Retro back-to-school baby shirt

Back from some lovely R&R in Italy and France… Axel is starting daycare part-time this week and I thought this little shirt I made had a bit of a back-to-school feel to it.

As you can see I’m a bit fixated on the blue chambray and red gingham combo 😉

I’ve bought KAM snaps in many different colors as well as the special tool you need to install them and boy do I love those things! No more tedious buttonhole sewing for me! They add a very cute touch to children clothing I think, and they make dressing a wriggly toddler much easier!

FREE: Tiny Explorer Pants pattern and tutorial

I wanted simple pants for my almost 1-year-old that could be sewn during nap time but still have cute details. They had to be comfortable and roomy in the diaper area but not ride up the leg when crawling. I could imagine a hundred customizations of this very basic pattern! I hope you’ll have fun with it 🙂

Pour le tuto en français et le patron, cliquez ici!

Click here for pattern. Scroll down for step-by-step tutorial:

PLEASE NOTE: I’ve made this pattern available for free for your personal, non-commercial use. I hope you enjoy it! Please don’t post, copy or distribute any elements of this pattern (including the photos). Instead, please link back to my blog, Frogginette Makes Things, You can post the main pattern photo as long as you link back/give credit.

Please email me at lchemery(at)hotmail(dot)com if you find any errors, thank you!!


You will need:

  • – a printer and 3 sheets of A4 size (i.e. “regular” sized) paper. A word of caution: set page scaling to “none” in the print window to ensure that the pattern gets correctly printed.
  • – about 1/2 yard of fabric + scraps for pockets and tabs if you want to  make them from contrasting fabric
  • -1/2” to 3/4” wide elastic for waistband: the length I used was 19”, which is my son’s waist measurements minus 1″ (for optimal fit, measure it on your child)
  • – 4 buttons: 2 for pockets, 2 for tabs
  • – safety pin to insert elastic band into casing
  • – thread / pins / scissors…

Note about size: This pattern is intended for 1-year old babies. I’m sorry I don’t have the time or skills as of yet to grade this pattern and offer more sizes. However, it would be very easy to modify it for slightly older or younger babies (probably from 6 months to 2 years old): 1) adjust length of elastic to fit your child at waist 2) just add (for bigger size) or substract (for smaller size) 1 to 2” from leg length, pant width and crotch rise.


1- Print out and cut all pattern pieces and tape pant pieces together along lines A and B

2- Place assembled pattern along fabric fold, cut back side of pant (seam allowances are already included). Fold top of pattern piece along diagonal fold line, place pattern along fabric fold, cut front side of pant. (Tip: if you want, you can then make the “V” at the front of the pants slightly rounder, it will make it easier to do the waist casing.)

3- Cut 2 pockets and 2 side tabs (seam allowances are already included).

You should have 6 pieces total: front, back, 2 pockets, 2 tabs.

4 – To make pocket (repeat twice):

Fold pocket in half (wrong sides together) and sew down 1” from folded edge (as shown on left-hand side on below pic). Then open and press the tube you’ve sewn down:

Fold 1/2” under the sides, then bottom of the pocket, press down and sew the hem in place about 1/4” from edge. Then fold top of pocket under 1/4”, then 1”, press down and sew the hem in place across the pocket width, about 3/4” from top of pocket:

Note: I didn’t make any buttonholes since the pockets are not functional, but you could easily add some at this stage!

5- Pin pockets to back of pants (on right side of fabric). I placed mine approximately 4” above crotch and 4.5” from side edges:

Sew pockets onto pants along outside of topstitched line:

6- Make tabs (repeat twice): fold each tab lengthwise with right sides of fabric together and press down. Sew 1/4” down length, then across. Clip corners. Turn the tube you’ve made inside out, and tuck in the raw edge 1/4”. Press down. Sew all around, 1/4” from edges.

7- With right sides of fabric together, sew front and back of pants together along side seams, 1/4” from edges. Serge or zigzag raw edges to prevent fraying.

8- Hem pant leg by folding 1/4” under twice and sewing hem into place. Do this for each leg.

9- Open pant side seam and with wrong side facing you, pin tab over seam so that slightly more than half of tab sticks out, as shown in below photo. Sew top of tab to pant leg. Do this for each tab. (Note: as with the pockets, I didn’t make any buttonholes but you could easily add some at this stage)

10- With pants inside out, sew 1/4” along crotch seam. Serge or zigzag raw edges to avoid fraying:

11- With pants still inside out, fold under 1/4”, then 1 1/4” for hem. Press down, making sure that front curves and dips evenly. Sew around hem, leaving an opening of about 2”:

12: Using a safety pin, insert elastic inside of casing through opening. Zigzag ends of elastic together. Make sure the elastic is not twisted. Turn pant inside out, sew buttons onto side tabs and pockets. Voilà!

Défi’13: Sa(fari)ouel

Notre explorateur intrépide perçoit d’abord un bruit… comme un couinement à peine perceptible…

D’un bond souple, il s’élance sur les traces de sa proie…

… et s’avance tel un guépard, à pas rapides et feutrés…

Enfin! Notre chasseur est nez-à-nez avec sa victime!

Et son regard féroce dissuade tout rival de la lui disputer…

Une lutte sans merci s’ensuit…

Jusqu’au coup de grâce!

Et notre chasseur triomphant savoure une victoire bien méritée!

2 chutes de rideau en velours


2h de sieste de l’explorateur


une petite bidouille style safari/savane, que je referais bien dans un tissu un peu plus pratique à coudre, comme du lin ou du vichy… C’est tellement facile que je vais essayer de faire un petit tuto!

The Défi’13 challenge is a monthly knitting or sewing project in the French blogosphere (hence the return of French on this blog). The challenge’s theme this month was The Savanna, so with 2 hours to spare and no pattern, I grabbed a leftover piece of velvet drape and improvised these little sarouel pants, which I thought were very safari-like. It’s so simple that if I can find the time in the next week or so I will put together a how-to. I think this would work particularly well in linen or gingham.

Another kind of knit

One of my resolution this year is to sew more. I also now have a very mobile little guy who needs comfy and low-maintenance clothes. I bought some lovely and soft Michael Miller interlock jersey a while back and found some ribbing on Etsy, and voilà! My first foray into knits = a no fuss romper. 

These photos were taken a couple of months ago. Sadly he went through a growth spurt immediately afterwards so the romper got very little use. To be fair, I also underestimated the collar to crotch length. Note to self: diapers add bulk! Perhaps I should chop it in half and add some ribbing and elastic at the waist to make it into a pajama top and bottom… Ha, something tells me I’ll never get around to it.

The main issue that I had while sewing this was that as soon as I figured out how to use the double needle to sew the ribbing on, I somehow broke it, so it doesn’t look as polished as it could have. Then, with my double needle broken, I got lazy with the hems and left them raw. Can you hem knits with a regular needle without them getting all wonky? Any tips there? I thought of using more of my precious ribbing but since it’s pretty hard to find for some reason, I decided to leave well enough alone.



For a special boy I know


Voici deux petites choses pour Dil, le neveu de Gabe, qui, à trois ans et demi, a déjà un style très funky (pas trop le genre à porter du Liberty)

J’espère que ça lui ira, vu que je ne l’ai pas vu depuis bien longtemps! Donc zou, une petite chemisette (il a usé la dernière que je lui ai faite jusqu’à la corde!), et un petit bermuda long. En plissant un peu les yeux ils vont super bien ensemble 😉

J’ai choisi des tissus plein de bestioles amusantes et des boutons-numéros pour apprendre à compter, comme ça c’est plus rigolo pour lui!












I just made these two things for Dil (Gabe’s nephew) whose style is already quite bold, even though he is only 3 years and a half.

I hope they fit, as I haven’t seen him in a while. I decided to make him another button-down shirt (the last one I made for him was worn to death), and below-the-knee shorts. If you squint a bit, they even sort of go together!

The fun critters and some numbered buttons ought to grab his interest for about 3 seconds and a half =)

Feeling blue

Désolée pour mon silence ces derniers temps. J’ai eu quelques moments difficiles. Parfois de grandes joies sont suivies de près par de grandes peines… En conséquence, la motivation n’était plus au rendez-vous. J’ai même eu envie de fermer ce blog, de me tenir à l’écart en attendant des jours plus souriants. Et puis, je me suis dit, on va voir, il ne faut pas sous-estimer le réconfort que la blogosphère peut amener.

Et faire des choses de ses mains peut avoir des vertus thérapeutiques. Donc, presque à contre-coeur, je me suis fait une petite jupe toute simple (à partir de ce tuto — en Anglais) avec quelques petits détails enfantins. Elle me plait bien, et du coup je me sens moins triste:





Poches à soufflet avec mini-croquet



Encore du croquet sur l'ourlet du bas


Sorry for being MIA these past couple of weeks. I’ve had some difficult times. Sometimes great joy is closely followed by great sadness… So I wasn’t feeling motivated anymore, I even thought about closing this blog. And then I thought, you never know, comfort can sometimes come from unexpected places.


And making things can sometimes have a therapeutic effect. So I made myself a simple skirt (based on this tutorial) and added a few playful touches. The cheerfulness of the result was uplifting, and I feel less sad already.

Et nos hommes dans tout ça?

Quand mon chéri est par monts et par vaux, il me maaaanque c’est fou ce qu’il me manque… Et je réalise que je pourrais être plus sympa et lui faire des petits cadeaux home-made plus souvent…


Comment ça le ruban rose c'est pas très masculin??

Comment ça le ruban rose c'est pas très masculin??


Quel luxe!

Un caleçon en Liberty Strawberry Thief, fait avec amouuuuuuur. (Patron maison)

Maintenant il en veut d’autres, mamamia!


Merci Fred pour l’idée de la photocabine!

Et vous le vôtre, d’homme, il est plutôt goguenard envers vos créations tricot/couture? Ou bien souffre en silence de passer après tout le monde?

Last week-end I decided that for once, I should make something for Gabe, who is so supportive of my knitting and sewing. So ta-da!  Liberty boxers! How luxurious, right? My man deserves only the best! What about yours? Do you make things for him sometimes, or would he rather you didn’t? 😉

Madras challenge! EDIT PHOTOS


EDIT du lendemain: la lumière du jour, c’est quand même mieux pour les photos!

Ce fut ric-rac, il est minuit et demi chez moi, mais il fallait que je finisse à temps pour la deadline de demain! (midi! C’est-à-dire 6h30 6h du mat ici (j’étais vraiment très fatiguée faut croire, merci Claire!)…

Après une bonne nuit de sommeil la séance photo se passe nettement mieux!



Du rose et une fleu-fleur... c'est du top de fille ça!

Du rose et une fleu-fleur... c'est du top de fille ça!



Voilà! J’ai hâte de voir les créations de tout le monde!

My buttercup pouch






Voici ma version du Buttercup Bag de Rae dont je vous ai parlé la semaine dernière. J’en ai fait une trousse parce que je n’utilise que des sacs très contenants et celui-ci est plutôt mini. Le patron est très clair, avec des photos et tout, jetez-vous dessus! Petit rappel: pour le patron (gratuit) c’est ici!


Here’s my Buttercup Bag, which is really a pouch. Isn’t it darling? I love the pattern and might even try to not mess it up next time (for some reason I made the opening a bit smaller than I should have… not sure what happened there but it doesn’t really matter in the end).

I’m off to post this in Rae’s Flickr pool! You guys should all make one — as a reminder, it’s FREE and available here.

Spring-inspired nightie




Bien entendu, le Morning Kimono était à peine tombé des aiguilles que les températures ont commencé à grimper. Qu’à cela ne tienne, j’ai répondu du tac au tac avec cette nuisette printanière. C’est une impro totale (vous commencez à avoir l’habitude, non?) et si c’était à refaire, je changerais l’encolure, qui me chiffonne un peu (et n’est pas assez décolletée). Mais mon chéri me dit qu’il l’aime beaucoup telle quelle! Ouf! =)


Wouldn’t you know it, no sooner had I finished my Morning Kimono than the temperatures started climbing. So I fought right back and came up with this little nightie. It’s an improv (you know me, by now) and if I had to make it again I’d change a few things, like the neckline, which I think is too high. But Gabe apparently approves of it as is! That’s all that matters =)






Fabric/Tissu: pinking flower by Kaffe Fassett for Rowan,