Monday, 30 June 2014


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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Noah: My boy is so clever and creative! I bought Andrew this LEGO Architecture Studio set for his birthday earlier this month and Noah spent hours on the weekend building ‘houses’ (just like his Dad does every day at work, although not with LEGO). Noah’s houses were actually quite complex with lots of little rooms and he paid high attention to detail.. Clever boy, proud Mama!

Isabelle: My pretty girl. (Reusing this photo from here.)

Pipi: I’m sure her hair is getting blonder and blonder. Rocking a top knot and still coasting the furniture!

Joining in over here.

For the rest of this year’s weekly portraits (one other so far) see here

And for last year’s portraits see here


Wednesday, 25 June 2014



“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Isabelle and Pipi: I just love everything about this photo – the wide open mouth the beautiful smile and the helpfulness. Special memories.

Noah: Showing appreciation for my baking. Actually this boy will eat anything and everything after school. He’s like a never ending pit of hunger! (Especially as they’re doing school swimming at the moment)

Joining in over here.

For the rest of this year’s weekly portraits (one other so far) see here

And for last year’s portraits see here


Monday, 23 June 2014

Handmade Kids Clothing Swap 2014: What I Received

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It’s been great seeing what other’s have made and received for the Handmade Kids Clothing Swap 2014.

Some have linked up blog posts to this linky (keep doing this, there’s a prize involved remember!); while others have posted pics to the flickr pool or my facebook page (keep doing that too – I love seeing them!)

Anyway, I thought I’d share in more detail what I received. I was very lucky to have two great partners - Alison from Ginger & Pickles and Kristin from Hello Fallow. (To see what I made for them see here.)

Alison made Pipi the most gorgeous dress (see top few pics) and she also very thoughtfully popped in a cute hairclip for Isabelle and some pencils for Noah. I had forgotten how hard it is to get photos of 1 year olds! The dress fits Pipi great, with room to grow and I know it will be perfect for Summer.

Isabelle was very lucky to receive this gorgeous pom pom top/tunic made by Kristin and she (we) LOVE it. The pom pom trim is so feminine and sweet.

Thanks to both of you lovely ladies!

How are the rest of you swappers going?


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Handmade Kids Clothing Swap 2014: My Makings

I’ve recently had word that both of my swap partners have received my makings, so now I’m excited to share them here!

hoodie and vintage dress

The title of this blog post should really be ‘chalk and cheese’ because these two garments are so different from each other. Other than the fact that they are both size 2T, they have not much else in common. One is for a boy, modern and made from knit fabric; while the other is for a girl, vintage and made from woven fabric. (Actually, they are much like me because I like a bit of both styles!)

I made the little hoodie for Kristin’s little cutie Benji using the Somerset Hoodie pattern (which I’ve used a couple of times before, most notably, here.) I used some lightweight sweatshirting fabric and this fabric from girl charlee for the trim.


My second partner is Alison who requested something for her little 2 year old girl. This is what I came up with a little dress with very twirly skirt. (I used, and slightly downsized this free pattern and tutorial – which now seems to be unavailable, unfortunately. I printed it out ages ago.) The bodice fabric is from a vintage table cloth, the skirt is some fabric I had in my stash, and it is trimmed with vintage ribbon.


My swap partners have both told me they like the garments and they fit (something I was a little concerned about, phew!)

I can’t wait to receive the items from my partners in the mail and share them with you here!

Be sure to link in with MY LINKY if you post about what you made or received! (There’s a spot prize going for someone who does!)

And keep posting your pics to the flickr pool or my facebook page

Jen x

(Also joining in with show and tell later in the week)

Saturday, 14 June 2014

23 & 24/52

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."



I love Noah’s cheekiness, how Isabelle is gazing adoringly at her big brother and Pipi’s all round cuteness (my she is growing up!)

I guess the cheeky grin was a sign of what was to come, which was crazy couch jumping. I love it how, in the photos below Noah is so crazy and blurry while Isabelle is in focus and relaxed as if oblivious to the carnage beside her. Noah those facials are just too special!




Bath times are often hilarious (and often a bit crazy) around here. Especially when Pipi is involved. She loves to splash and giggle and really doesn’t enjoy getting out! In the bath time selfie of her and I above, I can’t help but notice how alike we are!

Joining in over here.

For the rest of this year’s weekly portraits (one other so far) see here

And for last year’s portraits see here


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Kid's Pants Tutorial - by Lydia from Little Kiwis Closet.

Happy Thursday! Today, I'm very happy to be bringing you great tutorial from Lydia of  LittleKiwisCloset. Lydia is a friend of mine and a very talented sewer, pattern designer and many more things (not the least a Mum to 3 little cuties.) She has also contributed one of her PDF patterns to our giveaway.

Anyway, without any further ado ... here is Lydia ...

Hi, I'm Lydia from LittleKiwisCloset and I'm sharing with you today how to trace a pair of favourite pants and make a new pair, or even up-size.

Has your child ever had a pair of pants that you really liked the shape of and wanted to make another pair?
If they are simple pants (front and back - only two pattern pieces) then it isn't that hard to do.

The pants that I'm going to "copy" today are actually "mummy made" ones that I made a while ago, and they are Elijah's ALL TIME FAVOURITE pants.  He just loves the polar fleece, the softness, the dogs!! the colours...he is a blue boy through and through.

This lovely top, ironicly black, is a favourite, made by the lovely Fiona from The Adventures of Captain X and the Gingerbear Princess as part of a peek-a-boo pattern shop clothing swap.

Anyway, back to the tutorial!!!

what you will need:
~ tracing paper (I use a big roll of newsprint)
~ something to draw with
~ the pants to trace around

We need to make two pattern pieces FRONT and BACK.
To make it easy to trace around the pants I find it is best to pull one leg out the wrong way and push it down the other.  This leaves you with ONE leg to trace around, and an easy way to see the different heights of the centre front and centre back.
Lay the pants on the paper and trace around the leg making sure you add about 2cm extra down each side, for seam allowance.

Don't forget to add 3-4cm at the top and bottom to allow for the hem and elastic.

Now cut out the first piece and lay on top of the paper, trace around the side seam and the bottom part of the leg. NOT THE CROTCH as you will use the pants to do this part.
The back is a deeper more straight up and down line (the piece cut out is a back) and the front is less deep and a bit narrower.

The two pattern pieces are very similar.  The differences are: 
~ The depth of the rise/crotch seam,
~ The height of the centre front and back,
~ Front is narrower than back

You can see this from the photo, that the front is not so deeply curved as the back. and the top of the rise/crotch seam is lower in the front than it is in the back.

Now if you want to make the next size up you need to add 1cm extra to each of the side seams and 4cm at the hem, because children grow up more than they grow out.

When grading a pattern, you cant just enlarge it as patterns are not enlarged in equal amounts on all sides of the pattern piece.

I didn't have enough fabric to make the whole pair out of the doggy fabric (which really disappointed Elijah - but hopefully he will get over that)  So I decided to show you how to make one leg from each fabric.
You will need to cut 1 of each pattern piece from each of the fabrics.  
For example, I have 1 front and 1 back from the doggy, AND 1 front and 1 back from the black.

Sew your pants together:
With right sides together, place a back with a front and sew down the side seam and the inseam.
Repeat for the other leg.

Turn one leg out the right way and insert it into the other leg and match up the crotch seam. pin and sew.

Pull the leg out and hem the bottom of each leg.
Add in elastic.  ~ I use the overlock to the wrong side and turn in once and sew method, but you could make a casing and thread your elastic through. 

Yay, now you are finished.

You now have one very cute pair of pants that you son refuses to wear because they have black fabric and that "isn't his favourite colour"!!!!!
I had to force him into them for the photos, hence why they are crappy, cellphone, night ones.  
(I promise I will get some better ones another day and come back and edit to add them in.)

Hopefully tomorrow he will realise that I'm the coolest mum who made him some awesome pants to wear to preschool!!! 

As you can see the little sister wanted to get in on the photo too.

Thank you Lydia - and what cute little models! If the weather at your house is anywhere like it is here today, I'm sure Elijah will be enjoying being snuggy and warm in his new pants!

Lydia is also joining in with the Kid's Clothing Swap herself, so be sure to read about what she made in her blog post here. And you can expect to see more Little Kiwis here soon because I am joining in with a blog tour Lydia has organised early next month.

Jen x

Monday, 9 June 2014

“Why Cos” PJs (fun with freezer paper stencils!)


A week or so ago I posted about using freezer paper to cut out pattern pieces. Today, I’m using freezer paper in another way, one you are probably familiar with if you’re crafty and on Pinterest – to make stencils!

I’ve had a few people ask about where I get my freezer paper from. I get mine off trademe – it usually works around $20 NZD for 50 yards (heaps!)

Anyway, if you haven’t made a freezer paper stencil before I thought I’d show you how – it is really super simple yet effective!

You will need:

  • Freezer paper (I buy mine off trademe);
  • A pencil to design your stencil and a craft knife or scissors to cut it out.
  • Fabric paint (from Spotlight or Warehouse Stationery);
  • The clothing or fabric that you want painted; (Here I have used fabric as I’ve sewed the garment at the end, but you could use a store bought tee if you like.)
  • Paint brushes or a sponge;
  • An iron and ironing board.

Step 1: Design your stencil by drawing on the non shiny side of the freezer paper and cut it out. The more neatly you cut out your stencil, the more crisp and neat your end result will be. For this reason a craft knife usually works best.

Step 2: Iron your stencil (shiny side down) onto the fabric. If you don’t get it  positioned quite right don’t worry, you can always peel it off and reapply it until you are happy with it.


Step 3: Paint your design. I find blotting with a sponge gives the best coverage.


Step 4: Once your paint is touch dry then (carefully) peel off your stencil.

Step 5: Follow the instructions on your fabric on how to ‘heat set’ your design. Most fabric paints require you to iron it twice to ensure your design doesn’t bleed when washed. (Obviously wait until it is completely dry before you iron it!)

If you have printed on a store bought top you are now done. Step back and admire your handiwork!

In my case I was making Isabelle PJs … What’s the story behind “Why Cos?” you might very well ask? Well, “Why Cos” is a very common phrase that I hear daily from my 2 oldest. “Mum, why cos is the sky blue?” … Get in your PJs please … “Why cos?” … you get the picture.

My favourite use of it has to be the time I was baking cookies and said: “Let’s get these bad boys in the oven” , to which Isabelle replied “Why cos are they ‘bad boys’?”  I guess it’s not only the kids that say silly things!

Anyway here is the end result of the “Why Cos” PJs…


Easy peasy, aye?

And now I’m going to ask you for a major favour!

I’ve entered this DIY into a competition on the OHBaby page; and I would LOVE for you to vote for my entry. All you need to do is click here on my entry and click vote on the bottom left! The prize is a $500 Spotlight voucher which would be rather um… handy! Thanks in advance!

Have you experimented with freezer paper stencils before?

Jen x

Joining in with show and tell later in the week