Red Lilou dress

As soon as I got Tilly Walnes’ book Love at First Stitch, I knew I wanted to make a plain red Lilou dress. I actually attempted this dress early last year – but unfortunately I cut the bodice about half a size too small, and, feeling discouraged, I abandoned the project completely. Last summer, I decided to try again – and this time I cut a better size!!

all the little happy things - red Lilou dress

I’ve made three other Lilous before, but this was the first time I’ve done the proper pleated skirt – it was actually a lot of fun to iron those sharp pleats into the fabric, and I really love the fullness the pleats give the skirt! I added pockets as well, because all dresses could use some pockets.

all the little happy things - red Lilou dress

As you can see, the bodice still isn’t fitted quite right. It’s still wearable, but definitely not as well-fitting as some other dresses I’ve made before. I cut a size 3 bodice tapering to a size 4 waist, but I think next time what I actually need is to trace out the pattern in between sizes 3 and 4 – the top of the bodice is a little too tight, but the waist is just a little too loose.

all the little happy things - red Lilou dress

Even though this isn’t a perfect garment, I’m glad that I stuck with it! I’m really glad to have crossed off another item in my sewing ‘bucket list’, and I’m looking forward to lots more sewing this year!

all the little happy things - red Lilou dress

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Sleeveless Megan dress

I had a metre and a half of leftover Japanese geo print cotton from my Ultimate Shift Dress, so I decided to tackle the Megan Dress from Tilly Walnes’ book Love at First Stitch! The Megan is probably the only pattern I hadn’t made from this book, so I was pretty excited about trying it out.

all the little happy things - sleeveless Megan dress

It was actually autumn here in Brisbane when I made the dress, but I couldn’t stop myself from making a bright, summery frock… and now it’s finally the right weather to wear it! I opted to add in side seam pockets (every dress needs pockets!!) and make my dress sleeveless. I actually took some time to make a proper toile of the bodice and make a couple of minor adjustments to the pattern before cutting out my dress fabric, and I’m glad I did – the dress fits very nicely now!

all the little happy things - sleeveless Megan dress

all the little happy things - sleeveless Megan dress

I made my own bias tape with the scraps leftover from cutting out the dress, following this tutorial, and finished the armholes with a bias tape facing, following this tutorial. I’d never done this before, but it was actually pretty easy!

all the little happy things - sleeveless Megan dress

all the little happy things - sleeveless Megan dress

I’m so pleased with my dress – it’s professional enough to wear at work, but the print makes it fun enough for a weekend brunch or date night out. I just love how simple and sweet the Megan pattern is, and how little fabric it uses (only about 1.5m if you omit the sleeves!) – I can definitely see more Megan dresses in my future!

Alice in Wonderland Clemence pinafore dress

I bought a couple of metres of Kokka midweight cotton on a whim at the BrisStyle DeStash Market earlier this year, with a gorgeous Alice in Wonderland-themed print. I originally had plans of making it into a Cleo pinafore dress… but inspired by this video by Annika Victoria, I decided to hack my own pinafore dress based on the Clemence gathered skirt from Love at First Stitch!

all the little happy things - Clemence pinafore dress

To make this pinafore dress, I first made the Clemence gathered skirt, including inserting the zip and finishing the waistband, but I left hemming until the very end. To make the pinafore bodice and straps, I generally followed the Annika Victoria tutorial, though I made my bodice a trapezoid shape rather than an even rectangle. I didn’t have overall/dungaree buckles or adjustable sliders, so I just put in a couple of buttonholes in the bodice before attaching it to the skirt waistband. To work out where to sew the buttons onto the straps and where to sew the straps to the skirt, I pinned the straps to the skirt waistband and the bodice, checking in the mirror and readjusting until I was happy with it. I sewed the straps to the skirt waistband first, then double-checked the button placement using chalk through the buttonholes before sewing the buttons onto the straps. The whole thing took one day from start to finish, so a pretty quick make overall!

all the little happy things - Clemence pinafore dress

The best part about this pinafore dress is that is has pockets!! I love adding pockets into all my handmade clothes – makes them so much more practical!

all the little happy things - Clemence pinafore dress

The midweight fabric is perfect for the mild Australian winter with a pair of opaque tights and a long sleeved tee or jumper, and will be just as comfortable with a short-sleeved tee in the spring.

all the little happy things - Clemence pinafore dress

Here’s a closer look at the print – isn’t it cute? I love the Alice in Wonderland theme, with all the rabbits, playing cards, chess pieces and tea sets!

all the little happy things - Clemence pinafore dress

This is the first time I’ve ever tried ‘hacking’ a pattern, and I am really pleased with how it turned out! it’s definitely helped me gain a bit more confidence with going ‘off-book’ with my sewing – hopefully all my future experiments turn out this well!

all the little happy things - Clemence pinafore dress

Snow White Disneybound – yellow Clemence skirt and apple bow headband

This September, Dannii and I are heading off on holiday to Japan, and towards the end of the trip we’re spending a couple of days at Tokyo DisneySea! I discovered that we’ll be there for the Halloween special event – and this year, guests are allowed to wear Disney costumes every day of the Halloween season!

Rather than try to run around DisneySea in my full Jasmine costume and very heavy wig, I’ve decided to try Disneybounding, i.e. putting together a Disney character-inspired outfit from my normal clothes. Naturally, being me, I ended up making a couple of pieces instead of just working within my existing wardrobe… but hey, now I’ve got a sweet yellow skirt (my favourite colour!), a cute headband, and a Snow White-inspired outfit!

Snow White Disneybound

To me, Snow White’s outfit has three main elements – a blue top, a yellow skirt, and a red bow headband. I already have a navy blue t-shirt that I love, so I just needed to make the yellow skirt and red bow headband. I decided to add a little apple motif to the headband as well, as an extra nod to Snow White’s story.

Snow White Disneybound

I made the skirt out of a self drafted pattern, following the directions for the Clemence skirt in Love at First Stitch. Since the shell fabric (cotton poplin) was a bit sheer, I opted to line the skirt with cotton lawn as well. It’s lovely, bright and lightweight, and I also added pockets for some extra practicality!

Snow White Disneybound

To make the headband, I measured out a length of red glitter fold-over elastic, and sewed the ends together (overlapping a little) with the zig-zag stitch on my machine. For the apple bow, I made a big bow out of scrap satin and grosgrain ribbons – I made a loop with the wide satin ribbon, pinched the centre of the loop and wrapped it with the skinnier grosgrain ribbon to make the bow shape, and then glued the ends of the grosgrain ribbon in place with regular craft glue. I drew an apple shape and cut it out of red glitter foam, then cut leaf shapes out of green felt and glued them in place. I glued the foam apple to the centre of my ribbon bow, then added a brooch back to the back of the bow so that I have the option of removing it from the headband in future. All in all, it was a pretty quick make – I think it took me about half an hour from start to finish.

Snow White Disneybound

Snow White Disneybound

I’m really pleased with how the skirt and headband turned out, and I can’t wait to wear this outfit at Tokyo DisneySea!

Snow White Disneybound

Print Mimi blouse

I made another Mimi blouse from Love at First Stitch a couple of months ago, but never got around to taking photos until now… so here it is, finally: my print Mimi blouse!

all the little happy things - print Mimi blouse

all the little happy things - print Mimi blouse

I made the blouse with a contrast collar in black rayon, with covered buttons, and I really like the effect!

all the little happy things - print Mimi blouse

all the little happy things - print Mimi blouse

It’s a hard to see in the photos, but the fabric I used has some sparkly gold details in the print – just darling! I really love this print, and the fabric is nice and light, which suited the fit of this pattern.

all the little happy things - print Mimi blouse

While the Mimi blouse is not my favourite pattern to make (my least favourite part of the sewing process is cutting out fabric, and there are a lot of pieces to cut for this this pattern… plus I don’t love setting in sleeves, haha!), I do really like the results! I’m glad to have another blouse that I can wear to work or for a fun weekend outing – yay for versatile handmade pieces!

all the little happy things - print Mimi blouse

Floral Lilou dress

My love affair with the Lilou dress from Love at First Stitch is still going strong! I’ve already made an orange flower print Lilou and a dinosaur print Lilou, but this time I’ve gone with a lovely Japanese floral cotton lawn. I saw the fabric at Spotlight and fell in love – isn’t it gorgeous?

all the little happy things - floral Lilou dress

all the little happy things - floral Lilou dress

all the little happy things - floral Lilou dress

As with the last two Lilous, I made the gathered skirt version and added in pockets. Because the fabric was quite thin, I also lined the skirt to prevent any see-through mishaps!

all the little happy things - floral Lilou dress

all the little happy things - floral Lilou dress

I am absolutely in love with this dress, and expect to get a lot of wear out of it this summer!

My Mimi blouse

After a little break from sewing, I picked up Love At First Stitch again and made myself a Mimi blouse!

all the little happy things - red Mimi blouse from Love At First Stitch

I used a lovely red cotton lawn and made self-covered buttons. Isn’t the colour gorgeous? I love red. 🙂

all the little happy things - red Mimi blouse from Love At First Stitch

I like that the blouse fits a little loosely – it’s just nice for the warmer spring weather in Brisbane right now!

all the little happy things - red Mimi blouse from Love At First Stitch

It took me a couple of days to make this blouse – one day to trace the pattern and cut the fabric and interfacing, and one day to stitch everything together. It was my first time setting in sleeves and making a collar. The collar was pretty easy, but setting in sleeves is not the easiest thing I’ve ever done… I’m happy with how it all turned out, though!

all the little happy things - red Mimi blouse from Love At First Stitch