Elena Dress by Schultz Apparel

The clever design and pattern-making by Schultz Apparel just keep calling us back!  When Amalie reached out to us about her latest design we jumped on board to explore what she had been developing.  The answer is this sweet peasant-style dress the Elena. 

Pattern: Elena Dress by Schultz Apparel

The Elena dress has an elastic neckline with a raglan line that falls out into a glorious puff sleeve. It has a waist seam that flares out to a full skirt with gathering in the side panels with waist ties. As with many Schultz Apparel patterns no fastenings are required to get in and out of this dress, it just tightens around the waist with the tie.

Fabric: Jungle Garden Multipurpose Cotton from Spotlight

To sit well in the gathers and milkmaid style top with elastic the fabric for this style needed to we light enough to gather in yet sit well in the skirt and sleeves. We wanted a printed fabric but one that would still showcase the lines of the dress.

We used this jungle green printed cotton from Spotlight, which we found in the upholstery section!

The trick to sourcing fabric for this project is to find 150cm wide cotton, we didn’t have success with this so had to compromise on the fullness of the sleeve which was not ideal.

Finished Elena Dress

The Elena Dress is a very sweet style with some clever design features including the gathered skirt panels and belt at the waist to create the shape.

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Elena Dress by Schultz Apparel
Fabric:  Jungle Garden Multipurpose Cotton from Spotlight

Marimekko Unikko Fabric in Vogue 9237

It is the 60th anniversary of this iconic Unikko print by Marimekko. We came across this fabric while fabric shopping in Newcastle – we couldn’t help ourselves, and we had to bring home a piece!

Also… enter our new fabric pattern! We have claimed that Know Me 2016 is our favourite pattern for a couple of months. Only now we might have found a new favourite Vogue 9237! It is easy to wear and easy to sew – it also has limited pattern pieces, so the wonderful print of the fabric isn’t segmented between too many pattern pieces ✂️

Fabric: Marimekko Unikko Fabric

Mini Unikko, conceived by Kristina Isola, is a scaled-down rendition of the iconic Unikko print that has captivated global audiences. Originating in 1964, Unikko emerged in defiance of Marimekko founder Armi Ratia’s decree against floral motifs in the brand’s fabrics. Despite this prohibition, artist Maija Isola boldly crafted a collection of floral patterns, ultimately prompting Armi to incorporate eight of them.

Unikko has since become a symbol of exuberance and innovation, seamlessly woven into Marimekko’s design ethos. Maija’s work stands as a testament to the enduring power of creativity in spreading joy.

Pattern: Vogue v9237

Vogue 9237 is a Very Easy Vogue Dress pattern with a loose-fitting pullover style that has a round neck with a button and loop closing at the back neck. The main feature is the back ruffle panel create a playful design element.

Finished Make

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Vogue 9237 provided by Sewdirect Australia
Fabric:  Marimekko Unikko Fabric

McCalls 8098 & McCalls 8161 in Inky Grove Cotton Sateen

Fabric: Inky Grove Cotton Sateen Fabric

The Inky Grove print on Cotton Sateen is a Minerva exclusive print that is fabulous and we loved the rich blue tone mix with the white background. The quality and weight of the cotton sateen is lovely, more a light to medium weight of the fabric. It gathers beautifully and at 142cm wide it has lots of options for cutting large pattern shapes to make the most of the print.

Pattern: McCall’s 8161 McCall’s 8098

We started with the pants as the hero we used, view B McCall’s 8098 a full-length pair of pants with a very comfortable elastic waist. For the top we wanted a classic shape and used McCall’s 8161 our go-to for this occasion.

Finished Make

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: McCalls 8098 & McCalls 8161
Fabric:  Inky Grove Cotton Sateen provided by Minerva

Shirley Shirred by Gracie Steel in Ellie Whittaker Leafy Sea

Have you tried shirring?  This might be the time!  Gracie Steel has just released the Shirley Shirred dress that features a shirred bodice and a gathered skirt. We joined the testing team to explore this new pattern.

Pattern: Shirley Shirred by Gracie Steel

The pattern includes a range of options a fully shirred bodice, milkmaid style (not shirring across the bust) and a combination of skirt designs with a dropped waist, v yoke with a regular seam or exposed ruffle. We created the fully shirred v front bodice with v yoke skirt.

Fabric: Ellie Whittaker Leafy Sea in Pink

The pattern called for opaque light/medium-weight wovens with good drape such as linen, cotton, viscose, silk. We wanted to create a fun Summer dress so chose this Ellie Whittaker Leafy Sea Cotton Poplin in pink.

Finished Make

We would highly recommend including the option of including a channel for the elastic around the waist. As you are combining two varying pieces of material, a gathered skirt and a shirred bodice there is nothing that pulls the material into the body, both have movement and a tendency to stretch.

Photo Credits

Pattern: Shirley Shirred by Gracie Steel
Fabric: Ellie Whittaker Leafy Sea in Pink

May Gibbs Gum Blossom Babies Fabric in Simplicity 9744

Growing up in the Australian landscape, it was difficult not to imagine little gum nut babies calling the eucalyptus home. This is the work of the stunning stories and illustrations by Cecilia May Gibbs MBE. She is best known for the book Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, which was published in 1918. Born in Kent, United Kingdom May Gibbs made her way to Australia in 1881 and called it home until she died in 1969 in Sydney. The legacy of her work lives on through her artwork and, recently, in printed textiles.  The May Gibbs team approached us with the opportunity to create something with their lovely printed fabric we jumped at the chance. 

Fabric: May Gibbs Gum Blossom Babies Organic Homespun Cotton

We got to choose from a selection from the May Gibbs collection, and we chose the Gum Blossom Babies Organic Homespun Cotton. The fabric is 100% cotton and 112cm wide.

The Gum Blossom Babies are shy little girls that can be found clustered together on the tops of the trees. The tender-hearted Blossoms, like the Nuts, love all the Bush Folk and take much interest in the goings on around them. They enjoy sitting with the Nuts to hear stories of great adventures and things unknown.

Pattern: Simplicity 9744

For our pattern selection, we wanted to pick a pattern with large pattern pieces and not too many pieces that would break up the fabric print. A new release of Simplicity patterns came out in Australia, and we saw this Simplicity 9744, and we knew it was the one.

This shirt dress has a half-button placket at the front with a spread collar. The bodice is all in one and features an inverted box pleats. We chose to create view A (without the tie detail) with a raglan sleeve that finishes above the elbow.

Finished Make

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Simplicity 9744
Fabric:  May Gibbs Gum Blossom Babies Organic Homespun Cotton gifted by May Gibbs Official. This fabric is available through Spotlight Stores.

REVERSIBLE Papercut Nova Coat in Minerva Exclusive Quilted Fabric

When we saw that the Pre Quilted Coating Fabric that Minerva had was reversible there was only one option in our mind, make a reversible coat!  So here it is, our reversible Papercut Nova Coat!

Fabric: Minerva Exclusive Babelone Art Pre Quilted Reversible Coating Fabric

The Minerva Exclusive Babelone Art Pre-Quilted Reversible Coating Fabric, featuring a stunning blue hue accentuated by a striking red and black print. Upon receiving this fabric, the undeniable beauty of the quilted design inspired us to create something special. With its double-sided construction and pre-completed quilting, Minerva has taken care of the intricate details, making your creative process a breeze! Explore the Pre Quilted Babelone Art.

Pattern: Papercut Nova Coat

We decided to make the Nova Coat, because we liked the simple but effective design lines. The ‘grown on’ pocket shape also makes a really interesting design line, and as a bonus, made it really easy to make the pockets reversible as well!

See the Nova Coat on the Minerva website here.

Finished Make

See our full tips for making this REVERSIBLE coat on the Minerva website here.

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Nova Coat by Papercut Patterns
Fabric:  Minerva Exclusive Babelone Art Pre Quilted Reversible Coating Fabric

Christmas Me Made Outfits 2023

Jingle all the way with matching family Christmas outfits! 🎄✨

Ho, ho, ho! Sending you a sleighful of Merry Christmas cheer from our festive family to yours!

If you’ve been following our creative escapades over the past few merry years, you’re in on our jolly family tradition. But if you’re a newbie to our yuletide adventures, welcome to the holly-jolly club! Drumroll, please… it’s time to unveil one of our all-time favourite family customs: the annual creation of matching Christmas outfits.

This tradition is as timeless as Santa’s naughty-or-nice list. Picture this: our Nan crafting Christmas shirts and dresses for our Grandad and parents before we knew the joy of unwrapping presents! If you have been following along for a few years you might, just might recognise these outfits. If not then enjoy! The fabric was purchased from Spotlight in about 2017 and sat waiting for two years before we made them into matching family Christmas outfits. This year there was enough fabric to create James a shirt and Fergus a bow tie.

So, here’s to family, festivities, and fashionable echidnas! May your Christmas be as bright and merry as our outfits. 🎅🎁✨

Lauren in Butterick 6556, Fergus in Two Sewing Sisters drafted doggy bowtie, David in McCall’s 4399,
Robyn in Simplicity 8840, Erin in Gracie Steel Adrift Shift and James McCall’s 6044

Erin in Grace Steel Adrift Shift and James in McCall’s 6044

David in McCall’s 4399 and Robyn in Simplicity 8840

Lauren in Butterick 6556 and Fergus in Dog Bowtie

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie
Dress Fabric: 
Lauren – Butterick 6556
Fergus – Two Sewing Sisters drafted doggy bowtie
David – McCall’s 4399
Robyn – Simplicity 8840
Erin – Gracie Steel Adrift Shift 
James – McCall’s 6044

Love these outfits? Check out our past Christmas outfits from 2022 Green Jocelyn Proust outfits, 2021 Liberty Print looks, 2020 Blue Jocelyn Proust wombats, the first time we work these outfits in 2019

Lucca Dress pattern by Schultz Apparel

We joined the pattern testing team for Schultz Apparel’s latest release the Lucca Dress 

The Lucca Dress pattern is a style with both modern and vintage inspired details.
All options comes with a curved
front waist seam, a front button
closure and a faux-shirred back.
Options can be mixed and


This pattern called for light weight woven
fabric and can be lined in the same fabric or another light lining fabric in the same fibres.

We created this Lucca dress in printed cotton from East Coast Fabrics. It was a white floral pattern with a green background.

Finished Lucca Dress

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Lucca Dress Sewing Pattern from Schultz Apparel
Fabric: Green floral cotton from East Coast Fabrics

Two Sewing Sisters wear pattern test of Tetra Tshirt Top Sewing Pattern by Schultz Apparel in May Gibbs printed cotton jersey with black cullotte pants standing on the path showing a close up of the neck detail

Tetra T-shirt Top Sewing Pattern by Schultz Apparel in May Gibbs Jersey

We joined the pattern testing team for Schultz Apparel’s latest release. We were looking forward to creating the t-shirt as just last week we were reflecting on our top collection and commented about how we were looking for a great t-shirt pattern.  

The Tetra pattern is a perfect everyday
basic top pattern for knitted fabrics. The pattern includes two options; Option A is a cropped top with short sleeve and a lower turtleneck. Option B is a longer top with long sleeves and a higher turtleneck. Both options has a cute vintage
inspired lettuce hem at neck, sleeve
and hemline.


This pattern called for light to medium weight knit fabrics/jersey fabric with at least 60% stretch made from fibers: viscose, modal, bamboo, Tencel, or polyester. We had the perfect piece which was a 1 meter remanent of May Gibbs jersey.


As the pattern has a small exposed edge finish there is no seam allowance on the hem of the sleeve, bodice and neckband. It does include 1cm on the side seams and armhole seams. We constructed the t-shirt on our 4-thread overlocker.

Finished Tetra Tshirt

We like the fit of the bodice and sleeve shape of this pattern. Next time we make it we will make some modifications to include seam allowance so we can add a hem to the sleeve and bodice as we had trouble making the adjustments to our overlocker to get the lettuce hem design feature and double the width of the neck band to fold it in half to able to create a folded neck finish. As this one was a printed fabric the fabric rolled showing the white back of the fabric. We are looking forward to exploring more options in jersey knits with this Tetra T-shirt pattern.

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Tetra Tshirt Top Sewing Pattern from Schultz Apparel
Fabric: May Gibbs printed cotton jersey from Spotlight Store

Matching outfits for Stakes Day 2023

Our family loves a matching outfit opportunity, and there is no better excuse than family day!  Stakes Day at Flemington is known as family day so here we go!  We selected our fabric for the year which was a floral polished cotton from Spotlight.  Mum created our outfit this year, what a task!  All five of us wore a garment in this fabric.  

From the left: James in a handmade tie, Erin in Butterick 6482, Mum in Vintage Simplicity 7083, Dad in McCalls 4321, and Lauren in Simplicity 8594

Floral Dresses Butterick 6482, Simplicity 7083 and Simplicity 8594

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Butterick 6482, Simplicity 7083 and Simplicity 8594
Fabric: Spotlight 
Millinery: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

Looking for more matching family inspiration? Check out our 2022 Stakes Day outfits here or the matching Christmas looks here.