Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Hexies

This is my first adventure in ‘English Paper Piecing’ and I have to admit that I’m now rather addicted. Something that I was a bit intimidated by has now become something I can’t put down.

Case in point: I started this yesterday afternoon (I begrudgingly put it down to cook dinner), then resumed in front of the TV once the kids were in bed. Andrew arrived home late having been away for work and asked: “Are you making a soccer ball?”

Ha! Soccer ball!?!

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In case you were wondering the same thing, I’ll set you straight. I’m planning on it being a cot quilt for the new baby (I might have mentioned it in passing here.) I haven’t decided yet if the whole thing will be made of hexagons or if there will be any background/ borders… this will depend mostly on my patience/ whether I get bored of the project; but so far I’m loving it. And I’ve got another 6 months, right?

In case you’re like me and initially intimidated by this technique, I thought I’d so you some cool tips that the interwebs revealed with me…

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  1. This template (pictured above) is awesome, and free. I used the biggest size (1.5 inch sides) and printed it out on light card, you then fold twice and cut through all three layers – so you get 9 cards for the effort of cutting out 3. Yay!
  2. I used this tutorial (it’s the first in a three part series) of how to hand stitch hexagons – very helpful.
  3. Did you know that you can use freezer paper to cut out patterns? (See below). Just transfer your pattern to freezer paper, cut it out and iron it on your fabric – voila, you are able to cut out without the need for pins! And you can use your freezer paper pattern again and again.

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I made my freezer paper hexagons about 1 cm bigger all round than my cardboard ones (so the fabric could overlap the edges of the card of course.) I am wondering if I could have just used freezer paper all the way through, without the need for that second step?! Oh well, I saved time anyway – let me know if you’ve tried that technique and whether it worked for you!

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I’m looking forward to watching this mass of hexagons grow and grow (just as it’s intended recipient does!)

Joining in over at 'Our creative space' (and maybe a few other places.)

Jenny x

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday : 13 Weeks

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Outfit breakdown: Grey cardi and denim shorts: cotton-on, pink spotty top: Witchery – I bought it and a few others while pregnant with Noah in a big sale, Jandals: Haviainas

Yes, I know I’ve been neglecting my WW posts lately (don’t worry I’ve been suitably chastised!)In between a whole bunch of sewing and feeling EXHAUSTED (hmmm I wonder why...); I just haven’t had the motivation or energy.

In my other pregnancies, I really tried to make an extra effort with what I wore. Let’s face it, trying to dress what becomes a basket ball sized mound can be difficult at the best of times; and it’s easy to feel like you’re rotating only a couple of boring outfits. Because of this, and because I think pregnancy is a time when a women should feel special and her most beautiful – I tried to dress nice for me.

This time is a bit different though as previously I was working (albeit the second time only two days a week), so many of my belly accommodating clothes are more corporate-type wear. I’m also anticipating that with now not just one, but two little critters running about (and when sometimes even grabbing a shower seems impossible), finding the energy to ‘creatively dress the bump’ may prove more difficult.

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Because of this, I’m going to try and keep up my weekly outfit posts as motivation for me to keep being creative with my pregnancy wardrobe. (And I’ll kill two birds with one stone by also using them as documentation of the bump’s growth week by week*)

Here are some of my other thoughts on dressing while pregnant:

  • You don’t have to go and spend a small fortune on maternity clothes – I found that a lot of normal clothes still worked, especially if they are stretchy or more of a loose/ voluminous style.
  • Op shops can be great. I was worried the first time around that I might stretch some of my clothes out of shape so, (being mainly a winter pregnancy) I bought a few stretchy merino tops from my local op shop. (Turns out they bounced back pretty well anyway.)
  • A good pair of maternity jeans are worth their weight in gold!
  • Personally I prefer fitted/ bump hugging clothes (otherwise I just look like I’m wearing a tent)… and I’d rather celebrate being pregnant, rather than hide it!

Do you have any you would add?

Joining in over here and here

Jen x

P.S Does anyone know where I can find really nice (yet affordable) maxi dresses for summer made of stretchy/ knit fabric?

Sunday, 28 October 2012

That top secret project…

About a month ago I mentioned that I had an exciting, top secret project in the works.

One of you guessed correctly, that this was my rather coy way of saying that I was busy growing ‘Youngling’ #3 (this is a cheesy pun to do with our last name – in case you didn’t know.)

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Some little booties made by my Mother-in-law – I have also commissioned her knitting skills for a couple of other projects.

I’m 13 weeks along now, due 3 May next year (the day before my birthday), and am feeling good – emerging from the nausea and exhaustion that that first trimester sometimes brings.

I also have a few unisex baby projects planned too which I hope to show you as I go. (We are dabbling the idea of not finding out the gender this time, since we already have one of each – but I am terrible with surprises!)

One of these projects involves the fabric below, which I want to use for a cot quilt – I’m thinking of trying hexagons?!? Any suggestions, anyone?

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I’m not doing a 12 weeks scan, and instead scan picture is a dating one from when I was about 7 weeks along – so A LOT will have changed since then. Isn’t it amazing how quickly they grow and all the parts of their body form? It’s a miracle really!

This is my first pregnancy that I will have shared on this blog, since I started this thing when Isabelle was around 8 months old.

I’m looking forward to sharing this journey of new life with you all!

Jenny x

P.S. I was trying to think of a more creative way of breaking the news on here – but I couldn’t sorry (baby brain?) … After all I don’t think there’s anyway I could top this awesome story! (It seriously made me well up!)

Monday, 22 October 2012

Thomas TrackMaster™ – lots of fun and 3 ways to win great prizes

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Recently the good people at Nuffnang asked if we would interested in being part of the Thomas & Friends Ultimate TrackMaster™ campaign and we leapt at the chance.

Noah (and Isabelle) are both Thomas the Tank Engine mad, so they were both extremely excited when the Thomas TrackMaster™ Risky Rails Bridge Drop set arrived at our door.

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The face on left may look like sadness, but don’t fooled – it’s just frustration that he couldn’t open the box quick enough to play with this awesome new toy!

And awesome it is, Noah especially loves the daring bridge drop where it appears Thomas is going to drop off the edge of the track, but amazingly always makes it to the safety of the tracks below.

But the fun doesn’t end there… because there are some awesome prizes up for grabs on the Ultimate TrackMaster™ Website

Here’s how your child could win:

1) Create the ‘Ultimate TrackMaster™ Track’

2) Shoot an awesome video of your track in action

3) Complete this entry form and upload your video

The child deemed the ‘Ultimate TrackMaster™’ by most number of votes at the end of the competition will win the grand prize which is estimated at $8000 retail value!

Thomas & Friends merchandise will contribute to $3000 of this value. The second part of the prize is a Puffing Billy Day out with Thomas in Victoria, Australia, including a private tuition on how to drive Thomas.

And … there are two other ways you can win weekly prizes (the competition runs for 10 weeks ending 11/12/12)..

1)Each week 5 entries will win a TrackMaster™ Risky Rails Bridge Drop and a TrackMaster™ Little Friends Engine, and …

2) One voter each week will win a TrackMaster™ Risky Rails Bridge Drop and Blue Mountain Mystery DVD.

So make sure you enter and get voting (especially for Noah's entry! Please!)

I’d be pretty ‘chuffed’ if we Noah won! (Please excuse my lame attempt at a pun!)

Jenny x

[This competition is open to all permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand, aged between 2 and 7 years old as at 25/9/12, with parent/guardian consent. For all other terms and conditions please refer to the website.]

[This is a sponsored post]

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Vintage Backyard Baby

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We've been enjoying a bit of Summery weather up here in the Hawkes Bay. I snapped these photos a couple of weeks ago and wrote a post that I thought I had scheduled to go out automatically - but somehow it didn't. Oh well, the pics are so cute ... I thought I just couldn't go without sharing them with you.

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It seems a certain little Miss enjoyed a spot of dirt eating! Uggghhh! (Oh well extra antibodies, I guess!?)

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Isabelle wears: top and overnaps/ little knickers – thrifted, sandals- thrifted, sun hat – Oobi (won in a competition via Baby Vintage), onesie (underneath)- Pumpkin Patch.

This brings me to a discussion/ question I want to raise re: onesies – (those little one piece garments that dome underneath the nappy). I think I am addicted to these things.

Let me explain what I mean by this.

First with Noah and now with Isabelle, I am finding that I have to wean myself off including one of these in my kids undergarments. This difficulty in letting go of the onesie stems from some kind of inbuilt Mum need in me to ensure that the ‘kids’ (meaning kidneys) are covered and warm. The difficulty is that approaching age 2 these onesies become rare and treasured items… the shops simply don’t make many bigger sized ones. Probably because they’re not conducive to toilet training!

Because of this, when Noah was around Isabelle’s age and with warmer weather approaching, I weaned myself of onesies – but I found it hard! Pathetic I know! And what’s more I’m finding the thought hard again!

So the question I want to know is this:
Are there any other over-protective, but they can’t help it, onesie weaning, crazy cover up the kidney Mums out there??? Please tell me I’m not the only one!

Ok rant over!

Jenny x

Joining in with small style and WKWW



Tuesday, 16 October 2012

{KCWC Oct 2012} Round-up

I have finally got over some mystery illness and am also feeling like turning my mind to all things sewing again so I thought I’d do a round-up of the week that was the Kids Clothing Week Challenge.

I’m sorry if you are totally over all my sewing/ KCWC posts, I promise that this will be the last for a while and please feel free to tune out if you are!

days 1 and 2 collagePicMonkey Collage days 3-4PicMonkey Collage days 5-7

Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4 / Day 5 / Day 6 & 7

A few notes:

  • All fabric I used was stretch/knit fabric
  • I think I managed to make an even number of things for both Noah and Isabelle. (I generally find girls clothes easier to make, so I expected there to be an Isabelle inbalance.)
  • I can definately see that my sewing skills have improved.

Also the Flickr group was awesome… I couldn’t quite work out how to show the pics here but go here to check out my Flickr favs.

Jenny x

Saturday, 13 October 2012

{KCWC Oct 2012} Days 6-7: grey merino hoodies

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I’m really happy with how these turned so please excuse me while I post like a zillion pictures!

(Also you should know that I definitely spent more than one hour per day on these.)

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The details:

Fabric: Ultra fine merino merino (grey and turquoise) – also featured here and cotton interlock (floral).

Pattern: From here.

Right, as much as I’ve enjoyed this challenge I think it’s time to step back from my sewing machine for a bit – besides I have a sick husband that needs nursing/ sympathy (bad dose of the man flu!)

I’ll probably pop back in the next couple of days with a post of some my favourites from the Flickr pool.

Joining in with KCWC

… and probably 'Our creative space' (and small style and WKWW) later in the week – after all I think this is the project I’m most proud of this KCWC.

Jenny x

{KCWC Oct 2012} Day 5: Leggings

Yesterday involved a bit of easy peasy sewing – mainly because I was psyching myself up for today’s project. Today’s project is also the reason why I didn’t get round to photography and blogging about yesterday’s sewing, until now – I have been beavering away at my sewing machine on it all day!

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As you can see, my day 5 makings were two pairs of leggings for the Isabub.

I think cuffs are really cute on little kids leggings, however they do somewhat make them look more like PJs. Because of this I haven’t really decided whether to use them as PJs or daytime leggings. After all the girl does need more of both and the top pair would co-ordinate well with these. We’ll see!

And in case you’re wondering about the bulky butt – she’s wearing a re-usable nappy!

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The details:

Fabric: All stretch knit

Pattern: The ‘sleeping Johns/ everyday leggings’ pattern size 2T from Growing up Sew Liberated. (The same pattern that I used for Noah's PJ pants.)

And in case you’re interested in what I’ve been working on today… here’s a sneak peak…

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It involves one thing for Isabelle and one for Noah and I intended pacing it over the final two days – but the way they’re coming together I may have something to show you tomorrow! I best get off this computer then!

Are you doing the KCWC? How’s it all going for you? Or do you think you might give it a go next time? I’m thoroughly enjoying it – especially my second time round.

Jen x

Thursday, 11 October 2012

{KCWC Oct 2012} Day 4: Animal PJs

Yesterday I made Noah some animal PJs..

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…And by some kind of ‘freak accident’ I managed to create a 'liger' (of Napoleon Dynamite fame) ,along the join between the two legs. This might just be my favourite feature of these PJs.

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The details:

Fabric: All knit fabric

Patterns: Pants/Leggings: The ‘sleeping Johns/ everyday leggings’ pattern size 4T (with obvious room to grow) from Growing up Sew Liberated.

Top: The raglan I’ve been using all week – from here

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Noah seems pretty happy with them! And a little boy called ‘Noah’ with animal jammies – that’s quite appropriate, don’t you think?

Joining in with KCWC

Jenny x

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

{KCWC Oct 2012} Day 3: Granny Smith Dress

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First of all yes – the granny smith ‘prop’ was intentional (and cheesy)… if not a little misguided. As soon as I handed it to Isabelle I realised two things…

1) Being an edible ‘prop’ I had limited time to snap my photos before the front was saturated in apple juice. Yup, it was a juicy one!

2) It proved hard to get a good shot of the dress without the apple blocking the view… and she wasn’t letting go of it for anyone! (Hence the photo of the apple above the head – at my request.)

… Anyway enough about photographic process/ ‘photo-shoot’ issues … you want to know about the dress, right?

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The Details

Fabric: Cotton jersey knit, with rib for the neckline and ric rac around the sleeves.

Pattern: 'Go To Signature Dress' – this is fast becoming a favourite of mine.

You may remember that I first used this pattern last week and I raved about it’s versatility. Well this time I wanted to put a bit of a different spin on the dress. I used the same dress length and neckline option but didn’t add an elastic waist and hemmed the sleeves differently – with ric rac poking out, did you notice?

…And then I ummed and arred while doing the kindy pick up about whether to add any other embellishments to the dress. Should I add pockets in a contrast colour, should I add a band or ribbon around the hem…?

In the end I decided less was more and that the subtle sleeve detail was enough… after all, the simplicity of the apple print was what drew me to it in the first place.

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I can see that I will be using this pattern and it’s many variations, a lot more in the future!

Joining in with KCWC

Jenny x

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

{KCWC Oct 2012} Day 2: A tee & a tank

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Some sewing for Noah: a raglan tee and a tank.

The details:

Fabric:

Tee: Cat and the Hat front and back panel – salvaged/ re-styled from an old, thrifted, paint splattered tee, sleeves from an old tunic of my Mums.

Tank: rib knit

Patterns:

Tee: from here (the same as used for Isy's PJs.)

Tank: The ‘blank tank’ pattern from here. (To see my first attempt at using this pattern go here.)

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As you can see my “model” was not quite as co-operative as the one from yesterday!

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Just look at that face! Such attitude!

Joining in with KCWC

Jenny x