Monday, December 22, 2008

busy and tired, and not quite ready for Christmas

We have been so busy around here, but I guess who isn't at this time of year. Luke and I were up extra late last night packaging what seemed like hundreds of these biscuits for friends. We also had to put together a wooden kitchen for the girls that came in kit form. It proved to be rather frustrating with limited instructions...luckily, it came together fine in the end.

The girls (with much mummy supervision) have been doing artworks to give out to special people. Oil pastel with watercolour. They look so pretty drying in the sun.

I also finished this shirt for Luke's Mum, the same pattern as one I made earlier in the year but shorter sleeves. There is so much sewing I had wanted to do for the girls for presents, but I can see that its not going to happen, so I will deal with the disappointment and hopefully catch up on sewing in the new year. It's always special to be able to give handmade.

And here are some of Grace's card she made for Luke to give to friends at work. A Christmas tree, Jesus in the manger with animals and the star, Santa (we don't give out presents from Santa at Christmas, but its funny that she still knows who he is and thinks he has something to do with Christmas), and another Christmas tree with presents under it.

We are off for a much needed 2 week break tomorrow, so I wont be around for a while. Actually really looking forward to not sitting in front of the screen daily! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus with family and friends! 

Naomi xo

Saturday, December 13, 2008

mini mitt's

I recently stumbled upon this very clever little pattern on this lovely blog.

I must say, my girls thought these were wonderful. 
They were a present for their special friend who shares my name- Naomi.

I am thinking I will have to make a couple of extra pairs for Christmas.

Outer fabric is from one very cute op shop pillowcase. 
Linen on the bottom half.

So if you are looking for a last minute, easy sewing idea for Christmas...these are perfect.
 The only thing I would change is quilting a big rectangle of fabric first, 
and then cutting your glove shapes out of this. 
Much less fiddly. Make sense? 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

little bear

Back in my infant and primary school years I use to be mad about hand sewing. For some reason I thought 'hand made' items were literally something sewn or made entirely by hand- no sewing machines please! I wanted to make and sell my hand made things even back then, but started out by making them for friends. 
I remember finding a book in the school library that was full of patterns for miniature bears. One look at that book and I was completely hooked! This little bear was one I pieced together from fake fur that I clipped right back. Even his tiny arms and legs move. I am pretty sure I made him for mum.
I wish I had photos of all the other ones I made. Some I even sewed tiny outfits for and made them beaded necklaces. In the bottom photo he is sitting on Grace's tiny hand, so you can picture his size. I would guess I made him in about yr4-5. I do have a small selection of other soft toys I made as a child, so hopefully I can get some more photos up soon. 

the 'gracie' skirt

Sandi Henderson from Portabello Pixie makes beautiful patterns for little girls 6m-8yrs. One of her patterns we recently purchased was the 'Gracie' pattern- how could we resist! I say 'we' because Grace actually picked it out off the Internet, without even realising it was her name! 
The reason I made the skirt was because I brought her the little top and it needed a bottom to go with it. I had the perfect fabric sitting on the shelf. 
A couple of weeks ago I got a new overlocker as an early birthday present, and was itching to try out the rolled hem on it. Worked a treat and I was so, so impressed at how easy it was! I can see a lot of my sewing being finished off with that rolled hem function.

Monday, December 1, 2008

she danced

She danced, and we were all so proud. It was a wonderful thing to watch her confidence bloom overnight, as she achieved something she said she would never do. Such a special concert. One we will never forget.

gathered market bag

I made this bag last week for my sister in law's birthday. It was my first attempt at making the Gathered Market Bag pattern by Sandi Henderson. I love how the bag turned out! Hopefully if I get the time I might even make one of these for myself. Floral outside and inside fabric is from vintage pillowcases...thanks Claire! I was even brave enough to attempt the optional piping on the outside, and was so glad I bothered to do so. Next time I would make it slightly thicker though.

Monday, November 24, 2008

green spots

A sweet spots and floral dress I made for Grace a couple of months back. Somehow, I managed to forget about photographing it, and when I did remember it was in the wash! Another Ottobre pattern 1/2008 'rose' dress. Same fabric as this spotty shirt, beautiful soft cotton voile. And same pattern as these silk dresses.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

princess dresses

Some things are just so hard to photograph, my girls being two of them! These were the best of least 10 photos. The party we went to on the weekend had a royal theme, so here we have the Butterfly Princess and the Queen of Hearts. I cut into an old formal dress that was mine, and the other one was a dress of Aunty Kate's- thanks so much Kate! The top half of the dress is based on a top from Ottobre 1/2007, which I gathered the skirt on to. The girls love their new dresses, and they twirl beautifully!

something for the dolls

We had another party on the weekend, this time I decided to make the birthday girl some dolls clothes. The pattern was another one of Mum's (thanks Mum!). I was dying to use some of my vintage fabric stash to make these, but knew that the little girl would probably rather something more modern. I will save the vintage prints for our dolls! And if you want a little vintage doll clothing inspiration, check out Jenny's photos.

navy with spots

Another little shirt for Maeve. This one is made from a superfine 100% cotton knit, very soft and drapes beautifully. The floral fabric and lace on the front are from a bassinet cover Mum made about 30 years ago, to service all the 5 babies she had! I felt rather horrible cutting it up as it has so many memories attached. I hoping to use more of this fabric soon.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

hooded cape

I have this list that seems to grow by the day. Its a 'gifts-to make-list' and yesterday I decided I need to get on top of it and start making those gifts before christmas arrives. Here is a hooded cape I made for a little girls second birthday. I think it will make a fabulous addition to the dress up box. Pattern is from the latest Ottobre 6/2008.

todays activity

Some gingerbread cookies to take on a play date with some little toddler friends. And if your reading this Jess, thanks so much for this amazing Noah's ark cookie making kit- we love it!

Monday, November 3, 2008

vintage duck dress

Here's a little dress I made a few years back for Grace, which now fits Maeve. Made from a vintage cot sheet I picked up in one of my op shop travels. Maeve is quite the duck lover, so this dress is very her...apart from the fact its white.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

stretch for summer

Summer is just around the corner and I have been busy making some basic stretch cotton clothes for the girls. The watermelon dress is some of Mums fabric, and the dress was super quick to sew. Its the Knit dress from Ottobre 3/2007. Maeve is at the zoo above, up close with a seal.

Here are the girls in yesterday's 35'c heat. A taste of whats to come in the months ahead! Grace is wearing the 'Strawberry' tunic from Ottobre 3/2008. I have also made her a white one with red stripes. When you go to all the effort of tracing a pattern, it seems a waste to only make one item from it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

who would have thought...

Who would have thought...making your own fitted nappies could be so satisfying! We have be in desperate need of new nappies around here for Maeve. The old terry squares just aren't doing the trick, no matter which way I fold them they don't fit right. Up until now they have been perfect and served two little bottoms very well. 
I decided to sew the free Ottobre pattern, which turned out to be a winner. I know a lot of people say this pattern runs rather large, but I found it fine if you ignore their elastic instructions and sew the elastic in as tight as you can. Just secure it at on end, stretch it as far as you can and stitch it down. Make sure you use a good quality elastic (I used swimwear elastic) because having to pull them apart later on to add new elastic doesn't appeal to me at all! I added snaps instead of velcro hoping they will last longer and be much harder for little fingers to undo. 
Back to the sizing again, I made Maeve the larger size 80-86cm (she is usually size 86cm) which fits great now but has room for growth.The best thing about these nappies was for each terry square I cut into I got one nappy piece and 2 soaker pads. There was very minimal fabric wasted. The outside fabric is flannelette, and there are an extra 2 layers of flannelette in the soaker pad.

linen and silk

Maeve has a new pair of duds, refashioned from a pair of ladies linen and silk pants. This fabric is truly amazing stuff...maybe a little too good for toddlers play pants. Pattern is Ottobre 1/08 "Candy" pants.

How do you like our out of control clover, popping up throughout the lawn? Would you believe it was only mown a week ago. Its such a pest, but look how pretty it comes up in the photos.

Nice and comfy, with plenty of cloth nappy room.

I know this is a very photo heavy post, but I was having trouble choosing which photos not to add. I love all the ones that capture the girls immersed in play. Having your sister as best friend really is such a precious thing.
And there is nothing that make them giggle more than going down the slide backwards...apparently this is very humorous!

'Come on Maeve, I'll race you to the fence!'

Then she attempts the getaway...

Maybe I should make more play clothes out of linen and silk, seems to be a winner.