Meet my cute kiwi cushion! Nothing quite like a little national pride and what better than a Kiwi. The small fluffy flightless bird of New Zealand we name ourselves after. Not the equally small and fluffy fruit which we know as kiwifruit rather than just ‘kiwi’ as I have noticed many other countries do. This cute kiwi cushion would be a great learn to sew project, especially with the little kiwi kids.
This gorgeous little Baby Nappy & Wipes Travel Pouch will fit into your regular handbag for those short trips. When my two were still little I used to drag around a rather large baby bag (diaper bag) everywhere we went. When they got a little older I so wanted to use a regular handbag that I ended up putting a nappy and a packet of baby wipes in with my regular handbag contents. Not a great look standing at the counter to pay trying to find your wallet hidden in between the nappies! One of these Baby Nappy & Wipes Travel Pouches would have been perfect. Too late for me now but I’m sure I have a few friends that would like one…and of course plenty of you here will have a use for the pattern too!
The Hot Dish Caddy is just the thing for taking hot dishes out to pot luck dinners or BBQ’s. In New Zealand we would say ‘bring a plate’ which means a dish/plate of food to share, and has confused many visitors over the years who actually turn up with a plate to eat off. I believe we even did that once when we first moved to NZ from The Netherlands! With this tutorial and free printable pdf pattern you can make your own Hot Dish Caddy to easily carry your hot dish from the oven to wherever you are going. Not to mention it will help keep it nice and warm in the process too!
Meet the Hermione Hi-Lo Hem Dress Pattern and tutorial! Hannah loves her easy on knit dresses, no need to muck around with buttons, ties or zips. Since I have been wanting to make a Hi-Lo hem pattern for a wee while now, why not combine the two! This gorgeous fabric came from Hannah’s Great Grandma, she had kept it for years wanting to make a nighty out of it ♥
This is a simple single layered knit dress. I have used the same fabric to bind the neckline and armholes using a double needle. Don’t panic if you don’t have a double any stretch stitch will work (including zigzag) it just won’t have the same coverstitch style look to it.
I have made a PDF pattern to share…yes it’s FREE! It is in a size 8/9, I love this dress so much that I am looking at making a full size range for you. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes!
What you will need
- Knit (Stretch Fabric) 1m is enough (a little over a yard), in this tutorial I am upcycling a T-Shirt Dress I bought purely for the fabric!
- Overlocker – Is handy but not essential. You can zigzag the seams if you don’t have an overlocker. I like to use a narrow zigzag.
- Thread, Scissors, Pins etc
- Double needle for finishing (optional)
- And of course you will need the Pattern Hermione Hi-Lo Hem Dress PDF Pattern
NOTE: All seem allowances are 1cm (3/8”) unless otherwise stated
Step 1 – Print/assemble pattern & cut fabric
I have made this pattern fit on only 4 pages! Who doesn’t like to save on paper and ink! It can be printed on either A4 or Letter size paper, just make sure you select ‘actual size’ not ‘shrink to fit’. Check the test square as shown above!
Cut the top strip off on pages 2, 3 and 4. Then you can overlap them in place and tape together.
As you can see the bottom doesn’t quite fit on the page that is why there are two smaller separate pieces next to the main pattern.
Cut the two smaller pieces out and match up the letters.
Trim off the edges and tape in place!
And do the same for the Back Hemline.
Now you are ready to cut your pattern out. Cut around the entire pattern, do not cut the front hemline line or the front neckline line just yet.
You can now use it to cut your back piece. Line up on the fold making sure the stretch is going across the fabric (same direction as the stripes).
Note: If you are using a pattern or stripes, line up the front hemline with a stripe or pattern piece so that you can do the same when cutting the front piece. That way they should match up.
Now to adjust it to a front pattern piece. Cut the front hemline from the outside edge, leaving the last centimetre or so still attached. I like to place a piece of tape over the attached piece to prevent it from tearing.
Now you can fold the excess over and out of the way…and it saved you printing an extra 4 pages of pdf pattern! If you wish you can just print the pattern twice and cut out two separate pieces.
Use the same method for your front neckline.
Now you can cut the front piece just the same as the back. Remember to line up with your stripe (or pattern) on the hemline at the fold.
Step 2 – Sew side seams
Pin the two side seams together with the right sides of the fabric facing each other. Note: Line up those stripes! If your pieces don’t quite line up at either end don’t panic we can trim them up at the end. It is more important to match up your pattern/stripes.
Sew using your overlocker or regular machine. Since the stretch goes across the fabric it doesn’t even need to be stretch stitch.
While the dress is still inside out pin the two shoulder straps together and overlock or sew together.
Step 3 – Bind the Neckline and Armholes
First of all your will need to cut your binding strips (or use bought ones!). I made mine 4cm (1 5/8”) wide, by 52cm (20.5”) for the neckline and 38cm (15”) for the armholes (x2). You are better off cutting them a little long as the amount of stretch and thickness of your fabric will make a difference to how much you use.
If you are using stripes make sure to cut each strip with the same pattern placement, that way your edges will all have a stripe in the same place.
Start by turning your dress the right way around, and pin your binding 1cm (3/8”) overlapping the underarm seam. With the right sides of the fabric facing each other.
Then gently stretch the binding as you pin the whole way around, lining up the raw edge.
Match up the two ends of the bias so that the line up with the underarm seam and mark with a pin.
Sew with a straight stitch.
And then trim the excess down to about a quarter inch.
Sew using a narrow zigzag stitch and a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance.
You will need to pull gently as you sew to keep the underneath layer flat. Sew right the way around back to the start. Don’t forget to lockstitch or reverse over a few stitches at the beginning and end.
Repeat this step for the other arm and neckline too. For the neckline I like to start at one of the shoulder seams, I think the join is less visible there than in the back of the neck.
And now you should have something that looks like this! Time to change to that double needle!
Fold the binding over the raw edge and pin in place.
I like to do one at a time, pin and sew then move onto the next one, it saves pins moving and getting in the way on the narrow shoulder pieces.
Sew on the right side with your double needle. Line up your needles so that you are near the edge of the bias closest to the main body of the dress (as in photo above!).
Trim the excess fabric from the inside (carefully!), I find small scissors easier and less likely to cut the wrong layer.
Now repeat for the the remaining arm hole.
The neckline is sewn in the same way but don’t forget to pin in a tag if you want!
Woo hoo!!! That’s all the binding finished!
Step 4 – Hem
All that is left to do is hem! You can overlock the edge first but I don’t like the bulky look it gives and it distorts the stretch fabric a little too. I just fold over the raw edge by a little over 1cm (3/8”) and pin in place. It pays to be fairly accurate as you will be sewing it from the right side so will have to rely on your machine guides to keep you on track. Sorry for the photo quality here! I didn’t notice the hazy area till after I had already sewn it!
Sew the hem using your double needle on the right side of the fabric. Check as you go to make sure you are catching the raw edge. You can leave your raw edge a little longer and trim as you did with the binding.
I like to live on the edge and didn’t trim this one…only just caught it all!
And there you have a gorgeous and very easy to wear Hermione Hi-Lo Hem Dress! Hannah loves hers and I’m sure she’ll like this stripy one too ♥
Welcome to my Boy’s Dress Shirt Pattern and Tutorial! I have been putting in the hard yards these last few days to get this boy’s dress shirt ready for you all! If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen the updates, if not follow me!
Simple this shirt maybe but there is still quite a bit of work involved in making a pattern and turning it into a PDF. Luckily I enjoy the process!
This shirt is a classic style dress shirt for a little boy. The Pdf pattern is in Size 7/8 which is a little on the large side for Harry but will last him a little while. So far I have only made the one size but feel free to adjust it to make it work for you! I also have plans for a more fitting version…I’ll let you know when that makes it on to the current to do list!
I love that it is so simple to dress boys up. Just a nice pair of shorts/pants and a dress shirt and you’re away! You can add a sweater vest for cooler times or even make a long sleeved version. Use contrast stitching for a more modern look, although I’m not sure I’m the person to be asking about cool…34 (nearly 35) years old surely I’m way too old to know whats ‘cool’ anymore! In fact the word cool probably isn’t cool anymore!
What you will need to make the Boy’s Dress Shirt Pattern
- Fabric – Take your pick as long as it’s fairly lightweight it should be fine.
- Bias Binding – 1cm Single Fold
- Neckline – 44cm (17 1/4”)
- Hem – 100cm (39 1/2”)
- Pattern – You can download my Boy’s Dress Shirt Pattern here. As always my patterns are hand drawn (yes I’m talking pencils, paper, erasers and fine tip sharpies) so they are not computer software perfect but they are most importantly free!
- Note: Seam Allowance is 1cm (3/8”) unless otherwise stated
Step 1 – Print and Assemble your pattern and cut your pieces
You will need to print the pattern in actual size (no scaling), it will print on both A4 or letter size paper. Print out just the first page if you are unsure and measure the test square before printing the rest.
The pattern has arrows to show the grainline and instructions on how to cut your pieces. I cut my pocket and back yoke pieces on the bias because I liked the look of the plaid going at an angle. That is totally optional you can cut those pieces on the grainline too if you prefer.
NOTE: If you are using interfacing cut the collar piece as noted on the pattern, and cut two strips of interfacing 2.5cm (1”) wide and 51cm (20”) long. These are for the button placket and are optional but a good idea on thin fabrics.
Step 2 – Create Button Placket
I like to get this step out of the way and create the button placket first. This will keep these edges neat and prevent them from fraying making harder to do at the end. Above you can see what they will look like once finished!
You can decide which side you want the buttons on (most men’s shirts have the buttons on the right side and the left lays on top). Which is what I have done here.
Lay your left side front right side facing down and lay the interfacing in place right against the raw center edge of the fabric. Trim the curve at the neckline to match that of the fabric piece.
Head over to your iron and press in place.
While you are at the ironing board fold the interfacing over and press. If you are not using interfacing fold over by 2.5cm (1”) and press.
Fold over and press again.
Sew down the folded side using a 0.5cm (3/16”) seam allowance, remember to lock stitch or reverse over a few stitches at the start and end.
Fold the placket back out one fold, it is laying right side facing up in the photo above. Press again.
With the right side facing up topstitch both edges nice and close to the edge. This will keep it sitting flat rather than folding back under. And that is the left side finished.
Now for the right side place and press your interfacing 0.5cm (3/16”) in from the raw center edge.
Press the raw edge over on top of the interfacing (or just press over the same width if not using interfacing).
Fold over and press again to completely encase the raw edge and interfacing.
Sewing on the wrong side of the fabric, stitch close to the folded edge to keep the folds in place.
And topstitch the folded edge too.
And now you should have two pieces that look like these!!
Step 3 – Join Back Pieces
You should have two back yoke pieces and one back piece. You will see that the two back pieces don’t quite line up, this is to allow for two small pleats, so lets pin these first.
Measure in 5cm (2”) from the armhole edge on both the left and right of one of the yoke pieces. Mark with a pencil or a pin. Also mark the centres of both the back and the back yoke pieces, it will make the next step easier.
With the right sides facing pin the back piece on top of one of the yoke pieces, one pin at each end and one in the middle.
Place small darts folding over towards the outside edge at each pencil mark (or pin). Now the raw edges line up nicely as the back and the yoke piece are the same width.
Lay your second back yoke piece on top with the right side facing down.
Pin in place, making sure that the darts stay in place. You should now have your back piece sandwiched in between two back yoke pieces.
Sew with a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance, just using a regular straight stitch.
When folded back open the seam is hidden inbetween the two layers of the back yoke.
Press well!!! I can’t stress enough it is all about the pressing if you want a neat and tidy finish at the end!
Then topstitch the pressed seam so that it stays neatly in place. Beautiful!
Step 4 – Attaching Shoulders
Lay your pieces with the right sides facing out (the right way around!) as we will be french seaming the shoulder seams. Pin the shoulders in place, lining up raw edges.
Sew with a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance, and then trim half of this allowance off as shown above.
Fold over to encase the raw edges. Press the seam and sew again with a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance, the raw edge is hidden inside just like with the back pieces. For more detailed steps on french seams check out my post on that here.
Press the seam flat and top stitch in place, this is optional but I like the look! Make sure both sides fold the same way.
Step 5 – Attaching the sleeves
This would have to be my least favourite part but it must be done so better get on with it! Mark the center of the sleeve as shown above.
Mark the center of the shoulder (NOTE: it is not the shoulder seam, that sits slightly to the front) by holding the two armpit ends together.
With the right sides facing join these two points together lining up the raw edges.
Carry on pinning from the center down each side till the sleeve is pinned in place. As you can see above the edges don’t line up perfectly. I have left the sleeves slightly larger to allow for any differences in shoulder seams, it would be much worse if they were too small at this point! We will tidy that up when we sew the side seams.
Sew the pinned seam using a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance, taking care that the both layers of fabric are sitting flat.
Overlock or zigzag this seam and press towards the shoulder using your iron.
Then you can top stitch in place. Again this is optional but it gives a nice look and keeps the seams in place.
Step 6 – Sew Side Seams
This is a nice simple step and it is coming together nicely now! With the right sides of the fabric facing each other pin the sides and sleeves starting at the armpit. Take care to line up any patterns.
As you can see the little additional tab of the sleeve sticks out but we can trim that off after sewing. Sew with a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance.
Once sewn overlock and press the seams.
Step 7 – Prepare Collar
You should have two collar pieces (and possibly one matching piece of interfacing).
Lay your interfacing on the wrong side of one of the collar pieces and press in place.
With right sides facing pin the two collar pieces together on three edges. The interfacing is touching the table in the above photo, so that when turned the right way around it will be on the inside.
Sew around the three sides. Then trim off the two pointed corners and clip into the curve as shown above. Do not cut the stitching!
Turn right way around and press. You make like to use a tool to push out the points from the inside. I use my fabric pencils as the have pointed lids, knitting needles work well too, but be gentle.
Time to top stitch again! 1cm (3/8”) in from the edge this time.
Now we need to join the neck band onto the collar. Sandwich the collar in between the two neck band pieces with the right sides facing each other. Line up the raw edges and pin in place.
Sew the neckband in place, starting at one curve and going right around to the other.
Turn around the right way and press.
Step 8 – Attaching Collar to Shirt
With the right sides facing each other pin the collar in place. Mark and line up the centres of both pieces as you did with the sleeves first (or match up any patterns).
The edges may be a little long.
You can adjust the curve so that they line up! Don’t forget to pin that in place too. To hide this seam on the inside we are going to use the single fold bias.
Add the bias on the inside (will touch the neck of the wearer). You need to pin it folded open. The crease closest to the raw edge should be 1cm (3/8”) away from the same raw edge.
Here you can see it a little closer! You will need a little overhang of bias too, this allows you to fold it in at the end.
Sew in place. Do not sew past the edge of the collar to the end of the bias, just stop and lock stitch at the edge.
Now it is time to re fold the bias and fold it over to hide the raw edges. If your raw edge is too wide to fit inside the bias you can trim it back to fit using scissors. Make sure the back side sits flat as you are going.
Here is how I folded in the ends of the bias. Gives a lovely neat and super easy finish!
Don’t forget to tuck in your tag!
Time to sew it in place. I like to sew this and topstitch the neckband in one go, just sew close to the edge of the bias (yes I got my pins backwards…happens all the time!) and when you get to the end pivot with the needle in the fabric and topstitch right around the neck band back to the bias at the other side.
Here you can see how I went around in one go!
Not perfect but not too bad either! Letting go of my perfectionist tendencies!
Woo hoo it’s attached! Only hemming, pocket and finishing the sleeves to go.
Update: And Domes or buttons!
Step 9 – Finish Sleeves
Fold the sleeves in by 1cm (3/8”) and press in place.
Fold in again by 2.5cm (1”) and press. Take care where your patterns or stripes end up, you can always make the fold slightly larger or smaller it won’t matter.
Sew from the inside close to the folded edge, and there you have a neatly finished sleeve. Repeat on the other sleeve.
Step 10 – Hem
In place of double folding the hem I am using single fold bias for a nice neat finish. Pin the bias folded out onto the right side of the fabric, with the crease 1cm (3/8”) in from the raw edge. Just as you did when attaching the collar.
Trim the raw edge so the frayed strings are removed and it will fit easily inside the folded bias.
Fold over the bias tucking in the ends just like for the collar. You need to fold it so that a little of the shirt fabric is visible on the inside, that way the bias won’t be visible on the outside.
Oops almost forgot, it’s a good idea to press it first!
Then pin it all in place, take extra care pinning the side seams so that they will sit nicely once sewn.
Take it nice and slow using a regular presser foot, or if you have one you can use a bias binding foot too. I don’t so slowly it is!
Step 11 – Add a Pocket (Optional)
Fold all the sides in 0.5cm (3/16”) and press. Fold the top over again by 2.5cm (1”) and press. Mitre the bottom corners so you don’t end up with a bulky spot making it difficult to sew in place neatly.
To mitre the corners, use the fold creases as a guide line them up when folding the corner in and press (left photo). Then fold sides back over and press again, and there you have a mitred corner!
Sew the folded top down. Sew just in from the edge so you can line up with the seam when sewing around the out side edge.
Decide where you want it and pin in place. Sewing the triangles at the top will prevent it ripping out or coming undone as easily.
Step 12 – Add Buttons or Domes/Snaps
Mark the top closure 5cm (2”) down from the edge of the collar. Then the others every 8cm (3 3/16”) after that. That should make 5 in total. I didn’t put one right at the top on the neckband as I never do those up, but if you do then go ahead and add one!
You can add buttons and button holes at this point instead of domes if you like too.
For domes I do all the top domes first, then using a couple of pins to hold the shirt closed I use the top domes to mark the spots for their bottom halves.
AND Congratulations you are all finished!!! Harry is well over it by now…too tired he said!
I would love to see your creations please tag me on social media (links in the green circles on the right side of the page, up a wee way from this super long tutorial!)
I have noticed I have way more tutorials for girls than for boys. There are so many patterns and gorgeous things to sew for little girls but not nearly as much for boys. Well I suppose the Baby section is all unisex but I definitely need to do a few more boys tutorials! I love these Colour Block Rugby Shorts and will definitely be making more next summer. Harry wears them all the time!
Dress ups are always fun and who doesn’t want to be a superhero (Cape Tutorial Here)! I think Harry likes dressing at least as much as Hannah, if not more. We have Batman, Spiderman, Optimus Prime, Cowboy and Pirate costumes all home made to some degree. Well except Optimus Prime he got that one for his birthday.
The Simple Raglan Tee is another great wardrobe staple. So easy to make and easy to wear. I love being able to contrast the shoulder fabric, but you could leave it all the same for a plain colour tee. I have some more versions of this one coming up soon!
I just made Harry a new pair of Swim Trunks as he has outgrown this pair already. Since they are made in exactly the same fabric just a little larger I didn’t see the point in photographing them again! But these are super simple to make and I got them made in the hour before a birthday party where he was going swimming.
But I think what I really need to do is to make a few more ‘good clothes’, the kind you wear out for dinner or to a party. I was thinking a simple dress shirt and I have to admit I am a little partial to a sweater vest too! That will have to wait till the weather cools down and I’m not too keen to get the knitting needles out anytime soon so maybe a knit fabric version…
In my searches for cute boy’s clothes I did find that Dana from Made has a series called Celebrate the Boy which is definitely worth a look too!
Are there any boy’s items you would like to see a tutorial for?
What you will need
Stretch Fabric – You don’t need much, I like to use the cut pattern piece as a size guide when I look through my scrap fabric drawer!
Elastic – 3/4” (2cm) wide by 17” (43cm) long. Mine was super stretchy so you can use a little more if you need to.
Ribbing for leg openings – 1 1/2” (4cm) wide by 9” (23cm)
Toddler Stretch Nappy (Diaper) Cover PDF Pattern Size 12m to 18m – Bonus it is only 1 page!
Overlocker (optional but easier!)
Step 1 – Print PDF & Cut Pieces
Step 2 – Attatch Ribbing
Step 3 – Close Leg Openings
Step 4 – Sew front and back together
Step 5 – Add Waistband
What You’ll Need
Fabric – At least one needs to be a stretchy knit. You can have both front and back knit, or font woven and back knit. As a square the pattern piece measures 53.5cm (21”) high by 66cm (26”) wide so your fabric will need to be at least these dimensions.
Knit Bias – I cut strips of the knit fabric I used for the back for this as I didn’t have any stretchy bias. Instructions below!
Sewing Machine (You can use an overlocker in a few places but I didn’t)
Pattern – You can download my PDF Pattern for a Girls Size 7. If you need a different size you can use the pattern as a shape guide and go from there. The design is very simple so you could easily make your own pattern using a top you already have as a size guide.