Book Review ~ Sewing Clothes Kids Love

Sewing Clothes Kids Love by Nancy Langdon & Sabine Pollehn….

This book is visually beautiful with 144 illustrated pages within a hardcover. It comes with 10 projects and tips to get even the most beginner sewer on their way into the skill of sewing handcraft. A particular focus on children’s attire and brim to brim tips and ideas make this a book you can’t put down.

It has various chapters including;

– Colour, Fabric and Gear

– Measurements, Size and Adjustments

– Fitting, Laying Out and Cutting

– Sewing and Embellishing

So as you can see it really aims at teaching you some useful and basic sewing tips as well as offering 10 full sized patterns encompassed in a little pocket at the front of the book. The patterns are regular tissue paper style and thus no tracing from a block which can be daunting for beginner sewers.

The book comes with patterns for both boys and girls though the girls patterns do appear to outweigh (but what is strange about that? lol). The projects included in the Sewing Clothes Kids Love book are a bit more flamboyant in their style (think Pink Fig) and might put off a more “play it safe” type sewer but my suggestion would be if you weren’t after something quite as loud as the book visualises tone down your fabric choices or embellishments. If you look beyond the garish first impression you will actually find quite a basic style which can be played up or down based on your material choices!

The book includes several pages of instructions for each project and thus is quite detailed. Each pattern comes with a difficulty guide so you won’t be biting off more than you can chew when selecting which pattern suits your level.

All and all I think this is a well written and all encompassing book with a section even on choosing the right sewing machine!

If you would like to purchase this book please click through to my website here. I have limited books in stock at the moment but if you miss out I can always order it in for you.

I hope you have enjoyed my very first & certainly not last book review 🙂

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Make Retro Modern!!!
It’s time again for another challenge! This one is going to be a bit more difficult than the previous challenges as you need to start with a pattern, a RETRO pattern. I have a bag full of retro patterns which I didn’t want to part with but the time has come that I realise that I myself will never find the time to create anything gorgeous from these patterns so I am giving the responsibility to you!

I have a handful of patterns which I will auction off for your chance to win a pattern and the chance to compete in the challenge! You then have to make something with the pattern to submit (a photo will do, you can keep the actual garment). You can tweak the pattern, embellish your heart out and put your own spin on it but the basis of the garment must be the pattern you can’t make something completely different. We will all then get to vote on our favourite creation and the winner takes home a $40 Fabric Jungle gift voucher & the runner up gets a $20 Fabric Jungle gift voucher!

I think this one is going to be a fun one!!! Keep your eyes peeled on my facebook page I will be uploading the retro patterns album tonight!!!

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Fabric Jungle Headquarters

I just thought I’d post a photo of Fabric Jungle headquarters! I work from my home & my home is tiny so this little piece of the house is for Fabric Jungle. I don’t know where I am going to fit all of the new fabric that is coming, but oh well will cross that bridge when I come to it. That is if all you fabric addicts don’t snap it up so quickly I don’t even have to worry about storing it 😉

Am hoping I get the chance to post an easy tutorial for making party bags this weekend but I don’t want to promise anything. Keep an eye out on my page I shall let you know when I get the chance!

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Easy Shirred Dress – Tutorial

Yay I finally got a chance to start & finish the shirred dress I have been thinking about for the last week! I had it all planned out in my mind and I am happy to say it turned out pretty close to what I imagined. We have a wedding coming up and I think this might be the perfect dress for the occassion!

Ok it was pretty easy to make. Frustrating at parts but really easy!

*Fabric – I used about 55cms for my dress which I made for my almost 3 year old daughter.
*Shirring elastic – I got mine from Kmart
*Ribbon (optional) – I got mine from my bits and pieces bag which I have had for YEARS!!!

*Sewing machine
*Ironing board
*Quick unpick (if you need one like I do more often then not)
*Tape measure
*Spare bobbin


1) Cut your fabric down to size. As I said above I used 55cms in length for my dress and I cut about 4cm’s off of the side of the fabric (the salvage side) to make the straps (yay no wastage!)

2) Wind the shirring elastic onto an empty bobbin with your hand. Be careful not to stretch it as you wind it on! Then thread a normal thread on the sewing machine & load the bobbin. This gave me terrible grief! I don’t know if it’s my machine or something I was doing wrong but getting the elastic to thread properly was taking me forever!

3) Before you start stitching the elastic set your stitch length wider, I put mine to my machines maximum. Then start your top line of stitching. I didn’t do any reverse stitchin because I thought I was just going to be stitching & overlocking it all together in a few minutes anyway & I didn’t want to run out of elastic & have to rethread my machine (but I had to do it anyway!). I spaced my lines apart about the width of my presser foot. Do as many lines as you desire! I think I did 8. I did run out of elastic part way through but I just rewound another bobbin & rethreaded the machine (It was a bit quicker this time, yay) and made sure I did a reverse stitch to ensure the elastic was secure. Don’t be alarmed if the first few lines don’t seem to bunch up very much the more lines you do the more it will bunch. And a little tip from Debbie from Little Illusions is to iron with a steam iron to make the elastic bunch more.

4) Stitch the back seam together and overlock. There is only one seam obviously.

5) Overlock the top of the dress and iron down (I ironed down about 6mm). Stitch down. I did this over the top of the top line of shirring, this may not be the best way to go about this but for the meantime it worked for me. Might improve this with future dresses I make.

6) Overlock the bottom hem of the dress. Iron up the hem again I did this around 6mm (just over the width of the overlocking). Stitch the hem up sewing in the optional ribbon at the same time.

7) Using the fabric that you have cut in the first step create the straps for the dress. There should be two pieces to start with about 4cms in width. I ironed in about 1cms on each side and folded it in half. Mind you I did include the actual salvage in one side but I did proceed to trim it as it made that strap rather bulky. I cut the two ironed straps in half in order to make 4 straps in total. I folded in the top of the straps and stitched all of them individually. I then pinned the straps to the dress where I wanted them (about 7cms in from the side of the dress) and stiched them to the dress going over the first and second line of stitching on the top of the dress.

And then finished!!!!

Not the best photo but I will try and get a better one tomorrow with my daughter wearing it!

Hope you liked my second tutorial. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask! Oh & if you like the fabric I used my dress I sell it on my website 🙂

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Easter Shirred Dress Prototype

Ok I was supposed to be providing you all with another instructional pattern for an easy dress but I think I overestimated my abilities as I have only ever made one shirred dress before & well I can only call this dress a prototype at this stage. I spent more time trying out ideas and quick unpicking than I did sewing and taking photos along the way! I am pretty happy with the end result but there are steps in the process that need refining before I try to explain it to you as I think I will just end up confusing you.

This was the end result:

Changes neccassary:
*I would prefer the band on the bottom to be larger and more flowing as the thinner band is stiffer and ruins the flow of the dress.
*I would like the top row of shirring to be higher on dress as the top of the dress hangs down a little too far for my liking.
*The straps could use improvement.

I will endeavour to make another dress & hopefully streamline the process so it’s easier to explain. Keep your eyes on my facebook page & I will let you know when it’s on my blog.

Happy Sewing!

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This will be a creative recycling challenge! You must create something/anything from an old piece of clothing. Please provide photo’s of the clothing item & the finished product. Please use a clothing item and not a sheet, blanket or doona cover as that’s too easy 😉

Anyone can enter! Photo’s will be posted & votes will be cast, winner will be the photo with the most votes. Winner gets a free yard of fabric!!!

Entries due 3rd March, get sewing!!!

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Super Easy Fat Quarter Skirt!

I love this skirt because it’s super easy to make & it’s a great way to use a fat quarter! You can pick up a fat quarter for $4.50 so it makes it cheap too. It takes me a little over half an hour to make (without interruptions).

Basically all you need is:
* 1 Fat Quarter of fabric
* Thread to match the fabric
* Elastic – I like the thin elastic but any size is fine
* A safety pin for threading the elastic into the waist band
* Scissors
* A sewing machine
* Overlocker
* Iron & Ironing board

* Embellishments like ribbon, rickrack, buttons etc.
* You can embellish your skirt with a contrasting fabric which is very easy! I will explain this in a future blog as I am a little time poor at the moment so thought I’d just explain a basic skirt with some simple embellishments.


Step 1: Fold the fat quarter in half (with the salvage on the side not bottom or top) and cut in half.

Step 2: With the patterned sides together stitch the outside seems. I make my seams about 1.5cms and make sure you stitch the salvage side with a larger seam if necessary so the salvage is not visible on the outer of the skirt.

Step 3: Overlock the side seams of the skirt.

Step 4: Iron the hem of the skirt up. About 1.5cm’s is my average & I am naughty & just do it by eye but I have found I am pretty accurate! Then fold in about 0.5cm and iron that also to cover the raw hem.

Step 5: Choose some embellishments! I chose some pink ribbon & an iron on motif. I am stitching the ribbon & the hem at the same time and I stitched the bottom & top of the ribbon to hold it to the skirt well.

Step 6: Iron down the waist band where the elastic will go. You will need to fold it as per the hem so that the raw edge is not exposed. Make sure you allow enough for the width of the elastic you are going to be using. My elastic is 1.2cms so I have folded it (by eye again) at about 2.5cms and then folded in about 0.5cm’s & ironed down.

Step 7: Stitch the waist band. I did it at about 0.5cm’s but leave a gap to thread through the elastic.

eeeeep you can see how crooked my stitching is! LOL I was rushing!!!

Step 8: Thread through the elastic with a safety pin. I measure the elastic by holding it up to my daughter & cutting it at a length I think will fit her. I base the different sizes on how tight the elastic is, I think a FQ can make a skirt from 0-5 and more maybe if your using a contrasting fabric.

Step 9: Stitch the elastic together. (I could actually use help with this part! Everytime I do this the back side of the elastic turns into a mess of threads! It holds together fine & as it’s hidden I don’t mind so much but if anyone know what I am doing wrong please let me know!)

Step 10: Stitch the gap closed.

Turn it the right way & FINISHED!!!! This ended up I would say around size 1-2 as I used a left over bit of elastic.

See I told you it was easy! And I am by no means and expert at sewing. I hope this tutorial has helped you & I would love to see the FQ skirts you come up with!!! Feedback, pointers & idea’s are also welcome 🙂

Posted in Tutorials | 13 Comments

Little Londyn Smartie Pants 2 LL-808 *PATTERN REVIEW*

“LL-808• 0-24 months • 5 styles
These playful pants showcase 5 new embellisments. Make them using traditional appliqué or use the new layering technique included. ”

Please let us know your thoughts on this pattern! Was it easy to use and understand? Were there any mistakes? Basically just give us your feedback! Post pictures of your finished product if you like too!!!

Paula 🙂

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Merry Christmas from the Fabric Jungle!!!

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Welcome to the Fabric Jungle blog!

I wanted something on my website that would be a little bit more interactive & up-to-date so decided a blog would be right up Fabric Jungles alley! Now you can keep up-to-date on what stock is arriving, creative challenges and the upcoming pattern swap! And even better you can leave comments on everything! So sort of like Facebook but on my own little webpage & without all the scare tactics of potentially getting my page deleted for not reading all of the facebook fine print!!! I hope your like our new blog & visit it often!

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