A Playtime Dress for Ella

Oliver + S Playtime Dress by Willow & Stitch

First make of Kids Clothes Week is complete!  I'm really happy with this lovely little dress.  The pattern is the Playtime Dress and leggings from Oliver + S.  I added these gorgeous little triangular leather elbow patches which I'm pretty sure I've seen somewhere (probably on Pinterest) and shamelessly copied, but I have no idea where I saw it!

Oliver + S Playtime Dress | By Willow & Stitch

The back view.  How cute are those elbows?!  And the gathers!  And the messy curls!

I really liked the topstitched peter pan collar, so much so that I'm almost wishing that I'd done it in more of contrasting colour - you almost can't see it!  (Also, don't judge me on my poor ironing skills...)

Oliver + S Playtime Dress | By Willow & Stitch
 Love the silhouette of this dress..

Love the silhouette of this dress..

 Molly (who has been renamed 'pillow' for some reason) came for a walk with us, as usual.  (Guess who had to carry her home though....)

Molly (who has been renamed 'pillow' for some reason) came for a walk with us, as usual.  (Guess who had to carry her home though....)

Both the dress and leggings were a big hit with the little lady.  Fortunately, because I cut into my precious Art Gallery Wanderer Knit for the leggings and would have been really annoyed if she hadn't liked them!  I actually cut them upside down (aagghh!) - I didn't realise the print was directional until I spotted those tiny little upside down horses.  So frustrating. Still, I'll probably be the only one who ever really notices!

 I have pretty bad outfit envy with this one.  I also reeeeally want a pair of those gold toe capped shoes! 

I have pretty bad outfit envy with this one.  I also reeeeally want a pair of those gold toe capped shoes! 

Also, It's not technically a Kids Clothes Week make because I finished it last week but I finally got some nice pictures of the boy in his 'I solemnly swear I am up to no good' hoodie.  He refused to try it on for days, until I lost patience and practically wrestled him into it.  Once the tantrum was over he decided that actually he REALLY likes it. So much so that he has been sleeping in it and refusing to wear anything else.  Mama always knows best...!

 Living up to the quote on his jumper!

Living up to the quote on his jumper!

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good | Harry potter quote stencilled sweater by Willow & Stitch

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A pom pom filled Tutu for Kids Clothes Week

A pom pom filled Tutu for Kids Clothes Week by Willow & Stitch
A pom pom filled Tutu for Kids Clothes Week by Willow & Stitch
A pom pom filled Tutu for Kids Clothes Week by Willow & Stitch
A pom pom filled Tutu for Kids Clothes Week by Willow & Stitch

I wasn't sure that I was going to manage to sew anything within this season's KCW theme of 'Toys' but I think I might have accidentally nailed it with this pom pom filled tutu!

I've had this project in mind for ages.  I bought a huge bag of pom poms ages ago - honestly I have no idea why, quite possibly they were on sale or perhaps I was just attracted by the bright colours, but in any case they have been sitting on my shelf in a big glass jar for about 2 years now, looking pretty, but without my having any idea of what to do with them.  Until I saw these awesome pom pom filled tutus on Pinterest anyway...

Little girl was totally blown away by this skirt.  She kept saying 'Wow!  That's so cool!'  (smug mumma!) and bouncing around and twirling to make the pom poms fly.  I have to admit that I'm a little jealous.  I'm dying to make a tuille skirt for myself but I'm not quite sure I could pull it off.  I'm absolutely certain that I couldn't pull off a pom pom filled one.  Oh well, that's what children are for isn't it?  Living vicariously?!

A pom pom filled Tutu for Kids Clothes Week by Willow & Stitch
A pom pom filled Tutu for Kids Clothes Week by Willow & Stitch
A pom pom filled Tutu for Kids Clothes Week by Willow & Stitch
A pom pom filled Tutu for Kids Clothes Week by Willow & Stitch

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Oliver + S Hide and Seek Dress

Oliver + S Hide and Seek Dress by Willow & Stitch
Oliver + S Hide and Seek Dress by Willow & Stitch
Oliver + S Hide and Seek Dress by Willow & Stitch
Oliver + S Hide and Seek Dress by Willow & Stitch

I just finished my first Kids Clothes Week make for 2016 and I'm super happy with this Oliver + S Hide and Seek Dress.  I just love pretty much everything about the pattern, the loose fit, the gathers, the sleeves, the welt pockets...  It was a really fun sew - interesting without being too challenging!  

Olive + S Hide and Seek Dress by Willow & Stitch
http://oliverands.com/product/OLV-LC010CI-D.html

I've been wanted to make another linen and stripes dress for Ella ever since the one I made during last kids clothes week turned out to be too small and had to be gifted to a little friend! This pattern looked like it would be perfect for the linen and it turned out just as lovely as I'd hoped.  

I've actually been admiring this dress for a while and didn't realise until after I had bought the Hide and Seek Dress that it's actually a grown ups version of the same thing!  I might have to add it to my 'To Sew List'! 

Are you joining in with Kids Clothes Week this season?  What are you making?

A Robin Hood outfit for Kid's Clothes Week

Robin Hood Costume | Willow & Stitch
Robin Hood Costume | Willow & Stitch
Robin Hood Costume | Willow & Stitch

I first saw this toy bow and arrow on Instagram.  It's made by a little New Zealand company called Needle and Nail.  They make wooden toys and dolls and everything they create is simply gorgeous.  This little girl had been asking for a bow and arrow for her birthday pretty much all year.  She also wanted a 'Shooter Girl' outfit.  Fool that I am, I made her an Indian head dress. Wrong Mummy.  Wrong.  What she actually wanted, she explained later, was the GREEN shooter girl outfit.... sigh.

Ah well, Kid's Clothes Week seemed like a good opportunity to make one for her, and I have to say that, for once, my efforts were well rewarded - she was so thrilled with this outfit!  

The dress is (another!) Geranium Dress with a lengthened bodice to drop the waist.  Apparently I am unable to count properly though because I went and sewed 5 button holes, despite having only bought 4 green buttons.  Idiot.  Never mind,  I'm just going to pretend that the single light green button is an intentional design feature. It works, right?!

Robin Hood Costume | Willow and Stitch

The hat was from a free pattern / tutorial that I found on Crafti Stacy.  I had to re-size it for a child, and I also added a lining so that it would look more finished. I thought it turned out really great - this kid needs to wear hats more often, I think she pulls it off well!

The quiver was my own design, I may get around to sharing a tutorial here one day.. I'll just add it to the never-ending 'To Do' list!  Let me know if you want it and I'll make more of an effort!

I don't know about you, but I can't think of bows and arrows without thinking of William Tell so we decided to have a little fun pretending to try and shoot an apple balanced on the top of her little brother's head:

"Look scared Jacob!"

Robin Hood Costume | Willow and Stitch

Disclaimer:  No children or apples were harmed in the taking of these photos...

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A Jane Austen Geranium Dress in Cotton and Steel Double Gauze

A Jane Austen Geranium Dress in Cotton and Steel Double Gauze | Willow & Stitch
A Jane Austen Geranium Dress in Cotton and Steel Double Gauze | Willow & Stitch

I've had this beautiful Cotton and Steel Double Gauze sitting in my cupboard for a while now. Occasionally I pull it out to look at it or give it a stroke (It's SO soft!) but I've been too scared to cut into it until now.

This little girl has recently developed a huge enthusiasm for long dresses.  She only has one (which she wants to wear ALL the time) and she's just about old enough now not to be constantly treading on it so I thought Kids Clothes Week was a good opportunity to make a couple more.  I cut the skirt on this extra long because I wanted to use up every last inch of fabric, and because, well, she's only going to keep on growing!

Ella calls this her 'Ball Gown' and I think it might be her favourite thing EVER!  Sorry for the blurry pictures but she just wouldn't stop dancing...!

A Jane Austen Geranium Dress in Cotton and Steel Double Gauze | Willow & Stitch
A Jane Austen Geranium Dress in Cotton and Steel Double Gauze | Willow & Stitch

And since the theme for Kid's Clothes Week is 'Disguise' and since this is her 'Ball Gown' we thought we ought to turn it into a Masquerade Ball.  Click here if you'd like to download a free printable template for this mask.

A Jane Austen Geranium Dress in Cotton and Steel Double Gauze | Willow & Stitch
A Jane Austen Geranium Dress in Cotton and Steel Double Gauze | Willow & Stitch

I actually think she looks like a mini Elizabeth Bennet in this dress and with her brown curls, so I made her pose with books and tea!  Hah!  I think I pretty much just enjoy the experience of telling her what to do and having her do it! (a rare occurrence these days!) Although I suppose I shouldn't get too smug since she's only doing as she's told because I'm bribing her with Jelly Beans....

A Jane Austen Geranium Dress in Cotton and Steel Double Gauze | Willow & Stitch
A Jane Austen Geranium Dress in Cotton and Steel Double Gauze | Willow & Stitch
A Jane Austen Geranium Dress in Cotton and Steel Double Gauze | Willow & Stitch

She looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, doesn't she?!  I'm so happy with this dress, it might be one of my favourite makes so far, although I'm a little bit jealous that I didn't get something for me from this fabric!  I think I might have to buy more, It's just so soft and cozy - you've got to love a pretty dress that you can also just snuggle up in haven't you?!  This little girl certainly does...

A Jane Austen Geranium Dress in Cotton and Steel Double Gauze | Willow & Stitch

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An Awesome Kids Clothes Week / Halloween Giveaway!

In celebration of Kids Clothes Week (where the theme this season is 'Disguise') and with the imminent arrival of Halloween, I thought it was a good time to hold a giveaway.  I'm offering a full set of my PDF Felt Mask Sewing Patterns to one lucky reader!  The winner will get the Woodland Creatures (Owl, Bunny, Fox and Fawn), Fairytale (Unicorn, Princess and Knight) and Superheroes (Iron Man, Captain America and Hulk) Pattern sets.  

Felt Mask PDF Sewing Patterns | Willow & Stitch

These sewing patterns are super quick and easy to sew and all come with bonus free printable masks - great for a rainy day colouring / decorating activity.  To enter simply comment on this post, follow me on instagram or like the Willow & Stitch Facebook page!  Or do all 3 and get bonus entries! The winner will be drawn at random on Monday 26th October.  If you miss out or if you simply can't wait to get your hands on them then you can find them in my Etsy shop here.

In the meantime I'm going to go and get cracking with my Kids Clothes Week sewing!  I'm very excited to be a KCW Contributor this season.  If you missed my guest blog posts you can find my post on 'Disguised Details' here, and two silly posts on making the most of KCW and finding the time to sew here and here!

Are you taking part in Kids Clothes Week? What will you be sewing first?

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Kids Clothes Week Roundup

Kids Clothes Week Summer 2015 Traveling

Wow.  Well this is very late, but here is the second outfit that I made for Kids Clothes Week.  I honestly did make it during Kids Clothes Week but have been struggling to getting any photos as we are seriously lacking in natural light at the moment – its dark when we get up and dark when we get home.  I’m really very envious of all of you in the Northern Hemisphere at the moment, enjoying sunshine, swimming pool and ice creams.  I shall have to console myself with stew and mulled wine and other winter goodness  (fruit crumble, hand knitted scarves, open fires, frosty mornings and hot chocolate).. am I making YOU jealous yet?  - I doubt it somehow!

With the ‘Travelling’ theme of Kids Clothes Week, one of the first things that sprang to mind was our recent trip to Europe and I wanted to find a way that I could somehow capture some of those wonderful memories in an outfit. 

One of the things that I love most about England is the countryside and on this trip we took many walks through beautiful summer meadows.  This amazing field of Buttercups was one of my favourites. 

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The colour was just magical and the kids had an absolute ball wading through, skimming their fingertips through the flowers, running around and frolicking generally. 

I wanted to capture the essence of this beautiful field and when I saw this gorgeous Leah Duncan - Art Gallery knit fabric I though it was perfect.  I paired it with this amazing remnant of yellow wool flannel that I found in the Fabric Store.  The skirt and top are both self drafted.  The tee is a batwing top with banded cuffs.

The skirt is a simple gathered skirt with a waistband and cute little rounded pockets.  I didn’t quite manage to finish the button hole on the back before my sewing machine packed up – possibly in protest at being made to work so hard! I suppose this is the first problem I’ve had with it in 5 years of practically constant use so I won’t curse it too much. Still, it means that the Mama Clothes Week that I had planned for this week will have to wait!   

I also managed to finish off this blue tee which has been sitting in my WIP pile since before we went on holiday.  Happily it also goes very nicely with the new yellow skirt.

Kids Clothes Week
Kids Clothes Week

Not much of a one for standing still this one....

Kids Clothes Week

"Enough photos now mum!  I want to go and watch Star Wars!"

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....

 

Gumnut Dress Pattern Giveaway

I love my Gumnut dress

I love Instagram.  I love the way we use it to highlight the beautiful parts of ordinary days.  I love the way that it makes me view the world differently.  And most of all I love this wonderful community that I have discovered, of people who love to sew as much as I do.  I think there must be few industries in the world which are so positive, supportive and caring as this one that I feel so lucky to be part of.  

For me sewing is about more than just being creative.  It's about slowing down, stepping away from the culture of frantic consumerism that has become the norm and practicing mindfullness.  I believe that taking time to make something by hand, pouring love and effort into creating something unique is the ultimate antidote to everything that has gone wrong with our modern society. 

I am so very grateful to have discovered the joy that sewing brings and to be on the road to making it a much bigger part of my life, that I want to give something back.  I want to say thank you to all the people who inspire and encourage this passion in me and I want to begin my new venture with a wonderful bang!

The Gumnut dress is the first graded dress pattern that I've designed and developed.  It has taken a lot of my time and effort and love and dedication to get to this point.  It feels a little like my baby - I love it dearly and I'm so proud of it and I am a little afraid of letting it out into the world alone.  So this has been a difficult decision for me and it's a little bit scary too, but I have noticed that the scary decisions are often the right ones don't you think?

I expect that by this point you're thinking 'Enough already! What ARE you on about?!' It's a fair question.  I've decided that I'm going to give this pattern away for free.  Totally free to anyone who registers their interest before the pattern release: 9pm Australian Eastern Standard time on the 6th May (7am EST if you're in the States.) In other words you have 24 hours.  When the pattern is released I will send you a free copy.

This is the first pattern that I've put out there for sale so I'm hoping that you will all act as reviewers for me.  I know there are a lot of Indie designers out there and I'm well aware that the quality can vary dramatically.  You don't know me yet and I don't know you so I want you to know that my patterns are good.  That they work. That they are easy to follow. That the end products are great.  I want to earn your trust.

All I ask in return is that you don't distribute your free copy amongst your friends and family.  I rely on your honesty to protect my business.  Knowing what a great community we have I feel confident that the majority of you will respect this.  If you love the dress and the pattern please tell people about it.  Most of all I just hope that you have fun making this and that the little one you are sewing for loves it!

 

UPDATE:  The free dress pattern giveaway is now closed.  Sorry if you missed out.  Why not subscribe to my newsletter anyway (link in the side bar) then you'll always be the first to know when there's a special offer.

If you'd like another chance to win a free copy then you can enter my 'Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day' promotion.  See previous blog post for details.