Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fabric covered canvas's - Tutorial

We are making room for a new baby, and since Ella has found how to climb out of her cot, we decided that it was time to move her into a big girls room. Ella is a MASSIVE Dora fan, and Mat suggested that she have a Dora themed room. This is far from the vision that I had for her room. I want something that is girly, but classic and she will be able to have for the next few years......or a little bit longer.

We have the bed and the quilt cover. Not my initial choice, but I have gone with it and decided to decorate the room using many different pink tones and fabrics.

I want to put up some pictures, but my artistic skills only stretch so far. So I had an idea, why not cover a canvas in fabric. You get a inexpensive and beautiful picture. So here is the tutorial for how I did it.

I got my 3 canvas's from Lincraft as they are pretty cheap - $5.00 each for 10" x 10". Many other places sell them and they vary in price. You will also need a staple gun or some picture tacks and a hammer. I bought a staple gun from Bunnings for $20.00 - which is pretty heavy duty and came with a lot of staples.

Find the fabric that you want to use. I have used Joel Dewberry's Sparrows. I have ironed the fabric a couple of times to make sure that there are no creases in it. Place the fabric over the canvas to decide what part of the fabric looks best.

Once you have selected what part of the fabric you want. Cut around the canvas, leaving enough allowance on each of the four sides to stretch around to the back.

Take the fabric away and place it right side down onto your work surface, placing the canvas on top of it. Check that you have it in the correct position. Bring the fabric around to the back of the canvas (on the left hand side) Dont stretch the fabric at this stage. You want to put one staple in the middle (as shown below)

Once you have put in the first staple, you can gently stretch the fabric on the opposite side, putting one staple in the middle. Continue this with the top and the bottom edges of the canvas.

Now you need to work on the corners. These are pretty tricky. The easiest way that I found was to get one of the side end pieces and fold it into a triangle on the bottom edge of the canvas and then the triangle can be brought over to the back on the canvas. Have a couple of goes and work out which is best for you. The aim is to make it as neat as possible. I am left handed, so probably a bit un-co, but you may find a much simplier way of doing it.

Once you have folded down all corners, you can staple down all of the fabric on each of the sides, stretching the fabric gently as you go.

Cut all of the overhang fabric off. This has no purpose really, but makes it a bit neater.

Three covered canvas's that are ready for hanging in a big girls bedroom.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The new member of our family.

No.... I have not given birth yet. I still have about 17 weeks to go (touch wood) until that happens, but yesterday I had another little baby join our family. A new sewing machine!

A couple of days ago I did not even think about buying a new sewing machine. I was pretty happy with my old one. However, I was in Spotlight and a lady was buying a overlocker using the 35% off voucher.

That night I was thinking in my sleep (which you do) and I reaslied that I had the Spotlight sale catalogue that had sewing machines in it. The sale did not start until 27th December, but for VIP members you could get the same specials on 24th December - plus there was still the voucher that they had put out that was valid until the 24th which gave you an additional 35% off a single item (even if it was on sale)

So on 24th December I made a trip to Spotlight and I enquired about the machines. They retailed at $799.00 - but in the sale catalogue they were $599.00 and with my 35% off voucher - total $389.35! Thanks very much.

Yesterday, after I gathered all of my Christmas money (and some of Mat's) I went and got my machine. The lady told me to be careful on the way out of the shop that I was not mugged. I had gotten the last one - and quite a few people had already been in that morning asking for them.

Now I just have to get used to it. It is so different from my old machine. I had to read the instructions to thread the bobbin! Now that we are past that milestone - it is all good!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A simple dress for the last hoorah

It is the last hoorah for my sewing machine today.

I got this sewing machine just over a year ago. It has been a great beginners machine, but the time has come to upgrade it. If you know anyone that wants to purchase a great Brother XL-2620 - email or leave me a comment.

I thought that seeing I am getting my new machine tomorrow, I thought it would only be fitting to make something on it as a last hoorah. I wanted something simple to complete while Ella was having a sleep. The Lil Blue Boo Sundress Tutorial says that this dress can be finished in 30-45 mins. I think I must be out of practice as it took me a bit longer than that. Actually Ella finished her sleep and Mat had to babysit for a while so that I could finish the dress.

The fabric is from Spotlight. I bought it on Wednesday when I was killing some time whilst waiting to pick up Mat from work. I have not been in there for months and spotted it straight away. Only $6.99/metre and this only used half a metre - so a bargain dress.

Trying to get Ella to pose for photos these days is a nightmare, and I have included some of our outake pics.

Stay tuned for my new baby tomorrow. I can't wait!

Little cuddly animals

We are currently getting ready for the arrival of a little boy. I know it is still 4 months away, but first 5 months have gone very quickly, so I expect that the next 4 will fly by even quicker.

I bought the flannel for the Valeri Wells Urban Baby quilt back in August. This is just before my morning sickness set in and I still had energy. I planned to make it for a friend of mine who had just given birth to a little boy. Maybe buying it was what brought on my morning sickness. So instead of making the quilt, the fabric was banished to my stash, until I knew someone that was having a boy, and I bought some clothes as a present instead.

Little did I know that it would be me that was having a boy, so last week, I got the urge to make my first quilt.

Once I started, it was addictive, and I must say that this quilt was finished pretty quickly. I was like a woman posessed.

Mind the stains on the flannel - my iron decided to spit all over it. Needs a wash and maybe a new iron.

back panel

I am in love with this quilt. Ella has taken quite a shine to it also, and she likes to cuddle up with it in the pram whilst watching TV (that needs a photo of its own) I cannot wait to start decorating the nursery for the arrival of my little boy.

A special thanks needs to go to my Olfa rotary cutter and my Olfa cutting mat - without you two I would not have been able to complete this project.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Why that is such a lovely dress

It feels great to finally be back sewing. Yesterday was a rare day to myself. No Ella and no Mat. What was I to do for 1/2 a day on my own..... Sew!

I wanted something quick and easy that I could finish in one sitting. I decided upon the 3 way dress from Ottobre 3/2009. The only problem with the pattern, the sizing was from 92cm - Ella is probably 10cm shorter than this.

I didnt make the bottom panel as long as the pattern stated and I did not add any seam allowance. It did turn out way too short to wear as a dress, but teamed with some white leggings it looks lovely as a long top.

My only problem with the patten is that there is way too much fabric in the front of the dress. The photos are not too good, as Ella is coming down with yet another cold, and started crying as soon as the camera came out.

I will make this pattern again, as I think it is a lovely summer dress, however, I am going to take some of the bulk out of the front, just so it does not balloon as much - and add some length so that it can be worn as a dress.

A lovely thing happened today, we were out shopping and a lady behind us on the escalators commented about Ella's lovely dress. It is nice to get a compliment, especially when you have made the clothes yourself.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Why do mothers do this to themselves?

Last year, being an over ambitious mother, I decided that I was going to make Ella a double tiered fondant cake. It is not that I am a cake decorator or anything like that, and I had never made one before, but I had watched quite a few You Tube videos, and I thought that it looked pretty easy. I found a cake decorating shop and I went and bought all the supplies that I would need and a bit extra for practising. I wasnt completely stupid, I gave myself about a month to practice on styrafoam cakes.

This year, I was planned to make Ella another fondant cake, but I dont know where the time went.

Last week I bought the Womens Weekly Birthday Cake book, I intended to make something out of there, which I am sure would be simplier than making another fondant cake and a lot cheaper too.

Mat asked why I had bought the book as Ella is a massive Dora the Explorer fan and I should have just make her a Dora cake. So a Dora cake it was - how hard could it be.

I hired a Dora the Explorer tin - $5.00 and bought all of the colours and icing $55.00 - gee I didnt realise it would be that expensive to make a small Dora cake.

A good idea might have been to make the cake (or at least iced it) after Ella had gone to sleep. I am only just getting used to having a little helper as last year I had a one year old that did not walk and did not want to help. This year, I had a little helper - but 2 year olds and cake colouring dont really mix.

This is what I was working too - now I certainly do not have the patience for all of those little blobs - plus I have not acutally realised this this Dora is a lot bigger than the outline on the tin - so not as much detail could go into it - and it made it more fiddly to work on.

The Dora Cake un-iced. Thank goodness it came out of the tin. I did not read the 'tin instructions' before I made the cake and it said not to use butter or margarine to line the tin - ooops.... but after a couple of hard wacks on the top of the tin it popped out all in one piece. Note to self - read instructions before you do things, not afterwards.

Everyone needs a helper

All that pure icing sugar.....

This is the bench after it had been cleaned twice. Are they little Ella hand prints to go with the red colouring

Bath time after all the fun

After a few hours of icing, a long soak in the bath for Ella and a lot of cleaning up, this is my Dora the Explorer. I am pretty happy with how it turned out.

Can you tell who it is?

Maybe I should have had a practice. I was pretty ambitious before hand and bought enough cake mix for 2 cakes, one to go to daycare on Tuesday. That idea is scrapped as I cannot think of anything worse making this cake again (well in the next day or so anyway)

Next year maybe I will stick to a bought cake, or an icecream cake. Ella loves icecream - but knowing myself I will spend hours making another over ambitious cake, just because as a mother that is what we do.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Its a.........

I have thought from as soon as I got pregnant that I was going to have another little girl. The feeling was so strong. I thought I was having a girl when I was pregnant with Ella, but this time, I was dead certain. I had not even entertained the idea that we were having a boy. I had had people look at the 12 week scan shots and using the nub theory, the guess from everyone was that we were having a girl. I did quizzes and ring tests and they all said girl - except for the Chinese gender prediction test - it said 'boy' but I thought it was stupid, it did not know what it was talking about. Mat was resigned to the fact that he was going to have a house full of girls and he was going to have to go and get a male dog to get more testosterone in the house.

We had our morphology scan today. I have been waiting for this scan like a child waits for Christmas. I applaud the people that can wait until the birth to find out what they are having, but for me, waiting until 19 weeks is long enough. It is like a half way surprise for me. I thought that it would be routine and they would confirm that we were indeed having a girl, even though over the last day or so the thought that we might be having a boy had started to creep into my mind.

Little baby was being difficult this morning and was laying across my stomach with its back facing us and it head hidden (and its little girl or boy bits) so it took about an hour of measurements and prodding until they got to the money shot.

What do we have.........

A boy!

I couldnt believe it! I was speechless. I expected a girl. Mat is extremely happy and was smiling like a cheshire cat the rest of the scan and just shaking his head. I had my heart set on a girl - for the reason that I have 3 brothers and I always wanted a sister and you always want for your kids what you didn't have yourself.

So Ella, you are not going to get a little sister, but a healthy little brother is just as good. Plus you know what that means now.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Two today

***warning - shameless mother post ***

Today my little girl turns two. At this time we would have been making our way to the hospital. My contractions had started at 8pm the night before and they have been very painful all night (Ella was posterior) and 7 mins apart from when they started. The hospital told us to stay at home until they got to 5mins apart, but after 12 hours of contractions (still 7 mins apart) and no sleep we were told to come in. Flash forward another 14.5 hours, three epidurals and a lot of stitches later, I had my beautiful little girl. She was born at 10:25pm weighing 3.250kgs or 7 pounds 2 ounces in old money. Length 47.5 cm. Ella was born on her due date - so she must be lucky.

Within 24 hours, she started having breathing difficulties and ended up in Special Care Nursery for 4 days

It amazed me at that time, with how fierce your love is for someone that you have just met.

Two years have gone by in a whirlwind - I say to Ella on a regular basis that I will take her back to maternity and they will shrink her back down to a newborn (where she cant move and cant tear my house apart).

In all honesty, as much as I complain about my house, I wouldn't change it for the world. Ella has changed so much and it is amazing to see the difference each day. Sometimes I yearn for that little baby again, but I am grateful for the little girl that I have growing before me.

Happy birthday little girl - looking forward to a lot more birthdays to come (and maybe a clean house)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Me-me gone?

Ella will be turning 2 on 3rd December - so it is just on a week away. Ella has always been a big fan of the dummy and she was given her first dummy when she was in Special Care Nursery soon after she was born as she had a tube down her throat. Since then it has been a regular occurance and shows up in many photos.

We always said that by 2 the dummy would have to go. It has been greeping up on us and she is still pretty dependent on it. She uses it to sleep and when she is upset and as we generally have about 5 or 6 kicking around at one time, she will find one in the house and have it in her mouth at random times during the day.

This week all of those dummy's went missing. For some reason or another we searched and searched, but could not find any. So what a perfect time to stop using them.

So we have told Ella that me-me has gone. She walks around saying "me-me gone" and we say that it has gone. So far we have gone three nights without the dummy and doing pretty well.

Hopefully by Ella's birthday we will be totally dummy (or me-me) free.