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

DSC_0013DSC_0015DSC_0019DSC_0004-001DSC_0012DSC_0011-002DSC_0027-001DSC_0030-001DSC_0033-001DSC_0029-001DSC_0001-002DSC_0024My girl and I

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.

Orbit skirt 5Orbit Skirt IsabelleOrbit Skirt 2DSC_0075

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.

liberty-shorts9KCW day 1 (7)[5]

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!

Orbit SkirtOrbit Skirt 3Orbit skirts big and littleOrbit Skirt 4

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.)

coat inspo 2coat inspo

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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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Why I Sew – Guest posting on KCW Blog

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Today I’m sharing a guest post on the Kid's Clothes Week blog that I’ve written on the topic ‘Why I Sew.’

I’ve thrown around words like  ‘fun, fulfilment … that creative kick … and sanity’… and also something mushy about ‘sewing love into every stitch’ when I sew for my kids. … But of course, you’ll have to read the article itself if you want to know more. (I mean how could you resist clicking over after that dramatic intro!! hehe!)

mend and make new

So, why do YOU sew? As a hobby? As a job? Because you can’t find what you want in stores or as a means of saving a bit of money? Or because you need to do something to justify your fabric addiction? OR all of the above?

Jen x

KCW Summer contributor

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Lately…

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1. Isabelle enjoying some strawberry milk through her glasses straw! Thanks Jermaine for this awesome gift! (Also wearing Auntie Holly’s blinging necklace!) / 2. A junior sewer in the making. Seen here ‘making’ a baby blanket using her Needle & Nail sewing machine. / 3 & 4.  Pipi and Isabelle draw on the driveway./ 5 & 6. Nana and Noah the junior builder.

Although it might seem like it on this blog, life hasn’t just been Kid's Clothes Week sewing ‘round here.

We’ve just finished off a rather busy term with 3 separate visits from different family members – we’ve enjoyed seeing my Mum, in-laws and my Sister and her boyfriend over the last few weeks and now we’re about to settle into some well anticipated school/ Kindy holidays. I imagine over the next 2 weeks, there will be a lot more chalk drawing, lego playing, park visiting and perhaps a rainy movie day or two! But before we (properly) settle into that, I thought I’d first share a few random photos from the last few weeks.

I’m planning on having one planned activity to do each day of the holidays, mostly cheap or free things such as crafts, games or baking together and I’m also hoping to get the kids a bit more involved in a few set chores and things, so that they can appreciate the fun times and treats after first learning the value of hard work. Isabelle has already been enthusiastically helping me with my main weekly clean on a Tuesday for a wee while now, so I’m hoping some of her enthusiasm will rub off onto the other two! Her and I have been enjoying reading one of my favourite books from childhood together, Milly Molly Mandy, so I’m sure the holidays will include more of the same.

Are you on school holidays too? What are your plans?

Jen x