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children

children, create, fabric, sew

Reversible hat

July 4, 2015
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For the first time since starting my job 10 months ago, I got my sewing machine out on an evening. I was determined to start and finish a sewing project on a weeknight like I used to do. 

It’s challenging to fit in hobbies these days around work, kids, household demands, exercise and everything else. And exhausting to start sewing at 9pm knowing I’m up at 5am. But a reversible fabric hat is the perfect project.

And Bailey models it beautifully. The predictable pink side and the pretty purple-toned reverse.

If the rest of the summer is anything like the last week, this hat will get a lot of wear this year.

children, create, Garden

Music garden 

May 9, 2015
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I haven’t had the energy to be creative in months, but today I finally made something cool. And one of the coolest things ever I think. A music garden! 

I shopped some charity shops yesterday to get silverware, old metal junk and then this morning found a few old wood scraps to knock this up in an hour. 

Fantastic hubby is spending 5 minutes per item of silverware to drill a hole in the end (hence there are only a few hanging so far). There are about 20 more items to hang in the silverware wind chime section. 

Thanks to Chilled in a Field festival last singer “play the rig” for inspiration and then Pintrest, of course, made the dream materialize. 
I’m loving the kid takeover of the garden. More to come… 

children, create, crochet

Star Stitch Cardigan

August 21, 2014
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This is a perfect example of why it’s bad to have lots of projects on the go.  I finally looked into my crochet/knitting “work in progress” projects and found this gorgeous cardigan almost finished (1 hour crocheting until completion) and it’s sized 12-18 months. I started this before Orla’s first birthday and now she’s 21 months.  I’m a silly mommy!

I quickly finished if off, added a bead button (from my late grandma’s stash) and crossed fingers it would still fit Orla.

The yarn is Rowan Savannah 94% cotton, 6% silk.  It’s a hearty, nutty feel yet still soft for a toddler and I love the natural look it has.  The pattern is from Cute And Easy Crocheted Baby Clothes and has a sweet flowery/starry stitch.  It was one of the more complicated projects I’ve done but the surprisingly forgiving yarn has left it looking wearable-in-public, which is always the test for my homemade clothes.

Unfortunately after the initial excitement to try it on, by the time I got my camera out I could only capture her screaming “off!!!!” while trying to rip the button undone.  This wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for.

orla_cardigan

children, create, dress, fabric, sew

mermaid dress

June 30, 2014
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For Bailey’s 4th birthday we had a beach party.  She wanted to be a purple and pink mermaid so I promised her an amazing mermaid dress (silly mommy for setting such expectations!). 
I started with purple sequin fabric and tutu tulle (purple and pink).  The sequin fabric was see-through so I had to line it for it to work as a skirt.  I used a tshirt of hers (which she never wears) for the lining and made a skirt.  Then I alternated colors of tulle and created a “mermaid tail” base.  Initially, I planned to just create the skirt and pair it with a tank top (maybe adding a bit of mermaid “bling” to embellish).  But then I remembered how much she prefers dresses to skirt/top combos so decided to maximize the chances of her wearing it and create a dress.  This caused some issues, because I couldn’t easily just attach a tank top (as I wanted to) since she wouldn’t be able to get into it.  The mermaid base was too tight to fit over her head and she wouldn’t be able to step into a tank top.  So I used the purchased tank top to create a halter top for the dress.  I chopped off the top, creating a tube.  Then flipped it upside down (for a nice finish at the top), sewed it to the skirt, added elastic at the top and then used the cut off peice to create halter straps.  Perfect! 
When I first revealed it to her she cried.  (I did too, but not in front of her luckily).  It was heart breaking.  She is very shy and I think she panicked she’d be too much of a focus if she wore it.  Plus it was definitley different to other “party dresses” she has. So I quickly showed her images of mermaids and she slowly made the connection in her head of the dress looking like a mermaid.  I added a massive tulle bow to the top and she was smiling. 
At this stage I was just hoping she would wear it once, without frowning, for a photo. Surprisingly, on the day she loved it. After an initial issue with a very scratchy bow which was later removed, she happily wore it throughout her party when she wasn’t swimming and paired it nicely with her still-smelling-of-chemicals-from-the-factory-in-China pink heels.  It definitely was helped by a four year old party attendee saying “wow, you look like Ariel [from Disney's Little Mermaid]“.  I could have kissed that child!! 
She was a beautiful mermaid and I am pleased the dress will get future wear as an addition to her dress-up box.

children, create, fabric, sew

hats hats hats

June 30, 2014
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This year’s gift for birthdays has been hats.  I found this fantastic pattern on Etsy for floppy hats and have become a little factory for all birthdays March – June.  Five made so far, but Orla and Bailey still don’t have one, so I think another two will soon follow.  

I, disapointedly, haven’t taken many photos (and it’s hard to take a good photo of a hat without a model!) but luckily I have this adorable one of my nieces.  Not quite matching, but coordinated hats.  They turned 3 in May and they are the most well dressed three year olds ever– check out their skirts and sandals!!

It took a few hats before I realized I could easily adapt the pattern to make them reversible.  I love this pattern!   Maybe I’ll try to sell some…

children, create, dress, fabric, feature, sew

one Easter dress

April 1, 2014
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Orla has an Easter dress.  Bailey will soon as well made from the same pink fabric shown here.  I love these colours, they just scream out “Easter” to me!  I still need to finish the hem but I’m really happy with this dress… it’s the same pattern I used for Orla’s Christmas dress (which was huge on her 4 months ago).  

I’ve been inspired again by The Great British Sewing Bee and I want to crank these little dresses out all day long! If only….

The pink pocket fabric is “Little Azalea” by Dena Designs (Bailey selected it for her Easter dress) and the mustard fabric is “Modern Folklore” by makower uk.  

One more little springy Easter dress to go…

children, create, fabric, quilt, sew

baby boy London quilt

February 24, 2014
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My best friend from childhood had her second baby boy in September.  I finally got round to finishing little Henry’s baby quilt in November to give it to him when I met him for the first time.  It’s a sweet little quilt and simple design. 

 The fabric is Makower UK and then supplemented with Kona solids.

 
I was horribly disappointed to see the fabric bled when I washed it.  You can see the red in the image above caused the surrounding white to go a bit pink. This has never happened before and I would never expect it to with quilting fabric. I know some people prewash, but I’ve never had a problem and I’ve made a lot of quilts. I was embarrased for this to happen on a gift. It’s one of a handful of the quilts I’ve made as a gift and I just can’t believe I’ve had to hand it over like this. I guess it adds to the ‘homemade’ appeal, but I still am so embarrassed. Not what I would expect.  
 
Luckily, I don’t think Henry will mind.  Welcome to the world, beautiful little man.
children, create, dress, fabric, feature, sew, shop

smock pinafore dress

July 3, 2013
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This dress came from a pattern I bought a year or two ago.  I love how sweet and flirty this smock is with the full skirt.  It’s not a true dress because it opens at the back and therefore it is in the least expensive bracket of just £16 ($25). 
 

The bow at the back is discrete and pretty.  It’s best worn with a top and leggings.  Bailey adore this dress because of the fullness of the skirt– she loves “poofy dresses” right now.

 
 
 
The bodice is lined but not the bottom.  This is the only dress that isn’t fully lined.  This beautiful dainty fabric is upcycled from vintage sheets!  But I have many other versions of this dress in other prints.  So far I only have this in size 2-3 years, but as it’s a tie-back, it’s very easily worn until 4 years I think.

children, create, fabric, feature, quilt, sew

Sophie’s quilt

June 30, 2013
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Baby quilts are so fun to make and this was especially fun because of the little girl’s name.  Little Sophie came into this world in March this year, right around the time I was working with “Sophie” fabric from Chez Moi for Moda.  Perfect match!

 

Big and small circles with fmq stippling quilting, all machine sewn.  Everything from the Sophie range (except the plain white).  

My favourite part is the inclusion of Sophie’s name in print from the fabric selvages.  On the front she has her name just once…

 

… and on the back, dividing the large white block, she has her name multiple times.

 

I love selvages anyway and always cut mine from fabric to work with later, but to be able to include them for a special reason like this is awesome.  What a beautiful name and luckily some beautiful fabric to pair with it!  

Welcome to the world, Sophie!!
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