Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Rose is going to a friend's 5th birthday in a couple of weekends so we decided to get creative and make a gift rather than buying one. We decided to make a little dress up outfit for Ashlee.
Rose and I popped along to Spotlight yesterday and she chose the the two tulle colours, "candy" pink and mint green. We got a hair band from the $2 shop and cut it up to make the flower decoration on the waistband and used long strips of white satin ribbon which I already had in my sewing cupboard. We also bought a basic white singlet and an iron-on butterfly motif.
After using Google to search "tutus", I found a great link for a 30 minute "no-sew" tutu. Technically it isn't quite "no-sew" as you have to sew the waistband elastic together. Other than that it is super easy! It took me a little longer than 30 minutes as it was my first attempt and there are things I would do differently next time but overall, Rose and I are happy with it.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I have been looking for a playhouse for the kids for a while now but they always went for far too much so when I spotted this one with a reasonable Buy Now price, I had to get it. It was literally two streets away but we still had to get a Hiab to bring it in as it is really heavy.
It is a 'Danish' playhouse with extra large vernadah, shingle roof and a little loft inside. I would have liked to have kept it for a Christmas present but the people selling it were starting a huge landscape project so we had to collect it sooner. Hiding it on our property until Christmas wasn't an option!
I am wanting to paint it the same colour as our house and originally wanted to paint the inside too. I have scaled down the project now and think I will just do up the inside on a small scale by making a little mattress for the loft and maybe a few other little projects. I would still like to paint the outside though.
I thought I would post these pictures of the playhouse getting delivered earlier this week and hopefully in a little while, I will have photos to post of the "updated" playhouse!
My little nephew Hunter, was born on the 3rd of Novmber 2008 and last Saturday I took some photos of him using my digital camera. While the photos aren't really a "craft" as such, I figure they can be loosely termed "creative". Nellie found a great article in Little Treasures magazine which gave tips on taking photos of newborns so we got some good ideas from there. Isn't he scrumptious!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Finally, an adult garment!
Nellie wanted a Maxi dress that she could wear while pregnant with her "bump", and also afterwards. With only 3 weeks to go until her due date, finding a suitable pattern was a challenge! I thought that a pattern for a knit dress would be best as her shape will be changing a lot over the next 2-3 months and a cotton dress would be too restrictive on terms of sizing.
We went on a search around Hamilton for the perfect pattern. There was only ONE Maxi dress pattern for a knit fabric in all of the pattern books, regardless of brand! Of course, the pattern was sold out in all of Hamilton, and as it turned out, all of the Auckland too! As luck would have it, Nellie was travelling to Rotorua for work a few days later and stopped into the Fabric Barn...they had the pattern!
We used $5 per metre fabric from Spotlight (purchased before we had the pattern) and my estimation skills were quite a way off so we got 5 metres. In the end the dress only needed 2.5!
It was a very simple style and "should" have been reasonably straight forward, what I didn't count on was how difficult this fabric was to work with. It was extremely slippery and time consuming to work with! I learnt a good lesson in following patterns too. I tried to follow their directions and was VERY confused. In the end I decided to unpick a lot of it and sew it intuitively, I didn't have any problems after that. It may not be assembled in the same way as the pattern but the dress still looks the same from the outside. I also had my first lesson in adjusting a pattern to fit. This wasn't a maternity pattern so I had to play around with the sizing a little.
Overall, I guess I am pleased with it and Nellie looks GORGEOUS in it. She has bought more fabric for the next one!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I have called this the "GGGRRRR" dress as this is the sound I often made when making it last night! It started out as a simple project but due to my inexperience with shirring, took quite a bit longer than I anticipated.
I used some pink unicorn fabric that Rose chose a while ago, and pale pink gingham Treehouse (South African designer children's fabric) material for the hem and ties.
I basically hemmed a tube of fabric and set out to shir the bodice in several rows. After sending out an emergency text message to Karen for help, I was able to get started but my first shirring attempts were disastrous. It was far too loose and I just couldn't get the tension right. Several times during the night I was about to give up and just as I really WAS about to give up, I decided to give it one more go. I adjusted the bobbin tension (yet again!) and I finally had success.
The shirred bodice went relatively smoothly after that, it was the hem that was to be my next stumbling block! I initially made a pink gingham gathered frill to attach to the bottom. I was overlocking the frill to the dress and didn't see (it was late!) that there was a fold in the fabric and the overlocker chopped a hunk out of the dress! The only way to salvage it was to cut it much shorter and add a much wider band at the bottom to give it the extra length it needed. It was too late to bother with gathering so I made it into a plain band, which I now love.
When I finished it I felt a great sense of satisfaction and was glad I persevered as I learnt a lot from making it. As a bonus, Rose really loved it! I think I may make a few more for the summer months ahead.
After spotting a great bargain on Trademe, I was able to upgrade my old, well used Phil & Teds to this gorgeous new P&T in Apple Green, with no monetary outlay! I sold my old one for the price I paid for this one. It was a lucky find!
I wanted to make some matching liners for it so went fabric shopping on Saturday and picked up this great spotty material from the craft print section. I made the liners reversible so the other side is a bright fire engine red drill. At the moment I am loving the spotty side! I am pleased with how they turned out.
There are a number of people at work who are having babies in the next few weeks so that has meant baby showers galore!
I decided to make them some bibs as a practical gift, you can never have too many! I used a favourite bib of ours as a pattern, chose some cute prints and used plain flannelette or fleece on the reverse sides.
I have made over 20 of these but due to having such a busy term, they were often made the night before the shower so I didn't have a chance to take photos.
Here are two that I had left over! I have been using metal press snaps from Spotlight and they do work well...when they work! They are quite fiddly and I have wasted countless numbers of pronged pieces by not getting the alignment exactly right. They are too expensive to keep doing this so I am planning on investing in a snap press and some plastic snaps, available from http://www.greenbeans.co.nz/, suppliers of materials required for MCN making. This means 'Modern Cloth Nappies' to the uninitiated! :)
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The name of this fabric is 'Oriental Rose' and I bought it on sale a few months ago for only $4 a metre from the craft print section. I loved the colours and envisaged making a dress for Rose from it. I also bought some grey wool flannel to go with it but I wasn't exactly sure how I would put it all together.
Making this dress has been on my "to do" list for a while now and yesterday afternoon, I had the opportunity to finally do it. I used one of my vintage patterns as a basis and adapted it as I went along by adding straps instead of the ribbon ties on the original pattern. I also added the contrasting band at the bottom which I really like.
It was easy to make and I am pleased with the final product. I think it looks a bit "different"! Rose wore it to church today and got lots of positive comments, I was quite chuffed. :-)
If you look very carefully, you can see that I used some white vintage rose buttons at the back of the dress. I bought them from the Beach Haven Hospice shop a while back for 50 cents and this was just the project for them! I love a good vintage button. :-)
Saturday, August 23, 2008
This is the phrase I hear every morning. Actually, it begins the night before when Rose asks, "Mum, am I wearing a skirt or pants tomorrow"?
And so begins the 4 year old phase, whereby pants are no longer cool and skirts or dresses are the only things that will do!
It was on one of these occasions that I popped out to the sleepout, aka sewing room, and whipped up this skirt. I was feeling like I wanted to create something but only had a few minutes to spare. Now that I am working full time, I am not visiting the sleepout as often these days! Sob, sob.
Being a freezing wet winter in Auckland, I needed something sturdy and sensible....denim!
I made up this pattern using some dark blue denim and a bright pink offcut, a few seams later and it was done.
I may have to make more of these if this phase continues! :)
I was at a local store recently when a fellow crafter decided to write down a couple of websites that she had used to make twirly skirts. It was a rainy Saturday so I headed home and looked through my "stash" to see what I had that would work. I chose a floral piece from Spotlight's 'Flowers and Fruits" range, purchased on sale of course! :-)
I decided to make the House on Hill Road twirly skirt from the following tutorial:
I have to say, it was more time consuming than it looked, mainly because the fabric trim I chose was a pink drill and far too stiff for this style of skirt, I don't know why I didn't think of this to start with. I had to completely unpick the pink waistband and redo it again in the floral fabric which was a lot softer. I kept the pink hem band as it worked out ok and sort of "anchors" the skirt too. I originally made a pink waistband tie which proved too thick so I had to replace it with the white satin ribbon which is all I had on hand.
After all that, Rose really likes it and it fits her main two criteria, it's pink and it twirls!
If I make this style again (and I think I will) I would make sure the fabric is soft and fine and probably leave out the ribbon detail in the waistband.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
These little beauties, I must attribute to Camille, as they really were her little babies!
I saw some cupcakes on the Fairy Shop website (www.thefairyshop.co.nz) which I fell in love with and really wanted. At $3 a piece, they were a bit out of our budget so thought we would have a go at making our own.
After discussion with Camille about her mixed outcomes with cupcakes in the past (haha!), she shared that a friend of hers had used good old Betty Crocker's cake mix with some success. We got a box each of chocolate fudge cake and vanilla cake. I bought some Princess cupcake patty liners and heart and star sprinkles from the Chocolate Boutique in Birkenhead. Camille piped the mixture into the liners and the result was magnificant! They were perfectly flat and ready to ice, not to mention delicious!
We made a simple butter icing and coloured it pink. Raspberry essence was also added and I think that made all the difference. They were scrummy! Camille piped the pink icing in a circular direction and they looked great. Funnily enough, the vanilla ones were more popular than the chocolate! I was surprised at that. Needless to say, it will be Betty Crocker all the way with cupcakes in the future! They may end up more than $3 a piece though if I have to fly Camille up from Gisborne to make them for me at every party! :)
I will just preface this post and say that the following gorgeous creations were not my own, but I love them too much to leave out of my blog! :)
In keeping with Rose's Princess theme party, a suitable princess cake was in order. I found a picture in the Australian Woman's Weekly Kids Party book and gave it to Karen so she could hopefully recreate something similar. I have to say, I love what she created even more! The colours were great, the skirt full, and Rose totally loved it. We borrowed the tin from Noeleen next door and boosted her up with an additional round cake on the bottom. We used white Pettinice and coloured it pale pink and dark pink. We also kept a small amount of white for decorating. There was much debate about which Barbie to use but I am glad we chose Beach Barbie in the end. We took her legs off (which I still can't find!) and she looked fab.
The cake was a really great table decoration and conversation starter! I think it was a little girl's dream cake and I don't know how we will top it in future! :) Thanks Karen. :)
Saturday, July 12, 2008
It has been on my "To Do" list to create a new buggy liner for my Bugaboo Bee stroller. I had to import it from the Netherlands as they don't sell this model in New Zealand so unfortunately I wasn't able to see what it was like "in the flesh" before I purchased it.
When it arrived I discovered it had quite a firm seat which wouldn't really be suitable for a small baby. Luckily Harry is a lot older so it wasn't an issue but I wanted to make a liner for it that would make it stand out a bit more and give it some interest.
I picked up a couple of remnants from Spotty for $2 and this is the result. The reverse is made of black fleece and it has a thick wadding inside. I had to make up the pattern myself as the Bee is an odd shape and although it isn't perfect, I am reasonably happy with it for my first attempt. I had to do nine large buttonholes for the stroller harness straps so that was good practice for me! I like how it has added a bit of interest to an otherwise boring black stroller.