Thursday, January 31, 2013

Girls harem pants

My lovely friend K showed me some gorgeous harem pants that she'd bought for one of her daughters just before Christmas. I was pretty impressed with them as a great summer alternative to skirts for girls, so when K suggested we take a pattern from them I jumped at the chance.

I made a pair for each of my girls for Christmas, these ones (for little girl) were the most successful. The fabric is a soft cotton poly mix from Spotlight. I thought the retro print would suit my little firecracker :-) who just happens to be starting school tomorrow!

Some little details I enjoyed adding were some little faux ties at the front which I added little bells onto for some jingle, and also the little tag at the back - simple but somehow pleasing!

She's had a lot of wear from these already. Apparently they are good for a bit of boogying, hee hee!
Here's my little sketch in case you're interested in the construction - 2 pieces sewn together (french seams for strength) with elastic at waist and ankles.

I'd quite like some in my size now, just need to find the right fabric...

As usual my creative space is happening over here.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

The batman (AKA 'my mum's a sook') backpack

The next couple of weeks are a bit anxious for me, with my little boy starting preschool for the first time, my little girl starting school for the first time and my big girl going into year 3.

In true form I have been making things. This seems to A: keep me busy so I'm not fretting about them and B: provide a little something of me to carry along with them as they make their way into the world away from me (pass the tissues, please).

So this little backpack was made for my boy to take along to preschool. I bought the Toddler Backpack pattern from Made by Rae and used a piece of Japanese produced Batman fabric. He had chosen the fabric on an outing to my favourite fabric shop quite a while ago. He had been so patient on this particular outing that when he begged me for it I felt I couldn't say no. But it's been languishing in the stash and he keeps asking me "where's my Batman fabric mum?" so I figured it was time to use it.

I love all the cute details in the pattern. Piping is something I've been experimenting with lately anyway so it was nice to have another excuse to do a bit of it. And I loved making the padded straps - so satisfying ;-). In addition to the pattern details I also added elasticised side pockets for his drink bottle and other bits (technique learnt on this bag) and also an inside pocket with Velcro closure.

I lined it with the same fabric I used for the piping. I wanted to use the Batman fabric sparingly so that it didn't overpower the bag design and I'm happy with the balance. I like the look of the sky blue against the chocolate brown and hopefully it has enough little boy appeal without being over the top. My sewing skills are going to be tested on this project - I'm hoping this backpack will last him the 2 years of preschool until he starts big school. We'll see!

And he certainly does love his backpack (phew!). When I gave it to him he was really pleased (be still my heart :-).

I loved this pattern and hope to make more backpacks in future. Of course my big girl asked for one too when she saw it "with birds and hearts on it please mum". Hmm.

Pop on over to my creative space for lots of creative goodness.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Screen printed wet bag

Just before Christmas I printed a length of my lights design in fushia, eggplant and tangerine to make a few little purses for special presents.

I kept a little back for myself and recently made this little wet bag for myself using a fabulous laminated fabric for the lining. This idea came about after yet again discovering the mess in my bag caused by one too many soggy wet wipes, face washers, tissues etc spread throughout - as you'll know if you have littlies, there are plenty of times when these items end up in your bag (or is it just me?!).

Also a friend and I were recently discussing the fact that as we have children still going through toilet training (will it ever end?!!) it's inevitable that there are going to be some wet undies to take home now and then, ahem.

It's been so useful so far (and the laminate so fun to sew!) that its got me thinking about all sorts of possibilities: toiletry bags, make-up purses, baby change mats and anything really where a little waterproofing is helpful. Hopefully these thoughts will magically materialise in the coming weeks ;-)
Head on over to my creative space for a weekly dose of goodness.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Sleep shorts

These sleep shorts were a Christmas present for the Mr, who had requested them after claiming his previous pair were very comfortable (hooray for handmade!).

These are the same style as the last pair. I'd made a quick self drafted pattern last time from an existing pair of PJs and used that again. They are pretty straight forward, baggy and shapeless, perfect for comfort ;-) I used a piece of soft dark blue jersey from my stash and a length of wide elastic. Again as I did last time, instead of making a casing for the elastic I just sewed it straight onto the waist of the shorts, serged the edge then top stitched it down (I got this idea from a pair the Mr's undies). It really is a quick and easy method, and as you can see below it comes out reasonably neat.
This time for a little embellishment I designed a little school of fish to screen print (pet fish being a new hobby of the Mr's in 2012). I cut the stencil and printed the little rows of fish around the base of each leg in pale grey.
I teamed the shorts with a store-bought t-shirt, as I didn't feel the effort of making a well fitting tshirt was justified, and I'd nearly run out of time. But I did print a little extra fishy fabric and sewed a square over the existing label just to link the tshirt to the shorts (no photo though). A satisfying little gift to make :-)



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wiksten tank no. 2

The hot weather we've been having has spurred me on to make a few more clothes for myself (you can never have too many - right? ;-). And my latest favourite is this Wiksten tank top.

I've been wearing no. 1 to death. To quote my little girl: "oh mum, you're wearing that again!!" So I thought I'd use this pretty piece of voile from my stash (from Spotlight) for another. I'd originally bought it to use for a pair of harem pants for my big girl but had changed my mind (harem pants post to come).

As with the last top this one came together pretty quickly: fabric cut in one session, sewing seams in another and then the neck and armhole binding in another. In fact the binding is the thing that takes me the longest. All that pinning and pressing is worth it though as it makes for such a lovely finish.


I really like the style and fit of this pattern. It's comfortable and easy to wear. And even though voile is notorious for not lasting too long (it's so fine that it starts to fall apart after wearing and laundering many times) it drapes so beautifully that I think it's worth it.

I made a couple of small alterations to the pattern this time: I added a little ease in the bust as the previous one was a little tight but I liked the fit everywhere else. And I also lengthened the hemline by about an inch at the front and by about 2 at the back. I wanted to wear this top with my Black Spinal trousers and as they're tight like leggings I like to wear a top with them where the hemline falls at least to the crotch.

I'm sure there will be a Wiksten tank no. 3, it's just a matter of allocating some more fabric, preferably from the stash. Which, ahem, doesn't seem to be decreasing, even though that was one of my sewing goals for 2012, sigh...

Pop over to my creative space for lots of creative goodness.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

2012 favourite things

Happy new year everyone! Though I've not been blogging a lot (where have you gone, blogging mojo??) I've certainly been making a lot of things. But before I go on to those here are some pics of my favourite projects from the year gone by.
At first I wasn't going to do a review again this year. Last year's took ages to prepare. And I wasn't sure that there was that much to show. But I thought I'd just pick out one or two projects - notably my Minoru jacket - surely my favourite project. And then once I got going I couldn't help but add more...
and more...
So I guess the nice thing about this practice is that it makes me realise that I did achieve a lot. And a lot of these things we use and enjoy on a daily basis - and that actually feels really good!!

I recently read an article where the writer had noted that early each year she makes a list of what she'd like to achieve this year (not resolutions) to keep her focussed. She also recorded what she'd achieved in the past year almost as a little pat on the back to encourage her. I like her idea of starting year on a positive note!
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