Thursday, October 28, 2010

So my little girl is one.

Today is Adele's birthday and contrary to blog fashion, I won't write an epic about how wonderful she is, or that it's been a joy, or that life is just so super grand.
She is one today and the coolest thing about that, is that for just two weeks I'll be able to say I have a 3 year old, two year old and one year old.
You see I had a proper three under three, as in my eldest wasn't three when Adele was born. I know NUTS!!
For those who didn't know, Adele was a surprise, but she is a pretty cool surprise. And for a sewer, it is pretty cool to have an excuse to make both boy and girl clothes.  
Anyway, we love her so much and the family is pretty complete now.

Tis all for now, but please cross your fingers that the weather fines up for the big party on Sunday. Showers are forecast and we have 80+ kids and adults coming over to help celebrate. What will I do if it rains???

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just a peek

I was asked by some very dear friends to make a cot quilt for their 'yet to arrive' nephew. I jumped at the excuse to make a quilt again - it seems like forever since I made one!
Here's just a small peek. It's bold and bright, with lots of orange, red, blue, green and yellow. It also has a bunch of my favourite prints like Micheal Miller hedgehogs, Heather Ross Octopus (I this this is my favourite boy print ever!), some Urban Circus elephants and giraffes, Wheels by Riley Blake, David Walker 'Oh Boy' and a bunch of lovely, lovely spots and stripes including some Honeycomb Kei.

I'm in love!! I'll reveal the whole quilt later this week when the binding is sewn on. When will I find time to hand sew the binding???

Monday, October 25, 2010

The type of laundry I like....

Like most other peeps out there, I'm not a big fan of laundry. This however, is the type of laundry I love,
love, love to look at!
When the dollar was almost on parity with the US, I decided to select a few new fabric designs for bonnets. They are now all washed and pressed, just screaming to be cut into!
I specifically tried to pick more pink and girly prints including peek-a-boo animals in the top left, more Denyse Schmidt in the middle, some Farmdale by Alexander Henry, some super super sweet Mo Bedell and a little Cosmo Cricket. There are a few other mixers in there too.

Once my prac teaching is over, you can expect more of these to hit the shop. If are interested in a bonnet made up in any of these fabrics, just drop me a line and I'll see if I can pull it together for you before then.

Notice the lovely blue walls?? They came with the house when we purchased it. They only remain upstairs in my sewing room. They are the reason why my sewing space has been restricted so much of late. Hopefully hubby paints them up quick!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Flea Market Finds

This post is for Sally.

When she blogged recently about her husband coming home with the entire collection of Golden Hands Weekly, I was jealous. Jealous that her husband would even know that it was something good to give (my husband dishes out the most boring gifts.... dustbuster, tongs, etc.), but even more jealous of the awesome collection of magazines that she now owned!

I own only a few random editions of Golden Hands and know how retro and cool they are.

Fast forward one week to yesterday. As I passed my local Vinnies on the way to the supermarket I thought I'd pop in for a short browse and whooppeeee, what did I see???

 A full, bound collection of Golden Hands Weekly!!!

Inside they are jam packed with 70's crafty goodness. I've been admiring the crochet trims that Kate has made for her dresses and now, I own many, many different vintage crochet trim patterns.

I had been pondering crocheting some stars for the Christmas tree this year as they will be quite safe for kiddies (no breaking glass balls) and now I own a few different star patterns.
 And a few sweet flower patterns too!
Do you think my boys will looks as happy as this kid if I crochet them little vests like this???

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I haven't even looked through three of the folders yet - Yippee!

Note - Sally, I'm teaching grade two - 25 jumping eight year olds!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Just a little dreaming....

I've always wanted to make one of these lovely crochet blankets. Even more so since I spied this almost finished one.

It's a star in a square granny blanket or flowers in the snow as it's called in this pattern. Problem is, I want to make it for my bed, which means it'll probably take me a couple of years to complete.... being realistic and all!

Bendigo has a sale on at the mo, need to sell a couple more bonnets to fund this project....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Creative Space

So this week, my creative space is quite different to normal. This is it -
Yep, that's a classroom and yep, that's where I am today and every day for the next two weeks. So rather than spending my evenings creating, I have been planning and preparing lessons for my students. I do wish that I could sit at my machine for an hour or so though.....

Anyway, I think the next couple of weeks will involve a lot more planning and dreaming than actually doing.

For more people actually creating things (other than engaging lessons) this week, head over to Kirsty's.......

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What an awesome name!

So there aren't too many Adeles in this world. I have one, and here's another very very creative one.

Adele Enerson from Milas Day Dreams. I just love her work!

Gosh they just crack me up!

How lucky is Adele that her little one appears to be a good sleeper!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Handmade Christmas progress

When I told Tracey earlier this week that I will be playing along in her meme today, I thought I would have more to show you. But as usual, other things have popped up like making a few bonnets for orders and the shop, meaning my long list of Christmas gifts hasn't really been addressed.

I did, however, manage to cut some 'on the go' art satchels, which will make great gifts for a few little kiddies that we know.

I've made these before for my own kids and they are used quite a bit when we go out for dinner and the like. We also get a lot of compliments from others about them. I've also developed a few short cuts to make them come up a little quicker, like using denim for the exterior to avoid facing it, using home dec weight fabric for the interior for the same reasons and using commercial strapping so that I don't have to sew the straps. I've also picked up a few A5 activity books, because I know my kids are more interested in working from these than drawing themselves.
I've also cut a few bucket hats, but not assembled them. I'll be making quite a few of these this year. I love this one the best. It's for the baby of a very good friend. She chose the fabric and I painstakingly fussy cut it to make sure the best little features will be visible, like the racoon on the top of the hat and the birds around the crown.

For more peeps preparing for Christmas, head over to Tracey's....

Friday, October 15, 2010

Shop updated

I've updated my Made It shop with 5 new bonnets!!

My model hasn't been terribly coorperative today, so the photos could be better, but thems the breaks!

Thank god it's Friday!!

Happy weekend all.

Timing is everything

Just when you really need to plan your time, life gets in the way and mixes everything up!

This week I was supposed to be prepping for my prac teaching block which begins next week, but instead I've been caring for sick kiddies, supervising the development of new skills and toilet training - blah!

Ollie has been very, very sick with tonsilitis, which meant he couldn't go to daycare. Adele has been starting to walk, so I've been trailing her most of the week, helping her out of trouble. She has also learnt how to climb up the slippery dip in the backyard, making for quite a few hairy moments. And James decided on Monday that he didn't want to wear a nappy anymore. He wanted to be like Tarzan and wear undies. The kids have been on a bit of a Tarzan thang this past little while. We've watched the Disney Tarzan video quite a few times, which is actaully OK with me. I'm so, so sick of those stupid songs in Toy Story and the Tarzan score is by Phil Collins which is really quite cool.

Anywho, it's been a hectic week, which means it will be a hectic weekend with many late nights trying to catch up on the planning I'm supposed to do.

I will however be updating my shop during the day with some awesome new bonnets. Like this lovely hummingbird bonnet:

And this stunning butterfly bonnet.
It's so, so hard to get photos of my little model and if the dummy makes it happen, then so be it! I'm sure most other mums understand.

They'll be in the shop here and here later today.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Creative Space....

This week my creative space is in a state. The husband decided he was going to paint it and instructed me to 'pack up your crap, I need a clear workspace!". Ummm, NO!

But we did make a compromise. I had to pack most things into my cupboards and only keep one table for machines. All other chairs, racks, etc had to be packed away.

Anywho, the painting tarps and lack of access to my things has meant that creating has been far less enjoyable... boo!!

I did manage though, to sew a failed garment, which is pictured here.
I can't even show you what it looks like when I'm wearing it, because it's too, too bad! It is supposed to be Vogue 8511, which I was hoping to make for an engagement party this Saturday night, but the fabric didn't sew well and the modifications I made to accomodate my shape didn't work. I think I need to go to a pattern alteration course.

To make up for this failure, I made these two sweet little dresses (Butterick B4501 OOP) for two birthdays that are approaching. I wanted to make them wild. I own the book, Sewing Clothes Kids Love, and agree with that whole philosophy of colour mixing for kids clothes. I hope that I successfully picked fabrics that don't fully match, but look good sewn together. Maybe I'm trying to channel my inner Anna Maria Horner and see how I go with picking different colours.
You might recognise some of these fabrics including Bijoux by Heather Bailey, Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner, the main skirt fabric is a Micheal Miller print and the fan fabric is a new one from Tanya Whelan. If you can't wear wild clothes when your a kid, when can you??

Tis all for now, for more creative spaces head over to Kirsty's.....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A little fabric love

My accidental purchase from a couple of weeks ago has arrived. As you can see it's amost all Anna Maria Horner, my favourite fabric designer!!
I just love the varied colours that she mixes, meshing them into an awesome piece of fabric.

Take this dress fabric for example. In my lay person understanding of colour, I would have thought that grey, brown, teal, olive, light green, orange, etc would never work together and yet it looks awesome!
Anywho, tis all for now...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Baby Sunsuit tutorial

A little while ago I promised a tutorial so that you too can make a super cute sunsuit, just like this one, for your little babe.
This sunsuit is so, so adorable that I'm sure you won't be able to stop at one, I know I couldn't. So I made Adele a second, more pink version.

***Edit: Just a short note to say that I've just released my bonnet pattern via my Etsy shop for a super cheap $6. A fully reversible, retro inspired bonnet really completes this super sweet summer look. Get yours here. (OK, ad over)
I've included in this tutorial instructions to create a centre snap opening to help with nappy changing. Up until recently I would have been terribly frightened of putting snaps into a garment, but it's really not that hard at all. If you need a little extra help with the snaps you can get a little extra advice here, or put in buttons if you're more comfortable with that.

Once again I've based this tutorial on the Bettsy Kingston Baby Ruffle Pants pattern because it's what I have, what I like, it's cheap and easy, but I'm sure you could used any bloomers pattern. I have a few commercial baby sewing patterns with bloomers or there's the Baby knickers pattern in the Meet Me At Mikes book that should also work or I'm sure there are many other baby bloomers patterns that you could apply the same changes to, to make a sunsuit for your little one.

Now here it is, have fun!!

1/2 meter of fabric
Leg elastic as per pattern instructions
6mm elastic for the top of your sunsuit - about 22 inches will do
Small piece of lightweight interfacing
Snaps or buttons

Step 1.
Fold your Bettsy Kingston pattern piece through the middle of the legs, like in this photo and place the bottom of the pattern at the bottom of your fabric. Make sure you also place the pattern on the fold as stated in the pattern instructions. We are going to add about 6 inches to the top of the bloomers to create the body of the sunsuit. I'm making a 12-24 month size here. Cut one front piece and one back piece, adding 6 inches to the top of both.

Step 2.
With right sides facing, serge the sides of the sunsuit together. Then serge the raw edges of the leg openings and the top of the sunsuit. At this stage the sunsuit should be open at the bottom, between the legs and obviously open at the top.
Step 3.
Sew elastic into the leg openings as per the pattern instructions. Keep the bottom of the sunsuit open. In this stage I add a little extra elastic than the pattern specifies so that there is no excess pull on the snaps when you put them in. About an inch of extra elastic on each leg will do.
Step 4.
Now we are going to create a centre snap closure to make changing nappies a little easier. Like I mentioned earlier, I would have been a little frightened of this stage once, but it's really not hard at all and it makes wearing this garment so much easier (and dad friendly!). Naturally, if you are making this sunsuit for your own kid and are not too worried about nappy access, you can make this sunsuit with front and back pieces connected from the beginning (like when you make bloomers as per the pattern) and not worry about this step.
Measure the bottom opening of your garment, mine is 4 inches. To determine the length of the closure pieces, add 1/2 an inch to this measurement. The width of your closure pieces will be 1.5 inches.

You need 4 fabric pieces to construct the snap opening section, mine are 4.5 inches x 1.5 inches, and two interfacing the same size.

Step 5
Attach the interfacing to two of the centre pieces. Then, with right sides facing, stitch one piece with interfacing and one without, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. You should only sew these pieces along three sides, leaving one long side open. Repeat with the other two pieces of fabric, then trim the corners and turn both fabric rectangles right side out.
Step 6.
Press your two rectangle closure pieces, pushing out the corners. You will still have one large side of the rectangle open. Along this open side, you will need to press the raw edges underneath 1/4 of an inch toward the inside of the little pocket you've created. This is a little fiddly, but if you take your time it will look much nicer.
Step 7.
Attach the centre snap closure pieces to the sunsuit by simply slipping the open side of your rectangles over the bottom edges of your sunsuit. You should aim to stitch them quite close to the folded edge of the rectangle pieces, sandwiching the garment in between.

Step 8.
Time to make the straps for your sunsuit. Cut four pieces of fabric approximately 20 inches by 2 inches and using your bias tape maker, pull the strips under a hot iron to fold the sides in to each other. If you don' t have a bias tape maker you can just press both sides in.

I find that it's much easier to use a bias tape maker if I lay the iron flat and pull the fabric through with my right hand, guiding it with my left hand. I'm not sure if this is how it's supposed to be done, but I think it produces a far more even result.
Once you have pressed your strips using the bias tape maker, fold each strap in half and then press in the end of each strap. Edge stitch each strap 1/8 of an inch from the edge.

Step 9
Press the top of your sunsuit under 1 inch. This will be the casing for your elastic and will be where your straps connect to the sunsuit.

Step 10. 
Time to connect the straps to the body of the sunsuit. Lay your sunsuit flat and measure approximately 4 and a half inches in from the side of the sunsuit. Pin your strap in this space, placing it approximately 1/4 of an inch further toward the bottom of the garment than the end of the casing, like in this picture. Repeat for the other three straps. 

Step 11
Sew the top of your garment approximately 1/4 of an inch from the top of the casing fold, like in this picture. This creates a slight frill at the top of the sunsuit and will make the garment a little softer for your little one to wear.
Step 12
Sew a second line aroung the top of the sunsuit, but this time closer to the edge of the casing. As you approach a strap, fold the raw end of the strap under, into the casing, like in this photo. Make sure you leave a small opening so you can feed elastic into the top of your sunsuit.
Step 13.
Measure your elastic. As the elastic doesn't actually hold the garment on your little one, it is not supposed to be tight. I've cut my elastic 20.5 inches, which is 1.5 inches more than Adeles chest measurement. Feed the elastic through the casing, sew together, than sew the casing shut.
Step 14
Attach snaps or buttons to the centre of the sunsuit.

 You are done - how cute is your sunsuit!!!
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial. I'd love to see any finished sunsuits that you make, so please send them through. Hooray for summer!

You know the only thing that could possibly improve this adorable little sunsuit is adding an equally adorable little bonnet by little betty.

Check out my shop here or here to get your own.