Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

I sorted out Lili’s old/too small clothes the other day. I kept everything (who knows when another little Myburgh might come along) but I wanted to try and revamp some new shirts. Her clothes are mostly bright colours so they all sort of match. I picked a few plain shirts that were way too small now and teamed them up with new T-shirts. So this will be a series of Toddler T-Shirt Revamps. First up is Ruffles. I followed a tutorial on Tea Rose Home – hers is for an adult shirt, but it doesn’t matter; principle stays the same.

How many shades of pink are there?

I used 3 shirts in different shades of pink.

Broke my heart to cut these up

The hardest part (for me) was actually cutting up the old shirts. It felt almost sacrilegious. Same feeling you get for accidentally writing in a library book – THAT feeling. But after removing the sleeves and seams I felt more comfortable.

Layer the strips and trim

I used the back panels of the T-shirt and cut strips lengthwise  – 3 of each colour. The lighter pink strips I cut a bit narrower. Then placed the lighter strip on top of the darker. {The stripy, heart, psychedelic background is actually Lili’s placemat. Reckon I can’t cut on my table cloth – needed a non-fabric surface}

Lili is always there to lend a helping hand. Can you see where I sewed the strips? I used that purple thread on the bobbin though

Using the widest stitch on my sewing machine, I sewed down the middle of the layered strips.

Pull a thread and gather.

Carefully pulled on a thread and gathered up the fabric to make a ruffle!

Pin the ruffles

I trimmed 2 of them to be a bit shorter – they will go to the sides of the centre one. The shirt isn’t as wide as an adult one, so I think 3 ruffles will do.
It ttok me almost the whole day to make, so this pic was very dark; needed lots some Photoshopping.
Actually stitching the ruffles wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be – it was the EASIEST part!
Thanks to Sachiko for writing such an easy tutorial!

Ready to wear

This was taken a few days later after a wash. Lili slept in her shirt that first night when I asked her to try it on. She refused to take it off, lol!

Parties I link to

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So chuffed with myself; I made Lili a felt kabouter hat. I couldn’t find a pattern I liked on the internet. Also, the only felt I could get in town was pre-cut squares. Of course, I use the term square very loosely; none of the sides were the same length and none of the squares matched – basically had to use the smallest for the common denominator.
No matter how I placed the pieces, I knew I had to use 2 squares and sew them together. I wanted a tall pointy hat that will flop down, but the squares were too short. I made another plan. The design itself will have a curly point… with a bell on. And the brim will be in a different fabric, folded back and be all zig-zaggy like a real elf/pixie/kabouter hat.

Here’s how I made it:

You Need:

  • Enough felt (I used 2 x pieces, roughly 22cm x 25cm) in colour of your choice
  • Extra piece of fabric for the brim
  • Silver bell
  • Needle and thread in matching colour
  • Pins
  • Paper and pencil for design
  • Scissors for paper and for cloth


I played around with some shapes and settled on one I liked. Then cut out the shape.

Pin your pattern to the felt and cut out 2 shapes.

With right sides facing *snicker* sew all along the edges of the hat, but not the brim (where the head goes). I used double thread and sewed by hand; so I managed to sew relatively close to the edge, and I think the curl would have been too tricky for my sewing machine (at least for the monkey working it).

Carefully turn it out and check for holes. Use a pencil to gently shape the curly bit.

Here’s where I hit a snag and nearly RUINED the hat. I couldn’t figure out how I was going to attach the brim. Sewing isn’t my forte. But I figured it out.
Turning the hat back inside out (but I left the curl as it was, just don’t crease it too hard) measure and pin the brim to the hat – you’re going to have to look at the image above to see how I mean what I’m going to explain next: Place the cut edge (that’s not going to be the zig-zag part ) of the brim fabric along the edge of the hat that is still open – right sides facing – all around the hat.
Sew this edge together (Might be common sense to some, but I’m new to this – I aligned the seam of the brim fabric and the back seam of the hat)

Turn the hat right side out, fold the brim up, and press lightly using a damp cloth.

Sew the bell on the tip of the hat.

I thought the metallic fabric might fray if I cut it too soon, so I waited until the night before to cut the zig-zag shapes. I was too lazy didn’t want to go through all the effort pressed for time to hem the zig-zag pattern, but the fabric held it’s shape and didn’t fray at all!

Parties I link to

Alternate title:

#34 –  Sew 3 items for Amelia (3/3) Completed!

Huzzah! Another goal achived. I really enjoyed sewing things for Amelia. It’s not THAT hard. And with a whole wide web full of a gazillion ideas – I can’t help not being inspired to get busy.

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{full title should be}

#34  Sew 3 items for Amelia (2/3) – Completed! Crayon Roll!

A few weeks ago I stumbled onto Skip to My Lou, I surfed around and found this pattern for a crayon roll. I thought it would be a perfect item for Amelia!

When I finally found some material I tried looking for the site again – I don’t do bookmarks cause previous experience proved that I hardly go back to them. THEN I found this site… and a whole bunch of others with similar patterns. I liked the instructions from Chocolate on my Cranium more, since all the fabric is cut the same size.

What you need

This is where my problem started. I converted inches to cm – even my measuring tape only has centimeter marks; I remember my mom’s one being inches on the reverse.

{This is not a tutorial, as there are loads better ones; I’m just sharing the experience with bad-lighting pics}

I found some bright, fun prints at Naald in ‘n Hooimied and matching ribbon and thread.

My fav part - loading the bobbin

Now, I’m no seamstress. I can barely shorten my jeans with a decent hem – I’ve given up and just cut the cuffs off straight. But I LOVE loading  the bobbin, especially if the final colours don’t match. *squee* {lookie-loo Lili is hiding behind the thread}

Tester lappie

I always make a little practice lappie (cloth) so that I can get the tension right. I seriously suck at gauging the right tension on my sewing machine – hence the stuff-up first stitch.

sew it goes

So I measured everything in centimeters… but I changed it as well. Lili has these big fat crayons, so I changed the pocket size. And since she only has 9 ofthese big crayons, I shortened the roll a bit too.  In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have muddled at all.

It is sew ready

Had some trouble with the top stitching; so I sewed really slowly. This is where you can see what went wrong. It’s not an illusion, the roll is a bit on the small side. Just how small?

Giant crayons from Giant Land

Looks like I someone forgot to add seam allowance at one stage.

At least I have more material left so I can try again. But not this weekend. Maybe next month sometime. It was a good thing that the material shop has a 1/4 meter minimum policy.

Crayon Roll Version 1.0

Crayon Roll Version 1.2 coming soon

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I have completed 1/3 of a goal! I sewed something for Amelia. I thought before I tried something complicated like a dress; let me first see if I can even stitch straight – I can’t.

So I had the idea to sew her a fabric book with different textures, colours and even activities. I’ve been looking for something similar in the shops but could never find anything even remotely similar. Off to the fabric shop we went. Amelia chose a few of the ribbons and buttons 🙂

As mentioned, I knew roughly what I wanted to be in the book, now I needed a sturdy fabric that will handle baby wear and tear. Wanted to use felt, but couldn’t find any in our 2 fabric stockists (small town you know). I decided on slightly stretch denim. It is soft enough to fold, but tough so as not to tear.

I don’t have an over locker, so all the edges were zigzagged. I used contrasting thread so that the stitches are visible and adds to the texture. I also didn’t make special backing for each of the pages, so the stitches are visible on the back of all the pages – on some of them it forms a unique picture on it’s own… or just looks funny as with the corduroy triangles.

Here are a few pics of the different pages.


Cover of the book. Using the ZIGZAG stitch with the stitch length at around 1, you achieve an almost satin embroidery like stitch. Then I hand-stitched a border around the zigzag pattern. The ‘a’ is for Amelia.


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