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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!

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Baby girls' crossover jumper / apron

When Jane was a baby, I made her a reversible crossover apron (which can be worn as a dress, as in this picture). I used the free PDF pattern from Smashed Peas and Carrots. (More about this later.)

Here, she was just over 7 months old, but it fitted her for some time after that - till at least a year or 18 months.

The apron is still, in fact, going strong, 4 years on, and Jane's baby sister Ada is now using it mainly as a coverall bib. It still looks fine, but I thought I'd make Ada her own. And while I was at it, I would make I also made one for my husband's great niece for Christmas. We will be seeing his niece's baby twins then, his great-niece and great nephew, for the first time, thousands of miles away from their home and ours. They will be almost 9 months old, but, like one of my grandchildren, were 10 weeks premature, so a little smaller than the average 9 month old babies. An apron and matching frilly knickers (a nappy / diaper cover) for the little girl, and I've yet to decide what to make for her brother. But probably not frilly knickers. 

To see the latest versions of the apron, and how to adjust the pattern for a larger size,  read on.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Witch cape (and any costume cape)

Hallowe'en always seem to be the time for costumes. My daughter wanted a very quick witch costume for my grand-daughter. She had the hat, and a broomstick, so it was just a cloak.

This was one of the easiest things I ever made for my grand-daughter. It was made of a spare bit of black lining material. I used the same approach to cutting the cape part as for the Wonder Woman costume, i.e. a semi circle, with a small semi-circle cut out at the centre top for the neckline. The Wonder Woman costume post may give you more ideas.

I made a very simple hood, which was just a rectangle meauring roughly the same as the 'neckline' shown as x - x above. This was folded in half and stitched along the top seam into a pointed hood shape, then I got rid of the extreme point by just stitching across the point a couple of inches down. (You may be able to see the idea here.)

Then I attached the hood to the cape and finished all the edges, and added a couple of strings to where the hood joined the neckline at the front. 

The measurements were not very precise, and we never intended her to wear the hood 
(though she could have done) because she had a witchy hat.

And here's the finished cape being modelled by Leppie the leopard. This stuffed toy is almost the same size as a four-year-old child.

Layered skirt, rabbits and flowers

One of the grand-daughters wanted "a skirt with flowers", but agreed she liked this fabric with rabbits and flowers. (And so do I.)

I had originally intended to use the "This Mama Makes Stuff" design for her Twirly skirt pattern again. (Note that link may no longer work - try this one.) I had JUST enough fabric for this small size skirt (44" wide), as Rose is still only 3. Any longer and I would have needed a wider than normal fabric, or more joins. However, as soon as I started to look at the fabric I realised that the pattern was really strongly directional with rabbits and flowers. I thought it would look very odd with rabbits laying on their sides at the sides of the skirt. They really wanted to be upright. This changed my mind for me about how I would use the fabric. To find out how I made a skirt that still twirled, but had upright rabbits, read on!

Superheroes coin purse and pencil case

The most recent sewing request on behalf on the grandchildren was not for a new skirt, or trousers, but for a coin purse for school. Two of them have just started school this month, and one has to take a few coins in with her for lunch and the breakfast club. Her mother thought a little coin purse of her own would be useful. Maybe something with superheroes on? Especially girl superheroes? So I asked my other daughter - would the other school starter like a coin purse, too? No, she doesn't have to take any money - but perhaps a pencil case? And she is perhaps even keener than her cousin on superheroes, especially Spiderman, so no problem there in using the same fabric.

Here's the result:

You can find out more about how to make these simple zipper cases by reading on.

Matching baby pants from scraps

I recently made a crossover apron for my great niece (see this post). From the back, these aprons always look cute with a pairs of matching knickers underneath. (Though they work well with jumpers underneath, and tights or leggings, in colder weather.) I had a new (Spanish) pattern I wanted to try, a free PDF, so in this post I'll tell you how I got on. Here is the end result, together with the matching apron. I should add that I had only tiny amounts of the matching fabrics left, really just the leftovers, hence the title of this post!

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Hats for babies and small people - free PDFs

There are several delightful patterns for children's and babies' hats, available as free PDFs on the internet. Usually these have full instructions. I must admit to my favourites, made over and over again because they work so well for my four grand-daughters. But in this post I will also try and provide links and reviews to many of those I've found which have promise. At the time of writing all of these are free. Some require you to register, but there is usually no charge for this.

The above two are from patterns I have made multiple times, especially the one on the right. But for my full review of free Hat PDFs for children and babies, read on!

Premature baby hat - free PDF

A small number of years ago, I was delighted to find a pattern for a premature baby knotted hat from Blesseddesigns.net, when we most needed it. 

Unfortunately the Blessed Designs web site for premature baby patterns no longer exists. I've tried to find it again for your benefit, to no avail. So in the end I created my own pattern for you. It is based on the Blesseddesigns idea, though, as I still have hard copy, so I owe them a debt, even though they no longer seem to exist! To find out more about my (free) pattern, and how to make up a premature baby hat, read on.