Is that the Easter bunny I hear?
I think he's left a clutch for your littlest friends to store their Easter treasures in!
I am very excited! Today we have our first guest blogger. Many of you will have seen pictures of our guest throughout our blog and gallery but you may not be aware that she has a passion for sewing herself. Our guest today is Madeleine!
I had the wonderful experience of interviewing Madeleine on our lounge on Sunday afternoon and this is what she had to say:
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am 5 and I am the oldest in my family. I go to school and I like it. I like to do the Roman Arch and Decanomial Square.
Our family used to have a fish. It was my sisters but it died, but I still have my four chickens.
I like to jump on my trampoline. I am going to start my own website called Trampoline Tricks.
I like to do lots and lots of sewing.
When did you first start to sew?
Well, I started sewing when my Mum got very interested in sewing. I was four and a half.
Who taught you to sew?
My Mum, my Granny, my Auntie Cara and my school teachers Karen and Robyn.
Do you enjoy other crafts?
I like to make things out of paper and cardboard. My Ganny and Papa gave me a weaving loom for Christmas and I am making myself a headband with it.
What sewing projects have you done?
I really liked making my sewing bag at school and my embroidered T shirt. I am looking forward to doing some huckaback and an embroidered pillow.
I like sewing with felt. I have made a pocket locket and sunglasses cases for my Dad and Grandparents and I am planning to make one for my Mum.
Have you ever sewn using a machine?
Yes, but I need my Mum to watch me.
Can you recommend any sewing books for children your age?
I like to read my book Made by Me and D.I.Y. Kids. I have also enjoyed reading The Mary Frances Sewing Book with my Mum and Dad.
Today you are going to talk to us about making your embroidered T shirt. Can you tell us where you got the idea for it?
I saw one in my Made by Me book. Here are some pictures of the one I made:
It looks fabulous! Can you tell us what techniques you used?
I chose the buttons from my Mum's button jar and sewed them around the neck to look like a necklace.
I used a water soluble marker to draw on my designs and then stitched them with running stitch.
I used an embroidery hoop to keep my stitches neat.
I enjoyed this project so much I plan to give my friends embroidered T shirt kits for their birthday presents so they can make them for themselves.
Well, I would like to thank Madeleine for sharing her sewing ideas with us today. I know I would be very happy to feature any of her future projects on this blog!
While visiting the lovely Magnolia Square markets in Paddington on the weekend I discovered (and bought) these divine prints by Printspace for Mart's room.
I've been looking for some inspiration for his room for ages. I had been considering red and navy but couldn't get enthused. These prints have certainly clarified the look I want - boyish but not too grown-up.
Of course, I had to get some material for a quilt. A quick trip to Calico and Ivy and my ideas are certainly starting to shape.
Hopefully over the next few weeks you'll start to see Mart's big boy room take place. It's so nice to be celebrating my boy!
When I made Pippa's school bag, I liked it but felt something was missing. I've worked out what it was - piping. I had never sewn with piping before last night, but always admired it. It has the ability to create a beautiful finish and can add a little contrast that really makes things pop!
So I gave it a go and am really happy with how it worked out. I had some left over red bias tape and rummaged around for some cord. ( I was pretty desperate and about to resort to using the kitchen string but eventually found something a little more appropriate!) The piping I made was thinner that what I bought today but I think it works well for this project. It's a grown up pencil case - all for me. Yes - you guessed it - it's made of fabric from Prints Charming! This time hand printed flowers on linen (I think). I have always liked the fabric but felt it was a little somber - I do like things bright. So the red piping and lining make me happy!
I'll post a tutorial for this in the next few weeks. I am going to make a larger version for storing all my knitting needles. I'll be sure to give you measurements for both projects.
I always find this time of the year a little confusing in the world of crafty blogging. For most of the year, when I read the blogs I enjoy, I can be in the UK one minute, Canada the next and back to Australia, without being aware of my rapid trip around the world. Right now, as I sit in the heat of a particularly sweltering Sydney summer, I have to say it throws me a little when I see tutorials for gorgeous mittens, hats with ear warmers and deliciously snuggly cowls.
All of this warm, cosiness just doesn't seen quite right, when the most appropriate piece of attire in our part of the world is this:
And the only way to stay cool, is to play with a bucket of water in the middle of the lounge room:
And it is oh so hard to sleep when you are a little one in this hot, sticky weather.
Will loves sleeping in a sleeping bag. In fact he loves it so much, I don't know if he could go to sleep without it. He has been using a waffle cotton one, well used and loved by his older sisters. It has been washed so many times, I watch him holding the bottom of it in his little hands as he drifts off to sleep, appreciating its softness. The problem is it's just too hot to use it right now.
So to survive the heat of February, I have done a little more upcycling! Rob's super soft preloved business shirt has become a cute, cool sleeping bag for Will.
I used his current sleeping bag as a pattern and cut it so the buttons and button holes became the opening of the bag. Some bias tape finished off the neck and and arm holes.(If you look closely you can see how much this heat has addled my brain! I managed to attach the bias tape so the wrong side is the right side if you know what I mean! I didn't work this out until I had done both arm holes, so decided to do the neck the same way. You have to understand - this was an emergency. I had a child who was too hot to sleep!!!) I finished the side and bottom off using French seams - I didn't want any rough bits rubbing his gorgeously soft skin. And the heart - well I do love my little boy! I'm also hoping this sleeping bag will be special for both of us. If it makes it a little easier for Will to sleep, he and I are both going to love that!
PS I got the inspiration for this project a while back somewhere on the web, but no matter how I try, I can't remember where. It was a very sweet little girl's sleeping bag with ric rac! If anyone does know where it was, could you please let me know? I would like to acknowledge my inspiration!
This week I decided I had too much on to 'play along' with Project Run and Play. It's become a strange and bizarre obsession, however and as soon the theme was announced as vintage and retro I just couldn't not have a go.
I love the style of the 1920s - dropped waists, pleats, delicate lace and rosettes all equal ultimate fashion for the girly-girl in my eyes.
I tried to create a child friendly version of a flapper dress this week. While this dress would have been gorgeous in silk, using an art-deco inspired quilting cotton means that it's easily washable - a necessity around here! I used MrsPriss' fabulous felt rosette tutorial and made the flowers into a rosette brooch - easily removable for those days a girl doesn't feel like accessorizing...
A box pleated skirt and a square neck complete the look - grab your glass and let's all do the Charleston!
Where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday that Martin was a baby in my arms and on Thursday he is starting at an under threes Montessori program.
A big boy needs a back pack to start school. I wanted it to be one that he could open and close by himself and carry just what he needs - a nappy and a piece of fruit!
A big M on the front so everyone knows who it belongs to and an easy to open and close button and elastic - a boy has to be able to get to his treasures by himself!
Adjustable straps mean that it fits just right ...
and is perfect for climbing and exploring!
PS - stay tuned for a tutorial!
I found this dress in an outlet shop. It had a broken zip and cost $9!!!
It's a women's size 12, but even with a fixed zip, it isn't really my style.
However, I loved the fabric - the print was very sweet and the contrast ruffles and a little bit of lace had real potential. This women's dress with a girly feel could become a pretty dress for one of my girls!
It was a very simple process. I cut the skirt off below the waist trim and ripped out the zipper. I inserted the sash at wait level and sewed up the side seam. I then put an elastic casing at the top. The ruffly shoulder straps were shortened and restitched onto the casing.
Here's the result:
It was supposed to be a dress for Pippa. However, even with bribery, she refused to model it! I still like the idea of it being Pip's dress - the extra length on her would look sweet. I think I will have to shorten the shoulder straps for her. I always do that - in an attempt to not make things too small/short/tight, I make them too big/long/loose. I must learn to trust my measurements!!!
I really enjoyed this project. A $9 investment and an hour of my time. That works for me!!
It has also sparked lots of ideas. I have skirts and maternity dresses that I have horded because I love the fabric. I have half finished woollen coats and dresses that I started to make for myself years ago and know I will never finish. Now I can be cleaning out a cupboard and sewing at the same time. I can be making sweet dresses for my girls and not spending any money. That also works for me!
How cute is this Kate Spade dress?
I thought it would be perfect for this week's 'adult inspired' theme on Project Run and Play.
I was pretty sure I had some blue spotted fabric in my stash - unfortunately on closer inspection I discovered it was a curtain off-cut from Mart's bedroom. My second choice? A geometric floral that's a little bit girly and a little bit grown up.
Take a basic a-line pattern with some fullness added to the front, a neckline re-cut into a gentle scoop, two wide sashes inserted into the side seams to tie into a big, beautiful bow and voila - my child friendly version!
PS - Ever wondered why Lizzy is always eating in photos? I have to bribe her...honestly...!
I've been fiddling with this idea for a while now. A week ago I blogged about a hair clip holder that I made out of felt, but I much prefer the stiffness and crispness of my second attempt - the same basic pattern, but constructed out of fabric.
What do you need?
Let's start with the pocket
Pin the two pocket pieces right sides together. Sew, using a 1cm seam allowance. Leave a small opening in one of the sides so that you can pull the pocket through.
Clip the corners and turn the pocket through so that the right sides of the fabric are on the outside. Roll the seams between your thumb and finger to make sure that they lay flat. Iron your pocket. It should look like this (though mine is a little wonky!)
Now it's time to attach the pocket to the out fabric...
Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of your outer fabric.
Fold the outer fabric in half with the right side out. I placed my pocket on the back of my hair clip holder, but it's up to you. Place your pocket 3.5 cm from the centre fold, 3.5 cm from the short side and 3cm from the bottom of your lining piece. Pin it carefully. Make sure that the opening that you used to turn the pocket through is at the bottom so that you sew it up when you stitch the pocket onto the outer fabric.
Carefully sew the pocket to your outer fabric. Don't forget to leave the top open!
Next, the straps...
Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of your strap fabric.
Fold the strap piece in half lengthwise and iron so that you have a crisp centre fold. Make sure you iron on the fabric side - you don't want to fry the interfacing!
Unfold the fabric and fold each long side to the centre crease you just created and iron again. It should look like this.
Fold the strap in half lengthwise again so that both raw edges are folded to the inside. Pin and press.
Top stitch down either edge of the strap. Cut the strap in half.
Take your lining fabric and fuse the interfacing to the wrong side. Fold the lining in half and iron to create a centre crease. Centre the straps on either side of the crease and pin them on.
Sew the bottom and top of each strap to the lining.
Next step? Attaching the elastic for the button...
Measure the elastic so that it fits your button snugly. Pin the elastic to the back of your outer fabric halfway down the short side. Make sure the loop is facing inwards. (have a look at the picture...) Sew the elastic to the outer fabric. It's important that the elastic is super- secure. Make sure you sew over it a number of times.
Pin the outer and lining fabrics right sides together. Sew, using a 1cm seam allowance. Leave a 5cm opening so that you can turn it so the right side is out.
Trim the ends off the straps, clip the corners and turn through. Press carefully and pin the opening closed.
Top stitch around all four sides taking care to close the opening that you used to turn the hair clip holder through to the right side.
Last, but not least the button...
Sew the button onto the front of your hair-clip holder. Make sure that you line it up carefully with the elastic button loop. Try to sew through the outer fabric only...you don't want messy hand stitching on the inside of your beautiful finished product!
Give it a final press and you are done!