Saturday, 5 September 2015

Hello!

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Well hello there, poor neglected blog, it’s been a while!

Sorry for being a bit absent from these parts, over the last month. We moved house about 2 weeks ago (hence the pile of boxes in that second photo) and I’m just starting to find my feet (and still awaiting our WIFI connection… grrr!)

I still have been sewing, mainly filling an order for 25 pairs of undies! Yes! 25! (That’s them all piled up in the third photo.) This order was for Freedom Kid's Clothing, a new online store specializing in gender neutral and ethically produced children’s wear – and it’s launching soon.

I’m also looking forward to sewing a bunch of things for myself and my kids. The change of seasons seems to inspire me in that way – what’s that, a little bit of sunshine? Quick, lets sew all the warmer weather things!

The last two photos are from today. We spent a lovely afternoon picnic-ing and frolicking amongst the daffodils at Taniwha fields (you can pick 30 flowers for $5) … and this afternoon the kids made Father’s day cards. Noah, in particular wrote some very sweet messages to his Dad.

Anyway, I must run (mobile internet and all), but I’ll be back to share some sewing I did last month, perhaps more details on the undies I made and some more photos from today’s daffodil picking expedition.

What’s new with you?

Jenny x

Monday, 10 August 2015

My Interview with Holli from ‘Hello Holli’

hello holli picture

As part of my duties as a Kid’s Clothes Week contributor I had to interview one my fellow KCW participants. I decided to interview Holli. I only just ‘discovered’ Holli, during the latest KCW by browsing the project page. I’m not sure how I hadn’t happened upon her before, because I just love her design aesthetic – but that’s one of the great things about KCW, isn’t it – you are continually discovering more and more talent and inspiration!

Talking about talent and inspiration, check out this couple of collages I created with just some of Holli’s amazing projects … and if you want to read more (and see the links to all these projects) you’ll have to check out my interview on the KCW blog.

Hello Holli introPhotography tips

Pretty inspirational, huh?

Jen x

Friday, 31 July 2015

Gingerbread Moustaches

A week or so ago, Isabelle helped me to make gingerbread moustaches. We’d planned to make gingerbread in the school holidays (it’s a tradition) but we didn’t get round to it – so I knew we’d have to set aside a morning for it. Noah was at school and Pipi napping so Isabelle and I got stuck in – seriously that girl’s work ethic is amazing, she just pulls her sleeves up and gets right into it. (Did I mention that before this she’d helped me get a casserole in the slow cooker?)

Cutting out gingerbread shapes is fun anyway, but it’s even more fun when you have a whole range of moustache cutters and stamps to use. (I scored these a while back at the op shop, brand new still in their packaging … and you might remember me using them for this baby shower?)

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Not only do they look super cute, they actually taste great too. I love our simple and easy gingerbread recipe. I shared it here in case you’re keen to make it yourself!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup (220g) firmly packed soft brown sugar.
  • 150g butter
  • 1 egg, beaten

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Sift flour, baking soda and ground ginger together and place in a bowl or food processor. Add brown sugar.
  3. Add butter and rub in with fingertips or pulse in food processor until resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg and stir or pulse to mix. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour to the mix and wrap in cling wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Roll out on lightly floured surface or between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Using cookie cutters, cut shapes and place on tray. Form leftover dough into a ball and re-roll and repeat cutting out until all the dough is used up.
  5. Bake gingerbread men for 8-10 minutes or until cooked and golden. Remove from oven and cool on baking rack. (You can choose to ice/ decorate with lollies, but we generally don’t bother.)

Yum! Enjoy!

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Monday, 27 July 2015

Handmade Undies

Undies collage

Over the last week or two I’ve gone a little crazy sewing undies. Once you get going, it’s a little addictive! (And such a great way to use up knit scraps!) The pattern I use is this one from That Darn Kat, and it’s so great and easy!

It started out with me making a few size 4 pairs for Isabelle. I have previously made undies once before, the last time I made Isabelle size 2, which she has well and truly grown out of – and they’ve been passed down to Pipi for when she starts toilet training (hopfully this Summer, or earlier!)

The best thing about these undies is how comfy they are, with cotton lycra being used for the waistband and legs rather than elastic; and how well they last compared to flimsy store bought ones… also, they’re pretty cute too – right? … And once I start cutting them out I just can’t seem to stop!

For that reason, I’ve decided to have a little Facebook Sale selling these undies, starting 8pm this Wednesday (NZST). I’ve made some size 2 pairs and some size 4 which I’m selling at $15 a pair or 2 for $25. We’ll see how many sell, or it’s entirely possible that I’ll end up with a lot of pairs left for my daughters… which wouldn’t be a bad thing either!

The photos below are some of my favourites that will be up for sale…

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instagram pic

Make sure you check out my Facebook page if you’re interested in buying a pair or two! Or perhaps you might like to make your own like me too!

Such fun!

Jen x

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

School Holiday Snippets

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We’ve just enjoyed 2 weeks of School Holidays. Yes, I used the word ‘enjoyed’. When I posted a few of these photos on Facebook and commented that I wished we had another week off, one of my friends remarked that I was the only Mum she’d seen asking for more holidays. While it’s true that during the normal school term I can manage a few more quiet alone moments (especially on a day when Isabelle is at Kindy, Noah at school and Pipi is napping); I really do love the slow mornings and break from routine that is the school holidays.

And despite the smaller amount of ‘me’ time and occasional sibling squabble (especially when cooped up with Wintery weather), I am resolved to, as much as possible enjoy the holidays and enjoy my kids.

We didn’t go away or do too much, but we had a thoroughly relaxing time, and I loosely planned at least one (often simple) activity for each day.

We made our own homemade play-dough, went to the park a few times (one time doing our traditional fish & chip holiday lunch), juiced oranges from our own tree, Noah read Pipi bedtime stories and of course … I managed a bit of sewing (these skirts and Pipi's coat.)

Did you have a good school holidays? Any good ideas or activities to share, that I can store away for next time?

Jen x

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Mini & Me: Orbit Skirts

When Isabelle was first born she looked so much like me as a baby. My little baby doppelganger. My mini-me. So much so that when my Mum first met her, she had to do a double take.

As she’s grown, we’ve come to see features in her that clearly come from her Dad – her lovely olive skin for one, and now it’s the other two than more strongly remind me of my childhood self. But Isabelle still resembles me in some ways, especially with her big brown eyes.

When I heard that Lydia (Little Kiwis Closet) and Stacey (Tinman Patterns) were collaborating to bring us the ‘Orbit Skirt’ in both adult and child sizes, I knew that Isabelle and I needed twinning skirts in honour of our twinning baby selves!

Orbit Skirt Collage

I helped test both patterns and made the size small of the adult pattern for me and a size 4 for Isabelle. There are many options for both patterns and I chose to do fully elasticated waist bands and straight skirts for both. (You can also choose to do flat front, A-line and different hem and pocket options as well.)

I love the little pops of colour that you get with the hidden bias binding/ hem facing, that reveals itself at the back of the high low hem. Both patterns are super quick and easy to sew and great value for money with their extensive size range and many options.

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The fabric I used was a light-medium weight denim (slightly heavier than chambray) and some floral Liberty of London fabric. The denim I’d bought ages ago I think for another project that I just didn’t end up making (I’m getting great satisfaction at the moment from ‘sewing my stash’/ finding uses for random bits and scraps of fabric); and as for the Liberty? You might remember these shorts that I made myself? Or perhaps you remember this colour combination from this little set I made Isabelle? This is one of my all time favourite fabrics so it was nice to just use a little of it on to accent the hem and pockets and make it go just a little further.

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Thanks so much to Lydia and Stacey for producing such awesome patterns, and I can’t wait to make more possibly the flat front style next time?

So what are you waiting for? Go and snap up both patterns immediately! … Especially given that they are offering special discounts to celebrate their launch!

To purchase the child size use the code ORBIT2015 for 15% on either Etsy or Lydia's website.

To purchase the adult size use the code ORBITLAUNCH15 for 15% off on Etsy.

To save money purchase the BUNDLE on Lydia's website, no code needed!

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Go sew up some matching skirts!

Have you ever dressed to match your kids? (Uh oh, I feel an awkward family photo coming on, where we all dress in matching denim outfits!)

Jen x

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Pipi’s New Winter Coat

Pipi in her coat Pipi coat side onPipi in coat back viewPipi in coat 2

I just made Pipi a new Winter coat, and I’m just so happy with how it turned out!

It wasn’t completely smooth sailing sewing, but we got there in the end, and I’m really happy with the finish of it and how it looks on little Pipi. The pattern is the 'stylish kid's coat' by Dear my kids and I sewed a size 3 for my 2 year old in the hope that it will last for next Winter as well.

I realised Pipi needed a new coat when I looked at a photo of her wearing her current one* (a cute little French coat that had belonged to Isabelle) … and realised that the sleeves were NOT meant to be 3/4 sleeves and that it was in fact 6-12 month size! From there I started searching for coat inspiration. I was inspired by these two images on Pinterest and knew I wanted something vintage looking, preferably double breasted with a peter pan collar … and that’s how I stumbled upon this pattern.

(And while it doesn’t have a hood, I have enough fabric left to make a matching Big Little Pixie hat if I feel so inspired.)

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Speaking of fabric, the outer fabric is a wool poly blend in a beautiful dusky pink that I got at a half price sale at Spotlight. It’s hard to see from the photos but it has a silver sparkle/ glint running through it. (This is probably most evident in the close up of the colour below). When I was cutting the pattern out Isabelle noticed the sparkle and said that “Pipi would be just like Michael Jackson, because he wore sparkly coats … although perhaps a bit more girly!” (Hilarious!)

For the lining I used a vintage sheet that a lady from church had given me and the buttons were some that I happened to have in my stash – so all up it cost me $11.50 in materials, plus the cost of the pattern of course but it’s size range is 12m- 6 years and one that I’m sure I will sew again.

Pipi's new coat Pipi's new coat 2Pipi's new coat (lining)Pipi's new coat collar close up

Yes, I think I will sew again despite a couple of hiccups along the way. There weren’t any major issues I just found the yoke details and easing in the sleeves a little tricky – something I haven’t done in a while having done so much knit sewing where setting in sleeves is so much easier (in my opinion!)

Another issue I had was that when I attached the the edge of the outer sleeves with the lining I managed to completely twist the lining of one of the sleeves making it really tricky (although not impossible) to get an arm in… I knew this would annoy me to know end so I decided to fix it. I had decided to topstitch around the whole coat (not something that was called for in the pattern, but I just liked the finish), so instead of unpicking my turning hole, turning the coat inside out and then re-sewing the sleeve edge, I just unpicked the sleeve edge, untwisted it and sewed it back down with topstitch to match what I’d done with the rest of the coat anyway. I’m so glad I did it because it not only fixed my mistake but gave it an even more professional finish. Sewing high five for me!

And in case you’re wondering if Pipi likes it? She does, she ran round saying ‘pweetty Pipi’ while I took these photos… But yesterday was a completely different story (see below).

Note to self, do not force a coat on your child right after they’ve awoken from their nap… lesson learned.

Pipi in coat close upPipi loves her new coat

There is still a couple of Winter items I’d like to get made, maybe a merino singlet or two … but for now I’m going to bask in this sewing success (and a little bit of beautiful Hawkes Bay Winter sunshine!)

What have sewn lately?

Jen x

*P.S. Here’s a side-by-side of her old and new coats for comparison!

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