A wee bag

drawstring bag
A wee bag for Little Miss. She needs a waterproof bag to bring home sodden “worn” outfits in, from time to time. Parents of potty-trained toddlers will know exactly what I mean…

There’s about a billion great tutorials for drawstring bags out there on tinternet – all pretty similar, but this one from Purl Bee is beautifully clear and well laid out. I used the tried and trusted John Lewis shower curtain fabric (approx £7 per metre).

Drawstrings - shoe laces

The drawstrings are “Fashion Shoelaces” from Poundland (£1 for four pairs – bargain!). I wonder when she’ll notice she has skull & crossbones drawstrings?

Jump to the beat

Sewing soundtrack: Stacy Lattisaw’s Jump to the beat! If I could have sewed wearing roller skates, I surely would have.

Hubby’s I ♥NY t-shirt has had a bit of a rough time over the years, sad to say – pale pink splodges and shrinkage, so off into the refashion pile it goes. Flush from the success of the Poppy Playsuit (she wears it!), I rustle up this number for Little Miss in a couple of hours.

This needs just one adult size tshirt. Cut it out like this – I used guesswork, a pair of shorts and a tshirt to get the proportions about right. It’s supposed to fit loose, so precision not necessary. First sew on the pockets. The pockets are made from the sleeves, so have a pre-finished hem. Gather the tops of the pockets by running a length of shirring elastic through the hem, and gather the bottoms of the pockets with a long running stitch.

NY jumpsuit pocket closeupNext sew the leg seams and crotch/centre front seam. I serged it. Easy-peasy. Then finish the underarm edge by folding a 4mm hem (twice) and multi-stitch zig-zagging it – this is the bit that was the original t-shirt’s neckline.

NY jumpsuit underarm detailLastly, fold over about 5cm at the top neck edge, and multi-stitch-zig-zag that too. This creates the channel to feed the ties through.

NY jumpsuit strap channelYou can use ribbon, jersey scraps or anything else that works for you – I used the sleeve of another old tshirt and made these tapered tubes.

NY jumpsuit straps

I left a gap in the stitching about halfway along the long edge so I could turn the tube inside out. After feeding the ties through, I secure them with a few straight stitches at the front/back centre seam.

DONE. And she wears it. I couldn’t get Little Miss to jump to the beat so we rocked down the street instead! Happy days!

NY jumpsuit in action

Drawing on stripes

20120719-100919.jpg
I LOVE stripes. My husband loves stripes. So we reckon Little Miss will too, damnit.

In that hope, I took a tshirt that greyed in the wash, and pepped it up by adding Breton stripes with a Dylon Fabric Painting Broad Nib Pen. As you can see, we’ve gone for the artisan look. Oh alright – I was rubbish at it. Drawing straight even lines on jersey is hard! Disappointed but not disheartened – the final tshirt has *some* impact…

Next time, I’ll

  • stretch the fabric really tightly over cardboard to minimise stretch/drag
  • mask off the stripes with tape for a more even line
  • draw *down* the fabric (not across) – this will take longer but gives a more even colour application because the fabric stretches less
  • practise writing her name better!

20120719-102345.jpg

And then there were three

Following my daughter-seal-of-approval of the sunshine yellow skirt, I’m on a secret operation to make a bunch more. But shhhh! Don’t tell anyone, because it’s a… you know! Operation Sunshine Yellow begins…

20120703-141554.jpg
First step: preparing the fabric. An overnight soak in the bath removes the starch from the fabric – which is used to literally stick the threads together while it’s being woven. Then into the washing machine with some Dylon machine dye.

20120703-141847.jpg
Next step: refining the construction process. While making up three skirts in three different sizes I learn:

  • my overlocker blade gives up the ghost when cutting through more than four layers of fabric. So I precut some of the side seams before overlocking
  • my labels melt if I iron them at maximum temperature. So I’ll give that a miss next time.
  • put pockets on before doing the side and back seams. Otherwise, you’re working in a tube of fabric that’s only 25cm wide – very fiddly!
  • I should consult my commercial patterns fffffor construction methods – a slow learning curve at this stage impinges on my fffffmotivation and satisfaction.
  • I need to ffffffffix the ‘f’ key on my keyboard. It’s sticking and makes me express myself in fffffunny way.

All in all – this is a good place to be. At the end of my first week, I’ve run up three trial skirts in sizes 18m, 2y and 3y. Next steps – getting my numerous toddler friends to try them on and see how they fit!

First project complete!

20120627-122238.jpg

Today I completed my first project in my new workspace. I set my sights on something low tech but important: replacing the backs on a trio of cushion covers for my sister-in-law, as promised, about five months ago.

20120627-122426.jpg

Using the same technique as I’ve done for previous cushions – a lapped zip – and using up some leftover duck from the stash, I whipped it up in no time. Well, over two days. With one MAJOR unpicking. But they turned out alright!

20120627-122618.jpg
So far, so good. The aim is, over the next couple of months, to take a huge chunk out of the stash as it takes up simply TOO much space in our home. Watch this space and keep me company. Expect giveaways, pop-up sales, refashions, tears and the usual dollop of frustration.

Next project – a flurry of sunshine yellow skirts for all the girlie toddlers in my life.

20120628-085622.jpg

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 43 other followers

Older posts