owls… fit for a princess!

May Day… As always in the UK, it’s the bank holiday sooo… One should expect rain! Except, it didn’t rain this year, it literally poured and poured and…. POURED!!

No point making plans, besides, most of my boys were away enjoying the May Day weekend break. Me? Best thing I could do was take a trip into town and raid the craft stores, well… Those that were open! Fenwicks came up trumps, they had a May Day special offer on, spend over £10 on fabric and get 20% off! Well… They made that easy!!

I found this gorgeous owl fabric and contrasting delicate white petal print fabric…

Oh my gosh, the picture does not do it justice. This fabric is just beautiful to use and a steal with the discount!

I could not resist using it for my favourite teeny tiny pinny! I completed the set with a little pair of ‘toms’ inspired baby shoes! Pattern to follow!

Our Leicester branch Fenwicks doesn’t have the biggest selection of haberdashery supplies, but what they do have is pure quality and the prettiest of fabrics!


teeny tiny pinny

I’ve had so many of my friends on Facebook ask about my teeny tiny pinny that I sell on etsy, so I thought it might be a nice idea to post a tutorial here for you!
First of all, you’ll need to download the pattern from here.

The pattern is printed on just two sheets of A4 paper. All you need to do before cutting out is to tape the two sheets together, matching the bodice and skirt at A & B.

You will also need the following:

  • Scissors
  • Pinking shears (optional)
  • Cotton thread
  • 4 fat quarters in two contrasting colours
  • Plastic snaps or Velcro

Print out your pattern above and cut it out, joining the upper bodice to the skirt with points A & B matching. Cut two bodices on the fold of your main fabric and two in the fold of your lining fabric. Cut 4 of the rectangles from any contrasting fabric or from your main fabric. These rectangles are for the ties at the side of the dress. Once you have your pattern pieces cut out, you will be left with this…

So, you will have two of each fabric for the main dress (4 pieces all together) and four rectangles for the side ties. The next step is to trim four of the shoulders that will be joined (bear in mind that whichever side you trim the shoulders is going to be the opposite side to where your ties will be placed, my preference is to have the ties and shoulder opening on the right as you look at the dress). I have marked on the pattern dotted lines as to where you will need to trim them. Fold the pattern at the dotted line and trim all four pieces with right sides facing for both main and lining bodices and trim all four shoulder tops. (Yes, you’re not seeing things, I have wrong sides facing here, it doesn’t matter but just be sure that you have either right sides together or wrong sides together for each set of main and bodice fabrics)

Now it’s time to start sewing it all together! Grab your four rectangle ties first and prepare those ready to attach later. Fold each one, lengthways and right sides together and using a short stitch length (I used a setting of 2.5 throughout making this pinny) sew two sides of the folded tie. Starting at the fold, sewing across the narrow top then down the long open side.

Do this to all four ties, trim across the four corners and then turn right sides out gently pushing out the corners to create a nice sharp clean corner. Press them and leave to one side.

Now you’re ready to start sewing the main bodice. Grab the two main bodice pieces and stitch across the trimmed shoulders. Do this for both the main bodice and the lining bodice.

Now grab your side ties and baste them in place using the marked guide on the pattern skirt edge. You will notice that I’ve added my logo label too here, add yours too if you have one! These are going to be placed on the opposite side to the joined shoulders since the pinny is designed to fully open down one side. Remember to place your ties with the stitched seam facing down, it doesn’t matter too much but I prefer to place mine that way as it looks more professional. If adding a logo label, be sure to place it with your name facing your main front fabric. I always have my opening on the right hand side, again, personal and preference.

Now, add the other two ties to the joined bodice, basting them to the main fabric of the skirt edge on the open shoulder side.

With right sides facing for both main bodice and lining, it’s time to stitch all around the upper of the pinny. Excluding the skirt sides and the skirt hem, sew all around both arms, across the open shoulders and around the neck.

Trim all curves and corners using pinking shears. If you don’t have pinking shears, clip across the square shoulder corners and clip little ‘v’ into the curves with the point of the ‘v’ being as close as possible to the curved seam without cutting into the seam. In each curve, cut at least two or three v’s. The more you cut, the better the curve will look when you turn your dress right side out.

Now it’s time to pull the dress right sides out. Pull your work through the ‘tube’ of the joined shoulder. You may think it’s a tight squeeze but it pulls through very easily!

Push out all shoulder corners and neaten the curves then press now before closing up the side seams.

Lining up the underarm seam of the ‘closed’ shoulder side of the dress, stitch all the way along the skirt and lining edge.

Turn right side out and you are left with something like this…

Now, stitch together the two open edges of the skirt taking care not to kink or trap any part of the ties other than the edges that you basted earlier. (I caught a little bit if one of my ties as I stitched one edge up hence why you can see a previous stitch line here!). Do this to both open edges.

Almost there!

Time to close the dress up!

With everything sandwiched inside the skirt, it’s time to start hemming the dress. You can pin the hem together if you prefer but I find it easier not to. Starting from one side of the open hem, stitch both lining and main bodice hem together keeping the two seams lined up and leaving a very small gap so as to turn work right sides out.

Clip corners to cut down on bulk.

Now turn everything right sides out, pulling everything through the small gap that you left in the hem.

Now press the hem taking care to press the two edges at the opening in line with the rest of the hem.

Top stitch all the way around the hem of the dress back stitching at both ends.

Last lap!

To finish off the dress, add a couple of snaps to the open shoulder. Use an awl to create holes so as to line the snaps up nicely.

And there you go! One teeny tiny pinny, handmade with love by YOU!!

I do hope that you enjoyed my first tutorial! Email me with any questions that you have and I’ll be happy to help!!

Happy sewing

recycling the burlap!

I decided today to have a clear out in our porch… All 2 square metres of it! Yes I know… its just a porch but for some reason it ends up being the place to store stuff that I don’t want to see inside the house… yet it just happens to be the first ‘room’ that visitors walk in to… first impressions they say… hehe!! Any how’s, there I found a few old worn out shopping bags… The stronger jute/burlap type that the checkout staff ask you to buy so as not to keep using the plastic carrier bags. I was just about to throw them away when it occurred to me that I’d seen a tutorial somewhere for a flag style burlap bunting…

So, simple pattern cut, embroidery machine at the ready and, hey presto… A new string of bunting ready to hang in the garden!

Now all we need is a little gentle heat to go with the beautiful sunshine!