Sunday, 31 August 2014

When Eloise Chooses For Herself - Hawthorne Sweatshirt & SFSJ

Back when Willow & Co first released the Wanderlust Collection I bought this Hawthorne Sweatshirt pattern. I love it. Such a practical garment for my kids. Unfortunately I got busy and didn't get around to making one up until recently. I let Eloise chose the fabrics and I think she did a pretty good job. I loved the pink with yellow pears on it and didn't want it to only be on the inside so I made a small modification to the pattern to allow the fabric to peek through.

I'm so glad I did. I love the little pops of pink in this jumper. 

Below is a little collage of photos (of the second one of these I made) to explain what I did. In short, I used a DVD to make the shape for the pocket. Then made a curved pocket lining. One one of the pocket lining pieces I cut the same "DVD" curve. Then I placed the lining piece with the curve cut out wrong sides facing with the front top piece and pinned some folded ribbing to the curve with raw edges aligned and on the right side of the front top piece. For the length of the ribbing I measured the curve then cut a piece about 2" shorter and stretched as I pinned. Then I used my overlocker to attach the three pieces together. I then topstitched around it to keep the overlocking hidden inside. Next I lined up the other pocket lining piece  and overlocked the pocket lining pieces to each other. Then I did the same for the other side of the front. It was very quick and easy.

 The pocket in action below :)

 Despite miss E chosing the fabrics and loving the clothing...she did NOT want to have photos in them :/

Watch out E, I can see a smile...

It's a hard life being 2!

Little pops of pink and pears.

So what does one pair a Hawthorne Sweatshirt with? Small Fry Skinny Jeans of course. Eloise has had a growth spurt and her size 2T SFSJs are starting to get a bit little and it is still pretty cool most of the time so it was time for some more. I showed E all of the stretch denims and she chose this fluoro peach (and a really, really bright hot pink). 

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention...I GOT A NEW SEWING MACHINE!!! I love my old one and it has seen me through a LOT of sewing but it has been struggling of late. So I started to do some research and then I got hooked on this new machine and had to have it. It has some fancy features including lettering. So for these "Eloise's choice" SFSJs I added her name to all of the pockets instead of topstitching. I won't go on and on about my machine (I probably will, just not right now) but, WOW it sewed through multiple layers of denim like it was nothing!!

Eloise just loves her whole outfit. The top is just a Target T-shirt I got on sale.

Have I told you lately how much I love SFSJs??? My favourite and most sewn pattern ever.

These are size 3 half fly ones, no zip. These are from the larger size range as E doesn't need the nappy room any more.

Love this girl so much. I am very lucky to have such amazing, happy and healthy kids!

I was incredibly happy with how these items came together despite not being the one to choose the fabrics. I think the great results, every time, has a lot to do with the awesomeness of the pattern. I will be linking this up to the Willow & Co blog, there are some awesome outfits linked up over there. You should stop by and look.

Please let me know what you think and if you haven't already, I seriously recommend grabbing these patterns they are both great.

Kerry xx

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Book Week 2014

As is typical for me, I left Book Week sewing to the last possible minutes. Really, that last minute. Book Week was on a Thursday, my last day off was Tuesday and I spent the day making Sethan's costume. Then Wednesday night after work I made Xander's costume. I was going to make Eloise an Elsa costume (she's been asking for a while) but in the end she got to wear the princes dress I made for the Scalloped Princess Dress Pattern Tour. Linda made a cute workman costume for Griffin.

I'll start with Sethan's ensemble. I let him chose his character and he chose the captain from Pirates Love Underpants. The picture to the right of him is of the book cover. 

(sorry for the terrible late night mobile phone photo)

So I started to trawl my favourite PDF sites for a new jacket pattern as none of the ones I had would have worked. I settled on the Desmond Jacket (from Shwin Designs). It was close but not quite what I wanted, so I did some redrafting.... I lengthened it by 3" and changed the shape of the bottom of the front. I also wanted the back to have a split so I cut the back pieces as two separate pieces and added a seam allowance and changed the construction somewhat. The the biggest change was to the front lining pieces. I wanted the lining to look like the one in the picture so I redrafted both of the front lining pieces. Then, for the lapels I added binding strips as I constructed it. Oh, and I drafted the sleeve cuffs and applied binding in the same way as the lapels and stitched them in between the outer and lining parts of the sleeves and folded them up. 

(another terrible phone photo)

For the striped pants Seth chose the fabric and I made my "go to" pants pattern the Small Fry Skinny Jeans from Titchy Threads. I made them with a few shortcuts (I skipped the flat felled seams and just overlocked the seams and topstitched them down. I made them with half fly (no zip) and omitted the pockets and belt loops. I added a little loop of 1/4" elastic in the side seam between the pants and the waist band for his sword. They were very quick to make and, as usual, the fit was fabulous!

Linda made the gold underpants trophy for Sethy and I'm pretty sure it was his favourite part of the whole costume.

Xander had to be a puppy as his class were performing a poem on stage about puppies. To make it even more limiting my little man is "too old" for a full puppy suit. I offered to make a cool puppy costume but he was reluctant to get that dressed up. We compromised with a zip up hoodie made of dalmation spotted fur with ears on the hood.  He and Linda made a wooden bone to carry. His was a quick sew.

 I have made Dragon Vests for the kids before (about a year and a half ago) and when we were planning this I immediately thought it would be the way to go. Unfortunately I have had some computer issues and my older computer is out of action. Long story short I did not have my copy of the pattern!! I messaged Annalisa from Purperita and she responded immediately with a new email of the pattern. Her friendly and prompt service is AMAZING!!

Look at that cheeky little princess!! Poking her tongue at her cousin :P

Big thanks to Linda for taking the photos as I had to race back to work once the parade was over.

The workman with his puppy and the pirate and a princess. Lots of silliness and cuddles :)

So glad these guys get to hang out together so much. They are heaps of fun to be around. 

The boys on our walk to school :)

So... next time I "plan" to be much better prepared and start sewing more than 48hours before the event!!

Feel free to leave a comment to let us know what you think :)

Kerry xx

Friday, 22 August 2014

DIY Artwork Keyring

My Master 3yrs loves doing artwork. He draws the most cute little figures and each and everyone of them just makes me smile. This is his painting of me, quite a good resemblance (and so flattering without my tummy too).

How pleased does he look showing the picture he did of his family? Aunty Kerry, Uncle Dean, Xander, Sethan, Eloise, Griffin, Granny & Mummy. I love it xx

I have pictures of his artwork all over the playroom, and I often wish I could take them with me when I am out. 

Cue crafty Mumma idea. I've seen gorgeous key rings made with kids artworks, but the price tag was out of my reach. Being thrifty & creative I purchased some metal key tags and decided to have a go at engraving them with a copy of G's artwork.

The first step was to chose a picture, then photocopy and reduce the size. I transferred the image by hand onto the silver key tag using a fine tip permanent marker.

 Using the engraving tool, I traced over the black pen lines. 

When I was finished engraving I used a regular baby wipe and rubbed it over the keyring and  removed any remaining black marker lines, and then it was done. 

How sweet does it look? Griffin is so chuffed too :)
Such a quick and inexpensive creative gift for the relatives for Christmas too.

xx Linda

I heart pattern testing: Wattle Brush Dress from Fresh Stitch Designs

I have seriously been sewing up a storm for the past few weeks and haven't been able to keep up with the blogging as I go. I was recently selected to test some patterns for a new Aussie pattern shop, YAY! The designer is Kylie and her shop is Fresh Stitch Patterns (and she has an Etsy store too). She will be joining the blogging world soon too. 

The first pattern I tested was the Wattle Brush dress. It is such a cute little dress. It comes in sizes 12m - 8y. The pattern is really well written with clear illustration and professionally drafted pattern pieces. Everything lines up perfectly when printed and it comes together in no time at all. It can be made super fast using one bodice attaching technique or a little slower with the other method that results in all of the raw seams being completely enclosed (my fav method).

It is a bubble dress and the technique used for the "bubble" effect at the bottom is fast and easy and makes for a very wearable and pretty dress. It closes simply with buttons on the shoulders (or you could use snaps if buttonholes scare you).

This first one I made with some seersucker I bought from Lincraft. I was a bit silly and chose her size based on chest measurement and forgot she is a bit tall (like the height of a 3yo!!) So I made a size 2 for width and length. It came out a bit short for my miss. That said it looks fabulous with leggings under it. Since then the pattern was adjusted to be a little longer and I made the size 3 length with the 2 width and the sizing on the finished pattern is PERFECT! I made little yellow buttons and added a simple yellow grosgrain ribbon as a trim to the bottom of the bodice.

This was my second one with the length that is in the final pattern. I added some piping to the bodice and I LOVE this one (so does miss E). It is the perfect size and is comfortable and stylish. I made the buttons for this one too and I am so happy with the finished look. And... My miss E is featured on the pattern listing!! She has no idea she's a superstar ;)

This was my third one and these indoor photos don't do it justice. The colours are so pretty in real life. This one is also the finished size3 length and I added white piping to the bottom of the outer biodice, I made leaf shaped buttons to tie in with the little leaves on the dress fabric and I drafted and added some in seam pockets. I didn't get great photos of it as miss E was not really in the mood and wouldn't put her hands in said pockets in any photos :/ I might try again soon.

I really love this pattern and think Eloise will end up wearing various Wattle Dresses throughout summer. It is a simple dress that sews up quickly with a well drafted and written pattern. I recommend this pattern to anyone with a little girl to sew for.
I have tested another gorgeous Fresh Stitch Patterns dress and will pop back to blog about it when I can. 

I will be blogging about my other Firefly Dresses soon, blogging some more pattern tests and guest blogging about making your own buttons. I need a few more hours in each day to keep up with it all! Oh, and I nearly forgot the book week costumes I made for my boys. I hope to share some quick pics of them from book week very soon.

I couldn't resist making up this little blooper pic of some of our "outtakes". Cheeky little girl!!

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a message to let me know what you think :)

Kerry xx

Sunday, 17 August 2014

I heart pattern testing: Boo! Designs Firefly Dress - Mummy's Choice

I'm excited to share another Firefly Dress I made during pattern testing. Just quietly this one is my favourite Firefly... it might just be my favourite dress EVER! 

My beautiful little girl is ever so slightly in love with pink. When we walk into the fabric store I will ask "what kind of fabric should we buy today?" and without fail her answer is ALWAYS "I want pink please mummy". I, however, am not a big fan of pink... I don't hate it but I really love blues and greys. They are the colours that I gravitate towards. So despite miss pink's wishes I wanted to make a Firefly out of the colours I love. 

I made the dress and was planning to buy some blue buttons to coordinate until the clever ladies in the testing group suggested contrast coloured buttons. So I set about making my own buttons. That was the beginning of a new obsession. Since then I have made all of the buttons I have used! It adds such a lovely personal touch to a garment. I will be blogging about how you can make your own buttons too in the near future :)

I am so glad I went with the contrasting buttons. 

Can anyone say photo overload?? I have a hard time choosing which shots I like the most and which ones to exclude. I love them all for different reasons.

This one below really captures the dress and our trip to the waterfront. Eloise was not still for even one second. She was running and jumping and spotting seagulls and boats and JUMPING! This dress photographs so well. Those ruffles, the big bow, the full skirt! (can you tell I'm a fan??)

I made a simple bow with the blue fabric and one of the buttons on it then I attached it to a hair clip and clipped it above her hair tie.

Looking at little crabs hiding in their holes in the sand.

 Look at the little pops of pink from the buttons against the pretty features of the dress.

So what do you think? I am VERY happy with how this dress turned out. And... despite the lack of pink, Eloise loved it. When she saw it she said "Oh, wow!" What little girl wouldn't love a Firefly Dress?

As I mentioned in my first Firefly Dress post this is a fabulous pattern and I recommend it for those wanting to make a dress with "wow factor".

If you haven't grabbed your copy of One Thimble yet you can purchase it here (affiliate link) or click on the link over there --->

I will be sharing two more Firefly Dresses very soon. The next one will be my "pimped" version. Kristie asked for one Firefly according to the pattern and then a "pimped" one, one where we were free to use our creative instinct and mix up the pattern. The other testers are such a talented bunch and their "pimped Fireflies" are AH-MAY-ZING!!! Keep an eye out over at Boo! Designs Pattern Club for more to pop up.

As always feel free to leave a comment here or on FB to let me know what you think, or with a link to your Firefly Dress. I love seeing how other people interpret patterns :)

Kerry xx