Diaper Shirt Tutorial

I have mentioned this diaper shirt before so thought was time to write a how to!

This diaper shirt Blouse Choquette is a doll outfit which is bonus for those who make matching doll and child clothes but not so great for an actual child.

Follow my handy How to adjust any pattern blog to copying this out at the right size.

You can measure your child’s chest to determine what measurements to use, add 1 inch ease to sides (should total extra 4 inches all round) then 1cm for seam allowance. You will also need to check sleeve length and neck to hem length as those will need lengthening past newborn.

However if you’re making for a gift or new baby I’ve added a guide of measurements per size that should help.

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Once you have your pattern pieces you need to cut out: main fabric- 2 fronts (left & right), 1 back and 2 sleeves. Lining- 2 fronts (left & right) and a back.

You will also need buttons or snaps and elastic (optional).

If you wish to have a front that fastens off centre you need to cut your 2 fronts separately.

Lay your pattern piece on your fabric pin in place I added 2.5 inches to my straight centre edge and cut out.

Flip your pattern piece and again pin in place but only on the outer edges. I then folded up 1 inch from the centre edge. This provides enough overlap plus seam allowance. Cut out from outer fabric and lining.

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Next we start sewing by sewing fronts to back at shoulder seam on both outer and lining.

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When sewing lining sew your wider front onto opposite side to outer or when you line them up to sew they won’t match ( we won’t discuss how I know and no it’s not because I’m clever!)

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Lay out your outer and pin on lining. Matching shoulder seams and edges.

Sew from bottom edge up centre front around neck and back down other side.

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Next sew up side seams. Sew all 4 separately. On one of your lining pieces leave a gap half way.

When you’ve sewn up side seams line up bottom edge and sew. Clip curves and corners and using your gap in lining piece turn out. Press.

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Now grab your sleeve pieces turn each up 0.5 cm then another 1 cm and sew down.

If you want elasticated hems cut 2 pieces of elastic about 60-70% smaller than sleeve width. This depends on the look you’re after and the size of child. My sleeve is 20 cm I cut my elastic about 12.5cm. It’s a good idea to add an extra couple cms to make it easier to work with just remember to leave excess sticking out to cut off.

Thread elastic through one end secure the edge before you pull right through. Once reach other end sew both ends to secure elastic.

Fold sleeves so your long edges are right sides together clip the elasticated edge at a slant to reduce bulk. Sew edges together and turn right side out.

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Match shoulder seam on shirt to sleeve centre fold and match shirt side seam with sleeve seam. Again right sides together. Pin rest of sleeve and sew in place.

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Lastly put on snaps or buttons at regular intervals.

I made these cute bloomers to match from See Kate Sew. They are a free pattern and can be made from a few different materials.

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tracy

Using Vinyls

The question of when to put a vinyl onto to a top and how to make sure it’s centred crops us a lot so I thought I would show you how I do mine.

I do mine before I sew but the same technique works for putting vinyls on shop bought tops too!

First find the centre of your top you can do this as you’re cutting out because many fronts are cut on the fold. Alternatively you can match side seams and create a centre front crease.

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Next up grab your vinyl and find the centre. Always find the centre of the widest point. This applies to any design especially one with writing on. You can mark on the vinyl where centre is because most come with a top layer you peel off so won’t affect your work.

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Match your centre fold with vinyl centre marks and iron in place. Using greaseproof paper is great or you can use scrap material. Teflon sheets are also available but I’ve never used. Ensure you put your vinyl on high enough to see and be out of way of hem but also not so high that when sewn up the neck binding gets in way. This is another reason you may prefer to iron on after sewing.

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Perfectly centred and great position to be sewn but not get in the way.

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Finished article is an eclipse top without hood, pattern by MBJM. Totoro inspired vinyl is from Margles & C.Bear found on Facebook!

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tracy

Gender Stereotyping

Yes I’m off again about this but bear with me .

I have a few questions why are the following deemed girly: cupcakes, cats, bows, polka or any uniform dots, Peppa pig

My boys love cake. Sure they’d not want one on a top or socks but why do girls want them on clothes either? Cats can be either gender but tend to only feature on girls clothing usually pink, pink and with a bow or two.

Polka dots are generally a girl pattern. You don’t find boys polka dot anything but if you were to search for spotty dinosaur clothes it suddenly turns into a disorganised spotty boy fest. Well once you’ve rifled through a few girl bits because dinosaurs aren’t just for boys but cupcakes are definitely just for girls (unless you’re talking about real cake then its pretty even. Anyone see the logic here? please explain if you do…

Bows are another thing. Add some tails to a boy and its for girls and girl cats only. Take the tails off make it in black or blue and bingo it’s a boy’s bow tie which again girls can wear too! Tailed bows girls only, tailless bow ties both genders.

Lets move on to Peppa Pig. Now I’m not sad I can only find mostly girl Peppa pig clothing and it’s a relief in all honesty however she is a prime example of gender stereotyping. Girl pig on girl clothes, boy pig (George) on boy clothes. Why? What if a boy likes Peppa but not George is it tough cookies wear George or nothing?

Another thing that irritates me why is it automatic boys are into cars, trucks, bikes, pirates etc etc. Don’t get me wrong my boys loved car tops but more so the youngest than oldest. He was more into kitchen roleplay and glitter, but god forbid I would try to buy a food theme top (think cupcakes). Glitter is severely lacking in boy departments too!

Animals. I know we mentioned cats but animals in gender are subject to heavy stereotyping. Girls as we said get vats but they also get cute pale puppies, sweet fluffy penguins, butterflies, ladybirds, bunnies, leopard print, owls.. you need me to go on? Boys get lions (which I adore btw), tough looking dogs with grumpy faces or pirate outfits on, tigers, occasional panda, elephants, dinosaurs, snappy crocodiles and dark looking penguins and not so fluffy bears. Why are girls the only ones allowed pale fluffy animals and boys get bright or dark very clean-cut animals.

Ladybirds are another bug bear (you have got all day to read my rant right? good!) lady doesn’t mean only girls can have these spotty insects on their belongings. We don’t need to weed out the non-existent, unpink, inoffensive items. By offensive I mean ‘Little Lady’ or Pretty Little Ladybird. Now some of you are thinking jeez she’s touchy but I’ve always hated phrases which define kids in a certain way which adds to my current rant.

For boys: Little man, handsome like daddy, mummy’s little star. For girls: Pretty little thing, beautiful flower, daddy’s angel, cute like mummy. My son is NOT a little man I know this isn’t the worse thing in the world but it makes me cringe so so much and I refuse to call my child a mini/small/little man! He is handsome but my sons are also beautiful with gorgeous curls and pretty eyes. MY daughter is pretty and beautiful but she isn’t a thing (yes I did buy a top with this on purely for the colour despite the wording), she is no more a beautiful flower than her brothers and in fact her brothers were and still are regularly mistaken for girls because of the curly hair and sparkly eyes.

Cute like mummy for girls but boys can’t be cute and look like mummy? Try it on google images put cute like mummy in and 99% is pink clothing that pops up. Whereas Mummy’s little star is mostly gender neutral or boys clothing. Odd.

So at what point were dinosaurs and trucks for boys, rainbows, toadstools and cats for girls. There is so much emphasis on allowing girls to have dinosaur clothing, trucks on their pjs but it still conforms and ends up pink and purple. There however is nothing to allow boys to have flowers on their tops, rainbows adorning their trucks and a splash of pink glitter without it being pointed out .

Colours I have spoken about but they are another issue ok I understand and I think we all get pink is mostly a girl colour but why is purple? It’s near impossible to find purple boy clothing, at least without spending a fortune on alternative clothing or the odd Little bird item. Trust me I’ve tried! Its made up of blue and red which are classed as boy colours just as much as girls so why is the mix of the two suddenly girly.  Similarly green is often in the boy section and not so much the girls unless it’s very pale or teal then you can guarantee a puff sleeve and a bow renders it useless to boys.

I’m tired out now and still could go on! If I had the money and the energy I would love to create a boys clothing range that challenges gender stereotyping. I fear though that I too would succumb to the usually downfalls of clothing and would use minimum pink, minimum flowers and no butterflies.

tracy

Big boy shorts to small boy trousers.

My eldest was given these shorts in age 9 but he’s not that into them however the youngest adores them. Only problem is he’s a very short nearly 4 year old who still wears some age 2 clothes.

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First I got my pattern sorted and measured him to ensure the pattern would fit. I used Domi Joggers which I haven’t enjoyed using before but it was best thing I had to hand for ‘free’.

I cut out the inner net at the waistband.

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A few hours of unpicking occurred. I undid the existing  hems and the waistband. This allowed me to work with the full width of fabric and the most length. As they had a pocket on one edge I pinned it down. So I could cut safely.

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I laid my pattern on top and cut. Now on one side this was easy peasey as it was just print but on the other side there was a picture my son asked to keep plus the pocket. Because of this I had to cut the leg wider than the pattern piece matching the other side.

If you are a regular sewer you will know the front and back pieces of most trousers aren’t the same. I got around this by using the front. I then opened out the shorts and cut away the back to match the back crotch on the pattern. This allowed me to bring in the width a little.  The main difference is the back piece isn’t as wide at the crotch area so if you can’t figure this out then  just use the front piece.

I also only cut from the crotch to hem leaving the existing front seam to place to save me unpicking to then resew.

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As these were shorts and I wanted trousers I had to add extra fabric to the hem. Remember to taper down to match leg pattern. I also added cuffs as per pattern but this depends on your pattern. Alternatively you can add extra waist fabric and less on legs.

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To attach the elastic either make a channel or make your elastic into a loop. Place it onto wrong side of fabric at waist. Pin at front, back and 2 sides. Sew into place with zig zag stitch stretching into place. Then fold down and using stretch stitch sew down.

Great tutorial here by Lladybird on how to sew an easy waistband. Alternatively you could so a separate waistband.

tracy

MBJM Harem Romper Dungaree Hack!

I wanted to make some harem dungarees but the few patterns I saw I either felt was same as every other outfit and unoriginal or I felt the shoulder straps were a little wide. However I love the MBJM harem romper plus I already owned it so I saved money.

First up you need to select the right size you may find it easier to copy the top section out but either way you will just need just the size you want  so not to confuse yourself and round neck option. You will also need the back and front on separate pieces hence why tracing it may be easier.

I have adjusted the 0-3 month size. Remember for bigger sizes you will need to do bigger adjustments.

To start lower front neck neck by 2cm and bring it in at the shoulders approx 0.5-8 cm. (old line is lines, new line is circles). Next job lower the shoulder by 4cm. If you are doing a toddler size remember if you bring neckline down more than I did you will need to also bring shoulder down.

Last job bring armhole line in 0.5cm also. If you prefer slimmer dungaree yoke bring this in more.

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Next we will edit the back bring your armhole in 0.5cm again to match front. Add 7cm to the shoulder. This replaces the 4cm lost from front, 2cm overlap and seam allowances. I lowered the neckline by 3.5cm but you could do less min. of 0.5cm. I then drew a line from new shoulder to my lowered line making it triangular. Play around with shapes. Ensure your extended shoulder, which is now a strap, is same width as front shoulder. (you will see on mine why this is important to check BEFORE sewing)

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Cut out the lower half as normal with the new tops. On the back piece add taps that extend past arm holes. This is create slits to make dressing easier.

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You will need 2 facings to mimic top of romper pieces that just extend past tabs.

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Place facings on top of main piece, right sides together. Sew around as per picture.  You will have your facings on so will see wrong side  as you sew.

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Clip curves and corners. Depending on your fabric you may wish to add extra layers where the snaps will go. You can use interfacing or like I did scraps of fabric (blue parts).

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Place 4 on each at strap sections and side tabs.

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Turn the tops out right way, press and topstitch along same line as you sewed facing. If it looks misshapen or odd turn back out and clip further on curves and corners BEFORE topstitching.

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Continue romper as per pattern to create the bottom half as normal with crotch fastening and ankle cuffs.

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Baby Wish List

I may be having my 4th child and I may need nothing but it doesnt stop me wanting stuff! So here’s my I have everything wish list.

Chicco Next to me Crib

My first baby slept well but didn’t ever seem to love the moses basket, regardless we used it a second time and this baby positively hated the thing!! So this time I’m not risking it I’m going bedside crib. My bedroom is fairly small so this over a cot is perfect plus I hope to breastfeed and both my sons liked a cuddle in bed but I never felt comfortable doing that.

Im tricking myself into believing nights will be a doddle with this bed.

Carseat Raincover

I had a car for 6 months with my first child and not since till now. I took him out maybe once or twice in the carseat so never  needed a raincover. However now I have 2 kids im dropping into school and no desire to wake a sleeping baby. He is due during spring rainy season so I’m getting one.

Tektake Changing Table

I had on with my youngest son. It was a set of drawers just wide enough to pop a mat on so this time I’m getting a proper table because as much as seasoned mums say oh i just do it anywhere I’m not sure my back, hips and knees could take it now.

I read reviews too and if you plan to buy this same unit buy a separate change mat.

Mummy Hook & Stroll

I’ve had these each baby and yes the velcro does wear out which I have replaced but they still last a god 3-5 years from m experience. However I’m treating myself to more. They are perfect for one bar prams and if you pop one either side you can spread the weight of the bag by popping one handle on each. I’ve tried a few versions and apart from the velcro wearing thing they are only pram hooks that haven’t eventually snapped on me or are just generally awkward to use by falling off all the time.

Little Lifestyles Pram bag

This bag is fab fab fab and although it’s on my wish list I already own one. I own a Graco symbio and although I love it and I’m excited to use it again the basket is rubbish and small. Once your raincover is in that’s it gone. So I make a bag to pop that under the foot rest (more on that again) and use this pram bag on the frame. I place it near the back so it gets muddy from use but its waterproof  never worn out and is fairly roomy. I can fit change mat, wipes and up to 3 cloth nappies.

Another thing I hate change bags so for me this is a must have but it’s also good for spare stuff. Use it as a backup bag with spare clothes, bibs and toys in. I used to pop a bib or two and a spoon or two in when we were weaning as I always forgot something!

Pram Caddy

Great for everything especially when you already have kids. Drink for mum, bottle, dummies, small toys, sweet wrappers, sticks you name it it’ll go in your caddy. It’s also great for those quick trips out when you can just throw in an emergency nappy and your purse.

That’s it….. for now.

tracy

 

Christmas Presents to Crochet

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Trinity Stitch Hat by This Housewife Life . I followed the hat instructions as on link but there was no matching cowl. So I chained approx, 205 and followed the same principle. Starting with a chain then sc row I did the trinity stitch in the round finishing with sc row when I felt it was right height. The hat can have turned up cuff or not if you add a few extra rows it could work as a slouch hat too. I bought a faux fur pom pom and attached.

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Textured Fan Boot Cuff by The Lavender Chair.  I followed this pattern but missed rounds 3 & 4. as only wanted small ones. I did this to match the hat and cowl to create a set.

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Bath/Shower Pouf by Cottage Daisy Designs using Sugar n Cream cotton. Team with shower jelly or nice soap.

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Massage Soap Saver by Moogly. Team with some luxury soap. It has bobbles on one side and is like a mini drawstring bag for soap. Great for a nice scrub!.

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Fallen Leaves Slouch Hat by Moogly. This was a nice fast project to make and really easy too! I’m just sad there’s no matching accessories. I used a 3.5 mm hook in place of the 3.75mm.

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Morgaine Fingers Mittens by Blue Oceans Pure Skies to go with the above hat. I tried some mittens but the pattern turned out to be small and I couldn’t face redoing. These are a great quick project for someone who doesn’t wear them but you think would enjoy them.

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Dreamcatchers from various designs I found on Ravelry. I bought cheap rings from ebay plus feathers and pony beads to decorate.

Rainbow was made using the centre of the Dreamcatcher square

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White was made using a Flower Coaster Pattern

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Red was a Spider web pattern. I used thread to make it super small.

Green is the starts of a granny circle of which you can find many tutorials.

I used up all wool I had in my stash and bought other cheap extras to make these a super frugal gift collection.

tracy