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…


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 🙂


Guess Who’s Having a Birthday? Cake Anyone?

I’ve never been one to lay low around my birthday.  I’m not the woman who lies about her age, cringes if anyone makes a fuss, hopes it will all pass without anyone noticing.  Heck no!

I want  bunting, and presents, and cards, and lots and lots of fuss!  And cake.  yes, lots of cake.

So, with that in mind, I thought I’d share with you all my dream cakes…

This one is soooo gorgeous.  I adore all the pastel colours.  Whoever Theresa is, she must be well loved to have got a cake like that, don’t you think?

Same with Rita’s cake – look at the detail that’s gone into that!  Even the silver buttons and the embroidery are in icing.  As someone who once made a Christmas cake Santa topping that scared young children, I can appreciate how tricky and how wonderful all this craftiness is.

This one made me grin – the bright colours and the seemingly haphazard way the items are placed on the cake to me sum up a good sewing room – organised chaos.  And just look at that pincushion – how cute is that?

But the ultimate cake for a seamstress has to be one like this!  That’s seriously brilliant.  The only problem is, I couldn’t imagine cutting into it!  I might just have a wee nibble of the bobbin and maybe sneak off with the pincushion and leave it at that…

I think this is one of my total favourites, and I know quilters would just love to get a cake like this.  You should go see what the other side of the cake looks like – it’s quite something to see inside the sewing basket too!  What I love about this one is that it’s so easy to adapt – each square can show something significant – ooh, the possibilities are endless.  I may just attempt one of these some time, sewing permitting.

And since I included a cake for the quilters, I thought I’d best include the crocheters too, cos they’re a feisty bunch and I don’t want to be on the end of an irate hook!  With this cake, it’s the cup of tea and the doily that top it off for me – it says lazy afternoons crafting and just makes me feel happy.

I am thinking you are all inspired to go make something tremendous right now, and all I can say to you is Scary Santa.  But I don’t want you leaving all downcast at your limited icing skills, holy moly no I don’t!  So I found these, too – nice and easy and just as crafty.

Enjoy.  And don’t forget to have a wee piece of cake for me on Wednesday – hip hip!  Hurray!  Birthdays are so much fun!


Chief crafty lass at mooandflo


Some Super Size 3 Dresses

I finally had time to make some new stuff this week and treated myself to making some girls’ dresses in really lovely fabrics.  I made size 3s since there have been a fair few requests for that size lately, but there will have to be some 2s and 4s made soon otherwise there’ll be an insurrection.

Anyway here they are, the new frocks.  I sometimes so wish I had a wee girly all of my own – thank goodness for nieces, cyber nieces, and friends’ kids!

butterfly dress

I guess at some point I should also make some trousers for the boys, too, since winter is just around the corner.

~ Dianne

Creativity Hits the Wall

Ach, I haven’t got much in me today.  My creativity appears to have been swept away by the rain and held off by the cold.  I thought starting a fire might help, but I’ve found I haven’t the enthusiasm to go out and get the wood either… oh dear.

So I did the only thing I ever do when at a loss as to where to go next, I decided to blog about it.  Off I went in search of a suitable image.  All I wanted was a blank wall picture.  A nice simple brick wall.  A wall to metaphorically hit my head against.

Like this.

Just a wall?

But that’s not a simple wall – oh no – it’s a fancy wall.   Cripes, I can’t hit my head against a work of art – that’s just not cricket.

Off to look for a different well.

Oh here’s one.  Less perfect, more natural looking.  It looks grey and then you see pinks and blues.  I like this wall.  It’s interesting.  It makes me want to keep looking.  It’s not a head-hitting wall either.  Dang.  More searching needed.

Here we go – just a tatty old non-arty brick wall.  This might be the one.  I mean, the bricks are crumbling and weathered, and a wee plant has found a home in the cracks.   Hmm, I can’t hit my head against this brick wall, it’s got far too much history and that plant might not approve.

Walls with religious significance?  Erm, no.  Move along.

A stone wall from Yorkshire.  That brings back lots of lovely memories of hiking and camping, sheep and sunshine.   Of caves, and fossil hunting, of ruined castles and picnics.  That’s made me smile.

This wall lark is not nearly as simple as it looks!

Now if we want a head butting wall, then this wall caused lots of it, both metaphorical and literal.  However, my creative block is not nearly a good enough reason to hit my own head on it, given its history.

This wall looks pretty and was quite tempting until I discover the gorgeous colours are actually thousands of wee balls of chewing gum.  Cripes – just imagine the state of my fringe after a wee head but on that – oh no thanks, messing with the hair is taking things TOO FAR.

And this wall is already far too busy, there’s no room for me here.

So I’m settling for this wall.

Because this one reminds me that there’s something gorgeous on the other side of all walls if you just look for it.  Indeed, the wall itself is often far more interesting once we stop and give it some attention.

There’s no such thing as a simple brick wall.


Another Ridiculous Competition at mooandflo

I just can’t help myself – I just love having wee competitions on my Facebook page.  Even in a relatively sane competition there are always heaps of giggles from the posts, and today’s was no exception.

The competition was very simple – guess how many pairs of mooandflo’s little pods reversible shoes I would complete in one day by 10pm.

One wag guessed zero, and when I said she could guess again she responded that she “was hoping you would be sewing up a new beautiful dress for my little girl to wear.”  Next week, Cherie, next week.

Some people had great faith in my sewing prowess, thinking maybe I’d take on No’1 Shoe Warehouse!  Jill and Helen thought I’d make 18 pairs, Dee posited 17 pairs, and just as I was flagging and about to crack, I was massively buoyed by Niki’s guess of 23.

Amber opened the field to total lunacy when she guessed 7.5 pairs, leading Lorraine to speculate I’d make 9.6 pairs of shoes. 0.5 of a pair I can cope with – half a pair – one shoe, right?  But I’m still trying to work out what 0.6 of a pair would look like… (Answers on  a postcard, please).

So now I can tell you are fair gagging to know how many I actually did make.  Don’t deny it, it’s written all over you.

Well here goes…

I made the grand total of 14 pairs of shoes!


I had no lunch and worked like a maniac, but it was worth it, because here they all are:

Not a bad effort for an old lass with a sewing machine, eh?

Suzanne and Shanley shared first place and can now go and have a mini mooandflo splurge on me by way of reward for their magnificent guesswork.  Woot.

Now, time for a cocoa and two bickies then bed – all this sewing has worn me out!

~ Dianne ~ mooandflo

Christchurch Inspired Handbags

Mingle Jingle by mooandflo

This week has been a hard one for New Zealand and for Christchurch in particular.

It’s been a year since the big earthquake hit the Canterbury region and caused so much destruction.   I sit in my un-quake-damaged house in Auckland and can’t fathom what people ares till going through.

There’s little I can do – I sew, I blog,

But although what I can do is little, it’s not nothing, so here’ s what I’ve done…

I’ve made some Christchurch inspired bags to sell to raise money for the fundraiser.

They were inspired by a friend who has had to leave he broken house, her friends and her job in Christchurch.  She has a beautiful bag those friends made her before she left.

So, with that bag, the Canterbury red and black, and a whole lot of love in mind, I made these.  The profits from them will got to the fundraiser.  You can buy them here.

Lines by mooandflo

As I said, it’s not much.  But every little helps.

I sew, I try to help.

And, most importantly, I listen and care and I hug friends who need it.


Donate to a Christchurch appeal fund:

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal – donate here Fundraiser – pledge here

Red Cross – donate here

Guest Blog by Little at Little Clothing


You know you do it. We all do. Whether conciously or not, we name the machines in our lives. Our mighty family wagon was deemed a ‘Charlotte’ (most commonly called Lottie), and the Honda Civic that preceeded her was most emphatically a Charlie, although the gender of Charlie remains unknown even to this day. S/he was a curious beast.

I’d say I spend most of my spare time in the company of Olive, my great hulk of an industrial straight-sewer. Anyone who has helped me move in the last six years can attest to her solidity; this baby will be hanging with the cockroaches after the End Days have come, so I’m not sure how a Singer 491 that weighs about as much (if not slightly more) than me came to have such a dainty name! Also dainty is my wee overlocker Penny, named for the lovely friend who passed her…

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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)


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

Making handbags

I make a lot of my handbags from my own patterns, but every now and then I  take a shine to a commercial pattern and just can’t resist buying it.

This bag is a case in point.  It’s a lovely clean design and doesn’t look too big, but man it holds heaps!  One customer assured me it held 3 beach towels and all the togs too, with room to spare.  So I thought I’d share  some pics of me whipping one up.

First jobs first – you have to iron all the facings on so that the bag keeps its shape.  With thin cottons like these, the bag would just flop otherwise, so the facing used here is a thick, sturdy one.  I always sew the pocket on next and get it out of the way – I do it now no matter what the pattern says.  Anarchy, I know!

getting started - affixing the pocket

Next it’s time to sew the lining together, remembering to leave a gap for the final phase of turning it all inside out when the bag is just about complete.  Truth be known, I almost always forget that bit and have to unpick a section later, lol.

Once the lining is assembled, it’s time to make the bag outer.  In this case it involves a fair few precise tucks and can be a wee bit fiddly, but the final effect is worth it so I always soldier on merrily.  Folding and sewing the handles comes next, which is easy peasy, and then it’s time to stay-stitch them to the bag, being careful that they are in the right spots so the bag hangs nicely once finished.

fixing the handles in place

The next step is to put the bag inner and outer together, right sides facing, and stitch around the top edge neatly.  It’s always worth remembering that’s the bit of the bag the owner will see most of all once they own it, so it needs to be wonderful.

The tower of boxes in the corner, by the way, is full of offcuts and remnants I’ve squirreled away ‘just in case’.  I can’t bear to throw them out.  As you can imagine, my husband doesn’t quite understand…

getting all the stuff ready

Above, the bag is just about finished.  The lining is attached and all that is left to do is stitch closed the gap in the lining through which the bag was pulled right side out, and then stitch a neat line around the top edge so that it hangs nicely and the handles are held firm.

Easy as that.

And here’s the finished handbag (and matching nappy sack) modeled by the most glamorous Ethel, my pet goat.

Strut, Ethel, chin up high girl, annnnd pose

Today’s ridiculousness was brought to you by the colour blue, the number three and mooandflo.