Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pattern Testing

I was fortunate to be able to test out a new pattern for Heidi & Finn Modern Wears for Kids recently. For those who've been here for awhile, you'll remember I made some Heidi & Finn Urban Hoodies a couple of years ago for the boys. This time around it was a dress for Jem... aren't they both adorable?!

Follow Heidi & Finn on facebook if you'd like to keep up to date with new patterns, the Colorblock Dress is now available, and you have heard it here that this is a very easy make and there are endless possibilities for personalising this pattern. Clearly I chose the simple option this time, using up my stash and appealing to my love of simple, plus I think Jem rocks the colour blue!

It does up at the back with a button and loop, so there are no buttonholes or zips to wrangle, which always helps! I have used a favourite red & white button but of course everytime I tried to take a pic, our subject moved, or rolled away! I made the 12 month size knowing that the length would be a touch long but the chest would fit well with hopefully a little room to grow. The dress is fully lined and will be great layered with a cardigan and tights through winter, and fingers crossed she can get some wear out of it in spring too? Maybe that's just a bit too hopeful with the speed this one is growing!!

And here's a pic of her charming us all as she rolls her way around the yard!

Pattern :: Heidi & Finn Colorblock Dress
Fabric :: Quilting cottons from my stash. The bottom section is Kona Marine, not sure what the other two colours are. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lessons in Measuring.

Have you heard the old saying 'measure twice, cut once'?  I have... lots... particularly when I was at uni and making models for various projects, usually late into the night, the night before it was due, and incorrectly cut up the last piece of foam core / card / balsa whatever the material was that we were supposed to be using.  And one would think that after my very recent experience with the slightly tight Geranium Dress I would've thought to measure my child before going to the trouble of making them something.  But no, I decided to finally try my first Oliver + S make after hoarding a few patterns for a couple of years. I made the Oliver + S Sailboat Top and assumed the size 5 would fit the 4 year old. 

Not sure what the sad face is about!

Yes I know he's tall for his age, and has been all his life, but surely the 5 would fit!! Ha, wrong again!  Thankfully, it was the sleeve length that was too short and I didn't hem the sleeves before trying it on him, though I was sorely tempted to finish it while he was sleeping! Anyway, the sleeves were easily fixed with a cuff, and I am now an Oliver + S groupie/fan girl/whatever you want to call it! Not sure what he's doing with his hands below but you get a pic of the added band on the sleeves.

The buttons may be changed as it has been suggested that they are a tad feminine, and I've had too many experiences of random strangers asking if my son is a girl so really want to discourage that... He does not look like a girl in my opinion! He loves the shirt so half the battle is won!!  The print is hand stamped using Yellow Owl Workshop stamps brought over from San Francisco by besties who live there. Love these stamps so so much and will definitely have to get more one day.

So I have a new resolution. To measure my kids, and record their measurements on these cards available from Oliver + S so I stop making the same mistakes over and over again!!  And then I'll be able to get into sewing from all the delicious Oliver + S patterns I've been hoarding for the last couple of years!

image from here

Pattern: Oliver + S Sailboat Top (in size 5 with added sleeve cuff)
Fabric: Cotton Jersey 
Print: Yellow Owl Workshop Sea Stamp Set

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Pretty Geranium.

I have officially jumped on the Geranium Dress bandwagon! This pattern is so well written that the making of this dress was definitely a pleasure. Doesn't our baby look adorable in it too? Love little girls in pretty dresses!!

My only issue with it, is nothing to do with the pattern, more my own impatience in not waiting till our bub woke to measure her. I figured that being almost seven months old at the time of making that the 6-12 month size would surely fit. I didn't take into account the fact that our bubba is a chubba, and on buttoning it up, realised that it's  a teeny bit tight.  So I tried pulling it apart to remake the bodice with smaller seams, but think I'll just remake it now and attach a bigger bodice to the current skirt... *sigh*... Better get onto that soon so she can get at least a little more wear from it!

Those faux cap sleeves are adorable and it'll be hard to try the sleeveless version when these are so cute! The options chosen for this dress were the cap sleeves and the pleated skirt, I think it could've done with some black piping or a sash between the bodice and skirt for a littler definition, but that's only if I'm being really picky about it. Can't wait to make the next one...

The Details:
Dress Pattern: The Geranium Dress
Main Fabric: Ed Emberley Happy Drawing Owls in Multi
Lining Fabric: Ed Emberley Happy Drawing Squiggle in Green

Nappy Cover: The Perfect Diaper Cover (though I did add an extra inch to the top of the pattern so it fit for a bit longer!) 
Fabric:  Ed Emberley Happy Drawing Squiggle in Green

The quilt was made by my mumma as a house warming gift when we bought our house - she's a clever lady my mum!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Blanket Season!

The weather here is beautiful at the moment... When it's not raining anyway! Crisp autumn mornings and evenings, and clear blue sky days! We had crazy rain last week though, and our walk to school involved umbrellas, rain coats, pram covers and gum boots! We usually take a walkway that crosses a very small creek, but when it's been raining it looks like the pic below. We are very grateful for the bridge on rainy days!!

Along with the cooler weather comes a jump in the popularity of our Pram Blankets and this week saw me making and sending a stack of blankets down to Canberra's Shop Handmade. The package included some of my favourite boy style fabrics, which are always hard to cut into! The lions & tigers, giraffes and dragons are the most beautifully soft organic cottons by Cloud 9 fabrics, the prints are by Ed Emberley, these won't last long!

I've also jumped on the Geranium Dress bandwagon and made Miss J one using the cute fabric below.  It's another Ed Emberley that I'd been saving for her and I'm hoping it'll look as great worn as it does in my head, photos will come once I've sewn on the buttons!! I need to add that the pattern is really well written and I'd recommend it to everyone!

Now I'm off to the sewing machine, though fairly sure that Miss J will wake from her sleep about a minute after I turn it on!

Friday, March 1, 2013


I never meant to be gone so long, but life has a way of moving on and time gets away... Not that things haven't been busy. With three kids, one husband, a business, a home and everything that these things bring with them, posting here has been pushed to the back burner for too long!

Since I was last here our baby girl has been doing some growing...

From this...
Photo: Waiting for my bros...
to this!
Also our eldest has started school, and let me say that I might have found it a little hard to adjust to our new routine! The lunches, the getting-everyone-ready-to-walk-out-the-door-by-a-certain-time five days a week, the laundry, the staying on top of all the notes sent home, the remembering which days are library/sport/news/early finishes etc. If any of you more experienced school mums/dads have any tips to offer they will be gratefully received!

Photo: We were walking home from school and I turned around to see why the boys weren't keeping up... They were walking like this! #missedmybro
We walk to and from school most days, one day the boys were lagging behind, on turning around to hurry them up, I realised they were walking like this, chatting about their days. Here's hoping they stay this close forever!
Add to those major events, a market, a couple of our birthdays, Christmas, Summer holidays and that just about sums up what's been happening for the last six months. I have come to realise some things over these last few months:
  • That doing markets will be near impossible for the next little while.
  • That time is seriously fleeting and these days with my little ones are so very precious.
  • That creativity is needed to retain my sanity
  • That I struggle to find a balance between the last two points!
So I hope you'll stick around and see how this coming year pans out along with us!