Movie Night Pajamas - Sew a Little Seam

Pattern Review – Movie Night Pajamas by Sew a Little Seam

I have been wanting to sew a pair of these Movie Night Pajamas by Sew a Little Seam for quite a while now. Since Christmas is just around the corner and Hannah needed more summer PJs I though it was high time to move them to the top of the to do list.  I wish I had a few pictures of Hannah in these for you. But it will have to wait till after Christmas morning!  Check out my Instagram for those.

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Upcycling Leggings into Children’s Harem Pants Tutorial

Upcycling leggings is an excellent way to get some extra life out those leggings you never did end up wearing.  I was given this pair and Hannah loved the look of them. They were much to big for her and too small for me not that I thought I would wear them anyway.

Upcycled Leggings into Children's Harem Pants Tutorial

After I was given these leggings to upcycle I had a brain wave for a quick and easy upcycle idea. Since these leggings are quite small and a nice floaty knit fabric (viscose elastane) I thought they would make great Harem pants for Hannah.  The only things I need to alter is the waistband and the length. Let the Upcycling Leggings project begin!

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Scrap Stuffed Christmas Decorations

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These super simple decorations look great and are nice and easy to make.  I made mine with the kids and they loved it!
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These little baubles are made using small pieces of fabric and stuffed with offcuts.  Scrap busting at its best!

What you will need

  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Ribbon  – 20cm (8 inches) for the hanging loop + extra for decorating if wanted.  You can use any width you like.
  • Scraps for stuffing (can use bought stuffing if you prefer)

Step 1 – Draw and cut your circles

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Hannah (7) drew her own circles using a bowl as a guide.  You really can make these any size you like.  Just remember that they will get about 1cm (3/8”) smaller all the way around.
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I helped Harry (5) with his circles he didn’t want to cut them himself!  You need two circles per bauble, one for the front and one for the back.
*Add all decorations at this point!

Step 2 – Adding the Loop

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You will need to cut a piece of ribbon 20cm (8”) long.
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Pin your loop on the right side at the top if your fabric has a right way up.  Lay the second circle on top with the right sides facing.

Step 3 – Pin and Sew

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Pin all the way around your circles to hold the two layers evenly together.  Mark a 1 inch gap with a double pin (or different colour etc)
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Starting at one set of double pins, lockstitch (reverse over a few stitches a few times) sew all the way around your circle using the right side of your presser foot as a guide by lining it up with the raw edge of the fabric.  Note:  It pays to reverse and sew over the loop a few times to hold it secure.
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Lockstitch again when you get to the next set of double pins.  This should leave you a 1 inch gap for turning and stuffing.

Step 4 – Trim and Turn

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Trim off the excess seam allowance down as shown in the photo above.  This will help it sit nicely without puckering when you turn it around.
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Feed the fabric through the gap to turn it around the right way.
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You can wriggle it back and forth between your thumb and index finger to get the edges folded right out.
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There you have a cure little perfectly formed circle!  Well with a gap anyway!

Step 5 – Stuff and Stitch

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I used cut up strips of flannelette for the stuffing.  Most fabric works well as long as it is not to heavy.  Great way to empty that scrap bin!  You can add as much or as little stuffing as you like!  You can use bought stuffing if you have some lying around.
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Harry decided this was the right amount of stuffing.  Just a piece of advice tell the kids not to pull too hard on the ribbon loop while stuffing it…don’t ask me how I found that out!  Lets just be thank full to whoever invented un-pickers!
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Stitch up the gap you left using a regular old needle and thread.  You can sew this on the machine but it will leave a visible stitch line that will pull a bit.

Step 6 – Adding Embellishments

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You can sew ribbon strips onto the circles.  I didn’t pin these I just held them in place and sewed them on.
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You can go wild (or straight!) after you have finished just trim off the edges and sew as normal.  You could add names of initials or even a snowman.  Anything goes!  Felt would be a great way to add details, if only I had some handy…next time!  And I’m pretty sure Grandma (Aunt, Uncle, Neighbour, Teacher etc etc) would love one as a gift!
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Now hang and enjoy!  I see a few more of these happening before Christmas.  Another bonus you can pack them away easily for next Christmas without fear of breaking them!

Spray Paint and Piggy Banks

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Well I just couldn’t wait till these piggies were finished to share them with you!  I had a visit from my SIL Kathie and my 1 month old Nephew yesterday.  New babies are so lovely!  Especially when you get to cuddle them, then give them back and sleep all night!  Kathie bought six of these little paint your own piggy bank kits for her Nieces and Nephews for Christmas.  But they came with those tiny little pots of paint that you can’t even dip your finger in.  There is no way there would be enough paint to cover half of the pig.  Always a little misleading when the box shows a beautifully decorated pink pig, then you open it up and there isn’t any pink paint at all.  No red to mix with white either in case you thought I was having a blonde moment!

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But on the upside I got to paint them!  Have I mentioned I love spray paint ♥  So when Kathie asked if I would help her paint them I wasn’t going to miss that opportunity!  I seem to be the go to for painting in the family.  Whether it’s walls, duck decoys, decorated fishing rod boxes, names on boats or a piggy bank.  And all those things were just this year!  Kathie and I came up with plenty of ideas…

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These included masking tape which we ruled out as the drying time in between coats was a luxury we didn’t have!  One month old babies rarely wait patiently!  Lace (as you can see worked quite well but trickier to get around the curves), hand painting the ears, eyes and snouts.  But as usual I started without too much thought and things kind of worked out on their own!  I painted one side of the pig one colour and liked how it caught certain areas, so I did the other a second colour.  I loved the way the colours blended in the middle and the way it shaded the inside of the ears opposite colours.

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Kathie chose the colours obviously keeping what the kids like in mind.  She worked out that we could have six different combos so each kid’s piggy bank would be unique.  Luckily she has three nieces and three nephews to keep things even!  In case you were wondering we had pink, blue, yellow, green & black.  Yeah I can’t see the black either…piece of advice black with a light colour does not work!  We tried black and yellow (one of the kids favourite colours) it looked grey and speckled, the the black did not blend.  It really just looked unfinished, but that’s what is great about spray paint you can just go over it!  So take away the black and all the other colour combos worked a treat!

Next up…Names, eyes and snouts.

I will do an update once they are all finished!

Book Bags + Waterproof Lining = Easy As!

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I don’t know about yours but my kids seem to ruin book bags at an astonishing rate!  The plastic backing peels off in places in about three seconds flat.  So why not make my own!  And I’ll give you the usual step by step instructions so even the newest beginner can make one too!

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What you will need

  • Fabric
    • Outer – a medium weight fabric is ideal.  Like Cotton duck or lightweight denim.  As it is double layered you don’t want to go too thick.
    • Lining – PUL waterproof fabric.  This is often used for making modern cloth nappies, and can be found online and in fabric stores (mine came from spotlight).
  • Thread
  • Bias Binding – You will need two pieces one of 33cm (13”) and one of 120cm (47.25”)
  • Domes – 2 sets (or you can use Velcro)

This design is based on the school book bags my kids already use.

 

Step 1 – Cut fabric

Book Bag Rectangle Pattern

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All you need is a rectangle of outer fabric and one exactly the same size for the lining.  Make sure if you have a pattern (like my elephants) that they are up the right way.

 

Step 2 – Attach Bias Binding to bottom edge

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Lay your pieces with the wrong sides facing each other.  This means that the right sides of the fabric are on the outsides.

NOTE:  Please read ahead if this isn’t making sense!  Then you will be able to see how the fabric folds to make the book bag!

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Now we need attach the bias to the bottom, this piece of bias will be the inside part of the opening later once folded.  Insert both layers of fabric into the middle fold of the bias.

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Then peg in place.  You can use fabric clips or bulldog clips too.  You can also pin if you prefer, the reason I haven’t pinned is to prevent any unnecessary holes in the waterproof lining.

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Once the whole edge is pegged/clipped/pinned we can sew it on.  If your bias is slightly narrower on one side than on the other, sew with the narrow side up so that you don’t risk missing the underneath layer.

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I don’t recommend sewing over pins, but well pegs I’m sure I don’t have to mention to remove them as you go!  Sew nice and close to the edge of the bias.

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And it should look like above!

 

Step 3 – Sew Layers Together

I prefer to sew the two layers together before adding the next bias as it will be folded and four layers thick.  You would be very likely to not catch every layer, especially since the PUL lining is quite slippery on one side.

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So peg/clip/pin all the way around the fabric.  All except the bias edge that is already joined.

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Sew with a very narrow 1/8” seam allowance.  This seam will not be visible after you attach the bias binding, so don’t worry if it is not perfect!

 

Step 4 – Round the Top Corners

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You will need to fold the bias edge up as shown in photo above.  Adjust it till the folded piece is 35.3cm (14”), as you can see on the measuring tape in the photo.

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Grab something big and round!  The closest thing near me was my roll of elastic, you could use a saucer, ribbon reel etc.  And mark out the curve on the lining side.

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Repeat on the other side, so that both sides are roughly even.

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Stitch along the drawn line.

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Now you can trim away the excess and you have a nice curve!

 

Step 5 – Attaching Bias Binding to Remain Seams

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Recheck that the fold is still in the correct position

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Pin the bias in place.  Leaving a tab at each end for folding in later.  I have used this method for attaching bias many times, the first part is the same as in my Bandana-ish Bib Tutorial.

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Yes I did use pins this time, as you can see I have made sure to stay inside the seam line (fold closest to the raw edge) to prevent extra holes.  Attaching bias around corners needs pins!

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Starting at one end sew all the way around in the fold closest to the raw edge.

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When you get to the top of the pocket where the bias sits in your seam, sew over it then reverse and sew over it again.  Then carry on the rest as normal.  These few extra stitches will give this area a bit of extra strength, when the kids pull on it trying to get their book in there!

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Folding the ends of the bias is a little fiddly but can give a great result!  Sometimes photos just describe it so much better.  So that are the four steps in photos.

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Now back to the pegs I go!  This is quite thick now so I find it easier with the pegs, than trying to pin through so many layers.

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Time to sew!  You sew this just the same way as the first bias.  Start from one end and sew all the way around to the other end.

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Don’t forget to or over the opening area an extra time!

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Step 6 – Attach Domes or Velcro

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I won’t show you all the dome steps this time.  I have detailed instructions in my Baby Doll Nappy (Diaper) Tutorial if you would like to read those.

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If you are using Velcro you can use one piece in the centre if you wish.  Just position and sew around the edge to hold in place.

 

Step 7 – Add a Label

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If you want to add a label you can!  If you have an in-seam label then hopefully you tucked it into the bias binding earlier!

* Great tip!!!  Use glue stick to hold your label in place while sewing.  Just put the glue on the back of your label and stick in place.  Then sew around the edges, and you are finished.  When I remember where I saw this I will credit accordingly!

Brindille & Twig Free Hoodie Pattern

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I have shown you this gorgeous hoodie once already, in my Upcycled Hoodie post.  But it really is turning into one of my favourites!  This time my Niece needed a larger warm jersey, as she had outgrown all her others.

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This hoodie has an excellent fit and nice and easy to make.  The detail between the body and sleeves is a little fiddly but also totally optional.  But I love the look of it!  Without the pocket or sleeve details you could whip up a hoodie in no time at all!

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I love that you can mix and match the colours how ever you like.  You can have different colour sleeve and body, or hood and pocket, patterns and plain or…well the options are endless!

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Another great feature is that the pattern is FREE!  All you need to do is sign up to Brindille & Twig’s newsletter and it will arrive in your inbox.  Once you start with their awesome patterns it is hard to stop!  I’ve got my eye on a few for this summer already ♥

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If only our Christmas was in winter, I’d love to make these as gifts for all my Nieces and Nephews (I can’t believe I have seven now, with the latest edition!).   Although…you still need a warm jersey while camping at the beach!  I’ll think about it!

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I also really like the colour block look.  A few more posts on that coming soon!

Simple Raglan Sleeve Tee

This pattern is unisex but with a more relaxed boy’s style fit.  If you were wanting to make it more fitting you can always take the sides in a little.  I love the raglan sleeve style!  It’s such a great easy way to add a bit of colour/pattern in the sleeves or body pieces.

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The two fabrics I have used are a charity shop find and a donation from my MIL’s stash.  Both are knit fabrics and have a small amount of stretch.  The red is slightly thicker but that doesn’t matter.  Also I made the Tee a size larger than Harry so he could grow into it!

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With summer coming an extra T-Shirt is always going to be handy, and it is a great staple to have in your sewing repertoire.

What you will need,

  • Fabric – A meter will be plenty, depending on the width of your fabric you may even get away with 3/4 or a meter (1m = 1.09 yards).  You can use all one fabric or mix it up with different colour body and sleeves.
  • Thread
  • Pattern – Download Free PDF Simple Raglan Sleeve Tee Pattern in a size 7/8.  Or draw your own from an existing T-Shirt.
    • The pattern has two different necklines.  The red and striped Simple Raglan Tee has a little larger neck than I would like so I edited the pattern to make it a little smaller.

 

Step 1 – Print, tape and cut your Pattern

Print your pattern in actual size (or make sure the ‘scaled to fit’ box is unchecked), measure the 2.54cm 1” square to be sure it printed right.

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Trim off the margin on one side (red striped line) and tape onto the adjoining piece.  There are 9 pages to print.  These are hand drawn by me and are not perfect (Pretty close though! ☺).  But the best I can do with the tools I have!   One day…not too far away I hope…I will be able to justify a CAD system, but right now this is it!  But on the upside it’s FREE!

 

Step 2 – Cut Fabric Pieces

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Make sure to cut the two sleeve pieces in mirror image, and the front and back pieces on the fold.

 

Step 3 – Join Sleeves to Body

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Pin the sleeves onto the front piece, with right sides facing each other.  Check your pattern if you are unsure which side of the sleeve is the front!  Overlock in place, or sew using a stretch stich of your choice (zigzag etc).

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Pin the other side of the sleeves to the back piece, and attach in the same way.

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Laid out flat it should now look like this!

 

Step 4 – Sew Side Seams

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Lay your tee flat with the right sides facing each other.  Pin the sides starting at the armpit to line up the seam.  Then all the way along right from the bottom hem to the end of the sleeve.  You get to sew it all in one go!

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That’s the sides and sleeves done!  Now turn you Tee right way around ready for the next step.

 

Step 5 – Sew Neckline

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Overlock the neckline.  You can do a ribbing/cuff like neckline if you prefer check out the Upcycled Girls Tank Top Tutorial for instructions on that.

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Now is the time to add a label if you want to!

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Fold in the overlocked edge using the overlocking as a guide, pin in place.

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Sew on the right side using a double needle or zigzag as I have done here.

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That’s the neckline done!

 

Step 6 – Hem Body & Sleeves

There is a photo at the bottom with another hemming option!

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Hem the sleeves and bottom hem by folding over by about 2.5cm (1”) and sewing in place.  This is where stripes are are really handy!

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Again I used zigzag but if you have one a double needle would work well and give you a more professional looking finish.

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The bottom hem is sewn in exactly the same way.

 

Step 7 – Congratulations!

You have finished a Simple Raglan Tee!  I will be adding a few extra options for this tee, I will link these here!

Simple Raglan Tee b

Never can get a ‘normal’ face photo!  Nutter butters!

Simple Raglan Tee b

Here is another version.  I used the sleeve fabric for the neckline and a cuff style hem for the above Simple Raglan Tee.  You can check out my Holes in the Knees Tutorial for the how to on that ☺

Pump Bands – Diabetic Pump Holder

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I have been making these Pump Bands for a young girl with Type 1 Diabetes for quite a while now.  Although there are probably not many of you that will need this tutorial, even if just one of you does it will be worthwhile!

Before I got back into to sewing she was using all kids of bands, none of which really worked well.  There were always problems with the tubing getting tangled, bands being sweaty, fiddly domes or noisy velcro for night time checks.  There are a few available online but some of the prices are horrendous considering how little time and material is involved.  After many different prototypes this is the one she has been using for the last few years!

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The more than willing model is my Son Harry, who does not have diabetes but in the interests of privacy I though he was a great choice.  I had to pin the front but you get the idea of how they would work!  These are worn around the waist, with the pouch at the back.  You can turn them round to the front when you need to access the pump.  There is also a little space at the bottom for the tubing to enter underneath, so no tubing going through the zip.  They are double layered with the inner layer being thick soft cotton jersey (non stretch) to protect the pump from over heating from body warmth and from knocks.  And yes I realise the print is upside down, it happens but it’s the right way up on the backside LOL!

These really are very simple to make, a little fiddly but not too bad.  There are only three pieces, all being simple rectangles.  The Outer Layer is made from any cotton print you like, plain is ok too if you are trying to camouflage/match it.  I have added the imperial conversions for the non metric readers on the waistband diagram, in bright yellow ♥

Pump Band Layer Chart

The next piece is the waistband, it is made from cotton lycra.  The problem with nylon lycra is that it was sweaty which isn’t great for the pump or the wearer for that matter.  I’m sure there are many other options, but a natural fibre combined with stretch would be you best bet.  You don’t use a lot.  I can usually get 10 waistbands out of 1m of fabric, more depending on fabric width.

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What you’ll need

  • Outer Fabric – Cute cotton print etc.
  • Inner Fabric – Thicker fabric for padding
  • Waistband Fabric – Cotton Lycra etc.
  • Zip – 16cm (6.3”)

Step 1 – Cut Fabric

Pretty self explanatory this one, it is all rectangles!

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And the waistband, which in my case was 20cm x (Waist 64cm – 14cm) = 50cm.

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Step 2 – Overlock the Edge of the Outer Layer

Leave the tails from the overlocking on, follow the pictures below.  If you don’t have an overlocker you can use an overlocking/zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.

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Step 3 – Sew Layers Together

Place your inner layer on top of your outer layer with the wrong sides facing each other.

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Pin together starting with the centres.

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Now to fold in the corners and make a neat mitre fold.

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I sew this piece on the wrong side, this doesn’t give a perfect finish but is much easier.  I follow the overlocking stitches to stay on a fairly straight line and ensure it is caught evenly.  You can pin this the other way up if you prefer.  Just be careful at the corners.

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Here is the finished step.

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Step 4 – Insert Zip

The zip goes on the shorter side of your rectangle.  Decide which way you want the zip to go (e.g. left to right), keeping an eye on any patterns Winking smile Pin in place, and change to your machines zipper foot.  I like to sew with the zip open first.

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Once you get close to the zipper head, stop with the needle in the fabric and raise the presser foot.  Push the zipper past it, lower the foot and carry on.

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That is the first side of the zip done.  The second is a little bit more fiddly but don’t worry it’s not too bad!

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Again pin it in place and sew the first part with the zip open.

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Move past the zipper head in the same way as before!

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There is your pocket all finished!

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Step 5 – Waistband

Fold the band in half with the right sides facing to make a long narrow band.

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Overlock to make a tube (or zigzag).

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Overlock the open ends, making sure the seam is at the top and fed through the overlocker (sewing machine) first.  Otherwise the thickness of it at the end can cause the fabric to stretch as you sew the last bit, distorting it.

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Step 6 – Attach Waistband to Pump Pocket

Zip up the pocket and turn it inside out.  Pin one side of the band to the zip side of the pump pocket.  I find it easier to do the side without the zipper head first.

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I sew this in two pieces (on either side of the zip).  I don’t cut the thread in between I just move the fabric along and cut afterwards.  Just remember to lockstitch (forward and reverse a few stitches).  Sew with a straight stitch, following the stitch line already there.

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Here is the thread I was describing, I hope it makes sense!

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Turn the Pump Pocket the right way around.

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Pin the other side in place.

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This side is sewn both layers at once.  Still in two parts before and after the zip.  Remember to move the zipper head along so it’s out of the way!

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Now the last part is to sew the back of the first side leaving a gap for the tubing to come through.  The tubing is attached to a clip so this is size I am using, this may vary for different pumps so check yours!

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Mark with a pin so that it is visible from the front side, as you will be sewing on the front side.  Just as you did for the other side, in two parts on either side of the zip.

And there you have it!

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I hope this finds it’s way to frustrated diabetics or their parents, unhappy with what they are now using!  Feel free to leave a comment or email me any questions.  My arm could even be twisted to whip up a few of these for anyone desperate who doesn’t sew!