Monday, April 30, 2012

KCWC : Day 6 : Baby Skirt

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My baby girl has no skirts. How that can be when her sister seems to own about 320 I do not know, but as part of KCWC I decided to rectify this situation.

Wasting too much time trying to find a tutorial for a skirt small enough for a size 1, I gave up. Surely after all the skirts I've made I could figure out a simple Eva-sized one. So with a gorgeous fat quarter of fabric I picked up at a craft show many moons ago, I drafted my own (simple) skirt and voila, my baby now has started her own skirt collection. Now I have a pattern, I think she might need a little more room on her side of the wardrobe in the girl's room for some more because she looks so cute walking around in this one.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

KCWC : Day 5 : Upcycled Baby Dress

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While Pinterest-ing a few days ago (aka wasting time) looking for tutorials for baby skirts and dresses, I saw quite a few where old knit tops were made into dresses for little ones. With a giant pile of old maternity clothes waiting to be donated, I decided to give it a go. Worse case I'd ruined a top that I was getting rid of anyway.

So using a grey maternity knit top and a top of Eva's, I traced out the neckline and armholes, using the existing bottom hem for the bottom of the dress. Cutting along the traced lines, I then sewed up the side and shoulder seams using a stretch needle and overlocked them. I could have done a binding edge for the neck and armholes, but decided just to try a double fold and it fits well for something that took me an hour from beginning to end.

Looks kind of like a baby Maxi.

KCWC : Day 3 & 4 : Simplicity 5489

Late in blogging, but sewing is being done for KCWC!

Pattern: Simplicity 5489

Fabric: Amy Butler Love in Wine

The Good: A couple of weeks ago Isabella out of the blue, asked me for a red dress. We did a stash check, and apparently this fabric was "perfect", not quite "red" but anywho... Having made this dress before, once the pieces were all cut out (only two dress pieces and two facing pieces) the sewing came together very quickly without needing the instructions.  A simple basic dress, and Isabella loves it. The pattern comes in size 3-8 so I can see me making this many many more times for Evangeline.

The bad: Nothing.

Modifications: The facing is supposed to be interfaced, but I left this out after doing it previously and finding it wasn't needed. I omitted the buttons and used press studs instead and instead of hemming the facing, just serged the edge.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kristen Doran Sew Retreat

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I'm tres excited, my uber-crafty friend Kristen has organised a crafty day retreat and I'm going. Sewn is being held on Saturday 23 June 2012 at The Sebel Harbourside, Kiama from 9.30am to 5pm

From Kristen:

Choose from one of three new and exclusive Kristen Doran designs for 
a morning of hand sewing, and then join with Melinda
from Paperklip to create 2 wonderful papercraft projects.

It will be a lovely day with all materials, morning and 
afternoon tea and a full buffet lunch included in the 
cost - just come along,  learn some new skills and 
meet some new friends in a relaxing, picturesque environment.

Cost: $175 (early bird price) is inclusive of craft materials, 
morning and afternoon tea and a full buffet lunch. There 
will also be a goodie bag and door prizes on the day.

Numbers are limited and discounts apply for early bird payments, 
so book now!

Want to come too? You can book at Looks like so much fun, and hey, there wont be any small people to interrupt you!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

KCWC : Day 2 : Tracksuit

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There is no hiding this will probably be the most boring KCWC post of all. Of everyone. All I made was tracksuit pants. I know, exciting stuff.

Pattern: McCalls 7373 (out of print)

Fabric: Grey tracksuit fabric from The Remnant Warehouse

The Good: Two pattern pieces and simple to make.

The bad: Sizing is terrible. I cut these for Liam in the size 4 with just an extra 1/2 inch length since he is normally a size 5. Once they were finished and he tried them on, they were ridiculously long, as in inches too long, but worse they looked like MC Hammer pants they were that wide on him. Remember those pants? Yeah I didn't like them in the 90s the first time, let alone on my 4 year old son. Luckily they pretty much fit Isabella in length and the width isn't too bad for her.

Modifications: Omitted the elastic around the ankles and did a turned hem instead, stitching the hem with a twin needle.

So a pair of tracksuit pants and they didn't even turn out right. Isabella out of the blue asked me to make her a red dress the other week, so that is next on the cutting bench.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Holiday sewing

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Some school holiday sewing was achieved over the past 2 weeks, a new Wiksten Tova top in a red voile followed by a dress version in a dark chocolate wool suiting fabric, perfect for with leggings and boots on the cold days. 

Since I bought my Tova pattern, the Wiksten patterns have now become available on PDF version, so after finishing up my Tova's, a quick download and I was onto making a Tank top in some green shot cotton. Just like the Tova, I didn't need to make any adjustments for the tank to fit perfectly and I've already cut out some blue satin for another version, this time with the pocket.

KCWC : Day 1 : Eva's Flashback Skinny Tees

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Pattern: Rae's new Flashback Skinny Tee pattern

Fabric: Patty Young and Oliver & S remnants from previous projects

The Good: A simply-made basic top, available to download straight away as a PDF with easy instructions, which I LOVE. No pattern storing, just print, stick together and cut, no tracing. The size range (1-5T) means I can use it for all three kids, which just a bit of length added for Bella. The sleeves are set into the shoulders perfectly, no gathering required. Also for Eva's size I used two remnants about 1/2yard, probably less so great for clearing out some stash.

The bad: nothing.

Modifications: Omitted the cuffs on the arms, using a fold-over hem instead. Stitched hems and neck binding with a twin needle. Added some length to the Oliver & S version.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Iced Jumbles

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I have a cupboard of cookbooks... who doesn't? I have cooked from almost all of them, but some just a recipe here and there. So when I did our meal planning for this month, I pulled out a couple of books, Bill Granger's Every Day, Nigella Lawson's Express and Donna Hay's No Time to Cook and decided to try a whole bunch from each.

Yesterday friends visited for dinner so we did Bill's Sausages and Caramlized Onions followed by Nigella's Rice Krispy's for the kids and Blueberry Crisp (recipe calls for Blackberries, but we used frozen blueberries) for us adults. Everything was a hit. The crisp was lovely compared to a normal crumble, with sesame seeds and almonds mixed in for a crunch. 

Today, after dropping Bella at her first day back at school Liam and I decided to do some baking. So pulling out the recipe books we made Nigella's Mexican Scrambled Eggs for lunch, then made a batch of Bill's Iced Jumbles. The kids have already hit the batch and had to be physically restrained from eating them all. They are good. Bills' Spicy Chicken Meatballs are on the list next.

Iced Jumbles

  • 60g Unsalted Butter
  • 160 ml Golden Syrup
  • 260g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda/Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Mixed Spice
  • Icing, Below

Preheat the oven to 180C and line two baking trays with baking paper. Stir the butter and golden syrup in a pan over medium heat until the butter has melted, then bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Leave to cool for 15 minutes. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices together, then stir into the syrup mixture.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth, and divide into four. Roll each portion into a 3 x 1 cm log and cut into 6 cm pieces. Place on the trays and bake for 10 minutes, or until light golden. Cool on wire racks and spread with icing.


  • 1 Egg White lightly beaten
  • 240g Icing Sugar
  • 2tsp Lemon Juice
  • Food Colouring

Stir together the egg white and icing sugar until smooth. Add the lemon juice and a few drops of food colouring and stir well.

The above is the recipe and instructions from Bill Granger's Every Day. Just a note, I had to use more lemon juice for the icing than the recipe called for to get a spreadable consistency. Also I was completely baffled with the instructions on what size to roll the dough for the jumbles (after a bit of googling, it seems I'm not the only one... phew). What I did was split the dough into four then roll each one into a rectangle about 1cm thick and cut each rectangle into about 6 pieces. In the end I had 24 jumbles.

KCWC Spring 2012

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Kids Clothing Week Challenge is on again, just in time for some tops and pants I plan on making up for the kids.

They definitely will not be for "spring" though, this cold snap in Sydney (it is the middle of Autumn here after all) means more likely to be tracksuit pants and long tops. Eva is ever growing and Liam must have grown about a metre since last winter since none of his daycare long pants are even CLOSE to fitting.

So an hour a day for the next week...

Sunday, April 22, 2012


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School holidays are....
just right for a baby taking her first steps
fun with animals at the Easter Show
catching up with friends and families
hunting for Easter Eggs
sleep overs at Nanny & Poppy's
time for sewing
and a new baby boy being born and after a very rocky start, being on the road to being allowed home

Friday, April 6, 2012


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The nights have been perfect for knitting while catching up on taped TV shows that I seem to be forever behind on watching. Instead of buying new supplies, I'm determined to find some use for the odd balls that I have, so decided to beef up the gift box offerings. The first thing cast on is a little 6 month Milo using a pack of four natural yarns I bought back at the very first Sew It Together in Melbourne in 2010.

Yarn: Hawthorne Cottage Yarns English Leicester Longwool and Corriedale DK/8Ply

Not knowing exactly how much yarn I would use, I cast on the 6 month old size, for no-one in particular, just for the gift box. Now with half the yarn left over, I know I could have made it in a size for Eva to wear, oh well, into the gift box for when a baby cousin arrives later this year.

Pattern: Milo by Georgie Hallam (raveled here)

Now to find something to knit with some 3/4 balls of Bendigo DK. Something for Eva for Winter I think...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Capelet for K

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This week one of my lovely friends Kristen had a birthday. At our last Craft Group, she loved little Eva's capelet and commented she wished there was an adult size, so of course, on the way home from Craft Group I diverted to Spotlight, picked up supplies and by that night had started on an adult size in a lovely squishy grey version. 

Gifted to her last week at a quick get together, lazing on the beach drinking milkshakes in a brief child-free moment, Happy Birthday Ms D. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Coffee Beans

Last week I pulled out the last of my two half balls of Lush Merino/Silk yarn, left over from a jumper made for Liam a couple of years ago and knitted up a cardigan and beanie. Sadly, Lush Yarns are no longer around, so this is the very last of this beautiful yarn that I can get.

Pattern: Magic Coffee Bean Baby Hat (raveled here)
Yarn: Lush Yarn 50% Merino 50% Silk Lt Worsted in Chocolate and Luxury

Pattern: Little Coffee Bean Cardigan (raveled here)
Yarn: Lush Yarn 50% Merino 50% Silk Lt Worsted in Chocolate and Luxury

Both patterns were simple, but using such soft yarn they came up lovely. 

When I started knitting, I intended it for some friends due with a new boy soon, but in the past when I have given them something I have sewn or knitted, they have been met with a very lack-luster response. "Thanks" and put back in the gift bag never to be seen again. Now I don't expect praise, but a bit of appreciation for the effort put in would be nice. 

On the other hand, I have just heard another couple are expecting another boy later this year and in the past they have always been so appreciative of the gifts I have made for their first boy, so I'm thinking maybe I'll keep this for them and just buy something for the other.

What do I do??

Free Range Living

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My goodies in stock at Free Range Living Store in Kurnell are now also available on their website... check it out!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Eva's Christening

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Today Evangeline had her Christening. Wearing her Mummy-made gown, we all descended on the same Church that I was Christened, Dean and I were married in and all three of my babies have now been Christened.
Eva's Christening

After a big party last weekend, it was lovely to share a quiet morning with family (and extended family).

The kids and their Godparents

So for the first time in what feels like a while, we have no events planned. After a busy few weeks including Dean's Mum being here for the last few days, we are all looking forward to school holidays starting later this week. 2 weeks of sleep-ins, play dates, and sleepovers at Nanny & Poppy's.