In The Beginning There Were Onesies – We All Started Somewhere.

chloe's onesie dress

Friends…are you aware of the current phenomenon of making little girls dresses from pillow slips? I’m not a fan, but hey; each to their own. Even though I’m not a fan of the garment, I am a massive fan of the concept as it allows beginner sewists to create a simple garment and experience success. That sense of success and pride, no matter how simple the skills and dodgy the garment, is what will be the motivation for a beginner sewist to move on to the next project and the one after that and so on and so on.  Back in the best decade ever, the 1980’s, we had the ‘onesie’ dress. It was the equivalent of today’s pillow slip dress.

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Vogue 2329 Sleeping Bag Project Finale

vogue 2329 1943 sleeping bag

Well it’s done and dusted friends…I’ve finished the sleeping bag project! And none too soon I might add as I was getting itchy feet mid-way through the project. But this time, I refused to give into the ‘mid-project itch’ and I successfully stayed on task. You’d be proud of me folks…I didn’t even allow myself the pleasure of looking through my sewing magazine  & book collection for inspiration on what to do next. So…shall we do the obligatory critical analysis of the project?

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Vogue 2329 Sleeping Bag Project – Pt 2; Using an Industrial Snap Press

Stud Press

Friends, I KNOW you’re thinking about where this post is going…and possibly ‘what the heck is that monster and what does it have to do with sewing a sleeping bag from a vintage pattern?’  Well, let me keep you in suspense no longer.  This, rather heavy, machine/tool/thing-a-majig is a snap-press press. You know the snap presses on garments? Yeah?…well this is the doolally that puts them onto the garment. Right about now, I figure you’re thinking: “Isn’t that a bit of an overkill? You can buy the little kits that require a hammer at Spotlight/local habby store/Lincraft/(insert your chain fabric store here) for a few bucks.”  Friends, over the years I’ve had enough failures with those crappy do-it-yourself-with-a-hammer kits that when I recently saw one being used by badskirt on her blog post about neonatal gowns, I hit the proverbial internet running.

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Vogue 2329 Sleeping Bag Project – Pt 1

Vogue 2329 Sleeping Bag project

Friends, a month or so ago I bought this gorgeously soft and fine interlined Japanese cotton fabric from The Drapery.  I got two metres with the thought that I would make a muslin type baby wrap/swaddle with one half and something else with the remaining fabric.   Once I had looked through my vintage layette patterns for inspiration I knew this fabric would be perfect for a lightweight sleeping bag.  Even though my sewing room is nowhere near finished I decided I needed to sew…not in the morning and not when my sewing room is finally finished, but right NOW!

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Bereavement Bears

izzy 3

Picture courtesy of Funky Friends Factory

Friends, today’s topic of sewing conversation is more sombre than you’re used to from me; but it’s not all doom and gloom.

A little more than six weeks ago a friend of mine from university lost her father. I haven’t seen this friend for a few years but I keep up to date with her life through Facebook. Watching her struggle through not only her father’s illness but his subsequent passing, even from a distance, was heart-breaking – her grief was palpable even though I only witnessed it via Facebook.

A few weeks later, an ad came through my Facebook feed about bereavement bears; I had never heard of them before and I immediately thought of my friend. They are teddy bears made from the clothing of a lost loved-one! What a wonderful way to give comfort during the dark times when you’ve lost a dear loved-one! I contacted my friend and offered to make a bear if she thought that this would give her comfort.

Little did I know just how appreciative my friend would be – She was thrilled with the idea and asked if I would make five bears: one for herself, one for her mother, one for her daughter and two more for the other grand children. I can’t tell you how honoured I am that I can do this for her and her family.

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Spring Has Sprung

Sublime Simplicity

Welcome to Spring folks!  The days are getting warmer and this gorgeous dress just smacks of spring. When I saw it in Sew Beautiful magazine early this year (Jan/Feb 2013 issue), I just knew I had to make it.  Susie Gay designed the embroidery and hemstitch details. In the magazine Susie Gay used her own pattern ‘Basic Yoke Baby Ensembles’ from Berry Hill Heirlooms.

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For A Baby Boy

Old Fashioned Baby 'Sweet & Simple Daygown Collection' view 4


Hello friends, it’s been a productive week or two for me; I’ve finished this lovely baby daygown.  It’s an Old Fashioned Baby pattern; “Sweet and Simple Daygown collection” – view 4.  The lovely hemstitch details on the front facings, next to the pintucks, and the sleeve cuffs and the feather stitch embroidery were featured in Creative Needle magazine Nov/Dec 2001 issue.

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Sublime Simplicity – Next Project

sublime simplicity - susie gay jan/feb SB 2013

I know right??….what’s NOT to love about this darling little dress.  It had me at hello.  It was designed by Susie Gay from BerryHill Heirlooms using her ‘Basic Yoke Baby Ensemble‘ pattern.  The project was published in the Jan/Feb issue of Sew Beautiful magazine. As much as I love SB magazine, I’m not thrilled that they don’t include the patterns for all of  their featured projects; instead you usually have to buy the patterns from the designer – many of whom don’t sell outside the USA and/or Canada.  The best ever magazine for providing patterns for every project was Australian Smocking and Embroidery…may it RIP.

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The Yellow Linen, Pink Bunny Dress

yellow linen bunny dress - creative needle

   The last post was showing the magazine Creative Needle’s version of this dress; you can see it here…So here’s my finished version of the dress. I used a yellow linen that is very similar to handkerchief linen purchased from Spotlight for $27.99 a meter.  As much as I’d like to say I’m happy with it, I’m not. I’m starting to wonder if i’ll ever make something that i’m totally thrilled with; you know…something that I’ve made with no faults haha

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Creative Needle

creative needle the baby issue

Mid last year i discovered Creative Needle magazine…did i just hear you say ‘woohoo a gorgeous stitching magazine’?…ummm well yeah, it’s also been out of print for quite a few years. I could have cried, but instead, i did what all motivated people do, i went to eBay!   When i saw this Baby Issue from Nov/Dec 2003 i knew i had to have it and so i took the ‘buy it now’ option.  I haven’t sewn any heirloom baby garments for a few months; it was a hot summer, but the cute little dress on the cover lit my fire to start creating again.

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