Monday, 31 December 2018

More About this Site

Soon there will be pictures of my favourite projects here to help you navigate to the best bits. In the meantime, use the tabs or the search box.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

My Free Patterns

Here you can find links to some of my own patterns (for which there is no charge). You are welcome to use them for non-commercial purposes, i.e. for your own use. I'm always adding to this collection, so it's worth clicking on the tab at the top of the blog, as well, to see what's new. Some of them require only measurement, whereas for others, there are free PDFs for you to download. Where I make PDFs, I usually draw them initially on grid square paper, so that you can check the printed size corresponds to my original. 

Baby / Children's Clothing

(Click on the pictures for links to the free patterns.)

Baby / Toddler lined or unlined waistcoat/ bolero

  • Shorts (coming soon)) p71
  • Circle skirt (coming soon)) sk11
Later links will include:

  • dungarees 
  • pattern for prem baby with kimono front 
  • sunsuit from purl soho but with 'normal' bodice top
  • drop waist dress

Some patterns for doll's clothing

Red and white dress and pants   

Doll's dungarees

Doll's holdall

Top and pants for doll 

Finger puppets

Some of the many animal finger puppets you can make

Accessories for Children

Hooded towel

Baby dining harness

Covers (or replacements) for straps in buggy or car seat

Baby Gym (and playmat)

Quiet Book - to come


Sunglasses case

Bride outfit cake topper for wedding cake

Sewing essentials holdall - to come

Friday, 3 November 2017

Free Pattern for Baby / Toddler Bolero or Waistcoat

A number of times, I have wanted to make one of the grandchildren a little waistcoat, either for dressing up, or as a little bit of extra warm or style. Each time, I've made my own pattern, so I thought it was time to share the patterns. This would be suitable for a boy or a girl.

Free Pattern - CLICK HERE for the first page and
 CLICK HERE for the second page.


Above you have the links to the pattern, in 2 pages. It's free, and it shows a one inch square so you can check the printed size is correct. If it isn't, you could use some squared paper and redraw it. On the two pages of the PDF, BOTH SIZE PATTERNS ARE SHOWN. Pattern #1 is the smaller one, for approximately 9-15 months (more about sizing later). Pattern #2 is for approximately 18-24 months. However, boleros are quite forgiving, size wise, as they don't tightly enclose the chest, and the length doesn't need to be exact, either. I suggest if you have a small person to make a bolero for, you measure the patterns down the back fold, and across the back armpit to fold. Then measure your small person from neck to  waist or hip, and from armpit to armpit. Halve the latter measurement. Then see which of the patterns looks the best match, depending on whether you will need a seam allowance.

For the tutorial and more information, read on.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Free PDF Patterns for Children and Babies

I've thought for a long time about committing my research for free patterns to a post, but I've always been too busy using them to make clothes for the grandchildren to find time to write about them. I did manage one post a while back with my (then) favourite free patterns. Those were all ones I'd used over and over again for my grandchildren.

But I really want to make an attempt now to produce something that would be useful to others looking for free patterns for babies and children. It will take several posts. I have several hundred links on my spreadsheet, and there are several worksheets on it covering dresses and tops, pants and trousers etc. Then there are all the different sizes. Where to start?

To find which I think are some of the most useful web sites, and links to them, read on.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Replacement Padded Covers for Baby Car Seat or Buggy Straps

When my daughter found to her delight that she was pregnant again for the second time, it was time to get Jane's old car seat out of storage. Oh dear! One of the covers that should wrap round the shoulder strap to protect the baby from the strap chafing had gone missing.
Image result for car seat
It wasn't actually this model car seat, but you can see the padded covers for the straps clearly on this picture as they should be. Two of them. 

So the next sewing request was for a new set of strap covers. (A set, because, of course, you want them to match.) To find out how I made these (easy as pie), read on.

Easy Sunglasses (or Glasses) Case

In the middle of packing a holiday case (yes, I'd left it that late) I realised that none of the cases I had were big enough in depth for either of my two favourite pairs on sunglasses. 

So I had to make a new case, pronto. It had to be able to protect my sunglasses in the suitcase, and when out and about, but I didn't want it to be too heavy.

I knocked up this case in about 7 minutes. You could do a much better job in 15, but I didn't have 15 minutes available!

Friday, 6 October 2017

The Fat Quarter Challenge

I have always tried to squeeze as much as possible into the material I have. Probably comes from my Mum, who lived through the hardships and shortages of the Second World War. Her favourite recycling mantra was 'make do and mend', and she never threw anything away. So I recently took it as a personal challenge to see what I could make from fat quarters. With a new grand-daughter expected any day now, I thought I would start there.

A fat quarter is a small piece of material which is effectively a quarter of a square yard of fabric (or metre, if you are lucky). So they are popular with quilters, who can cut several six to nine inch (15-20 cm) squares from each. In practice, few bolts of material these days are exactly a yard or metre wide:  41"-42" or 112cm are the standard for the types of cotton and poly cotton from which most fat quarters are cut. So a fat quarter is usually more like 18" by 21".  Hence the name 'fat' quarter, I suppose.

Here's what I made recently from a few fat quarters: a kimono wrap dress or nightdress for newborn; a sun hat, a diaper cover, a play suit for c 3 months, and a circular skirt age c 3 months. You can find out more about squeezing tiny garments from a minimal amount of material below. Of course, if you have just a tiny bit more fabric, it will be a little easier!

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

My Dining Chair Harness

Home-made baby sitting harness (for sitting at table)

In an earlier post, I wrote about some ideas for making home made harnesses. I also mentioned that none of them were 100% right for my needs, and that I had made my own based mainly on the Canadian Living example, but with some modifications. This is what I came up with.


Here's how I went about it, including the adaptations, and a link to my pattern.