Sunday, 30 October 2016

Little Long Stocking Dolly Pattern - StitchART by Jeanine

Let me introduce the newest pattern from Jeanine of StitchART. This is the "Little Long Stocking Dolly."

This sweet PDF pattern comes with not only the doll pattern included, but three fun felt hats & her skirt!

Dolly from head to toe is approximately 42cm (16.5 inches) tall.

If you have never tried FMA - Free Motion Applique - I highly recommend it! I personally love the freedom, the rustic-ness & creativity it brings. You can NOT go wrong! Messy, neat, up, down, left, right! Once you try it, you'll be planning your next FMA project!!

Dolly is the perfect project to use up scraps & would make a perfect mum & me project if you have a budding sewest.

My daughter loved "Fairy" and was delighted that she could change her hats & jump up and down with her and watch limbs go a-flying!

Nothing beats a cuddle!

Embarrassed Fairy posing for your viewing! Even without the skirt, she is delightful! 

To sew FMA, you will need a FMA sewing machine foot attachment - my Singer machine's foot looks like this. 

 It is this foot that gives you the freedom to create easy curves, go back, forth, left, right, zig-zag or which ever way you please with ease.

So since my little Miss had already named her dolly "Fairy", an idea came to me...... "YES! She would indeed make a WONDERFUL fairy!!" So I made her a pair of wings!! I created a template from images of butterfly wings, used a ridged iron-on interfacing & some iron on wadding to create this look. You must be careful to warm up this interfacing once again after sewing your wings before turning them the right way. Once the interfacing cools, it goes rather solid & is tricky to pull the right way around!

The wings make a perfect opportunity to go crazy with those FMA ideas!! Draw a pattern on or free-style it! I also believe Jeanine is intending to release an add-on pack for her dolly pattern, which will include wings, but also some other exciting options!! Stay tuned!

This is the sister to Fairy & she has rainbow spandex wings!! (Be careful ironing on interfacing to this tricky fabric!!)  

I went spiral over-load on these wings! But FMA really enables you to grab your artistic freedom and run with it!

Both my dolly's have black button eyes - but you could use fabric paint or FMA her eyes on. 

Now.... let me say this before you proceed with making your very own Long Stocking Dolly, take special note of the recommendation to use a pencil with an eraser on the end! These thin limbs need to be stuffed little by little and only an eraser tipped pencil will do to help fill these limbs!!! (I did discover this the hard way!! Don't endure my frustration! Get that eraser tipped pencil!)

Another little hack that I like to do with my softies, is to weight them. You can buy special made toy beads. I don't recommend using rice/wheat/dried legumes etc with toys that may be played with & need washing, as your poor softie will not last! HOWEVER, if your on a budget, you can use aquarium pebbles! They are small, a nice weight & will cope with being washed!

I like to make a tiny pillow and pop some pebbles in, sew up the end, then make sure my toy filling surrounds the "pebble pillow." It gives the softie a nice "real" feel to it. As a dear friend demonstrated when I first showed her Fairy, she picked her up, cuddled her to her chest and then stated that she liked the weight. As if she isn't weighted she could just "fly away" - demonstrated by nearly flinging her over her shoulder! LOL!  But, as amusing as this is, it is actually in actions, exactly the way I feel too! hehe!

I love sewing the odd softie, they are really a very cathartic sew for me. The Little Long Stocking Dolly is also a really delightful little dolly! If you would like to read more about her, please visit Jeanine's blog The Crafting Fiend or purchase the pattern direct from her Etsy store HERE
BUT!! Wait there!!....... this is the best bit.... I'm giving AWAY this little rainbow dolly! She will be heading to one of my fans! All you need to do is comment on this blog post & you will be in the running to win her!!
I will draw a winner randomly on Friday 4th November 2016 - Western Australian time. This draw is open to international readers, however only enter if your willing to cover international postage - cost would be confirmed. (Postage to the US approx. $16, postage to the UK approx. $20.)
So don't forget to check back on Friday 4th! You could have this little fairy heading your way!!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Esther Rose & Ruffle Bum Romper - Foo Foo Thread Patterns


Esther Rose Dress

There are some designers I absolutely love, but appear untouchable. I happily buy their patterns, but don't get the honour of pattern testing, which in itself isn't an issue - well not for me, as I'm a happy consumer!

However, when Jocelyn from Foo Foo Threads mentioned she needed some extra pattern testers in certain sizes, I leapt at the chance (and nearly fell out of my chair!!! Foo Foo patterns are in my top favourite pattern list!) And lo & behold - lucky me - I'm here with Foo Foo Threads latest pattern!

So let me introduce "Esther Rose" .


This PDF pattern includes sizes 6mon to 8 girls. The pattern suits adventurous beginners who are familiar with buttonholes & gathering.

The front bib is an ideal location to show off special buttons

The bodice has a sewn in feature bib with ruffle - although if you wished to avoid the bib look, simply cut two front linings instead of one.
The back bodice is fixed with buttons & makes a great place to pop on those special feature buttons!

There are several options for the skirt. Full scallops & boarders, scallops, straight skirt with boarder or straight skirt.

I chose to sew the scallop & boarder version, which is the most involved option. It has 24 pieces total in the skirt alone, so is a time consuming feat. However, you will be rewarded with a beautiful scalloped skirt in the end!


The bodice is sleeveless, however it does layer well if your climate is cooling.

The pattern also includes instructions for an optional sash tie.
Add a tulle petty skirt under Esther Rose for a more full look. Like all Foo Foo patterns, this dress is special & is worth puffing out with that extra tulle!!

I loved this sew, but take your time or choose a simple skirt option. If you would like to find out more or purchase the pattern, please click HERE.

As any mother of a toddler, I struggle to get nice photos of my child!! And I just thought I'd share some "out-takes" of this session!!

Her brothers thought it would be hilarious if they taught her how to pull funny faces for the camera!! (I'm sure you can imagine my internal groan!)
While I'm on a Foo Foo roll (hehe - sounds tasty doesn't it?!) Let me also share my version of Foo Foo Threads ruffle romper.

Ruffle Bum Romper

Jocelyn has told me that this was in fact her very first pattern. I was even more curious & keen to sew it.

This romper suits confident beginners & starts at size 6mon all the way up to 6 girls!! Which is great value for a romper - often they stop at size 2 or 3T.


The original version has options for either a halter neck tie or front knot tie straps. I wanted to add ruffles to the straps, so chose to have the straps fix at the center back. In this instance I used snaps & made several length options so the suit could be adjusted as my daughter grew.

Another deviation I made was to have a snap crotch for easier changes/toileting. There is no messing around when toddlers need the potty!!


The legs are elasticated & create a wonderful bubble look with all those ruffles!!

The pattern gives free rein with the amount of ruffles you may or may not want to add. However, I prefer my ruffles overlapping, so I added some length to the suggested size.
No! I don't want my photo taken! No I don't want to walk on the other footpath! (the struggle is real!)

I also loved that this pattern is fully lined or reversible should you wish.

While we don't really "do" Halloween in our family (its not a big holiday here in Australia.) I couldn't resist these sugar skull skeleton cats!! Its just such a fun print & I'm always on the look out for fabulous cat prints for my little cat lady!!

If your interested in the ruffle romper pattern, please visit Foo Foo Threads HERE.

This little shoot was taken while we visited Kings Park Western Australia. Being spring here, there are some amazing flowers in bloom.

This little beauty is an Aussie classic, Desert Pea.

There was a vast array of Everlasting Daisys.

And finally, some very pretty and very iconic Kangaroo Paws (which happen to be WA's floral emblem!)

Monday, 10 October 2016

Foxglove & Peppercorn - Pumpkin & Bunny Patterns

Greetings!! Again I'm so behind on my blogging! But the sew must go on! (hehe!) This time I'd like to introduce you to the Foxglove top & Peppercorn pants/shorts - patterns by Pumpkin & Bunny.

Both of these patterns come with sizes newborn to 14 included.


Let me start with Foxglove, this gorgeous little top is a quick & easy sew and really suits beginners, but is a must for anyone who is sewing for summer.

With cross over straps, the "skirt" is pleated or gathered at the back. The bodice is lined & there are no exposed seams inside or out. I am thrilled with the seamlessness of Sparrow's patterns!

It is a free flowing sort of top that moves with the child. Bending down, twirling around, reaching up....... this top moves as she does.

It is easy to just pop Foxglove over her head & pull her arms through..... although rumour has it that it's not a "Dad" proof top! But hey...... there's not many of those out there!! Besides, at least the front & back are easy to tell apart, so in our house, that's the main thing!
I will be sewing many more of these beauties..... once summer decides it's actually coming!! (We had hail last week and it's halfway through SPRING!)
Foxglove is available HERE


Peppercorn is a special pattern. This pattern produces a wonderfully professional finish & again is as beautiful inside as out.
This version I added a split to the shorts & threaded a ribbon through. To do this, you need to leave the bottom 3 inches of the side seams unsewn - make sure you stay-stitch so the shorts won't be prone to splitting at the seam your leaving open.
Stitch either side of your split using a 1/4" allowance, tapering at the top or sewing across the top (above the split.) Hem & thread through your ribbon or cord! Now your done!! I rather like the girlish touch this adds when using ribbon.

This is the original version and is a little more full in the front & tush areas. But the pleats are still there as is the functional pockets.
I used chambury for this pair, which is lightweight & suits this pattern as it avoids too much bulk.
"Eye spy with my little eye, something beginning with...... JELLYBEAN!"

Swan River, Perth Western Australia (our back drop today.)
This is my second pair of Peppercorn shorts, and this pair I made in a fabric I would describe being of denim weight but it also had a small amount of stretch.

As you can see, this pattern even includes instructions on how to make the most adorable back pockets! Seriously, they were the cutest little pockets I've ever made!! Like, squeal with delight cute!! Trust me!!

I paired this pair of Peppercorns with the delightful Lily jacket, which is a FREE pattern - also available from Pumpkin & Bunny
This pattern also taught me a new trick... and I have to say, while I feel I'm still learning ALL the time, there isn't much I haven't tried. So if you haven't heard of "flat felled seams" you will learn all about them with Peppercorn - a mini tutorial is included in the pattern. I felt like I'd just conducted a little bit of sewing magic sewing those seams!

I love the Peppercorn's flat button up front waistband. Again, my love of buttons is shining through! I just adore a feature button!!

As Peppercorn has an elasticated back, I found I didn't even need to undo the front buttons for dressing/undressing - although they are fully functional.

Peppercorn is not a quick sew and suits intermediate sewers, although the pattern is very well written & photographs of each step provided. It also has layered pattern pieces so even an adventurous beginner could give it a crack!
I've tested a few patterns now for Pumpkin & Bunny and each one has been special. Designed with a great deal of thought, not only with appearance in mind, but function, comfort and finish.
If you would like to find out more or purchase this pattern, Peppercorn is available here.