children's clothing · kids clothing · refashioning · sewing

Stella’s pillowcase nightie

I made two pillowcase nighties when I was at Sewjourn, both the same size.  My daughters are still quite different sizes, but they each claimed one of the nighties. This one will fit Stella forever!

Stella's pillowcase nightie

Other than being way too large, it’s soft and cool and comfortable. I bound the armholes and made the ties from vintage bias binding, and added some gorgeous pom-pom trim around the hem that came to me from Crafty Mamas.

Stella's pillowcase nightie

And we’ve finally got warm summer nights! It really is December – other than the slightly manic calendar I was starting to wonder…

adult's clothing · refashioning · sewing

non-maternity jeans

I bought a pair of Rock and Republic jeans for $2 at the Lancefield op shop last weekend.  They looked as though they’d never been worn, so I just bought them figuring that they looked as though they’d fit me.  When I did try them on, the fit through the legs and hips was great – except that the rise was TINY!  These jeans were so low cut that they were almost indecent even before bending over.  So I did what any self respecting seamstress should do – I cut off the waistband and replaced it with a wide stretchy band of ponte knit.


These are now extremely comfortable and the rise is more than socially acceptable. I usually wear fairly long tops, so the chances of the band being seen are very slim. I did remove a few rivets and the zipper pull before stitching the band to the jeans – no need to break any overlocker needles!


There are a multitude of tutorials for converting regular jeans into maternity jeans, and I suppose that what I have done is pretty much the same – except easier!  The rectangle I cut out for the band is a few inches shorter than my waist measurement, which should keep it tight enough to keep my jeans up.  It had to be stretched a bit to fit it onto the jeans.  So there you go – convert your uncomfortable jeans with too-tight and/or too-low waistbands into these comfy “maternity” jeans! 

children's clothing · kids clothing · refashioning · sewing

Bedspread skirts

After seeing one of Clare’s little friends in a skirt made from chenille with bobble edging, I channeled my inner Eumundi Market (or is that my inner Byron Bay) and pulled out some old bedspread pieces.  Voila, a funky hippy skirt complete with fringe!

blue bedspread skirt

It took very little time to sew up a centre back seam and then turn over a casing for elastic at the top.

blue bedspread skirt

Clare wanted a shorter, straighter skirt as well. This one is from two pieces of chenille.

pink bedspread skirt

They are a bit of fun, and Clare likes them. I made a couple for Stella as well but she was asleep when I sewed them up and they’re too small – they’re about to become simple bags with the addition of handles and a seam along the bottom.

pink bedspread skirt

I have given away some extra bedspread pieces to one of my friends and suspect that soon there may be many of these being worn in the suburban parks and shopping centres near home.

children's clothing · kids clothing · refashioning · sewing

Waiting for the right pillowcase

Way back in November I made a pillowcase dress for my friend’s youngest daughter.  Then I gave another to her middle daughter.  The eldest daughter has been waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting for me to make her one too.  Last week I popped into the oppy and found the perfect pillowcase.  Now it is done!

Pillowcase dress for Claire B by you.

I hadn’t quite worked out what had been stopping me from making this ages ago.  Now I realise that it was because the pillowcase I was originally planning on using just wasn’t the right one for this little girl.  Once I found the perfect match, the dress was made a day later!

I use an amalgam of instructions for making pillowcase dresses – I’ve nicked all the bits that I think work the most nicely together.  I will eventually combine them into a tutorial.  The new owner of this little dress is a tall girl, so rather than cutting the bottom six or seven inches off the pillowcase and using it to make a self-fabric ruffle, I added some broderie anglaise and ric-rac trim from my stash.  I think it’s worked out beautifully!

children's clothing · craft · kids clothing · refashioning · sewing

Shirred pillowcase dress

I’ve had a reel of shirring elastic in the drawer for ages, meaning to make Clare a shirred dress.  There are loads of tutorials around explaining how to do it.  It probably would have been a good idea if I’d read them before I started.

IMG_8007 by you.

Although the elastic definitely did its thing, it isn’t a brilliant job of shirring.  See, I do show my unsuccessful projects on my blog as well as the ones that work.  Now that I’ve finally read some tutorials, I realise that I should have loosened the tension on my machine and should have used a much longer stitch length. 

Shirred pillowcase dress by you.

However, Clare loves the dress!  No accounting for kids.  It’s made from a pillowcase – I chopped about 7 inches off the bottom of the pillowcase, which I then cut into four strips to use as straps.  Clare chose to wear it with the front two straps tied as a halter neck (the back two straps were tucked inside the dress).

IMG_8009 by you.

I added some broderie anglaise lace around the hem to add a delicate touch.

IMG_7973 by you.

I’m definitely going to have another go at doing this, with a long stitch length.  It’s easy!  You just sew lots of parallel rows with shirring elastic hand-wound onto the bobbin.  Read the tutorials first – there is one here and another one here.  Then you shouldn’t get the puckered effect I got, rather than nice even gathers.

children's clothing · craft · embroidery · kids clothing · refashioning · sewing

Happy Birthday Ruthie!

My friend Jane’s youngest daughter Ruth turned three years old today.  So I made a little badge to announce her birthday to the world.

Ruthie's 3rd birthday badge by you.

I also made her a pillowcase dress.

Ruth's Pillowcase dress by you.

I am really on a roll with these, having made three in the past two days!  There are plenty of tutorials around for pillowcase dresses.  I’ve used a few different ones in the past and have now worked out how I best like to make them.  Once I’ve written up the tutorial for the cup day skirt I’ll do a pillowcase dress one as well (both are really just variations on a theme).  I’m hoping to have them done before the end of next week.

Happy 3rd Birthday Ruth!

children's clothing · embroidery · kids clothing · refashioning · sewing · wardrobe refashion

Refashioned – pants into skirt

Remember this pair of pants?

Embroidered by me, worn by me quite a few times about ten years ago.  Not at all in style or my style anymore, but I couldn’t bear to get rid of them.  So finally – they’re a skirt!

I cut both legs off, cut them in half vertically, squared them up, then sewed them together to form a skirt with an elasticised casing waist.

So much better on Clare than on me!  And the left over “shorts” have now become running shorts for my husband (since they’re not worn for very long and he’s not too embarassed to wear bright turquoise shorts in public – what a tolerant man)!