Archive | tutorials

FREE dribble bib pattern

tri-ibble bibYears ago when I was brave enough (or stupid enough) to enter the world of selling ready made items and attend craft markets, I used to make dribble bibs.  I worked hard to get my bibs fitting well with no gape at the neck which I find lots of dribble bibs do.

My solution was to add a little bit of elastic to the neckline to pull it in.  And it worked.

Well time as gone by now and I no longer sell, but recently a friend asked for my dribble bib pattern and so I’ve digitalised it for all of you and you can download it for FREE.

There is no tutorial to go with this pattern, but it’s pretty simple.

1 ~ cut one main one lining

2 ~ with right sides together sew around the edge leaving a gap to turn out.

3 ~ Before turning out, sew the elastic to the area specified by the pattern piece.

4 ~ turn out and sew up the hole, you can either hand stitch it or top stitch all the way around (NOT WHERE THE ELASTIC IS THOUGH.

5 ~ Attach snaps, I have created the triangle shape for the snaps on one corner to enable the bib to fit from around 3m up to 4+

I would love to see some photos of your finished Tri-ibble bibs, please post them in my facebook group

Straight Skirt and Kit and Kaboodle Mash

Wow, the sucess of the straight skirt has blown my mind. I’m loving that you are all loving the free pattern.  Remember to keep posting photos of the ones that you have made up because I LOVE seeing what you all sew, and the gorgeous fabrics you use ( I secretly drool over these as in NZ it is very hard to get nice knits).

The person who sews the most skirts wins a pattern of their choice.who sews the most

Here are a few that have been shared in my group so far.

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Jenny McSweeney (extra length) /Karen Radford / Rebekah Geerlings (cute pabp hack)

But, back to what I was meant to be talking about before I got distracted… Adding shorties under the skirt for added modesty for those girls that well…aren’t so good at being modest! (namly mine!)

What you will need:

  1. Skirt pattern (free with a code in my group)
  2. Kit and Kaboodle pattern (also free with a code from my group)
  3. Scissors
  4. Pencil
  5. Tracing paper (or what ever you like to use)

1modify the k&k pattern

Trace out the shorties pattern in the size you need.  then measure 2.5cm (1″) below the yoga waist line and draw another line, cut along this one when cutting the shorties out.


Sew the shorties  as per the tutorial and when you are up to the waistband, slip them inside the skirt and match up the CB and CF and side seams.  Attach the waistband as per the skirt tutorial.



So as you see, pretty straight forward, I cant wait to see your K&K/straight skirt mashes!!!

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And while you are here make sure you read the blog post on how you can win a pattern from each of the above designers.

and one more thing, last one I promise,  the below blogs are some awesome reviews and photos of the skirt.




Tales From A Southern Mom

Phat Quarters

Living in Twinado Alley



Woohoo by Davina

How to sew a plastic bag holder.

We have an engagement party tomorrow night and being tight on $$ I made the gift.  I decided on something useful, (I know, boring) but really, it is useful, I use mine all the time.

I made an oven mitt, using my pattern that you can purchase here, as well as a plastic bag holder.  I haven’t written up a pattern for this because I’ve been meaning to write up a tutorial on the blog for over a year now.

And here it is.


What you will need.

  • Main fabric – 1/2 meter or yard
  • Contrast fabric 1/4 meter or yard
  • Elastic 44cm (17 1/4″)
  • Webbing tape or string or  rope (scrap)


Cut your pieces

  • Main – Cut 2 (two) 50cm (19 5/8″) wide x 19cm (7 1/2″) high
  • Contrast – Cut 1 (one) 50cm (19 5/8″) wide x 27cm 10 5/8″) high
  • Elastic – Cut 2 (two) 22cm (8 5/8″)
  • Hanger – 15cm (6″) length of webbing or string or rope

1 ~ Take one of the MAIN pieces and match up the long raw edge  with one of the long raw edges of the CONTRAST.  Sew and finish seam. REPEAT for the other MAIN piece along the bottom of the CONTRAST piece.



Fold in half so that the longer edges meet up. SEW along the long edge. Finish edge.



HEM THE TOP AND BOTTOM EDGES ~ Fold the top edge toward the wrong side 1c, (3/8″) and then a further 2cm ( 3/4″) PIN AND STITCH and leave a gap so you can thread your elastic through.



THREAD YOUR ELASTIC through the casing and secure the two ends together, overlapping 2cm (3/4″) CLOSE UP THE GAP.



ADD A HANGER OF SOME SORT ~ I used a 15cm (6″) length of webbing.

And here is the set together, I think its quite lovely actually, and I think I feel the urge to make myself some more mitts as mine are wearing out and are very thin.

I do hope that if you make one for yourself that you will share a photo of it with me on my facebook group.7

{Sewalong} ~ VEST ~ Day 1 & a Yoyo flower tutorial)

Welcome to day 1 of the VEST sew along.

I’m very excited to see what all of you come up with.  I love seeing the different interpretations of my patterns and how one pattern can look so different when made by two completely different people.
Remember to read through the MAIN POST it has all the important information about what you have to do and when you have to do it by :-)
Today we are printing, taping and cutting out our pattern…I bet more than half of you have already done that, but hey, that’s OK, you can now spend a bit more time on your fabric selection, which I found out, actually take a bit of work to find a lining that matches your main perfectly.
Today is also a good time to prepare or choose your embellishments…I have chosen a cute little doily and some fabric yoyo flowers.
Now these little yoyo flowers are really simple to make, and are a great use for scraps that I know you collect.  how many 60ltr bins do you have?  I have one, but am starting on a new one as the first is very full.
So how to make one of these cute little yoyo flowers?
~ Scrap of fabric – it can be quilting cotton, satin, knit or ANYTHING
~ Needle
~ Thread
~ Button
Thread your needle and double over the thread and tie the knot.
Step 1 ~ Cut a circle double the width of what you want your finished flower to be. My big flower was 12.5cm (5″) across.
Step 2 ~ With WRONG SIDES UP, fold the edge in 1cm (3/8″) to the wrong side.  
Step 3 ~ Using your needle take 1cm (3/8″) length stitches on the wrong side, and close to the folded edge. 
Step 4 ~ Continue these 1cm (3/8″) length stitches all the way around the circle, while turning in the edge 1cm (3/8″) as in step 2.
Step 5 ~ Flip your  flower out the RIGHT WAY.
Step 6 ~ Pull thread up tight, and stitch from front to back a few times to secure.
Step 7 ~ Choose a button and sew it on.
Step 8 ~ Finish up with your thread at the back of your flower and DO NOT CUT THE THREAD.  You can now just sew directly to your vest.

I KNEEd a Smile.

So, Elijah’s jeans have been sitting in his drawer since last winter , not being worn because of the hole in the knee, well, more the truth is that is wasn’t cold enough to wear them…Well now it is and I know what will happen the first time he tries to put them on, his toes will get caught in the hole and RIPPPPP it will be huge and irreparable….So I thought I’d mend them before this happened.
Today I wanted to try a cute little mend like the one here, but as my boy isn’t much in to monsters or scary stuff I thought I’d just keep it simple and easy.
Jeans with a hole in the knee
scaps of cotton for “patch”
felt if you have some (I didn’t)
sewing machine (but this isn’t necessary)
First you need to trim off the straggly thread from around the hole, I also made mine a little bit more open to look more like a mouth.  I also rubbed the edges to make them fray a bit again.

Measure your hole, making sure you have plenty of space either side of the hole.  I cut my patch 6cm x 9cm
Overlock the edges of your patch and iron strips of visoflex around the edge.

Turn the pants inside out and iron the patch over the hole.

Sew around the patch, this is a bit tricky with smaller jeans as the leg isn’t very wide.
If the leg is too narrow, then you can hand sew this part.

I made a little tongue by stitching around a tongue shape and turning it out the right way.
Poke it in the hole and sew it to the wrong side of the bottom edge.

Fold the tongue down and top stitch it in place
Sew the buttons on

And there you go, a funny little mouth where there used to be a whole.
When shown his mended pants, my unappreciative son announced “I wanted a car!”
Well, that will have to be the next pair buddy.

Kymy’s Dolman (Split Sleeve Tutorial)

 I have recently become OBSESSED with the Kymy’s Dolman Top by Everything Your Mama Made.  It has a huge size range, from XS – 5x plus a bonus of maternity.
Oh and I have to mention, if you use the right sort of knit this top is very breastfeeding friendly.

I love how it has transformed me from a frumpy mummy to a stylish mummy within a matter of days.  I now have 5 of these tops (sewn over 2 nights) and I’m not planning to stop…I will continue to make them till my whole wardrobe is full of them.

So as soon as I got this pattern, I made myself 2 and then had an idea for making a split sleeve.  My first attempt wasn’t too much of a success I cut off some of the sleeve to create a rounded shape and this didn’t sit as well.  I also hemmed the split BEFORE I joined it at the bottom, which also didnt work very well.
Right… So I made another one to try out another way of doing the split (so simple when you think about it), this one is for my sister, for her birthday.  I found this really neat fabric at Morelands and knew it would look great on her straight away.  (My hubby doesn’t really like it, his first words were “70’s!) anyway, I’m so glad I have a wee bit left as I love the colours on me too, and I will make me one with a band so tough luck if he doesn’t like it :-)

 So lets get on to how to make this very cute split sleeve, I assure you it is super simple.

When you sew your shoulder seams do not sew along the whole length.
Measure 2″ from the neck line and put a pin.
Now measure 1 1/2″ from the armhole and place a pin. 

It will now look like this.
Press the seam open like this and sew down both side.
It will now look like this.   
Now carry on with the rest of the tutorial.
Now that was simple wasn’t it?

I hope you have as much fun making these tops as I have.

My next idea is to lengthen to a dress…watch this space.

Fabric Flower Tutorial

So…with the iminent release of my next pattern, an A-line Pinafore with multiple options, I was taking product shots of Brylie today and I had made her a wee flower headband to match her dress.
This dress is the Panelled Pinny version. Which features a panel (wow, really?) in the centre front.
You can choose to do fully lined, hence it can be reversible, or just a facing (top of the bodice lined)  which makes it cooler in for the summer months.  Which is particularrly handy in HOT, did I mention HOT Tauranga, NZ.
You can do buttons and button holes, or snaps.  I did buttons and buttonholes on this dress (but only because I had to take phots for the tutorial, otherwise I would have used my trusty and very much loved snap press.)

If you want to purchase this pattern, keep an eye out on craftsy hey you could even ‘follow me’  then you will get notified when it is released.

Here are some pretty cute shots of the pinny itself.  I really like the “just above the knee” length, as it works well as a dress on its own, yet looks great with skinny jeans or leggings.
And heres a cute one of the headband.
NOW…on to the tutorial of how to make the flower, as you are all dying to know how.
Materials you will need:
Scraps of fabric
SHARP needle
 1 ~ Cut 5 circles, the size of your finished flower depends on the size of your circles.  I used 8cm circles and ended up with a flower that was roughly 7cm across.
2 ~ Iron all your circles in half.
3 ~ Then iron in half again.

4 ~ Make sure you have all the quarter circles facing the same way.  I set them in a row with the points at the top, and the fold on the left and the open side on the right.
5 ~ Thread your needle with 120cm (47″) of thread and double it over and knot the ends together.  Starting from the open side poke your needle in from the top.
6 ~ Take 4 even sized tucks along the raw edge of the ‘circle’.  make sure the needle ends by coming “out” the top,
7 ~ Pull the needle and thread through so the knot catches.
8 ~ Take the second, contrasting colour (or not!) and repeat step 6&7 making sure you are starting from the open side and poking in and ending from the top.
9 ~ Repeat again!!

10 ~ Now you h ave all 5 circles on your thread.
11 ~ Pull the thread tight to bunch the petals up.
12 ~ Now you can see its starting to look like a cute little flower.

13 ~ To hold the flower in its shape, poke the needle though the petal where the knot is.  
14 ~ Pull tight to close the gap and secure by making 2 or 3 stitches, joining the first and last petals together.  Tie a knot, 
15 ~ Place your button on the top and sew it on, make sure you catch little bits of the petals.  You will be sewing in a hole so as you go up and down through the button, catch bits of the petal with eatch stitch.

16 ~ Cut a little circle of felt,  big enough to cover the raw edges of the petals.
If you are adding a snap so it can be attached to a headband with a snap, (or a piece of elastic in Brylie’s case joined together with a snap) add it now.
17 ~ Stitch around the edge of the felt, catching little bits of the underside of the petals as you go.  
Tie a knot when you reach the end.
if you are attaching a brooch pin, now is the time to do it!!
And you’re done.
Now wasn’t that easy??

How to make BIAS BINDING

For a while now I have had people asking me how to make bias binding.  I make all my own for all my kiwiana bibs, and like to think that I have developed an easy (well easier) way of making bias binding.

I usually use a 112x112cm piece of fabric and this will give me 20ish metres of perfect binding.
For this tutorial I used a piece that measured 50x50cm and I ended up with just over 4meters of binding.
 Binding is an amazing little invention, it allows you to cover up raw edges with a decorative piece of fabric and the nifty thing about it is that it is cut on the bias (diagonal to the grain of the fabric) so that it goes around curves really well.  Making it good for binding arm holes and hems.

what you need:

A square of fabric
rotary cutter
ironing board
cutting board
CLOVER bias maker
Yay you have all your bits and pieces, now we can start.
1 ~ Lay your square wrong side up.
2 ~ Fold in half DIAGAONALLY as picture.

3 ~ Unfold.
4 ~ Flip the bottom triangle so that the straight edge is at the top instead of the bottom.

5 ~ Now put right sides together, keeping the same formation as the photo.  SEW along the top edge using a 1cm seam.

6 ~ Unfold and your piece should look like this.
7 ~ Flip over and it should look like this.
8 ~ Now comes the tricky part.  Turning into a tube, The two short, non stretchy sides need to be sewn together and they also need to be offset by 5cm (if you are using the same size bias maker that I used) I have a video to try explain this, so click here to see it.
9 ~ When sewing the second seam make sure you open out the 1st seam and sew over it.
10 ~ Your tube should look like this!  Are you still with me? Great, now you can iron the seams open and we can get on with the cutting.
11 ~ With the bias maker I used you need to have a 5cm stripe so put your tube on your pointy end of your ironing board and using your ruler, measure 5cm in from the raw edge. Do this as far as you can go then cut along the marks.


You can use your ruler and a rotary cutter… I have a special ruler with 5cms market on it, you can use any ruler that is 5cm wide. this one is made of Perspex.
This is what you will end up with after all the cutting.
Now to iron it into folded binding.
Lay your strip along your ironing board wrong side up, and thread into your bias maker…
Iron the folded part of your binding as you pull the bias maker along your strip.  Keep relatively close to the point where the bias binding comes out so that the two raw edges are as close to each other as possible.
When you get to joins, slow down and make sure they go through the bias maker ironed open. They are sometimes a little thick so you need to do a bit of a wiggle and pull to get them through.
Now this is what you have got.   You can now roll it up for storage.
Thank you for using my tutorial, if there were any parts that you didn’t understand PLEASE let me know and I will clarify.

{Tutorial} New Born Stretchy Pants

New Born Stretchy Pants

Suitable with knit fabrics or fabrics with 1 or 2 way stretch.

Recently I have joined a group on facebook (a very dangerous group) where other ladies are selling off their unwanted or unused fabrics for very good prices.  My latest score arrived this morning.  Two very nice pieces of knit, of very nice quality and thickness.  PERFECT for little trousers or leggings.  Seeing as I have made so many things for Brylie lately (one of which is a gorgeous little dress from knit) I thought that it was high time that I made something for the newest member of our family.
Portia was wearing a particually cute pair of pumpkin patch trousers today and I really like the fit and length and I know they are comfy and not too tight, unlike some of the PP trouser which are specificlly made for disposible bottoms not cloth bottoms.
So…where was I … ah yes, I liked this particular pair so I decided to draft a pattern similar to them.  I am very pleased with my efforts and as soon as I can get the pattern into PDF form I will be able to share it with you.
But right now, I will write the tutorial to go with the pattern, ready for when I have it finished.
Knit fabric, not very much, less than 1/2 a metre
Nice sharpe scissors (mine need sharpening)
overlocker (optional – as knit fabric doesn’t fray)
sewing machine
Print out the pattern pages, there should be 3 pages in total, then cut out the smaller top pieces and attach them to the larger bottom pieces.  Now you should have 2 pieces.
Fold your fabric in half and lay your pattern down with the stretch going the same way as the arrow on the pattern.
Pin and cut out.
you will notice that one of my peices is up the wrong way, this doesn’t matter because as long as you get 2 pieces mirror image to each other then you’ll be fine.
Now you have 4 pieces of fabric in total.  2 front pieces and 2 back pieces.


Take your 2 back pieces and lay them RIGHT SIDE UP on your surface.  I usually put a pin in on of the pieces so I know which ones are the back pieces.  if you look really closely you can see it near the top on the right hand piece.


Then take your front pieces and lay them on top of the back pieces with RIGHT SIDES FACING – so the wrong side is facing up at you.
Pin down the two long seams on the outside edges, and the smaller seam at the bottom on the inside. (see next photo for where I overlocked)


Sew the seams you just pinned so you have something looking like the photo below..


Turn one of the legs out the right way.


Insert the leg that is RIGHT SIDE OUT, into the leg that is still turned the wrong way out.
So now you have one leg inside the other with RIGHT SIDES facing.


Pin crotch seam and sew.


and now is a good time to add in a little label (if you have them) or a piece of ribbon to help distinguish the back from the front.


Pull leg out and turn up the bottom of each leg and hem,  I usually do it about 1cm or a little more.  I overlocked first but you dont need to as it doesn’t fray.  I used a zig zag stitch to help it stretch.


Turn over 1cm, and then turn over 2cm, pin all the way around.
Start sewing (using zig zag or a stretch stitch) from the back.  Sew all the way around and stop short of where you started leaving about a 3cm hole. 
this is for your elastic,  I used a thin elastic, about 8mm wide and 49cm long,



I love my labels I recently got from China.


I loved them so much I had to make another pair.


and here is Portia trying them out for size PERFECT (shes is a small 3months and still fits nb clothes, around 11 1/2 lbs) and so comfy.


Big sister had to get in onthe photosession!!


Just too tired to perform anymore.  I’ll just have a little rest thanks!!
So there it is, a very long tutorial, I hope it makes sense, if there are any things that dont make sense PLEASE let me know and I’ll change them.  Now the next part is to make the pattern to PDF…
wish me luck

Barbie clothes Tutorials

Just a small collection of cute barbie doll clothing tutorials that I have found and would love to try out one day.

Shirred Dress –
Peasant top –
Capped sleeve top –
poofy skirt –
cute little dress –
t-shirt –
vintage dress –
easy straight skirt –
Ball gown –