4 August 2017

You've got a friend in me

How amazing is this fabric! Master Fox is a big fan of basically anything Disney, I would tell you which is his fave but it changes weekly so who knows which it will be by the time this post is published. Having said that he is always happy to go back to an old favourite, and who doesn't love a bit of buzz and woody. 

This fabric is some more from llfab who recently ran this as part of their pre-order rounds. The fabric quality is amazing, its so nice to sew with. Its a very thick jersey but it gives the most amazing finish to these adorable little garments.

I bought the fabric to make Master Fox an adorable little tshirt to wear. The problem (is it a problem?) with making kids clothes is that you end up buying by the meter and you have so much fabric left over. Of course I am sure there are other things I can make with the rest of the fabric but how many Toy Story tshirts can one little boy have? So I decided to as well make one of his little girlfriends a matching dress as she is also a big fan of the films.

The patterns for these two outfits are both from the most recent Ottobre magazine (Summer 3/2017). The tshirt is the whales and tigers top and the dress is a mash up of the Donuts and California Surfing dresses. Thankfully these two dresses were drawn on the same pattern pieces so they were easy to mix and match. I do love the versatility of Ottobre patterns, and the great thing about having their magazine subscription is that if I want to make something you can almost always guarentee you already have a pattern for it. Having said that the instructions are vague at best and come with very little visual instruction if any. This does make them quiet difficult to follow for a novice but as long as you read them carefully and follow the instructions they are fine to work with.

I am really impressed with my binding on both these outfits. They are sitting so perfectly flat. I think that can be partly contributed to by the fabric its attached to being of such a good sturdy quality but I have also done a lot of practicing with my twin needle and the threading/tension on my machine. I really do love to challenge myself with sewing now, and knit binding was a skill which was trying to evade me, but I think we are finally getting there.

The binding fabric and green jersey came from caboodle textiles, not a site I have used before but they have some lovely knits, these plain ones feel gorgeous. The knit binding was also from them. it doesn't feel to the touch like the best quality I have ever had but it certainly stitched up fine, I think the pictures prove that.

So which is your favourite disney movie, and if you could score the fabric what would you do with it? Also does anyone have any good ideas for what I could do with the last bit of this fabric? I don't have a massive amount but it would be enough to make another small child/baby outfit. 

28 July 2017

An ombre array of baby headbands

Ok, so I know of all the sewing I have been doing these aren't exactly the most practical or useful things but they are pretty damn cute!

Will I actually put my baby in a headband? Am I that person? I don't know, but now I have the option to at least. I have a feeling that its just going to be more hassle than its worth to dress up a baby this much but I imagine they will go on for the odd posed photo ;)

These actually mark the last thing on my list of sewing projects for when baby arrives. I know we definitely didn't need these, but a baby in a headband is adorable and it was a really great use of some leftover jersey from some of my other more recent makes. Plus who can deny the value of a what would be free accessory? What is nice about them as well is that at least a couple of them are made out of fabrics which I used to make other outfits for her so they will even match.

I used a free online pattern from Coral & Co to make these. The pattern was a download but it was very minimal pages and included the pattern for both a thick and thin version as well as various sizes. Their website looks lovely and they have a fair few other free patterns, especially children's ones. There isn't much else to say about the pattern, it wasn't a difficult sew, but definitely a nice way to use up some leftover jersey you have, especially if you have already made a matching outfit and have some fabric spare.

Three of these fabrics are cotton jerseys and the plain pink one is a polyester jersey. The cotton ones have a lovely stiffness to them which helps to keep the bow in shape really well whereas the pink one is a little floppy and I feel might not be as practical on a little baby. Time will tell when I get to test it out practically.

Its lovely to have another use for those fabric scraps though. What is your favourite thing to do with fabric scraps? I'm terrible for not wanting to throw them away but also I really don't have the space to store them anymore. Its especially hard with having kids because every small piece could be a facing or a pocket lining for a tiny outfit! Argh! I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this plight though. 

21 July 2017

He's a star pocket shorts

But whats this you ask? That's right, boy sewing! I thought it about time I stopped neglecting the boy with all this girly sewing going on.

These shorts actually serve a very specific purpose, they are his new 'potty training pants'. We have just started with this joyful phase of toddlerhood and what we learnt is that he likes to take his whole bottoms off before using the potty; yep naked from the waist down! This is perfectly fine when you are at home but when you are out and about and in a hurry you don't want to have to be taking those pesky shoes off just to get his trousers off. Thankfully its summer and so I went on the hunt for the perfect shorts pattern to help us with this dilemma.

How adorable is this little man modelling his new shorts whilst running around an illuminarium! Not the best visual representation I know but have you ever tried to keep a 2 year old boy still! At least you can see the fit on him.

I was looking for something very specific when trying to find a pattern for his potty training shorts; a soft waistband for easy up and down action, no cuffs on the legs so they would go over his shoes whilst they are still on and preferably knee length. I was given a few suggestions but the pattern that came to my rescue was from Brindille and Twig and its their pockets shorts pattern. It fit my above criteria perfectly, looked really easy to make and also seemed to fit some fabric which I already had in my stash of leftovers. I also love the fact it comes with pockets, its such a cute little addition and adds a nice bit of detail to make them more interesting.

I've never made a pattern from this company before but not only is their website visually gorgeous they have so many basic jersey patterns for kids, there is definitely something for every occasion.

The pattern was a PDF download as you would expect these days, but it was so simple I only needed 5 pieces of paper. The construction was also simple enough and the pattern came with really helpful instructions that included very helpful images. In fact I don't think I actually read any of the text when constructing these shorts I just following the photos. That is my idea of a perfect pattern.

I made two versions as you can see; the blue pair are some leftover single jersey from myfabrics.com with blue rib for the waistband and some leftover black jersey for the pockets. The second pair are made using a more sturdy grey and black sweatshirt knit which I got from the Ottobre Etsy shop, some black ribbing for the waistband and the same black jersey for the pockets again. The pattern worked perfectly for both types of fabric but I definitely like the black and grey pair better. I think that's just because I love boy shorts in sweatshirt fabric, they are more like joggers and this fabric just handled really nicely and they have such a professional finish.

I made these shorts in a size 90cm (18-24 months) and they fit him perfectly, and I mean perfectly. I did sew the waistband a tiny it shorter as I know he has a little waist but otherwise its spot on. This was a little surprising as most of his stuff in this size is still a little big but I am not going to complain, its summer, they fit and he needs them for now not in 2 months time.

So all in all I love this pattern, I recommend it and this will definitely not be the last Brindille and Twig pattern I make for my little monkeys! They only question is which of their gorgeous patterns next, and will it be for a boy or a girl?

14 July 2017

The cutest kitty baby Hula Hoop dress

Who can resist something so perrrrrfect? I mean its a tiny dress with colourful jolly cats on it!

I was inspired to make this dress by one that I saw in John Lewis. It really was a beautiful dress but I just looked at it, and I looked at the price label and I just thought meh, I can do that. So the search for the perfectly cute kitty fabric commenced and I came across these cats in cotton by Dashwood studio.

The pattern is another from my very favourite children's pattern designer and its the Hula Hoop dress from Puperita. This pattern is so classic and yet modern for little girls. The shape is pretty timeless with the high waistline and gathered skirt but the square neckline make it feel much more modern and interesting.

The sew itself was very straightforward. As usual the instructions from Puperita were clear, with good photo's to help you along the way. The facing on this dress was probably my favourite bit, it was just so satisfying. After I stitched it it lay so perfectly with the top pattern it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The sleeves were a bit fiddly, but they went in easy enough and the rest of it was easy as. I managed to sew the whole thing together (with all the associated ironing, god I hate the ironing!) in one short evening.

I love the little bow on the front, its such a cute little detail. I did think about adding some piping to the waistline but I didn't want to risk ruining it so I missed it off this version. I definitely would consider adding it if I make another, it would help draw attention to the waist detail. This is such a lovely pattern for woven fabrics. The gathered skirt design means that it copes well with a more structured cotton like this. It is also easy to pair with a long sleeved top or cardi for the colder months.

I made this in size 0-3 months, its so dainty! I hope Miss Fox will be able to get some wear out of it before she is crawling around.

So, which are your favourite cats? I think for me it has to be the pink and yellow one, mostly because of the colours. It needs to be more common for adults to wear clothes like this!

7 July 2017

Another New Look 6216 and its floral!

I'm pretty sure a few posts ago when I did some baby sewing I talked about how I NEVER sew in florals for myself because I just never ever wear them. What happened?

The print is very 'twee' and feels a bit Cath Kidson to me, what with the colour and the flowers and I honestly can't tell you whats drawn me to this fabric. Maybe its my inner 'mummy' but whatever it is I actually really like it.

There isn't really much to say about this sew, it is another New Look 6216 in size 10. The last two I made just seemed to feel really nice when I tried them on over my bump so I figured I could fit another one into my wardrobe for after baby arrives. This pattern is just so easy to sew and the results look stunning, it could definitely be store bought. I really liked the additional sleeve option out of the two I made last time so I used it again on this version.

Both fabrics are from a local fabric shop in Derby called 'Elegance'. I don't tend to go in very often but I definitely should more, they have some lovely bits in there and the staff are so nice.

This jersey is a little thicker than the stuff I used to make the other versions in my previous post but the top still hangs really well and this jersey handled perfectly.

I'll tell you what though, I'm bored of blogging about things which I can't actually show you being modeled, everything looks so flat. It's also hard to write about the fit etc of a pattern when you can't actually wear it. That being said I can't wait to start sharing them later on. Watch this space.

Do you ever sew with fabrics out of your comfort zone in terms of colour/print? How did you find it, were they worn or did they just end up in the back of the drawer never to see the light of day again? Hopefully this won't be the case here as I do really like this fabric but only time will tell whether I actually managed to add a floral print to my wardrobe.

30 June 2017

Some roomy Rumi tanks

Continuing on my baggy jersey basics campaign This week I stitched myself up 3 (yes 3!) new tank tops which are again aimed at my post baby, breastfeeding body. Being as summer is pretty much on our doorstep I thought I best make sure I have thought about those hot sweaty days with a hot sweaty baby and have some functional vest tops.

The pattern is the Rumi tank by Christine Haynes, its a racer back vest top which is quiet fitted at the top, but has lots of room at the bottom so will hopefully skim those curves rather than cling to them. It was the loose fit at the bottom of this tank which really made me want to give this pattern a go.

The sew itself could not have been easier, as a pattern these things are a cinch and so quick to make. The instructions were perfectly adequate, they are brief, but then there is not actually much to be doing to make these. I made all of these, including cutting, in about 6 hours, but given my mobility at the moment that's pretty good going. I definitely recommend this pattern and I can see it becoming one of my staple go to patterns in the future. What I really like about this pattern is the way the binding is attached, it makes for a really professional clean finish.

None of these are 'perfect' makes, but they are certainly all wearable. The biggest issue I had was keeping the width of the neckband even as I overlocked it on. I am hopeful this is just something that would get better with practice as I was certainly better by the third version here.

I used three very different fabrics to make these tanks. My favourite (in looks) is definitely this pineapple one, however the fabric itself is horrible! Its really fine, it has barely any stretch for a jersey and it just feels a bit cheap really. I bought it from a local fabric shop a year ago because of the print but the last project I tried just didn't work as there was not enough give. Hopefully this tank will be baggy enough that this won't matter. This version kept its shape the best, but that's because you would struggle to stretch it out of shape. This is the reason why I edged it in the black, as I needed a fabric with more recovery for the binding. I do like the way it looks though, lets hope it wears ok.

Next up is the black one made from some very fine polyester jersey which I bought from the market years ago. This is a really nice fabric for this pattern as its so fine it has a beautiful drape. That being said this one has the most stretched out hem as the twin needle sewing was not so easy on something so delicate. Who doesn't need more black basic vests though? Exactly, we all do, they go with anything and if the hem is too stretched out when worn I can always wear it tucked into a waist high skirt. 

Lastly is this pinky/red marl version. This fabric I bought very recently in Elegance in derby (a local fabric shop) as I quiet liked the colour and texture and it wasn't very expensive. This fabric is a lot thicker jersey than the other two and so its drape is not as good. I do really like this version but I have a feeling the weight of the fabric isn't going to suit the pattern anywhere near as well as the others. This version has stretched out in the hem a little but its not bad, this fabric was also the hardest to attach the edging on and has the most obvious difference in width.

So all in all this pattern gets a big thumbs up form me, lets hope its the same verdict once I actually get to wear them! Again I will try and share some pictures on instagram once I finally get them worn

Have you ever made up the same pattern in numerous types of fabric? How did you find the differences? It really has amazed me, even in the same 'type' of fabric how much of a difference one can make to the other.

23 June 2017

A Busy Book for Master Fox

What is a busy book? Well its a book filled with activities in a hope to keep your little toddler busy! Who are we kidding right, this is going to work for all of about 5 minutes! 

I, just like i'm pretty sure all other mothers of toddlers have done, have used pinterest to find activities to keep your little ones entertained, but also with learning in mind. This is one of those examples and has been something which I have been collecting ideas for for a while now. They are usually handmade and sewn so this was definitely a project I knew I could do. 

My plan for this book is to keep it until baby Fox arrives and then it can be his special book which he looks at with mummy while I am breastfeeding. It will hopefully become special to him and will allow us to still have some bonding time and not feel neglected while I have to spend so much time looking after baby. 

I'm not going to lie, I pretty much stole all the ideas for the pages for this book from pinterest, so this is by no means unique or original, but hey when there are so many good ideas out there where is the need. Also I have made this for personal use, it is in no way going to be marketed or sold by me. If you want to have a look at my board of ideas you can find it here on pinterest

So let me tell you a little about the pages: 
Page 1: Felt carrots attached to ribbon which can be inserted into holes in the ground which have been sewn as buttonholes. The top of the wheelbarrow also remains open so that the carrots can also be put into the barrow.

Page 2: Animal beads strung onto ribbon which has been attached between two pieces of felt. The number of animals on each row increase by one and the beads can be moved back and forth to encourage counting. 

Page 3: A felt monster with a zip for a mouth which contains some pom poms. This page helps encourage fine motor skills in opening and closing the zip and Master fox will surely have lots of fun putting the pom poms in his mouth. Pom poms are one of our favourite non play play items. You can have hours of fun with these, including pom pom fights which seems to be a favourite game of his grandparents! I purposefully made this monster in blue and purple to match his favourite monster Sully!

Page 4: Three vehicles attached to ribbon which can be moved backwards and forwards across the page. A car, a train and an aeroplane. This again encourages fine motor skills and also imaginary play. 

Page 5: A whale with an open mouth and 3 fish attached to the page with poppers. The fish can be removed from the page and fed to the whale and then reattached. Master Fox loves a whale, and he has a Duplo one which he loves to feed so hopefully he will enjoy this. 

Page 6: This lovely little crocodile has a mouth that opens really wide to show off its sharp teeth. This is great for making snapping motions but the page also includes a toothbrush which can be used to clean the crocs teeth promoting good dental hygiene. The toothbrush can be placed back in the holder once used. 

Page 7: This brave little fireman has got into his lift to help put out the fires in the building. The lift is attached with buttons and buttonholes so that he can be lowered up and down to be closer to the fire. 

Page 8: The last and final page is the least sophisticated with some coloured pockets and some coloured wooden sticks. Not the most exciting page but an excellent one to help learn colours and matching skills. 

I really hope Master Fox likes his little book, I am really pleased with it and I am glad I finally got around to making it. I had loads more ideas for pages but I needed to finish somewhere otherwise I wouldn't be getting anything else done.