Archive for the ‘kids’ Category

Gelato Skirt Gift

April 5, 2012
Gelato Ruffle Skirt

Gelato Ruffle Skirt

It’s birthday fever around here, lots of birthday presents in the works.

In my mind I’ve been wanting to make a little layered skirt for my eldest’s best-friend for a while. As her birthday was coming up I was on the hunt for some sweet yellow fabric, as yellow is her favourite colour. This is probably the main reason I think the girls are best friends! hahah. Little kids are so awesome.

‘You love yellow?’

‘Yellow is my favourite colour too’

‘Wow, lets be best friends’

Ahhh, the innocence is so adoreable! Oh and they ‘had me at Yellow‘ too!

yellow labels

yellow labels too!

I found some adoreable fabric, but when I got it home I found the piece they had cut for me had marks all over that. Don’t you hate that?! When I went back to get more it had all sold out.

But that’s ok. While I was wondering around I saw that there was a whole new lot of Lawn in stock in lots of pretty colours. I was sold and in the end I think what I came up with was better!

ruffle skirt

ruffle skirt

Lucky for me I hardly had to do any work figuring this one out. Three days before I was about to start Dana must have read my mind because she posted this post. Boy I love her blog! So many times I’ve gone to do something and she’s already gone ahead and made it easy for me!

Of course I always have to tweak things! So I followed the general construction but I changed the sizes of things. For my skirt I didn’t want to see any of the ‘connector pieces’ like you could see in the Dana version so I made sure my ruffle pieces were 1.5cms longer than the connectors. I think this was particularly important as I was using three colours and it was in Cotton Lawn which is a bit transparent. A quality that I love because it makes it so light and bouncy but I wanted to make sure each colour held its own when layered.

careful layer construction

careful layer construction

I also had to match up my pieces carefully. When stitching you have to make sure the connector piece that sits under the ruffle is the same colour. Finally because I hate raw edges (yeah, my own personal issue!) I had to roll hem each strip! lots of work but worth it I think!

gelato ruffle skirt

gelato ruffle skirt

She’s been wearing her gift to kindy the last few days so I’m pretty sure she loves it as much as I did. I have two more requests for these (I wonder by who!!??) so I might have to line all three of them up and take a picture when I’m done!! Rainbow, gelato ruffles everywhere!!

ruffle skirt made from Cotton Lawn

bouncy ruffle skirt

Modern Baby Boy Quilt

March 31, 2012
modern baby quilt

modern baby quilt

Remember the bunting I made recently? Well here is the matching bedding! Inspired by this gorgeous quilt that Holly from Bijou Lovely made for her friend Kelly, who came up with the design. I made up the dimensions myself as Holly hasn’t posted a tutorial or a pattern on it yet (but I think she plans too). I loved its simplicity and fortunately its simplicity made it easy to figure out a block size that suited our fabric choices.

Modern Baby Quilt

Modern Baby Quilt Front

modern baby quilt back

Modern Baby Quilt Back

When I found out the plan for the baby’s room was aqua/turquoise kind of tones I knew that the Backyard Baby fabric range would be perfect. I got my friend to choose her favourites from there and I added to those with complimentary soilds, dots and stripes from Spotlight.

windy day, backyard baby

I love this windy day one and its little heart carved into the tree trunk and eggs in the nest in the tree branches, oh and the birds with scarves! cute cute cute.

dots, backyard baby

dots, backyard baby

how sweet are the acorns inside some of these dots?!

birch forrest, backyard baby

birch forrest, backyard baby

The beauty of birch trees aside, those little orange caps on the woodpeckers head! sweet!

Put all the fabrics together and I think it creates quite a nice modern baby boy colour pallet.

all together - a modern baby boy pallet

all together – a modern baby boy pallet

I also put together a new bassinet mattress and some fitted sheets. I just bought extra of some of the stripe fabric because it was the softest cotton I’ve felt in a long time. Like a brushed cotton or something. Perfect for bubs to rest his sweet little head. If you need to make your own bassinet bedding, because lets face it, its almost impossible to buy, you can! Its very easy.

Just take your mattress (I got this one cut at Clarke Rubber using the old mattress as a template) place it on top of your fabric. Trace its outline.

Measure the depth of your mattress, add 2.5cm to this. Now redraw your shape you just traced onto the fabric but keep this distance away from your original line. ie. if your mattress plus your seam allowance is 7.5cm, draw your shape 7.5cm larger all the way around. Cut it out. Measure the perimeter of the edge of your fabric, three quaters of this distance will be your elastic length. Sew a casing seam all the way around and thread it with thin elastic about 5mm x 3/4 the perimeter of your original edge. Stitch to secure. Done! Now make a couple, because you know babies, they aren’t all softness and sweet smelling. Spew and poop. Yep.

matching bassinet mattress and fitted sheet

from underneath – bassinet mattress and fitted sheet

goes beautifully with the quilt

goes beautifully with the quilt

I hope his quilt is a place for playing and for snuggles for many years!

baby quilt - made with love.

baby quilt – made with love.

Japanese Bubble Skirt

March 23, 2012

A little friend of ours is turning 5! Currently this sweet little number is winging its way to her house.

Japanese Pattern Skirt

Japanese Bubble Skirt

Its a really simple cute as a button pattern from this Japanese kids clothing book.

Japanese Pattern Book

Japanese Pattern Book

I actually had a few issues with the pattern itself. Well I think that was the problem. If my guessing at what the Japanese means is right (and its probably not) some of the measurements are way out. In the end I took the general idea of the skirt and made most of it up. I really hope it fits!! I think it will be the perfect little skirt to jump around in with leggings and boots in the change of season that she’s about to experience.

Bows make the skirt bubble

Cute Little Bows

The skirt sports cute little bow ties at the bottom which gives it its bouncy look.

French Seams

French Seams

And the pattern calls for french seams which I think really finish off this simple skirt beautifully.

Japanese Bubble Skirt

Japanese Bubble Skirt

and this is me making my oldest try it on so I felt like I was at least close to the right size seeing I fiddled with it so much. I actually think it should sit a little shorter so hopefully it’ll fit perfect!

Crayon Super Star

March 21, 2012
Crayon Stars

Crayon Stars

I’ve been coming up with little projects to do with my youngest whilst Big Sister is at Kindy.

re-use crayon bits

stubby crayons - time for a new look

I’ve been meaning to try out melting left-over crayons into new shapes for a while now. We finally gave it a go. I quickly browsed the net for ‘recipies’ but it appears a bit hit and miss. So I started with good ol Martha and went from there.

score the wrapper

A few people on the net suggested using a stanley to score the crayons to get the wrappers off… good tip. My good tip is then give it to one with itty bitty fingers and let her go to town.

little fingers unwrap crayons well

Once you’ve got all the crayons unwrapped break them into small pieces and then use them as a colour sort activity. We had a heap of fun with this part!

a great tool for teaching colour theory

then put your crayon bits into a container. I just used an old ikea ice tray.

Pretty sure you cant do this more than a few times with the same tray, and I’d be real careful, but it worked for us. I threw it out after (I think they only cost $1.)

You can group your colours together or mix them up. Some of my favourites were the ones where we blended complimentary colours.

place broken crayons in container

place broken crayons in container

I then placed it on a baking tray lined with baking paper, just in case it all went pear shaped! Then it went in the oven.

wait patiently...

Don’t worry, our oven is cool touch. Martha suggests 10-15minutes at 150C but I found that 5minutes melted them just fine. (I was being really careful not to over heat the ice cube tray too.)

melted crayon

melted crayon

melted crayon is all glossy and almost clear looking. Allow it to cool to opaque. I also put ours in the freezer for about 20minutes, I read it helped pop them out. Now this is the part where I tell you the stars work quite well but I think a more solid shape, like a heart, would be easier to pop out. Some of the points on a few of the stars cracked off as they were quite difficult to pop out. Still we got some great stars with interesting colours and fun new crayons to draw with. Here are a couple of my favourites:

star wars star!

Doesn’t this make you think of space? You could make them as party gifts for a star-wars party!

motley

I’m always a fan of anything with a bit of yellow!

pretty blue

You can see this was one of the ones where a point got cracked off. It was so pretty though.

And for the ultimate test….

They draw great!

They draw great!

wait for big sister to come home and surprise her with a fun present, then get drawing!

Baby Bunting

February 10, 2012
Aqua, Green, Grey Bunting

Aqua, Green, Grey Bunting

A friend of mine is about to have a baby boy. I’m sure she’s completely sick of me asking her if she’s had it yet and if she would hurry up. People made those jokes a lot when I was pregnant and I wondered why they never tired of them. Now I’m on the other side (being painful and making lame jokes) I think its the non-pregnant persons way of saying ‘oh yay I’m just so totally excited you are about to have a baby’!

Anyway as a gift I’m making her some bassinet bedding, because its hard to buy bedding for a bassinet and its a fun way to add decoration to a baby room. She had her baby shower on the weekend and I’m not quite done with the bedding. (Maybe I should stop wishing the baby was out until I’m done!)

As a little shower gift, a teaser of what’s to come, a way to add some extra decor to the party (and later baby’s room) I made some bunting.

Bunting in the window

Bunting in the window

These are pictures of it hanging in our kitchen window. I was having so much fun at the party I totally forgot to take a picture of it with all the other fun decor. I did however make her a matching bunting card.

aqua bunting card

aqua bunting card

Hopefully I’ll be posting the bedding soon too! Before baby comes!

Loving the fabric she chose to use its, Backyard Baby by Patty Sloniger, I got it from Sew Mama Sew.

Kindy Bag

February 9, 2012
Kindergarten Bag

Kindy Bag!

So last week my oldest started kindergarten. The school requested we make them a two handled, open, shoulder bag. A little curious, I thought, as I was all set to make her a cute back pack like this one by Made-by-Rae. Still I went along with it. A friend of mine suggested it might be easier for them to get their stuff in and out of. Plus, she had all these gigantic school supplies that would never fit in that cute little pack.

Kindy Bags

Her bag, next to her best-friends bag, cute!!

I ordered some cute fabric online but it was slow in coming and I still might make her one, so I kind of wanted to keep it for its original purpose! Instead, I set my self a challenge, only use fabric I already had. It was a great idea! Sometimes I find putting boundaries on your creativity is a good thing.

Babushka Doll for the Center Panel

Babushka Doll for the Center Panel

A big rectangular bag can be a bit dull. So I thought a bit of fabric piecing would add interest as well give me a way to include some of her favourite fabrics and colours. She’s pretty keen on Babushka Dolls at the moment. So I thought using that idea as a motif would be fun. I also thought I could make a collection of bags one day (when I find the time) in various sizes. School bag, lunch bag, pencil case… see where I’m going?

Babushka Bag

Babushka Bag

I used a ‘cheats turned-applique’ technique I just sort of invented in my brain but I’m sure I’m not the first. Its where you sew together two pieces of fabric the shape of what you want, right sides together. Carefully cut into one layer and turn right side out. After you’ve ironed it you’ll have a fray-less object to applique! I used the same technique for her name.

Non Fraying Name Applique

Non Fraying Name Applique

Finally, I stitched the front panel onto a yellow backing to make the rest of the bag and then lined it. Making sure I included some box pockets for lunch and pencils.

Box Pleat Pockets

Box Pleat Pockets

She looked super cute with her bag getting ready for Kindy, and there was lots of playing with it before she actually started school. I do think I’ll end up carrying it most of the time! Isn’t it always the way!

Kindergarten Bag

Kindy Bag

A Boys Quilt – Children At Play

January 20, 2012
Boys Quilt

Boys Quilt

So a very important little man in my life turned one! To celebrate I wanted to make him a very special keepsake gift.

After showing his Mum the Children at Play range by Sarah Jane she fell in love with it as much as I did! I went ahead and used fabrics from both over the fence and after school collections.

White, Red and Blue Boys Quilt

White, Red and Blue Boys Quilt

And that’s what I ended up with.

My friend loves White, and tempering all those traditional boy colours with a healthy does of white made the quilt a bit more modern. I love the fabric so much I had a hard time cutting into it so I just went with big squares so you could really appreciate the illustrations and colours of each one.

Sweet little bikes

Sweet little bikes

Rocket Ships and Dots

Rocket Ships and Dots

Boys Playing and Stripes

Boys Playing and Stripes

and I quilted it with a ‘train-track’ pattern, I don’t know if that’s what its actually called but that’s what I call it! Seems appropriate here!

While I was taking pictures our Vintage Noddy and Big Ears (made for me when I was a child by my Grandma) wandered off their top shelf to have a little look….

Noddy and Big Ears, look pretty cute cuddled up on it too!

Noddy and Big Ears, look pretty cute cuddled up on it too!

Quilt Large Enough for a King Single Bed

waking up in this bed looks alright to me!

I backed it in England Swings – Butcher Stripe (have you seen the gorgeous video on her site! sigh) for a couple of reasons.

England Swings - Butcher Stripe Backing

England Swings - Butcher Stripe Backing

Firstly, it brings out the darker blue of the rocket ship illustrations, which I love and wanted to highlight. I also wanted something simple and masculine for the backing. I thought if he ever feels too ‘grown-up’ for the sweet illustrations he can just flip the quilt over and keep using it!

Finally, my Grandfather was a butcher and he trained my Dad as a butcher, when I was a kid on Saturday morning’s Dad would help out his mates in their butcher shops. I remember him wearing aprons with this exact print. I have fond memories of going to pick him up after the Saturday morning rush. Shuffling through the sawdust on the floors and being plonked up on the butchers paper (the only spot where the cold steel benches wouldn’t freeze my toosh) and been given a piece of polony to munch on while he finished cleaning up. So when I saw this fabric I couldn’t help but back this special quilt in something that evokes fond memories of my own childhood!

all hand bound for my little friend!

all hand bound for my little friend!

Finally I hand bound it in this sweet mid blue, dot and stripe fabric. I was having a hard time deciding between a dot and a stripe or maybe a gingham for the binding and then I found this! It tied all the blues together beautifully and I didn’t have to decide! The perfect binding fabric really!

As with any quilt lots of love and time when into this one and I’m so pleased with how it turns out! I hope it keeps him warm and safe for many years!

Handmade Fabric Ornamnets

December 21, 2011
Handmade Fabric Ornaments

Handmade Fabric Ornaments

So I wanted to make something meaningful for my girlfriends for Christmas, I thought a little handmade ornament for the tree might be something nice. I got my girls involved and they ‘helped’ make some for their friends too. I think its nice, they can pop it on the tree each year and remember its from us.

I used the tutorial at belle and burger, I love her thought process behind the original idea. Houses are so protective and there is something christmassy about that isn’t there? I guess a house is often your home and that’s where family is.

I had fun using some of my favorite scraps up and picking ones that I though would suit each specific friend and her decor. Most of my friends have young kids, breaking ornaments seem to go hand-in-hand with young children, so I thought the fabric ornaments would suit my friends with little kids ‘at that age’.

This one is scraps from a quilt I made for my friends little boy.

Fabric House Ornament

Fabric House Ornament

Dont they look fun hanging on the tree

Dont they look fun hanging on the tree

I love sparkle and lights when it comes to Christmas, a fabric ornament tends to go against that instinct. So I made sure there were some shiny buttons to reflect light!

Fabric House with Sparkle

Fabric House with Sparkle

so shiny!

so shiny!

just add a bit of love

just add a bit of love and hand stitching

of course there had to be a yellow one

of course there had to be a yellow one

top with an interesting hanger

topped with a thoughtful hanger

These are the ones my girls made for their friends. They’re too little to actually cut accurately and sew but I gave them the felt backing and let them choose the fabrics and buttons and ribbons they wanted. They then cut out ‘chunks’ of the fabrics and placed the fabrics where they wanted. I then cut down the chunks and stitched them together for them.

for little girls by little girls

for little girls by little girls

I love this so much I might make it a yearly thing! Handmade ornaments!

What little Christmas traditions do you have that you share with your friends?

boys satchel car playmat

December 20, 2011

Yep, you read that right, its not just a jumble of words I made a boys-satchel-car-playmat.

I was going to show you hand-made ornaments but I thought it made more sense to follow up yesterday’s little girl play-bag post with the gift I made for her little brother. I figured the dollhouse hand bag was a bit girly for a boy (although you could totally make it work if you wanted). So I decided a satchel suited a little boy best. Anna from noodlehead once posted about turning some old cargos in to a satchel and I’ve always loved the idea. I think its a great way to give the bag a ‘weathered’ look and I like the details you get with all the ‘pre-stitched’ areas. Plus if you cut right you can use one of the premade pockets to use on your bag!

Satchel made from Cargo Pants

Satchel made from Cargo Pants

So with that in mind I set about figuring out how to make it into a bag that would fold out flat so it could be played on.

Surprise at the back of the bag

Surprise at the back of the bag

Undo the tabs holding the bag closed

Undo the tabs holding the bag closed

fold open the satchel flap

fold open the satchel flap

and a whole viilage, perfect for zooming cars, awaits

and a whole viilage, perfect for zooming cars, awaits

There are a TON of ideas out there of little play mat villages, if you just google car playmat you’ll end up with a stack of inspiration. So none of my ideas are very original but I still love how it all came out. I made little personal touches that suit the little guy this one is for.

Where he lives there is a fair bit of new development, and I know one of his favourite pass-times is to sit and watch all the trucks at the construction sites. Now he can truck dirt around in his bag…

play construction site

the construction site

At the end of the street where he lives there is a park, in the other direction there is a big river, so those fun things had to be included in his little village.

the park and the river

the park and the river

the grocery store and bookstore

the grocery store and bookstore

When I visited him recently we went on some outings to the Superstore and to Chapters so I thought including them would be fun. (I love the little apple tape I found for the grocery store! I would totally shop at a place with apples on its roof!) You can see in this picture for the ‘dotted’ lines in the road I just used button hole stitch on my sewing machine. The rest of the details were hand-stitched so it took a while to do this project but I really had a lot of fun.

So all he needs to do now is pack it full of cars

when folded up the bag can cars for on the go fun

when folded up the bag can hold cars, for on the go fun

and be ready to play, where ever he is!

pocket from the pants makes a great place to store snacks

pocket from the pants makes a great place to store snacks

I sure hope he likes packing up a snack and taking his bag on adventures.

 

Fabric House Village

December 19, 2011
Take-along fabric dollhouses!

Take-along fabric dollhouses!

Before I went to New York I wanted to make something for my girls to play with whilst I was away. I’d been wanting to make them a little portable dollhouse for a while and I came across UK Lass in the US fabric dollhouse tutorial, its a great tutorial. I will warn you however, its pretty time consuming. It looks like a simple sweet gift but it takes a good 3days to complete, I’d say. Or maybe a whole day if you could dedicate that kind of uninterrupted time. I’m a pretty slow crafter. I check and double check and I think things through a lot first so maybe its just me! Who knows!

Anyway in the end each little girl had one of these to play with and take around with them while I was away.

inside the fabric dollhouse

inside the fabric dollhouses

a little handle to carry around little girl goodies

a little handle to carry around little girl goodies

blue buttons to make sure nothing falls out!

blue buttons to make sure nothing falls out!

red daisies for cheer and holding things in!

red daisies for cheer and holding things in!

They LOVE them. if you have a little girl in your life its totally worth the time. Its a very inexpensive project. I didn’t use the recommended stiffening I just used these

craft activity for empty cereal boxes

empty cereal boxes

I think they’re easier to use and they hold up well once you’ve wrapped and stuck them with wadding and masking tape. If you sew your sections so they’re very snug it helps the structure too and they’re easy to slide in because they bend a little. (Although I’m pretty sure if it got sat on it’d break.)

I also painted little wooden peg dolls in replica of each of them, which they also loved. Except I used water based paint and didn’t seal it. The second they got handled with little sticky fingers they got all smudged. oops.

handpainted wooden peg dolls

Sisters for the dollhouse

handpainted wooden peg dolls

Sisters for the dollhouse

I made another one for one of our little friends for Christmas.

portable fabric dollhouse

dollhouse number 3 - a christmas gift!

alphabet canvas ribbon for handles

with sweet alphabet cloth ribbon for handles

jewel buttons

jewel buttons - that my girls chose

peak inside the purple dollhouse

peak inside the purple dollhouse

fabric dollhouse village

the fabric dollhouse village

It looked like a fabric dollhouse village at our house, before the purple one got wrapped up and put in the mail. They really are a cute and fun idea! You could probably squeeze one in before Christmas if you need one last hand made gift!

What last minute gifts are you making/finishing up? I’ve got some fun ornaments I’m going to share tomorrow…if I get them finished!