Winter is Fancy Pants Time

The cold weather is slowly sneaking up on us here in New Zealand, and whilst a few hardy folk will steel themselves and wear jandals right through to next summer, for most of us the dark nights herald thermal vests, warm cardigans and long trousers.

This is good news for mooandflo, because I love making exciting trousers, fancy pants, and loony longs!  There’s nothing better than sewing fun pockets  or kooky frills onto a seemingly normal pair of denims or cords, transforming them into something that raises a smile and brings a bit of yippeeee into our lives.

With this in mind, I’ve embarked on a range of fun Carnival Pants with lovely flounces and frills around the bottom, invoking a bit of Brazil, a warmer climate, and a whole lot of dancing and fun.

carnival pants with antique rose frill

carnival pants with antique rose frill

carnival pants red and green frill by mooandflo

carnival pants with minty apple frill

carnival pants with sassy striped frill

carnival pants with sassy striped frill

carnival pants with strawberry  frill

carnival pants with strawberry frill

This is just a little sample of the trousers that will be coming up, so keep popping back and what on earth I’ll come up with next!

Until then, Ay Carumba!

Dianne (flo) – mooandflo

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Snakes Alive! Baby Snake Skin Shoes

Recently, I had a request from a customer on my Facebook page to make some of my Little Pods with snakes on.  Snakes!  Cripes!

I had a little search and couldn’t find any fabric that had snakes on or that was even a bit snaky to my mind, and then I remembered that in my magical fabric cupboard of joy, right at the back, I had some gorgeous suede-like material I’d always called dinosaur skin… like this

I mulled over the possible fabrics for the reverse for quite some time.  I do have some lovely fabrics that are boyish, but couldn’t quite think of any that would so with the snake theme… and then I remembered some Ikea fabric I’d bought recently to make bags…

Perfect!

So I whipped up a pair of reversible shoes in it, to see how it would turn out.

Here’s the finished product.  I love the fact that the poppers are brown on one side and lime green on the other – it’s the little things like that which keep me amused and make crafting fun.  What do you think?  Do they say ‘snake’ to you?

Luckily, they did indeed say ‘snake’ to Karina who had commissioned them, so now they are all wrapped and ready to go to their new home in Australia.  Like they don’t have enough snakes there already!

Bon Voyage, Snakes Alive Shoes!  Enjoy Brissy.

~Dianne of mooandflo

By the way – no actual snakes were hurt in the making of these shoes 🙂

pretty princess slippers and space invader shoes

I’ve been making shoes again – I think I might be just a tad obsessed to be honest.  They are just so darned cute.

Here are a few of this week’s doings – they are all reversible except the first pair (due to the lace – it’d itch, lol)

Princess slippers - Little Pods by mooandflo

Amazed Fairy - Little Pods by mooandflo

Astro Dog - Little Pods by mooandflo

Space Invaders - Little Pods by mooandflo

Pixie Twins - Little Pods by mooandflo

Boy Toys - Little Pods by mooandflo

All the shoes are on sale in my online shop – and keep your eyes peeled for my new online shop coming in the next few weeks too!

~Dianne

Pattern Sizing – is it Dodgy or What?

I’m starting to wonder whether the people who design sewing patterns are maybe the same fools who make toasters that go up to 8 when 4 burns your toast to a crisp?

Because, really, the sizing appears to be nigh on random, especially between pattern makers.  You just get to grips with Butterick and then a New Look pattern throws you completely by being different altogether.

It’s just not cricket.  Or even Lacrosse.

I’ve just picked some patterns out of my files at random to compare them:

For a three year old girl, Butterick think  56cm chest and 51cm waist

and McCalls are going for 56cm/52cm

New Look, on the other hand, assure me a 3 year old will have a 55cm chest and a 53cm waist.

Simplicity tell me with confidence that a 3 year old girl will have a 56cm chest and a 52cm waist

… but I just don’t trust them because one glimpse at my older patterns tells me that Simplicity used to say it was 53cm chest and 51 waist…

So their measurements totally depend on how old the patterns are – great for those of us that source retro patterns!

So, to recap – from 51-53cm waist, from 53-56cm chest…

… and that’s before any variations due to sewing.

Excellent.  They sure know how to make life easy.

And of course I am not even going to start thinking about the children on the 5th or 15th or 80th 95th percentile of the growth charts, for whom none of this means a darned tootin’ thing anyway, because if I do I’ll … I’ll… oh too late… Goodbye cruel world of sewing patterns – I am off to put my head in the overlocker now.

~flo (Dianne)

mooandflo

shoes, shoes and more shoes

I’ve become a wee bit obsessed with making iddy biddy shoes.  So much so I am making a wee line of them called little pods by mooandflo.

Children’s shoes are just so cute; you can use such outrageously fun fabrics that most grown ups just wouldn’t wear even if they wanted to.  You can add in big bows, jazzy flowers, loud buttons, dainty lace and all manner of fabulous things – jeepers, it just occurred to me that I could add fake fur !  Lawks, is there no end to the possible fun?

So far the shoes I’ve made have been fairly sane.  Well, sane by my standards anyway.  I’ve chosen some cool, loud fabrics as well as dainty prints, and thanks to Niki at Odd One Out I have used the most fabulous retro cowboy fabric, too.  But so far I have set my sights on getting the designs right, so I’ve not let my imagination run too wild.

These are some of the ones I’ve rustled up so far.  I’ve shown you some of these before, but hey ho I am going to show you again because they make me smile.  (The rest are on my Facebook page here.)

These are the Kimono shoes.  They’re reversible and really cute, especially for slim feet.

Reversible Kimono Shoe in Tiki Print

little pods by mooandflo - kimono swirls and cogs

And these are the ‘Rascals’, which are sturdier and fit a wider of chubbier foot than the above Kimono design.  The aptten I used isn’t reversible but I think I have solved that problem.  The pair below were hand sewn and are my tester pair – a good way to get a proper feel for the pattern, I find.

little pods by mooandflo - 'Rascal'

There are more wee tootsie ticklets to come, but I just had to share what I’ve done so far because they’ve made me so giddy.

Shoes – I just can’t get enough of them!

~ Flo (Dianne) at mooandflo

Slightly Bias(ed) Against Binding

Today I finally finished a wonderful wrap around frock for the daughter of a friend of mine, and I’ll admit that I trimmed the last thread with a huge amount of satisfaction and not a modicum of relief.  The thing that plagued me during the making of the frock was the darned bias binding.  Man, that stuff is shocking.  It is totally irksome when you have to do curves!

But, well, no, to be fair, bias binding does make things look totally smart, so to give it its due, from an aesthetic point of view it’s wonderful stuff.

daisy wrap-around tunic dress by mooandflo

Anyway, I can only thank my lovely friend Donna for ordering the dress, because if it were just about anyone else I’d have said thanks but no thanks – but as it was for her and the delightful Miss F,  I persevered and have now passed Bias Binding 101.

I wonder what hell Bias Binding 102 holds, hahahah

~Dianne, maker of things at mooandflo

The elves and the shoemakers and flo

There is a wee rumour that I may just be a little bit on the ADHD side of life,  as it seems no sooner do I find something new to make as I’ve lost interest and found something else altogether.  Last week it was jewellery – this week it’s dinky wee  shoes.

To be honest, I blame Google.  I was searching for a pattern for a new cuddly doohicker, when out of the corner of my left eye, just by the rim of my specs, I spotted the magical words ‘baby shoes’.

I didn’t mean to look.

Honest.

But – not for the first time – the voices spoke to me , and before I knew it I was halfway through the left shoe, leather sole and all!

In the end I found two patterns I sort of liked, both of which I adapted because, as my husband puts it, I “just have to fiddle with things”, and here’s some of what I’ve whipped up so far, in under 48 hours…

mooandflo's Little Pods Reversible Slipper in swirls 'n' cogs

mooandflo's Little Pods Reversible Slipper in camo/harlequin

mooandflo's Little Pods Reversible Slipper in Japanese flower/harlequin

Little Pods Slip-Ons by mooandflo, in spots and watermelon

So now I have recruited some testers to take the shoes and have a good play and run around in them and generally put them through their paces, so I can make any changes needed and then make heaps more!  I can’t wait!

If you want to see what I’ve been making, pop over to my Facebook page and join in the general silliness…

~Dianne (Flo)

One of *those* days…

This week my Christmas holidays were over and it was back to work at mooandflo, with a wee backlog of orders to tackle and all manner of odd sewing jobs for pals (you know what it’s like… can you just hem me this, would you mind mending this hole, can you whip up some waterproof boat seat covers for me!  Really?!  Anyway I digress…)

Back to work.  Yes.  So I opened up the order book, checked my list, and went to work on three fairly time-consuming but exciting custom orders.

Five hours, two coffee breaks, one tanty and  a few meters of bias binding later I had three lovely garments and was feeling just a wee bit pleased with myself.  Some might say smug.

I posted the pics on my Facebook page and awaited the nice comments I was sure would come.

But you know what pride comes before, don’t you…

I got the white top and went to parcel it up to send out.  I did my wee quality control checking, and as I open the snap poppers on the shoulder… RRRrrrip!

Disaster!  This garment was edged with binding rather than being lined, and being only one thickness and not the usual two, the fabric was just not strong enough for the pulling and ripped straight through.

Not even a nice straight tear, either – oh no, a right-angled one.

Dagnabbit!

Undeterred I contacted the customer to explain what I had done and ask whether she would like me to creatively patch the garment with fabric to match the skirt or just make a new one… and it turns out I’d made the top in the wrong coloured bindings anyway.

I mean, really, at this point I had to laugh.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, an email arrives from one of the other customers… she loved the dress, but I’d made it in navy blue and she had clearly asked for bright blue.  She had.  I don’t know how on earth I’d forgotten!  I even remembered the dress that inspired her to make the order – a bright. blue. dress.

Okay, so that’s another one to remake, and not just remake but to unpick the whole applique and put it on the new dress as it used two fabrics I have no more of.

I should point out that these are both lovely ladies and good customers, and so I had no problem at all sucking it up and was happy to make things right.  However, there were moments that I  had to shake my fist at the heavens and ask if The Gods  thought this was funny.  Three garments and only one of them right.  Am I on some cosmic TV channel, existing only for the amusement of almighty and absolute beings?

But I get the last laugh, because one of those lovely customers promptly said she would take the torn top once it is repaired and for me to make matching trousers – so out of a disaster came a sale.

Take that, you supernatural meanies!  You might be powerful, but mooandflo and our customers have all manner of powers of our own, not least of all big smiles and wide hearts, and they ALWAYS win 🙂

Dianne (Flo)  mooandflo