Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Merry Christmas!

The last of the ornament gifts to be given. Made of Dad's retired shirts and scraps left from kids clothes and quilts.

May the holiday season bring you great food, company and time to appreciate life's gifts.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mr Penguin and other things

Since last post I have been sick (with four kids there are so many opportunities to pick up bugs it seems), but still have snuck in a bit of sewing.

penguin side

Last night I made this Purl Bee penguin for a dear friend's new little boy. I did cross stitches instead of button eyes and put a jingle bell in the body. I do love him and of course spent a bit of time posing him and admiring him in the middle of the night.

penguin front

penguin face

Mr Penguin will go with these bibs.

boy bibs

Made out of panels (from the Craft Fair last year, can't remember the brand) with terry toweling backing and my own bias binding out of a denimy looking fabric.

bib backing

In other news, I have fallen in love with this cover of the latest Frankie, which my lovely husband brought me home from work last night! He knows me well.

cutest frankie

Monday, October 15, 2012

Last day of KCWC!

So I have managed one project a night for four nights now, and something for each child. I am quite sleep deprived as a result but very happy with my efforts.

Mr F was delighted to find his new hat this morning and wore it to snuggle in bed with us!


Oliver + S Little Things to Sew bucket hat.  Size Large for 5 year old Mr F.

Groovy Guitars by Michael Miller fabrics and black gingham from The Fabric Store. Sew-in interfacing for the brim.


My first go at this and I did the no hand sewing way shown at A Little Gray.  I will continue to use this pattern this way- so easy and still a very professional look. The top stitching really makes the brim look great. I don't have any excuse for buying kid's hats now.



Worn to Kindy today!

KCWC has been great for me. I have learnt...

I am not that quick at sewing! No one hour dresses here! Each fairly simple, one night project this week  took around four hours for me, but that included cutting and sometimes preparing the pattern. I think I'm a slow edge-stitcher/top-stitcher, but it means I hardly ever have to unpick- so shouldn't that make me faster overall? Anyway, I did get stuff made.

To maximise my sewing speed I need to not have to change thread much, not do hand sewing (those hand-bound pockets!), reuse patterns that are already traced and cut and familiar to me, and avoid pinning wherever possible (kind of essential for the crown of a hat though). And not muck up my overlocker threading! I am also slowed by my set up time as I take out my machine and everything I need to the living room table and then put it all away at the end of the night. An organised, dedicated sewing space would so help!

Also, it is not that hard to blog regularly. My trick this week has been to do a draft on my iPhone while breastfeeding!

Thanks so much to Meg at Elsie Marley for hosting KCWC- I will be there sewing along next time!

Now for some sleep tonight...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Puppet show shorts (again)

Some basic shorts for Baby D, who is now five months old!

puppet show shorts front

Oliver + S puppet show shorts previously made here and here, in Size 18-24 months. As I have said before, the sizing of these is on the small side. Plus baby girl is on the big side, and usually wearing a cloth nappy.

Linen in a natural/putty kind of colour from The Fabric Store. It is lovely stuff. The back tag is twill tape from Typo.

I know this pattern well- this is my fifth pair. I usually have trouble getting through all the fabric layers at the pocket binding when attaching the pockets, but this time I couldn't even get through the previous step of sewing the binding onto the pockets. I kept breaking my thread despite changing around needles and presser feet. Maybe the fabric was too thick, maybe I need a denim needle, or more of a home decorator sewing machine? Don't know- I just moved on and sewed the binding on by hand. Weirdly, I had no trouble this time when attaching the pockets. Did flat-felled seams again, which I love.

puppet show shorts back

I'm so happy with the end result despite having to sew into the wee hours of today to get them done.

This is what they are like over a very bulky (old fashioned terry square) nappy.

puppet show shorts

puppet show shorts

She seems thrilled but I think it's more to do with getting a bit of attention from Mum than the shorts.  Our wonderful baby girl!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Popover sundress

Day two of four for my KCWC.  A dress for Miss S. She looks happy enough but wasn't keen to pose.

happy puzzle girl

Oliver + S popover sundress. Made before (twice!) in dolly version. S measured at Size 2 in the chest, but I did Size 3 with Size 4 length.

back detail

Same denim as yesterday's shorts, plus white piqué for the yoke (from Gardam's), red ricrac and the cutest purchased bias binding ever from No Chintz for the straps.

back view

This dress is never as quick as I think it is going to be! Again it is a simple pattern, with little finishes (that take most of the time) that make the dress really cute. I think it took four hours including cutting and some kiddie interruptions.

front view

prancing view

As you can see, S has a terrible time keeping still (unless she is doing a puzzle) but she is a great prancer!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Kids Clothes 4 day Challenge!

So I'm late to join the current Kids Clothes Week Challenge hosted by Elsie Marley. I really need to clear some stash- to the point that my husband told me I should be doing this every week! 4 days is probably more realistic though.

I started with these shorts last night for Little Boy B.

toddler denim shorts front

toddler denim shorts back

'Aqua' shorts from Ottobre (3/2008). Previously used for Mr F here. I retraced in Size 92 (F's were 98 and are pretty big on B), but should not have bothered as there is negligible difference.

Lightweight denim from Spotlight. Previously used back here.

Straightforward but the navy top stitching (and all the changing of thread) took a bit of time. I am copying shop bought clothes a bit more now- so no pressed apart seam allowances, and a little extra non decorative top stitching to hold them flat.

shorts back in action

shorts side

Little Boy B was previously seen here- what a great baby he was! And now he is two and a ragamuffin! Could not keep his shorts clean in the time it took me to pick up the camera.


Three days to go- aiming for one easy item each night while the kids sleep!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Honey (and other) joys.

We are now in Kindy holidays which means four kids at home! Days are full of backyard time, kids battling each other for pens, puzzles and food, and me trying to distract them with music and baking. As well as the usual huge amounts of washing. And requests to go to Kindy!

Meanwhile I am slowly working through my fabric stash after abandoning two(!) nearly finished boy's jumpers from winter. I'm quite sad admitting to this and regret not just making one in full. But I'm loving sewing and fantasising about cute clothes for summer. So far I've a few items for Miss S done needing to be blogged, and I'm hoping to keep making some simple stuff every week.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Last summer's dresses- Part 2 (or the Three-way dress)

A couple of Three-way dresses from Ottobre 3/2009.  Cute, summery, easy pattern.  Made the 92cm (smallest) size for Miss S who was nearly 3 at the time.

Pink seersucker dress

This one was out of lovely Japanese seersucker from Be Be Bold- got it out of half a metre (helps that S is quite small), but alas, not enough for sleeves.

Elephant dress

This one is in a cute elephant patchwork print poplin and Spotlight Spots and Stripes, with the frill sleeves.  I think of this as the Vicky Cristina Barcelona dress, as that was what I was watching on SBS when I made it (love that movie).  

And here is Miss S in it on her 3rd birthday, our wonderful big girl.  

in Elephant dress

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Last summer's dresses- Part 1

Summer 2011/2012 dresses

Must blog about these while I still vaguely remember making them.  Miss S wore all of these a heap last summer, yet I seem to have next to nothing in the way of photos with her in them.

First up we have the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress (which first appeared in this post ages ago).

Strawberry dress

This was worn through most of last year- in cooler months layered with a white long sleeve top and red tights.  A lovely pattern, beautiful inside and out (I did French seams).  The strawberry fabric was scrap left over from a dress of mine from Uni days.  Miss S loved it and it got heaps of compliments.  I will definitely be using this pattern again.

Next we have this Raggedy Ann print sundress made using this tutorial.

Raggedy Ann dress

Very easy pattern and looks great on (much better than on the hanger).  The border print fabric was left over from a dress of my sister's- and I think I still have enough for another dress! Trim fabric is Spotlight Spots and Stripes.

Here is Miss S looking very grumpy in it.

in Raggedy Ann dress

I do remember the straps slipping off a bit- maybe need to tweak the placement next time.

Other dress details to come!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Recycled cashmere bunny

bunny front

Finally I make something out of the considerable stash of old jumpers I have been saving.  I love the idea of making stuff out of old and otherwise unusable stuff, but I can't say my craft habit really means much for the environment- often it just means I hold onto stuff I may never use.  Anyway, this was an easy gift for my cousin's baby.  It ended up wonderfully soft and charmingly imperfect, I think!

Pattern from Martha here.

I used my Mum's favourite cashmere cardy that got eaten- machine washed and dried to be extra fluffy.
Plus a scrap of old Liberty for the inner ears.

bunny face

Did a Dick Bruna inspired face, and had to add a tail.

bunny back

Can I now get through my old jumper stash by making one of these for every baby that comes along?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The new one.

baby girl

This is what has kept me so busy for the past twelve weeks!  Miss D here has been wonderful of course, as a fourth child in under five years must.    Some days I really feel on top of this parenting/running a household thing, others I can just manage the bare minimum to get by.  But how lucky we are- four beautiful little souls now in our home, getting in each other's way all the time, but then so happy to have one another.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bunny girl

bunny girl face

This dolly is the last thing I needed to make, but of late I have been impulsively cutting out various projects in the middle of the night and then I have to make them.  I just get excited thinking if I cut it out it will be done soon!  I had ambitions of this being Miss S's Easter present (like she needs another doll, and how much do kids really need at Easter anyway?), but there was no way I could have actually made her in time.  So now complete, she is just hiding in my study awaiting a purpose- next Easter seems a long wait though!

bunny girl full

Pattern (with face panel) is Roxy Longsocks from The Red Thread, with my addition of bunny ears and tail.  Made entirely from stash materials in what seemed to be perfect Easter colours.  I was particularly glad to make use of the yellow floral -beautiful Italian pique left over from one of my favourite dresses made years ago, and this old blue floral again.

bunny girl tail

Like the other Red Thread stuff, a lovely, fairly simple project.  It took me a few nights though, mainly due to some hours of stuffing difficulties (those crazy ears did not help).

I am such a sucker for these cute dolly projects, particularly those with freckles, and have spent far too much time admiring this one!

bunny girl closeup

Friday, May 4, 2012



Since mastering my custard technique (and we got an ice cream maker) I have moved on to ice cream. And despite some other great flavours so far (vanilla, chocolate, burnt caramel, and a not so great coffee), I think I'm most thrilled with this, my first attempt at one of my favourite gelato flavours.

Recipe is Nigella's vanilla ice cream from How To Eat with a block of Lindt 70% melted and drizzled in in the final stages of churning- which gave the lovely chocolate shards I was hoping for! Yum!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

'Baby' quilt for the 19 month old

baby boy tumbler quilt folded

I finished this a month or two ago; baby boy even then couldn't really be considered a baby, but he will be in the cot a little while longer.

baby boy tumbler quilt full

I'm really happy now with the tumbler blocks, although I think I spent more time cutting them out than anything else which was pretty miserable.  I took Mum's advice and starched all the fabrics before cutting to help keep shape, as I was a little apprehensive doing my first piecing involving something other than squares or rectangles.

Fabrics are my usual mix but in a slightly less multicoloured palette- I wanted a clean boyish-looking quilt in brights and navy.  There are quilting cottons including several from the previous kids' quilts, and the Spots and Stripes poplin from Spotlight.  I keep using Spots and Stripes because it is cheap (often on sale), lovely as a binding, and has not faded in my other kids' quilts (unlike some far more posh fabrics).

baby boy tumbler quilt edge

baby boy tumbler quilt detail

Quilted by machine 1/4" from all seams.

baby boy tumbler quilt backing

Backing was from East Coast Fabrics at Lawnton; navy stripe (Spotlight Spots and Stripes) for binding.

in the way

This is typical of my life at the moment- I am back at home, trying to do lots at once but there is always at least one little someone plus a big baby bump getting in the way.  Happy chaos!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Worm love

A great quick fix made as a gift for a lovely friend...


This is Evelyn Inchworm from Wee Wonderfuls.  Fun to make, although I found it a little tricky to get the bumps lined up evenly- at one point she was very twisted looking.  Though here she is now, looking nice and stable.


Love her! And can't wait to make more cute toys.