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Welcome to my Blog

I am a grandmother to 4 little girls. I blog about the things I make for them, review patterns, provide tutorials on how I've dealt with techniques or problems, which I hope may help others, and give links to the (mostly) free patterns I use. Every so often, I do a 'Best of..' post listing the best free patterns I've found under specific headings - babies, girls, boys etc. Enjoy the Blog!

Friday, 31 December 2021

More about this blog

 I'm a grandma who loves making clothes for my grandchildren. That's all. This is not a commercial site, there is nothing you can buy on it. I do make some suggestions and provide links to other web sites where you can get free patterns. Some of these people do also have patterns for sale, but I neither endorse nor preach avoidance of these.  I also provide some simple patterns of my own. Soon there will be pictures of my favourite projects here to help you navigate to the best bits. In the meantime, use the tabs or the search box. There are specific tabs for making babies' and children's dresses, and things with legs (shorts, trousers, pants, leggings, PJs etc), plus a more general Make Baby /Child Clothes tab for other sorts of garments (e.g. skirts) and mixed (e.g. PJs with pants and a top). There is a list of UK on-line fabric supplers to help UK readers, now that so many physical shops are no longer with us, which I try to keep as up to date as possible. There are also tutorials on how to make children's clothing and accessories (dining room harness, playmat and gym, for example). I write up some reviews of free PDF patterns (and also provide some of my own). So enjoy the web site!

Monday, 24 May 2021

What goes around comes around

 Most readers will know I have 4 delightful granddaughters, now aged between almost 4, and 7. I've been making clothes for them for the past 7 years, and some of the clothes have been handed down multiple times. (Although each child has had a lot of their own clothes, too.) The project list has reached 310 items, and still growing. However, the inevitable has happened: some of the clothes are now too small even for the youngest. The real baby clothes went some time ago. But all the toddler and age 2-3 clothes are now also being reluctantly acknowledged as too small, and hence not suitable for taking along when the family moves into their new home. There's no-one left to pass these on to!

So I'm going to indulge myself here by looking at some of these clothes in their heyday.

First, here is Ada in some of the things I made for her - sadly now outgrown. See if you can spot them in the heap above.

You can see how she loves to pose!

And now, here are her older sister and cousins in some of the clothes she later wore - also in the heap above!


Sad to see these little clothes go. Someone suggested to me I should save them for the great-grandchildren - but as the oldest is only 7, by the time any great grandchildren come along I'll probably be pushing up daisies! So they will have to be recycled or turned into a quilt.

STOP PRESS: I found a close friend's granddaughter of 2 and a half would be visiting at the same time as us. So I took the larger ones with me and they were very gratefully accepted. The rest are going soon to the refuge.
Here's some of the recycling, giving these clothes a new lease of life:

Thursday, 18 March 2021

More swing tops!

The Swing Tee tops I had made for Jane and her little sister last summer had gone down so well, that the free pattern from Life Sew Savory was the obvious place to start for Jane's new tops for her birthday. I did a full review of the Life Sew Savory pattern in my earlier post, but I've taken even more pictures now of the making of these two new ones. The one on the left is as the pattern, while the one on the right has had the sleeves extended a little.

For more pictures of making up this great pattern read on.

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Woven patterns for boys

I often see people commenting that there are so many great patterns in woven fabrics for girls, and hardly anything for boys. There are even a lot of free ones, if you know the right places to look. I did a post recently on designers with woven fabric patterns, and it's quite true that a lot only make for girls or women. However, it's possible to find enough patterns for boys, even some free ones, to be able to make a great capsule wardrobe, at least for younger boys. With all free patterns, there may be a limited size range in the free version, other sizes often being available as paid for patterns. In this post, I'll look at woven options for paid-for patterns from indie designers for boys, and then I'll move on to what you can find that's free.

Note that in this post, I'll be looking just at digital patterns that can be made in woven or non-knit fabrics, because that's what seems much harder to find. And I haven't considered paper patterns from the Big Five traditional pattern producers.

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Pattern designers who have woven patterns for children

It is getting increasingly difficult to identify independent pattern designers who offer woven patterns as part of their offerings. It seems almost every day a new designer will emerge with a number of knit patterns - perhaps they are easier to design, or more forgiving in fit, and they have become very popular in the last 10-15 years. But many people still want to make children's clothing with some of the lovely woven fabrics that are around, me included, so I did some research to try and identify designers that do offer woven patterns. (I'm not including the traditional 'Big Five' or however many there are - they do all do woven paper patterns but you probably know them already. I'm talking about people who provide digital patterns on-line for you to print.) If you are specifically looking for boys patterns, there's also more information here.

One of my grand-daughters loving her woven cotton dress

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Tricks and tips for sewing knits on a sewing machine

I do feel cross about this post. I'd finished writing it, went to publish it - and whoosh, it vanished, with no retrieval possible. (Thank you, Blogger software.) And I've had to start again from scratch. So it may get updated as I remember things I had included before, that now I can't remember.

Complaint over. My introduction will be much the same though. I have many years sewing experience, and when I started sewing, knit fabrics didn't really exist. So I learnt to sew using woven fabrics, and came to knits rather late in my sewing career. When I started, I fervently hated them. I still prefer using woven fabrics, but I've learnt a few tricks and tips over the years that have enabled me to accept that often my grandchildren want clothes that are best made with knits. And to sew them with pleasure (but did I mention I still prefer sewing with woven fabrics?)

In this post, I'll share what I've learnt to make sewing with knits easier. And I should add that I don't have (and couldn't afford) an overlocker / serger. People say knits are much quicker with an overlocker. But many of my tips are useful even if you have one. Lucky you!

Monday, 25 January 2021

More Movie Night Knit pyjamas

I've already used (and reviewed) the free Movie Night Pyjamas pattern from Sew a Little Seam. So I shan't write a detailed description on the latest set, you can read my full review here. So this post will mainly just be some further pictures of making a set of these knit pyjamas, this time, size 8 for Rose's 6th birthday.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

This Year's Christmas Dresses part 3 - Tropisch dress

The last of this year's Christmas dresses was for little Ada, 3. Ada is destined to be the hand-me-down girl, with an older sister and two older girl cousins. However, this does mean she has a lot more clothes than the others ever had, becuase she has all of theirs, and some of her own too! And she loves the clothes she gets that Grandma made. Nonetheless, for Christmas, I thought it only right that she had her very own, never previously worn dress. I wanted to use the same fabric that I had used on the skirt of her cousin Rose's dress. It's a pretty 100% cotton fabric with a design of tiny bows. This makes it suitably Christmassy, but not exclusively so. 

For this dress, I wanted to try another new pattern that I'd found (new to me, that is). It's called the Tropisch dress, and it's an A-line / shift style - I've frequently mentioned that I think an A-line pattern is one of the most versatile there is. To find out where to get this free pattern in sizes 3-6, and how I adapted it to make Ada's dress, read on.