Thursday, September 30, 2010

My creative space

I had intended to start in a couple of summer dresses for myself today

~ this is the Maitai River which runs through Nelson, usually it's a pretty sleepy quiet river, but not today ~

  However it was such a dismal grey day today that I couldn't seem to get my head around summer clothes, how they would look or even should look.

so I made myself a skirt instead. I had already decided on the fabric and how I wanted it to look, not much thought required here. A simple skirt with two pleats in the centre front and centre back. Now all I need is a sunny day.

How to make a lego sack

I thought I would do a wee tutorial showing you how I made my version of a lego sack.  Now I know there are several out there so if you already have a favourite way to make these then thats great, but for those of you that don't, this is how I make mine.  Apologies if any of the instructions don't make sense.  Please ask if something isnot clear and you can't work out what on earth I am going on abaout.
Take a piece of fabric that is as long as it is wide (roughly a square, mine was 110cm wide fabric) and fold it in half

Fold it in half again so you have a square.  Measure the distance from the corner with no raw edges to the top corner.  This will be the radius of our circle.  Mine was 55cm, half the width of my fabric.  Then measure a few points from the corner with no raw edges.  You then connect these points and end up with a curve.  You can just make out the very faint curve on my fabric (sorry I should really have taken a better pic).
Cut along this curve and unfold.

You should now have a circle like this. 
Lay this circle on top of a second piece of fabric and cut aroud it to give you a second circle.

Place right sides together and pin.

Sew around the circle, but make sure you stop 10cms or so before you reach the start of your stitching so you can turn it all in the right way.

clip seams.  This is so when you do turn it in the right way the fabric sits flat.
Turn the fabric through the hole so the right sides are facing out.

You should now have something that looks like this..  You know need to sew up the hole, I topstitched the whole way round mine becasue I find it looks neater and helps the fabric to sit flat.

Now for the casing for the ties.  I used pre made purchased at spotlight bias binding for this.  If you choose to, you can make your own but I was running very low on time and only wanted plain old black.  Here is a good tutorial for making your own.  Just remember we want it flat, not folded in half.  Mine took about 3 metres of binding.

pin your binding into place, only go half way around your circle, and then fold the ends over to finish the edge.  Repeat for the second half. 

Sew into place

make sure you dont sew the ends shut or you wont be able to thread your cord through.

You should now have something that looks a little like this

Now you need to take some cord and thread it through the casing we just made, I forgot to take a photo of this step.  The easiest way to do this is to use a safety pin and thread it through from one of the openings in the casing right round and out of that same opening.  You then take a second piece of cord and thread it through the second opening all te way around and back out that same opening. Ties the ends of the cords together and you are done!

It's time to play

These would work for all sorts of things.  Make one in girly fabric and use it to keep a tea set in.  Once opened you have an instant tablecloth.  Or make it in a road print for a car mat.  The possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday

Here is my outfit this week

Red Dress - a trade me find
cardi - thrifted
tights- cant remember but probably farmers
shoes-  #1 shoe warehouse

I bought this dress to use as a pattern, which I did and made this dress from but then I decided I actually quite liked this one after all.  I did have to alter it slightly, it was a really weird length so  shortened it and tightened the elastc at the waist to stop it being quite so sacky.  I love that it has a pocket too.  Not sure about the black tights though?
The shoes, though  love the style are almost unbearably uncomfortable.  In typical #1 style the soles are so thin I can feel every stone, lump of dirt under my feat

This whole wardrobe wednesday thing has been so great (thanks Clare).  I have been/still am struggling a lot with what suits me, what I like, style, length, size etc.  I used to have such a strong sense of what I liked and didn't care if no one else liked it, but now I freak out and obssess over it.  I no longer wear accessories, I stopped when I realised necklaces were the perfect thing for a yound child to pull and got sick of being choked, brooches got ripped off, rings caught in everything but now my kids are older I'm just not sure what to wear.   I guess what I am saying is that I have totally lost confidence in my own "style" judgement.  I realised this today when I had to ask a friend which pattern and which fabrics I should use to make myself some new dresses for summer.  I didn't trust myself to choose.  Then thinking about it I realise I ask this friend for advice constantly, in fact his approval is one of the reasons I now wear this red dress. I need to break this habit, trust in my own judgement and I think that this wee exercise every week is helping with that.

For more pop on over to here

Monday, September 27, 2010


My eldest turned four over the weekend.  It seems crazy to me that I have a four year old. The past four years has gone by faster than I would ever have though possible.  Four years ago we were still in the hospital, in so many ways it seems like forever ago but at the same time it really feels so recent.

We didnt have a real party as such for him this year. We were going to head down to the beach and have a picnic with family and friends but typical spring weather meant that we couldnt go, so instead we had the family around to our place for a picnic instead.

He got spoilt rotten for his birthday, one of the advantages/disadvantages? of having a large family.  We knew this would happen so we kept our present pretty simple and mostly handmade.

lego, a four year olds dream.
Along with some new shorts and pj's made by me, we got him some lego.  He has recently really gotten into lego so I made him a lego playmat with drawstrings so it turns into a bag for when he has finished playing he can just pull the strings and its all tucked safely away.

I thought I might do a wee tutorial later on to show you how I made it. 

We couldn't have a party for a dinosaur obsessed boy without dinosaur cakes!  I made these when we still thought we would be at the beach, and the beach and a big cake don't mix so well so I made cupcakes (from this recipe) thinking they would be easier for the kiddies.  

ust iced them with basic icing and added a dinosaur lolly. Super easy!

What an amazing four years!  Full of many ups and many downs but you know with children life will never ever be dull, and as much as its a cliche it really honestly is the most rewarding thing ever.
Happy birthday Alfie!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kids Clothes Week day 3

Day 3 of the kids clothes week challange saw a couple of firsts for me and a few "learn from my mistakes moments"   With summer coming I have been trying to think of what to make for summer.  I have mostly always just made shorts for the boys but this year I decided I really wanted to make some short overalls.  Alfie had long ones which were passed onto Lukas for winter but none for summer so here is my first attempt at short overalls, shortalls?

See the wee rectangle of colour poking through the straps in the pic below? Thats right, they are fully reversable!

and made with snaps. I had never used snaps before this.  I have had some sitting in my sewing box for years, always being a little scared to give them a go.  But you know what, they are easy.

I remember previous overalls without snaps were a total pain when it came to changing nappies. 

I love that the cuffs can be folded up

and I am really liking the single pocket at the moment. 
You can see here though that I made some mistakes with the snaps, well rather I made mistakes in my excitment and rush to fiish in the hemming of the legs which made them uneven and then the snaps didnt line up properly.  Lesson learnt though.  I wont do the same thing again.  Well I will at least be aware of it and hopefully wont do it again. 
I also think I need to adjust the back a little, either add some elastic somehow or change the shape a little and add a button or a snap at the side. 

I am hoping to have the wee problems all ironed out soon and get some listed in the shop

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday

Its Wednesday! And we all know what happens on wednesdays right?  We post pics of ourselves in an outfit worn sometime over the week.  Check out here for where it all began and here for other wardrobe wednesday outfits for this week and for the ww 'rules'.  If you want to play along make sure you leave a comment with a link over at Green Valley Crafts

Here is mine for the week.  I forgot to take a photo of the outfit  had planned on posting about this week so I decided to use today's outfit instead

Dress - Jeans West bought just over four years ago while I was pregnant with A.
Jeans - old, can't remember where they are from and they have no tag
shoes - #1 shoes
cardi - thrifted.  I love this cardi, the colour, the detail.  I took a very terrible close up of the detailing on it.

Well thats me for this week.

Kids Clothes Week Day 2

I am aways going to be a day behind during this week.  I, like so many mums, do most of my sewing in the evenings when my wee models are in bed.  Last nights creation was some shorts for L.  They turned out a little longer than I had in mind.  I always underestimate the length of those wee legs.

I wasnt sure about the single pocket in the back to start with but now I really like it.

I will soon be listing some shorts in the shop, hopefully next week once this kids clothes week challange is all over. 

I cut out todays project last night and am hoping to finish it today so I can show you all.  Its something I have been working on for the shop, although this version will be made for L. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Day 1

The rules are pretty simple.  Spend an hour a day making clothes for kids for a week.  

This week couldnt have come at a better time for me, with one boys birthday coming up this weekend and the other boys the follwing weekend.

Last night was spent making two pairs of shorts for Alfie
(apologies for the terrible pics)

These are a little big but I figure at the rate this child grows they will be fitting him by the start of summer

I am not altogether happy with the way these turned out.  All my own doing however.  They were a bit too rushed and I used flannel for the pocket lining and the back pockets which was just too bulky.  It just happened to be the only dinosaur fabric I had and at the moment, if we want Alfie to wear something, it pretty much must have a dinosaur on it somewhere

I also hate the round pockets.  I'm not sure what I was thinking with that one.  Oh well, we learn from our mistakes right?

Monday, September 20, 2010

A room to call my own

It's done! I finally have a room of my own.  That is when I can keep the monkeys out.  L has already been in unthreaded the sewing machine and changed all the tensions on the over locker. grrrrrr!
This is it

The bed will be going once L is out of is cot and I will have even more room.  Hooray!

My favourite wall

The Fabric (most of it anyway)

You know what I discovered when I moved fabric from the various places it was stored previously to one place?  I have too much.  So I have promised myself NO MORE until I have used/given away a good portion of this up.  I mean look at that pile of pink.  I do not wear pink.  I do not have a girl. So why do I have so much of it? 

And what kind of craft room is complete without boxes of goodies.  Actually they are mostly full of scraps and projects I started ages ago and never completed.  Hmmm perhaps its time to get onto those.

I am now ready to start the Kids Clothes Week Challange

Friday, September 17, 2010

a move

Firstly exciting news, well for me anyway. I sold my first ever thing, one of my reversable bucket hats, a pirate one to be precise. And through FeltAid too which makes it even better!

Apologies for the lack of posting lately. The combination of sick children and and shrunken sewing space due to the arrival of a new bed (YAY!) has led to very little crafting being done round these parts. So I am on the move, well my sewing space is.
We decided a while ago to put the boys into the same bedroom and to turn L's bedroom into a sort of playroom/ toy storage room. However they refuse to play in there. So I have come to the conclusion that the space would be much better used as a room all for me!
I need to turn this
giant pile of toys
and general mess into something like this
ok so it won't look as amazing as this studio belonging to Meg over at Sew Liberated but it will hopefully at least be a usuable and hopefully very productive space
I can then turn this
and this

back into a bedroom
and this

back into a dining table.
I can't wait to have my house back.
Enjoy your weekend everybody