In the beginning...

My sewing and real life friend Renee of Nearest the Pin shared a couple of outfits she made for her daughter when she first started sewing and a few lessons she had learned along the way. The post was so encouraging that I decided to share the very first thing I made for Little Monkey with you.

It was the end of September 2011. I just returned to work after blissful 12 months of maternity leave, and there was no money for luxurious items in our family budget. A sewing machine seemed like a luxury item at the time. Luckily my local Spotlight had sewing machines on sale, and I also happened to receive a 'further $30 off' offer. I took that as a sign from above and sent my family broke by purchasing Elna 1000 for just $95. 

The machine sat in a box - unopened - for 2 weeks. True story. My husband even began to worry I would not use it at all... Well, we all know what happened once I opened it, right?

The first thing that happened was this little tee.

I used one of Little Monkey's tees to make a pattern, and I almost got it right. The tee ended up being on a snug side, and Little Monkey only got to wear it twice. I cut up one of my husband's tee-shirts to make this little number.

I spent forever studying a shoulder closure with snaps on one of Little Monkey's tees and then quite successfully made one myself. I was not as successful at matching the stripes.

Back then I knew nothing about sewing with knits - or sewing full stop - so I never turned the dial to the stretch stitch on my machine. Oops!

Was this tee a successful project? Well, I am still not sure about that. It was somewhat wearable, but far from perfect.

A little while ago I wanted to give some of Little Monkey's handmade clothes that is now too small for her to a friend. When I sat down and sorted through the box I realised I would have been too embarrassed to show those things to anyone. You see, what I thought looked pretty good two years ago looks a little wonky now. And I am glad it does. That means I am learning new things and getting better at sewing. It would have been a shame to use up metres of fabric and thread, kilos of paper and many hours and not see any improvement, right?

Here is to more fabric, thread, paper and time spent getting better at this amazing art called sewing!


  1. So nice to read! And very recognisable too. I think that tee looks just stunning, keeping in mind that that was your firts sewing ever. Clearly you are a talented woman :)

    1. Thank you Mieke. That was not the first thing I have ever made. I made a wonky skirt and a questionable top at high school, and a doona cover a little later on (a lot of straight-ish stitching), but definitely fist play with knits!

  2. What a lovely surprise this post was! So glad you were inspired to write it. A very little little monkey! How brave to attempt knits for your first sew. I think it's so great to reflect and see how far we have all come in a short amount of time ;)

    1. It is nice to tak a step back to recognise what we have learned :) Little Monkey was not walking yet when those pics were taken :) She is using the trike to keep her balance hehe


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