Get More Sewing Done

Last week I wrote about improving my social media skills because I had enrolled in a workshop, about growing your businesses with Instagram, on Skillshare. On of the things I learned was to plan and prioritize my use of images and one of the things I decided was to post more photos of people using my products and also have flat-lays of the things I use when designing and sewing with some behind-the-scenes info.

In order to have products to photograph I must produce more items, hence the blog post title Get More Sewing Done. Also, sewing is part of my design process, because I am looking for sewing patterns that I want to use as a base for planning my surface patterns for clothes collections.

Above you can see some of the photos I posted on my Instagram account to showcase one of my latest surface design patterns called Neko because the design features the Japanese word neko, which means Cat, written in both the kanji and the hiragana script.

My fabric designs can be bought on several types of fabric in my shop at the print-on-demand site called Spoonflower. Their digital print process uses water-based pigment inks and dyes, with very little waste; they also have a selection of eco-friendly fabrics.

Next thing I need to get better at is taking great photos. I am watching some Skillshare classes on the subject as part of the workshop that I mentioned, but mostly it is just practice, practice practice. I might get myself a small tripod for holding my phone so I can take picture of myself with the timer function.

Practice makes progress…

next thing on my to do learn list: taking great photos

The skirt is finished 

I finished the skirt yesterday!

I was a relatively easy skirt to sew, but I did encounter a small challenge when I made the elastic waist. At first it was a challenge to get the elastic band through the very long casing, but I taped it to a long plastic stick and guided it through.

Then, unfortunately, one end of one of the elastic bands got loose after I had sewn them in place, so I had to cut open some of what I had just sewn and then try to get a hold of the loose end inside the casing.

After that I just had to attach the last pocket and then the skirt was finished!

Here I am wearing it – not the best photo, but you get the idea. I love the pockets. 🙂

Here is a close up of the waist and pocket details…

Sewing: The mouse is finished!

It is actually quite a while ago that I finished sewing it, but I haven’t found the time to blog about it. I take that many photos of the process of sewing the mouse, but I’ll show you the few I did take.

Last time I blogged about making a stuffed toy, I had cut out the fabric. The next step was to sew all the pieces together and I made a quick plan in my head of the process – I decided by starting with the head and working my way down; so first of all I needed to sew on some eyes.

Stuffed toy

Here’s the mouse half finished…

Stuffed toy

I made the bottom heavy by filling it with plastic pellets and stuffed the rest of the mouse with light fluff.

Stuffed toy

And voila! A finished mouse…

Stuffed toy

The tricky parts of sewing this was to remember to fill the paws and ears with stuffing before sewing them on and then also attaching the ears turning the right way around (for some reason this was difficult for me and had to do it over twice!).

We haven’t named him yet, so far is just known as ‘musen’ (the mouse).

Stuffed toy

Sewing: The beginnings of a stuffed toy

It seams like I’ve taking a detour from my learning-how-to-sew by book and went head over heels to making-it-up-as-I-go-along. Hmm… I wonder if this will end well.

So this time I wanted to try to make a stuffed toy for my lovely and adorable baby girl. I have always had lots and lots of stuffed toys and just some years ago my husband gave me a stuffed toy that I love and probably will not let my daughter play with: the rat from the Pixar movie ‘Ratatouille’. So I thought ‘how difficult can it be to sew a look-a-like rat?’

I used some paper napkins to drape and sketch a pattern based on my beloved rat.

Sewing a rat

After cutting the pieces out I pinned them to the rat to make sure they fitted reasonably well.

Sewing a rat

I then figured out which way the pattern pieces should go on my choice of fabric and used a highlighter to sketch a rough  seam allowance around the pieces.

Sewing a rat

Sewing a rat

Sewing a rat

And I’m almost ready to start sewing!

Sewing a rat

I haven’t bought the filling yet, and I also need to find some matching threads. I think the biggest challenge is to figure out a sequence of actually sewing everything together.

I see this as a learning experience and am not expecting a great result. I am sure my daughter will find a use for the stuffed toy no matter how it ends up looking.

I hope to post more on my progress on the rat soon.Just need to find the time to get buy the material and do some sewing in between playing with the cutest girl who wants to run around even though she can’t quite walk yet


Sewing: Recycling my white shirt into cute toddler size shirt

After the success of recycling one of my shirts into a shirt for my cute baby girl, I wanted to repeat the experience using the same type of shirt that I had in white.

I used this white long sleeved t-shirt

White shirt ready to be recycled

I used the same pattern that I had made for the red recycled shirt, and it all went well until I ran out of thread…

Running out of thread in the middle of a seam

I didn’t want to stop sewing while waiting for finding the time to go buy some more thread, so I decided to start adding the collar. I wanted to try a different approach than I used last time, so I used white thread and kind of sewed the collar bind piece of fabric first before attaching it.

Binding neckline

Then I sewed it to the inside of the shirt.

Binding neckline

And then I basted it to the right side of the shirt.

Binding neckline

In stead of using a straight top-stitch I decided to use a decorative stitch to secure the collar edge. I quite liked the end result, but I think there must be an easier way to attach an edge to a neckline.

Anyhow … here is the finished shirt!

Finished shirt

I added quite a few nice details to the shirt; here are some close-ups:





I am really happy with the result. The only problem is that I have had to remove the decorative buttons because my cute baby girl likes to use her new teeth on everything and managed to bite one of the buttons off the shirt after having worn it for just half an hour! And safety goes before fashion, so the buttons had to be removed.

Stay tuned for my next sewing adventure…. a stuffed toy!


Sewing: Recycled shirt with a touch of ladybug

After the success of sewing the Ladybug pants, I wanted to try to sew a long sleeved shirt for my cute baby girl. I didn’t have a pattern, but I thought “how difficult can it be to make my own pattern” and went right ahead and did just that.

Shirt in the making

I used one of my daughters shirts as a template.

Template shirt

As this was my very first attempt at sewing a shirt, and even also just making it up as I went along, I didn’t want to use some nice expensive fabric, so I recycled one of my long sleeves shirt that I never use.

Original shirt

Shirt in the making

Shirt in the making

I also wanted to try out some of the fancy decorative stitches on my new machine, so I tried making a square using a leafy stitch and writing my daughters name in the middle. It wasn’t so easy getting it nice and centered, but it all adds to the MadeByMum look. 😉

Fancy stitching

Fancy stitching

I used some of the ladybug fabric, leftover from the pants, for a detail on the inside of the shirt.

It's all in the details

I wanted to try using the twin needle for hemming the sleeves, but I realised I needed two spools of thread for that, so I just top-stitched twice.


Attaching the sleeves was actually easier than I had thought.


And it was so easy to use an over-lock stitch to them on.

Over-lock stitch

And before I knew it, the shirt almost looked like a shirt. If you look closely you can see that I added a little detail on the side of the shirt (a little tag made from the ladybug fabric).

Almost a shirt

Now the neckline was not so easy to do. I’ll try a different approach the next time I make a shirt.


The last touch was double hemming by top-stitching twice as done on the sleeves.

Almost finished

And… tadaa….

Finished shirt

My baby girl just loved it!

I love my shirt

Here are some close-ups of the details I added.

Details are important

Details are important

Details are important

And the shirt in action.

A shirt fit to play in


Sewing: The Ladybug pants are finish! (… using my brand new sewing machine)

First I want to introduce you to my brand new toy sewing machine: the Janome 4120 DCQ

New toy

It can do 120 stitches incl. seven 1-step button holes, and it also does letters, so I can write names and such. But my absolute favourite feature so far is actually the button you press and then it cuts the threads – I think I am in love with this button. And another thing that came in handy is that you don’t need to use the foot pedal, which is a great help for me now because baby girl is getting around a bit more now and wants to play with mum’s new toy, so I removed the foot pedal and am using the sew by button method.

Before I start to tell you about the Ladybug pants, I’ll show you what my old machine looked like. (I traded it in for a discount on my new super fancy machine.)

Old sewing machine


And now … my very first sewing project for my baby girl … the Ladybug pants.

The instructions in the book were lacking in helpfulness, so I had to use my inexperienced common sense to make the pants. I am not sure I will recommend the book for others, definitely not for newbies like me.

Attaching the binding feature…

Ladybug pants


Attaching the yokes…

Ladybug pants


I didn’t have my new machine at this stage, otherwise I might have used one of the decorative stitches to do the top-stitching in stead of this old boring straight one. 😉

Ladybug pants


The pants are slowly taking shape…

Ladybug pants


Trying out the overlock stitching on my new machine. 🙂

Ladybug pants


Sewing is so much faster using my new fancy toy!

Ladybug pants

Ladybug pants


I though sewing the two legs together would be difficult, but it actually wasn’t. What was difficult was to get the yoke/binding seams to align – as a photo further down will attest to.

Ladybug pants


And a bit of notching. (I also added some zig-zag for fraying later.)

Ladybug pants


Making a casing for the elastic waist.

Ladybug pants


Double hemming the legs.

Ladybug pants


And tadaaa!!!


As a first try at this, I am really pleased, but next time I think I will pay a bit more attention to aligning critical places. Just look at how off I was here:

Ladybug pants


I tried to take a picture of cute baby girl wearing the Ladybug pants, but she wouldn’t stand still. She is 8 (and a half) months old and thinks she can walk and want’s to explore everything. The pants a 1 or 2 cm too long still, so there is plenty of time for her to wear the pants before they get too small. I’ll try to remember to post a photo  of the pants being worn when I get a nice picture.


Sewing: Ladybug pants

I am still very much in the process of learning how to sew, but I am taking a break from my Lined Tote Bag project until I get my hands on a new sewing machine, because I do not seem to be able to get the hang of sewing a 4 step buttonhole. 😦

I have been wanting a nice new machine for a long time, and am now in the process of selecting one that suits my needs within a reasonable price range. So far I am leaning towards getting a Janome DC2030.

– – – – – – –

So, I have cast my eyes on a cute pattern in the book ‘Cute clothes for kids’ by Rob Merrett. It’s a two piece set, but I am only going to make one piece: The Ladybug pants. 🙂

I recently bought some fabric from some German fabric vendor through their Swedish site: – it looks like they have a big selection at affordable prices, which is great for a newbie sewer like me. And lucky for me, they have a fabric with ladybugs on it. 🙂

So here is my latest stash:

My latest stash

And a close-up so you really can appreciate the ladybugs…

Close-up of stash

I bought two colour variants of the ladybug fabric, but I think I’ll make them using the dark blue fabric and pair it with green. And then I’ll probably use the light lilac bias binding from my apron project.

Here is my selection for the Ladybug pants project

Fabric selection for pants

I’ve begun to trace the pattern and cut it out, but I am a bit confused about the line with the scissor symbol on it a bit further up the leg of the front and back piece of the pants. I am pretty sure I shouldn’t cut there, so for now I am just going to ignore it. It doesn’t say anything about it in the instructions. If you have a suggestion as to what it means, please do tell me about it.

Here’s the pattern:


This will be my first time sewing something for my cute baby girl. I am crossing my fingers for a good result that she can wear.