Monograms for small people

This project was born out of a failed attempt at making a child’s skirt for Christmas gifts. They were hideous. In an attempt to use up some sort of mustardy olive-y linen that I bought who-know-why, the first skirt turned out looking like a street urchin costume. The pattern, the sailboat skirt by Oliver and S, deserves better. I rescued the elastic and gave the skirt a garbage bin burial.

After momentary panic about what to replace the skirts with, I was rescued by a kid’s clothes sale and some adorable jumpers (Sweaters to you American folk) as my Christmas gift saviour. On a whim, I decided to try monogramming them.

I traced simple designs onto baking paper, transferred it to the jumpers with thread (this is called tacking) and then embroidered the design in embroidery floss. I used a circle motif to match the polkadot jumper (I like that it kinda looks like the copy write symbol) and a preppy look to contrast the nautical stripes. Cute, non?

Mary Corbet over at has a great library of instructions and stitches. The ‘c’ design uses five threads to get a really pronounced texture, in a split stitch for the c and stem stitch for the border. The ‘S’ design is a backstitched shape filled in with irregular stitches and a three thread fly stitch for the branch border.


Fifi Pyjamas

I love these pyjamas. I love this fabric. And I love this pattern. Trifecta.

I bought this fabric six years ago… no, really. Travelling around Europe after a semester in Norway I was determined to buy some Liberty fabric in London. This was to be a splurge on my student budget that saw me eating two minute noodles and macaroni and cheese pies. However, when I got there, despite the heady swish of silks and impossibly soft cotton, I was sobered by the price per meter. I purchased one a half metres of this and oh, how I have hoarded it.

It’s too precious to cut into, I thought. You should wait until you’re better and less likely to ruin it, I thought. And then I visited my mum’s house, opened the door to her fabric stash and was almost crushed to death by an avalanche of fabric that she no doubt thought was too precious to cut into.

I decided upon the Fifi pattern by Tilly and the Buttons because of its economical fabric use and I’d seen so many adorable versions. Did you make that?’s version is one of my faves. The instructions are really excellent, they hold your hand through everything and would be perfect for new sewers. I remember I followed Tilly’s blog after seeing her on the Great British Sewing Bee, and am so glad she’s been so successful since.

I made a size 2 (would opt for size 1 next time), with no adjustments. I added a black bow made of left over bias tape at the front, only because my centre join was not perfect. I’m not really a bow person, but I like the effect. The French seams and delicate bias trim makes it seem luxe, but it’s actually quite an easy and quick sew.

Now, apart from the fact that these are super dooper comfy and are perfect for the Australian summer, I love them because they remind me of my summer travelling. They are my Proust madeleine pyjamas.