Friday, 24 October 2014

KCW October 2014: Days 4-5 {Floral hat & grey and yellow sweater}

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Today was a rather a dreary old day (after lots of days of sunshine), so it felt rather odd to be sewing a sun hat and a sweatshirt with sunny pops of yellow!

I’ve just realised while writing this, but this blog post is an unintentional advertisement for the Miss Matatabi Fabric Store. Both the Grey and yellow (REVERSIBLE) sweater knit (the same as what I used on Isabelle's top earlier this week – just in a different colourway) and the floral fabric used in the lining of the brim (see photo below) are from a remnant pack I recently bought from Miss Matatabi … Annnd the outer of the hat is some lovely Nani Iro fabric I previously bought from there.

The pattern I used for the sweatshirt is (once again) the Streetsmart Sweatshirt Collection by Little Kiwis Closet, in size 2 and the hat is a vintage pattern I snagged from an op shop a while back.

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Too see the rest of my KCW makings this time around see here.

Jenny x

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

An ‘Anna Cape’ for Isabelle

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Today I’m taking a break from my regular Kid’s Clothing Week makings to share a gorgeous pattern that I tested recently!

When Lisa from Big Little put out the testing call for the "Anna Cape" I was pretty excited. My kids are big fans of Frozen and I personally like the character ‘Princess Anna’ best of all. (Perhaps because young Anna reminds me of my little Isabelle!)

The sewing came together really quick. Once again Lisa has created a pattern that is simple to sew yet beautiful. You don’t need to use a serger/ overlocker to make this pattern and the instructions and pictures are very helpful.

In celebration of the pattern launch (and in perfect timing for Halloween if you like to dress up) you can buy this pattern here and until 31 October 2014 if you enter the code: ANNAJ15 at the checkout you will receive 15% off! Yay! (And it goes from size Newborn – 10 years, so you can sew all the Anna Capes!)

And now for the little details (plus a sweet wee moment between sisters) …

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It might be hard to tell from the photos, but the pom pom trim is actually a deep shade of purple (not black). As for the fabric, both the outer and the lining are repurposed from my local op shop. I’m pretty sure that the pink wool on the outside may have once been a dog blanket! (eewww – don’t worry, it’s since received many washes in my machine and now smells like eucalyptus!) The trim around the collar was something I just happened to have in my stash (and I think the lacy scallops work perfectly), and I couldn’t find a ‘frog clasp’ but I think this ‘toggle’ thingy (from Spotlight) works perfectly!

Anyway, my little Anna (aka Isabelle) loves it! (And is now asking for an Anna dress too!

Happy sewing – and don’t forget to get yourself a copy of this lovely pattern – using the discount and code mentioned above, while the offer lasts!

Thanks again Lisa for designing another awesome pattern!

Do you wanna build a snowman?

x

KCW October 2014: Days 2-3 {Floral Leggings & (another) Cat Sweater}

Me: “Isabelle, can I take some photos of you wearing the new clothes I just made you?”

Isabelle: “Sure Mum, I’ll do all my cool moves!”

And man, did she bring it!

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I think Isabelle’s moves completely stole the show!

If you can distract yourself from those cool moves for a moment, I’ll share the details of my sewing!

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For the leggings I used a pattern from the book 'Growing up Sew Liberated' in a floral cotton-lycra knit (size 4). For the sweatshirt I used some reversible knit fabric (with spots and cats – see the cats?) from Miss Matatabi and the pattern is the awesome Streetsmart Sweatshirt Collection by Little Kiwis Closet, also a size 4.

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Such a little cutie!

Comment with a link if you’re sewing along too!

Jen x

Monday, 20 October 2014

KCW October 2014: Day 1 {Simple Liberty Tunic}

The sudden realisation that Kid's Clothes Week started yesterday resulted in the making of this simple little peasant tunic/dress.

This little dress has been on my sewing ‘to do’ for a while. It was the reason I bought the beautiful Liberty of London fabric (inspired in part by the lovely yet simple floral tops and tunics that the gorgeous Poet often wears.)

I could have added pockets, cinched the waist or added other details; but I preferred to keep it simple and flowy – letting the beautiful fabric take centre stage and I only added the trim at the bottom to give it extra length, on the the hope that Isabelle can wear it in the Winter too, with tights and merino underneath.

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I took the photos this morning and the overcast day we are experiencing just do not do the fabric justice, it is so much nicer in real life! But I guess you’ll have to take my word for it!

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The pattern I used was once again this free pattern and tutorial, and once again I made the 4/6 size, but I narrowed it slightly.

I can’t promise that I’ll make quite as much as I did last KCW, but I have got a couple of things planned, so we’ll see…

Are you joining in?

Jen x

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A kiddie catch-up

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The tagline of this blog currently reads: “Collector of Small Children & Fine Fabric”, but you would be forgiven in thinking it’s only the fabric I’m hoarding because the children haven’t featured on here that much recently. (And yes, I have well and truly fallen off the portrait project bandwagon. Ah well, I did a year and a half!)

Actually not much has featured on here recently – I haven’t blogged in almost month! *gasp*

Not to worry! I’m still collecting adorable small children and the hoarding of fabric hasn’t subsided! I’ve just been spending so much time with these small people that I haven’t had a chance to blog! (And I can assure that there are heaps of things getting sewn in the background that I haven’t had a chance to share here yet!)

I’m resolved to never be one of those Mums who hates the school holidays – and we’ve just emerged from 2 weeks of them and we had a blast! I’m also proud to say that apart from one rainy day where we watched a DVD I didn’t turn on cartoons for them once – we were just too busy! There was one day where which we spent playing board games, doing paper craft and baking that ended with Noah saying “this was my favourite day ever!” that just melted my heart! It was my attempt at free fun on a rainy day and he reminded me that time is more important than anything.

Speaking of the weather, I’m glad to report that we’re enjoying some lovely Spring days and I’m really enjoying getting outside a bit more and especially enjoying meals outdoors. Most of these photos were taken a couple of weeks ago (I haven’t been picking up my DSLR quite as much lately either); and we definitely don’t need the extra layers of clothing most days now.

Noah and Isabelle enjoyed a couple of days away from us last week, staying down with their grandparents in Otaki. We went to collect them at the end of last week, stayed a couple of nights ourselves and enjoyed a nice morning at the beach… I took a few photos on my phone – including Isabelle being buried alive and Noah doing sand angels.

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So I hope for those of you getting Noah, Isy and Pipi withdrawls this post has helped with that somewhat?? (I’m looking at YOU- Holly, Mum, Dad and other out of town family members!)

Noah is still being thoughtful and sweet and still gets tired and hangry after a long day at school.

Isabelle’s still my little fire cracker – fiery and full of life and she fizzle out suddenly (and YES she did fall asleep in her doll’s cot in that top photo – I think I need an entire blog post dedicated to Isabelle’s funny sleeping positions/ habits!)

Pipi is growing in leaps and bounds and is shedding her baby-ness quickly. She daily has new words like ‘tank-too’ (thank you); a very whispered ‘hhhhot’ in exactly the same tone I use when pointing at the fire/ oven or other hot thing; she came out with ‘cu-cumber’ which shocked me the other day, and she started calling Nana’s cat ‘gentle’ because that’s what I said when she was patting it!

So that’s that really. I can’t wait to share some of the sewing stuff I’ve been doing to – but that will have to wait for another day!

Jen x

P.S. What funny/ cute things are your kids doing/saying at the mo? My kids crack me up pretty much on a daily basis!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

{Operation Handmade Wardrobe} Tribal Leggings

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It’s official! I have finally started dressing myself to match my children. Correction. I have finally started sewing myself clothes to match my children! That’s some next level Mum craziness, right there!

I awoke yesterday to discover that Isabelle had dressed herself in this ensemble, naturally I decided to match her and wore my Liberty Maritime Shorts and my chambray Wiksten tank

Obviously I didn’t think that was quite enough matchy-matchyness, so I decided to draft myself a pair of leggings and thus match Noah's harem pants. (Well my intention wasn’t really to match, I just thought the fabric would make cool leggings, but you know!)

The fabric is a nice and stretchy cotton-lycra knit with good 2 way stretch from Ixat. In my opinion, some lycra content is pretty useful in a pair of leggings … especially when you are inexperienced at pattern drafting and make them possibly a little on the smaller side! Streeeetch! They were a little lower on the waist than I’d hoped so I just added a generous waist band!

I was keen for a bit of quick instant gratification sewing and this is what I got – I think in the future I would take a bit more time drafting them – and possibly follow this tutorial; but all in all I’m pretty happy with the result. Thank goodness knit is very forgiving!

Joining in with Selfish Sewing Week (just!)

What are you sewing at the moment?

Jen x

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

{Operation Handmade Wardrobe} 2x Maritime Shorts (in Liberty and Linen)

liberty shortstan shortstan shorts back viewLiberty shorts 2 What kind of madness is this? Two sewing blog posts in two days!?!? After a week or two of silence! I know!

Yesterday I enjoyed sharing the Pixie Shorts that I’d made for my girls so much that I couldn’t wait to show you a couple of pairs of shorts that I made for meeee! (You might remember these being included in my list of sewing plans.)

The pattern is Maritime Shorts from Grainline Studio which I’d won as a spot prize during last years Selfish Sewing Week. (Also, SSW Fall 2014 begins soon – 22 September…. Are you going to join in? I might … oh that’s next week! Eeek!)

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I really enjoyed sewing this pattern. I used to shy away from zips and buttons, but now I’m embracing the whole learning/ improving new skills thing. I’d sewn an invisable zip twice before, and one zip on a top for Noah but this was my first go at front fly.

I sewed the tan pair a few weeks ago (the fabric is a tan and cream linen cotton from Miss Matatabi – and it’s REVERSIBLE!!!  More on that later!) For this pair the sew went really well and I found it really useful to follow along with this tutorial (I think I just prefer photos than illustrations?) The sizing is in US sizes and based on the measurements I made a size 4. As I was finishing them I was a little worried about the fit, how they might fit around the hips/ butt or whether they might be too short. But they are just perfect on me! I’m so happy with them.

For the second pair I used this gorgeous Liberty of London Twill. You might recognise this print from Isabelle's peasant top – except of course the fabric from her top is a much more lightweight cotton lawn. I was having difficulty finding ‘bottom weight’ (heavier fabric) that this pattern called for and then I discovered that I could get Liberty in a twill. Knowing that I already loved that print I bought it and decided we could be twins!

You’d think having already sewn one pair the next pair would be easy peasy – well they would have been if I hadn’t got over confident and sewed in the zip UPSIDE DOWN! Fortunately I realised in time before it was two late, and after spending some quality time with my quick unpick/ seam ripper, crisis was narrowly averted!

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Above: Camouflaged back pockets; Below: A finally completed fly!

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It seems to be all the rage these days to show the insides of your handmade garments. I guess this has something to do with the idea that as your sewing skills improve so does the neatness of your finishing and the insides? At any event here mine are in all their glory – I’m pretty happy with how they look inside and out. The reversible tan and cream linen is fun with the checks on the inside. You might have noticed that I also used that as a feature on the back pockets.

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So yeah, I made some shorts, they fit and I like ‘em … and I’ll leave you with this pic of my gorgeous baby and a cute story:

Pipi has recently started saying ‘hhhhot! hot!” while pointing to the oven and fire. Last week when I was pinning the pattern pieces to the fabric, she went straight to grab the colourful pins (could they make these things look any more fun looking for kids?!?) Anyway, I said “No Pipi – sssharp! Sharp! Owwee!” So now Pipi points at pins and says “hhhhot! hot!” too! Such a cutie!

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What are sewing at the moment? What’s in your sewing to do list?

x