Then I thought, hmm, she has more clothes than me, how about a romper for me?  Surely it will look better on me than her, for a start I don’t wear a nappy…  Am I just getting carried away with the Indian summer?

What do you think?  This is the Doryon from Burda Style.  I also found a great tutorial on drafting your own romper pattern here, a very easy looking tutorial for a romper at The Fabric Worm here and an inspiring version of the Doryon here.

I’m all keen but then I think about my frame in a romper and I’m just not sure…  And then which fabric to use?  I should wait a few more days as my lovely Mother-in-law has posted a few patterns that should be arriving any day now, but they’re all dresses and now I think I might need a romper…  I’ve just started wearing a bikini to the beach again, is a romper taking it one step too far?  I’d love your thoughts (be kind!)…

A pretty dress for my Little Miss


So yesterday didn’t start out so well.  Our planned snorkeling date was nipped in the bud by Mr Husband’s work, so in order to get over that disappointment I decided to use my cutest fabric to make a dress for Little Miss.

What do you think?  It is “The Brooke Dress” by Brynnberlee Designs.  I don’t normally go in for cutesy cupcakes, but like I said, I was having a bad day.

How awesome a job did I do of matching up the pattern on the bodice and the skirt?  AWESOME!

And here’s the back.  I couldn’t find a pair of cute buttons in my stash so I made some fabric covered ones.  I love fabric covered buttons and these tiny ones are just so cute!

The pattern was very easy to follow.  My only criticism would be that she didn’t tell you to finish off the edges when joining the bodice to the skirt.  I just used the over-locker and then top-stitched on the bodice.  You shouldn’t need to be told, but I’d hate a new sewer to not finish the edge and have their creation fray.  I can’t wait for Little Miss to wake up from her nap so she can try it on.  I think she might wear it to playgroup tomorrow.  A girl can party anytime she wants, right?


Post script

I would definitely say this pattern is on the small side.  I made the size 2 for my petite 18 month old.  It fits her perfectly now, usually size 2 billows on her.  It is also short, but I don’t mind short dresses on her as we live in the tropics and we need to keep cool.  I would recommend making a size up and adding length to the skirt.  I will try and post a photo of Little Miss in it soon :)

Post Post Script ;)

So, after having worn her new party dress for an entire day I would say that the sizing is spot on but this dress is short in style.  So I would go with the size you normally do and just add length to the skirt.  I won’t change my mind again, I promise! :)  And here are a few pics of Little Miss in her pretty dress…

This is a size 2 on my petite 18 month old.

Little Miss not in the mood for posing!