Simplicity 1071 – Lime Green Test Skirt

I have decided to enter a competition on Pattern Review where contestants take one pattern and make 2 or more versions of it by changing the fabric print or embellishing it with trims or changing hem lines. I have decided to enter it as a personal challenge to see if I can do one pattern many ways. In the past I have made the same Aline skirt pattern in multiple fabric prints but never changed anything on it.


The pattern I have chosen is Simplicity 1071. It is really basic pull on skirt pattern. When I took my measurements I discovered I was between sizes of L and XL I decided to do a test skirt first before cutting into my good fabrics to see if the XL would be too big.


The fabric I have used in this test skirt is a cotton knit. It similar to the fabric I’m using in my skirts. I purchased this fabric earlier this year as part of a bundle from Melly and Me. I hadn’t gotten around to using it yet. I had few pieces to choose from but holding up my pattern pieces that I had traced out discovered this green piece was just the amount of fabric I needed.


If you look up close it has tiny polka dots and little green petal things. The fabric is actually dark enough that you can’t see through it too much. In this photo it looks very crushed and that is because I have been wearing at home around the house a lot the last couple of weeks.


I still haven’t hemmed it and to be honest it may never get hemmed. Unhemmed it falls on my knee line. It is so soft and comfortable. I normally wear pj pants and shorts at home but this is nice to have on. As I mentioned it isn’t too transparent so I can wear it when I have delivery people over or if I go down into a communal area of my unit block. My neighbours have seen my in pj’s anyway but I never wear anything too revealing or inappropriate. This test skirt is the perfect house skirt. Using more of the knit fabric bundle I got I may make more house skirts. I am happy with this size and have cut my competition skirts out using this size.


Blue Painted Scarf


I had never painted on any synthetic fabric with liquid radiance but you can put liquid radiance on to any fabric so I knew that it was possible so I had a play. I cut a strip of white organza about 6″ x width of fabric. I soaked it in water a little bit longer than I did the calico to ensure it was fully soaked.


To paint it I scrunched it up on a board and put drops of blue, cyan and the odd drop of teal paint. Because the fabric is so thin I didn’t use much paint remembering the golden rule with liquid radiance “where there is moisture there is movement” I knew the paint would spread on the wet fabric. I did roll the fabric around a little to help the spreading process. After I was happy with the paint distribution I scrunched it back into a heap and sprinkled it with Epsom salts. To heat set it I ironed it between 2 pieces of calico using a hot iron. The calico protected it from melting so I didn’t have any issues there.


I love the pattern that salt crystals have formed. As always you can’t predict what patterns will occur. These have a very fluid almost like water current pattern. It looks so natural. Some areas are darker than others. This has to be my most favourite piece of salting I’ve ever done on.


On the edges I did a double roll hem using monopoly clear thread. It is a simple row of stitching down each side of the scarf. This was an experiment that worked really well. I loved the brightness of the aqua colour that it had when it was wet but I think I love the colour it has turned when it dried even more. I can wear this around my neck or my wrist with some many different outfits.


Hungry Little Caterpillar


This little guy came out of no where but I am so proud of him.


I brought the pattern (Simplicity 8156)  on a whim at the ASG Industry Day. Prior to the day I had planned out all the patterns I would be buying but on the day I remembered I needed to make a gift for a 1 year old this Christmas. I was too lazy to find an existing pattern in my stash instead I flipped through the Simplicity catalogue and came across this pattern thinking yep that will do. To be honest I wasn’t really taken by the pattern but it looked easy and it was different to the other taggie toys I’ve made. As I was going to sleep that night I had an idea.


The next morning I started work on him. I decided he would be the Hungry Little Caterpillar. I set myself a personal challenge of only using fabrics from my scrap stash. I love setting myself challenges like this as it really forces you to think. This toy was the perfect toy for a scrap challenge as you only needed small pieces for each of the various bits. I raided my scraps and found enough of everything.


I made him a little bit different to what the pattern says to. I used only cotton fabric for the body not cotton and fleece. I didn’t use ribbons instead for his legs I made my own fabric tabs from a left over piece of red cotton and for his antennas I used wool felt. I also decided he needed a tongue inside his mouth to add a bit more character. In real life I’m allergic to caterpillars so I would never have imagined myself making a Hungry Little Caterpillar 🙂 Essentially he is a taggie toy but because he doesn’t look babyish as the child grows the toy becomes a character in a book that the child can read whilst holding their little toy. Most taggies lose their use once the child stops teething. This little guy could be made for a child of any age.

I have also reviewed this pattern on Pattern Review. If you have never been on Pattern Review before and you like sewing you will find it a very interesting website. People post personal reviews on anything that you can sew, books, sewing machines. It is a very informative site.



Cloth Pads Stash

I had been meaning to post this for some time. I made up my stash of cloth pads. After my first attempt at making the 2 before I did a bit of research into patterns and techniques. On YouTube I came across Amy Nix. Amy is a wealth of knowledge in the area of reusable menstrual products. I watched all the clips she made and learnt a lot.


When I first started to pull fabrics from my stash for the pads I got out all my ugly fabric, by that I mean fabric I’m unlikely to use in gifts. In my mind pads are functional not fashion so I didn’t need them to be pretty I just needed them to work. I ended up using the fabrics I pulled out on WIRES pouches. I had a fat quarter bundle of Rosalie Dekker fabric sitting in my stash so I used that. I never thought I would make pretty pads with fabric made in Japan.


For the cores I used a combination of French Terry Bamboo and flannelette. I made 2 different absorbency levels heavy and regular. For the heavys I used 3 layers each of bamboo and flannelette, for the regulars 2 layers each. Each core had to be individually assembled so they layers wouldn’t shift about. This was a great project to use half full bobbins on as it didn’t matter what colour you used, I emptied a lot of bobbins.


Once the core is done you attach it to your topper fabric (the pretty fabric) Your bobbin thread is visible on the top of the pad. I have half full bobbins in many colours and was able to match these to the fabrics. In addition to the line of stitching attaching the core to the topper I did a row of channel stitching down the centre of each pad. Chanel stitching isn’t fully necessary but some say it helps wick the fluid away and channel it into the pad.

For extra peace of mind I decided to place a hidden waterproof layer in the pad of PUL (PolyUrethane Laminate) in each pad. It comes in many colours but you don’t actually see it as it is hidden inside the pad, I chose blue for obvious reasons. PUL is a breathable fabric which sounds strange as essentially it is coated polyester fabric but it was originally used in hospitals as it can be used closed to the skin, is waterproof and not harmful. Amy has a great tutorial on how to make a pad with a PUL layer.


It is extremely hard to tell the absorbency level of a pad just by looking at it. Even sewing the cores I had to distinguish the heavy pads with a pin because once they are sandwiched together and stitched the look the same. I read many ways people tell their pads apart. Some use different fabrics, some use different coloured snaps. My first thought was to use the lettering on my machine and do H for heavy.  I did it on the pads but it didn’t look like it would last so I thought I’ll just do different coloured top stitching when I got to the top stitching stage.


For my backing fabric I used flannelette. By chance when I was putting the backing fabric on my first heavy I placed the fabric upside down. This was my instant solution to identifying between regular and heavy. It was a clear obvious distinction. When I’m half asleep and getting ready for work I don’t have to put much thought as to what I’m grabbing I just know if I want heavy it needs to be plain. I don’t need to look for coloured snaps or top stitching or a particular fabric which are some of the ways people use to tell them apart.


I used white thread for all the top stitching on the pads. Most of the fabrics had white somewhere in the design, if they didn’t the white still went well with them such in the yellow one. The top stitching is right near the edge of the fabric and disappears in so you don’t really see it.


I used light pink snaps on every pad. I have heaps of that colour so it used them up. The pink snaps again go with most of the fabrics.


I even squeezed in some hexie printed fabric. The pattern I used was the Luna Wolf 11.75″ It is a free pattern. I liked the shape of this pattern as it very much symmetrical. Google cloth pad patterns and you find different shapes and sizes as everyone has different preferences.

I made 20 pads. I used 10 fat quarters as I got 2 toppers per piece. I used nearly 1m of the French Terry (I have small bit left over) for the cores. The PUL I used I think about 1.7m admittedly I wasted a lot of the PUL as I cut it in a rectangle shape, once the pad was the pad was constructed I cut away the excess. It was a little slippery and because I was making so many I didn’t have the time or patience to cut the exact shape from the start. I still need to make my overnight pads. I want them to be longer. I had to buy more supplies which I have done. I still have to do one more pre-wash of the French Terry (you do several pre-washes to shrink it and increase the absorbency) I still haven’t decided on a pattern yet. Luna has a tutorial on how to lengthen the pad pattern I used so I may go with that idea.


Also I need to work out a way to store them. Sadly currently they live in a pillow slip under my bathroom sink. After I get my Christmas gifts done I may do a fabric basket or something along those lines. For now I’m not bothered I have pads I can use, they are comfortable and they work.


Paw Pouch


I mentioned in Paw Patrol Bag that I cut the red fabric to use in another project well here it is.


A few weeks back I knew I was going to have a long stressful day at work. As craft is my relaxation I decided I needed to do something crafty between different meetings I had so the day before it I quickly cut out this project.  I found the Paw Patrol Paw image online and used that as my shape. I used a double layer of yellow felt (from the August Sew Box) to add texture to the shape. I did basic backstitch to applique the shape in place using yellow thread from a leftover bobbin. It was very quick to cut out and very portable.


The lining is leftover scraps I used on the bag. The only item I brought was the zipper. I had no size in mind for this little pouch so just made it up as I went. Once it was all finished I did discover one small mishap with the zipper. I’m not entirely sure how this happened. I think what I should’ve done is either made the clearly longer than the zipper or made the bag smaller and shortened the zipper to size. Looking back the zipper was almost the same length as the fabric layers and I may have been worried of sewing over the metal stoppers on the zipper, if I had made the pouch larger or smaller this wouldn’t have happened. Oh well lesson learnt for next time.

This was very much a scrap busting project. All the fabrics were leftover scraps, the applique thread was leftovers from a previous project. It is a cute little pouch. This doesn’t have to be Paw Patrol related you could easily make it for any animal lover. Change the colours around to say black and white and you have a little purse for an adult, actually I may of just given away a future gift idea….


Balloon Ball


I wish I had discovered balloon balls years ago. The best way to describe a balloon ball is almost like a pillow case for a balloon. You place a flat balloon inside the opening then inflate it before tying the balloon up as normal. The child is able to play with the balloon but if the balloon happens to break the child won’t get hurt by the balloon bursting in their face or choke on the little slivers of rubber. The fabric also helps protect the balloon from bursting on sharp edges of things.


This pattern is from Babies First Toys by Flosstyle. This pattern has an opening gap of around 1″ for you to place the balloon in. I have seen other patterns where the gap is actually overlapped so you have to pull back the folds to access the balloon or ones that have the gap the size of a button hole. Even though the gap is 1″ I think it is still very safe for the child and they wouldn’t choke, they would really have to shake the flat around the get the pieces of busted balloon out. If I was to make this pattern again I would make the circle piece larger (if you purchase the pattern you will understand the piece I’m talking about) The reason I would make it larger is that you need to turn and top stitch it and I think the larger piece would be easier. Your centre gap would still be the same. I also top stitched the circle around twice not once after turning it. If you make this I suggest cutting out all the pieces with pinking shears from the start. Towards the end of the pattern you are told to cut the pieces with the shears but if you did it from the start it would eliminate the need to at the end.


The fabric is used is some bubble fabric I found in my stash. I forgot how cute this print is, for a floating balloon it is perfect. This was a really quick pattern to make so perfect for last minute gift ideas. You could easily use scrap fabrics to make this however the pieces do need to be cut on the bias so you’ll need pieces large enough for that. Also if you were to give it as a gift you will need to explain exactly what it is. When there is no balloon inflated in it, it does look peculiar.


Paw Patrol Bag

I know a little Miss soon to be 3 who loves Paw Patrol so I decided to make her a bag inspired by the show.


Ok so bear in mind I have never actually seen the cartoon I wasn’t entirely sure what to make for it so I thought the easiest thing was a bag with the logo on the front. I found this image as a free colouring in page. I traced it on to the fabric with my new light box (first major project using it) then embroidered around the traced shape. For my embroidery I do simple back stitch. It is quick and effective. I think I got all the embroidery done whilst catching up on taped shows one day.


Unfortunately the back of the bag isn’t the same colour red as the front. I originally had enough to match the front and back but made a spur of the moment decision cut the fabric in half and use it on another gift. I had more red fabric in my stash so used that. It isn’t noticeable that handle strap and back of the bag is different to the front. Once again the sewing police aren’t going to come after me.


The bag is lined with a couple of scraps of fabric I had pulled from stash. I was originally going to use these on another gift but they were on available on hand so I grabbed them and cut them for this project.

This type of bag is a really simple project to make for adult or child. You can embroider on to it any theme that the person is in to. There are so many great embroidery books and websites selling wonderful designs but I often find the easiest thing to do is google free colouring in pages for what ever theme you’re looking for. If the image isn’t the size you want print it off than play around with the sizing on your photocopier. Depending on the size area I have sometimes I enlarge images other times I decrease.