One nightie = hat, dress AND panties

I bought a couple of giant nighties from Primark while pregnant and, hating to see these swathes of perfectly acceptable cotton jersey go to waste, I got my sewing mojo working back in April.

Now it’s July and my blogging mojo is slightly revived, here I am to tell you all about how from one UK size 22 nightie has come…

marina standing in stripey dress

one dress, from McCalls M5916 pattern. I used the existing frilly placket and cut the rest of the dress around it. Sizing slightly skew-whiff – it’s big on Little Miss but that’s acceptable as these baby-people keep growing, don’t they? It’s a super-easy pattern and I’m sure if I keep making it, I’ll be able to bash out a dress in an evening before long. Motherhood, sadly, has not taken away my capacity to sit and stare into space instead of sewing.

baby in pants

one matching pair of panties, from the same pattern. The weather in London was unseasonably hot in April, and if Little Miss is out and about bare-legged, I didn’t want her nappies on show – just seems a bit wrong.

At this point I had to start piecing the fabric – thankfully only once, and the stripes hide the seam perfectly. I used jaunty fuchsia satin binding on the elastic casing, which may not show but *I* (and now you) know it’s there. Hopefully they will be silky soft against pudgy thighs.

marina in stripey sunbonnet

one floppy brimmed sunhat. The pattern is by Enid Gilchrist, who I’d have remained ignorant of but for the Internet – an australian who wrote excellent books on DIY pattern drafting. I’ve resisted the VERY strong temptation to buy her books – yet another major distraction from reducing the pile of projects still needing finishing. So quaint to work in imperial measurements (inches)!

This sun bonnet just tickles me – cute but practical, AND rocking a somewhat Amish/dutch nun vibe. It was great fun working out how to eke out the remaining scraps and only piece them twice! I recommend giving it a try – the pattern doesn’t have instructions but it is do-able.

Lovely to be sewing again.


Refashioned stripey dress

marina in stripey dress

Once more my sewing is inspired by kirsty of Soon as I read her post of this super-cute dress in its various permutations, I knew I had to track down the pattern – McCalls M5916 – and give it a try. Thanks eBay!

McCalls pattern M5916

A girly dress, with puff sleeves – what could be more perfect for a little girl with hair that clearly yells ‘I’m a boy!’ to passers by? I just wish I had the nerve of the lady I met in John Lewis yesterday – her 10 month old daughter was wearing a sequinned hat with fake hair extensions tumbling down her back. Quite something.


I took a Next t-shirt whose colours and buttoned neckline had wowed me into spending £1.50 on it at Chiswick Car Boot Sale, but just never suited me. I cut to keep the existing neckline, and luckily, was able to match the stripes pretty well on the body, and near-as-damnit on the sleeves.

I’m really pleased with the overall look – it’s a lovely, easy pattern to follow, and the puffed and overlapped two part sleeve gives just enough frou to be interesting. BUT I really need to go back to basics on using the overlocker, and sewing straight lines on very stretchy jersey. There’s crazy looping and wibbling going on all over the place which I just ignored and ploughed on regardless. But it bothers me.


Does anyone know of a decent online guide to no-tears-overlocking? Please share!

plus ca change, best intentions and all that

Now our daughter is sleeping (such a short sentence, such BLOODY hard work getting there) I’ve gotten back what’s known in some circles as ‘evenings’, AND with them, my sewing mojo. Wahey!

Oddly enough, some things are unchanged by motherhood – procrastination remains my enemy, the stash is ever huge and I still have ambitions waaaaaay beyond my enthusiasm/endurance. But there’s the inspiration of a lovely daughter – little Miss Marina – to refashion for: she’s small, kids’ clothes are easier and quicker to finish and we’re running out of space!

There’s another carrot – just chanced upon elsie marley’s kids clothes week spring 2011. I’ll use this to get me into the sewing and blogging flow again and to put to good use the surprisingly large number of  vintage and contemporary children’s patterns I seem to have. I don’t remember buying/acquiring many of them AT ALL. Must’ve been milk-drunk. Plus there’s the incentive of sewing for a rapidly growing child – I must use these patterns up before she outgrows them!

In preparation, I’m repopulating my creative blog list for inspiration. I lost my extensive list of favourites when our PC went pfffffft a few weeks ago. Started by re-remembering the ones I really enjoyed and am now following up new links in other people’s blogrolls. It’s just as exciting as when I first sussed out there were sewists out there doing stuff, and sharing their experiences and expertise.

to name a few. There’s so much inspiration, BIG life events and beautiful work out there! But if you have a favourite I should read – send me your recommendations, please, peeps.

Roll on May!

Arm-y leggings – with bows!

Leggings for baby marina

Arm-y leggings: so-called cos they are made from the ARM-ies from daddy’s old tshirt SLEEVE-ies. Amazing how parenthood affects one’s speech – higher pitched, and all nouns are fair game for being customised with an ‘y’ on the end. You know

  • bath → bathy
  • food → foody
  • bum → bummy (translation for US readers: bum = butt)

Sensing a theme or topics of daily interaction here?

These were super fast and easy to do. Now Baby Marina has slightly more predictable sleep patterns, I managed to plan, with military precision, an evening’s quick sewing. These leggings can be yours too if you:

    1. take an adult tshirt* with sleeves big enough to stuff child’s chubby thighs into
    2. roughly measure ankle to crotch of child with nappy on and add 1-2cm
    3. mark this on the seamed side of the sleeve (see picture below)

army leggings from tshirt sleeve

    1. roughly measure crotch to waist of child with nappy on and add 1-2cm
    2. mark & cut a curve crotch-waist seam (I used another pair of leggings as a guide)

army leggings laid out

  1. place two legs together, right side to right side and overlock the crotch seam
  2. overlock waist hem, fold over elastic then stitch into place with gentle zigzag to allow a little stretch

*do check with owner of tshirt first.

Adorning with red ribbons with love hearts reduces Incorrect Gendered Unsolicited Stranger Comments.  Highly recommended iof you’re plagued by commenting strangers – there’s loads in London!

Leggings for baby marina

my latest creative project


Radio silence due to most recent creative project – which is MASSIVE, delightful and ongoing. May I present our daughter, Marina Honey.

Arrived at home, as planned 7.33am, Tuesday 22 June 2010, weighing 3.37kg. 

Thrilled, knackered, looking forward to when I can start sewing, knitting and blogging again, but in the meantime, from the frontline on Cloud 9 – more soon.


About me

I started this blog to help me Get Things Done: sewing and knitting mostly.
But now I have a daughter! So I continue to daydream in enormous detail about what I'd like to make, but squeeze the 'doing' into precious naptimes and evenings.

Can I keep it up? Time will tell!

Want to follow my blog and get notifications of new posts by email?

Join 46 other followers

Older posts