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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!

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.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

This year's Christmas Dresses - Part 2 - the asymmetric one

 With 4 new Christmas dresses to make, I got started early. With no idea as to whether I'd even be able to see my grand-daughters for Christmas, I wanted to get them out early rather than treating them as an extra Christmas present. So the last one was delivered on December 4th. For that one, I used a new (to me) free pattern, so this post will also be a bit of a pattern review.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Asymmetric skirts

For one of my Christmas dresses, I wanted to try an asymmetric skirt (shorter on one side than the other) with a full length underskirt. But before I made a mess of the expensive material I'd bought for this, I thought I'd try a toile - ideally a wearable one - I don't like to waste any fabric! This shows more or less what I was aiming for (this is the finally finished dress in the more expensive fabric).

In this post, I'll tell you how I went about designing the skirt by making my wearable toile. I've written another post about the dress pictured.

Thursday, 31 December 2020

2020 Christmas dresses Part 1 - The first two, using Simplicity 9379

As in previous years, I made Christmas dresses for all the girls. Sadly, we were not able to spend Christmas together due to lockdown. But at least they had something to wear for our Zoom calls! First, here are the two dresses I made using Simplicity 9379. for Rose (5) and Fleur (7). You can read about the other dresses in this post - the assymetric dress, and in this one, the red A-line dress. 

Monday, 28 December 2020

More towelling wraps

Over the past few years, I've made simple towelling cover-ups for my grand-daughters - just something they can wear over a wet swimming costume to play around the pool. If that's what you want, you might like to check out these other posts for how to make really simple and quick cover-ups. 

However, you'll note those are all 'summer' cover-ups. When I started this post, two of my grand-daughters had restarted their swimming after lockdown, in an open air pool. But by this time it was winter, down to about 11 degrees centigrade, and with the changing rooms not open, the only choice was to change or wrap up on the pool side in a biting wind.

Something urgently was needed, and I threw together these two new hooded towelling wraps to cover them up, with the idea being that they could get changed underneath them. Here's one cheeky monkey in her towelling robe. It does button up at the neck, but she wanted to play rather than model.

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Swim Robes - Pattern review and additional tutorial

Needing some quick swim cover-ups for two of my grand-daughters, I had made some simple ones out of towelling (see this post) . However, they weren't really going to be warm enough for the coldest part of winter, what with having to change outdoors. And in timely fashion, I found a Facebook post from Laura Bolwell of Designed for Daisy, with information about a pattern and tutorial she had designed for a three-layer swim robe. Her pattern was very reasonably priced on Etsy, so I hastened off to buy it, and set about making not just two robes for those two granddaughters, but 4, for all 4 of them.

As a reviewer on Etsy pointed out, this is not a project for complete beginners, but in the course of making 4, I learned some tricks to make it easier, so I'm sharing what I learned here. Note that this review and my tutorial will only help you if you have bought Laura's pattern and tutorial.

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Some great ideas for children learning to sew (or adults!)

I am so often asked for ideas for things that can be made by children, or indeed, adults, who want to learn to sew, that I thought I should write up some of them. Here, I will be focusing on children, but many of the projects I suggest are equally appropriate for adults. There are one or two ideas here for things that can be hand-stitched - well, almost anything can, it may just take longer! But I would almost always suggest that children learn first to do some hand-stitching before attempting to use a sewing machine. That way, they will learn some techniques which will always stand them in good stead.

Of course children can be different ages and in different circumstances when the situation arises. It's different teaching a five-year-old from a ten-year-old. However, I'm not going to offer any advice about what age is appropriate for a child to use a sewing machine, or what machine to use - you know your child best. I personally think simple is better to start with. You might want to get a guard for the machine, though, especially if the child is young.

Constructing a sewn item can also teach several skills: mathematics, to calculate sizes and seams etc; design; following written or video instructions; taking care of safety; and of course fine motor skills. And there can be so much satifaction at producing a usable, wearable, or fun item.

So read on for some ideas that may work for you, whether you are teaching a young relative to sew, or students at a school.

Monday, 26 October 2020

Easy Skirts - Part 3 Flared and part circular skirts

 I've already told you about two other types of skirts that are pretty easy to make, without a pattern, i.e. gathered skirts, and circular skirts. This is a fully circular skirt. 

This is a type of flared skirt - it is a smaller fraction of a circle, rather than a complete circle.

There are several reasons why you might opt for a part circle. So in this post, I'll explore those, and show you an easy way to make them.