Archive for the category “Tutorials”

Rainbow Twirling Skirt – Tutorial

It has been a very long time between sewing projects for me and I’ve had this idea in my head (and all the fabrics ready) for at least six months. It was so lovely today to have the house to myself for an hour or two to get it done.

And the best part for me is that all materials I needed were bought from the op shop – hooray! The rainbow silk was found first and it made me think how it would make a beautiful skirt for Miss 5 who loves rainbows. I’d also been wanting to make her a fairy dress, but wanted something nice and simple to make. So when I saw the purple singlet the idea popped into my head to put them together.
Here’s a bit of how-to if you’d like to try it yourself:

  • Stretchy singlet or t-shirt in your child’s size
  • floaty fabric for the skirt, I used squares pieces that were 85cm in length.
  • sewing machine (though it could be hand stitched), scissors, measuring tape, pins.


I followed this tutorial on making a circle skirt…

I made a few changes though.

Instead of attaching it to an elastic waist band, I attached the skirt to the bottom of the singlet.

I also left my fabric square at the bottom as the rainbow silk was already beautifully hemmed by hand. I offset it with the jade fabric, firstly because the silk was see through. And also because I like the draped, flowy effect of the points the squares make at the bottom of the dress.
Here are some photos of the process and a few extra pointers…


  Take your child’s waist measurements and make a paper pattern as per the instructions in the circle skirt tutorial (link mentioned above).
Cut the corner off.

Repeat  for the 2nd square of fabric if you are using one.

Lay them on top of each other to make a star shape as shown in the photo above.

Pin the two together around the inner circle.

With right sides facing pin the skirt to the singlet top.

Using an over locker stitch all three layers together. I also add an extra straight stitch on my regular machine for extra strength.

Hem the bottom of the skirt to the required length.

And you’re done!

Happy twirling !!




Quick and Easy Upcycled Bunting

We are optimistically preparing for spring at our house and cleaning out an unused area under our balcony for our 2yr old daughter. My husband has been putting together a blackboard and a wee seat and I got busy making some bunting.

This is a great project if you are new to sewing, it’s very easy and you’ll have something to show for your efforts in a couple of hours.

All you’ll need is:

  • Scraps of fabric
  • Approx 4m of 25mm bias binding (not upcycled I know – but you can make your own)
  • Pinking shears
  • Sewing scissors
  • Piece of cardboard
  • Pen

Firstly I got a cereal box out of the recycling bin and marked out a triangle to use as a template for the bunting flags. Mine measured 15cm across and 17cm in length. I then hunted through my (admittedly extensive) fabric scrap collection and chose 7 pieces that were roughly coordinating in green.

Using the template trace out 18 triangles (3 of each fabric or however many you want) and then cut them out. Use regular scissors to cut the top and then use the pinking shears to cut the sides. This gives a nice effect and also stops the fabric from fraying easily.

Next lay out the bias binding and pin the triangles along the bottom edge. Leave approximately 3cm between each triangle and about 10cm at each end of the bias binding. Then sew the triangles into place.

Now get the iron out and fold the bias binding in half so that the folded edges meet (see photo). Iron into place all the way along. You can also pin it in place as you go.

Last step: Sew along the length of the bias binding (you will have covered the tops of the triangles). At each end fold about 2.5cm towards the back and sew into place. These will form the loops to hang the bunting.

Yay! You’re done!

Reaching For The Clouds

Today was a perfect Melbourne winter day and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. But I decided to add a few to my daughters room after I saw this craft activity in todays Home supplement in The Herald Sun – it’s written by Katie Evans and you can find her blog here.

It’s so simple, all you need is:

  • Scissors
  • Cardboard (from a box)
  • PVA Glue or similar
  • Paintbrush
  • Adhesive wall mounts
  • Fabric

My daughter’s room is an olive green so I was thinking about what colour would be a great contrast and I thought of these great pillowcases I just got from the op shop this week – a lovely deep orange with a dot paisley pattern.

Firstly you need to draw some clouds on your cardboard. I did some little sketches first…

I decided on three and upscaled them onto my cardboard. Before I cut them out I traced them onto baking paper in case I want to make some more another time.

Once the clouds are cut out I placed them onto my fabric. I only needed one pillowcase, by cutting it up the side seams I could place all three clouds on the one piece of fabric.

Trace around the cardboard and cut out the fabric. Then grab your glue (I put a reasonable amount in a plastic container or you can apply it directly) and use your paintbrush to cover the cardboard cloud in glue, being careful to get right to the edges.

Next get your matching fabric cloud piece and carefully lay it onto the cardboard, smoothing it as you go. It’s a bit like when you used to cover your school folders in contact in Year 7!

Once the glue has dried a bit trim the edges where there’s any excess fabric.

Attach the wall adhesives to the back and decorate your wall – lovely!


How to make a simple Modern Cloth Nappy

I thought I’d put this tutorial out there for anyone using or interested in using modern cloth nappies and wants to have a go at making thier own. I used patterns from this site and the one I’m showing today is a modification of Shar’s newborn fitted pattern.

To make this nappy go to this site and print out the paper pattern. I changed the way the leg and back elastic are sewn from the original pattern and added extra layers of fabric.

1. I used 4 layers, though 2 would be fine. You just need a waterproof outer layer and a soft absorbant inner layer. I’ve used an outer layer of cordoroy, then PUL (waterproof layer), then flannelette, then bamboo fleece. I bought the PUL and bamboo fleece from a great website called Green Beans.

The four layers I used

2. I take the bamboo layer away and mark the places to sew the elastic (from original pattern).

Mark where to sew the elastic

3. I first attach the elastic 2.5 cm from the edge of the fabric using a zig zag stitch. Once the elastic is attached pull it as tight as you can while sewing using a 3 step zig zag stitch.

Sewing the leg elastic

4. This is what it looks like after the elastic is sewn.

Elastic sewn in

5. Place the bamboo layer right side down onto the cord layer. Pin and zig zag around the edge, leaving a large gap on the bottom edge to turn right side out. I try to stitch as close as possible to the edge but being careful to catch all the layers.

Leave a gap at the bottom for turning out the right way

6. Turn nappy right side out and straight stitch around the entire nappy. Fold the raw edges of the gap inside the nappy as you go around the bottom.

7. Sew velcro to places indicated on original pattern. I made the arm tabs quite small and the others large to adjust as your baby grows bigger.

Edge stitch complete and velcro sewn in

The finished nappy!

These nappy’s use inserts. You can buy them from Green beans too or make your own. I’ve made some from bamboo and some from an old towel with a layer of microfleece (it’s a stay dry layer).

Insert made from an old towel and microfleece

Other resources I’ve liked:

  • My friends at Little Diamond Bums sell their own cloth nappies as well as other reputable brands. The also hire out newborn sets and have lots of cloth nappy related stuff including some really beautiful smelling foaming wipe solution.
  • This facebook site is a fantastic place to buy and sell (or giveaway) modern cloth nappies – but be careful – it’s very addictive!
  • Nappies Covered is another great place to buy nappy making fabrics and related items.

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