Something Old, Something New


It is even blue as well.

Yesterday I made this playsuit using some of the seersucker fabric from a barely-worn dressing gown.

I used a pattern drafted from a vintage Enid Gilchrist pattern book which is over 60 years old. The book originally belonged to my mother and has been used many times.

I do not have a photo of me in an outfit from this pattern but here are some taken of other family members over the years.




A good design will stand the test of time.

I even found some of the green/white spotted fabric in my patchwork squares that I am sorting out today.

Add Some Straps


Here is a quick post about a small sewing project I did recently.

Miss O had this strapless dress which was not really practical as it kept creeping down and she spent the entire day hitching it up.


The addition of some simple black straps made it much more wearable.  This is the true colour of the dress, too.


I used some wide elastic from my stash to put inside the straps and they now sit nicely on her shoulders.

Simply Sewing


One of my favourite activities is sewing.  More specifically, sewing clothes.  In years gone by I have made everything from business shirts to swimwear but in recent years I have not done as much as I used to.

I have never had a huge stash of fabric, although The Duke may think otherwise.  Nevertheless, over the last couple of years I have been working on gradually whittling down what I do have.  I decided that a cupboard of excess fabric is of no benefit to anyone so I should use it up to make things, whether they be for the family, to sell or simply to donate.

Sometimes it seems that as fast as I use up fabric I am given some more so I have set myself the challenge to use up everything I have.  This weekend I made a pair of satin boxer shorts from some gifted material which I think I will give to my daughter.  I will make a camisole from some white interlock fabric to make a set of summer pyjamas.  Here are the shorts.

Boxer shorts

In the same bundle was some crinkle cotton fabric which was a fairly unappealing yellow check but I managed to brighten it up with the addition of some plain red for the contrasting pockets on this dress I made for Izz.  It will be perfect for summer days at childcare.


I also started sewing a toddler dress which I will show you when it is finished.  Then there was the mending/alteration pile.  I hemmed 2 pairs of trousers for The Duke and have adjusted the hemline on a new skirt of mine.  It is now pinned and ready to handstitch.

My goal is to do some sewing each day and gradually work through the ‘to do’ pile before starting on some new projects.  I have 2 skirts which I am altering that are waiting as well as a cot quilt which needs the binding sewn on and some hand-quilting to be done.  I have several pieces of gifted fabric which I contemplating what I will make.  Not all of it is suitable for our family so I am busily planning what to sew that will be of use to someone.

Growing Girls and Large Hems


It is easy to forget how quickly children grow.  I made this dressing gown for Miss O in June 2011.

2011-06-16 01By July 2012 I was writing about letting the hem down here.

Now it has been handed down to Izz and the hem taken back up.

2013-05-14 02A few weeks ago I took Miss O to Spotlight and chose the fabric for a new dressing gown.  It is red with black and white dogs on it.  She gave the princess, fairy and other girly fabric a glance but this is the one that caught her eye.  The fact that we have a Border Collie (black and white) may have influenced her choice.

New dressing gown

Once again, I have put a large hem on the gown and it is still quite long so I expect this one will easily last a couple of years.

2013-05-14 04Something as simple as a hem that can be let down is not an option on a ready-made garment but by making clothes you can customise them to suit your needs and generally extend their usefulness.

Sew Easy


Our granddaughters are staying overnight so this afternoon I took the opportunity to get some current measurements of them.

While I was in the sewing room I found a piece of fabric and was inspired.  I made this dress for Miss O, using the t-shirt she was wearing as a pattern.

The patterned fabric was a remnant that I bought from Lifeline a few months ago for $1.

The stretch fabric means that the dress can simply be pulled on over the head and there are no fastenings.  It will be a cool, comfortable addition to her summer wardrobe.

Thrifted and Gifted

Leave a comment

In my post on Thursday I showed you the fabric and buttons I had for a sewing project I hoped to do on the weekend.

I have spent the day sewing and have almost finished the dress, along with some other things.

Here is the dress – I just need to finish stitching the yoke facings and turn the hem.

When I was with Belle yesterday she commented that Miss O and Izz needed more shorts for summer and asked if I would be able to make some.  So, today I sorted through my fabric and found enough to make 4 pairs of shorts.  They are not finished – still need waist casing and elastic as well as hemming the bottom of the legs but here they are so you can see what I have been doing.

And some stripes….

Frills on the bottom……

Pink pockets…..

All of these things were made with fabric that was left over from another project and saved in my stash or gifted from my mother, mother-in-law or friend.

I have also set aside two more pieces.  This one is left from the pinafore I made for Miss O and will be enough to make a pinafore for my niece.

I plan to make some summer pyjamas for Miss O with this piece which was also given to me.

Finally, Belle bought this Fred Bare dress for Miss O from the op shop for $8 yesterday.  It needs a little repair to the hem where the fabric has pulled away from the stitching but otherwise it is just perfect.  Thanks, Duchess for the tip about the shop.

Ready, Set,Sew


I have my next sewing project planned which is to make a dress for my niece who is almost 12 months.  She won’t wear it for another 6 months or so as she lives in the Northern Hemisphere.  Tonight I assembled the things I will use and I hope to do it on the weekend.

2011-09-15 01Here is the fabric and buttons I will use.  The floral print fabric was given to me recently from my friend whose mother who no longer sews.  The plain blue came from my mother-in-law’s stash of fabric.  The buttons are ones that I found at the op shop.  Priced at 5c each I buy buttons if I see ones that I think will be suitable for my sewing – particularly on children’s clothes.

The pattern I am going to use is from an Enid Gilchrist book that my mother gave me.  The books are mostly over 50 years old.  I have about 6 of her books and although some of the clothes are a little dated there are lots of good basic designs.

2011-09-15 02I have made dresses several times using this pattern.  This first time was for my sister when I was only 10 years old.  I have made dresses for my daughters and more recently, my granddaughters, from this pattern.

This is Belle, aged 12 months in a dress from the pattern.

2011-09-15 03Here is one I made for Miss O.  She wore it on her first birthday.

2011-09-15 04Even a version for Christmas.

2011-09-15 05

Second-hand Rose


No post last night as I was busy sewing.

The flowers are not roses and the floral fabric is the only part that is recycled but here is the outfit that I have made for Izz.  It is part of her birthday present.  She will be 2 on Sunday.

A skirt.

A top.

And a jacket – I just need to add the press studs to the front bands.

When the pieces are teamed up it will look like this.

And this.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post the floral fabric came from a sundress that belonged to Belle.  She was planning on sending it to the op-shop but I loved the colours and the good quality cotton fabric.  The rest just evolved from there.  I had everything else in my stash and only need to buy some more press studs as I only have 3 left at the moment.

I am off to town shortly to buy the press studs, buy a few groceries and then I will be home to do some more sewing.  I may have more to post tonight if everything goes according to plan.