Constant CHANGE: While she was sleeping


There have been many changes in my life. Some were exciting, some were tough. Over the past few years I moved countries, changed a dozen of addresses and a few jobs, got married, had a child. My husband and I are in a slow process of turning our second house into a family home. I even work in the change industry. How you wonder? I work in family support services. A social worker at your service :) Seriously, I can talk about change and list exciting and anxiety provoking turns in my journey for ages. 

There is one thing I look forward to every year. The change from cold to warm. Transition from winter to spring, and then summer. A lot of people get surprised when I say that I dislike cold. OK, dislike is not the most appropriate term. I hate cold. With a passion. No, having experienced over 20 Russian winters did not make me immune to cold. I can definitely feel it. So when the sun is starting to feel warm and days get longer, I become very excited. Late spring and summer are my favourite seasons. 

While I am half the brain force behind this series, it took me a little while to decide what to make for it. At first I was going to sew something for myself. Then I thought I could make curtains for our bedroom, if making curtains was not so boring. Cushions for our new couch were high on the list, but the couch has not arrived yet. In the end it was a purely practical decision - it was getting warmer, and my daughter needed new clothes. 



I make most of my daughter's clothing. I still buy her things, but only when I really have to. I sew for Little Monkey for many reasons: this is one of the ways I express my love for her; I dislike the cheap mass produced and often too grown-up looking clothes available at department stores; mum-made clothes always fit her better. I have to be honest and add that I sew for Little Monkey because I like to sew. It fulfills my need to create.



I used to be very precious about Little Monkey's handmade clothes and did not dress her in mummy-made outfits to go to childcare. This, however, quickly changed. What you see on this blog is what Little Monkey wears in real life. Including childcare. And playgrounds. And play dates. And digging holes with Daddy. Anywhere, really.


This is Little Monkey's 'I really don't feel like being photographed' face. Oh, and her new top. This is the Shandiin top by Lou Bee Clothing. I made it from quilting cotton that a beautiful sewing friend gave me as she was moving house. I think the print is perfect for a young child.


I love the detail on the back. It can be executed in a number of ways to achieve different looks. I am very pleased with how this top turned out and am keen to try other versions of this pattern.

Little Monkey got a pair of new shorts to go with the top. These are the Clover shorts by Mouse House Creations. Friends, this is now my 'go to' shorts pattern.




Little Monkey's shorts are made from denim chambray. I thought making pockets from the same fabric as the top would be fun. I did not have thread to match the chambray, but I had the exact same shade of green that matched the print on quilting cotton, hence contrasting stitching. Isn't it amazing how such a small detail can add so much character to an outfit! I altered the instructions slightly and made an adjustable waistband.


Little Monkey prefers wearing dresses, so making a pair of shorts for her was a little risky. However the pattern has a few options she likes - pockets and buttons. While my daughter does not like wearing pants, she likes denim jeans, so my fabric choice made it OK in her books. Phew!

So now my daughter has some appropriate clothing for summer, bring on the sunshine!


Please visit my co-host Renee to see what she has made for the series. Here is a little sneak peek. Can you guess what is it? I know, and I think it is totally awesome!


Renee and I will be happy for you to stay with us for the series. It is going to be great!




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43 comments

  1. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the warmer weather too - what a great way to celebrate with a super cute outfit!!

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    1. Thank you Renee :) The best thing about summer is ice cream dates with my daughter :)

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  2. A beautiful outfit, Jenya!!! I just adore how you have co-ordinated the top and shorts by adding the matching pockets. Must check out the shorts pattern - love them.

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    1. Thank you Pam. The pattern is great and the shorts are actually quick and easy to make!

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  3. I love the change in seasons too and am very grateful to live in Victoria Australia where we really have pretty comfortable weather all year round compared to many parts of the world. Great new outfit!

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    1. Thank you Suz. Yes I love the way seasons change here in Victoria. It was not as pronounced when I lived in NSW and QLD.

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  4. Beautiful top and shorts, Jenya. The contrasting overstitching is a nice touch :)
    I also love the change from cool to warmer weather - and I'm always struck by how my mood changes when there's some sunshine. I do enjoy having seasons, though, and watching how my garden changes.

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    1. Thank you Marisa. Yes I also feel more energetic when it is warmer :) We are lucky to be able to observe the changes of seasons here in Vic.

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  5. Those shorts are gorgeous!! Love the matching fabric and coordinating stitching!

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    1. Thank you Wen. i I will be making more of these shorts :)

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  6. Lovely! Love the topstichting in lightgreen on the shorts, it really does change the outlook. And really, you are totally making me jealous. In this half of the planet we are heading towards winter, with cold and rain all over the place.

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    1. Well, for a few months I was jealous looking at the summer stuff you guys have been making ;)

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  7. I loved to read a little bit about the changes in your life. Yes, warm weather definitely is nice. Well, I'll have to wait for many more months...

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    1. Thank you Annika. Oh, warm weather is the best. I feel so much more energetic when it is warm.

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  8. Absolutely gorgeous!! You're fulfilling all my "wish-I-had-a-girl-to-sew-for" dreams haha!! I love the print fabric of the top and the contrast topstitching on the shorts :)

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    1. Thanks Nat. When I was pregnant with LM I was hoping for a boy! I just couldn't imagine having a girl... I can't imagine it any other way now :) I have a little daughter who loves wearing dresses and preferrs to play with cars, trucks and dinosaurs! Her new fave toy is a calculator hahaha

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  9. Lovely series Jenya. I feel with the moving forward so fast in modern times, it is nice to stop a while and check how your life evolves and what is really important to you and your family/friends.Love the outfit you made, I haven't made a pair of the clover shorts yet, but certainly they are in my do list

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    1. Thank you Maria. It is crazy how fast time flies! I cannot believe my daughter is already four!

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  10. Cute outfit! I look forward to the change in seasons, although I'm not a fan of too cold or too hot. Spring and summer are my favorites!

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    1. Thank you elizabeth :) Spring and Summer are my favourite too :) Warmer weather clothes is more fun to sew ;)

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  11. I hate the cold too, but mostly rain. Though I must admit I do love snow, it's just so pretty.
    Wish my girls could wear such an adorable outfit right now. We've got many months to wait before the sun shines down on us.
    The green topstitching works a treat on denim shorts and the buttons look great, it's all in the detail ;-)

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    1. I don't mind snow, if it is not too cold. I don't miss it when it first starts snowing and it just instantly turns into mud, and when it starts melting and everything is just wet and yuck.

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  12. What a great idea for a series! And a fantastic outfit too, perfect for running around in. My daughter is the total opposite of yours - hates dresses and prefers pants/shorts.

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    1. Thank you very much :) Ah kids, they are so funny :)

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  13. This is great Jenya!! I feel the same as you about the warm weather. Particularly when I lived in Scotland, it seemed to take MUCH much longer than I'd have liked until it even hinted at warm weather, and I was always so happy the first day that I didn't need a coat. :) I love your daughter's outfit, so sweet! I've made 3 Shandiin's for Hannah and the Clover is already purchased for next year's spring sewing. Your versions are perfect.

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    1. I saw your Shandiins Erin, and I love them! I want to make a dress length one for Little Monkey. I think she will love it. I am just about to make a second pair of Clovers :)

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  14. Oh what a beautiful and perfect outfit!! LOVE

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  15. Such an adorable outfit!! Love that fabric. And I hate Winter too, rain just puts me in a bad mood ;)

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    1. Thank you Ines. I hate cold, but I love rain. We don't get much rain here in Oz, so when it rains it is good.

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  16. Those shorts are adorable! And the Shandiin top was my daughter's fave top for the summer. I love the clean finish of it, too... I used to be that way with the handmade items too, they were more special. Now I'm trying to do that in other areas too...use those special occasion items for every-day instead...

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    1. Thank you Monica! i am planning a brightly coloured dress version of the Shandiin now :) Yeah I am done keeping things as "special". I am just goin to enjoy what I have rather than have it sitting somewhere :)

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  17. I cannot believe you did all that in just few years! When I moved to the U.S. I moved like 10 times in 2 years, but no marrying or having a child was involved :)
    Your out fit is lovely, I like them as a set. The contrasting stitches are just so perfect!

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    1. hahaha yeah moving a lot is apparently a normal thing for new migrants! I think that is how I develped an allergy towards moving houses!

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  18. Hooray, your Shandiin is so cute!! Love the outfit, the same fabrics, the matching pockets and the green topstitch.
    Did the several options confused you? I had to read them more than once, ha!
    Weather, I hate snow and the cold we have here in Alberta but I'm not a fan of summer either.
    Spring and autumn are my favorite.

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    1. Thank you Carolina. I actually re-read your Shandiin top post before I started ;) so when it came to assembling my top I knew I would have to think twice.

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  19. A beautiful set Jenya, LM is growing up! It always feels like a win for me when my girls will wear a pair of shorts, well done!

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    1. Thank yopu Shell. LM is growing up too fast! I made the shorts a few weeks ago, and they are now a bit tight on her. Time to make a new pair I guess! IN denim of course hahaha

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  20. What an adorable set! Perfect for playtime! The Shandiin is a great warm weather top and it looks lovely paired with the Clover shorts.

    I'm not a fan of cold weather either and unfortunately we're heading in to winter here. Yuck!;)

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    1. Thank you Cindy. In a few months time I will be feeling jealous about summer outfits you will be making for your kids ;)

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  21. Oh my goodness what an absolutely adorable outfit. I love how you used the fabric from the top on the shorts. The shorts are such a great style I love the little button tabs. So nice to see little girls dressed like little girls and not mini grown ups. :o)

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    1. Thank you Michelle. Yes I also love kids dresses as kids, and not as miniature sized adults. These shorts pattern is great, I will definitely be making more!

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