Upcycled Girls dress (from adult dress!)

adult dress upcycled into girls dress final


You may have seen a few weeks ago my post about turning an old maxi dress into a top. There was so much fabric left behind that I thought I’d see if I could turn it into a dress for Amelie, my 5 year old. I figured all I had to lose was my time. And I waste SO much time making crappy projects that don’t work, I’m used to that. One of these days I’ll write a post about all the crap I make that turns out to be so far removed from the vision in my head. That’ll be a fun read for you. But back to the dress. If you have a maxi-dress you no longer need, maybe you should shrink it too! Here’s how I did it.

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Personalised Father’s Day Tablet case

denim ipad case fathers day make for Brother sewing 14

Hooray for Father’s Day on Sunday! (note slight level of forced enthusiasm) My other half consistently tells me he doesn’t want any effort at all for Father’s day, but then MILKS it on the actual day. It’s like living with Caesar. But he works hard, so I don’t mind. Not much. I only mind a little bit.

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Palm Leaf Printed Tee

palm leave printed tee diy

Over on our other Instagram account Get Creative With everyone has been going gaga for this week’s challenge to #getcreativewith printing. There have been SO many amazing ways to print, that they’ve got me itching to try printing a tee.

You Will Need:

  • A4 sheet craft foam
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Duct tape
  • Double-sided tape
  • Green fabric paint
  • Small paintbrush
  • Plain white t-shirt
  • Newspaper
  • White and green pom pom trim
  • White sewing thread
  1. Use the template to cut out the four leaf shapes onto craft foam. Cut squares of cardboard slightly larger than the leaves and use double-sided tape to stick them onto the cardboard.

2. To make the handles for the stamps, cut a length of duct tape and pinch it in the middle, then stick onto the back of the cardboard.

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Lined Drawstring Ballet Bag

ballet drawstring bag by little button diaries 16
My two have recently started ballet classes. Super cute they are too, running around flat footed thinking they look like the sugar plum fairy. I’d been hauling all their stuff to ballet lessons in a plastic bag, so I decided I should make a bit more effort and make them each a little bag. I tried quite hard with these ones. They better like ballet! This lined drawstring bag is super easy and quick to make. And the applique comes with a free template! All seams are sewn with a 1cm seam allowance unless stated. You will need:
  • 20in x 15in outer fabric
  • 20in x 15in lining fabric
  • 20cm square matching fabric for applique
  • 20cm square bondaweb
  • 2.6m yellow cotton tape or ribbon
  • yellow embroidery thread
  • Applique ballet shoes template
  • safety pin
1. Attach bondaweb to the back of the appliqué fabric. Trace the template onto the paper backing of the bondaweb and cut out. Line the appliqué onto the front of one of the outer pieces, in the centre and iron to adhere.   2. Blanket stitch the appliqué onto the fabric using coordinating embroidery thread. I cheat and use my machine for speed but I do think a hand stitched finish looks nicer. Laziness won for me (mainly because I was making 2)! I realised at this point, with my spotty fabric, that this looks a little bit like a ninja! I quite like it, ballet bags in disguise…   3. If you want to personalise the bag by stitching a name onto the front, now is the time to do that. As I was making one for each of my girls I wrote their names under the ballet shoes in pencil then backstitched using yellow embroidery thread. 4. Pin the two outer pieces right sides together. Sew along the bottom of the bag. For the 2 sides, leave 2 (3cm wide) gaps – one 3cm from the top and one 3cm up from the bottom of the bag (as shown in the illustration below) and sew. These are for the drawstring. Pin and sew the lining fabric right sides together as well, leaving an 8cm gap in the centre of the bottom of the bag to allow you to turn the fabric (as shown). Trim the corners and any excess fabric and press the seams open.  5. With the seams flat – you can pin if you want to be sure – sew a neat box 5mm around the top drawstring openings of the bag. 6. Turn the lining fabric the right way out and insert it into the outer fabric so that the right sides are facing. Make sure the seams are lined up, then pin and sew around the top of the bag. 7. Turn the bag out through the hole in the lining fabric. Stitch the hole closed and insert the lining into the outer fabric. Press, then neatly top stitch around the opening. 8. To make the channel for the drawstring, sew another line all the way around the bag, just underneath the drawstring opening. 9. Cut the length of strap in half to create 2 x 1.3m lengths. Attach a satefty pin the the end of one and feed it into one of the openings. Bring it all the way round and back through the original hole. Repeat with the other piece in the other hole. 10. Take one of the pairs of straps, make sure it isn’t twisted, and pin the end inside the corresponding bottom hole on the bag, with about 2.5cm of the strap in the hole. Hand stitch in place.   Hooray! Un petit sac de ballet! Tia x P.S. If you also have a little ballerina, you might like this ballet duffel bag from Laura – super cute.

DIY Embroidered Beach Bag

diy embroidered beach bag

The High Street is awash with embroidery and pom poms galore, which are two of my absolute favourite things. As this trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast, I jumped onboard with a DIY embroidered beach bag for Harper. Last year was all about embroidered hats and shoes so it was only fair for the summer beach bag to get its turn. I used a bag Harper had in her dressing-up box, but straw bags are widely available online.

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Making a Top from a Dress!

top from dress little button diaries final 2

Here I am, looking totally awkward and not sure how to stand (and I think the result may be that I look a bit accidentally smug) in my new Tshirt, that I made from an old maxidress!

I had this dress, all silky and sunny, made from gorgeous fabric. I bought it about 6 years ago, I wore it once. Once, and a photo was taken of me in it. I looked pregnant, pasty and podgy. I was not a fan. Ever since, when I go to put on the dress again, I saw that it just didn’t suit me. I kept it for a while, thinking that one day, when I’m thinner and tanned on holiday somewhere, it will look amazing. Well I’m still waiting for that day and to be honest, it depresses me every time I look at it.

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DIY Lemon Bag

diy lemon bag - little button diaries

When the sun comes out, so do Harper’s yellow flower sunnies. I made a little lemon bag for my little ray of sunshine (most of the time!) because I saw one on the high street and fancied giving it a go. It also means she can now carry her sunglasses, five lip balms, library card, binoculars, purse and pet Stegosaurus herself and I can retire from my Sherpa duties.

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A Little Turtle Rattle

turtle rattle toy final

This cute little turtle rattle is a simple sewing project for beginners and makes a perfect gift for a teeny tiny new baby. He makes a happy little jingle because he’s stuffed with craft bells.

You Will Need:

  • Free Template
  • 1/4m Pale blue cotton canvas
  • 1/4m Pale pink cotton canvas
  • Grey and pink embroidery thread and needle
  • Toy stuffing
  • 4 craft bells
  • Fabric pen or Taylors chalk
  • Blunt pencil or crochet hook

1. Use the template to cut 2 body pieces from blue fabric. From the pink, cut 2 heads, 4 arms, 4 legs and 2 tails.

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DIY Popcorn Purse

popcorn purse DIY - little button diaries

We’re a little bit obsessed with popcorn in our house. Since Christmas, Grayson has used the word “popcorn” as his default word for things he doesn’t know the word for. So Christmas baubles were called popcorn, fairy lights were popcorn, crackers were popcorn. Well, you get the idea. Oh, and it’s Harper’s all-time favourite snack of. all. time. So maybe it was only a matter of time that popcorn popped into my crafting repertoire.

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Easy Peasy PJs

pyjamas little button diaries 12

I’m not a pro at sewing clothes. I made a dress once and forgot to put arm holes in it. Then I made a skirt – using ridiculously expensive liberty fabric – and it wouldn’t zip up. I made it twice, both times it would not zip up! It stayed in a “maybe it will fit one day” pile for about 4 years, then I cut it up. Depressing. So I haven’t really made many clothes since. But then I saw this fabric and I thought it would make some cute PJs… so I made some PJs! And, thank goodness, they were the easiest thing ever. You don’t need a pattern – you just need another pair of pyjamas to use as a template.

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Heart Shoulder Bag for Brother Sewing

heart shoulder bag - little button diaries

Our friends over at Brother Sewing asked us to sew something for Valentines, so we thought we’d whip up this little heart shoulder bag. We’ve made it from canvas cotton but it can be made from any fabric as long as it is relatively thick. We sewed the bag and purse together using a 1cm (3/8in) seam allowance.

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DIY Art Smock

diy art smock - little button diaries

Ok, so I made this vinyl art smock for Harper about a year ago, as she’d been given an easel for previous birthday… then I lost it somewhere in one of the many piles of fabric I have. Approximately nine months later, it turns up, only for Harper to have outgrown it. So we decided the perfect recipient for this apron was the next youngest Little Button, who also happens to love painting.

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Hedgehog Pillow

hedgehog pillow cushion tutorial little button diaires

My lovely friend Jess had a baby a little while back, so I thought I’d make him a little something. Seen as her little lovely’s middle name is spike… a hedgehog seemed the obvious answer! Look how totally adorable he is, makes my heart go a bit wobbly.

You will need:

  • 1/4m teal cotton canvas
  • 1/4m orange cotton canvas
  • brown embroidery thread
  • toy stuffing
  • template

1. Cut the templates out from the pdf attached. Cut 2 body pieces from the teal canvas. From the orange cut  2 head pieces and 4 ear pieces.

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Embroidered Crown

crown

For Grayson’s birthday I made him a felt crown and he absolutely hated it! He wore it for a matter of minutes whilst opening presents before he realised it was on his head, then whipped it off and said ‘yuck!’. He’s a tough critic!

On the bright side, Harper thought it was super and has requested one for her birthday in March. As I mainly stitched the crown by hand, I managed to get it done in front of the TV over Christmas. I do love a craft I can do in front of the Netflix on the laptop.

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Christmas Hand Puppets

brother-sewn-reindeer-puppet-by-little-button-diaries-9

Nine sleeps people. NINE SLEEPS!!! If you’re anything like us, this knowledge will fill you with a mixture of dread and delight. All rolled up into one happy bauble. So you probably don’t have a lot of time for crafting right now, but we thought we’d slot in one more because these little festive puppets don’t take long and will make little hands very happy. The lovely folks over at Brother Sewing asked us to make something that kids would love at Christmas, so we thought this little Rudolph and Santa would be the perfect thing.

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