Easter Dresses : Ottobre Kids Design 01/2014 : Funny Faces Dresses

Since making a dogs dinner of my twins’ birthday dresses <link here>, I vowed to make it up to them (&myself) so when Easter presented the opportunity of making them something special I jumped on it.

Using the same pattern as before and some long-term stashers I produced these dresses and leggings for them. The faced the hems with the same fabric as the leggings to make them matching sets. My girls love them and wear them constantly. These dresses have gotten so many compliments.

Ottobre Design Kids Funny Faces Dress


I am so glad I finally used up that Lillestoff fabric which I bought in early May 2014!!!!!! Its only been waiting 3 years :-). Heres to using up more precious stashers.

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace and love,



Simplicity 1473 Girls Hooded Dresses

My greatest sewing pleasure is sewing for my little people – but sewing for the twinks is my joy. I love choosing contrasting fabrics to make them garments that are the same but different. I have a soft spot for Simplicity 1473 as it was one of the first garments I made for my son. The top I made then in 2014 is still around and my twins wear it now  <link here>. Here is the pattern cover. Continue reading

Ottobre Kids Design 01/2014 : Birthday Dresses (Funny Faces)

Hello again,

I made some more dresses for my little people’s birthday outfits. This is the pattern that I used.

Ottobre Design Kids 01/2014

I made one change which was to have a straight skirt rather than a gathered skirt. Much as I’d love to say this was intentional – it was down to poor time management on my part. I wanted to make the dresses with a tulle underskirt as well as the gathered skirt so they could  have swirly twirly dresses.  I arrogantly thought I could whip them up in a couple of hours, however, by the time we got to the eve of their birthday we’d had 60% of the little people ill and I could feel that I was catching it too. Energy was low and I realised I had to make the dresses (because they had been promised) but I altered them to make in the quickest way possible.

I am not proud of myself for this, but I do promise that this year I will do better. The girls loved their dresses though (which made me feel even worse ironically). They turned 3 and had a brilliant day with loads of gifts and games and cake. I cant believe that its been 3 years already!

I bought the jersey from Jacks Fabrics at Leeds Market. Its a lightweight poly jersey at £3 per meter. It pills like mad though so its not something I will use to make day to day clothes. I have about 2 meters left which will make some PJs for the kids. I dont mind pilling on PJs as much.

Here is a picture from their birthday wearing the dresses.


Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

Peace and love,


More Ottobre Kids Design Dresses 04/2014 Issue

Hello everyone,

I have made more dresses from Ottobre Design Kids 04/2014 issue. It’s the sweater dress here. ottobre
This will be the third time I have made this pattern, <link here for earlier makes>.

I used a lovely soft fleece backed yellow knit fabric. This is something I picked up from a car boot sale in Essex last year. I actually finished these in September but they are too big so they have been put aside for next year. I traced the size that corresponded with 4yrs in error – I only realised my mistake after tracing most of the pattern pieces so I just carried on. Surely if its big they can grow into it – better too big than too small I think :-).

I have some shocking pink cuffing/ribbing which I used as a contrast. Though these are summer/spring colours, the weight of the fabric is perfect for colder weather. I used the overlocker for all the construction except for topstitching.

Having made this same pattern SIX times now means it’s a super fast make and they were done in one sitting.

It is very difficult to photograph little children! They were not interested at all in posing for pictures so these were the best I could get to show what’s what with them.

Funtioning pockets – they are lined with some scrap minions fabric (forgot to get pictures..)

fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-498 fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-500 fran-visit-plus-october-photoshoot-515

I am quite pleased with how these turned out and no doubt they will be workhorses just like the other ones – they still wear those ones!

Thanks for stopping by, until next time, Happy sewing!



PS here is the YouTube clip from when I finished them….

Ottobre Kids Design 01/2014 : Funny Faces Dresses and T shirt

Hello again,

I made some more dresses for my little people. In particulr my twins.

I bought the cotton jersey from B&M Fabrics in Leeds. For the pattern I used an Ottobre Spring 2014 pattern called Funny Faces.

Ottobre Design Kids 01/2014

They came together very quickly. I like how the hem is faced – it adds a lovely weight to the dress. I found the neckline a bit too high and had to trim 1cm off the neckline.

They are zany and the girls love them. Unfnortunately I didnt have enough fabric for 4 dresses but I managed to squeeze in 3 dresses.

Sewing the scraps together yielded a T shirt. The T shirt is the same pattern as the dreses just without the skirt attached. I used black ribbing cuff material that I got from B&M Fabrics.

Ottobre Design 01/2014
I get why they both like this one best
Middle boy agrred to model the 3rd dress 🙂
The hem detail
My fave hem finish here. So lovely.
T shirt from scraps sewn together
Zigzag stitch around neckline
It was hard getting them to pose but this was the best posed shot 🙂
And then they just didnt bother..TuTiTu is more fun.

The only other problem was that both girls really wanted the hot air balloons dress and there was a fair amount of crying. Which has made realise that I cant make their clothes too different otherwise its chaos (now you know why parents of twins dress them alike:-) Incidentally when I found out I was having twins I was very much like “ Yeah I am not going to be dressing them alike – I want them to be individual” Lols -doesnt quite work like that!). As it is there is a fragile truce based on taking turns to wear the hot air balloon dress.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!

Peace and love,


PS Here is my Youtube video from when I completed them

Oliver and S Bucket hats plus more Spring watching

Hello again,

I am excited to share these cute little hats. As I was packing for our holiday I realised we didn’t have enough kids hats one day before departing. Instead of heading out to the shops to buy them I googled “free hat patterns” and came across this Oliver and S Bucket hat.

Oliver and S Reversible Bucket hat

I printed it out, selected fabrics and boom! 3 hours later I had 3 hats :-). The first one took the longest to make and the last 2 were made assembly line style and finished in 45 minutes. This was a scrap busting project too…gotta love a project that doesn’t cost you anything :-). Continue reading

More Selfless sewing: Ottobre Kids Design dresses

Hello everyone,

I am back with more selfless sewing for my kids. Sewing for children can be such a pleasure. They are small  so less fabric which means I can spend a bit more. There are no fit issues so I can just whip it up. But at the same time they are still growing. Still despite the fact they will almost certainly grow out of what I make within a year, I do love creating unique clothes for my twin girls. The opportunities to create similar yet different contrasting clothes is fun. I tend to buy the same fabric in different colourways and play around with that.

I actually made these last year in December for my twins’ birthday. I chose a sweater dress and ruched leggings from Ottobre 04/2014. I have made outfits from Ottobre before (link here) which I loved. ottobre
It is very difficult to photograph little children!

Xmas 2015 283
The Christmas dress didnt have the pocket or the elasticated hem.
Ottobre 04/2014
I also made them for Christmas dresses in deep red velour.

Xmas 2015 295
Xmas 2015 312Twins photoshoot 010
Twins photoshoot 011

Twins photoshoot 012 Twins photoshoot 006Twins photoshoot 013IMGP3226 IMGP3210 IMGP3189 IMGP3157

These little sweater dress get so many complements when we are out and about. A fellow mum at the Library was wondering why they dont make something like that in her size! I didn’t mention that I had made them myself – perhaps I should have?

These dresses are work horses. They have been washed almost weekly and hold their shape well. The fabric is like a quilted jersey. The neck and cuffs are in ribbing material. The instructions are really quite excellent in Ottobre and no doubt I will be returning back to making these as they grow older.

Thanks for stopping by! Now that I have blogged all 2015 makes I will be back soon with a parade of the results of my batch sewing experiments…….but until then……..

Happy sewing!




Toadstools and Bunnies McCalls M6727 aka KCW warm up.

Hi everyone!

How are you? I am good thank you! I had a super productive Saturday this past weekend where I finished a few projects that were waiting for those finishing touches like buttons. Its also still half term so sewing time is as scarce as hens teeth! They go back Monday the 20th which is also Kids Clothes Week! I thought I would get started early with that by making my favourite TNT pattern for my girls: McCalls M6727. I love love this pattern!

M6727 Dress Fronts
And the backs….McCalls M6727

Now I have made grumpy owls here and scooters M6727s last year and can you believe my girls still wear them! They started out as dresses and they have grown into cute little tops. All I had to do was move the button further out creating a larger armscye 😉 Thats a win/win for me.These dresses have staying power. I used a quilting cotton thats held up really well  and they get washed A LOT!!! My only beefs is that this pattern only goes up to  XL (around age 2) which is the size I cut with these 2 little lovelies.

Yokes detail
M6727 Yoke details…

Lets talk fabric – I love love love love this fabric! Whats not to love? The colours and the quirky print; the moment I saw it I knew it had to be M6727. Plus its 100 % cotton.

Binding and french seams
M6727 Bias binding and french seams

Sewing for little people is awesome. It was easier to be patient and take my time because the pieces are so small you feel like there is not much more to do but enjoy the process. I used french seams and bias bound the armholes on the dress. I ran out for fancy bias binding and only had the black satin but I think it works well. The pattern is actually for a reversible dress which I have made before here. Making the reversible dress is even quicker. I didn’t want anything to interfere with this quirky pattern so these are not reversible. Although my insides are so neat that they may very well be! Hehe 😉

As always thanks for dropping by and happy sewing everyone!





More New Look 6016 for Kids Clothes Week

Quick post. More makes for Kids Clothes Week! Yay! So I finished off the leggings and knit t shirts using New Look 6016 < I have some serious love for this pattern>. Promised a short post so here are the deets 😉

The outfits in theory!

Construction for the top required setting in the sleeve after ease stitching. Ick!!! Too fiddly on these tiny garments using a lightweight super drapey fabric. Flat construction on the next tee and boom!Grey knits spotty knits

Again, the sizing is spot on. The only problem is my lack of patience. Though my patience has (significantly) improved since last year I found myself really wanting to start the next project once the major stuff was done. However one of my sewing musts now is absolutely no new project till one is finished, done, finito!…grrrr <sigh>. I did stick to my resolution though I desperately wanted to move on to my second Hollyburn. Determined to start my Hollyburn on Monday, I finished these off Sunday night. The hemming won’t win any awards. It will do though. NOTE TO SELF. Find resources on hemming fine knits for future reference.

Simple zigzag for the hems. I was pleased that the neckline did not stretch out. The interior look neater than my last knit makes ;-) So yes Progress!
Simple zigzag for the hems. I was pleased that the neckline did not stretch out. The interior looks neater than my last knit makes 😉 So yes! Progress!

Anyway am so happy with how these turned out that I kissed the pattern envelope said

Thank you. You have done good!

Before putting it away. Challenge done – I can go back to selfish sewing!

Happy sewing everyone!


Kids Clothes Week! New Look 6016.

Kids Clothes Week is here! It’s when you work a little each day on kids clothes setting aside an hour a day for one week. I joined because you all know I love working to a challenge 😋. There were some lovely kids patterns that were …..vaguely on the queue but this helped me to take concrete steps towards making them.

Planning began a couple of weeks ago, when I decided on which pattern to make, selected the fabric and notions. Having learnt that its best to plan outfits when sewing for my twins I decided on New Look 6016. You get a lot for your money with this pattern as it includes a knit shirt, leggings, jumper with various embellishments, and purse. Its very similar to one of my favourite kids dresses patterns McCalls M6727 that I have made before using Grumpy Owls and Scooters fabric. The main difference is that M6727 is reversible.

New Look 6016 is such a wonderful design for kids, its roomy and cute allowing for freedom of movement. This was one of the first patterns I bought when I seriously got into sewing about a year ago. I paid FULL price!!! Eeeek! In my defense I now know better…..

All patterns go on sale eventually….you just have to be patient.

Biikes dress
Not sure why one looks bigger….

It does go up to age 4 so I reckon I will get a fair amount of use.

Construction wise – the instructions were really good until I got to the yoke. I tried their way at first. I didn’t like it so with the next yoke I tried something else. For their instructions you have to interface the front yoke piece then sew it, right sides together, to the dress front. You then press the seam allowance under the non interfaced yoke piece before you stitch it to the interfaced yoke then turn rightside out and slipstitch to close. You have to construct the yoke on the dress.

Well I wasn’t having any of that. So I decided to make the yoke first then attach it to the dress. This concept is similar to how the Carme blouse collar is sewn. I made a ‘burrito’ with the yoke then inserted the dress like so:

1. Block interface the front yoke.

2. Stitch interfaced yoke and non interface yoke together. Trim allowances and clip curves.

3. Turn right side out and press forming a burrito.

4. ‘Tuck’ the dress into the opening between the dots. Pin in place, baste.

5. Topstitch ensuring that you are catching both ‘lips’ of burrito.

Et voila!

Yoke Tutorial
The burrito was more fun, way faster, less fiddly and neater :D.

I absolutely adore how they came out! Of course they need the under layers to make them wearable while the weather is still a bit cool. I am making leggings and t shirts in a lightweight jersey. I actually reluctantly unwillingly had to re thread my overlocker for this project.

Me (before rethreading): “OMG! I cant do this”

Me (after rethreading): “Is that all? Really! Come on it must be tougher than that!”.

Turns out its surprisingly easy to do! Go figure! I really wish I could say it was intentional. However my once (I have only ever done this 1 time)  used technique of tying the new thread,crossing my fingers and holding my breath did not work. Shout out to Theresa at Navy Blue Threads for inspiring me to do something with my overlocker! I actually changed the thread tension dials! And the differential feed ;-). Joy!

Bikes dress front
Mmmmm I wonder if I could make myself something like this? Love them so much 😉
bikes dresses back
The back of the dresses.
new look 6016 Collage
Very pleased with how the inside is relatively neat.

As always here are some gratuitous shots of the complete dresses.


Great toddler dress.  Super easy to sew up .  Adding embellishments can take it to the next level and give it a boutiquey feel. I shall most definitely be making more 😉

Happy sewing everyone and thanks for stopping by!




P.S. Buttons going in tonight but wanted to get this post out before I get super busy from tomorrow onwards 😉

Ottobre Design Kids Autumn 2014

Its been a very busy and hectic few weeks for me with a lot of stuff going on and that’s meant my sewing and blogging have suffered ;-(. Hopefully things will get back to full swing in the new year but for now my sewing machine and accouterments are all packed away. I actually had fun packing it up – got a really good idea of how many WIPS I have and my fabric stash…oh the stash (need a post just for that).

Anyway I am blogging today about theses little lovelies I made over a month ago. Basically after lurking on the Ottobre Design website for over a year contemplating buying the magazine, I took the plunge and ordered the Autumn 2014 kids book. It arrived 4 days later (seriously impressed by super fast delivery since it was coming from Finland). I waited till the little ones were all having their afternoon nap before sitting down and delicately browsing through the magazine. It has so many lovely designs. I had decided that when I make clothes for my twinnage , I would make whole outfits. Taking my time deciding on which outfit to make I landed on this one; a pinafore dress with a jersey top and leggings.



The next stage was gathering the fabrics. I had the jersey top (interlock knit) and dress fabric (quilting cotton) from my stash while for the leggings I bought a stretch velour in gold (think christmassy)

Now I had never done Ottobre before and they have a pattern sheet that has so many lines it gave me an astigmatism! Normally I trace at  night but I really could not separate out the lines so it had to be natural light day time tracing which was done during nap times. The instructions are a bit sparse so had I attempted this a year ago I would have given up but with a few makes under my belt I was able to keep at it.

What I love about the construction is that it creates such a neat finish. These are the neatest garments I have made to date. The sizing is good as well; the girls can zoom, bend, squat, stretch with ease plus I can get a few layers under the pinafore dress comfortably. The leggings were also good  sized, length was just right for the them. For Ottobre patterns, you have to measure the child in order to determine the size to cut out. For me , so far, that’s been more accurate than going by age ranges.

I did not want to do buttons and buttonholes so I bought some snapper tape which was a nigthmare to put in. I am lazy when it comes to handstitching and the dresses were waiting for almost a week to get the snapper tape in. I definitely need to to either (a) Get down with buttonholes or (b) get a snapper pliers tool thingimajik (does that work or am I idealizing? Has anyone used it I would love to hear from you).

The applique was soooo much fun. it was the best bit. The Ottobre instructions were actually quite good for applique. The way it came to life as I satin stitched around the eyes was fun. Definitely an applique convert !!! and me thinks you will be seeing a lot more applique here.

The jersey tops look OK but I still need more practice when working with knits and using ribbing. Although I am proud of the stripe matching on the raglan sleeve 😉

Verdict. I love Ottobre and will be making more stuff (have already traced out some more things but they will be made in the new year. And making outfits is the way forward for twinnage sewing! Do you plan outfit when sewing as well (i get the feeling I am slow and everyone else probably do that already 😉

Ottobre kids Collage

Side by Side cats




Thanks for stopping!


PS I will try and get in one more post before the new year rounding up stuff.


Here come the O W L S! Owlet sweaters for the Twinnage!

These cuties! Purple yarn is a Debie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and the grey is Red Heart Soft. It feels lovely and soft and of course its super wash.

Owlet 1Since my last knit (Marion cardigan) I have learnt to cast on for ribbing proper! It looks so much nicer than what I used to do before plus it is stretchy!.

I was a good girl and actually swatched using circular needles ;-). (Feel so grown up now).The gauge was perfect for the stitch gauge 18 stitch to 4 inches but the row gauge was 24 rows to 4inchs; pattern called for 28 rows to 4 inches. Went ahead anyway because the pattern instructions are to knit in inches so I figured I could get away with am imperfect row gauge using  my Size 5 needles. This is a Kate Davies pattern.

In hindsight,I should have just bought the same yarn in different colours for both jumpers rather than have to swatch twice! Lesson learnt!

The eyes are a coconut shell button that looks a lot lovelier than in the pictures.Owlet 3

New skills acquired ; Grafting underarm seams,Rib cast on and cast off.

Lovely thing is that they knitted up superfast and I was done in 2 weeks.Owlets 4

An observation on the wool though. Up till now I have not spent serious money on yarn and the Debbie Bliss has been the most expensive yarn so far. Oh my word though,…….Not all yarns are created equal is all I can say! It is so squishy, knits up beautifully ; made me finally get what “Stitch definition” means. Another lesson learnt. Although I will still be using the cheaper yarns while I am still a novice. I do look forward to when I can buy expensive yarn knowing that I can knit …..’like a BOSS!’