Finally a KCWC result!!!


So…here in New Zealand it is the last day of the Kids Clothes Week Challenge and finally I have something to show for it!  I thought I was destined not to get any sewing time this week but squeezed in here and there I managed to finish this coat.  So the details….

Pattern: Stylish double breasted coat by Dear My Kids which I purchased as a pdf from their Etsy store.


Fabric: For the outer I used a crimson duckcloth (first encounter with duckcloth – I love it…although not very warm for a coat! very easy to sew) and the inner is a printed quilting cotton that I purchased at a bargain bin many years ago, a beautiful castles & carriages print by South Sea Imports.

Size: I took bit of a risk here, according to the measurements on the pattern I should have made a size 5 (for my just-turned 2 year old!) but I opted to make a size 3.  Is a bit snug around the chest and the length is quite ‘trench-coaty’!  Also had to increase the neck circumference.

Modifications:  I pretty much followed instructions other than the placement of the buttons to accommodate a wider neck circumference.


Time taken:  A rough guess would be maybe 6 hours…hard to say as it was picked up and put down sooooo many times!

Next time:  If I make this again, I’d like to do so in a warmer fabric – melton wool perhaps.


Overall recommendation & Tips:

The pattern instructions are very thorough and detailed.  I love the technique for sewing the sleeve cuffs…something I had to trust as my instincts told me it might not work .  It is a great way to produce a neat interface between sleeve outer and lining.  Overall it produces a very smart coat and I would recommend this pattern, quite decently priced too.  My only slight criticism would be the overall fit of the coat but perhaps it is just my daughters’ dimensions as reviews do not indicate others having this issue.  According to Etsy shop sales it has been a very popular pattern, if you have made it I’d love to hear your thoughts.





New challenge – first sew-along


The last two weeks  have marked the digression of progress on the unfinished drawer and also, my venture of self-drafting  (3 skirts and 2 pairs of baby leggings).  Moving forward and by no means forgetting about this drawer,  this coming week I have set a goal of participating in and completing my first sewing challenge – the kids clothes week sew-along, I’m looking forward to it and seeing what everyone creates.

Create your own fabric swatch book – take stock of your stash

Fabric Swatch Book PDF

Introducing the latest pdf available in my Etsy store.

Ever wondered where you purchased that beautiful fabric you made your niece a dress from? or what the name of that fabric is… so you can order more? Ever found some fabric in the bottom of your stash and wondered exactly what type it is or how to wash it?  This pdf can help.

Playtime Popover Vest by Red Thread Patterns


Yes, the first project from my unfinished drawer is completed.  Done.

So…for the details.

Pattern:  Playtime Popover by Red Thread Patterns, which I purchased as a pdf from their Etsy store.


Fabric: a medium-weight black New Zealand merino knit with a light-weight camouflage NZ merino knit lining for the hood.

Size: I made a 3-4 based on my two year old daughters’ measurements.

Modifications: I omitted the front pocket and also utilized some different stitches on the armhole and bottom hem (see previous posts for reasons why!).

Time taken: at a guess,  maybe 2-4 ‘child’ hours.  That is cutting and sewing with a small person present for most of the process.  Definitely would be faster for subsequent vests and also, obviously without the ‘little helper’ putting pins down the oil holes in my sewing machine.

Next time:  I would consider increasing the size of the armholes, found them to be just a little on the small side (+ particularly given that I made a size bigger than the suggested age).  I’d also love to lengthen the vest and create a slight A-line to turn it into a tunic.

Overall Recommendation & Tips:

A super practical garment for littlies.  Very simple sewing lines and I felt the pattern was well written.  I guess it was a success as my daughter didn’t mind putting it on (& keeping it on…yes I’ve deciding she is going to have it as opposed to the intended recipient as I was not 100% happy with the workmanship on this one) and my husband asked if I could make him one!  I did have to watch for the ‘bubbling’ effect of the hood seam (I guess I obviously stretched it somehow while sewing this – this is also the reason I omitted the front pocket as merino does shift quite a lot while sewing).  I would recommend this pattern as it is very easy to sew however, make sure you measure your child (or the intended recipient) first so that you are not disappointed.  Further to this, I have made this up with a basic sweatshirting fabric (same size) and found the neckline to be snug when popping-over my daughter’s head, so perhaps make allowances for this depending on the stretch of the fabric you are using.


Blackboard unfinished projects check one

Culprit….elnagraph pinion

When your machine will only straight stitch and refuse to zig-zag or do any other stitch … check the gears.

elnagraph pinion

So here it is, the broken elnagraph pinion removed from my machine and replaced.  My Elna SU is now zig-zagging up a storm (and every other stitch on the elna disc).

My trusted local machine technician immediately identified the fault on inspection and a new part was the only solution for this problem, luckily he had it in stock and could do it the same day (yay!).  Asked if it was something I may have caused and the reply was “another wear-and-tear issue that comes with age”… so thanks elnagraph pinion for lasting 50-odd years, lets hope your replacement can do the same.  An expensive exercise but cheaper than having to buy a whole new machine (something I would have loved to do as I have my eye on the Bernina 550 but still saving for that dream).  Glad this machine can keep chugging along…time for some sewing.

Update – Unfinished Drawer 1.0

Hello there and welcome to my newest ‘followers’ I am thrilled to have you on board, thank you for stopping by.


So a short update on the drawer of  “unfinished projects“.

All progress has come to a halt as my machine decides that it would rather only do straight stitching!  (not ideal when working with knits).  I’ve googled what I think might be the problem but have come to the conclusion that I’d best let a professional do the honours.  This is, afterall, my late grandmother’s 1970’s sewing machine (the only one I own) and I would love for it to still be chugging along when my daughter wants to learn how to sew.  Which although at only two, she is showing some promise…gathering scrap pieces of fabric and climbing up on the stool to place the fabric under the foot, announcing that she is “sewing”.