Apr 6, 2013

What have I been up to?

Hello again!  A lot has happened since I blogged last.

We've moved house!
I've changed jobs!
Katherine has started school!
Plus I have done a fair bit of sewing.

I never intended to neglect my blog for so long.  At first we were busy with the move, and setting up the sewing room was fairly low on my list of priorities.  And then I was busy sewing Christmas gifts, and I didn't really have time to blog.  I still followed other people's blogs and saw people doing things that I just didn't have the time to do - seriously, the effort some people go to is amazing.  Sewing and blogging isn't my life, it's just something I do when I get time, and I kind of felt like maybe I couldn't keep up.  But I've decided that I don't need my blog to be what other people's blogs are.  It's just somewhere where I want to share my ideas and my projects.  I love searching the web for ideas and it's kind of nice to think that maybe someone will stumble across a project of mine one day and that will help inspire them to create their next project.

On that note, here are a few things I've been creating these past six months or so.

For the girls:

Dresses for the girls to wear to their Aunt's wedding.  These were based on the Ottobre Rosy Posy dress that I love, but I left off the sleeves and added a peter pan collar.  Oh, and a tie at the back.

I picked up a cute fat quarter pack at Spotlight one day and made the girls some little skirts, with little twill ribbon belts.

For the home:

The girls helped me make this bunting to help dress up their new room.  It was my first attempt at making bunting and I really love how it has turned out.  It was also a great way to use up some scraps I had lying around.

These cushions for the girls room, to sort-of-match the bunting.  My mum helped me to make these when she visited us for Easter :)  Thanks mum!

These button initials that the girls also helped me with.  I got the idea from something I saw on Pinterest.  We used craft glue and cardstock and popped them in some frames I had lying around.

Following up on the cushions I made for the girls room, I made these ones to add some colour to our lounge room.

For me:

I don't sew for myself much, but I recently bought a dress form and have been having a go at making more things for myself.  This skirt was made out of a remnant of funky-patterned jersey I picked up at Spotlight for $2!  All I did was overlocked it to some wide elastic.  It took me all of about 15 minutes to make and I love it!

This dress is New Look pattern 6070.  I really like how this turned out, and I think I got a much better fit by using the dress form.  Plus, I didn't have to constantly try it on throughout the process, or try and pin behind my back!  Bonus!

The pattern didn't call for a lining but I added one anyway.  This satin was left over from the little lace dress I made Katherine for the wedding, and I had just enough!

Now that I'm all caught up, I'm going to try and blog more regularly, but even if I don't, I will be back.... eventually!

Oct 25, 2012

A couple of hopscotch skirts

I have made a couple of hopscotch skirts this past week, as hubby has been working nights and I needed some quick projects to work on after the girls had gone to bed.

The first one I made out of some more Out to Sea fabric and the second one I made out of some scraps I had from a dress I'd made myself a while back (yes, it remains unblogged as do most things I make for myself!).  I only had half a yard of the Out to Sea fabric and I ran out of fabric to make the pockets with, which was ok as I wasn't quite sure how I was going to match the print anyway. I made a mistake with the plackets, forgetting that you actually place them after you have sewn the hem, so the print didn't line up - oops! But you can't really tell so it's not too big a deal.

I could have added pockets to the second one, I had plenty of fabric I could have used, but I really just wanted to make something quick. Plus both girls have developed a habit of bringing home pockets full of sand from kindy. No pockets, no sand. Well, they can always bring home sand in their shoes, but at least we can take these off outside before we come into the house!

Of course, with my husband working nights that means he's home more during the day. The girls loved having Daddy around a bit more earlier in the week. I snapped these photos while they helped him wash his motorbike.

Katherine seems to like the skirt - she picked it out to wear to Kindy today as well, along with her red striped shirt, and she got lots of comments from the teachers about her outfit when I dropped her off this morning. She told them she was dressed as a pirate!

I took some quick photos of the second skirt the next day - the weather can change so dramatically here from one day to the next, it really is insane.  It was so cold and windy here that we almost needed jackets!  The day before it had been almost unbearably hot.  

Not sure what we are going to do with all of our warm clothes when we move north - I doubt we'll need many jackets up there!

Oct 16, 2012

Here fishy, fishy...

I usually sew for Katherine, as she is usually the one in need of new clothes, and Ellie has so many of her big sister's old things that she doesn't really need anything extra.  Katherine probably doesn't need half of the stuff I make her either, but that's neither here nor there.  Anyway, today I was going through my fabric cupboard - sometimes I like to do this when I don't really know what I want to make next - and I came across this fish fabric that I bought at Spotlight a while back.  I don't even really know why I bought it, it was definitely an impulse buy, and I didn't really have any particular project in mind for it.  But today I really wanted to turn it into something.  First of all I was going to make a skirt, but then Ellie said she wanted a dress.  I thought I might make a singlet-style bodice with little bias straps that tie up at the shoulders.  But then Sensible Mummy decided it would be better to make it sun-safe.  So in the end I churned out another Rosy Posy dress (I just can't help myself).

There wasn't enough fishy fabric to make the whole dress (I only had half a metre), so I made the bodice out of white poplin and just used the fish fabric for the skirt and sleeves.  I was under strict orders to save enough fabric to make a matching dress for dolly as well!  

I think Ellie enjoyed having a dress made just for her - she was much more enthusiastic about trying it on at fitting time than her big sis, and she loved having her photo taken.  I did have some trouble getting her to stay still though, she wanted to run and twirl and race over to me to see the photo on the camera before I'd even had a chance to take the shot.

As always, I put buttons down the back instead of a zipper, plus I lined the bodice, but not the sleeves or skirt.

The dress was a big success and she wore it all day!   

Oct 12, 2012

Summer Shirt

I have to confess I actually made this top on the weekend before the KCWC started, but there has been a complete lack of sewing the last couple of days and I thought I had better post something. I know there's quite a few people who started early, so maybe it's not such a stretch to include this top in my KCWC projects...?

For this top I took a pattern from one of Katherine's existing tops, and gave it slightly flared sleeves. I followed the Modified 2+2 tutorial over at Siestas and Sewing to create the yoke. The fabric is just some cotton gingham I picked up from Spotlight. I wanted something nice and light for Summer that would still cover her arms as she is so fair. We are moving to Far North Queensland before the end of the year and it gets so hot up there!

After making the top I decided it needed "something" so I added some yellow buttons around the front yoke.      I think it was just enough embellishment for this simple top.

Because the top is quite loose, I added a tie so that it could be pulled in a bit at the sides.  

I think this top will be perfect for the hot summer sun!  If I get some time this weekend I have a pink version cut out and ready to sew up as well.  

Oct 9, 2012

KCWC - Day 2

So, day two of the challenge is drawing to an end (for me anyway). I managed to finish off Katherine's hat today and it was a great success!

She wore it all day, literally would not take it off - I had to wrestle it off her at dinner time tonight. I made this one out of some scraps of a floral printed cotton (just a cheapie from Spotlight, and I'd already made a dress and a top out of it, but I had just a little bit leftover that wasn't really going to be good for anything... until now) and some spotty yellow quilting cotton. Technically the quilting cotton wasn't a scrap, but it was a small piece I bought to add as a trim on a dress that I later decided not to make.

Katherine's hat is a medium, Ellie's is a small. My children must have small heads as I have mostly been hearing that this pattern runs on the small side, but I haven't had any trouble with the fit. If anything, there is still a bit of room to grow. Katherine is almost five and Ellie is two, just in case you were wondering about ages.

It didn't take me long to sew the hat together this morning so I also whipped up a super quick little Christmas skirt for Ellie. Seriously, it took me 15 minutes, with her sitting on my lap. She loves to help me sew, although her version of 'help' includes quite a bit of pressing the reverse lever on the sewing machine, removing the spool of thread, and opening and closing the little tool storage drawer.

She wanted to wear the skirt as soon as it was done, which was great, but by the time I followed her outside to take a photo of it, she had already been drenched by her sister, who had sneakily turned the hose on. Then she fell in on the wet ground and so inside we came, and the skirt ended up in the wash, and I didn't get my photo. You'll just have to take my word that I made it!

Oct 8, 2012

KCWC - Day 1

I had the best of intentions in the lead-up to the Kids Clothes Week Challenge. I was going to be oh-so prepared and write a list of all the projects I wanted to complete, and have everything cut out and ready to go come October 8th! But a hectic week last week kind of put a dent in those plans, and so I enter into the KCWC completely and utterly unprepared.   I haven't even given serious thought yet to what I'd like to make.

So today I thought I would ease myself into things by putting together a couple of Oliver + S bucket hats, like the ones I made last month. My girls have been wearing them non-stop (well, they take them off to go to bed at night) and having outgrown most of their non-Mummy-made hats I thought it would be best if they had another they could wear.

I knew from experience that these hats go together fairly quickly, plus they are great for using up scraps too! So I got to work raiding my scrap bin (literally overflowing - I must put up a photo of it one day!) and chose some cute coordinating fabrics. I probably spent a couple of hours cutting, assembling and sewing up the hats (well, one hat is sewn up, the other is cut out and waiting to go!). But a fair bit of that time was taken up by looking out for the girls, getting their afternoon tea and rescuing my craft supplies from their sneaky fingers - oh, that reminds me that there is still an entire jar of buttons spread out on the toy room floor that nobody picked up... oops!

We even managed to get a few photos before dinner time, and I have blogged about my efforts, so... the day wasn't a total disaster. Tomorrow I am going to finish Katherine's hat and hopefully while I am doing that, inspiration will hit and I will figure out what I am going to do next.

Maybe something with these gorgeous vintage pillow cases that were gifted to me by a friend (they are even more lovely up close, I am not sure how I am going to bring myself to cut into them!) or with my order of Sarah Jane Children at Play fabric that arrived last week, just in time for the challenge! Decisions, decisions...

Oct 4, 2012

Little Lace Dress

I've been seeing lace everywhere lately.  Part of the whole "everything old is new again" movement, or - as I've seen it referred to recently - "old lady chic." I saw a photo of a beautiful little girls lace dress on one of my favourite blogs (No Big Dill - you can see the blog post here) a while back  and thought to myself "I have to make this!" Plus there have been so many beautiful dresses I have spied while out shopping that I thought I would just have to add some lovely lace to Katherine's summer wardrobe.

So anyway, here is what I came up with.  I used my favourite A-line dress pattern, cut front and back panels out of lace and lining (which was just some white cotton poplin), and a hem panel out of the lining fabric too, to sit on the front of the dress.  I also had to make up some little sleeves as the dress pattern I was using was sleeveless.  The sleeves aren't lined, just finished with a little bit of binding on the sleeve hems.

Katherine likes the dress and hopefully will get a bit of wear out of it.  I've never been afraid to dress my girls in white, for fear they will get their clothes dirty.  That's what Napisan is for, right?  Plus look at that face.  This girl would never get up to no good and ruin her clothes, would she?  Surely not!  (Don't you believe that for a second!)

The dress has buttons down the back and I even made a coordinating little hair clip.  The middle button on the hair clip is from my Nanna's button stash, to complete the pretty vintage look.