Seashore Shelly pants & the mini Henry (try saying that after a wine!)

blog tour

A few weeks ago, Maaike of Maai Design asked me to join a blog tour to showcase her latest fabric collection, how could I refuse?  I love the fabric, it has a cool European feel, probably because Maaike is a cool Belgian and all the fabric is European!  Belgium seems to be producing some good stuff of late, Matthias Schoenaerts being a firm favourite (swoon)!  I digress…

The biggest hurdle for me was deciding which fabric to choose.  My shortlist included some polar bears, beetles and boats.

There is clearly a blue theme going on here.  In the end I chose Seashore Shelly turquoise. I love the vintage look of this fabric and chose a co-ordinating plain rusty red fabric to work with my piece.

I had a couple of projects in mind when I chose this fabric. Both my little nieces, Jessie & Robyn were April babies so it’s birthday time again and I love the idea that they will have matching fabric in their outfits.

For Robyn, turning four, I decided to make a pair of Moon Pants from Made by Rae.  I make a lot of dresses for Robyn, but some light trousers for an English Spring seemed like a good idea.  I also love this pattern as it is an easy one to make and they are comfy to wear.

For Jessie, turning one, I decided to make a Henry Dress by Brooklyn Pattern Co. Surprisingly, she doesn’t own one yet. Hard to believe as I think I have made about 20 of them!  I am running a Henry Dress sew-along workshop on the 20th March  and I needed a sample and so ‘two birds, one stone’…

The make – MOON PANTS

I am not actually sure you can call them Moon Pants.  The ‘moon’ element of the pants is basically the crescent moon-shaped pockets.  I have made these before and I loved the look of them.  Here they are made from a soft charcoal chambray (leftovers from my Lobster dress) and some small fabric pieces I found in the charity store.


What I am basically saying is that I redesigned the pockets.  I wanted to mirror the shell shape of the fabric design in pocket form.

I made up a couple of samples of the shell shaped pocket. I tried to produce it in one piece (as above) but it wasn’t all that successful. It looks like a cloud and when I turned it out, it wasn’t very crisp. I then turned to a quilting book on my book shelf, A Passion for Quilting by Nicki Trench.  I am not a quilter, nor am I ever likely to be.  I love the look of quilting but I don’t have the patience for it.

Once I had blown the dust of this book, I found exactly what I needed in the Dresden Plate place mat.  It gave me the construction tip I had been looking for. So, instead of making it in one piece, it became a four piece pocket, plus the lining which I interfaced to give it some structure.



The element I hadn’t considered was the pattern matching.  As this pattern is basically 2 pieces (the front and back are one piece) there wasn’t a great deal of pattern matching to consider.  The front and back seam melt together quite well.

Thanks to Roxy, my very capable model who wanted ‘baby’ to join in!
Here you can see the pattern matching at the front, all in line but not complete shells.


Again, pattern is in line but not perfecto!



When I choose fabric it’s an aesthetic and so I don’t often consider how it will work in construction.  So with the Henry Dress, there was some serious pattern matching to be done.  I am not ‘big’ on pattern matching, I usually just fudge my way through it.  The moon pants worked out OK, but the Henry Dress was another issue with 2 seams to match on the front and 2 on the back.

If I were to make them again I think I would have been more vigilant and perhaps do some proper reading up on pattern matching techniques for small scale patterns. But, a bit of trial and error and I think it’s OK (don’t look too closely!)  I love how the pockets cover most of it though LOL!


This is the smallest Henry Dress I have made so far.  It’s a size 18 months, it’s ridiculously cute.  I am really pleased with this one.  The contrasting rusty red pockets really work a treat here.

The hemline is hand stitched, I think it looks better with this pattern.
I used the rusty red fabric to face the neckline, I like the flash of colour here.
The sleeves are hand stitched, I think it’s a nicer finish on this sleeve.

If you are interested in any of the fabric, and there is an abundance of yummy fabric on her site, Maai Design is offering a 10% discount to all my readers, just use the discount code: maaidesign10% (valid until March 26th 2016). There are some other lovelies joining the Maai Design blog tour, check out all of these fantastic makers.

March 8th – Suz from Sewpony
March 9th – Caroline from Usefulbox *
March 10th – Kate from Sewing With Kate
March 11th – Allison from The Tall Mama
March 12th – Suzanne from Dressed in Pretty Little Things
March 13th – Toni from Make It Perfect
March 14th – Natalie from Sew Outnumbered
March 15th – Jenya from While she was sleeping
March 16th – Nicola from Create.nic
March 17th – Shelley from Bartacks and Singletrack
March 18th – Maaike from MaaiDesign


* In the spirit of ‘blogging friendship’ I actually met Caroline from Usefulbox for a coffee yesterday. It’s always great to put a face to a name and we enjoyed a few hours of sewing chit chat. As usual I was over excitable and very animated (I like meeting sewing peeps!) Poor Caroline!



12 thoughts

  1. Love the pockets on the pants! Nice indeed! And the dress is perfect. I think your pattern matching on the dress is wonderful. Love the contrast on the pockets 🙂


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