Millie Dress International Blog Tour

Millie Dress in See You at Six French Terry

I've had my eyes on this beautiful Millie Dress pattern for a while now. I even went and downloaded the original version but my little beanpole of a girl outgrew the size range before I had a chance to make it.  Happily for me the lovely designer, Nicky of Mix it Make it, has updated the pattern and it now comes in sizes 2-12 - Hurrah!  When she asked whether I would like to be part of the international blog tour to celebrate the release of the English version of the pattern I quite naturally jumped at the chance! 

Millie Dress International Blog Tour

Summer is in full swing down under so I decided to hack my Millie Dress a little to make a sleeveless version.  It was a really simple alteration - I just turned the seam allowance to the wrong side and stitched it down, exactly the same as the neckline.  Super easy.

Millie Dress in See You at Six French Terry

I used a beautiful soft See You at Six French terry which I have recently become completely obsessed with.  I blame MaaiDesign for introducing me to it and enabling my addiction!  It's just so lovely to work with and so heavenly to wear.  Each time I make something from it my kids put the clothes on and say 'Oooooh, yes! I love this one!'  I can't get enough of this beautiful pink with gold paint strokes on it.

Sleeveless Millie Dress in See You at Six French Terry

I think this may well be one of Ella's favourite things that I have ever made for her.  Pretty, Twirly, Comfy. What more could a girl want?  

The pattern is beautifully drafted and the instructions are clear and simple.  I made the mistake of getting a little over excited and accidentally cut the front and back bodice along the ruffle insertion lines before joining them at the shoulders.  I spent about 2 minutes kicking myself and then decided to just try sticking them back together with washi tape before sewing and what do you know - it worked a treat!  Washi tape for the win every time!

There will certainly be more Millie Dresses in our future.   I've already got a long sleeved version planned for autumn in this lovely April Rhodes fabric.  Any dress that makes you want to dance and twirl is a winner in my opinion! (Click through the images above to see more dancing and twirling!)

If you'd like to see more Millie Dresses go and take a look at the beautiful creations by the other lovelies on the Millie Dress Blog Tour:

Kneesocks and Goldilocks | Just Add Fabric | Van Jansen

Groovy Baby and Mama | La Folie Sewing Booth | My Petite Sophie

See You at Six French Terry Groove Dress

I thought all of my dreams had come true when Maaike from MaaiDesign contacted me and asked if I'd like to play with some of her beautiful, beautiful fabrics!  I was completely spoiled for choice but eventually chose to make this amazingly soft, completely adorable, beach / swim cover up from the fish print of this See You at Six french terry

I'm sharing lots more photos and a few more ramblings over at MaaiDesign today. Go and take a look and say 'hello'!

Groove Dress See You at Six French Terry Fish 1.JPG

Free Dribble Bib Pattern and Tutorial

This is another project from the Mama and Baby sewing book which I wrote for my sister last year.  I'm still working on getting it ready to publish online but thought I'd share some of the projects beforehand.  Check out my Tutorials page for more free patterns and tutorials.

This little cowboy style neckerchief is fantastic for keeping your baby’s clothes dry, particularly as wet t-shirts can cause chaffing and soreness on their little chins and chests. The soft jersey fabric is very absorbent and the folds catch all the dribbles.  When it gets too wet or dirty you can just pop on a new one without needing a whole outfit change.  These are quick and simple to make and are the perfect project for using up scraps. Click on the image above to download the pattern.

Many people are afraid of using stretch / knit fabrics – and I have to admit that I was one of them before I started playing around with them and discovered that they’re actually great to work with and really very easy once you understand a few basics.  If you're new to sewing with knits then I suggest you check out my 'Beginner's Guide to Knits'.

In any case, don’t panic, all you need to remember is not to stretch the fabric when cutting it (a rotary cutter and mat is perfect for this) and to use a ball point (stretch) needle for your sewing machine. A ball point needle (as the name suggests) is a needle with a slightly rounded tip, meaning that it can pass between woven fibres without cutting them and potentially causing runs in knit fabrics.


You will need:

25cm x 50cm of Jersey knit (you can up-cycle an old t-shirt if you like)

25cm x 40cm of fleece / bamboo / towelling or similar for backing.

2 press studs

Dribble bib pattern pieces - click on the image at the top of the page to download them. Pattern pieces include a 1cm (1/2") seam allowance.



1. Cut 1 of the bib front from your knit fabric, and 1 of the bib back from your fleece or bamboo backing fabric. Be sure to transfer all pattern markings. Markings for press stud positions should be copied onto the RIGHT side of the bib backing.

Press and sew the pleats:

2. With the bib front right side up, fold bib right sides together so that one of the outer pleat markings is matched to the middle mark.  Pin through both layers of fabric where the mark is, then fold bib back to the right side to form a pleat. Press the pleat away from the centre of the bib and pin in place. Repeat for the other side of the bib. Baste along the top edge of the bib front to hold pleats in place.

Willow & Stitch | Free Dribble Bib Tutorial

Join the bib front and back:

3. With bib front and back right sides together, match central notches along the top edge of the bib. Pin in place. Next, match and pin the notches at the pointed tip of the bib (the bottom).  Now align the corners of the bib front and back and pin these in place.  Ease the knit fabric into place so that it matches the edge of the bib back, taking care not to stretch either piece as you do so and allowing the excess knit fabric to form gentle folds in the middle of the bib.  Continue pinning the top and side edges.

4. Using a ball point needle on your sewing machine, join the two pieces with a 1cm (1/2") seam allowance. Sew right around the big, leaving a 5cm (2") turning hole on one of the side edges and backstitching at either side of your turning hole to secure the stitches.

Clip seams and Topstitch bib:

5. Trim seams at corners and tip of bib to 5mm.  Clip seams every 2 cm along sides and top of bib, taking care not to cut through your line of stitching.  Do not clip seam allowance at your turning hole.

6. Turn the bib to the right side, using your fingers or a knitting needle / chopstick to push out the corners. Use your fingers to pinch seams along the edges and pin them in place. Allow your knit fabric to extend a few mm (1/8") past the bib backing so that if you look at the bib from the back you can see a very narrow band of the bib front right around the edge. This will give the bib a better shape by ensuring that the backing fabric is not stretched too tight which would cause the bib tip to curl upwards.

7. Topstitch 5mm (1/4") from the edge, right around the bib, closing the turning hole at the same time. Remove pins as you sew, taking them out just before you reach them to allow fabric to relax into shape.

Attach press studs:

8. Attach your poppers according to the manufacturers instructions. The pattern includes positions for 2 press studs so that you can adjust the size of the bib as your baby grows.

Free Dribble Bib Pattern | Willow and Stitch

Look at that dribble bib in action, soaking up all that goo - Isn't it a beautiful thing?!  Is there a dribbly baby in your life who needs one (or two or three?) of these?

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Drape Drape 2 - Asymmetrical Scoop Neck Tee: Pattern Review

Drape Drape 2 - Asymmetrical Scoop Neck Tee: Pattern Review |  Willow & Stitch

I've been flouncing around the house today in my favourite new me-made.  I am completely in love with this Asymmetrical Scoop Neck Tee from Drape Drape 2.  Despite having borrowed the original Drape Drape book from my friend about a year ago, I hadn't got around to making anything from it yet so this was the first of Hisako Sato's pattern's that I have actually worked with.  If I'm honest I had flicked through the first book and felt a little bit intimidated by (what appeared to be) some very fiddly patterns and hadn't managed to find the time, or the enthusiasm, to tackle any of them.  

BUT.  Then I saw a picture of this tee on Instagram and impulsively bought Drape Drape 2 purely so that I could make one.  I'm really glad I did.  It was the perfect first pattern to start with.  Ridiculously simple (It's just a single pattern piece) but with some really lovely details.  I love the way the fabric drapes at the waist and I particularly like the shape of the fitted sleeve on the right side.  The left sleeve is loose and the shoulder has a lapped seam which just looks really nice.  The neckline is lovely, if a little wide - certainly not ideal for grovelling around on the floor picking up toys / shoes / bits of banana. Unless, of course, you happen to be wearing a particularly lovely (handmade?) bra that you want to show off.  But let's face it, if you're grovelling around on the floor cleaning up discarded bits of old banana no one's really going to fancy you anyway, even if you are flashing your pretty undies at them. Probably best to just save this tee for a civilised evening with friends once the kids are in bed.

Drape Drape 2 - Asymmetrical Scoop Neck Tee: Pattern Review |  Willow & Stitch
Drape Drape 2 - Asymmetrical Scoop Neck Tee: Pattern Review |  Willow & Stitch

One more thing I should mention about this book is the sizing.  I know it's a Japanese pattern book, but still, I can't pretend my ego wasn't slightly dented by the fact that I was measuring as a size XL when I usually wear a small or medium!  I can't help but wonder how many people have bought the book and then discovered that nothing much will fit them.... Of course you'd probably all have the sense to check things like that, rather than just buying a book of patterns on a mere whim like I did...

Still, there are at least 3 other patterns in this book that I'm dying to try and on the whole I like Drape Drape 2 much more than Drape Drape 1 - there seem to be many more wearable items in it, although to be honest several of them would still be pretty obscenely revealing if wore them like the models in the book do (i.e. without anything underneath). I think layering is going to be key...  But that's a problem for another day and in the meantime I'm going to continue crushing on my new tee and flouncing around the house.  

Drape Drape 2 - Asymmetrical Scoop Neck Tee: Pattern Review |  Willow & Stitch

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Kids Clothes Week - Going Japanese

Wildflower Kimono and Japanese Pants
Wildflower Kimono

It's Kids Clothes Week again! I'm not sure why I love Kid's Clothes Week so much; I mean it's not like I can't just sew for my kids whenever I feel like it; I think it's the feeling of participating in something bigger; of sharing my experiences and making connections with new people.

The theme this time is 'Travelling'; a bit of a tricky one don't you think?  I'm on a mission to sew only with fabric from my stash at the moment so going out and buying some 'travel' themed fabric is not an option.  Also, I don't really get much time to just sit down and sew for my kids so when I do I want to make sure that I'm sewing things that will get lots of use, and not just sew novelty items.

When I saw the Wildflower Kimono Cardigan from Striped Swallow Designs on Instagram this week I fell in love with it instantly and thought the Japanese style would fit perfectly with the 'Travelling' theme of Kid's Clothes Week.  It's a pretty great pattern, with no pieces to print and stick - It's just made out of rectangles! You've got to love that!

Dana at Sew Thrifty wrote a great post recently on how to decide whether a pattern is worth purchasing and this one definitely ticked several boxes for me; It comes in Sizes Newborn to Women's XXXL so I'm pretty sure that neither Ella or I will ever (hopefully!) grow out of It. Also, I love it so much that right now I want to make one for pretty much everyone I know!   I'm sure its going to be great value.  Actually, for the first time ever, I'm bummed that it's kids clothes week because all I want to do is sew about 10 for myself.  Next week is going to have to be Mama's Clothes Week...

Wildflower Kimono and Japanese Pants

The Wildflower Kimono was a pretty quick sew, I managed to cut the pieces and sew it in one evening, but most importantly It was a BIG hit with the girl who loved it because it's so big and soft and snuggly; perfect for winter in Australia.  She also discovered within about a nanosecond that if she spreads her arms she gets WINGS!!  Or she can be a superhero.  Or cover herself up entirely.  Big bonus points for that!

Wildflower Kimono

In keeping with the Japanese theme I decided to make this pair of Japanese Inspired pants from a (slightly modified) Ottobre Pattern.  I really loved how they turned out and thought that they looked great, but unfortunately the little lady had other ideas and instantly hated them.  I really had no idea why! Kids can be so irrational sometimes.  Fortunately they're also really easy to buy and I managed to bribe her with a few smarties to get these photos! Mwah ha ha ha ha ha....


Kids Clothes Week - Spider Tee for the Boy

Spider Tee

I found this amazing spider web fabric at my local fabric clearance store this week and thought it would be just perfect for the Kids Clothes Week Wild Things theme.  The pattern is modified from an Ottobre pattern, I just added a waist band to it to make it more like a sweater than a tee.  The neckline turned out a little wide but it just adds to the slouchy, comfy feel I think. 

Needless to say it was a big hit with Jacob who beamed when he saw it.  It immediately captured his imagination - he instantly turned into Spiderman - climbing, jumping, swinging, shooting webs from his wrists! Look at that happy face!

There were so many more things that wanted to get done during this Kids Clothes Week but as always there simply weren't enough hours in the day and I decided that I really needed to focus on one very special project instead! Details coming right up...

Friday's Tee

I was in need of something simple today, because I've not been feeling well and I wanted to still have time this evening to sit on the sofa, eat nachos and drink wine - Because it's Friday dammit and I need a REST!

 So, today I made a Kirsten Kimono Tee from Maria Denmark.  It's a free pattern and you can find the link here

I'm actually really pleased with this.  It's sooo comfy and even though it's so simple I still love the style.  One thing that I hadn't anticipated was how hard it is to sew with black!  It's been a pretty grey day here so the light wasn't that great, but i just found it really hard to SEE anything!  I've never really sewn with black fabric before because until now I have mostly sewn clothes for the children and I don't tend to dress them in black.

I think this is probably the cheapest item of clothing I have ever made - pattern was free and I got about 4 metres of this fabric for $2 because it had a couple of rips in it - there was still heaps of lovely useable fabric though - I'll get another couple of tees out of it and probably some leggings too :)

Sorry about the terrible photos - I forgot to take them until it was almost dark and it was raining to boot! Still, gotta have evidence right..? 

This tee is going to be another wardrobe staple and I'm already planning to make more!

Wednesday Tee

Wednesday Tee

Another day, another Tee.  This is Wednesday's offering.  A symmetrical hem line, simple sleeves, loose fit and wide neckline that slips off the shoulder.

I'm pretty pleased with this one.  The fabric (a Gorman designer remnant) is soooo soft and so comfy that wearing this tee actually feels like wearing pyjamas!  On the down side i think the fabric is a little light weight for this style - It seems to cling a bit and doesn't quite hang properly - It was clinging a little when we took these photos (although that could just have been because I was wearing a tank top under it..) Either way, I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be wearing this one a LOT especially as the days get cooler over here on the other side of the world.

I also have a pattern for this Tee but didn't manage to get the photos taken for a tutorial so I'll add that this weekend if I can manage it.  It does mean i'll have to make another... shucks! 

It wouldn't be right not to leave you with a couple of photos of one of my cheeky little photo bombers!

Monday Tee Tutorial

I'm really pleased with this tee.  It's such a simple style, but I do love the shape.  It has a lovely neckline, dropped shoulder seams, tapered waist and perfectly cosy long sleeves.

First of all, let me please state that this pattern is untested by anyone except for me!  It is also a single size pattern, approximately size Small.  The bottom is quite tightly fitted and will fit those with a high hip measurement of approximately 92cm / 36".  The rest of the pattern is quite a relaxed fit however so if you wanted to have a go and just increase the width at the bottom a little to fit then I think it would probably work pretty well.

Download the pattern pieces by clicking on the image above. Printing Instructions can be found on page 12.

For tips on sewing with knits click here

Sorry for some of the poorly lit diagrams below - the only time I really get a chance to sew is once the kids are in bed!

You will need:

  • 1.4m of knit fabric
  • Coordinating Thread
  • Twin needle (optional)
  • Rotary cutter and mat (optional)

Monday Tee Sewing Instructions:

Hem Pieces:

Hem the sleeves and the bottom edge of the front and back pieces.  Fold 1cm to the wrong side and press.  Fold another 1.5cm to the wrong side and press again.  Pin in place.  Stitch the hem with a zig-zag stitch or with a twin needle, sewing 1.2cm from the edge. 


 Join the front and back:

Lay the Tee main front and back pieces on top of one another, with right sides together and align shoulder seams.  Join with a 1cm seam.  Press seam open, or if you have serged your seam, press it towards the back of the Tee.

Join the sleeves:

Pin sleeves in place, placing sleeve and body of tee right sides together and aligning centre notches of sleeves with shoulder seams.  Join with a 1cm seam. Repeat to join second sleeve.

Sew Underarm Seams:

Fold tee so that right sides are together and join the underarms and sleeves in one long continuous seam.  Pin in place first and make sure that the wrists, hem and underarm seams all match.  Begin stitching at the wrists and sew towards the bottom hem. 

Finish Neckline.

To finish the neckline, cut a piece 67cm long and 4cm wide.  Fold along it’s width, aligning short edges and placing right sides together. Join the ends with a 1cm seam. Press seam open.

Fold the neck binding in half along it’s length this time with wrong sides together. Press.


Pin the neck binding to the neck of the Tee, right sides together and placing the seam of the binding at the centre back of the neck.  You will need to stretch the neck binding slightly as you pin to make it fit.  This helps the neckline to sit nicely without puckering.

Join (sew or serge) the binding to the neck of the tee, sewing with a 1 cm seam.  Fold binding over to the right side and press. 

And you're finished!

I hope you have had fun with this tutorial and that you love this tee as much as I do.  Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions - I always love to hear from you!