Category Archives: Sew Baby

Plaid Pajamas of Awesomeness

Guess what you guys? I made something!!! Feels like it’s been ages since I’ve posted a finished object on here…. But today is the day, made just in time to join in with Karen’s Pajama Party!

Plaid pajama pants

And oh, I loved making these. They’re made from flannelette (aka brushed cotton), nice and warm and snuggly for the cold weather we’re having at the moment. This stuff’s been in my stash for, oh, around 5 years now, back when I wanted to make some flannelette PJ’s for winter. Yep, five years before that project got to see the light of day.

They were super easy to make. Just like the previous two I’ve made, I simply copied a pair I already own, tracing around the seams where I could and marking them with pins stuck through the PJ pants and the paper where I couldn’t easily trace. Add a 1cm seam allowance, turnings for the waist and bottoms of legs, and you’re done. A basic turned-under waistband with non-roll elastic, add a trapezium of green grosgrain ribbon at the inside of the back waistband to indicate where the back is, and voila – one pair of PJ pants!

Have you ever posed in PJ pants? Something about it just makes you want to mess around, rather than stand normally….

Oh, but that’s not all, folks! I had enough fabric left (just!) to make something else.


Yep, our Little Man has matching trousers! Mwahahahaha!!! (Is it wrong that I find it so amusing to make him things that match mine? I suspect a large part of that is coz he’s a boy and I’m a girl, maybe. Dunno. *shrug*)


Speaking of the Little Man, check out how times have changed since last April’s Pajama Party.


Yep, he was just a gender-unknown bump-in-waiting back then. And now, he’s pulling himself up to stand and coasting along the furniture. Time, she goes fast.


Right, on that note, I’m off to curl up in bed with a good book, coz that’s the best way to break in a new pair of PJ pants!

Thanks for hosting another awesome pajama party Karen! Super fun to follow along, even if I didn’t make the “official” PJ pants this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone else made! 🙂

Baby got back

So, it’s kinda getting cold over here these days. We’re well into autumn, and winter is sneaking in rather fast.

Which sadly also means there are a lot of cold children around in the poorer households. 😦

My local Plunket group put together winter care packages for the less well-off families in our neighbourhood – this year, there were 45 families in my area that were getting care packages, and a group of them had babies under a year old.

Which sounded to me like the perfect reason to have a sew-in and make a bunch of merino wool baby trousers to keep little creatures warm and cozy!

(And guess what? It also coincided wonderfully with the May Friday night sew-in. Woop!)

Sadly my overlocker was playing up (argh! Tempermental beastie! I’m thinking it’s angry with me for neglecting it quite a bit lately… Oops….) so it took a bit longer than expected. But I still managed to make 6 pairs for the winter care packages – 5 pairs of 6-12 months sizes, and 1 pair of 0-3 months for a little newborn.

I had a lot of fun playing around with the merino colours – the pattern I used for these started out as a rub-off of a pair of the Little Man’s trousers, and then I altered it by removing the side leg seams. Super fast and fun to make up, with an inset over the bum for extra nappy space. (And for fun-with-contrasting-colours space, haha!)

Four pairs of burgundy/brown – two with black on the bum, two with pink on the bum.


One pair of bright blue. And another pair of purple-with-light blue (they were for the little newborn baby girl).


And because he’s in need of more trousers due to continuously growing out of them, a black pair for our Little Man! (Sadly not the best photo of him – he was being super-wiggly and this is the only non-blurry one I managed to grab!)


The six I made for the Plunket care packages have now all gone to their new homes, hopefully their new owners will like them and they’ll help keep them warm over winter. 🙂

And now, back to work on my current Burda sew-along creation…. (Hoping to show you a completed garment from that this weekend, fingers crossed.)

Sleep, baby, sleep!

Turns out, our little boy isn’t a huge fan of covers when in bed. From the second day he was out in the world, he would fight to get his arms free. And the only way we could keep blankets on him was if we wrapped him up like a burrito and tucked both sides under and around him. (And even then, he could kick his way free.) Hmmm.

Yay for baby sleeping bags! My lovely friend Gina made us one and give it to us as a ‘welcome to baby’ gift. It’s brilliant – made of merino, so it’s warm and snuggly in winter but not too hot in summer, and he can kick around to his heart’s content and not end up with cold bare legs in the middle of the night.

It’s so good, in fact, that I just had to make him another one. (After all, being a baby, his one has to get washed every. Single. Day.)


This one is merino on the outside, and a heavy cotton tshirting on the inside. It’s got deep armholes (with domes half-way up them so his little arms don’t get lost in them), and a nice long body, so it’ll be good until he’s a lot bigger (in theory, until he’s about 2 years old). It fastens up one side (and half-way along the bottom) with a big open-ended zipper, to make it easy to put on and off and to do nappy changes while he’s still in it.

My first time using this type of snap fastener! I picked up a pack of 6 at Fabric-a-brac a while back, and thought I’d give them a try here. (And can I just say, they’re brilliant!) (Can I also say – sewing with hammers is fun! And nerve-wracking. I get a bit worried any time I have to put a “finishing touch” on something that has the potential to destroy the entire garment. Like hammer-on snap fasteners. And machine-stitched button holes. Eek!)


(However, I foolishly forgot to add interfacing to the places where the snap fasteners were being placed, and didn’t realise until I’d nearly finished stitching it all up. No chance I was going to unpick all the seams – overlocked together and then topstitched. On fine merino wool. Yeah. Nah. So instead I took the cheating route and just added some patches of cotton for reinforcing.)

inside domes

Heck knows when/where I picked up the chunky plastic open-ended zipper. I have a suspicion I may have got it from the closing sale of Maud’s Fabric Barn in Dunedin. About 12-13 years ago. Hmmm. Anyway, it’s nice and chunky and has plastic teeth, so there’s nothing sharp or rough to rub against soft baby skin. (Could we think of that as impressive foresight, rather than ‘oops I left this in my stash for over a decade’? No?) I like how the zip tape adds a touch of red, and that the snap fasteners match. Nothing like a little pop of colour!


I made the inside of the sleeping bag as smooth as possible so it’s super-comfy for the little man. All the seams are enclosed, and so is all the zipper tape.

inside zip

Drake seems to like it, too. 🙂


Sadly the toy I was making from the same fabrics for the Pieces of Us project didn’t go so well. I was about 2/3 of the way through making it when the sewing machine needle snapped. I couldn’t get the point out of the toy, and it also tore a hole in the fabric of the back. Dead not-yet-finished bunny rabbit. 😦


Want to know why we put Drake in sleeping bags? Here’s what he does to any blanket/sheet/other covering that gets put on him. (Including sleeping bags, but they don’t come off as easily.)

Next up on my sewing table – something for me! It’s going to make it’s debut at the Wellington bloggers meet-up this weekend. (Assuming I get it finished in time, that is.)

The “Zoo Team” Shirt

Check it out – my first creation of 2013!


I’m not sure if this will fit in with Jungle January or not – after all, it’s not in animal print. It does have animals printed on it, though…. Hmmmm…. What the heck, I’m calling it a Jungle January make! It’s got lions and monkeys, crocodiles and elephants. And bumble bees, butterflies, pigs and whales. This fabric ain’t particular about where it draws it’s animal inspirations from, no it ain’t!

I won this fabric ages ago (far too long ago – I have been very slack in making it up, even though it’s been hovering right near the top of my to-make list ever since I got it! What can I say – it took me until now to decide what to make out of it.) in a giveaway the lovely Kat ran. (Thanks, Kat!) So it’s well-traveled animal print fabric. Yep, those little whales and chickens have traveled across the oceans to make their way into a shirt for me.


Since I had Drake, I’ve been finding myself wearing shirts a lot – they’ve got a bit more structure than knit fabric tops so they make me feel a bit prettier (even when sporting the inevitable ‘baby badge’ or three), and they’re convenient. And yet, before three months ago, I’d hardly ever tackled making shirts! How times change…. Anyway, I made this pattern a couple of years ago as a Sew Weekly challenge – I think it was the first time I’d made a shirt. My shirt-making skills (and confidence) have come a fair way since then! Last time, I added sleeves from another pattern. This time, I decided to be brave and go with the sleeveless version. (I figured I could always add sleeves later if I needed to.) Turns out I love sleeveless shirts! So useful for summer. 🙂 You may see another one (or two) appearing here in the not-too-distant future….

Blackmore 8907

I made a couple of small adjustments to the shirt – firstly, I did a rough grading up since I’m a bit bigger at the moment, and added some more ease around the waist and hips. It’s nice and comfy, and will also be easy to take in in the future when it gets too big. I also lowered the main dart in the front by about 2 cm. A while back, I started keeping track of my patterns and what I’ve made with them, and what I’d do differently next time – luckily, the last shirt I made using this pattern was recorded, and the notes told me to lower the dart by 3cm. (I only half listened and lowered it by 2cm. Should have gone with 3cm. Oh well, next time.)

To honor the shirt’s first outing, we went for a walk around the zoo, with the aim to visit all the animals they had there that were featured on my shirt.

We went to see the monkeys.


And the tigers. (Technically, there are no tigers on the shirt, but I’m sure that was just an oversight on the part of the fabric maker. A shirt like this should have tigers, so I’m just pretending they’re there.)


Stopped off at the lions, but they were hiding and no photo op was to be found.

Visited the cheetahs.


And went past the Kunekune (NZ wild pigs) on the way out. (The sun was too bright for a good photo there, though, and the pigs were hiding in the shade so I can’t show them off to you. They’re pretty cute, though.)

And then, I had just enough fabric left to make a pair of shorts for Drake.


(Not enough for the v-insert at the back though, so I used some scraps of white cotton for that, and put a lion on his butt instead.)


(Steve isn’t a fan of these. When I told him I was making trousers for Drake out of this fabric, his words were something along the lines of “if you want to dress yourself vaguely clown-like, that’s fine. But you’re not allowed to do it to our son.” My justification is, I’ve only got a couple of years before Drake fights back with his wardrobe choices, so I’m making the most of it while I can. Mwahahahaha!)

In keeping with one of my goals for the year, I also made a toy for the Pieces of Us project. Meet Harold:


He’s going to go and find a lovely new home with the help of our friendly Plunket nurse.

(Also, I forgot to introduce you to Malcolm in my last post – he was made from scraps from the baby trousers I just made, also for the Pieces of Us project. This is Malcolm:


If you’d like to make a Malcolm of your very own, I used the Mooshy Belly Bunny tutorial from Chez Beeper Bebe. I’ve used it before, it’s cute and easy and fun to make. 🙂 )

And now, the details.

The Zoo Team shirt:

Fabric: printed cotton, courtesy of Kat
Notions: three buttons from my stash
Pattern: Blackmore 8907
Year: 1950s
Verdict: a nice, easy to make and easy to wear shirt pattern
Make again: yep, for sure! (This is the second time making it already!)

The Zoo Team shorts:

Fabric: the same printed cotton, and some scraps of white cotton for over the bum
Notions: 42cm of elastic for the waistband
Pattern: self-drafted
Year: modern
Verdict: who care’s what Steve says, I’m so putting Drake in these again! They’ll be even cuter in another month, as they’re slightly too big for him at the moment. I’m also pleased to note that this pattern works just as well with woven fabric as it does with knit fabric.
Make again: yep, this is already the fourth time I’ve made this size in the pattern

Grow, baby, grow!

Turns out babies grow fast. Who would have thought it?

Anyway, remember those baby trousers that I made not that long ago? They’re already too short for Drake, and barely fit over his nappy-clad butt.

Time for the next size up!

So I made these the other day:


Three more pairs of baby trousers. My final make of 2012!

They’ve got v-inserts at the back, so there’s planty of space for nappy-clad baby bums


Just for fun, on the two striped pairs I put the v-inserts with the stripes going vertically instead of horizontally.

And check it out – this pair has dogs all over it!


In theory, these should fit the little lad for another 2-3 months. We’ll see how that goes…..

Pajama pants for the little person


Yep, another post about trousers for the baby. One would think that I’ve been on a baby-trouser-making spree lately…. (And yet there’s still one post left to go to round out the 2012 makes…! What can I say? Babies grow fast and need more trousers!)

Anyway, I cut these two pairs out a few months back, and never made it any further than the cutting out stage. This was before our little guy arrived, back when I had no idea whatsoever about what sort of clothes would actually be good to put a baby in (i.e. practical and easy stuff). Which, I think, is why I never made it further than the cutting-out stage, as I questioned whether I should be making them at all.


As part of my (continued) attempt to declutter my life (haha I completely delude myself that I will ever be successful in this quest!) I unearthed these the other day back in early November and finished sewing them up. And now, they make me smile, with their somewhat crazy fabrics. (And yes, this post has been in draft format, waiting for photos, since the start of November. Oops.)

Simplicity 3766

The Facts

Pattern: Simplicity 3766
Year: 2007
Fabric: left-over craft cotton from making adult PJ pants
Notions: a couple of lengths of elastic for the waistbands


(Yep, that’s a lime-green-with-purple-polka-dots pair of trousers for our little lad.)



They won’t fit him for another couple of months as they’re in a 6 month size, so no Drake modelling photos this time sadly.

But you know the best part? The fabric the black pair is the leftovers from my Turkey pajamas, so when they do fit him, we can hang out together and be all matchy-matchy in our matching PJs! 😉

The “Carrera” Dress


The Facts

Fabric: about 1.5 metres of black-and-white tshirting knit from my stash, approx $4 per metre
Pattern: self-drafted, based on a similar dress I own
Year: modern
Notions: none
Time to complete: 2 hours (including accidently cutting half the skirt wrong and having to re-do it)
First worn: for these photos, taken on our regular evening stroll, trying to get an overtired little baby to sleep (*sigh*)
Wear again? yep, probably tomorrow
Total cost: $6


I started this dress a few weeks back, for the black and white challenge over at the Sew Weekly. I got as far as cutting it out, started to sew it up, and then…. my overlocker died. 😦

So much for that.

To be fair, it didn’t fully die. Just the knit fabric 4-thread stitch wasn’t working right – the right-hand needle kept catching on the lower looper, which made me fear for the safety of my eyes. (Anyone else do that? Have moments where they imagine parts of a sewing machine needle breaking off mid-stitch and flying at their eyes? That’s the main reason I don’t sew jeans these days – it scares me. Gah.) Anyway, since my overlocker was fine with 3-thread stitches, I carried on using it, never quite getting it to the overlocker hospital, because, well, I struggle to be without it for several days in a row so I kept putting it off.

But finally, it got there, and it got all fixed and stuff, and it’s back home and working well, and so this dress got finished!


I based this one off a RTW dress I got in a clothes swap party a while back – I’ve found it’s perfect for breast feeding, as the crossover bodice easily pulls down to one side or the other, and since the dress itself isn’t a wrap-around, there’s no risk of accidently pulling the rest of it out of whack when you pull one part of the bodice. Perfect.

Approaching it in my rather common haphazard way, I took a basic knit fabric top pattern I drafted a good decade or so ago, and blithely took scissors to fabric, inventing the dress pattern as I went along. (I must admit here, I made a boo-boo when cutting out the front of the skirt to start with and didn’t flare it out enough over my hips. Oops. Spotted it as soon as I’d cut it, thankfully there was plenty of fabric left for a re-cut, and the rejected piece is going to be used to make some trousers for the little man so all’s well.) Since it’s summer here now, I went with a sleeveless style. The fabric is a 4-way tshirting, so I played around with the stripes a bit as well. (Odd fabric this – the black stripes are printed on the white tshirting, rather than being woven in. Gives it a bit of a texture, but also means the printing can look a bit “cracked” when stretched lots, which isn’t quite as good.)


The whole thing was stitched together on my overlocker. Gosh, I do love that thing! The stitching probably only took around an hour, the rest of the time was spent mucking around with inventing the pattern as I cut it out. So all up, a pretty fast make, and it’ll do it’s required job nicely (i.e. no ironing needed, easy and comfy to wear, and fast access to certain parts when needed).

As for the name? We took these photos on our current usual evening walk (an attempt to get the little one to sleep for at least 15 minutes during Baby Witching Hour. Good times.) We wandered through Carrera Park, thankfully he’d finally fallen asleep by then so we took the opportunity to grab some pics. More graffiti ones – something about graffiti, I like it. Probably the colours? Anyway…. I also tested this dress out on the swings. It works well on them, too. 😉


Baby trousers, take two

The thing with babies is, they grow fast.

Which means they grow out of their clothes rather quickly, too. It amazes me, how many clothes Drake has already grown out of. So I’m trying to quickly make some more for him!

(Of course, ‘quick’ means something quite different when you’re trying to achieve things with a baby around. These didn’t take much time to make, but that time was spread over 1.5 weeks…)

And so I present to you, baby trousers, take two.

(Action shot – “I am ninja-master-to-be!”) I think of these as his hipster baby trousers. I’m thinking about making a little tshirt with suspenders printed on it to go with these houndstooth ones.

(Modelling is clearly hard work, since he had to sleep off his exertions.) Made of a soft cotton/poly tshirting. These navy ones go well with all the neutral coloured clothes he has.

Carry me away….

So, I’ve been working on a project for nearly 4 weeks now. I started it off for the Western challenge over at the Sew Weekly, but didn’t get time to finish it. Oh well, I thought, I guess that makes it a UFO so I’ll finish it for the UFO challenge. Nope, that didn’t happen either. Never mind, the colour reminds me of cherry blossoms, so it’ll work for the fall palette (or in the case of us in the southern hemisphere, the spring palette) challenge.

And this week, I nearly got it finished! Sure, it’s Friday afternoon, so barely in time for the fall/spring palette challenge, but still. After several weeks, I nearly got a project finished! Even better, it’s the Economy Design 157 pattern, from the Pattern Pyramid pile.

Yeah. Well. Turns out I was so busy trying to grab 10-30 minutes of sewing time here and there over the past few weeks that I forgot about trying this blouse on before I did the finishing binding. Turns out, also, that my head is somewhat bigger than those in the 1940’s.

That’s right – I can’t fit it over my head. 😦 (Heck knows how they managed with getting this style over up-dos back then?!?)

So much for that. I’m going to figure out a way to rescue it, but it’ll involve a fair amount of unpicking, and adding a bit more length to it. So it’s been put to one side until I’m less angry with it (and myself for foolishly not trying it on before doing the bias binding finishes. Duh!) I’ll do a review of the pattern when I’ve rescued this top. But in the meantime, I strongly encourage anyone else who makes this up to try it on over their head asap, and also to add a bit to the length, coz this puppy is rather short!

Anyway, to put myself back in a happy sewing place, I made a baby sling, using this lovely tutorial over at Our Seven Dwarfs.

It was super easy and fast to put together – less than half an hour later (including measuring and pressing time) and I was done! Far happier project outcome than the doomed blouse.

(Sadly though, my sewing machine decided to jam up as I was just finishing it off. I’m hoping there’s nothing too wrong with it – may have to take it into the shop. Eek! I always feel somewhat lost, cast adrift in a sea of sewing-machine-less-ness, when it’s away. Anyone else get those feelings of mild despair/dread at the thought of being without their sewing machine for a few days? Yep, my name’s Kat and I’m a sewing addict.)

Anyway, now we have a cute sling to pop baby Drake in for quick trips to the supermarket/post office/bringing in washing/etc. Sling success = yay!

Rock’n’Roll Baby (step one)

The thing with having a baby boy named Drake is, I kind of want to dress him to match his name. A cross between a pirate and a rock’n’roller. And, when he gets older, a bit of 1940’s style thrown into the mix as well. Funnily enough, it’s not that easy to find baby clothes to match any of those styles.

So, I made a pattern for baby trousers, based on a pair we already have for him.

And thus, the first step to being able to dress him in the rock’n’roll style – grey trousers made from an old tshirt.

Check out the raised eyebrow below – he’s practicing his ‘stage look’ already.

Sure, the rest of the outfit doesn’t look all that rock’n’roll, but like I said, this is just step one. Watch this space for more rock’n’roll/piratical baby styles in the future. I have fabric, and I have intentions to use it!

(On a side note, it’s interesting how much pirate-themed fabric I already have in my stash. Jolly Rogers, anyone?)

These little trousers were so fast and easy to whip up – yay for overlockers! I’ll be making him a few more soon, and if I figure out how, I’ll probably even put the pattern up here for anyone who wants it.