Category Archives: sewing for children

World Book Day 2017 :: Amelia Jane and Mary Poppins

World Book Day is upon us and this year we have a Mary Poppins and an Amelia Jane.

Charlotte decided early on that she wanted to be Amelia Jane as she really loves those stories. She reads them over and over again. Amelia Jane really is a naughty doll! Charlotte has modelled herself on the most recent incarnation of Amelia Jane. She worked out that she had the right dress and tights in her wardrobe and that all she needed were some red shoes (thank you ebay) and for me to put her hair up in pig tails.

Amelia Jane inspiration for World Book Day 2017

I made her a couple of felt bows for her hair (curse that glue gun) and gave her some rosy cheeks and the apparently very important freckle, placed very specifically on her upper right cheek!


Emily took a little longer to decide on her character of choice, but eventually settled on Mary Poppins. Admittedly she loves Mary Poppins as she has seen the film a gazillion times, but she’s only 6 so I’ll forgive her for not having read the book!

Emily’s costume was also thankfully quite straight forward. She wore a school summer shirt, along with a black skirt and tights. I made her a felt bow tie (curse that glue gun again) and a felt hat headband.

#worldbookday costume for Emily #marypoppins #marypoppinshat #hatheadband #feltbowtie #gluegun

A post shared by Little Black Duck (@victoriapeat) on

The headband was made from three circles of felt, layered with decovil light in the middle for stiffness. I then made a little tube of felt which was topped with a smaller circle of felt. I constructed it partly with some hand stitching and partly with that blasted glue gun (I truly managed to get glue everywhere). The hat was then topped with a ribbon band, a folded bow and a little flower (from the Easter supplies at Wilko). I even managed to squeeze her short hair around a little hair doughnut….just!


They look the part don’t they?

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Tutorial :: How to Make Your Own Piping

Adding piping to a project can really set off what you are making. It’s great for defining the edges on cushions and bags and can add a nice touch when dressmaking.

You can of course using pre-made bias binding, but it’s so much nicer to make your own to either completely blend in, or even better to totally contrast the what you are making.

Make Your Own Piping Tutorial

You may also want to use a really fine or really chunky piping cord and the difference in circumference will have an impact on how much of the pre-bought bias binding is left for the seam allowance. It can be too much when using thin piping cord and not enough when using jumbo cord, either way it can be a bit of a pain when figuring out where to place the piping on your project.

So the best option is to make your own piping. I have written this step-by-step tutorial so that you can make your own!

Tools Required

Tool for making your own piping

You will need the following to make your own piping:

– chosen width of piping cord (pre-washed or steamed to pre-shrink)
– approx 1FQ of your chosen fabric
– scissors
– a marking tool
– pins
– a measuring tool
– zipper foot

Step 1 – Measure Piping Cord

Take a strip of your chosen fabric and wrap it around the piping cord. Secure with a pin as close to the cord as ‘comfortable’, don’t wrap it too tightly.

Wrap strip and pin

Step 2 – Mark the Seam Allowance

Take your measuring tool and mark the strip with your desired seam allowance. In this instance I am using a 5/8″ seam allowance as this piping was being used on a cushion where I was inserting a lapped zip and I like to use a larger than ‘standard’ seam allowance. You may only want to use a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Mark the Seam Allowance

Step 3 – Trim to Size

Snip off the excess fabric along the line.

Trim Strip

Step 4 – Measure the Fabric Strip

Remove the pin and lay the fabric strip flat and measure. This will give you the width you need for cutting your fabric strips.

Measure the Fabric Strip

Step 5 – Cut the Bias Strips

Work out how much piping you will need and cut out enough strips on the bias to make up this length, plus approximately 10″. This will allow you plenty extra for joining the strips. Cutting on the bias makes it possible to get around curves and corners.

Step 6 – Join the Bias Strips

Overlap two strips with right sides together, leaving 1/4″ extending on each short edge. Mark a 45 degree line between the points where the strips meet. Sew and trim the seam allowance to 1/4″. Press seam open.

Make Bias Strips

Step 7 – Wrap the bias strips around the piping cord so that the raw edges meet and secure with pins.

Wrap bias around piping cord

Step 8 – Put your zipper foot on your sewing machine and baste in place along the length of the piping as close to the cord as possible, without pulling the fabric too tight. Don’t pull or stretch the piping cord as you sew as it will only spring back and twist once you are done basting.

Baste bias around cord

So there you have it, beautiful, self-made piping, perfect for using on all sorts of projects. I’ve used the jumbo piping in this tutorial on the cushion below.

Cushion with jumbo piping

Piping also looks great on clothing. I used it on this fox dress that I designed for Crafty magazine a few years back.

Fox Pocket on Orange Dress

Piping also looks great to define shapes on bags like on my Oval Wash Bag (pdf pattern coming soon!)

Oval Wash Bag Piping Detail

So, give it a go, make some piping and transform your next project. Let me know how you get on…

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Tilda Bumblebee Blog Hop :: A Little Bunny in a Tilda Dress

Have you seen the new Bumblebee range from Tilda? It’s a really lovely range with a fresh Spring like feel to them. As the name suggest there are even bumblebees on some of the prints!

Image result for tilda bumblebee

The team at Sew and So asked me to take part in the blog hop and kindly sent me some fabric to have a look at.

As I am hoping for Spring to get a wriggle on I thought I would design a Bunny in a Dress!

I drafted a simple bunny pattern and made her from some chambray/denim that I had in the stash (I wish I knew where it came from as it was good to work with). I then decided to line her ears in the Pink Flower Nest as surely every bunny girl would love floral ears, don’t you think?

 

Tilda Bunny Ears

She of course needed a little dress as I didn’t want a bear bunny on my website! I decided to go for the Teal version of Rosa Mollis as it has little bees on it, in amongst the flowers.

Tilda Rosa Mollis

Cute and small sewing of course requires the use of the small rotary cutter. A smaller rotary cutting blade really does make it a lot easier to cut around the little curves.

 

If you’re making a cute little dress and need to trim the seam allowances, then ordinary pinking shears will just not do the job….scalloped edges every time!

scalloped edges on mini tilda dress

So, what do you think, does she look ok in her little Tilda dress?

Tilda Bunny in a Dress

Why, yes, I did fussy cut so I she got a little bee on her shoulder. Thank you for noticing!

Tilda Bunny Bee on Shoulder

I was only kidding myself, Spring is not nearly here so I knitted her a little scarf too!

Little Knitted Scarf

3.25mm needles and ggh Soft Kid in stocking stitch if you are interested. Lots and lots of rows.

Tilda Bunny in knitted scarf

Hope you like my little bunny and are inspired to make something for yourself. If you fancy making something from the new range then check out the Tilda Bumblebee fabrics at Sew and SoTilda

You can also have a look at what else has been created on the Tilda Bumblebee blog hop….
Monday 9th January – SewandSo
Tuesday 10th January – Helen Philipps (wow, what a busy lady!)
Wednesday 11th January – Charlotte Newland (winner of the Great British Sewing Bee 2016, no less)
Friday 13th January – SewandSo – Free Pattern! (of a dolly mermaid tail – so cute!)
Tuesday 17th January – Lucie the Happy Quilter
Wednesday 18th January – Little Black Duck
Thursday 19th January – Very Berry Handmade
Friday 20th January – Sew Sweet Violet

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NEW Pattern :: Penguin Applique

My daughter loves penguins. When I say love, I really do mean love! Somehow penguins seem to be adorning everything she owns. I therefore couldn’t resist designing a penguin applique pattern.

Penguin Applique T-Shirt

This penguin applique pattern is relatively simple and quick to make. In the instructions I have included my thoughts on some of the stitches you might like to try when appliqueing* your design.

To make sure that your project runs as smoothly as possible I have digitally drafted the pattern pieces and included step by step photographs and instructions.

Penguin Applique T-Shirt

The pdf is 7 pages long, of which 2 pages are the pattern pieces. Useful to know if you are keen on saving paper and printer ink!

Penguin Applique Sample Pages

Once you have made something with your penguin pattern use #penguinapplique on social media so that we can all see how you have got on. I truly love seeing all of your work.

*I’m sure you’re not allowed to turn French words into adjectives in this way!

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NEW Pattern :: Reindeer Applique

I really love making children’s clothes. I guess it’s because they are small and cute and come together so quickly.  Applique is a great skill and using applique on a t-shirt is a great way of creating something fun and unique.

Applique is a relatively quick and simple skill and if you’ve got a stash like I do, more often than not you’ll have everything you need to get going straight away!

I have designed a Reindeer Applique pattern that is just perfect for a festive T-shirt

Reindeer Applique T-Shirt

The pdf pattern makes a Reindeer head that is about 10″ high and 7″ wide. I have digitally drawn all of the pattern pieces so they are nice, neat and accurate and you are well on your way to getting great results.

Reindeer Applique Sample Pattern Pages

I have included step-by-step instructions and photographs and there is a page of information that talks through some of the stitches that you might like to use to applique your design.

The pdf pattern is a total of 7 pages long, of which the pattern pieces take up just two pages.

If you would like to buy a copy of the pattern it is available from the Little Black Duck Etsy store.

If you are posting pictures of your makes on social media use #reindeerapplique so that we can all see your makes!

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What’s In The Kit….a little video about what’s in the Christmas Friends Finger Puppet Sewing Kit

Did you know that I sell kits of some of my Finger Puppet Sewing Patterns?

My Christmas Friends are one of my most popular ranges of finger puppets. I sell the sewing patterns as digital downloads and the great news is that I also sell them in kit format.

Sewing kits are great for gifting to someone who loves to sew or someone crafty looking for a new challenge. Sewing kits are also great for when you want to make something but don’t have everything to hand (not usually the case in my house!).

My Finger Puppet Sewing Kits include everything* you need to make a set of Christmas Friends Finger Puppets

Christmas Friends Finger Puppets Sewing Kit

Cute aren’t they? Seriously check out the antlers on the reindeer!

Now, all of my product listings tell you all about what you get in the kit and there are even photographs of the felt and instructions, but you know what? Buying online can be tricky, everything is so flat and you can’t touch and feel what you’re buying (which is why I so rarely buy clothes online, how about you?).

I therefore decided to make a video demonstrating what you get in the kit. Go on, have a watch……

What do you think? Does it give you a better idea of what you are buying? Hope so 🙂

You’re obviously now desperate to buy a kit aren’t you? Well, look no further. You can buy a kit from my shop, Little Black Duck on Etsy or Little Black Duck on notonthehighstreet.com

If you have a good stash of felt (I’ll not tell anyone) you can buy a pdf download of any of my finger puppets from Little Black Duck on Etsy, Little Black Duck on Craftsy or from my shop.

* the only thing you need in order to make up the finger puppets from the kit is a small pair of sharp scissors

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Feature :: Pelican Applique T-Shirt for Love Sewing issue 31

I just love an applique T-shirt. I love that you can take something plain and really make it your own. It doesn’t take long, but is so effective and you end up with something that’s different to what you find in the shops.

love-sewing-issue-31-pelican-applique

For issue 31 of Love Sewing Magazine I designed a Pelican Applique pattern that you can apply to any store bought t-shirt. I just love pelicans. Where my parents live in Australia they hang out where the fishermen come in with their boats waiting to see if there’s anything left at the end. The most amusing thing though is seeing them perch on top of the telegraph poles!

Pelican Applique Detail

The T-shirt I used for this project came from JoJo Maman Bebe. It is such lovely quality and washes so well. They don’t currently have exactly the same version, but they do have a Navy/Cream and Navy/Fuchsia version. I’ve just had a look and they do have the red and white stripe in the boys’ section, it just has a slightly different neckline.

Pelican Applique with Boat

I took these pictures of Emily when we were on holiday in Spain this summer. We went out early one morning before the sun became too bright and high in the sky. It was so so hot that morning. I felt so sorry for Emily, but she was a little star!

Pelican Applique Tshirt at the harbour

You can find more details about issue 31 of Love Sewing from their website. If you are reading this post after issue 31 of Love Sewing has come off sale, you can get a back copy from More Mags.

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Feature :: Girls’ Skater Skort (Culottes) for Love Sewing issue 26

Have you got an active little girl in your life? I seem to have two! Both of our girls love the outdoors and it makes me so happy when the weather is warm and sunny and they are racing around the garden.

My girls are girly girls in that they like to wear something pretty and preferably something with a bit of twirl. Problem is though that girly is not always that practical….particularly when they want to run, jump and climb.

This is where my Skater Skort pattern is just perfect. It’s a pair of culottes based on the style lines of a full skirt.

Skater Skort Culottes

The pattern that is included with issue 26 of Love Sewing is for an age 7 girl. As my Skater Skort has been designed with an elasticated gathered waist it can easily be adjusted to fit a slightly younger or older girl.

Skater Skort Culottes

Download the pattern pieces from Love Sewing Issue 26 from the Love Sewing Mag website.

As usual if you have any issues with making up the pattern then let me know!

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Free Pattern :: Rainbows and Raindrops Applique

In Spring 2015 I designed a cute little applique pattern for Issue 12 of Love Sewing magazine

If I look back at my instagram and pinterest ‘likes’ so many of the pictures I’ve clicked like on a are rainbow colours. I guess my psyche is trying to tell me that I’m a Spring/Summer person, rather than an Autumn/Winter kind of girl! Spring this year has been somewhat slow to arrive, it really is time for some sunshine and perhaps some temperatures about ten degrees!

Rainbow Applique FREE download

I really love an applique t-shirt for children, much nicer than the character ones (that they love so much!). So, I thought it would be fun to design an applique project along the rainbow theme.

Below you will find step by step instructions and a link to download the applique pattern pieces. Find yourself a plain t-shirt, some scraps of bright fabrics and you are away!

Rainbow T-shirt Emily

RAINBOW APPLIQUE INSTRUCTIONS

Materials Required:

:: Plain t-shirt
:: Bondaweb
:: Cotton in the following colours
– Red 3.5” x 6”
– Orange 4.5” x 6”
– Yellow 5” x 5”
– Green 2.5” x 4
– Dark Blue 2” x 3.5”
– Pink 1.5” x 3”
– White 3×4”
– Light Blue 3”x3”
:: Stabiliser such as Stitch and Tear
:: Thread in colours to match cotton fabrics

Prepare Pattern Pieces

Download your FREE Rainbow Applique Pattern Pieces.

Trace all pattern pieces onto the paper side of the Bondaweb (remembering to reverse the cloud shape) and roughly cut out (about 1/4” from the pattern line).

Iron Bondaweb shapes onto the wrong side of your fabrics and cut out precisely/along the pattern line.

Arrange all of the pieces on your t-shirt. Layer the Rainbow Stripes on top of each other, starting with the red/largest first.

Iron in place the Rainbow and the Sun, putting to one side the Cloud and Raindrops for the time being.

Attach stabiliser on the inside of the t-shirt.

Stitch in Place

When you are stitching make sure that you don’t sew through both layers of the t-shirt!

Sew around the Centre of the Sun with a zig-zag stitch. Stitch around the Sun’s Rays with a straight stitch close to the outer edges. See pic below.

Pic A Sun stitching detail blog
Sew around the edges of the Rainbow stripes with a zig-zag stitch, changing thread colour for each stripe. This may seem like a pain, but it will be worth it! Consider using a mid grey thread in your bobbin, rather than changing it each time. Just test your stitching on a scrap of fabric first to see if you need to adjust your tension as you wouldn’t want the bobbin thread showing on the right side. See pic below.

Pic B Sewing the rainbow blog

Position the Cloud over the bottom of the Rainbow and the Raindrops under the cloud. Iron in place.

Sew Cloud in place with a zig-zag stitch. I’ve used a grey thread so that it gives a bit more definition to the cloud edges.

Sew the Raindrops in place with a straight stitch close to the outer edges. See picture below.

Pic C Cloud and Raindrop blog

Tidy Up Your Work

Pull all threads through to the inside of the t-shirt, tie off and cut away excess thread.

Remove excess stabiliser from the inside of the t-shirt.

That’s it, you’re all done!

Some Other Ideas…

How about sewing some or all of the design onto a bag or onto a cushion?

You could scale up the size of the rainbow and use just that part of the design on a t-shirt – super cute! Alternatively, try enlarging the cloud a little and cut out lots and lots of raindrops.

Share your Makes

I have started a facebook group: Little Black Duck :: In The Sewing Room where you can share pictures of your makes and ask for advice. Come and join in, it will be great to hear from you!

If facebook is not your scene post a picture on instagram and tag me in you post @victoriapeat

Happy Sewing!

Rainbow Applique

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