Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Turning 5

Being five will be a big year - starting prep, perhaps a bike with pedals?

To celebrate, K invited his friends which is quite a mix (daycare, gymnastics, swimming, neighbours, relatives) to a Ben 10 party.

Held in a local park, we were fortunate that the weather cleared enough to give us a morning to hold it outdoors.

We included a couple of games...

Save the alien - The kids had to use cups of water to defrost the ice and rescue the alien trapped inside. A popular game and one Dad commented that he was going to freeze a marble in a giant bucket of ice for his boy's party so the game would last for ages.

Three-legged alien race - The kids were a bit young for this but it was still fun to try. Jordy looks so determined!

There was also the meteor race golf ball on a spoon) and the meteor throw (water balloons). We tried to hang the doughuts from the tree to eat without touching but under the humid weather the doughnuts didn't cooperate and collapsed until piles of sugary dough! Not a good game for summer or try iced doughnuts which have more stablity.
The cake
One layer of white chocolate mud cake on top of a layer of dark chocolate mud cake. This was Brett's first adventure into fondant and it looked terrific! We purchased the fondant ready made which is definately a plus. Next time - mental note to buy black fondant first up to save a trip back to the cake shop.

I think we will do fondant again as despite a few hiccups (like finding some corners nibbled off and fingers in the fondant), Brett said it wasn't all that hard and he is the cake decorator in this house (and available for hire!).

We used flour to make some pictures on the ground.

K loved the celebration and his friends had a great time too.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


This year I've kept any Christmas sewing to the "nice and simple". Apart from the tea bag wallets, the only other sewing I've had a chance to do is some headbands. Great for using up scraps and pretty quick to sew. There are a few tutorials around on the interne. The Long Thread has a nice tutorial. Do you have any other ideas for using up fabric leftovers to share?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tea bag wallet

These are handy indeed! I love the one I have kept for my handbag and the rest are gifts for Kaiden and Jordan's daycare carers, together with a notebook or other small gift.
The instructions are easy and simple to sew. They use up scraps of fabric as well!



Another Bitti

There is something about chunky yarn and needles and an easy pattern that makes for the ideal knit for camping.
So while we were away over a recent weekend, I was able to knit up the body of this Bitti (mostly when Brett was driving), just leaving the sleeves and finishing for home.
There is no gift recipient in mind at this point of time, it was mostly to finish up some Woolganics which I had on hand. This one will go straight into the 'gift box' as I'm sure I'll find a little girl to give it a home soon.
And yes, I have made one of these before (exactly the same just a smaller size) which made it extra easy.

Wool: Woolganics, Bendigo Wool
Size: 4
Pattern: Itti Bitti Bump

Bitti Bump

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ottobre 3/2009

When Kaiden first saw this shirt, his comment was, "But it doesn't have dinosaurs".
So he resisted trying it on but eventually came good. It was a pretty easy shirt to sew and while the collar interfacing was a new experience for me, it looks neat and well-finished. I think though next time it could do with a touch more length as he is tending to grow upwards and not outwards. And I'm thinking the shirt would look nicer if the top button was done up too!

Pattern: Ottobre 3/2009 Collared shirt
Size: 104cm
Fabric: From Sewco

You can find my review of this pattern here on Pattern Review.

Ottobre 3/2009

Ottobre 3/2009

PS> At the end of the day we couldn't get the shirt off him and he wanted to wear it to bed. Must be a sign that all is OK even though there is not a dinosaur in sight.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Elsie Dress

Another cute creation, this time an Elsie Dress by Sew Sweet Patterns. Rather than have the contrast hem, I kept the dress plain and added a row of ric rac - not entirely intentional but still works.
Elsie Dress
I used ribbon ties for the back.
Elsie dress (back view)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Saffron Romper

Saffron Romper

Now this pattern is a little cutie. I'd really recommend checking the sizing though before you cut. This one is a size three and it seems a little on the largish size to me but then again I guess it depends on the child's size. Kaiden still fits into size 3 shorts so I'm used to clothes on the smaller size. The legs on these also seemed a little short so I added some trim to the bottom leg. I'm also used to long, baggy boy pants! And I originally had the little frill on the top but it didn't look right and didn't sit properly when I started to sew the top stitching so off it came! I also didn't like how the elastic casing on the waist was left unfinished but that was an easy fix with my overlocker. This one is destined to be gifted...I think it will be a little while before it gets some wear but it is always better to be on the safe side when it comes to sizing.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lazy Days Hat

23 January 2016 
Nearly five years later, and another Lazy Days Hat. This time for Mr J.  This is in the large size and Mr J is six.

10 February 2011

A Make it Perfect Lazy Days bucket hat to build up the hat stash. A easy sew, a bit fiddly to get the edges to match but nothing that I couldn't conquer. Great for using up some left-overs, and Kaiden was very impressed that it matched his jacket.


Looking at this photos - where has my baby gone? This is a little boy and one who is nearly ready to go to school!

Fabric: From Sewco, left over from jacket
Pattern: Make it perfect Size Medium

Pattern review here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Skirting around

Now people who regularly read my blog would understand how I like to mix up the boy sewing with a bit of the "pretty". So when I heard that one of my work colleagues was having a girl, well I just couldn't resist.

Pattern: Pink Fig Patchwork Skirt
Sizing: 6 to 12 months
Fabric: Mostly leftovers with the bottom trim from Lincraft

Pattern review is here.

And this skirt is in a larger size for a gift. It started off as a dress, and well, as you can see that's that didn't happen and it ended up as a skirt.

Pattern: Adapted dress
Fabric: From stash
Sizing: 2

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Bitti Bump

Another quick and easy knit which is going to be gifted. It is in the 18 month size but I think it could be worn from 12 months+ and would be cross-seasonal wear for here in Brisbane. It is using double-stranded wool (ie two different wools knitted together) which actually didn't cause too many complications for me. Using bulky wool and big needles, if I had sat down and not had any distractions (eg internet), it would have been finished over a couple of nights (remembering that I go to bed early nowdays.
Bitti Bump

The pattern is Bitti Bump by Gina Bonomo and it goes from newborn up to size 4 so I see a few of these quick and easy knits in my future. There is a boy version of the pattern as well but it only goes up to one year so way too small for our boys.

Monday, July 18, 2011


A quick knit - a Shroom beanie which is in a child's s size. This style of hat doesn't suit me, but I'm hoping it will look better on someone alot younger. Hard to tell as Kaiden refused to test model. This pattern is free from here. It uses a super bulky Woolganics yarn, the thicker version of the wool I used for the last project.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Present cuteness

Simple wrapping. Brown paper, a doiley runner from my Mum's stash which was unfinished so I separated off one of the squares, threaded through some ribbon and presto! Present wrapped in cuteness!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Olearia #3

In the "in between" I was well-managed enough to finish off this little Olearia for a friend's little girl who is turning one. This time I went for the shorter version which maybe more practical for a crawler and for Brisbane weather. It is in a size 18 months so I hope it is big enough to get some good wear. I must be more skilled in knitting this pattern now as it all went smoothly and was off the needles pretty quickly! Being the shorter version also made it a bit quicker.

It is made using Woolganics which is an Australian organic wool and is so soft, it is like knitting butter!

Note: don't expect to see too much craftiness around here as I've returned to work full-time and currently trying to build up my "work fitness". Bed time is early, knitting in the sunshine while J naps is non-existent and when I do craft I seem to be unpicking due to clumsy, tired induced mistakes. On the positive side, I have a good job with a good team of people (and a fellow knitter/sewer so can distract myself with craft talk) and I can pay off my overlocker! (which ironically is collecting dust).


Pattern: Olearia by Georgie Hallam (tikki)
Size: 18 months
Made for: Miss A's first birthday

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Modelled Hotshot


Look at our gorgeous little boy. All of a sudden he is nearly two (in August) and boy does he have a personality of his own! Strong willed, determined. But there is no doubt that he 100% loves his Mummy and over the past few weeks he has clung to me madly as if I am the centre of his universe and he is worried that I'm going to leave him forever. I'm sure it will be just a phase and before I know it he will be wanting to go to the pub with his big brother and they will drive off (in our car) and return in the early hours of the morning.

Sugar baby


Before you think how quick I am to have whipped this one off the needles, reality is that I've completed very little lately and this this Sugar baby vest by Lisa Flett had been sitting in my work in progress (WIP) pile for quite a while. There must have been a reason why I started to knit it a size large last year for K! But now it is finally finished and very wearable although I think could do with a little more in the length but that's OK as it will be passed down to J for next winter.

I love the colours in the hand-dyed wool. The colourway is called "Jungle Fever" with greens, browns and orange.

It is meant to have a pocket on the front but after a game of yardage chicken (which I was bound to lose), I sacrificed the pocket in order to be able to finish off the hood. Unlike most of my other knits, this pattern is knitted flat so needed seaming (sewing together). My verdict is that I definitely prefer knitting in the round (that is, on circular needles) and now that I have a little more experience under my needles I will never go back to flat needles and sewing pieces together unless it is absolutely necessary!

Sugar baby by Lisa Flett
Wool: Dyed Woolganics "Jungle Fever" by The Dye Pot
Knitted for: Kaiden

Friday, May 27, 2011

Flirt skirts

The latest book to arrive in my letterbox is "Flirt Skirts" by Patti Gilstrap and Seryn Potter. This book features three basic skirts - a-line, pencil and flared and different ways to customise them. If you are a skirt lover, like me, but are looking for ways to jazz them up, this is a great book. Although there are a couple of ideas I'll be steering away from (like the 'bustle' back - I don't think I need to add more fabric to my rear....) and overall I think more attention could have been paid to how the photos were styled. I do like though the instructions in the front of book on how to get a good fit and picked up a few hints on how to ensure a good fit. I better get onto doing some sewing for myself!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A little Olearia

If I haven't told you before, I should have mentioned that every little girl (up to size eight) needs an Olearia in their wardrobe. And while I've knitted this pattern before so should know what I'm doing, this one encountered some problems which were set to test me (and my lovely MIL who sorted out the sleeve issue) and to teach me some lessons along the way (like to never use dental floss to hold stitches). This is destined to be a gift for a little girl, and while it is little late it is a size one and fortunately she isn't quite at that age...yet. This pattern is designed by Georgie Hallam (Tikki) who was also the master creator behind the design of my other recently finished knitted item, the Milo vest. This was another project that I was able to finish while waiting at the hospital (just in case you think I'm at home madly knitting)

Children's sewing swap - received for Kaiden

In my catch-up on blog posts, I remembered the other day that I had forgotten to show what K received in the latest EB sewing swap. Sorry to our partner, Carolyn who must have torn her hair out in sewing up the vest. It looks quite complicated and tricky. K loved the outfit (see the thumbs up!). (sorry for the bad photos)

It was lovely that Carolyn threw in some other fabric and an outfit she had previously made

but was no longer loved by her kids. Well it has found a new home and is well-loved here. K also loved the dinosaur ribbon that was tying it all together. I think that is going on my next shopping list!

Thanks Carolyn!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Quilts for Queensland

During the Queensland floods I felt positively helpless and wanted to find a way to let people know that they were in our thoughts. Retro Mummy is co-ordinating Quilts of Queensland drive and I made some 12 1/2 inch blocks to contribute to the cause.

A handmade quilt is great to snuggle under. It keeps you warm. It can help a house feel like a home. It is like a huge hug.

I've made nine blocks in total which should be enough for a small quilt. It now just needs sashing (the pieces that join the blocks together), backing and quilting. I'm hoping that someone can help with this as I don't have any suitable fabric for this or the time/expertise to do the quilting.

Nine blocks for quilts for Queensland

One of the finished blocks

Most of the fabric was gifted to me by a fellow Essential Baby quilter; some are leftovers from other projects and I bought some small pieces from Spotlight as I don't have much quilting fabric in my fabric stash.

Knitting Milos

 This Milo vest is a nine-month size and features a hugs and kisses cable. It is for a gift.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hotshot vest for J

Now the nights are getting cooler, my favourite spot is on the lounge after the boys have gone to bed with a spot of knitting. I recently finished a "Hotshot" for J which was an easy knit and finished over a couple of weeks which is a record for me (both to finish knitting something AND to do it over the span of weeks, not months!).

Knitted completely in the round on circular needles it was a simple knit.
Trust me it looks great on Jordan although I currently don't have a modeled shot as he distinctly told me "no" even when I politely asked if he could wear it for a photo (several times). Definitely a recommended pattern and I've seen versions for both boys and girls which look great.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ruffle romper

Not set to finish with the ruffled bloomers, I made a pair of ruffled rompers. They look very cute and while I haven't seen what look like on, the photos here do not do them justice. I think that it adding snaps to the bottom to make nappy changes or toilet training easier for this size (size three) would be a good idea. Here's the link to a finished pair by the pattern designer Tie Dye Diva to give you an idea of the finished look.

quilter's cotton from Spotlight
Made for: Lily
Pattern: Tie Dye Diva, size 3, Ruffle Romper (no pattern alterations)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ruffle pants and swing top

It seems like ages since I have posted about a finished item. I have been crafting; just the time has been shortened, especially as I have been feeling tired at night and knitting a few rows here and there is more appealing. Now also that I'm working full-time my crafting time will be especially tight. Before I changed working days, I was able to make this cute little ensemble for a work friend's little girl. The cuteness factor is huge!! It was also a change to fiddle and learn how to use my new overlocker which deserves a post of its own. The patterns were super easy, especially with doing the rolled hem on my overlocker and for extra cuteness I made a covered button for the back.

Ruffle pants back

Front of the whole outfit showing the swing top

Back of the whole outfit

Made for: Miss Lily, aged nearly 3
Fabric: Cotton from Spotlight
Patterns: Tie Dye Diva

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bucket hat for Jordan

Our drawers are scare of hats too, and it is always handy to have one in the just in case. So I made one for Jordan using this free tutorial. Unfortunately, my model wasn't too willing....

EB clothing swap - received for Jordan

Jordy received this gorgeous little outfit featuring his favourites - dinosaurs. It was made by Jade (who doesn't have a blog). Thanks Jade! The pants are the Big Butt Pants which is a pattern I'd seriously be considering to add to my (still unorganised) stash of patterns except reality is a) Jordan doesn't need more pants b) he will be out of nappies before he does need any more.* The pants are made with room for a cloth nappy which is great - plenty of space over the rise! The set is a touch large which is great as he can grow into it and I bet that really isn't too far away.

*Although if someone was to buy the pattern for me I would make one of those ruffle pants for them in return - seriously - they are so cute!!

Close-up of the dinosaur on the pants

The full outfit

Applique dinosaur on the t-shirt

Friday, April 1, 2011

Little Explorer Shorts

It was very sad to look in Kaiden's drawer for around the house clothes and find a pile of NOTHING! Perhaps we were a little behind in the washing but regardless I thought it was time to sew him up a new pair of shorts.
I (or rather my sewing machine) made a big boo boo with the embroidery for the front of the pants so I made up a couple of panels to sew on. I didn't take alot of my usual care with sewing as these are most probably going to be worn to daycare/around the house but I still love how it looks. Kaiden said he loves them too and started to make up a story about how the dino was walking to the volcano!

Pattern: Little Explorer Shorts, Make It Perfect, size 4
Made for: Kaiden
Alterations: omitted pockets
Fabric: Denim from stash, contrast cuff from Lincraft remnant bin

Thursday, March 31, 2011

EB Swap Item Sent - Girl's Outfit

The second outfit I made was for Karen (Brazen)'s little girl, Emelia. When I asked Karen a bit more about what her daughter liked, I was channelling Hannah Montanna which was a pretty scary experience! I guess that was what came to mind when Karen mentioned that Emelia loves clothes which she thinks older girls would wear.

I'd already flicked through my Ottobre magazines and had an idea of what I wanted to make.

I'll show some static shows but Karen has given me permission to share some "action" shots which are below all of the details.

The vest is from Ottobre 1/2008 and is called the "Juliet" vest. I had some fun hammering in the eyelets into the back. The embroidery is by Bunnycup Embroidery and I added some rhinestones which I used the iron to heat-set on. The thread is metallic.

I had some leftover fabric so I decided to make the Izzy and Ivy Jack and Jill hat. A bit fiddly but I'm sure I'd find it easier to sew the next time around. I wasn't happy with how the brim turned out (is a bit wonky) and I unpicked the band a couple of times to get the stripes a bit more even. I think it looks much better on than off and apparently Emelia loves it ALOT! I especially love the big flower and could see myself making these for embellishing other clothes.

For the pants I decided to tackle the knickerbockers also in Issue 1/2008. The instructions sounded deceptively simple (perhaps because they lacked the detail/pictures). But thanks to some help from the ladies at Crafty Mamas I got through it! The embroidery near the pocket is also from Bunnycup Embroidery with rhinestones added.

I also made a top for under the vest but in my sewing stupor I cut a size below what I should have (a 5/6 rather than a 7/8). I thought it would be ok going by the measurements but it ended up that the neck opening was too small which I am disappointed about. I suggest that if you are making this pattern to double-check this on the pattern before cutting.

How the outfit was supposed to look all together

And some photos modelling the outfit

Sewn for: Karen's daughter Emelia
Patterns: Ottobre 1/2008 Juliet vest, knickerbockers, Izzy and Ivy Jack and Jill Hat, Emily Bell Sleeve Tunic by Sis Boom
Alterations: I reduced the height of the hat by 1cm and advise of a fellow sewer who had made this pattern before
Fabric: Vest/hat, pants, tunic and ribbon trim from Spotlight, rhinestones and lining fabric from Lincraft