… and it’s all my fault. I totally messed up.

For some reason I had it in my head that this post was for tomorrow. The thing is. normally it doesn’t matter when my posts go out but today, the timing is essential because if you like what you are about to read and you want to take action then you have to be quick. Continue reading

8 Wow factor Christmas gifts for boys

8 Wow factor Christmas gifts for boys

Firstly I must apologise for using the ‘C word’ in September. But I have an idea that could make you a very popular [delete as appropriate] mum/auntie/grandma/friend/dad/godmother/neighbour/other at Christmas time.

Continue reading

Who says tights are for girls?

Little Hero tights by Little Titans

Little Hero tights by Little Titans

My little nephew has swagger, he’s cute, he’s cool. He wouldn’t be caught in a pair of baggy, slouchy, shapeless jogging bottoms, no siree. He saunters around not only in jeans but drop crotch pants, leggings, girl tights and boy tights (not all at the same time, I hasten to add) because he can. Tights shouldn’t be just for girls, boys should also be able to benefit from the cosy comfort that tights have to offer. It makes perfect sense to me.

Leggings are pretty much an extension of the skinny jeans, but in jersey fabric they are more comfortable, cheaper and will fit growing kids for longer. Who knows, it may soon be commonplace for boys to wear leggings, it’s a no-brainer I think. But I’m only talking about little boys, not big boys, for practical reasons of course, come on where would they put their mobile phones?

I was delighted to be asked to join Perfect Pattern Parcel#4, last time it was patterns for girls, this time, patterns for boys. Woo hoo!!!

Pattern Parcel #4What a great selection of patterns. I decided to sew the Schoolboy vest for my nephew, it looked easy enough to sew on my ‘toy’ mini sewing machine that I took on holiday. (Yes, that’s right, I took my sewing machine on holiday.)

Knowing that my nephew is a cool dude, who wears tights and leggings as standard attire, I didn’t want to make him a vest that would cramp his style. I wanted to steer away from the formal look (after all he doesn’t often go to posh dinner parties and the opera) and give the vest a more urban flavour.

So here’s what I madeschoolboy reversible vest ♥ Needle and Ted

It’s not as urban as I intended, but it certainly looks good on my nephew, don’t you agree?

schoolboy vest ♥ Needle and Ted schoolboy vest 2

schoolboy vest 3

The great thing about the schoolboy vest is that it is reversible. So you sew one item and get two. Bonus! My sister-in-law asked about washing instructions. Normally I would say ‘Wash inside out at 30 degrees’. But what is inside out on a reversible vest? My brother’s solution was to wash at 15 degrees both sides. That’s the kinda guy he is (hmmm!!).

I made some minor adaptions to the pattern

Colour blocking, piping, two buttons instead of 4, no welt pockets, no buckle at the back but shaped the bottom to form a point, which unfortunately isn’t that noticeable [sad face].

schoolboy vest 4 schoolboy vest 5 schoolboy vest 6

There is one simple rule for wearing a vest or waistcoat as we call it in the UK…  ALWAYS BUTTON UP (rather than leave open and flapping), unless you want to look like a child being forced to wear a suit at a family wedding.


Want to make a reversible Schoolboy Waistcoat (or any of the other patterns in the Parcel)? Purchase your parcel today.

Buy Pattern Parcel #4

About Pattern Parcel

Perfect Pattern Parcel believe in supporting independent pattern designers. It’s their opinion that indie patterns are better than big box patterns, and they are pretty sure their customers think so too. So, they allow customers to show their support in naming their own price for each Parcel.  They also encourage customers to allocate part of their Parcel price to the charity in order to help classrooms in need. Pattern Parcel donates all profits after expenses from Parcel sales to the charity as well. They have raised $9,800 towards eliminating educational inequality.

Pattern Parcel #4

Hey look! It’s my other nephew.

Bonus Pattern

Choose a price of $26 or greater for Parcel #4 and you will automatically also be sent the Bonus Pattern! The Bonus Pattern for this Parcel is the Knight Hoodie by Charming Doodle. This pattern is a unique and fun spin on the traditional hoodie. Thorough instructions and pictures help you create an amazing and memorable hoodie that will inspire creativity in your little one.

Buy Pattern Parcel #4What are you waiting for? Get your parcel today.

Back to the 70’s

retro look 4

When I showed my brother the Prefontaine shorts I was working on he remarked “Ah! Steve Prefontaine.”
“Er! Do you know who he is?” I said
“Yes, he was a long distance runner in the 70s, who wore shorts like that.”

I looked him up on Google and also found out that he competed in the 1972 Olympics and once held the American record in seven different distance track events. He was known for his mustache and his long hair that parted as he ran. Tragically, in 1975 he died in a car accident, he was only 24 years old.

So, I assume the Prefontaine shorts were named in honour Steve Prefontaine, one of the greatest Ameriacn runners of all time. [Silence please.]



So there you have it, incase like me, you didn’t have it before.

retro look 3

I have always liked this style of retro shorts but these days I would prefer to cover my legs with longs rather than shorts. Some things are best left to the younger generation, in saying that I am writing this post wearing a denim OnePiece but we won’t go there.

The pattern for the shorts is a bonus pattern if you pay $24 or more for Perfect Pattern Parcel#2.

I made the shorts as a present for my friends’ 8 year old daughter. Don’t worry, I have learnt from my previous experiences and from some of your advice, only to make things for those you know will appreciate it. Well, my friend Kerry is a girl I know will appreciate it. In fact she has made some amazing things for my daughters in the past.

The pattern says the shorts are quick and easy to stitch up, but I was left saying “Are we there yet?” like an impatient child on a long car journey. And the closer I got, the more excited I became.

I initially intended for the shorts to be a bright, bold colour, in keeping with the retro style. But the silver jersey fabric kept calling out to be used again, so I obliged. I already had white bias binding so I trimmed the shorts with that rather than use an unwanted t-shirt like the pattern suggested.

Though not quick for me, they were easy to make, I would have liked more images in the pattern to guide me along the way, but I managed without.

retro look 2

The shorts are a perfect addition to the pink retro duffel bag I had made, following this tutorial. It was simple to make and if you want to adjust the size there is another tutorial here that tells you the formula.

I am as pleased as punch with the Prefontaine shorts, Darcy was a little reluctant to take them off, so I will have to make some for her too. But why stop there? I’ll just make some for Scout while I’m at it.

The retro bag is totally my style. Never mind the girls, I’m making another one of these for myself.

retro look 1

Imagine an 8 year old girl turning up at the track wearing silver Prefontaine shorts carrying a pink retro duffle bag, even if she ran like Pheobe, she’d still look cool.

retro look 5

I have really enjoyed sewing Perfect Pattern Parcel#2. Four out of six is not bad. I still want to sew the  September Dress by Too Sweets Patterns and 
Caroline Party Dress by Mouse House Creations but it won’t be before 18th April when the Perfect Pattern Parcel #2 sale ends.

Perfect Pattern Parcel #2

If you are thinking of purchasing Parcel #2 and need more inspiration you could check out these blogs, a mighty fine bunch of talented ladies:

Shawnta Sews
P comme Plimplim
While she was sleeping
stitched together
Sew Like My Mom
Marina Bebe
Call Ajaire
I Married Superman
Girl like the sea
Compagnie M.
floating world
fake it while you make it
Sewing Mama RaeAnna
Our Chez Nous
Behind the Hedgerow
2 little hooligans
Siestas & Sewing
So Cal Sewing Mom
lauren dahl
La gang à Nat
Frances Suzanne
Radiant Home Studio
Modern Handmade
A Jennuine Life
It’s Always Autumn
lea & lars
I Seam Stressed
So, Zo… What do you know?
Andrea’s Notebook
Steph Skardal
Made With Moxie
imagine gnats
Inder Loves Folk Art