I love topstitching!

So as I prepare for my huge trip, I am first up going to bring back one from the guest blogging archives, a post that I did for miss Celina from Petit a Petit and Family. Here we go!

My favourite sewing detail is topstitching. I do not know why, I just love it. You may have seen my 6 bucket hats, did you notice that I topstitched every single seam? That's just one example of the crazy love I have developed for sewing seams twice.

I think because I sew mainly for my two boys, I want to embellish their clothing a little bit, but I cant exactly add a ruffle or a fabric flower.

Here are some examples of topstitching as a design detail. Below are my favourite shorts I have sewn for Elijah, I used double lines of stitching on the pockets and side seams.
On this brown pair of shorts I used just one row of top stitching in a lighter colour than the fabric.
Below, I used a thread which is a darker shade than the shorts, and I think contrasts nicely. I guess not everyone would exactly look at these details, but I really do. Maybe I am weird? Haha :)
Below are some shorts that I purchased for my eldest son Elijah which I love. I really like the blue top-stitching on a few seams, and also the two lines of stitching up the front of each leg. Some of these details I want to incorporate into what I make.
I also love the double lines of dark grey on light.
 So I want to hear, what is your favourite design detail? Are you like me and notice the little things?

Going on a trip across the country

Hey guys, how is KCW going? I have been enjoying sewing along properly for the first time in a few seasons. Yay. Anyway I have some news to share with you all.

In a couple of weeks we are going on a huge camping trip. HUGE. As in possibly 6 or 7 weeks long. Maybe even 8. A total of 5,383km or 3345 miles. All up 59 hours one way. I don't even know if 7 weeks will be long enough.

Our final destination is Exmouth, Western Australia. It is absolutely beautiful and I hope I can bring home plenty of pictures to show you all. Here are some great images I found, it is whale shark season there and we plan to try and go snorkling with them.

So I thought I better warn all of you, my lovely readers. I will have some posts coming up, but the blog will be running on autopilot :) We will be leaving on April 22nd and returning some time in June.

I am no camper so we will see how we go! Haha, would you be interested in hearing about our adventures?

One Year Bloggy Anniversary!

Last month, my blog reached its 1 year milestone! YAY!! So I thought it would be interesting to run through some fun facts from my first year of blogging.

Most pinned and most popular post:

PJ Pants - Free Sewing Pattern and Tutorial with 2500 pins that I could find! There is probably more. Everyone loves a good free pattern.

Most embarrassing post:

Ombre Board Shorts. The pictures here are terrible and the shorts were too big to fit for a while. Oh well :)

Ombre Board Shorts

Most worn item:

Oliver + S Bucket Hats x 6. This one is probably the most practical item I have ever sewn. My boys are always wearing their hats, and in fact they are due for new ones. I know the others that I gave as gifts were worn a lot too!

Bucket hats

Least worn item:

Spring Formal Basic Blazer. Unfortunately there just isnt very many places to wear an awesome jacket like this one. Plus the fit was just right at the time I made it and one growth spurt later it was a little too tight.

Blank Slate Basic Blazer

It was so fun putting this list together. I wonder where the next year will take me! Haha, is there any other interesting facts you would like to know? Leave a comment! :)

Crisis averted

It was a lovely sunny Saturday afternoon. The sun was shining clear down on a relaxed breezy home. It was one of those days that you open every window and door to enjoy the fresh scent of Autumn air as it passes through the house.

As in every family home, evenings are charged with activity. Dinner is cooked, kids are bathed and dressed in their pajamas and I am of course busy cleaning up after everyone. A nice glass of wine is well deserved after all that work.

That night, a storm rolled through, it was strong and windy. I love listening to the sounds of thunder as I lay in bed. And as I lay there, drifting off to sleep, some of the windows were still open. And my poor sewing machines were sadly sitting in front of one of them.

The next morning, when I entered my sewing room, a fresh pool of water gleamed on the sewing desk. Can you imagine the feelings I had at that moment? How would you feel? My heart dropped through the pit of my stomach. What a stupid thing to do! Why didn't I think of that window? Is it ruined! NO!! MY BABY IS ONLY A YEAR OLD.

I unplugged the machine and immediately ran off to find a screw driver. I have no idea about sewing machines but I knew I had to take it apart to see the damage. Without stopping to take note of what I was doing, each and every screw I could see came out one by one and was dumped in a pile. A few drops of water were falling onto my fingers and I feared the worst.

My husband came in to help take the plastic cover apart. My heart was pumping as we unclipped the front from the back to reveal the dark metal body of my naked machine. I had to leave her alone for a few days to dry.

I am so relieved to tell you, she is all back together and working properly. But I am going to treat her carefully as we try to forget this terrible incident. This post is serving as a form of therapy for me, I needed to get this off my chest. So friends, please tell me your sewing horror story and make me feel a bit better. I feel like a bad mother who just left her baby out in the rain.

Summer Concert Tee - Perfect Pattern Parcel

The last few weeks has shown that a number of my favourite bloggers love a good slouchy tee.

And thanks to the Perfect Pattern Parcel I got to sew one up for me :) Though this isn't just any old slouchy tee, it is the super cool Summer Concert Tee by Dixie DIY.

I think I might need some summer concert sunglasses for these pictures. I picked up this vibrant maxi dress at the thrift shop and the summer concert tee was the perfect pattern to give it a new life. I love bright colours, I may still be holding on to my teen years a bit?! Haha. Oh well.

I made a size M and made no serious alterations. After seeing Rachael's version with the sleeve bands I decided I wanted the same. I love how easy this is to sew up.

The back is long enough to cover anything unflattering. I paired it with a simple top to keep things decent in the front.

So what is the Perfect Pattern Parcel all about?

Perfect Pattern Parcel

Basically it is a fabulous pattern bundle including these 5 amazing patterns:

And you also get the chance to support a charity organisation, Donors Choose.


About PPP:

Put together two entrepreneurial makers driven by their internal voices and one self-taught hacker with an "if you build it, they will come" mentality, and Perfect Pattern Parcel was born. We are passionate about supporting independent designers in their craft and fostering a community of makers to grow. Our mission is to offer high-quality pdf sewing patterns written by indie designers while supporting children's education.

About Donors Choose:

Donors Choose is an organization that matches up the needs of teachers and their students for specific projects with willing donors. The funds raised from each Pattern Parcel sale will go to help K-12 students in minimizing educational inequality and encourage a community where children have the tools and experiences necessary for an excellent education.

About Parcel #1:

Pattern Parcel #1 includes sewing patterns for women that are modern classics, featuring both flattering silhouettes and garments that are comfortable to wear. From a new little black dress to weekend play wear, the patterns in Parcel #1 have got you covered.

Support Indie Designers

Independent designers create patterns that are innovative, imaginative and in line with current style trends. Their patterns encompass a broad range of sizes and fabulous “out of the envelope” fit because they're thoroughly tested by real people. With detailed and well-explained instructions, these patterns often teach as you sew. Independent designers are approachable, providing support, suggestions, publishing additions to your favorite designs, and hosting interactive sewing events. When we are patrons of indie designers, we are supporting small, mostly women owned, businesses. We are developing the community around us. We are helping to making dream come true.


Head on over to Perfect Pattern Parcel to read more about it, there is only a couple of days to go so be quick!! Also, make sure to enter the fabric giveaway in celebration of this fantastic bundle!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Bloggers participating - One Little Minute | SeamstressErin Designs | One Girl Circus | casa crafty | the quirky peach | Kadiddlehopper | Sew Caroline | Groovybabyandmama | Fishsticks Designs | the Brodrick blog | verypurpleperson | sew a straight line | Adventures in Dressmaking | true bias | Idle Fancy | La Pantigana | Crafterhours | Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts | Max California | YoSaMi | la inglesita | Diary of a Chainstitcher | four square walls | Lauren Dahl | Sewbon | mingo & grace | Dandelion Drift | VeryShannon | Sanae Ishida | buzzmills | Sew Jereli | Figgy's | Froo & Boo | a happy stitch | Disaster in a Dress | Things for Boys | mama says sew | sew Amy sew | Sew Busy Lizzy | Made With Moxie | imagine gnats

Small Fry Skinny Jeans Pattern Tour

Recently, my friend Laura of Titchy Threads invited me to sew along for her Small Fry Skinny Jeans Pattern Tour, and of course I was all in!

I fell in love with the classic pair that Laura had made for her listing, so I wanted to sew a pair for Elijah.

And honestly, Laura has made an incredible pattern. I have to hold back from gushing over the Small Fry Skinny Jeans (aka SFSJ). But I think it is clear when you look at the consistency of every pair on this tour and from testers, this pattern is TNT, dynamite. It is no simple sew, but at the same time it is comprehensive enough to take you through each step and get excellent results.

The pattern is on sale until March 15th with the code TOUR20.

I measured Elijah before picking a size, he is well and truly a size 4 now, but he is growing so tall that I decided to lengthen the hem to the size 5 and make a cuff.

I printed the pattern out at my local print shop, and then... *gasp*... cut the size I wanted. It took me a while to make this decision, but I don't think I will be sewing jeans again until next year, and I think the sting of paying another $3 wont be too bad.

The pattern features A LOT of topstitching, I borrowed my mum's machine so that I didn't have to swap threads during sewing. Her machine only has one speed... fast! It was interesting getting used to it again as it was the machine I started my sewing adventures on.

I had no idea what sort of design to do on the back pockets, so rather than leave them totally plain I did something random. I think it looks okay.

Some of the sewing isn't perfect, there are variations in the distances between all the topstitching. I gritted my teeth and ignored my perfectionism, because I know I am the only one who can see what I am talking about.

Oh and I LOVE flat felled seams. Its official. See... I had mentioned to Laura I was going to just save myself the hassle and just serge those seams, but she pointed out to me that flat fells actually take less sewing, only 2 passes by the machine. Essentially if you do serge the seams there is 4 passes through (sew, serge, topstitch, topstitch). Well I am so glad I tried them. They look SO good!

I am so super happy with the jeans! They look incredible. I love seeing all the different versions on the tour. Today Amanda from Kitschy Coo and Sabra at Sew A Straight Line are also posting their jeans so head on over there to take a look :)

Don't forget to grab your copy of the Small Fry Skinny Jeans for 20% while the tour is on, just use the code TOUR20.


Paisley Roots RebekahSews Handmade by Brienne If Only They Would Nap Mingo & Grace La gang à Nat Lexi Made Sutures & Sandpaper Elsie Marley Probably Actually Groovybaby and mama 2 Little Hooligans Sew Jereli Kitschy Coo Sew a Straight Line A Jennuine Life Lauren Dahl Miss Matatabi Welcome to the Mouse House Things for Boys Skirt As Top sewpony Charming Doodle EmmylouBeeDoo Caila Made Heidi and Finn Max California Petit à Petit and Family Sewing Like Mad I Seam Stressed

Pajama Pattern Update

Free Pajama Pants Pattern

Hi :)

Just a quick update on the blog today. My free pajama pants pattern has been revamped.

Firstly, since signing up to Adobe's photographers special I have been playing with Photoshop a fair bit. Like I need another hobby right? (Probably will need another hubby soon if I get any more hobbies haha)

So I updated the pictures to match with the size of the newer blog pictures and brightened them up a bit. I am not 100% satisfied with how they look, but it is all a learning experience and the more I practice the better I will get. I also realise that my old point-and-shoot does not really have the same clarity of my new DSLR. So the p&s pictures will do for now :)

I also added a short tutorial, so that you can print one page as a quick reminder of what you are doing. I often like these shortened tutorials just to double check seam allowances and the order of construction.

The pattern itself has not changed, though the formatting has.

As you can see, I have been able to reformat to include layers. Huge thank you to Laura from Titchy Threads (and her clever husband!) for being the brains behind this innovation. Now you can print only the size you want, or all of them by clicking the options on and off.

I think you are all about to see this feature spread far and wide throughout the PDF pattern community. There is always a debate about having patterns nested or not, and this feature completely solves this issue. Print all the sizes one at a time if you like! It is fantastic. Thanks Laura for helping me to implement it in my own patterns.

Funnily enough, next up on my sewing table are Laura's Small Fry Skinny Jeans. As well as the fantastic layers feature, Laura has formatted the pattern so you can get it printed at your local print shop. And guess what I did? Yep for a whole $3 I had it printed out! No taping required, woohoo. I will take a picture for my post.

Anyhow, if you want to get a hold of the updated pattern, you will need to sign up to my newsletter. You will receive the link for download when you have completed the subscription by following all the steps to click through the confirmation email.

If you have already signed up, I am going to send an email out with the updated version. Make sure that it isn't in your spam box :)


What Would Celina Do? Ryder Trousers by Made It Patterns

Ryder Trousers

What would Celina do with the Ryder Trousers by Made It Patterns?

You guys, I am seriously excited by this post today! Hehehehehe!!! This is a huge surprise series in honor of the AMAZING and TALENTED Celina from Petit a Petit & Family. Back in September I was chatting to my friend Laura, and it seemed that every post that Celina was rolling out was absolutely amazing. This started us joking about how we need to try to imitate her awesomeness, and Laura had the fantastic idea to ask some others and make a series out of it! Woo. Hope you love it Celina!

Ryder Trousers

A few months ago, Anna the designer behind Made It Patterns contacted me to see if I would review her new pattern. Well I had terrible bloggy manners and totally flaked :(

So when this series popped up I knew that I wanted to sew the Ryder Trousers! It is the type of pattern that Celina would ROCK.

Ryder Trousers

And seriously, I LOVE the Ryder Trousers. I am terrible at mixing prints, so plain blue was my choice.

All those pieces look great as they are sewn together, its almost like a puzzle at first (HINT: don't ignore notches hehe). Each line of top stitching just adds a bit more awesomeness. I cant say enough good things about this pattern, not only is it creative but the pattern itself was really great quality.

Ryder Trousers

The instructions are great, the only thing I changed was to follow the zip fly instructions from Titchy Threads Small Fry Skinny Jeans. I haven't done a zip in the way Anna describes and I was sewing in the wee hours, so I just went with what I knew :)

I also used a tip I got from Andrea over at Four Square Walls to use scrap fabric when going over humps and multiple layers, and it helped a bunch with pockets and belt loops!

Ryder Trousers

To go with the pants I went with the wardrobe staple Flashback Skinny Tee from Made By Rae. I had a small amount of plaid fabric with shades of blue, green and orange. So I did my best to channel some Celina style, and pull the outfit together. I love the shirt! The orange back is something I probably wouldn't have done myself but I really love it.

Ryder Trousers

All the pockets and trim inside the pants are finished with the same plaid fabric.

Ryder Trousers

So how did I go? Did I make you proud Celina? You are an inspiration! Everyone knows how amazing you are and I hope you have an awesome time clicking around seeing how we were all inspired by you :) I am so proud of my outfit today.

Click on a picture to visit the other ladies who are answering the question #whatwouldcelinado?

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