It’s crazy to think I’ve been sewing now for a little over five years. I first started my old blog back in 2012 and that was to showcase learning how to sew, discovering new patterns, testing and trialling different fabrics and making heaps of mistakes! However, without going through that process I never would have been able to learn what fabric types I liked the most and what pattern styles suited my body shape. I was also able to learn the basics of sewing including how to cut a pattern, how to following instructions, how to use my machine and importantly, how to modify patterns to suit my own figure. Even though I still make mistakes, I’m more confident in my pattern and fabric choice to be able to create outfits that I’m proud of wearing.
After finding out that my older sister was pregnant in 2013 with her first child (the first baby in our family) I wanted to make something that I thought she would love for her little boy to have. Therefore, I decided to get a whole heap of Mickey Mouse themed presents since we grew up with Disney. It never seems to go out of style either so hopefully it’s something he can keep forever.
I ended up getting a basic quilt design going with blue, red and white themed to match the Disney characters. If you enjoy creating projects like this, your can purchase Brother Disney embroidery machine’s specifically for the Disney embroidery design range.
This 1.5m x 1.5m was the perfect size for her to put in her cot or to use in her playroom. Since the quilt only took about two weekends to complete I ended up having enough time to paint her a Mickey Mouse canvas, to match all the presents. Painting has always been something I’ve really loved doing so this was fun just in itself.
Ollie the Laid Back Owl
These soft toys patterns are brilliant because the instructions are excellent and for those who are new to sewing they even include How to Sew Toys videos with fabulous hint and tips.
This pattern is really cute and can be made to suit any occasion using contrasting fabrics, different coloured eyes, beaks or fabric textures. For the two owls shown here I used flannelette, which took up three fat quarters. There was absolutely no pattern alterations and you can also secure the safety eyes with a small piece of cutaway behind them so they don’t pull off the flannelette.
When my best friend got married in 2014, I wanted to give her something a little more unique and special. I thought a handmade quilt would be a nice touch and something she could hold onto forever. I also decided to theme it in beach colours to reminder her of her wedding day, since she got married at Stradbroke Island in Queensland. Along with my normal present she was completely blown away and it really showed how much handmade items are appreciated, especially when people take into account the time, effort and love spent on each project.
I really loved the design and style of the strip quilts, especially after seeing a few online. My favourite design was this Film in the Fridge quilt which also gave a small tutorial on how it was made. They also looked like they wouldn’t be too time consuming and I was right because it only took me a week to fully complete.
King Single Quilt
If you get a chance to go to Japan definitely check out Nippori Textile & Fabric District. Here is some advice from my trips over the past couple of years.
The types of fabrics you’ll find here will depend on the time of year you travel to Japan. Going in summer allows you to find the most gorgeous dress fabrics and you can get some bargain buys less than 500 yen / meter ($6 AUS). The colder months will allow you to find lots of knits and jacket/suit types of material. The only problem with buying this material is that it’s quite thick, so you have to allow for extra baggage space or even organise to get it posted back. No matter what time of the year, there will always be incredible kids themed material, quilt material and Japanese fabrics.
How to ask for fabric in Japanese
1 meter please – ichi me-r taru onegaishimasu
2 meter please – ni me-r taru onegaishimasu
3 meter please – san me-r taru onegaishimasu
1- 10 (ichi, ni, san, yon, go, roku, nana, hachi, kyuu, gyu)
Meter – me-r taru
Please – onegashimasu
Thank you – Domo or domo arigato
No thank you – daijobu (this one comes in handy!)
Fabric Tomato has a couple of stores along this street, one of which has about 6-7 levels high so you’ll be sure to find a number of goodies here! However, there are a number of remnants, patterns, lace, Japanese kimono type stores along the way.
I recently made the BurdaStyle Pleated Baby Dress for a friend and loved the project so much I wanted to try a few more children’s clothing patterns. So my next sewing project included the BurdaStyle reversible bucket hat and the See Kate Sew Baby Teether.
I tested out the reversible bucket hats with a few different combinations of lining and decided that one layer of iron-on interfacing gave the perfect stiffness. If you don’t include some sort of interfacing it becomes too floppy to wear. Especially because you can flip the front flap up to reveal the different colour fabric underneath.
I’ve recently created this adorable BurdaStyle Pleated Baby Dress by BurdaStyle for a friend who just found out they’re having a baby girl. I created the two different matching fabric’s on Spoon Flower, which you can purchase on my online Sixteen Stitches Spoon Flower shop.
The pattern came with a few different alternatives such as cap sleeves, full sleeves and even a different back. I decided to try both sleeve versions making one dress longer than the other.
From the time it took me to cut the paper pattern, sew it up and then hand-stitch the edging it was a total of 2.5 hours for both dresses. I used snaps for the buttons since they’re not only easy to install on your garments, they’re also perfect for children and babies. Overall it’s the perfect little baby dress and the design itself it just so cute!