Sunday, 20 August 2017

{Sewn} A Golden Bellbird Dress for Isabelle

This is the second time I’ve had the pleasure of sewing The Bellbird Dress by Below The Kowhai. A couple of months ago I sewed Sophie a size 1 using stunning Liberty of London fabric. This time I made a size 6 for Isabelle out another precious fabric, some mustard linen that I’d recently acquired from The Fabric Store. I’d bought this linen recently along with a blush pink and beautiful teal, with no particular project in mind (more like 100 possible projects), but it was on sale and it was beautiful, so it had to be mine!

Truth be told, although I intended sewing Isabelle a BellBird Dress eventually, this project wasn’t on my immediate ‘to sew’ list… but that all changed when I won a facebook competition for Isabelle to have her portrait taken by award winning and extremely talented photographer, Richard Wood. It was requested that she wear classic, almost old fashioned clothing, so rather than buy/ hire something I thought sewing this dress would fit the bill. The embroidery also added a nice touch I think.

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I finished the dress on Thursday and Isabelle had the photo shoot done on Friday night. She was a complete natural, quite excited about the whole experience and I really enjoyed spending the time with you, just the two of us. Richard did an amazing job capturing Isabelle and sent through this amazing photo yesterday… doesn’t it look like an oil painting?

(If you want to get a similar portrait done by Richard then you can get more information and book it here. )

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I’m really happy with how the dress turned out. It’s roomy enough to fit a merino underneath on a cold day and I think it should fit my petite girl for at least another year. The style is classic and timeless and the embroidery adds an almost heirloom quality to it.  I lined it with a scrap of light pink Swiss dot fabric, which I think works really well. … And the dress was given the ultimate seal of approval this morning when Isabelle decided to wear it to church. (I took the opportunity to snap a couple of photos by the lemon tree before we left.)

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So there we have it, I sewed a dress and managed to blog about straight away. I haven’t managed that in a while! Next on my sewing agenda is a Cosmo Dress (pattern designed by the talented Suz of Sewpony) because I’m part of the Cosmo Blog tour.

What’s on your sewing table/ to make list at the moment?

Jen x


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

{Sewn} 2 x Playgroup Rompers

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While pregnant with Sophie I discovered the Playgroup Romper Pattern by Fresh Stitch Patterns (a company that I’d not heard of before.) Although I didn’t know if I was having a girl or a boy, I knew that I had to snap up this gorgeous pattern straight away! (It also helped that they were having a sale meaning that I got this pattern and the Overnap Bodysuit for just a couple of dollars each!)

Apart from the obvious cuteness of this romper pattern with its bubble/ puffy legs etc, I really love it’s versatility … long sleeves/ sleeveless/ flutter sleeves/ peter pan collar or without … there are endless possibilities! I also have found it a great way to use little scraps of my favourite fabrics with the bodice panel option.

This is exactly what I did for my first one. I discovered that I had a larger scrap of my favourite Liberty of London ‘Betsy’ print and used that for the front and back bodice panel and a lovely light grey linen for the main. I made the 6-9 month size for Sophie to grow into in the Summer, sleeveless with the bubble bloomers (there are 2 bloomer options.)

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It was a pretty simple sew and I’m very happy with how it turned out!

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After making that romper my mind was awash with different fabric combinations and ideas for other rompers. And then I was sorting through my stash and stumbled upon this perfect shade of blush pink cotton (leftovers from when I made my sister a quilt 6 years ago!)… I knew I needed to make another!

Once again I made the 6-9 month size but mixed it up this time by adding flutter sleeves and attached a piece of lace trim down the middle of the front bodice.

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Look at the little deer peeping through from the lining! ^

They were a lot of fun to make (and it was fun practicing my flat lay skills too! ;) ) I am resisting the urge to sew more as I think Miss Sophie might almost have enough Summer rompers now, well for this Summer at least; but I plan to sew some larger sized ones later.

… And now I leave you with my cute photobombing baby (she’s getting big, just over 3 months old now!)

Happy Sewing,

Jen x

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Monday, 31 July 2017

{Sewn} A Liberty BellBird Dress

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This is one of those projects that I actually sewed a little while back but just hadn’t got around to blogging … mostly in part to the fact that I intended to sew Isabelle a size 6 for her too and blog them together (watch this space.)

Anyway, back to this little dress! The pattern is the thing that inspired the sew. I’m not sure about you, but I tend to get inspired by either a pattern or some fabric (also I sew for pragmatism too, when items are needed – although that’s not quite as romantic!) The pattern is The BellBird dress by my friend, Sophie of Below the Kowhai, and was the first pattern she designed (and she did an amazing job! The instructions were clear and easy to follow, and I just love the end result.) Sophie has since put out the equally as inspiring Tui Pinafore (which I also intend to purchase and sew at some point – 3 matching pinnies for my girls perhaps?); and she also has more patterns in the pipeline – very exciting!

I made a size 1 for my little Sophie to wear next year, perhaps a first birthday dress? (Of course protected by a full body bib if she does a cake smash!) We will see! I opted for the sleeveless option (you can also choose to sew the trademark bell sleeves, I think I’ll do that next time). It also features pockets, that no doubt she’ll fill with smooshed raisins and other ‘treasures’ as toddlers tend to do! Also, there is an amazing embroidery option, whereby you can adorn the front bodice with lovely flowers – however I decided to let this gorgeous Liberty fabric do the talking!

Let’s just talk about that fabric for a minute – isn’t this Liberty print stunning? It was left over from this little vest that I made Pipi, and I was just waiting for the right project to come along. And I’d say it’s a match made in heaven, wouldn’t you agree?

What’s on your sewing table at the moment? Since making this dress, I’ve made a couple of baby rompers… which I will hopefully blog about and share with you soon.

Jen x

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

DIY Floral Mobile

DIY Floral Mobile

Oh hey, look! I made a thing!

Don’t get me wrong, I love the current season of life that we’re in, but it’s nice once in a while to break up the continuous breastfeeding/nappy change/school run/cook and clean, with a little creativity. Of course creative inspiration always strikes right when I settle down to breastfeed (the Pinterest app on my phone may have something to do with that) – but it was nice this week to smash out one of those ideas that has been lurking round in my brain for a little while now.

I wanted to make Sophie a floral mobile. If you’re a long time follower of this blog you might remember the hot air balloon mobile that I made Pipi. Man, I’m a sucker for a theme, aren’t I? But I like a theme in a subtle, non over the top way (basically the opposite of the themed rooms in Extreme Makeover Home Edition – if you remember that show?! “Move that bus!”)

Anyway, this time around I seem to have loosely gone for a floral/ bohemian theme for our baby nook area – inspired in part by our Alphabets & Animals prints, Sophie’s Fox and Swan name banner and the Nani Iro floral mat that I made for Sophie. (See photos further down this post for the Alpha prints and name banner.)

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This mobile is pretty simple, but I’ll give a basic ‘how to’ for those that are interested. I used the inner ring of an embroidery hoop and bought faux flowers and leaves from Spotlight, my local craft store. I choose the most realistic one that I could find. I went for the less is more philosophy and initially had less, but added some more greenery hanging down to add interest for Sophie to look at. (After all that is the purpose of a mobile, is it not!?)

I wound the greenery around the mobile and tied natural twine at four even points around the hoop in quite long lengths which can be trimmed later. I used the twine to most of the securing but also used a bit of hot glue too. I attached 4 faux peonies using the hot glue gun on the outside of the hoop at each of the four points where I’d wound the twine. (Before attaching I cut their stems off.) … And that’s pretty much it, I attached it to the ceiling by tying the four lengths of twine at the length I wanted and used a command hook to dangle it from.

… This is the view from below…

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… And above (cue arsty photos) … peekaboo Sophie!

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And while I’m here, I thought I’d share a bit more of our room/ Sophie’s baby nook…

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Of course this blog post wouldn’t be complete without a little bit of Sophie spam, so here you go – in the words of Maui, “you’re welcome” – unless baby spam isn’t really your thing, in which case I wonder why you are reading a blog post about baby mobiles, but anywho!

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What are you making at the moment?

I also have plans to try my hand at a macramé wall hall hanging and get a bit of sewing done too!

Thanks for reading,

Jen x

Friday, 19 May 2017

{Sewn} Two bunny-themed projects

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As I neared the end of my pregnancy with Sophie, I seemed to lack energy to both sew and blog – but when I went overdue, I regained a bit of my sewing strength (after all, I needed to do something to pass the time and take my mind off the weeks of persistent braxton hicks contractions that I was experiencing!)

In the lead up to Easter I was inspired to make a couple of bunny themed projects. In our house, being Christians, our focus during Easter is the cross and the empty tomb, rather than bunnies and chocolate, however I’ll take any excuse to sew a theme (especially a cute animal one) and I’m not one to turn down chocolate, either!

Anyhow, I made these cute bunny baby shoes for my new niece who was born about 3 weeks before Sophie and just in time for Easter. (I already have visions of sewing matching outfits for our two girls, whom I’m sure will be firm friends as well as cousins.)

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The pattern I used was the Wild Things Baby Shoes by Twig & Tail and the fabric was bits and pieces from my stash, including some vintage embroidered linen that I’d been given (for the ears, insides and backs – see above photos); and some blush pink corduroy which I’d picked up from a Facebook destash page at some point (and previously used to sew the girls these dresses.)

This is my second time making this pattern, having previously made these shoes here.

The second bunny themed project that I made was this mustard yellow top for Isabelle. Doesn’t she look delightful in that colour? I think it really brings out her sunny disposition… but then again, I think this girl would look lovely in anything.

The pattern I used is one that I’m very familiar with, having sewn it many, many times before: The Street Smart Sweatshirt, by Little Kiwi's Closet and the beautiful fabric was gifted to me by my friend Elza. Thank you!

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Right, that’s another couple of previously unblogged projects that I’ve now managed to catch up – now I feel that I can move on to making and blogging new projects…. including a little something that I finished the other day using this fabric…

More soon!

Jen x

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Thursday, 11 May 2017

Sewing for Sophie

Sewing for Sophie

As I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t do as much sewing whilst pregnant for Sophie as I did when pregnant with Pipi… actually, correction – I sewed a HEAP of undie orders, but not that much baby sewing.

But I did manage to sew a handful of things, including the little whales romper below.

The pattern I used is the Summer Romper by Brindille & Twig and the whales fabric is from Elvelyckan Design. I made the size 3-6 month size for some reason (Sophie will fit this when we are still in Winter), however with a merino and tights underneath it will still work well. I also plan to make heaps more of these in a slightly bigger size for Summer!

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The next couple of things that I ‘made’ both involve fabric from Miss Matatabi and kind of cheating! … As in all that I did was edging! I ‘made’ this gorgeous Nani Iro play mat/ quilt by just simply sewing bias binding around the edges of this pre-quilted fabric. (I did this project whilst a few days overdue with strong braxton hicks!)

Secondly, I ‘made’ the wrap that Sophie is wrapped in below by sewing first hemming and then sewing a delicate pom pom trim (from Spotlight) on the top and bottom edges of a gorgeous piece of cream triple guaze fabric  (I left the side selvedges au naturale).

Incidentally, do you like my birth announcement photo? Here a few tips if you’re thinking of doing something similar:

  1. Make sure you spell your new child’s name correctly before you excitedly post the photo to all your social media accounts! Ops! (Clearly the below was my second and corrected attempt!)
  2. If, like me you’ve chosen a name for your child with an extremely large number of vowels and you run of the letter blocks with the ‘i’ on them, not to worry – just get creative and use a ‘j’ for one of them, sneakily hiding the tail of the j under a soft toy rabbit’s ear! Problem solved!

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Although when pregnant with Sophie we weren’t 100% sure of her gender, we did have some inkling that she might be a girl – so I did sew a couple of more feminine things, including the swan playsuit below.

I used the Little Kiwis Closet Flutterby Playsuit Pattern (3-6 month old size) and the beautiful swan fabric is from Art Gallery Fabrics, which was a small scrap that I had leftover from the Twig & Tale blog tour that I participated in last year. I had some cream swiss dot fabric in my stash that I used for the flutterby sleeves.

DSC_0043-001DSC_0047-001 The first baby project that I sewed while pregnant (and one that I've already blogged) was these little bunny shoes (pattern: Wild Things Baby Shoes, fabric: assorted vintage stuff from my stash). See original post for more details, if you are interested.)

I’ve since made a pink pair of these shoes for my new little niece, which I’m sure will get blogged in due course.

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The last bit of ‘Sewing for Sophie’ that I’ve done; and the only bit (yet) that I’ve done since having her (honestly, I’m already having sewing withdrawals and have a growing ‘to sew’ list, so I can’t see this hiatus lasting long)… is these baby washcloths. (Spot the polar bears??!?)

They were made using a double gauze by simply cutting and overlocking the edges in a manner of around 20 minutes or so. (I made 6.) A quick, easy and practical sew.

I used to have this fabric in a pink colourway (from Miss Matatabi), but this scrap was scored from a facebook destash group I belong to.

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I can’t wait to get back behind my sewing machine soon and sew floral dresses, bloomers and lots of other things too!

What are you sewing at the moment!?

Jen x