Friday, 21 December 2012

The matching hat and mittens

So having questioned if I would find time to make a hat and mittens to go with Peewee's Christmas coat, I decided to just bite the bullet and get on with it this evening. The hat and mittens are made using the same lime green fleece as the coat lining, but the colours in the photos below are a bit out as I used my phone to take them.
My favourite go-to pattern and tutorial for baby/toddler hats is by Jessica at Sewing Our Life Together and I used this to whizz up the hat.

Instead of the pompom on top I created a flower shape. I did this by cutting the strips shorter and with a curved edge. I then gathered across the width of each strip at the middle and layered them up with a button on top.

I embellished the hat with a few little pink flowers and buttons on the front just to make it a little girlier and to break up the lime green-ness.
To make the mittens I started out with a pattern I found over at ikatbag, making just a couple of changes as I went along. The mittens are reversible so Peewee will be able to wear them either as lime green or pale pink. In the past I have always put mittens on a ribbon, and may still end up doing this. But having already wrapped the coat up and put it under the tree I don't know how much ribbon to cut. I'll see how she gets on with loose mittens, but have a  feeling I will be getting the ribbon out in the new year.

A Christmas Coat

Although I haven't had much time for blogging lately, I have found some snippets of time for a Christmas project for my niece - A winter coat. I drafted up the pattern using Peewee's measurement and a basic bodice pattern, making a few changes along the way as I went. Maybe one day I will find some time to draft it out properly and share it here...


The fabric is a black cotton with pale yellow, pink, blue, orange and green polka dots (just in case that's not clear from the photos). Once upon a time this fabric was a skirt, but it never looked quite right on me so I have never actually worn it out. As always, I forgot to take a photo of the original skirt, so you will just have to imagine what it may have looked like.
The coat is lined in lime green fleece, a bit of a change from the usual girlie pinks and purples. I also made pockets using the same lime green fleece which will hopefully keep her little hands nice a snug.  I'm hoping to find some time before Christmas to whizz up a fleece hat and mittens to go with it, but we will have to wait and see if that actually happens. I managed to find some  flower buttons in a similar colour to the fleece. In my head I was imaginging big square buttons but couldnt find any. But I like how the flower buttons look, and they do add a bit more of a girlie feel. Since Peewee is wanting to be more independent now (and will need to be once her little brother arrives), the buttons are actually just for show - the coat fastens with snap fastenings/ poppers.


Peewee is 2!

December is a crazy month for my family, with both my Mum and niece having birthdays and of course Christmas. This year we also have the much anticipated arrival of my first nephew thrown into the mix, so I haven't had much time for blogging.
Last weekend we had a birthday party for my niece. Since my sister-in-law is heavily pregnant we kept it low key, but Peewee had a great time playing with her friends and eating lots of yummy treats.
This year I made the birthday cake and after much deliberation decided to have a go at decorating it with a favourite of hers... birds. I used flower-paste to make the birds and cut them out freehand. For the wings I cut little hearts and for the legs I used spaghetti covered in yellow flower-paste. And here it is...

The cake was a vanilla sponge sandwich with three layers. Between each layer was vanilla butter cream and jam. The sponges needed trimming to get them to sit well so I had some pieces of cake that were just calling out to be made into cakepops. I was a little short of time so decided on some quick and easy flower cakepops to tie-in with the flowers around the cake's edge. I used a double cake stand to lift the cake up higher than all the surrounding presents on the table, so I also made a few girlie cupcakes for the lower cake stand.

Monday, 19 November 2012

A couple of quickie projects

Life and work are quite hectic at the moment so I haven't had much time for sewing, but I have pulled together a couple of quickie projects.
The first was an idea that had been bouncing around in my head for a while as a way of using up some small-ish pieces of navy and pink fleece left over from other projects. The plan was to make a sweatshirt type top that could be layered up as the weather cools, but to make it girlie. Being pushed for time (and feeling a little lazy) I decided to use a bodice piece from a book of patterns I have. The pattern is supposedly 12 month sized, but it looked pretty big. Anyhow, I know quite a few little ladies between the ages of 10 months and 2 years, so figured whatever size the top came out at, I'd be able to find it a home. And here it is...

The second was a speedy little embellishment project for my niece and her soon to arrive baby brother. The little man is due to make his appearance sometime between Christmas and New Year so short sleeves are not exactly practical, but hey-ho, it's all about the novelty cute-factor, not practicality...

Corduroy almost-toddler girl trousers

The minute I saw these fabulous Bonpoint trouser knock-offs over at Elegance and Elephants I just knew I had to have a go at making something similar.

And since my favourite baby girl (Milly, aka Minion 6 from MinionGarden) is now up on her feet cruising (and terrorising her poor parents), I figured that the gathered bottoms would make these trousers perfect for her... no trouser hems dragging on the floor to be tripped up on.

My version is not quite so polished as Heidi's but I love them anyway. I didn't quite manage the gathered pockets and I had really wanted navy twill tape, but could only get my hands on white or black. But I think the duck-egg blue cord and blue modern flowered trims are different from the majority of store-bought girl's jeans and trousers about at the moment.

Now it's just a case of finding time to head over to Minion HQ before Milly outgrows her new trousers.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Junebug Remix

Never wanting to be wasteful, I have been pondering ways of using up the last small piece of dusky pink corduroy left over from the autumn skirts and pinafore projects.
There wasn't really enough to make another skirt, so I was a bit stumped and decided to browse some of my fave blogs for some inspiration...
And inspiration came in the form of the Junebug Dress over at Craftiness is not Optional. I've had my eye on this tutorial for a long while, but being lazy, have been putting it off... Jess has a pattern available to download in size 2T, so I figured I'd just wait for my niece to grow into that size. And at last she has.
And so here is my Junebug remix...

I think the finished dress is having a bit of an identity crisis... not quite a pinafore, but not quite a 'dressy' dress. Anyhow, it used up lots of scrappy bits of fabric and isn't too shabby. And I got to use more snaps!

The photo quality lets the dress down a little bit as the colours aren't quite how they are in real life... the lining and snaps are navy blue and tie in with the navy in the check skirt.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Dungarees and Snap Fasteners

Ever since hearing that my brother and sister-in-law are expecting a little boy, I have been itching to make a pair of dungarees for the little man. I found a cute pattern in the book 'Making Baby's Clothes' (by Rob Merrett), but wanted to add snap closures to the leg inseams to make nappy changing simpler. Since seeing Jessica at Me Sew Crazy use snap-tape on her Baby Snap Cargo Pants, I have been on a mission to find such tape. However, I have not been able to find it anywhere and so the project has been on hold.
However, this week I discovered the joy of KAM snap fasteners and having tested them out on corduroy with my basic autumn pinafore dress project, I decided that they would work well on the dungarees. So after an evening at my sewing machine, I have my cute baby boy cord dungarees (teamed up in the photo with a shirt I made last week using another pattern from Me Sew Crazy - The Baby Boy Button Up).

I used a contrasting polka-dot cotton for the pocket trims and reverse of the straps and bibs. I also added in some trim along the hemline (with extra contrast fabric on the reverse of the leg bottoms for turning up, if needs be).
I decided to be brave and use a contrasting colour for the snap closures on the straps and sides, matching to the bright blue colour in the polka-dot print. It's bright, but I think it has worked well and ties the two fabrics together.
For the leg inseam closures I used brown snap fasteners as they were for practicality and not aesthetics. I used the polka-dot fabric to create facings to reinforce the inseam area where the snaps are and decided to allow some of the fabric to peek out like it does on the hem... now I'm not so sure about that decision (maybe a bit too much polka-dot


Speedy little autumn basics

A little while back I posted about some toddler corduroy skirts that I made, in preparation for the cooler autumn weather. I had a reasonable sized piece of the dusky pink cord left and decided to use this to make a simple pinafore style dress for my (almost) two-year-old niece... a staple for any little girl's autumn wardrobe.
I had a scrap of contrasting bright pink polycotton left over from another project and used this to create a lining for the top portion of the dress (I didn't have enough to line the whole dress, but never mind). It gave a nice finished edge to the neckline and arm-holes, which I then topstitched. I also found a scrap of MidWest Modern - Garden Maze in tan (by Amy Butler) which was just perfect for a little butterfly motif.
I created a simple A-line dress pattern piece and used this for both the front and back (pattern available here). I created a back opening from the centre of the neck, down approximately 5 inches and added a button band type thing to the right side. I shaped the back neckline so that it sloped down to the opening, rather than curving (like the front).
I recently discovered the joy of KAM snap fasteners (and have probably now have a bit of an obsession with them)... They are so quick and simple to attach, come in lots of great colours and designs and are also realtively cheap. And the best bit is... no need to sew buttonholes! I used 3 bright pink snaps on the back opening, which do actually match the colour of the lining (for some reason they look red in the photo, but they are most definitely bright pink!).
This dress is nothing fancy, but it will get lots of wear. And being so simple, it was a quick and satisfying little project for a Friday night in. Watch this space for more cord projects (which may also have an abundance of snap fasteners... like I said, I think I have an obsession!).

And here's the little lady modelling the dress...



Monday, 22 October 2012

Baby Boy Outfit

This weekend I decided to try out some of the boy patterns and tutorials by the wonderful Jessica at Me Sew Crazy. Not only are they gorgeous and easy to follow, but they are also free!
So here's my versions of the 'Baby Boy Button Up' and the 'Baby Boy Snap Cargo Pants'.
The polka dot fabric is a super soft and silky cotton and the trousers are a lovely duck-egg blue needlecord, both from John-Lewis.

I didn't add pockets and decided not to use snaps on the trousers as I didnt have enough. I used the polka-dot fabric as lining for extra warmth, also making the trousers reversible as it took hardly any extra effort and it is always nice to have options (though I dont think you would ever put the polka-dot shirt with the polka-dot trousers... very intense!).

I decided to have decorative buttons on the shirt and snap closures underneath as buttons on small babies can be fiddly (and as you've probably realised... I HATE making buttonholes!).
I love the little details in these patterns, especially the little pocket on the chest and the inverse pleat on the back of the shirt.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Fleece Pram-Suit

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to get stuck into an exciting project... my time and energy have been swallowed up by building work and ‘work’ work. I have had a project whirling around in my head for a couple of weeks though, sparked by picking up a huge navy blue fleece throw/ blanket at B&Q for the bargain price of £2.99 (I was meant to be buying masonry paint and tile adhesive, but couldn’t resist looking at the home furnishings too)!

So with my first nephew due to make his arrival in the world some time between Christmas and the New Year when it is likely to be freezing here, I figured that the fleece would be perfect for a little baby coat or pram-suit.



I dug through my stash to find something for the lining and found some lovely silky navy and white patterned fabric (that in a past life was a skirt I think) and there was enough of it make a whole pram-suit rather than just a jacket.
I wasn’t really sure where to start, but had a browse on sewset and came across a nice pattern for a baby sleep sack over at Running with Scissors. I used this as a starting point and with a little fiddling and adjusting got to a pattern for a pram suit.

Most of the fiddly bits to do with the wrap over, zip, attaching lining and making buckle holes (for the buggy/ car set) I figured out as I went along, and for this reason I’m afraid I cannot give you a tutorial. I’m also pretty sure that there are better ways of doing many of these things (I do have a tendency to wing-it and don’t always do things in the most methodical and practical of ways).

All that's left to do now is make a little hat and mittens to match.


And here's the mittens and hat...