Hooray for nieces – Part Two

After making my adorable niece Romilly a peg apron for her fourth birthday, I decided at the last moment to make her sweet and dainty top. I can’t resist an opportunity to sew for little girls!

Details – I used this free Izzy Top pattern, it’s a dear little top and relatively simple to make. A beginner with a few projects under their belt could absolutely make an Izzy. One thing I love about this pattern is that the bodice is lined and forms a cap sleeve which means there is no tedious hemming of a tiny little sleeve. Bonus!

The Izzy Top – front
The Izzy Top - back
The Izzy Top – back










I used up fabric from my ever expanding fabric stash that I’d originally purchased from fabric.com. The lining is lovely and I sort of wish I’d had enough fabric to make the entire top with it. But, I decided to work with what I had.

Gorgeous bodice lining
Gorgeous bodice lining

I’m crossing my fingers that the top fits and that there are enough warm days left for Romilly to wear her Izzy!

Now, I’ve promised some tips for frugal living. Here are three, they are certainly not rocket science and are no doubt painfully obvious!

The first frugal tips

  1. Be organised and post parcels early. Thanks to my last moment decision to make this top, I had to post the present via express mail to make it to Tasmania in time for Romilly’s birthday. Ordinary mail would have been more prudent!
  2. Ask yourself, do I really need a card? I do love a gorgeous card, but realistically four year olds are unlikely to notice the absence of a card. No cards for kids this year! Some adults are likely to miss out too (like Mr Wallace who doesn’t care for cards).
  3. I often keep my present wrapping simple, using brown paper we have on a big roll and jazzing it up with ribbon. It’s not very fancy. However, having seen plenty of kids unwrapping birthday presents, I’m reasonably confident that they care waaaay more about the present than the paper.
It's a wrap
It’s a wrap

What do you think, am I being entirely too stingy for not buying birthday cards?

10 thoughts on “Hooray for nieces – Part Two

  1. I think cards are $$$. So I bought a pack of A4 120gsm card- took half the ream and got the fine people at office works to cut it into A5 size. I get the kids to make cards for their friends and if I need something more substantial I have craft supplies and whip one up. I used to make cards all the time, but kind of ran out of interest… I also grab cards on sale from typo and keep a stash on hand for when we don’t have time!

  2. Most florists or cheap shops have a stand of basic cards for $1 each. I usually just buy 5-10 in various genders, child and adult so I always have some on hand. My kids love to paint and I have started using their paintings as wrapping paper for family. Family love the personalised touch and the kids love the praise of their creations at unwrapping time!

    1. I need to get onto this idea of kids art as wrapping! They tend to paint on A4 pieces of paper, perhaps it’s time to upsize.

  3. I tend to get my boys to make cards for their friends as little kids really don’t care. If it’s a special birthday or occasion I’m more inclined to buy a nice card. If I was more organised I’d make them!

  4. Yes cards are way overpriced … as a coincidence I read this post having just sent Mr Wallace a small birthday gift in the mail … I made a late decision to save on future postage so I popped gifts in for the boys too (way in advance bday things in case it doesn’t happen later) … in the rush I didn’t add cards (or wrapping I confess, that would have tipped the weight limit again being international) so I was feeling very guilty ….. but seeing this posts makes me feel slightly better as I’ll know you’ll understand! Maybe I’ll try and find one of those e-cards when it’s the right time!

  5. gorgeous top – I’ve been meaning to make an Izzy top for my niece for months. I’m a little sewed out when it comes to sewing for other though.
    I totally agree about cards. We try to stock up on various types of cards (e.g. boy/girl/adult birthdays, thank you cards, blank cards) in 3 for $x deals. It means we always have cards in the house and they’re never more than a few dollars each.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth. The Izzy was actually more straightforward than I anticipated. I’m sure you’d whip it up in no time!

I'd love to hear your thoughts!