Thursday, March 25, 2010

Creative Space - refashion

It's been a while since I started & finished a project in a single day. This has mostly been due to a long spell of broken sleep (thanks to some oh-so-slow to appear 2 year molars). It was nice to not get half way through something & then have to balance it on the unfinished projects pile!

Last week Adelaide spotted this singlet at the op shop and asked if I could make a stripey dress for her baby-doll. I gave her the $1 to pay for it as she likes to collect receipts. It was not until we got home I realised the potential of this rather ordinary singlet. It is 100% cotton knit.

I started by snipping a hole in the neckband & threading some elastic around to draw it in.

Then I stitched & cut the sides down like so....

A quick dress that I was pretty pleased with until Addie tried it on to promptly declare "it's got no pockets!" Hmmm, such gratitude.

The reality is though that every outfit has to have at least one pocket to be deemed acceptable. And given all the smalls have a runny nose at the moment (the runny nose that just keeps on giving!) pockets are very handy for storing the hankies in. Then I realised the pieces I had cut off could be used to make some pockets, so I cut them like so:

And stitched them onto the front after a bit of unpicking along the side seams.

I now have a very satisfied little one who keeps muttering "thanks for those pockets"

Now to go and tackle something from the towering unfinished projects pile

or perhaps I'll just grab a cup of tea & check out what others are up to over at kootoyoo.....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stuck in reverse

It's all fun & games around here until somebody hits a wall (literally & metaphorically)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Creative Space - lingerie for the crisper

Making some produce bags has been on my TO DO list for a long time now. Reminders kept popping up around the blogosphere and slowly but surely I got my act together and sat down one night to sew three of these up to trial.

I ended up using some natural lightweight silk fabric as I knew I needed to be able to see through the bags to make it easy to find what I was looking for in the fridge (and hopefully avoid a bag of long-forgotten, now-unidentifiable, slowly-decaying produce at the back of the crisper)

Because the silk is so light weight it doesn't add anything extra to the weigh-in at the checkout and the checkout bloke can easily see what is in the bag. It also has meant that all those things I never bothered putting in a plastic bag no longer get constantly handled by aforementioned checkout bloke or stray children that end up in the trolley. Green leafy things obviously do not store as well in these bags but things like green beans last much longer and do not sweat like they do in plastic.

I had the silk in my fabric stash so I'm not sure how much these would cost to make. I had originally thought I'd just use an old sheer curtain but now I'm really glad I used the silk as they not only work really well but and have been a hit with the silkworm breeder who has enjoyed seeing what a worm can create.

Plus they feel amazing.

So that's my quick sewing job today, cutting out more produce bags because I've started to use they for all sorts of things, although I did draw the line at them being used for carting around matchbox cars.

More creative spaces here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


So much has changed since this little boy came into our lives four years ago.

I can hardly remember the life I had before having children, it feels so distant at times. I do recall that it involved a lot more sleep and time to myself. I laugh now when I hear people say things like "having kids won't change me or my lifestyle". I'm afraid there is something very wrong if your life doesn't change after having children, unless perhaps your pre-kids lifestyle involved being woken up all the time, having someone accompany you to the toilet (or at least try their darnedest to), constant mess and incessant chatter about rocketships, how to put out a fire on the moon, birds, diggers, cranes, the moon, how to make water, how great mobilo is, giant trees and silkworm eggs (to name a few topics from today's conversations)

But here we are

four years on

FOUR years

I'd say it goes by all so fast

except everyone always says"'it goes by so fast"

(probably because it actually does go by so fast)

except each day, they don't always seem to go by so fast

the truth is the days are long but the years are short

So here is Max yesterday, all grins after blowing out the candles on his 3rd cake for the day....

And being four means you get 4 cakes right?

Or so he seems to believe.

Last year he requested a pear cake for his party.

This year he's asked for a solar system cake. Yikes!

I blame all this talk of having now been around the sun four times

and this....

as well as this rather presumptuously named tome.....

I'm off to work out how I can make a cake solar system. Did I mention the request also specified an icecream cake as well as including "a rocketship on it's way to the moon"


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Creative Space - Smalls for the smalls

I bought this pattern late last year but was wondering if I'd ever get around to using it. I'd made some undies for Max a while ago & they were a hit with him but they are also super cheap to buy and I have limited sewing time. Despite all that I've been wanting to make the smalls there own undies just because. No merchandising on the front (although Addie does love her wiggles jocks) and made from 'recycled fabric'. So this week I pulled out some of those cotton knit t-shirts that I find in the 50c bin at the op shop and the kids picked out the ones they wanted to use....
the first ones were pretty much made to the pattern (except I didn't bother to top-stitch)
This is a great pattern (lots of photos and instructions if you haven't sewn much) and the style really lends itself to using scrap/recycled fabrics & mixing up colours/prints. To make up a bunch I wanted a slightly faster sew-up so I dropped the bands of cotton/lycra around the legs & waist and instead used fold-over elastic - that stuff is magic! This made the sewing faster and I think they look just as good (and if you don't have an overlocker/serger they make a much neater finish). The smalls were smitten with their new undies and despite Adelaide's trial pair being a bit small she insisted on wearing them 2 days in a row.
After all that I was feeling inspired to try making some for the rest of the household. I cut out some mens undies using an old Kwiksew pattern a few years ago but they were so MASSIVE I didn't bother finishing them. I set out to find a different men's underwear pattern on Pattern Review. This lead me to a review on PR by Peter. That then lead me on to his blog and in particular this post. What can I say........ he sews, he uses vintage patterns and he owns 9 vintage sewing machines!

Check out Peter's blog or head over to Kirsty's for more creative spaces.


This was their first overnight hiking/camping trip. Max carried the tent the whole way in, Adelaide nearly made it all the way with her borrowed backpack. Everyone was in bed by 7:30 and Tim had to rouse them at 7:30 the next morning. The walk out was apparently much slower (being uphill) and required much more bribery encouragement/carrying.

I reckon 2km counts as a hike when your legs are little!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hanging out

Tim has headed up the mountain camping overnight with the kids (a last minute decision) so I've had the afternoon to hang out with Leo. The poor wee fella has a runny nose and wants only to be held close and given free access to the milk bar whilst bluntly refusing any offered solids.


He did enjoy listening to music jiving around in the jolly jumper for a while......

.............followed by a bath in the laundry tub - don't let that smile fool you, there has been much mooching, snot rubbing and ergo action.

At least that's my excuse for not getting around to cleaning the kitchen, I probably should hide the cake I made though (it did however use up one-thirtieth of the giant zucchinis).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I feel like a squirrel

There has been much preserving and squirreling away of summer produce of late.

With much help from my folks who have been staying with us the last couple of weeks I've filled the freezer with pesto and the pantry with jams, roast tomato passata and bottled fruit. There has barely been any bench space with bowls, boxes and bags of fruit filling the kitchen.

We've had strawberries....

strawberries, strawberries, strawberries





and ohhh so many plums!


I'm finishing off the last bowl of greengage plums for jam and have a whole stockpot filled with stewed plums for making fruit leathers and then THAT IS IT [until the pears come on at least].

Hopefully there are no catastrophes on the horizon or we'll be forced to live in the garage eating jam & fruit, watching the children on one gigantic sugar kick!

And there's also the question of what to do with these.....


note yet another bucket of plums down in the corner!


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