KCW Day 3 and 4: Something for the boy

I love sewing for boys. I’m pretty lucky that this guy is still happy to wear things that I make for him – how long this will last I don’t know, but I’m enjoying sewing for him while I can. I’ve got an up cycle and a couple of stash fabric projects to show you today. Each of these project are super easy and quick to whip up – great staple sewing.





This tee is the Recess Raglan by See Kate Sew. It’s such a great staple pattern – I’ve sewn it before here and I love it!  The stripe fabric was a thrifted womens long sleeve tee in about size 20 – giving me plenty of fabric to play with. I’m always on the hunt for striped knits – they seem to be hard to find where I live.  I added a red pocket purely because this guy loves red and including it in the garment somewhere usually increases wear about 85%.


I promise the pocket was in proportion with the t-shirt when it’s at its full length, but looking at it here I think I might need to move it up a bit 🙂

The pants are the Retro Sweatpants pattern by Elegance and Elephants. This pattern is fantastic and did I mention it’s FREE – yeh, get on over to her site and grab this pattern pronto! Navy is hard to photograph but trust me that the fit of these is great – he has room to grow and room to move, see exhibit A below:



Speaking of the lovely Heidi from Elegance and Elephants – I also whipped up one of her Stellar Vests. If you. like me, have a child who refuses to wear more than a t-shirt even on the coldest days, then I’ve found that vests are a great way to add warmth without the restriction of a jumper.


We’ve reached a compromise – he’s agreed to wear a vest and I feel better that he at least has 2 layers on 🙂 A note on this pattern: I tested this for Heidi some weeks ago and my test version came out about two sizes too big. Heidi herself had this problem with one of the versions she sewed up too. After some research, she concluded that the knit I’d used did not have an appropriate stretch % for the pattern. She wrote a post detailing stretch % in great detail and has even included a printable stretch % ruler that you can take to the fabric store to ensure you buy something that will work well for this pattern.

I will admit though, that having to find fabric with the right stretch % did put me off sewing this pattern in the beginning. Mainly because knit fabrics are not that plentiful where I live and adding that extra requirement kind of put this project in the ‘too hard’ basket for awhile. That was until one day recently when I found a womens knit long sleeve tee in this grey and white stripe in Target. The fabric fit the bill perfectly and has great recovery.


So there we have it – three new pieces for O’s wardrobe. How is your KCW coming along?


How far can you get with 1/2 a metre?

I impulse purchased some very cool ninja fabric recently from Lillestoff. I bought it with my 5yo son in mind, but I have a suspicious feeling that maybe I am more into ninjas than him…. When the fabric arrived (from Crafty Mamas), I was pretty happy to find that the fabric is 150cms wide. Now this stuff is quite pricey, including the postage it was about $25 for a 1/2 metre cut, but have you seen how awesome their prints are??!? and you are definitely paying for quality – this stuff is awesome 🙂

Given the price – I decided to see just how far a 1/2 metre piece of this luscious knit could get me. Luckily I have a few nephews as well as my son to sew for. So without any further blabbering I give you:


3 ninja t-shirts


2 pairs of shorts…..  and a partridge in a pear tree.

Pretty good hey. Just add 2 metres of chain fabric store red knit and a small amount of ribbing and you’re home.



The tee pattern is See Kate Sew’s Recess Raglan. I bought it specifically for this project, but I can see it getting lots more outings in my sewing room. I’ve used a few of Kate’s patterns now and I always find them well fitting and easy to sew. The shorts (I think pyjama bottoms is a better description) are Rae’s Big Butt Baby Pants. This pattern is for woven fabric but I just sized down to accommodate the stretch of the knit and it seems to have worked out fine.


I’m just a bit excited to have my camera back from being repaired – can you tell 🙂

A BIG thank you to my sister in law and her two gorgeous boys for hanging out with me in their new pjs today. I’ll leave you with one more super cute butt shot…..


Secret Squirrel Mission #7 Sew Along

A long long time ago…..


a brave knight of the red realm set off to rescue a damsel


It was a long and arduous mission, but he was brave and true.




After his mission was complete, he decided it was far too hot to be wearing a hoodie…… and if he really thought about it, he much rather prefers Star Wars to knights, so..


he opted for a more weather appropriate outfit and decided his new occupation would be to whack plums off the tree with a cricket stump.



and they all lived happily ever after. The End.


Wow, please excuse the length of this post – we had a bit of fun with this 🙂 This is my sew along for this months Secret Squirrel challenge which was set by Jenya back in early December. I not very eloquently explained Secret Squirrel in my last sew along post here, or you can read all about Secret Squirrel here. There are 5 ‘acorns’ of inspiration given that are to be incorporated into an outfit and this month’s acorns were:


1. St. Basil’s Cathedral 2. snowflake 3. buttons 4.Harry Connick Jnr. 5. ‘A long time ago’

So, firstly to the knight hoodie – this is the new pattern just released by Elisa of Charming Doodle. I think it hands down wins the award for coolest pattern release of the year! I was lucky enough to test this pattern for Elisa and trust me when I say, this is the first of many of these that I will be sewing up. The hoodie accounts for two acorns, ‘A long time ago’ and ‘buttons’.

Next up, I was trying to think how to tackle the ‘snowflakes’ acorn on an outfit for a boy….. hmmmm….. I came up with the ice planet Hoth from Star Wars. This is represented by the white t-shirt. The silver figure painted on the tee is one of the AT-AT fighters found on the planet Hoth.


This tee was a refashion – I changed it from long sleeve to short, changed the neckline and freezer-paper stencilled the figure.

Next I faced the Harry Connick Jnr acorn – this was quite a challenge!! As this outfit needed some pants/shorts or something to cover his bum – I took inspiration from the very cool suits that Harry is usually sporting. I wanted to recreate his slim suit pants but in a wearable form for a kid. So, I found some awesome grey-blue denim at Joy’s (no online store) and cut out the Nowhere Man pants from Shwin & Shwin. I slimmed the leg down as this pattern has a slight flare and I stuck with a size 4 to give a fitted look. I’m so happy with how these came out and I can see them getting a lot of wear.


Phew, not done yet….. I originally thought that the red of the hoodie could count for the St.Basil’s Cathedral acorn (the flag of Russia is mostly red, the Cathedral is in Russia… done), but after laying awake thinking about it, I wasn’t at all happy with this. The Cathedral looks amazing in photos and I felt I could do a much better job of this acorn. So, here is my St. Basil’s Cathedral inspired dress:


This is the Popover Sundress from Oliver & S sewn in knit. The colours of the yoke panel represent the colours of the cathedral spires. The idea for this dress came from an awesome version that I saw over on Hungie Gungie a while ago, so I can’t take the credit for it. Erin’s version is gorgeous and I’ve been wanting to make my version of it for ages.


So there you go, 4 items of clothing for 5 acorns and a very long post. I’ve loved the challenge of Secret Squirrel yet again and I think there are some wearable pieces here – win and win!

Secret Squirrel Mission #6 Sew Along

Have you been following the Secret Squirrel sewing series? It’s a really fun series where Secret Squirrel travels the world visiting sewing bloggers and giving ‘acorns’ of inspiration that are incorporated into a particular outfit. It’s being run by Sewpony and Straightgrain and you can read all about the series here. I finally got my act together to sew along for mission #6.

The inspiration for mission #6 came from Victoria of As It Seams, while Secret Squirrel visited her in the UK in November. The acorns of inspiration that Victoria has sent out are below:


1. Where the wild things are 2. Blue 3. David Bowie 4. Pocket 5. Great Britain

What a challenge!! Victoria then sent Secret Squirrel to Jenya of While She Was Sleeping and you can see the beautiful outfit that she made her daughter using these 5 acorns of inspiration here. I’ve taken the challenge to join the sew along using these same 5 acorns. Confused? Suz explains the series really well here.

My first thought when I saw these acorns was that they could possibly be used to make an outfit for a boy. So far all the Secret Squirrel contributions I’ve seen have been girl’s outfits . This little guy doesn’t feature on this blog a whole lot so I decided to dedicate this sewing adventure to making something for him. So, less chatting, lets get to the outfit…



Acorn 1 – Where the Wild Things Are. 

Hunting through my fabric stash, I found this striped knit and it immediately reminded me of a jumper that one of the Wild Things is wearing. It’s not a perfect colour match, but good enough I think. Just to make sure this symbolism was not too subtle, I freezer paper stenciled Max’s crown onto the t-shirt using gold fabric paint. I used Dana from MADE’s free Basic Tee pattern (it comes in one size only, 4-5).


The slim fit of the t-shirt leads me into Acorn 3 – David Bowie (Acorn 2 – Blue and Acorn 4 – pocket are self-explainatory if you look at the shorts!!). When I googled images of David Bowie I took inspiration from his late 70s and early 80s style. There were lots of pastel colours and boxy silhouettes in these images. I immediately thought of the Banyan shorts pattern from Figgys Patterns that I have owned for quite a while but had not sewn before. The short shorts style and the pleats give an 80s feel, which is complemented by the skinny tee, which together are hopefully channeling a David Bowie vibe!?. I sewed a size 4-5 in the shorts, however a smaller size would have given more of the short shorts look I was after.


Acorn 5 – Great Britain.

I had the outfit all planned out in my head, but I couldn’t figure how to add this acorn. I really wanted to do this acorn justice as I love the UK – I lived there for a while and might still be there if it wasn’t so damn far from my family. There was nearly a whole extra piece of clothing for this outfit, but in a last minute reprieve, I had an idea…..  I found a silk tie in Bruce tartan (my family’s tartan) which I had brought home from Scotland. It has languished in a box for a few years and I really can’t see who would ever wear it. So, I cut it up to make a pocket and I really like the contrast it gives.


Victoria, I really hope I haven’t offended Scottish people everywhere by cutting a tartan up?!?

So, here is my outfit for Secret Squirrel’s Mission #6. There are many other Secret Squirrel inspired outfits in the Flikr group if you’re interested. Of course, the Great Britain acorn lends itself perfectly to photos of O playing cricket. This is no set up – this boy is cricket obsessed.


Secret Squirrel’s Mission #7 acorns have already been set. I’m looking forward to seeing the great outfits that these new acorns will inspire.

What I may or may not be sewing this Kids Clothes Week

I constantly have a list running in my head of all the lovely things I am going to sew during Kids Clothes Week (Oct 21-27, where bloggers and sewers alike post their kids clothing sewing exploits over on the KCW site, it’s an amazing pool of inspiration and talent). Of course life does not suddenly allow me 400 hours of uninterrupted sewing time – so I barely get through a few items on my list. What the kids actually need in their wardrobes are usually staples – t-shirts, shorts and leggings in plain colours that can be mixed and matched. So, I thought it would be interesting to take the imaginary KCW sewing list out of my mind and onto the blog. I hope it will help me to narrow down the said list and maybe I can balance what I want to sew with what the kids need.

Um no, who am I kidding!

Firstly, let me introduce the little people I’m sewing for:


This is O, he’s 5 and a half. He’s a high energy kid who fills his time racing his Hot Wheels cars, playing ninjas with his friends and playing football (the Australian kind).

Here’s what I’d love to sew for him:

1. The Charlie Tee – Zonen 09


Photo c/o http://www.zonen09.com

From a Belgian pattern design company, this tee is a great mix of smart and comfy.

2. The Knight Hoodie from Charming Doodle


Photo c/o www.charmingdoodle.com

It’s not a pattern unfortunately, just some lovely inspiration. Elisa has suggested that there may be a tutorial coming soon (Please, please, please!!).

3. Long Boardies Pattern by Make It Perfect


Photo c/o www.makeitperfect.com.au

Perfect for our up-coming summer but I’ve not done any research into where to find great swimwear fabrics – any suggestions?

4. DIY Graphic Tee Tutorial by Shwin & Shwin


Photo c/o www.shwinandshwin.blogspot.com

WHHHAATTT! I was more than a little excited to read Shauna’s post this week that you can buy Transfer Artist Paper, print an image onto it and transfer it onto a t-shirt. How awesome is this, apparently it doesn’t crack or fade too much. My mind is racing with the possibilities. Now to source this magical paper in Australia…


This is Miss A, she’s 2. She has her dad wrapped around her finger. She loves to paint and to jump. She clearly needs some new t-shirts as the one she is wearing above is a 6-12 month size and is quite on the short side.

1. Mara Blouse Pattern by Compagnie M


Photo c/o http://compagnie-m.blogspot.be

What a gorgeous light and summery top with a range of sleeve and length options, from another Belgian designer.

2. Haute Hippie Crop Pattern by CarliFayeCollection


Photo c/o CarliFayeCollection

Gah, how adorable is all I can say?!? I’m not usually a fan of child dressing as adult, but I think this jacket works.

3. Ballet Sweater Pattern by Heidi and Finn


Photo c/o Heidi & Finn

Girly but not ruffly. Warm and comfy. Hmm, I’d like one in my size too!

4. Swingset Tunic and Skirt by Oliver and S


Image c/o http://oliverands.com

This image does not do justice to this cute little ensemble. I was inspired by Kristen’s gorgeous version of the skirt here.

There is more than enough inspiration for me here. Now to put my head down and see how far I can get…. I’d LOVE to sew it all but there are only so many sewing hours in a week 🙂

What are your plans for KCW? Any of these on your list?