New Pants


Pile-o-pants. Well, leggings really. I made these for Squish a while ago and have just realised I never posted about them.

Little Miss needed some new leggings for winter, and on my recent trips to fabric shops I had bought lots of knit fabric because “that will make really cute leggings”. So it was about time I got around to making them!

The best thing about leggings is that they are super simple to make. But since I didn’t take any photos of the process and I’m just not in the mood for making some more and writing a full tutorial, I hunted one down that is similar to what did in case my quick written instructions don’t make any sense at all (quite likely!)

But I’ll have a go at explaining what I did because it was a little different. The Make It and Love It tutorial uses a symmetrical pattern piece which I’m sure works fine, but I wanted to have more butt space to make sure there was enough cloth nappy bum room. Shop pants do have bigger back halves so I wanted to use the same idea. I did use two pieces of fabric like Jess though so the actual sewing part of the tutorial is the same.

Using a pair of store-bought leggings, I created my pattern piece. I turned them inside out and folded them in half, tracing one half. Then I flipped them over to trace the second half because the back had a slightly wider crotch bit and came up higher at the top. Make sense? Sorry. If you would like a proper tutorial, let me know. I’ll see what I can do.

But anyway, sewn together in the same way as Jess’ tutorial, I ended up with a bunch of new leggings to keep squish warm through winter.

5 new pairs for approximately $10 total. Brilliant. Oh those black ones are really thick too, nice and toasty warm.


Nic xx

Refashion: Adult hoodie to toddler hoodie

So in my wardrobe where all my fabric is stored, I also have a couple of huge bags of clothes that I can’t bear to throw out because I figure I can cut them up and use the fabric for something someday.

For one of those pieces of clothing, that day was finally here. The day I cut up one of my old zipup hoodies and turn it into a new hoodie for Squishy. I’ve been thinking about doing it ever since I saw this refashion:

Toddler Sweatshirt Tutorial by Craftiness is not Optional

Toddler Sweatshirt Tutorial by Craftiness is not Optional

The idea of refashioning one of my old pieces of clothing really stuck with me but when I came to do it I didn’t actually follow Jess’ tutorial at all (not because there was anything wrong with it, I just realised mine could work a little differently), so I figured I would have a go at showing you all what I did to go from this:

To this:

Got a hoodie that needs transforming into something for your child?

First you will need a pattern. If you have a hoodie pattern, great. If not, you can use a long sleeve top pattern and then draw up the hood section like I did, or you can have a go at drawing up your own pattern using one of your child’s sweatshirts.

Side note: If you use the link above to make your own pattern, don’t worry about folding it to make a symmetrical pattern piece. Half will work fine. And make sure you use a longsleeve top.


Lay your BACK pattern piece on top of the hoodie with the fold line along the zip and the bottom of the pattern piece slightly below the bottom of the top. As you are reusing the bottom ribbing or hem and saving yourself heaps of time, you don't need to include the seam allowance. Cut around your pattern piece through both layers of fabric, making sure that the zip pull thing (what is that called?) is down and out of the way.

Flip your pattern piece and cut out the other half.

Take your front bodice piece and fold it in half. Lay your FRONT pattern piece on top, and cut the neckline to match. Cut straight through the zip.

Lay your arm pattern piece on top of the original arm. Line up the fold of the sleeve with the fold line of the pattern and hang the sleeve end over the end of the sleeve (no need for seam allowances as you are using the original ribbing or hems). Cut around the pattern.

Now for the hood. I had to make my own hood pattern so I'm going to add this in in case you need to too. Using one of your child's hoodies, lay the hood down flat on to some paper. Trace around, remembering to add in seam allowances, except for the front as you will be reusing the hem on your adult hoodie. As you can see, I added seam allowace at the front, silly. Cut out your shape.

Using your hood pattern, cut out your new mini hood. My pattern piece is off the edge because of my unneccessary seam allowance.

Time to put it together! With right sides of the bodice facing, sew shoulder seams with a straight stitch. Use a zigzag stitch to finish the edges. Press with the seam towards the back.

Next you need to pin the arm pieces to the bodice. With right sides facing, start from the centre and work your way out. You may need to stretch the pieces to match. Sew together, again starting from the centre. Press, with the seams facing in to the sleeve. Repeat for the other sleeve.

With both arms sewn on, your hoodie should be looking like this. Time for some side seams.

With right sides together, sew up your side seams. Take care to line up the underarm seam as you go and keep the seam pointing into the sleeve. You could pin this before sewing if you like, I don't, but I'm just a bit lazy. Press.

Before you sew the hood on, you will need to cut a few of the teeth off the zip so that the fabric can be folded over later. I cut three teeth out from each side.

Next up is the hood. Put right sides together and sew up the seam. I was trying to keep the string freeflowing so I did a little tricky sewing at the top, but it didn't turn out that neatly. My advice is to sew right over it, securing the string as you go. It won't matter.

Pin the hood to the bodice. For this you will need the zip down a bit more to make it easier. Start from the centre and work your way out to keep it even, stretching the fabric as you go to match if you need to. Sew up and finish the edges. Press.

With the seam facing down, topstitch the hood to keep it tidy. When you get to the zip, fold the fabric over and stitch back and forward a few times creating a nice strong end which will stop the zip pull thing from coming off the top.

And that’s it! Go find yourself a cute toddler, stick it on them and then let them check out their cute new hoodie.


It didn’t take her long to find those pockets. The girl has been obsessed ever since the green easter dress. Found here by the way:

Ooohh and what's that Mumma?


I am so happy with how this turned out and I’m sure you will be too. It’s so cute seeing a miniature version of my old top. Possibly because it’s also being worn by a miniature version of me!

Love you Squishy.

Nic x

A new dress. Because I can.

I’ve been noticing a trend on some of the blogs I follow. Each holiday, the blogger makes (or buys) a new outfit for their children. For example:

(Click on a picture to link to the original post)


Made by Rae's Pale Pink Peekaboo Dress and Bonnet

Craftiness Is Not Optional's Easter Dress number 1

and Craftiness Is Not Optional's Easter Dress number 2

Simple Simon & Company's Chocolate Chicken Easter Dress

It was the same for Valentine’s Day, Christmas Day, Thanksgiving and basically any holiday that comes along. Is this an American thing? Do you guys always wear special clothes and decorate your homes at every opportunity? Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s awesome. We Kiwi’s obviously don’t know how to get into the spirit of things.

But then I realised, I’ve made Squish a new skirt or dress for special occasions before. How is that any different? Apparently I’ve been doing the same thing all along!

So anyway, back to what this post was actually about. Miss Squish’s fancy new Easter dress. I made it yesterday while she was having a nap then finished it off with the pockets last night. She got to wear it today to her little friend’s house for an easter egg hunt and it will also be shown off on a trip to visit friends on Tuesday. Behold:

She looks kinda Christmassy with those cute little red shoes, which by the way, are from Joyfolie. If you haven’t heard of them you MUST check out their shoes!

The dress is made using a longsleeve tshirt pattern, I just extended the length and flared it out at the bottom a little. It was looking a little naked until a friend suggested pockets! Pockets was exactly what this dress needed. I used Made by Rae’s Pleated Pocket Tutorial, except I gathered the fabric instead of pleated because me and that fabric were just not getting along.

She loves those pockets. As soon as she put the dress on she was trying to shove her little squishy hands into them.

And of course because I said “let’s go and play outside so I can take some photos” she did this:

But she eventually came back so I could get another one of the front.

But that’s it. We were running late so I had to stop and rush everyone out the door.

Hope you are all having a very Happy Easter!

Nicola xx

A new sweatshirt and a tutorial

My lovely daughter has decided that tops with zips are for taking off, not leaving on to keep warm. Helpful, huh. So I needed to get her a warm top that she can’t take off. And considering I didn’t have any suitable fabric and The Baby Factory were selling plain sweatshirts for $8.99 I wasn’t about to go making one.

Trouble is the ones at the Baby Factory were just plain colours. Not quite fancy enough for my baby girl. I just had to add something:

Don’t look too closely at the actual applique. My technique is crap. This was only the second time I’ve ever tried it and I’ve obviously still got a LOT to learn. But the idea? I’m happy to share that.

Wanna make one of your own? Maybe not a heart, you could do whatever shape you like.

Find yourself a plain sweatshirt. Plain ones are usually cheap, so that's a bonus.

Cut out your base shape (apologies for the ribbon already sewn on there, I got a little ahead of myself). I used red polarfleece because it was the only red fabric I had.

Sew ribbons one by one to the base shape you cut out. Sew each one close to the edge, on both sides.

Keep going, adding ribbons and ricrac or whatever you have until it looks the way you want it. Trim the ends.

Pin in place on your sweatshirt. Now this is where I need help. I couldn't put interfacing on the back of the heart because it wouldn't stick to the polarfleece. Should I have used it on the inside of the sweatshirt to stop the fabric from stretching? Can anyone help me with that? If so, please leave me a comment. I could do with the help!

Using a zigzag stitch with a short stitch length, applique around the edge of the shape. I used a width of 3mm and a length of 0.2mm. I think that the length was too short. Anyone wanna help me out with that one too?

And that’s it! A great way to give your kids cute, unique clothes without the expense of premade stuff or the time and effort involved in making something from scratch.

Nicola x

Refashion: Kids pants to shorts

The offending pants

These lovely pants are another find from the Freecycle bag of treats that was desperately needing a restyle. The pants themselves are in really good condition, but kid’s TV programme logos on clothes aren’t really my thing.

My first thought, SCISSORS! Cut the legs off and get rid of the logos! But that pesky one on the right leg was too far up. So, I decided to cut them off into shorts anyway and add a band made from the leg fabric to lengthen them.


For anyone that may have pants that need a little change-up, here’s what I did:

I cut the legs off just above the logo. Ignore the fact the I had already made a cut lower down, I thought I may have been able to do it differently.

I cut two strips approx. 5cm wide to make the bands from the bottom of the pant legs so that I didn't have to finish the edges again.

I then pinned the bands to the shorts, right sides together.

Next, ironing the seams flat towards the bottom of the shorts.

And that’s it! A brand new pair of shorts, without the tacky Hi5 logo. Brilliant, and simple!

Squish better start growing faster so that she can fit into her growing pile of new clothes!


Tutorial: Kids flared pants to tights

Have you heard of Freecycle? It’s a website where people post their unwanted items for others to have for free in the interests of keeping unnecessary stuff out of our landfills. It’s an international organisation, but you just sign up for the posts in your area.

Recently I scored a huge bag of girl’s clothes in size 4 – 7. There was all kinds of good stuff in there. A lot of it was covered in paint but that just tells me that the little girl that used to own these clothes was very creative! There were also a few homemade knitted and sewn jerseys in there too.

About half of it is in good condition and has gone into a bag to wait until Squish gets a little older. The other half is stained or stretched beyond repair or just not my taste, and so is destined to either be altered or cut up and used for something else. Luckily I have a little while to work on it all since she is no where near fitting any of it! But do keep a look out for a few tutorials on altering kids clothes in the near future.

Right, back to today’s tutorial. Altering these lovely purple flared pants:

into something a little more to my taste:

I’ve altered my straight jeans into skinny jeans before, so I figured this would be no trouble. Got a pair of kid pants that need a restyle? Let’s get into it.

Stuff you will need:

  • Rotary Cutter and cutting mat, or scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron

Step 1:

Using your ruler, check the outside edge of the leg. If it is already straight, great. If not, like these ones, put a pin in where the flare starts. Put another pin in the bottom to mark where your line of stitching is going to end. I guess if you have chalk or a suitable pen, you could draw a straight line to show you where to sew.

Step 2:

Starting a little before the pin, sew along the original line of stitching and when you get near the pin slowly start to veer away from the edge, sewing in a straight line towards the pin at the bottom of the pant leg. This is where a drawn line would come in very handy! Must get me some chalk.

Step 3:

Repeat for the inseam. Using your ruler, straighten the inseam. The top of the leg on these pants was fitted so I just continued that line all the way to the bottom. Using pins mark your start and finish points as before. Sew as for the outside seam. Trim excess fabric and finish edges by zigzagging or overlocking. Repeat for the other leg.

Step 4:

Iron your seams. If you are working with knit fabric like me, this step is definitely a must. Just press and lift, don't drag the iron.

Turn in the right way, and you are done! One pair of tights that I will happily dress my child in.

Next up, a pair of Hi5 pants that I can’t stand! Shorts anyone?

Nicola x

A little something for me. I hope.

I’ve been sewing for me. I love when that happens! I should do it more often.

What I don’t like is how I just dive right into things without planning. I’m a visual person, so I tend to just start cutting and putting together without much time to think. Sometimes that works out fine, especially for Squishy’s clothes since kids don’t have curves to consider. But for me it usually means sew a bit, go to the bathroom to try on and look in the mirror, try to work out how much to take in, sew a bit more, add a pleat here to hide my gaping neckline, back to the bathroom to try on again, unpick and resew… you get the idea.

I know, I need a dress form. And an overlocker. OH YES! I would LOVE an overlocker. I have an overedge foot on my machine that finishes edges nicely but it takes FOREVER. And yes, I’m aware that I’m blaming the equipment. But I still want an overlocker and a dress form. Please and Thank you.

Light cotton singlet top

The top.

See how there is a band across the bottom? That’s what happens when you don’t think before you cut. The straps are also supposed to tie at each shoulder, but I didn’t make enough bias tape and barely had enough to join them with a zigzag stitch. I do give myself credit for MAKING bias tape though, I’ve only done it a few times but it makes such a difference.

I think I’ve managed to save this top. Maybe a little fabric flower or two on the front there and a piece of elastic in the back to bring it in just a bit. We shall see.

Nicola xx

The $6 dress

When we first moved to this area around 6 months ago, I spotted an awesome looking Salvation Army op shop. Since then I’ve been driving past thinking “I must go in there one day” but forgetting to go back and have a look.

The other day I finally ventured in and discovered a beautifully laid out store with so many brilliant things. Old records, sports equipment, kids shoes, vases etc. I was very well restrained and only came out with 5 things:

  • A set of badminton racquets – $5
  • A bracelet – $2.50 (which actually doesn’t fit me, whoops, I’ll donate it back)
  • 2 doilies – 50c (not sure what for yet, but I know they’ll come in handy for something)
  • “I am a duck” children’s book by Mike Wilkins and Jeff Wakefield – 50c
  • and this dress – $6:

The $6 dressThis dress is super comfy and I really like it. It’s a little puffy but I can deal with that.

The only problem is that dresses are usually too short for me, and this is no exception. I’m not really, really tall, but obviously taller than the people who decide on dress length are used to. The other problem is that I ALWAYS forget to do the bend over and sit down tests when I try stuff on. Note to self – start remembering.

Good news: I had a quick look at the hem to see what could be done, and found this:

Hem of the $6 dress… a super giant 10cm hem! I did a quick check to make sure that the fold hadn’t left a faded line, nope, all good!

A little unpicking, a little ironing and a little sewing back up and we are done. All ready for our trip to the beach next week, keep your fingers crossed for sunny weather for us (not looking good at the moment…).

I often forget that with a bit of investigating I can try and fix things to fit me better. Off to search my wardrobe to see what else needs altering…

Nicola xx