Pattern write up – Shanna Tree round

As soon as Jodie told the strike team about the upcoming Shanna trees artist round, we knew we were in for something special. Her designs are famous for their realistic detail, flowing colours and replication of natural flora and fauna. The hard part was deciding which design we wanted.

Whether it was the black cockatoo, or the ocean print (have you seen the turtles?!) or even the mushrooms, it was hard to narrow it down! But decisions had to be made, and in all honesty as soon as I laid eyes on the Gum Leaves, I knew I had to have it! Imagine my pure joy (you don’t have to imagine actually – I made a video about it!) when I saw that Jodie had not only sent out a metre of the exquisite Gum Leaves in French Terry, but also the Waratah flower print in Cotton Lycra!

It was so hard deciding on patterns that would do this fabric justice, and living in the cold and dreary reaches of Melbourne’s outer east I wanted to create something that I could wear now!

Having two young kiddies can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to sewing. A blessing because you can create one-of-a-kind outfits for them and utilise the offcuts (a blog post about this coming soon), but also a curse as mum-guilt will compel you to sew them ALL the things whilst you get left behind to hang out in your Kmart trackies.

So, in one of my smarter moments (powered by several cups of coffee), I decided on these 4 patterns that not only let me have 2 new items of clothing, but also kitted out my 3.5-month-old baby/reason for desperate coffee addiction too!

Let’s start with Piper’s outfits:

Waratah– Apostrophe Patterns MyFit Sleeper

I was lucky enough to test this pattern when it was in development. It was my first experience with this made-to-measure style pattern from Apostrophe – and I am converted!

Although I am a very impressive 5”3 in height (imagine an angry chihuahua who is chronically sleep deprived whilst also overcaffeinated), I managed to marry someone 6”4 and also the shortest in his family. This has resulted in a lot of hilarious photos taken really far away so it can fit both our heads in it, but also 2 tall kidlets.

Piper, like her older brother, is long in the torso and arms. Finding ready to wear onesies that fit properly hasn’t been too successful, and the ones I have sewn previously haven’t fit as nicely as I would hope. But this pattern has changed it all.

After entering her measurements and inputting them into the website form, choosing your preferences (cuffs, mitts, footies, neckband type etc), a one-of-a-kind pattern is produced in whatever format you want (projector for me) based on the measurements provided. The result? A onesie that actually fits, a happy Mum, and a baby that couldn’t care either way whom will probably poop through it regardless.

MyFit Sleeper – Apostrophe Patterns

Gum Leaves – Brindelle and Twig Duo Coverall

If you like quick and easy patterns then this is for you. I think I spent more time stuffing around with the snaps than I did sewing this up.

It’s an all-in-one coverall that has a one-piece back, and separate front bodice and bottoms. The bottom is elasticised to allow for easy changing, and also means that you don’t have to contort your child to get them dressed. I love this pattern because it means I can make it seem like my baby is wearing ‘real’ clothes, with the ease of a onesie (because let’s face it – real clothes on a baby can be hard work).

duo coverall pattern - Brindille & Twig (

Waratah – Pattern Niche Lisse Cowl and Hoodie

I sew with FT a lot – and I mean a lot – but CL will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve had this pattern opr a while, but tend to go to my usual tried and trusted patterns more regularly. But having had a baby recently, plus a huge increase in chocolate consumption meant that I wanted something a bit looser across my tummy.

This pattern has a really interesting overlapping pleated front hemline that flows nicely and could also suit a thicker fabric. I chose to use a cowl instead of the hoodie, and colour blocked the back due to the amount of fabric I had. It’s comfy, easy to sew and just that little bit different!

Lisse Cowl and Hoodie - Pattern Niche

Gum Leaves – Sinclair Alba

I’ve been sewing for almost 3 years now, and I think this was one of the first patterns I bought. It’s not that I forgot I had it – it’s just intimidated the heck out of me this whole time. But from the moment I saw the Gum Leaves print, I knew it needed to be an Alba.

The tutorial did have me scratching my head a few times, and I had to guess some steps and improvise on others. Adding to that trying to sew between Mum duties and work, resulted in this jacket *almost* getting the better of me. However, with some encouraging words from my husband (“stop complaining and just go finish the *&^&* thing”) I managed to get it done; and boy, aren’t I glad I did!

I just love it. The asymmetrical front closure, the pleated neckline, the inseam pockets… it’s a winner in my book. It features this stunning print beautifully, and is so comfy to wear. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I wish I had sewn this up sooner… but I’m glad I popped my Alba cherry with a Shanna Trees print.

Alba zip up knit asymmetrical jacket with a cowl and side pockets (PDF - Sinclair Patterns

Make sure you share what your favorite print was from the Shanna Trees collection. We’d love to hear your opinion!

September 09, 2022 — Jodie Stephenson

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