My first introduction to the world of craft blogs was Melissa's blog - Tiny Happy. I remember clearly picking up a copy of NZ House & Garden at the supermarket and finding a wee article on Melissa and the beautiful things she was making. That lead me to finding other clever crafty people blogging about the things they were making and inspiring me to start my own blog.
I've bought lots of things from Melissa over the years and her handiwork can be seen all over our house, bags, a forraging satchel, framed printed cards, a velveteen rabbit and brooches to name a few. So I was really excited to hear last year at the Auckland art and craft fair that she was writing a book - Sweet and simple handmade, that would include patterns for all the beautiful things she's made over the years. I quizzed her for most of the fair (we were stall neighbours) about her book (sorry Melissa!) and the thing that excited me the most was that the patterns were going to be printed on tissue and kept at the back of the book. I love that so much! I've grown tired of getting books out of my library only to find I have to copy out the patterns to start creating, I find I never get around to making the things.
I couldn't wait to start sewing from this book, here's the first project completed ......
The Winter climate here in Auckland is mild (no snow for starters), so those beautiful woollen coats made from vintage woollen blankets aren't necessary, very disappointing. But I've been lucky enough to pick up a couple of vintage lightweight woollen pleated skirts, a perfect weight to add warmth, but not overheat. All those pleats in the skirts mean there is lots of fabric. After unpicking all the stitches I washed the fabric to remove the pressed in pleats. Melissa suggests looking for clothing that you can "upcycle" in her book, making use of textiles that are in thrift stores, so this skirt fabric seemed the perfect choice for this project.
So what else can you expect to see in this book, well it's separated into sections of, "babies - 0-12 months", "little ones - 1-4", "Children - 5-10". Each section featuring an array of wonderful simple projects that would delight those little ones (and their mamas). I especially love the babies section, now that my little ones have grown up (a little bit) this is the section that I'll be turning to, making presents for friends. The soft stretchy pants and modern bonnet being top of the list!
If you are time poor and not really into sewing yourself, you can check out Melissa's Etsy shop - Tiny Happy where you will find beautiful things handmade by Melissa.