Tag Archives: Children Sewing

Sewing – Field of flowers dress

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It’s not something I do very often – sew clothing for myself. But recently I’ve had the desire to actually wear something I’ve made. Maybe it’s a case of my daughter having a cupboard full of lovely dresses which our lifestyle (and her preference) doesn’t lend itself to wearing very often, so she really didn’t need me to make her anymore…. And my boys, well what can I say, boys clothes just aren’t as fun to be creative with, in my opinion. Having said that I have enjoyed the creative, funky kind of clothes I’ve made for them and they have enjoyed wearing them and, if I’m honest two of them are often heard asking me to sew more clothes for them….

But it was the flowery, flowing, girly sort of sewing I’d been hankering after. So I thought I’d be brave and sew for myself. Brave, yes, very brave because in my previous experience, getting a garment fit a young child is far, far, far easier than getting a garment to fit myself.

So armed with a gifted voucher to spend and a pattern which had been on my this-would-be-nice list for a little while now, I set to work. And the results have pleased me no end. I have worn this dress almost every weekend since I made it – my life at the moment, and therefore my wardrobe, seems to be have a firm dividing line between weekday activities/wardrobe and weekend activities/wardrobe. And the pattern is out on the sewing table just waiting for the ‘perfect’ fabric to make a second one (it uses an awful lot of fabric so nothing in my stash will suffice yet….)


The details for those who are interested:

Fabric: Budquette Nightfall Voile designed by Emmy Grace

Pattern: Clara Dress from Sew Liberated

Alterations I made to pattern: I added darts to the front bodice and pleats to the front skirt to make the front sit flat  and left out the front elastic (I’m not a fan of front gathered waistbands on myself). I left out the pockets (they were bulky and I found didn’t sit flat when I follow the instructions for setting them in). I sewed down the seam of back skirt/bodice to form a sort of casing for the elastic, otherwise I found the elastic didn’t really sit nicely against the body.

What I like about the pattern: The little collar which was easy to sew and sits flat while adding an extra design element to the dress. The shape of the skirt  gores as well as gather/pleat fullness. The easy to follow instructions – this was the first Sew Liberated pattern I had used.


Note: My husband stopped by this wheat field to get some photos while we were out driving one day. Then he kindly asked me to get out there in the field to add some interest to the photos. I obliged, knowing I wanted a photo to show you this dress (and I very rarely find myself in any photos), but I got out of there quickly. It was a hot, summer day in a black soil paddock and I know that is the perfect habitat for certain wriggly creatures which I’d rather not encounter. Thankfully I didn’t upset any sun baking snakes on this particular day!

A New Smocked Play Dress

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This dress has been a regular visitor to my sewing basket for over a year now. I bought the material on a whim simply because I like the colour and the softness of it. I brought it home and promptly pleated it up – the same time as this dress actually. I had no idea what I was going to do with it, what pattern to use, what smocking design to stitch. But I did love the colour: smile.

The fabric is so light and flimsy that is was not easy to smock. So I shelved it many times, deciding to forget the whole process. But the colour kept calling me back and I would attempt smocking once again: smile. We moved house and it nearly didn’t get packed, in fact is was in the ‘throw out’ pile, but somehow it moved itself – that colour, I tell you…..

Then the year was getting later, December had arrived and our hot, Australian summer was in full swing and I decided it was now or never. I had to either make this up or forget it for good – after all this girl of mine was growing and it wouldn’t fit her forever. A week long holiday by the beach was just what I needed. This dress has memories of waves, sand, beach, pool and family holiday fun smocked into each stitch.

I made up the smocking design as I went. Doing all that green, lattice smocking without any real idea of what I would do next to brighten it up, but thinking of Susan O’Connor’s beautiful designs all the time. In my basket was a selection of bright, flower garden coloured, threads which I kept looking at, trying to get inspiration on just how to use them. But after several attempts I couldn’t get my ideas to work. The flimsy fabric limited what I could do (lots of bullion loops covering the bodice just wasn’t going to hold). After so many attempts, I’m finally very happy with the outcome.

But I still had to decide on a pattern and make it up. Light, green, summer, flowy fabric just needed a summer, sundress. Digging through my rather large (almost complete), collection of Australian Smocking and Embroidery Magazines I spotted the sundress here. Decided.

Then Christmas Eve I was totally organised for going away, bags packed, cooking done, children all occupied and still about 4 hours till my husband would be home from work and we were to leave. So I sewed it up. Such a quick and easy pattern to sew, no sleeves to fit, no bodices to line etc. I even had plenty of time to hand stitch the hem and do a (very quick) photo shoot and still be well and truly ready to go visiting our families. And Holly had a new, cool, sundress to wear on Christmas Day.

Ahhh….. That’s the way I like a sewing project like this to end.








Making the Jeans Fit

I may have been a little absent here in this space lately but I’ve been busy living life. You know how it goes. Keeping busy with the delight of this family and all that involves. But I have also spent quite a bit of time keeping company with my machines and serious amounts of gorgeous fabrics and threads. So I thought I’d share a few projects with you over the next little while. But it’s close the Christmas…. and that means that some of these ‘projects’ can’t been shown here till the new year – I’m sure you understand. But some of these are older projects but for whatever reason I just never got to sharing them here. And today I’ll start with one of those.

It was the beginning of winter when I realised that my little one’s legs were getting too long for these favourite jeans. These were a good, comfortable fit, not bulky (as jeans for this age have the tendency to be) and were simply a favourite for the older brother and now this little one as well. So I raided my scrap stash and added some buttons and red stitching and was quite pleased with the end result. And best of all they were well worn all winter.

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Little Dolls

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A gift from her Aunty provided the inspiration – a beautiful sewing book, just perfectly designed for beginning sewers.The photographs are delightful and provide hours of browsing time when sewing isn’t ready to happen (read: Mummy is too busy to help). The projects are simple enough to be attempted while being practical as well.

After several smaller projects had been made, Holly decided a doll was essential. Not for her but for her little cousin. This cousin’s birthday was still half a year away, so we had plenty of time and Holly set to work.

This little doll has been totally made by Holly. Cutting out, stitching completely by hand, turning in right side, stuffing, sewing pretty clothes and embroidering the face on the completed doll. The head was slightly lopsided so she decided a big hair bow would solve the problem. I think she did a fantastic job. She diligently sat working with painstaking concentration to achieve small, strong backstitches. Then the face details were worked and reworked to look ‘just right’.

Doll 2Doll 1This little friend (who wasn’t named because that honour was left for her future owner) sat in my sewing nook for several months. She became a much loved addition adding some prettiness to our sewing / school nook. Then as the little cousin’s second birthday loomed closer, Holly realised she had a new little girl cousin who would be turning 1 soon as well. So the logical solution was to make a little friend for her doll. With only 1 week left till we would be seeing all the cousins, Holly set to work with a diligence rarely observed in her. She sat and stitched just as long as it took to finish off her doll and a couple days later we had two little girls sitting in my sewing nook. Ahh, how pretty and special as they were made with so much love.

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Holly Doll 1


I think a 7 year old girl must understand exactly what little girls love because these were received with great delight by her two littlest girl cousins. Along with an immense look of pride and delight on their maker’s face. Ahh…. the sweetness of little girls.

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