Why, a chicken hat of course!
What does every fashionable toddler want to be seen wearing at this year's Easter hat parade?
Why, a chicken hat of course!
Do you think Martin will ever forgive me?
Easter Egg Hunts and Bonnet Parades are just around the corner. This year, I really wanted a project that Pippa could be involved in. I have seen some beautiful Easter Bonnets made for children over the years but this time I felt Pippa would really love the opportunity to make her own (with just a little help from me!).
I think we will call this project a big success. She was very excited to have her photograph taken in it and she usually won't model anything for me! She also got the ultimate stamp of approval from her big sister - Madeleine wants to make one too.
I cut out 5 large (10cm) and 5 small (7cm) Easter egg shapes from gold shiny cardboard. I also cut out some strips of coloured paper with our fancy pinking shears. Pippi had great fun decorating the eggs with a variety of stickers we found in our sticker box and used a glue stick to stick on the decorative paper strips. I cut a 5cm wide strip of dark blue cardboard and stapled it together so it sits at a good position on her head. As the eggs were decorated I stapled them on to the blue strip, alternating large and small eggs.
The whole project was completed in under 15 minutes - the perfect length of time to maintain an almost 3 year old's enthusiasm and concentration!
I love the postman - especially when I know he is going to bring me a little gift! Last week it was the O + S Little Things to Sew Book. I must admit, it was a present that I bought for myself and I am really glad I did. The book is already overflowing with bookmarks - the girls' list of sewing requests, some projects I want to make for some upcoming birthdays and other ideas I just want to try out.
We are very good at losing hats at so the first project was the reversible bucket hat for Will.
Despite heading into Autumn, hats are non-negotiable in our family. I am very aware that Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, but Will obviously is not! He has an almost reflex like action - as soon as he feels a hat go on his head, his little hand comes out and pulls it straight off, faster than I can blink. The only way to keep a hat on is straps. I really liked both the fabrics I used in this hat and wanted Will to be able to wear it either way - dots or zoo print. I was initially a little confused about how I could add some straps and still maintain the reversibility of the hat. I am pretty happy with the solution I came up with:
I stitched matching buttons at the side seams ( just above where the crown joins the brim) on both the dots and zoo sides of the hat. These buttons can be a cute addition when they are on the outside of the hat. They are used to attaching the straps (which I made with button holes in them) to the hat on the "lining" side.
When Will is in the mood for dots, the buttons on the dotty side of the hat look very sweet and the buttons on the zoo side are used to attach the straps to the hat. When he would rather wear a zoo hat, I just unbutton the straps, flip the hat inside out and re-attach the straps to the buttons on the dotty fabric.
Voila! A reversible hat with straps.
Will is not too fond of the straps. They keep the hat where he would rather it wasn't - on his head!
What do you get when you take a ready made t-shirt, some hemming tape, a lovely Japanese print fabric and two buttons? The tab tunic tshirt revamp!
There are a lot of fabulous ideas out there for t-shirt decoration at the moment, but I was looking to make something a little different.
This isn't a tutorial in terms of accurate measurements and patterns - it's more of a 'how to' so you can revamp a tshirt in any size that takes your fancy. Just click on 'read more' to find out all about it!
Do you remember the $9 dress with the broken zip that I made into a dress for Pippa? Well, there was a Madeleine project as well. You can imagine in our household that I have to be very mindful of sharing my sewing time around. There is often a gentle (or not so gentle!) prompt from one of my girls if they feel like they are being hard done by on the sewing front!
So in the interests of being equal - Madeleine's skirt. It started as a woman's size 14 skirt.It was $9 and it also had a broken zip.
The bits I liked about it were the fabric and those cute pockets. I also liked the pleating in the skirt. The waist band was quite peculiar - it was pieced on an angle and had funny offset belt loops.
Madeleine was so excited by the concept of having a grown-up skirt re-modeled for her that she didn't want to wait for anything fancy. She said "Just cut the top off Mummy and put a piece of elastic in for the waist". In some ways I think I should have taken her advice, but I wanted something a little more challenging.
I made an exciting discovery - the inside of the waist band had been finished with the same contrast fabric as the pockets. So I made it narrower and flipped it so you can now see the binding. I kept all the fullness from the original skirt and made lots of pleats to reduce it to the size of the new waist band. I made sure I positioned the pleats so they sat either side of those gorgeous pockets. I didn't want them disappearing into any of those folds. I covered some buttons with the left over fabric scraps and added some button holes to the waist band.
This skirt has been very popular to wear to school over summer . It's very cool and a little twirly!
There are a few other bits and pieces you may be interested in.
1. Madeleine takes her modelling very seriously!!!!
2. We have a new page where you can find all the tutorials we have created.
3. I haven't forgotten the promised tutorials. I apologise for being slack. Life has got very busy for us over the last 4 weeks. I hope to have felt morning chart and the knitting needle case tutorials up and running in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
I do like a flat bottom on a bag or purse. It creates structure, turning two squares of fabric sewn together into something more. The whole really is more than the sum of its parts, I suppose!
I have seen some tutorials for square cornered, flat bottomed, zippered purses (phew.. that was a lot of adjectives) but they don't look quite right to me. When I thought about it for a little while, I realised that if you just cut off the corners to create a flat bottomed purse they flare out at the top. I quite like the idea of the sides being straight up and down, rather than angling out to meet the zip. So I pondered for a while and this is what I came up with:
I hope I'm not being too confusing!! If I am, let's not worry too much! How about I just show you how to make the purse? Just click on "Read More" for the full tutorial!
I love, love , love Sis Boom patterns. They make up just beautifully and I always come away with loads of hints and tips - it's always so good to learn something new.
My latest rendezvous with Sis Boom is the Sophie Tunic. I've admired this pattern for a while and have always thought of it as a summery beach cover up. I decided to make it up in Alexander Henry's gorgeous 'Delicious' in pink and voila - a perfect top for Autumn emerged...
Now we just need the weather to cool down!
PS - If you live in Sydney and you'd like to make a tunic of your very own but don't feel comfortable negotiating your way around a commercial pattern yet, we are holding a 'Sew-a-long' workshop using this pattern on April 9th. If you'd like to make one for yourself, there's an adult version - the Patricia Tunic and it's gorgeous, too! Contact us if you'd like some more information
Is that the Easter bunny I hear?
I think he's left a clutch for your littlest friends to store their Easter treasures in!
In our house, Monday is baking day. When I say that, I feel like Milly Molly Mandy's mother! She has a baking day, a washing day and a dusting day.
Well, I never dust and the washing is almost always done at 10pm. But I do like to bake on Mondays.
Caroline and I like to have a little treat for supper at our sewing classes. It's lovely to stop for a sugar fix in the middle of a class and it gives everyone a chance to chat and make friends.
Tonight is the last Sew for your Children class in this series and we will be having Raspberry cupcakes for supper. I thought you might like some too, so here's the recipe. Light and fluffy with a sweet little treat inside. The perfect evening snack!
110g Unsalted Butter
225g caster sugar
2 large eggs
150g SR Flour
125g P Flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup of frozen raspberries
Icing sugar for dusting
Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees C. Line a muffin tray with paper cases - 12 large or 24 small.
Cream the butter and sugar well. Add the 2 eggs and mix until well combined.
Mix the flour, milk and vanilla essence into the butter, eggs and sugar until just combined.
Fill the cupcake cases until they are about 2/3 full.
Push two or three raspberries into the top of each cupcake. I use the berries straight from the freezer. They are easier to handle and keep their shape as they cook.
Bake in the oven for about 25 min (larger size) or 15 min (smaller size) until they are nicely browned.
Let them cool (if you can!) and dust with icing sugar before serving.
Go on - make yourself a batch. They are quick and easy and I'm sure you'll love them. Why not make Monday your Baking Day and tonight a sewing and supper evening! How perfect! I just had a thought - are there such things as eat alongs? May be we should organise one!!!!
I love Liberty fabric, but I will readily admit my relationship with it is slightly unusual. I don't treat it like any other fabric in my collection. You see, most of my fabric gets thrown into large plastic boxes and used at random. There is no respectful overlocking of edges before washing, and certainly no elegant folding and storage. But with Liberty fabric I am very different. I don't cut it and I certainly don't sew with it. It is the fabric of my dreams. It is all the perfect dresses I am yet to make for my girls and the shirts I imagine making for myself one day. I even dream about the projects I will make with the scraps! I look at my collection regularly. I store it in a special box on the mantel above our fireplace. It's only a small collection, but I love it. Here, I'll show you!
Somewhere in my core beliefs about fabric, I have decided that Liberty is almost too beautiful to sew. I have never actually made anything with Liberty fabric. I just dream.
Let me tell you about the fabric that lives in my little box.
It all started with numbers 1 and 6. I had visited the Liberty Store in London as a broke student, but 2 years ago I was there and actually had some money to make a purchase. I bought number 1 for Madeleine and number 6 for Pippa. I regularly check pattern books for patterns to make them their dresses but, if I am honest, the potential of a dress in one these fabrics is even more exciting than the actual dress!
2, 3 and 4 are extra special. They were given to me by Madeleine for my Christmas present last year. It was her idea. She organised Rob to take her to Tessutis and she knew exactly what she wanted. You can understand why it is so hard to cut into these fabrics! I dream of the shirts I will make for myself but I'm quite content to enjoy just looking for now!
Number 5 was a complete surprise addition to my collection. I bought it today. Whoever thought you would find a Liberty remnant? Half price for 1.6m!!!! And another piece to dream about!
I would like to show you one more photo and tell you a little story.
This bunny is called Liberty. He came into our family in slightly unusual circumstances. Pippa was about 14 months when we were in London. She spent a lot of time in a backpack on Rob's back. Liberty of London was our last place to visit before we dashed off to Heathrow to fly home to Sydney. You can imagine that I was so engrossed in all the beauty of Liberty that I was not really aware of what Pippa was up to, perched up high on Rob's back. It wasn't until we were heading off to the airport that I realised that Pippa had found her own little Liberty souvenir, taken from a shelf just at her level, with none of us watching!
So if anyone from Liberty of London reads this post, I apologise for my daughter. She wasn't really shoplifting, just giving a little bunny his freedom. Please let me come back to your store when I am next in London. I need some more inspiration for my sewing dreams!