Monday, February 23, 2015

Dress with flutter sleeves

Last week I was out for afternoon tea with a friend (adore tea in Gold Creek - my favourite) and when we were doing some shop browsing afterwards we came across some really sweet little dresses - super simple peasant dress style made from the softest lightest cotton with an old fashioned vintage sheets kind of look. We're still getting some pretty warm weather, so I was inspired to try and whip up something similar for Amelia when I got home.

While I was searching for patterns I found a cute free tutorial for a simple sundress (or tunic) with flutter sleeves on the blog It's Always Autumn. (Actually, there are loads of fantastic tutorials on the blog - do go check it out!) There is a pattern for a 4T size dress/top, and instructions on how to draft your own pattern for whichever size you want. When I printed out the 4T pattern and compared it to some size 1 patterns it was pretty close (possibly because some weird scaling happens when I print from my ipad) so I went ahead and made it in the tunic length.

The result was pretty good (although I do feel a bit like the sleeves might belong in a Project Runway avant-garde challenge!). The bodice could definitely be a bit narrower, but it's kind of nice to have something she can wear now and not grow out of in a couple of months (I won't be surprised if she's still in it as a tunic at 4, unless it's worn out). I do love the finish you get from ric-rac used on the sleeve like this - cute and so much easier than trying to turn and sew an even narrow hem (I'll do the same finish on the bottom hem - I was just keen to check the fit, and then thought I might as well snap some pics =))

Xo

 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kids Clothes Week

At the start of February I posted about participating in the Kids Clothes Week challenge. I hadn't had a chance to share the results yet, so here's a quick update. Of course I'd love to have modelled pics of them all, but I think it's better just to share them like this otherwise It might never happen!
Up top is my second Made beach robe - I love this pattern so much, and this one is for Amelia to keep. I managed to get almost a whole robe from one $8 target bath sheet - only the hood needed to be cut from a second towel. I'm looking forward to trying this pattern again now that I'm becoming acquainted with my overlocker - I think it will come together so quickly!

Also up top is the 'Little Sister's Dress I made for Amelia. I had been working on this for ages (and ages) but finally finished during KCW. Now, to be honest, I do like this but I'm not in love with it. I think it's the pooling that puts me off. But I'm sure it will look cute with some little jeans or tights. It's also big enough for long sleeves to go underneath.

The shorts on the bottom are both made from the the free Sunny Day Shorts pattern by Oliver & S. I love these! Super super quick, and it's so nice to be able to make shorts so easily when the ones in the shops are mostly pretty awful. The pink ones were the first garment I made with my overlocker! The denim ones are made from an old skirt of mine - they are lovely and soft (the skirt was worn so much it was coming apart at the seams) and long enough to give her knees a bit of protection when she's crawling around. She wore them to playgroup last week and got some compliments which was very encouraging!

I think we did pretty well getting these done, plus the dress and blanket I made for my niece, all in a week! I'm really looking forward to sewing more things for Amelia's wardrobe - kids things are so cute and quick to sew!

Xo

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Some Valentine's Day love

My tiny niece turned four months old on Valentine's day, and I just couldn't resist spoiling her with some Sweet hearts =)

First the baby Hummingbird dress

I just love the back details! I also have the matching romper pattern. Which I'm hoping to sew up for Amelia soon =)

Also a sweet heart block baby quilt. The pattern is free on Cluck Cluck Sew, and I backed it with sweet soft minky (there's no batting).

I think she liked it =)

Xo

 

 

Monday, February 02, 2015

Kids Clothes Week :: February 2014

kid's clothes week

For years I've loved checking out the fabulous outfits people sew for their kids during Kids Clothes Week, so I'm pretty excited to have signed up for this cycle! You can read more about KCW on the website, but the idea is that so many of us would love to sew more, but instead spend the time on housework, sitting on the couch, watching tv or even searching the internet for more stuff to add to the 'must sew' list. During KCW you pledge to find at least 1 hour each day for a week to dedicate to sewing kids clothes. There are 4 seasonal challenges a year, each with the theme - this week's theme is 'upcycled'.

I have a couple of projects in mind - some of which fit the theme and some that don't. Tonight I spent my hour cutting pieces for a beach robe from a towel, it could be upcyling, but it was a new towel so I'm not sure whether that's cheating a bit =) This will be my second time sewing up this pattern (The Beach Robe by Dana at Made) - the first one I made for one of Amelia's friends for their birthday. It was too cute not to get some pictures of her modelling it!
I used some terry towel I had hanging around and pre-made bias binding, and I am pretty happy with how it came out - the pattern really is very easy, quick to sew up and super cute (I love the extra long cost sleeves!). The instructions are so clear, and there are step by step pictures, that I would have no hesitation in recommending this to a total beginner sewer. The pattern also includes links to relevant tutorials on Dana's blog (like this fantastic post on bias binding) which are so helpful.
The only thing I would have liked to have seen that was missing is one of those 1" squares that are often on PDF patterns so that you can check your scale. Not having it meant that there was some guess work involved in printing and assembling the pattern - the instructions are definitely clear on what to do, but because the pattern was designed in the US it is scaled for 11"x8" paper which is a bit smaller than our A4 (also, the pattern mentions to watch out for this outside of the US, which was great because I wouldn't have thought of it!). I think I got it pretty much ok, although the hood didn't seem quite right - I'm not sure if this was a printer scale issue or not.
I definitely see more of these in my future! (In fact, it's possible that every child in my life needs one!). Hopefully I'll have a few new things to show at the end of the week!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

2014 - a year of quilts!

At the start of 2014 I would never have believed I would make quite so many quilts as I did - after all, before last year I had only ever finished one! I won't say too much about them here - instead I'll pop in links to where I've blogged about them before - but I thought it would be nice to see them all in one place. So, here goes:

Mum's Nana quilt

Bed sized, finished in April, quilted by Raylee at Sunflower Quilting, blogged

 

Finding Formation: Synchronized Swimming

Approx 60" square, made in July to test Nightingale Quilts' pattern 'Finding Formation', quilted by me, hung in the Canberra Quilters' Exhibition, blogged


Happy Herringbone

Approx 60"x64", made in August from Maureen Cracknell's free QAYG herringbone tutorial and several Kate Spain fabric ranges, quilted by me, hung in the Canberra Quilters' exhibition, blogged

Elephants' Picnic

Approx 60" square,made in September - in about a week! - for friends from fabric bought at Spotlight, quilted by me.

Lap quilt for JM


Approx 51"x60", finished in September using Aneela Hoey's free pattern Little Apples, and a layer cake of V & Co Simply Color, quilted by me


Bill's Christmas Quilt

Approx 48" square, made in December using Johanna Masko's Mod Blocks pattern and Emma Jean Jansen's Terra Australis fabrics, quilted by me, blogged


Heather's Christmas Quilt
Approx 48"x60", finished in December using the Swell pattern from Camille Roskelley's book Simply Retro and Denyse Schmidt fabrics, quilted by me, blogged.

 

I still can't believe I got so many 'big' quilts done! And mostly as presents for others! It is so nice to be able to give people something special that I have made myself! The two that we have at home are in regular use - taking it in turns either on the floor us to play on or on the couch (so nice having some quilt weather in summer!) I also have my Salt Air Summer quilt so very nearly done - the binding is attached and just needs sewing down, plus at least two other tops ready for quilting.

As well as the big quilts I made several baby quilts - each about 75cm square, backed with minky and using mostly Ann Kelle fabrics (my absolute favourite kid fabrics!). The pieced letter blocks are from the free moda alphabet that came out at the start of the year.

Amelia's first quilt - finished the day before she was =) this has been used and used and used - on the floor, in the pram, on the couch, in bed. It gets softer with each wash and I have squares cut to make a bigger one, since we love it so much.


Lachie's little quilt

Little quilts for Luke and Sophie

Amelia's Christmas quilt, approx 36" square, pattern from Katy Jones' 25 quilt blocks book, blogged.
 
And, finally, there was my first mini quilt - I made this as a swap with my friend Missy Mack. It was so much fun picking fabrics I knew she would like and fussy cutting them! The pattern is a free one called Crossing Borders from the Nightingale Quilts blog

Here's to loads more quilts for everyone in 2015!  

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Christmas crafty supper

One of my favourite things to do at Chrismtas is to have some of my friends over for supper and a 'treat swap'. The idea is the same as a cookie exchange - everyone brings a plate to share for supper as well as enough of a favourite festive treat (which can be baked or bought) to swap with the other guests. It's just perfect - we get to catch up and chat for hours over some delicious food, and for days afterwards have all kinds of goodies to enjoy. Plus, some of us love an excuse to bake something sweet and package it up all fancy!

I also love the excuse to decorate and play with my papers, punches, washi and stamps to make invitations to post out! I like to have a bit of a theme - usually with a bit of a Scandi flavour. Previous years I've gone with dala, hearts, woodlandy and traditional red and white, and this year I must couldn't go past 'nisser' - Scandinavian elves/gnomes. They guy on the invites was inspired by that wooden one on the table there, which I picked up at the scandi Christmas bazaar her in Canberra, and were made from fabric.

These past two years I've planned a fun (and daggy) craft project for us to do too - last year we had kits for decorating little 3D felt christmas trees, and this year we made nisser from wooden beads and felt. They came out so cute!

I also couldn't resist making each of my guests one of these little quilted Christmassy mug rugs with the the same little nisse from the invites.

I think that about wraps up the Christmassy stuff I wanted to share - and it's not even 25 January for a few more minutes ;-)

Xo

 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Gift quilts

Last week I wrote a tiny bit about the Christmas quilt I made for A - I also made two lap quilts, which I gave to my in-laws for Christmas.

For my FIL I used fabric from Emma Jean Jansen's two Terra Australis ranges and Johanna Masko's Mod Blocks pattern. Obviously the fabrics are absolutely gorgeous and work beautifully together. The pattern is fantastic - it sewed up so quickly and easily, and I think is really striking for something so simple! I promise that this isn't the last Mod Blocks quilt you'll see me sew =)

And for my step-MIL I made a scrappy quilt using a pattern called Swell from Camille Roskelley's book Simply Retro. The fabrics are all by Denyse Schmidt - I have a good collection of prints I'm using to make an English Paper Pieced hexie quilt. I think this would be a fantastic 'bee' quilt - the blocks are so quick and simple, and the scrappiness works really well.

Here's a little peek at the backs and binding - for the Swell quilt I used a pretty Denyse Schmidt print on the back, and a Bonnie & Camille one for the binding. The backing of the Mod Blocks quilt is a pretty fabric with tradition Australian flora highlighted with gold, and the binding is by V & Co.

I loved making both of these so much, and hope they will be treasured in their new home!

Xo