Friday, 27 November 2015

Christmas Dress

We are moving to another city in just over a week. I have been feverishly sewing and drawing patterns for the last couple weeks, trying to get all my current projects done. One of these patterns was for a very cute drop waisted dress. I first designed this dress as a birthday present for a friend's daughter.
I made it up as a size 12-18 months in a very cute pale blue fabric with white spots. It looked fabulous.

So I drew a size 2 as well. And got carried away with Christmas ideas. This is the amazing result. (I love it!)

Red satin and glittery tulle...
Buttons down the back...
A cute Peter Pan collar...
A printed Christmas print for the bodice...

How Christmas-y and cute is that? This dress design would have to be one of my absolute favourites now. Easy to sew and so cute on a little girl.

The Christmas dress comes in two sizes, 12-18 months and size 2. You can find this pattern on my Etsy shop by following the link below!

Christmas Dress PDF Pattern

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

McCalls 6304... More Overalls

I wasn't just talking when I said that overalls are one of my favourite clothing items for little boys. I feel like I need to make the most of them in the next few months because they won't be much good for my son once we start toilet training! I made up the McCalls 6304 pattern overalls the other day.

I made the size 2 up but forgot to measure the shoulder to crotch length. So I ended up with overalls that were rather fat but too short. With some tricky manoeuvring I managed to squeeze an extra inch out of them to make them fit.

This is a great pattern but will probably need some work in the fitting stage. I took the width in by some 4 or more cm and it is still on the large and loose side. But isn't my boy cute?

Keep an eye out for my new overalls pattern for babies aged 3-6 months in the next weeks.

Monday, 23 November 2015

My recent crochet activities

I keep finding more fun little crochet projects to keep me busy in the evenings. Here are two of my latest... this crochet obsession shows no signs of abating!

A sweet little beanie for a brand new baby. In the future I hope to have some opportunities to photograph new babies, so this one is a prop for that dream! Too impractical for everyday use but so very cute!

A little bag for my crochet hooks. I keep losing them amongst my bags of wool, so this is a fun way of keeping them safe. It also gave me a chance to practice my flowers.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Short Playsuit or Romper?

Regardless of whether you call it a play suit or a romper, this item of clothing is one of my favourites in the range of clothing for babies and toddlers. Girl or boy, all kids look cute in these all-in-one style clothes. You can make them warm, you can make them cool, you can make them fancy or plain. I love them. Of all the items that I make for Jeremy, the ones I like most have always been the rompers, play suits and overalls.

This latest design of mine is for a girls sleeveless play suit or romper. It could be altered to make it more suitable for boys by removing the elastic waist.

My short play suit pattern is sized to fit children aged 6-12 months.
You can find this PDF pattern for sale on my Etsy shop by clicking on the link below.

Short Playsuit PDF Pattern

It was an easy design job and should have been a very simple sew... but I made some mistakes. Sigh. Though you can not tell now, I accidentally cut off the shoulder section of the play suit back. Don't ask me what I was doing. Accidents happen. After much careful mending, I managed to get it back on track!
This is a very versatile pattern when it comes to finding a good fit. The body of the play suit is quite loose which allows the waist elastic to be tighter or looser depending on the size of the baby. You could also adjust the tightness of the elastic in the legs to create a better fit. The first model pictured below is fairly petite and the leg elastic could be tightened to provide a better fit for her. The second model was more solidly built and filled out the play suit more.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Crocheted Slippers for a Toddler

I haven't been doing too much crochet since I finished Jeremy's jacket. Certainly not any big projects anyway. I've found that when I do too much crochet I get terrible pain in my hands. Very sad considering I like it so much! But... I have made several small items that don't require days of constant work. One of these was a very cute pair of crocheted slippers for Jeremy. I finished them some weeks ago now, but only got around to threading in all the ends and sewing on the buttons the other day. Why did it take me so long? The weather warmed up so much that I got a little disheartened, knowing that Jeremy will never really wear them! Never mind.

Here they are anyway, cute slippers made from the base of a newborn bootee pattern. Clever me! I couldn't get Jeremy to stand still, so enjoy the collage!

I love the swirly white buttons!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Summer Top and Shorts Set for Baby

There are so many dresses out there on the market for little girls. It's a bit harder to find cute shirt and shorts sets that aren't made from t-shirt fabric... so, let me introduce you to one!

The summer top and shorts pattern has been designed to alleviate some of the issues that little people have with crawling in cute dresses. The skirted top still has all the cuteness of a little dress without the length, and the puffy little shorts add some colour while retaining modesty (or just covering a less-than-cute nappy).

This pattern is so simple to sew that I made no alterations to my original design! Pretty rare in the designing field of things. Simple to sew and cool to wear. What more could you want with Summer right around the corner?

You can find this pattern by clicking on the link below.
Summer Top and Shorts

Enjoy the pictures of my cute model, Rachel! She braved a very cold day to wear some little summer designs for me! I obviously need to work on taking pictures from the back too... the little top fastens with a button in the centre back!

More of my designs can be found on Etsy at RP Original!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Babies' Pleated Pinafore Pattern

Elaina's pinafore
This post is about the humble pinafore. A well made pinafore, in my opinion, is one of the most useful and versatile items of clothing a little girl could have.

It can be made from warm fabric and paired with a frilly blouse, stockings and a cardigan for winter. It can be made from the lightest of cotton fabrics and worn with nothing underneath for the warmest of summers. It can also cater for almost any season in between. It can be made stylish with pleats or straight as an A-line. It can have one, two or three pockets to embellish. It can fasten with buttons or it can fasten with snaps. It can be decorated with lace or rick rack or piping. It can be made plain and simple or very, very fancy. With so many options from one simple pattern, why not try it out!

My pinafore pattern was first designed as a gift for a sweet new baby. I made it up in a green plaid with a white lacy blouse to go underneath. You can read about it in this post: Elaina's Dress (baby blouse and pinafore).

My original pattern was drawn on a scrap piece of kitchen paper, so I decided to draw it properly and add some extra features to make it a little more special. I kept the main design the same; three large box pleats across the front and the back of the pinafore to give a fairly full skirt with two press stud fasteners at the shoulders. On my new design I added two cute pockets and a piped trim around the neckline and arm holes.

This pattern is very straight forward to sew. It has a front and back facing to finish the neck and armholes neatly. The only slightly tricky part is the piping. With some care and a zipper foot, piping is not as difficult as it might look!

It is sized for a baby aged 6-12 months. Size 0 in Australia. I know that babies in the age group can vary greatly in size, but another great thing about pinafores is that they are generally a little loose (so they can fit over shirts and undergarments). So if your baby is very large, the pattern will probably still fit and if your baby is very small, they will be able to grow into the pinafore for months to come (maybe even up to age 18 months for very small babies).

The finished measurements are: Chest - 58cm, Shoulder to hem length - 43cm

To make this pinafore, you will need:
- 1 metre of winter fabric (any width)
- 40cm of lining fabric
- 2 metres of piping
- 4 decorative snap fasteners

You can purchase the pattern and full instructions on my Etsy store by clicking on the link below.

Baby Maddi, 10.5 months
Such a cute little model!
Note the cute rounded pockets!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Free Nappy Bag Pattern and Tutorial

Nappy bags are an almost inescapable part of being a parent. They come in many shapes and sizes and at many different prices. Even if you try to avoid having one, you will still have to carry around nappies, wipes, spare clothes, wraps, bottles, dummies, change mats, toys and other things. So why not embrace the nappy bag and make yours truly unique?

I spent some time recently searching for a free nappy bag pattern to replace my old one. I found an attractive pattern and made it up, but it turned out just too small to fit all those things mentioned above. Most other patterns were rather complicated or required special bag fixtures for the straps and handles. So I designed my own. 

Click on the link below to download the free PDF pattern.
Free Nappy Bag Pattern

You will Need:
- the pattern
- 1 metre of outer fabric
- 1 metre of quilt wadding or batting
- 1 metre of lining fabric
- 50cm of 0.8cm wide elastic
- 1 magnetic bag snap kit

All seam allowances are 1.5cm unless otherwise indicated.


1. Print and assemble the pattern. Follow the instructions given on the pattern.

2. Cut out your fabric. Start with the outer fabric. Cut 2 main bag pieces on the fold. Then cut the bag strap to the measurements given on the pattern.
Cut out the quilt wadding in the same way as the outer fabric (both bag pieces and the strap).
Cut out the main bag pieces from the lining fabric.
To cut the inner pocket, fold the pattern down on the dotted line and place it 5cm back from the fold of the fabric. You can see this in the image below. This will give the extra fullness needed for the pockets.

Cutting out the inner bag pockets
3. Place your outer fabric on top of the quilt batting. Pin in place and using your sewing machine, quilt the two layers together. You can do this in many different ways. I have run diagonal lines across my bag to create diamonds. You could simply sew vertical lines about 10cm apart across the bag, or get creative and use wavy lines or even free form quilting.
The quilting holds the outer fabric and the wadding together as one piece of fabric while adding some stiffening to the bag.
Do the same for the bag handle (see image below).

Quilted bag strap
4. With right sides together, sew the darts on the bottom corners of the bag pieces. Do the same for the bag lining and pocket pieces.

5. Pin your two quilted outer bag pieces with right sides together. Make sure you match the dart seams. Sew around the outer edge (see image below).

6. Make the pleat at the top of the bag by folding the pleat line in to the centre line on both sides. Pin pleat and stay stitch in place. (You are making a large box pleat.)

Quilting, outer edge seam and pleat pinned at bag top
7.  Turn under top edge of bag inner pocket piece twice to create a tunnel for the elastic to run through. Thread the elastic through.

8. Pin the inner pocket to one of the lining pieces around the outer edge. Take in the extra fullness at the top of the pocket by drawing up the elastic. Create small pleats the the bottom of the pocket to fit it onto the bag lining. Stay stitch around the outside to hold the pocket and lining together.

9. Measure three even sized pockets and sew vertically down from the top of the pocket to the bottom of the bag. If you want more pockets, simply sew more vertical lines. I made my pockets the right size to fit  2 disposable nappies, nappy sacks and a wet wipes pack.

Pin the pocket to the lining
 10. Place the two lining pieces with right sides together. (The pocket will be between them.) Sew around the outside edge leaving a 10cm gap along the bottom through which you will turn the bag later.

11. Fold the bag strap in half long ways and sew down the side. Turn right side out and over stitch around the outside to hold it in place.

Bag straps after over-stitching
 12. Create the pleats on the tops of bag lining.

Bag outer and lining with pinned box pleats
13. Attach the magnetic bag snap to the inside of the bag lining. I used some wadding to help hold the snap in place as my lining fabric was quite thin. Make sure that you place the snap down from the top of the bag so that the highest point of the snap is at least 2cm from the edge as you will need a 1.5cm seam allowance. It is very difficult to sew the top seam if you place the snap too high.

Magnetic snap in place
14. Pin the bag strap with right side to the right side of the outer bag. Stay stitch both ends in place.

Bag strap pinned in place 
15. Place the outer bag inside of the bag lining. Right sides should be together. Match the pleats and bag side seams. Make sure that the strap is tucked between the outer and the lining and away from where you stitch. Pin and sew around the top edge of the bag. Clip the curves before turning the bag through the hole left open in the bottom of the bag lining.

Bag top seam (you can also see the wadding that I have used to support the magnetic snaps)
16. Turn the bag through the hole in the lining.

Bag turned through to right side.
17.  Pull the lining to the outside and pin the hole at the bottom closed. Stitch across the hole. Put the lining back down inside the bag.

Stitch the turning hole shut.
18. Over stitch around the top of the bag to hold the lining down inside and prevent it from rolling to the outside.

Bag over stitching around the top

Your bag is now complete. You can begin filling it with all the fun things you get to carry around as a parent!

Completed nappy bag!

For other patterns by RP Original hop onto  my Etsy store here!