Thursday, 25 February 2016


More fun from Oliver + S! This time, pajamas. The first set I made for my son were the Sleepover Pajamas, largely because he wanted pajamas with pockets and buttons down the front (very specific!). The fabric became another challenge...I was tasked with finding fabric that not only had turtles, but also fish, because 'Fish and turtles live together in the sea, so my pajamas need to have both'. Yikes! Thank goodness that I happened to discover just the right fabric at Sing Mui Heng. Yes, I was a super-star mother that day!! And as an added bonus, I found matching fish buttons.

I loved sewing these pajamas, and my son loves wearing them. I did learn, though, that funky shaped buttons, while very cute, are not easy for little fingers to manipulate, especially when they're just learning how to do buttons. I've had to re-sew 2 buttons already, and a third looks like it's on it's last thread! Next time, round buttons only! And judging by the success of this pattern, I think I'll have to invest in the next size up, since he's almost outgrown the size 4 I made a few months ago.

I couldn't leave my daughter out of the pajama frenzy, of course, so I decided to make her the Bedtime Story Pajamas.

The great thing about these is that there are no buttons! I replaced the ties with ribbon I found at VV Rouleaux in London (what a great place!!), largely because I couldn't be bothered to make my own ties. But the ribbon matches and looks cute. Let's see how long until my daughter figures out how to untie her pajama top!

Well, it seems that I started this entry a while back, so updates...I made a very ROOKIE mistake and didn't realise that the fabric I used for the Bedtime Story Pajamas wasn't preshrunk. Oops. After one wash, the fit wasn't quite, well, right. Also, while I love the ribbon, it's slippery and when a toddler moves around in her sleep, by morning the ribbons have undone themselves and the top has come open. Hmm...

So take two...I made my daughter the Sleepover Pajamas, making sure I washed and dried the fabric first (!), and used ROUND buttons instead of anything cute and impossible to do up. And since I didn't feel like trekking across town to find buttons, I luckily managed to find the right size buttons in my stash of leftover buttons.


I'm pleased to say that these don't come undone at night, and there's plenty of room to grow in both the sleeve cuffs and the leg cuffs. Now I have to make another pair for my son!

Fat quarter bag

My two-year old daughter seems to have inherited my love of bags. All shapes, sizes, colours...and if she can somehow wrangle the handles across her shoulders so it looks like a backpack, then that's even better! Her little friend M also seems to have a love of it a girl thing?!

Today is M's birthday, and I've already made her the oliver + s popover sundress in the same organic cotton butterfly print from Cloud 9 fabrics that I've used before. But I thought a little bag to put it in would be fun. The bag takes just one fat quarter of fabric (or two if you want a contrasting lining) and a bit of webbing (or you can make your own handles).

Step 1: Cut each fat quarter in half lengthways. I straightened my edges so each piece was about 22" long and 9" wide. The picture shows the selvedge still on, but I ended up trimming it off. The webbing was leftover from a Christmas tote bag project. Using my 2-year old as my size guide, I cut each handle 17" long (allowing for 1/2" seam allowance at each end). The webbing I used is 1-inch wide, but slightly narrower would be fine.

Step 2: Pin the raw edge of one handle approximately 1" away from the long edge of the right side of the outer piece. Making sure it's not twisted, pin the other end of the strap 1" away from the other long edge. Place the lining fabric right-side down to sandwich the straps between the layers and readjust your pins. Sew across the top using a 1/2" seam allowance. Repeat at the other end.

Step 3: Press the seam allowances towards the lining. Fold the bag in half with the right side out, matching the top edges and press to create a crease on the bottom of the bag. 

Step 4: Fold one half of the bag back over itself, creating a 1" fold at the bottom. Press and repeat with the other half. The lining should be showing now and you should have a small pleat at the bottom. 

Step 5: Sew the long edges using a 1/2" seam allowance. Trim and finish using a zig-zag stitch or a serger (still on my wish list!!). 

Turn your bag right side out, et voila! A cute little bag made from just 1 fat quarter (or two half pieces). Just big enough for a little girl to carry her worldly possessions. You could get pretty creative with ribbons and different fabrics...but my sewing window today wasn't long enough to get too crazy!