Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rose's Cath Kidston Inspired Room

After visiting the Cath Kidston store in Guildford, I fell in love with this look. Check out and absorb the gorgeousness of all things "Cath"! lol. I stumbled upon some Ikea Rosalie 100% cotton fabrics on Trademe, apparently designed by Cath Kidston for Ikea a few years ago. The seller had bought them in the UK for a bedroom project which never happened. They formed the basis for Rose's new bedroom look. I made a duvet cover out of the blue rose fabric and backed it in the pink check fabric. There was enough to make a pillowcase out of the check and rose fabrics. There was several metres of co-ordinating paisley fabric, a small amount of which I made into bunting to hang from the roof. For the past 3 years we have really overdone the whole pink look (Rose's favourite colour, naturally) so I was keen to tone it down just a little. I also picked up an old white candlewick textured bedspread from the Hospice shop and appliqued Rose's name on it in the matching fabrics, to create a rectangular cushion. It certainly wasn't perfect applique but was a fun project anyway. :-)

The paint dilemma...

We decided to paint the room in Resene Double Alabaster, described as a "bisque white, delicately shaded towards grey". We spent an entire week discussing and debating this and even now, are not sure we made the right decision with the colour. Take a look at the photo of the white chair with the wall in the background. You will see our test pot patches in the background, they all look remarkably like the white chair! It seems ridiculous that we spent so long choosing what is essentially just a white paint! After ripping up the carpets and laying new charcoal carpet, we now have a very neutral base. Rose has been so keen to get back up to her room and have her own space so she is chuffed to be back there again. The only downside is that the sun streams into her room (venetians don't provide the best blockout unfortunately) early in the morning and she wakes up before 7am!

Rose's Room: Before...

As you will no doubt be aware, we have been working on the house for a little while now and are slowly making some changes. Rose's room was covered in bright blue wallpaper and had dusty, threadbare old carpet. There is also some large windows in the room, meaning placing furniture can be tricky. Here are some shots of the room before:

Sewing Patterns for Dummies...

Yep, this range of patterns sounded like they were made for me so I purchased this simple kids pattern which I thought had a good range of items and was versatile. I used some fabric which I have had for a while now and had always planned to use for PJ's. Based of Eden's aforementioned rose PJ's, this was my attempt to replicate the look. I used the same vintage shorts pattern I used for the upcycled PJ's and used the top from the "Dummies pattern".
All was going well until the top was near completion. I kid you not, this top was ridiculously short! I did think that it looked a bit short when I was cutting it out (I used a Size 5) but I blamed it on my inexperience. Well, if you look at the floral fabric on the top and where it finishes, that was the finished length! I had even hemmed it and was very unhappy with the finished product. I decided that I had to fix it somehow, so resorted to the old faithful "adding on a panel" trick. I toyed with the idea of using the same fabric but I had a very small remnant of pale pink polka dot waffle fabric so decided to use that. I stitched it on and top-stitched it and was so much happier with the longer length. Rose surprised me with her enthusiasm for this new pair of PJ's as I really thought she would prefer the puppy ones, but no, these were chosen to be worn for the first night. lol. I am looking forward to making at least another pair just like this, but with the longer top, of course! :-)


I love upcycling! I learnt about this term a few months ago from some fellow online crafters and loved the concept. Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products. It is so satisfying creating something this way and also a great way to reduce the consumption of new raw material and become more environmentally friendly!
I managed to acquire a used Designer's Guild breakfast pillowcase from their 'Puppy Love' range quite a while ago. Although it was small and didn't match Rose's room, I couldn't bear to throw it out and tucked it into my storage basket until I could find a use for it. Inspired by Eden's gorgeous pink rose PJ's, I decided to turn it into some PJ's for Rose. This was the simplest project ever! I used a vintage 1970's shorts pattern and just lengthened the leg length (you know how short everything was in the 70's!) to make them as long as the fabric would allow. I also had a new little white singlet in my stash which I was going to use for another project (I am planning on making a doily singlet for Rose) and that came in handy for the top. I made the shorts and used the last puppy square of fabric for the little applique on the singlet. Rose (a big puppy fan) was very pleased and I love that this beautiful 100% cotton piece of fabric now has a new lease of life. :-)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Harry's 'Rip'Stop' Shorts

Nothing exciting, but yes, more shorts! A navy and an army green pair. I made these two pairs of shorts from Nana and Karen's 'Rip-Stop' stash of fabric! According to Wikipedia, rip-stop is a "lightweight nylon fabric with interwoven ripstop reinforcement threads in a cross-hatch pattern. It is woven with coarse, strong warp and filling yarns spaced at intervals so that tears will not spread". Anyone who has had experience with a little boy will know about worn knees in their trousers! :-)

I have had these cut out for ages but have been so busy that I haven't had the chance to sew them up till last week. The floor sanders were working upstairs so we were "trapped" downstairs for a few days and I was able to dust the cobwebs away from my sewing machine. It felt great! I used a Burda pattern which I bought for Harry a few months ago and they were super easy to make. Harry has worn both pairs already and loves the soft elastic waist. There is another pair cut out and sitting by my machine for the next snippet of time I have!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Toilet Training Friendly Shorts

We have been working on toilet training Harry in the last few months but have run into some difficulty with him removing his pants! The preschool tell me that he often makes it to the toilet but takes so long pulling down down his pants due to the buttons and zips, that he doesn't quite "make it".

He is quite a skinny little guy so needs pants that have an adjustable waist, elastic waists from stores just fall down on him.

I decided to make a pair of shorts for him and bought a large roll of really soft elastic from the Hospice Warehouse. I used a Burda pattern I bought a few months ago and left off the pockets.

I cut up an old pair of my jeans to use and whipped these up and they work a treat. He can pull them down more easily due to the soft elastic waist and I have already cut out more pairs for him so he will be set for the Summer.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chair Bag

Well, it has been a while since I posted! We have moved house, our holiday has been and gone and Rose has started school. Needless to say, sewing has taken a back seat to other activities lately! :-)

Last week I decided to make Rose a chair bag for school. Her teacher told me that they had taken them off the stationery list as they were becoming increasingly hard to find in stores. A trip to the local stationery store confirmed this for me. It seems that most of the kids in her class had been given bags from friends or older siblings and I was determined that she would have one too. :-)

After a bit of research on Google, I made up my own pattern and used existing fabrics from my stash. I had picked up the cute pink print fabric from a curtain store as a remnant, not knowing what I would do with it. It was perfect for the chair bag!

It didn't take me long but I felt a great sense of achievement upon it's completion! I cut out the blonde curly haired girl from the fabric and appliqued it onto the bottom of the bag, Rose thinks it looks like her. :-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nautical Duvet Sets

Well, it has taken several months but I have finally completed Harry's nautical theme duvet sets! We bought these bunks off Trademe to use in the interim period before we moved to our new house and they needed a bit of a lift so I decided to finally get sewing!

I had enough fabric for two duvet covers and two matching pillowcases. I used a plain navy polycotton on the reverse side of one duvet and some of my Treehouse red, blue and white check 100% cotton to back the other duvet. I also had enough to make 3 extra pillowcases in the same check fabric and I am really pleased with how they all look together. I picked up a Treehouse lamp shade in the same Treehouse check for $7 and it finishes it off nicely. Harry loved his new "boat" theme and was very happy in here for the few weeks before we moved.

The duvets have been put into storage again now, waiting to be used again when his new single bed arrives. After a few "bunk mishaps" he has been put back in his cot for a few months while we contemplate what changes to make to his current new bedroom. The beige mottled wallpaper has got to go, but in the meantime we are just relaxing and enjoying our new space!

Monday, February 16, 2009

My Polka Dotty Princess


Rose was invited to a PINK party so it was the perfect excuse to give the pettiskirt tutorial a go! I was a little disheartened at first as after doing some research, the general consensus was that it would take between 7 hours to a whole day to do! Given that it was 8.30pm on the eve of the party, I had doubts about my ability to finish it in time.

I'm not sure how much material I used, I just used all the polka dot material I had left! I was 3+ metres I would say. I had found a tip online that it was easier to sew backwards. eg. Start from the hem and work your way up. This was definitely the way to go! I think I would have given up if I had done it the other way! I made metres and metres of "fluff" for the hemlines, which is what gives it the fullness. The gathering foot on my machine was my best friend for a few hours and I wouldn't even contemplate making one without it, it would take days!

On the plus side, due to all the layers, the fabric and style are very "forgiving" and small errors go unnoticed once the pettiskirt is done! How long did it take me, you ask? It took me 4.5 hours in total and I was determined to finish that night! I went to bed well after midnight. :-)

I love the end result and so does Rose. I'm not in any rush to replicate the experience yet, it is too scary to contemplate but I'm sure the lure of other gorgeous colours might make me give it a go again. One lady had written that it takes a LOT of time and effort to make one of these, but that it was worth it. I tend to agree. :-)

Sunday, February 15, 2009


It was a couple of months ago that I first heard of Pettiskirts via an Australian online forum. had a special on, which I missed out on and I have been wanting to buy one for Rose ever since. I knew they were costly to buy but I never even considered the possibility of making one until I saw a link to She had the pettiskirt guru, Kaiya Eve of on her show and I found a link to an online video tutorial. I had some pink and white polka dot material, bought and used as a tablecloth at Rose's 4th birthday party and it had only cost me $1 per metre. I knew a pettiskirt would take a LOT of fabric so I decided to use that to keep the costs down in case it was a failure!

Here are some of the pictures that inspired me to give it a go!

Happy Birthday Maddy

Rose went to her friend Madeline's 5th birthday party on the weekend and I decided to make a little nighty for her in vintage inspired fabrics, to go with her present. Rose tried it on for size and wanted to keep it herself! I promised her that she could choose her own fabric from the sewing room and I would make her another one, as this one was especially for Madeline. I am hoping she forgets!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just like Mummy's!

After spending the afternoon "lounging" in my lounge pants, Rose came and told me that she really liked my pants and asked if she could have a pair just like them so that we could be the same. I didn't have very much material left so I looked for a pattern that took up the least amount of fabric. One of the patterns I got from Gisborne had some three quarter pants on it so I used that. I made them as long as the fabric allowed and in the photos she is wearing them on her hips, as really the material only allowed for 7/8th pants! She put them on after her bath tonight and was very proud that she has some exactly like her Mum. She looks far better than me in them though! :-)