Gingham Bellbird shorts and Bettine t-shirt

Remember my gingham Seren separates? I made them much earlier in the year, when it was a little too cool to wear them… and since then, my weight has changed enough that they no longer fit me. I had spent a lot of time and effort fitting and making the top and skirt, so I was pretty discouraged – too discouraged to try and make alterations!

I still wanted a cute two-piece set to wear through summer, though, but I only had about 1.5m of that lovely Drapers Fabrics gingham left. I spent a while staring at it, wondering what to do… and then it came to me: a Bellbird shorts and Bettine t-shirt set!

all the little happy things - gingham Bellbird shorts and Bettine t-shirt

I made the shorts using the Common Stitch Bellbird shorts pattern, but unlike my tencel version, I cut out an extra-small instead of a small. I think they look a little better in this size, particularly the gathers at the waistband. The only other alteration I made from the tencel version was to reduce the width of the hem, as I wanted a tiny bit of extra length past the edge of the pocket bags.

all the little happy things - gingham Bellbird shorts and Bettine t-shirt

The t-shirt is a super simple hack of the Tilly and the Buttons ‘Bettine’ dress – I just made the bodice and hemmed it! I cut a size 2, which was pretty much perfect, though I sewed the side seams with a 1cm seam allowance instead of 1.5cm to make it a little more comfortable under the arms. To keep the slightly cropped length of the top but also allow for a double-folded 1cm hem, I extended the length of the bodice pattern pieces by 1cm (which was all that my remaining fabric could accommodate!). I also slip-stitched the cuffs all the way around to keep them flush to the sleeves, but decided not to include the cuff tabs to keep the t-shirt fairly simple.

all the little happy things - gingham Bellbird shorts and Bettine t-shirt

Since I didn’t have that much fabric left, I ended up having to include a seam down the middle of the back bodice. I added 1.5cm for seam allowance to the fold line when cutting out the two back bodice pieces, and pressed and finished the seam allowances open after sewing. The seam makes for a bit of an added ‘design feature’ on the back, and turned out quite nicely! After cutting the main bodice pattern pieces and the cuffs, I didn’t have enough gingham left for the facings, so I just cut them out of scrap white cotton lawn I had in my stash.

all the little happy things - gingham Bellbird shorts and Bettine t-shirt

This whole outfit came together in less than a day, as both patterns are really easy to make up. Both of these pieces are comfortable and easy to wear, thanks to the relaxed fit of the t-shirt, the elastic waistband on the shorts, and the light and breathable fabric. I also love that I was able to squeeze both the top and the shorts out of my leftover gingham fabric, with very little wastage left over after cutting – hooray for using up a bit of my stash!

all the little happy things - gingham Bellbird shorts and Bettine t-shirt

I’m glad that I still have a cute set of gingham separates to wear this summer, even if my original plans didn’t quite work out! I love how these separates look together, and I think they’ll mix in really well with the rest of my summer wardrobe!

Christmas decorations 2019

Happy December, everyone! I’m excited that it’s finally the last month of the year – it’s been a long year. But now it’s December, and it’s time for one of my favourite things about the holiday season – decorating for Christmas!

all the little happy things - Christmas decorations 2019

Last year, our Christmas decorations were largely confined to the centre of our shelving unit. That space is now occupied by our indoor plants, so I’ve spread out our Christmas decorations to other places in our living room. I used a mixture of old and new items, both store-bought and handmade. It was so much fun to put everything in place, and I love the results!

all the little happy things - Christmas decorations 2019

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Project Life – October 2019

Today I’m sharing my Project Life pages for October, which was a pretty big month for us in terms of family events. As a result, I have a few more spreads than normal to share!

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

There’s a new addition to my title page this month – my gorgeous new niece, Evelyn! I love that this page is just full of cute photos of my nieces and nephew. I’m looking forward to adding Evelyn to my title pages for the rest of this year!

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

This spread is about a couple of the big ‘everyday life’ stories from the month – becoming indoor plant parents, and looking after my nephew-dog!

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

I had hoarded a few plant-themed journal cards from past Studio Calico documenter kits, and I’m glad I saved them! I added a few accents from a Maggie Holmes sticker book as well.

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

We got to take care of Roscoe, my nephew-dog, for a few days this month, and I even took a bit of time off work so I could maximise the time with him! Since there were so many photos on the page, I tried to keep the journal cards fairly minimalist, with just a few bigger icons. I find it hard to incorporate plastic shapes in my pages, so I’m glad I was able to find a use for a few of them here!

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

Of course, the most exciting story of the month was the birth of little Evelyn! We visited her in hospital the day after she was born, and I managed to get a lot of beautiful photos of her meeting the family! I went with lots of pink, hearts, gold foil and a bit of wood veneer to tie these pages together, and I love how soft and sweet the whole spread looks!

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

Another big story from the month was unfortunately a sad one… my husband’s grandfather passed away, and we spent a couple of days in Melbourne for the funeral and to be with the family. I made a spread about this story, but decided not to include too much journalling. One of the things I like about this project is the freedom to record stories in as much or as little detail as I want – sometimes a few photos and words are all that’s needed to convey a feeling or bring back a memory.

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

We spent a lot of time with both sides of the family this month, which is what this spread is all about.

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

I don’t have a lot of cards or products with this shade of blue, but I’m thinking I should try and acquire some more! I love how the colours look on this page.

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

I created the journal cards for this spread by using some cards I cut down from a Maggie Holmes paper pad, an index card, and a couple of stickers. A few simple elements can really have a big impact!

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

This spread is features a lot of food-based stories! I find that every month there are a lot of food-based stories to document – pretty indicative of what I find important in life!

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

I used 2 of my fall-back techniques here – a title in letter stickers, and a centred dimensional element on a patterned filler card. These are probably the most common ways I add embellishments to a pocket page, and I find that it really works for me when I’m a bit stuck on what to do with a layout.

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

The other thing I find myself doing a lot is just keeping things as basic as it can get – journalling on some cards, with maybe a couple of stamps to add a title or dates. My stash is full of lovely journal and filler cards, and sometimes it’s best to let them speak for themselves!

all the little happy things - Project Life 2019 - October

My last page for the month combines a few smaller, random stories. I tied it all together with a fairly cohesive colour palette, a bit of white space, and some black and white stickers.

And that’s it for October! I’m so glad that I have this project to document both the big and small events of my life. I hope you enjoyed this look into my 2019 Project Life album – stay tuned next month for the November spreads!

Pocket page layout: Alright, books

I’m back today with another 6×8 pocket page layout! This one is all about my nephew and the little soft dinosaur book I made for him. Isn’t he cute?

all the little happy things - pocket page layout - alright, books

Focusing on a single story for the page means I get to play around with more embellishments and filler cards than I usually do with my Project Life pocket pages, and it’s a lot of fun to layer in different elements.

all the little happy things - pocket page layout - alright, books

I enjoyed going through my stash of 3×4 cards to pick out ones that complemented each other – I went with a simple grey + green colour scheme, to echo some of the colours in the photo, and tried to use repeated design elements to tie everything together.

all the little happy things - pocket page layout - alright, books

I’m really loving this format to tell these smaller stories with my 3×4 photos! I will definitely be making more of these in the future!

all the little happy things - pocket page layout - alright, books

Supplies used:

  • Top right filler card from an old Messy Box kit
  • Top and bottom left filler cards cut from the Maggie Holmes ‘Open Book’ 12×12 paper pad, purchased from <a href="https://www.spotlightstores.com/&quot; target="blank"Spotlight
  • Gold foil washi tape, wood veneer light bulb, grey cardstock and white textured paper from my stash
  • Fabric patches from an old Studio Calico kit

Tencel Bellbird shorts

With the weather warming up, I wanted to add a few more comfy pieces to my wardrobe that are easy and light to wear on hot days. Enter the Bellbird shorts pattern from Common Stitch!

all the little happy things - tencel Bellbird shorts

I made my first pair as a wearable toile out of comfy dot-print tencel left over from my Cleo pinafore dress and picnic blanket skirt. The fabric has a good amount of drape for these elastic-waisted shorts, and I love the lighter colours for the coming summer months.

all the little happy things - tencel Bellbird shorts

Common Stitch is a great local company that is focused on slow learning and sustainable fashion. They make patterns, sewing kits and made-to-order completed garments, and all the patterns are very classic and simple. I haven’t made anything from Common Stitch before, but I enjoyed this shorts pattern a lot! I love the length and the pockets, and it was very simple to put together – just a couple of hours’ work on a weekend. I cut a size small, but I think next time I’ll cut an extra-small, as the shorts are a little looser in the leg and have more gathering in the waist than I ideally want.

all the little happy things - tencel Bellbird shorts

The pattern instructions were pretty easy to follow, though perhaps not as step-by-step as the Tilly and the Buttons patterns that I’m more used to. There were a few things that I ended up doing differently just based on my experience making the Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dress, which has the same type of pockets and waistband. For example, the pattern instructions suggested to stitch the elastic first and then sew the casing over it, but I sewed the casing first and then inserted the elastic afterwards because I didn’t want to try sewing the waistband while stretching out the elastic. I also stitched in the ditch down the side seams of the waistband to secure the elastic in place, as I didn’t want it moving or twisting around when I washed the shorts.

all the little happy things - tencel Bellbird shorts

I’m pretty happy with this first pair of shorts – definitely a very wearable toile, and so comfortable! I’m looking forward to making my next ones!

Pocket page layout: Nice to meet you

I have a lot of 3×4 photos sitting in an envelope, waiting to be made into layouts… but sometimes it’s hard to turn a single 3×4 photo into a big 9×12 or 12×12 traditional layout. I recently found a whole bunch of 6×8 Becky Higgins divided page protectors in one of my cupboards, and realised that I could turn some of those leftover 3×4 photos into 6×8 pocket page layouts!

all the little happy things - pocket page layout - nice to meet you

This was really fun to put together! I loved putting together all these embellishments and textures on a smaller scale, and using the pockets meant I didn’t have to think too much about the specific placement of the different elements of the layout. The smaller page also meant that the photo stands out a little more as it takes up more space than on a normal 9×12 or 12×12 layout.

all the little happy things - pocket page layout - nice to meet you

I used a lot of stickers and washi tape to embellish everything, and kept to the colour scheme from the photo itself to create a cohesive page.

all the little happy things - pocket page layout - nice to meet you

I loved the process of making this layout, and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to try this out! I’ll definitely be doing more of these 6×8 pocket page layouts in the future!

all the little happy things - pocket page layout - nice to meet you

Supplies used:

  • ‘Hello’ sticker from the Maggie Holmes/American Crafts sticker book, purchased from Spotlight
  • Dot stamps from an old Kikki.K rubber stamp set, using Color Theory ink in ‘Power Suit’ from the Studio Calico shop
  • Gold foil letter stickers from Kikki.K
  • Cardstock, wood veneer stars, gold foil washi tape and striped skinny washi tape from my stash
  • All other elements from the Studio Calico shop and various documenter/scrapbooking kits

Abstract print everyday dress

This is the second dress I’ve made using the free Peppermint Magazine everyday dress pattern created by In the Folds, and I think this pattern is well on its way to become one of my very favourites!

all the little happy things - abstract everyday dress

I love the simple shape of this dress, and the wonderfully functional pockets and side splits with the mitered corners are probably my favourite little details!

all the little happy things - abstract everyday dress

I made this version with a lovely cotton (sateen, I think?) from Nerida Hansen Fabrics, which features a beautiful abstract print by Alison Willoughby. I picked up about 2.2m in a remnant sale at the recent Finders Keepers market in Brisbane – such a lucky find, as there was just enough fabric to make this dress with very little waste! The everyday dress shows off the large-scale abstract design so well, and the fabric is lovely and soft with a nice drape.

all the little happy things - abstract everyday dress

As with my wearable toile, the only alterations I made to the original pattern were to shorten it by about 15cm at the lengthen/shorten line, and fold the sleeve hem under one more time. The relaxed shape of the dress makes additional fitting adjustments unnecessary, which is one of the reasons why this is such a quick and easy make.

all the little happy things - abstract everyday dress

I’ve already worn this dress to a casual catch-up with friends as well as to a wedding – the breezy style combined with the abstract print really makes for a versatile garment! I’m so glad to be adding it into my wardrobe, and I’m anticipating that a few more everyday dresses will be joining it in the near future!

all the little happy things - abstract everyday dress