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I made my little lady a cape recently. Lisa from Big Little has updated her classic children’s cape! Adding a rounded hood and also a collar. 3 lengths and enough inspiration to keep anyone going for years. Seriously the ideas and options are huge. Madam chose some simply awful (to sew, and apparently photograph!) minky. Ok, in fairness its super soft and snuggly. Like wearing a big hug. And – it did turn out super cute – so I’ll over look all the pin sticks I got sewing the slippery mind-of-its-own minky and try and forget the swearwords I invented.

The cape itself is a super easy sew. The pattern is easy to print and the tutorial is easy to follow and has lots of pictures (a necessity for me!) Which was great as I needed a easy, quick sew as my enthusiasm for the sewing machine has been lacking recently. This cape delivered in spades. Fast, check. Simple, check. Beautifully finished, check! 

It has the perfect combination of whimsey and fairytale with function and a great fit. This cape has had SO much use .. from the second it came off the machine. And not just for play either, madam has been wearing it instead of her usual coat or body warmer!

Lisa is currently promoting the cape and its on offer! Pop by Etsy and grab it. If you use the code CHILDCAPE until sunday is only $7!! And in time for Halloween too 😉

If you pop to the Big Little Facebook page there are some amazing examples of what other people have done with this pattern, it’s fabulous.

October 15, 2015 Sewing




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We made a super simple hobby horse this week, hand drawn pattern, some flannel form my stash and some yarn that madam chose herself. Its a little seahorse-y looking but meh, she loves it!

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Recently I wrote about the Sew What Club and the 2 patterns that they launched in their first month. The Annecy and the Lyon.

Well obviously since I cannot resist fiddling with things it was inevitable that I would have a bash at hacking the Lyon after I tested the original. And this is what I came up with. Its not perfect and there are things I will do differently on my mods when I make the next one – there will definitely be more! Both the original and the hack.

Its all a cotton jersey fabric, but not super stretchy and doesn’t have the best rebound so my mods took this into account. I cut about 6 inches off the length, added that back with the hem band which I cut narrower than the hem by about 20% and rather than doing the neckline and armholes with bias I did chunky bands instead.

I made the arm and neck bands the same measurement as the holes – which next time I would change and do about 5% shorter and cut them so that the top fold is marginally narrower than the base. The hem band I adore as is. The top of the dress part has a small pleat as I cut the front the same width as the back and just pleated in the extra. I liked that way it made the front hang. Also I omitted the waist elastic.
The original pattern is wonderful and comes together so well. All the bits I will tweak are from my modifications – not the original pattern. Just so we’re clear!

July 15, 2015 Sewing


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Kelly behind Sewing in No Mans Land and some of her co-conspirators have launched a wonderful subscription club for sewing enthusiasts. The Sew What Club. Seriously if you love sewing clothes for kids please check it out! 

The dress above is the Lyon – a super slip dress that can be made in either knit or woven fabric.
My first version was a woven with our holiday next month in mind. Obviously I didn’t really allow for the fact that when taking pics of it it was going to be -3 and requite madam to have multiple layers on! 

It was lovely and simple to sew up but very stylish when worn – the perfect combination! It really does look lovely and summery when its not layered with wool and tights! The knit version is also great. Very comfy and easy to wear for little lady. I finished a Lyon hack that I’d had in mind and it only took an hour to sew up. Even in knit and thats usually takes me ages as I’m super slow sewing knit. I’ve done my hack as a short tunic with a thick hem band and chunky neck and sleeve bands. Pics are on my Instagram. I cannot wait to make more and I do think this will become a stable summer knit/jersey dress.

The other pattern released this month is the Annecy Dress. Oh my, this is a doozy of the dress. Its summery, and strappy and gorgeous. There are delightful little details like piping on the sides and straps, a thick hem band and options to do some creative colour blocking. A perfect combination of pretty party dress if you want to go wild with fabrics. Or a casual everyday summer dress if you keep it simple.

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As you can see, in the month between making the dresses and taking immediate pics of the Annecy but waiting a few weeks before photographing the Lyon – the weather somewhat changed! 

I am not at all affiliated to The Sew What Club or Sewing In No Mans Land. Just an admirer of the patterns they produce and lucky enough to get to test some of them out 🙂

July 9, 2015 Sewing


Since madam has how grown her flower boots that I made earlier in the year I have been meaning to get round to making her some more slipper boots. Since it snot wintery and cold they needed to be super warm, and also. If possible, go on over both ballet and jazz shoes – she wears slipper sot keep her feet toasty while waiting for her lessons.

This coincided with Lisa’s Tie Back Boot pattern being tested and now .. released!!


The boots are very similar to the flower boot, but feature a tie around the ankle. Now I should mention that in the pics on mine it a shoe lace tie – blame the kid dictator that rules my house. The pattern calls for elastic cord or elastic lace as the tie back. Super clever as it give great support holding the boot snugly on the foot but is easy on and off. Some of the testers have don amazing things with fabrics and ties and have create the most amazing looking boots.

Mine were all about functionality and styling by the small dictator. warm fleece outers, cotton inner and neon pink ties. more jazz than ballet in styling! The boots themselves are super simple to sew up, they took me less than an hour and look so cute. As always Lisa’s instructions are easy to follow and there are plenty of pics for those (like me!) need a visual prompt! They don’t require much fabric (even for madams elephant feet) so are perfect for up cycling jumpers or stash busting.  I’ve made a couple as gifts as well.



The pattern is available at Big Little and if you use the code BOOTS its on offer!! Just whats needed for cosy toes and keeping those chilblains at bay this winter!

July 3, 2015 Sewing

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I was lucky enough recently to test Lisa from Big Little‘s most recent release. The Wild Thing Hooded Scarf. We are huge fans of this in our house. HUGE fans.

Me, because the patterns is super easy to follow and sews up in no time at all (it would be the most awesome wintery gift for Christmas or cooler season birthdays) and isn’t too fabric hungry. Madam because, well. Look at it. Pony hat!!
From cutting to completion its about a 40 minute sew up – probably less if your not trying to drink tea and eat biscuits while doing it! You don’t need anything fancy for the pattern and can mix and match the fabrics to your hearts content.

The pattern comes with a enormous variety of options, cowl, cross over or scarf. Pockets should you want them, little claws or paw pads. I chose a poly cotton outer for this pony version as it was in my stash needing used up and a soft minky fleece for the lining (and ears). The mane is rainbow felt cut from the wonderful parcel I received from the creative inspiration behind Wonky Patchwork. I couldn’t think of a more perfect project to start cutting into that precious stash than this.

We headed up to Castle Hill on a cool damp morning to try it out. We started out in down jackets and ended up in shirtsleeves as you can see – it got warm. But the hat. That stayed on madams head – no prompting at all. For me that was the biggest win of all. Smallest madam has pulled out this hat time and again since I made it – its her go-to hat.

Head off to Big Little on Facebook and check out some of the amazing hats that Lisa’s testers made .. they are wonderful! Then don’t forget to swing by and grab that pattern wile its on offer! Use the code WILDTHING to get it for $5

June 9, 2015 Crafting, Sewing



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This dress has been a wee while in the coming. It is the Sew Sweet Brooklyn dress. At the first pass it didn’t go together at all as I wanted and I all but threw in the towel. But the pattern kept calling to me. That neckline, those ties. The sleeves. the whole style of this pattern is a delight.

So I persevered. The pockets are an addition of my own, because. you know. Kids and pockets. It is a sz5 and pretty big on her. I altered the gathering a little, pushing more gathers to the back and front and leaving the sides only lightly gathered as the ties gather it themselves. It will last for ages yet looks good now – which is an awesome win win.

Madam got home from kindy today and her first words were ‘is my dress finished?’ She was delighted and wore it straight away. So that’s a bonus. There will certainly be more of those. Perhaps a shorter sleeved version for our holiday?

June 4, 2015 Crafting, Sewing


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I made up my second Lottie Skirt from Brownie Goose this week. Well, I finished the one I cut out about a month and a bit ago. What can I say, my work in progress pile is large and slow moving.

Its a lovely pattern – I think the pleated version is actually better looking on plainer fabrics that really show off and hold the pleats in. Madam is not 100% sold on it as she prefers elastic to buttons. I think my next till be to do a gathered version with an elasticated back. I love the fitted look but usability is where its at in this house.



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Its a versatile pattern though, great fit and easy to follow with multiple options and instructions. Its also pretty light on fabrics which is delightful as now madame is getting bigger things like dresses -particularly long sleeved ones – use a surprising amount of yardage. A skirt for under a yard, yes please.

May 27, 2015 Crafting, Sewing





When Lisa asked for testers for this coat I put my hand up immediately. Ok, I did feel I was cheating slightly as I’ve made this coat before. I bough Lisa’s original pixie hooded coat pattern a couple of years ago and have made it a few times. But I did so want to try the woman’s version and the other collar options!

The coat above is the pixie hooded version. Made with the wool outer (up-cycled blanket) and the inner is a quilting weight cotton.  It is a lovely pattern to sew up. It comes together beautifully and the instructions are easy to follow (the new tutorial has even more instructions and pictures!) Please ignore the little tuck at the back. I failed to use my walking foot for the wool and it stretched while sewing and gave me an extra inch of fabric that I wasn’t expecting!

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This is the collared version. Or as madam calls it. Her puffy pea coat.

I reversed the layers and put the quilting weight cotton on the outer (she chose the cotton) and I lined it with a fleecy blanket that was no longer used. Its a size 5 so a little big – it looks more so as the cotton bunches more than the wool does – I’d consider interfacing it next time to give it a little more structure. The blanket is soft and fluffy and perfect around her neck and wrists. Not to mention warm.

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Massive picture overload as she wore it loads on our recent trip to Tekapo. I really do love this pattern. With the collar and rounded hood options available – and a huge size range it’s a really wonderful addition to any pattern collection. I think it would be wonderful in an oil cloth for a shower proof option or just in double cotton as a spring mac.

The pattern is available from the Big Little Etsy shop
Check out the Pixie Hooded Jacket or the Pea Coat
Both patterns have the huge age range of 1-14 years so this is a pattern that will last and last. Warm winter coats. Spring macs and autumn fuzzy fleeces. And the double bonus is that its discounted for the first week!
There is also a wonderful ladies version.






The blouse in the pictures (from our trip to Tekapo) is the Lennon. It’s a relatively new pattern from the designer Brownie Goose available on Etsy. The Lennon is an adorable pattern with both blouse and dress options. Adorable Bishop sleeves and a curved hemline. The dress has a zipper back and the sweetest pleats ever. Its not hard to sew up and I think it will be a staple in our winter wardrobe. I just love how it looks tucked into a skirt!

Pictures all taken up at the Mount John Observatory in Tekapo.

March 6, 2015 Crafting, Sewing

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