Friday, December 9, 2011


December to everyone is manic enough. I am tired and really hanging out for the 21st December when I finish work until 16th January. For us, December not only means Christmas, it means birthdays.  We have too many birthdays.

Ella's is on the 3rd, then one of our close friends 6th, nephew 9th, step father in law 10th and then to finish mine is on the 12th. I can't concentrate on anything Christmassy until all these are out of the way.

Last week was going to be hectic. I had a normal working week (which is long) Ella had swimming lessons, Harry had ANOTHER ENT appointment and there were cakes to make (one for her party and one for daycare), presents to buy and a house to scrub to get ready for her party.  Add a smashed iPhone into the picture and you get a mummy that is ready for a meltdown (or a stiff drink)

How many times have you dropped your iPhone. Too many times to count. This time it was in my back pocket and I bent over. It fell out and smashed. I dropped it the following day - and the screen fell out, so now it is covered in sticky tape.  Luckily my boss (with a little hinting from my mother-in-law and his wife) offered me one of the work iPhones as a replacement. At least I have cooled down about that one.

Usually I go totally overboard with my kids cakes.  We had this for Ella's first birthday

 her cake last year

and lastly, Harry's first birthday cake

I promised Mat, I wouldn't go overboard this year.  I didn't have the time (or energy) to make a fondant cake (even though I have many pinned) I would make a simple rainbow cake - how hard could it be......

Let me tell you, it was a pain in the butt. I will take a three tiered fondant cake any day of the week!!! This cake took too many ingredients and there was way too many swear words.  Just to give you an idea of the ingredients - 4 cups of white sugar, 600gms of butter, 500gms cream cheese, 1.5kgs of icing sugar. Definitely not a cake to eat when you were on a diet.   My main problem with the cake - on the outside it is not pretty!!!

OK - it is past not being pretty - it is UGLY.  I was so concerned about actually bringing it out of the fridge (it had to be in there for its safety as it would have toppled over - this bugger was heavy) I went down the local shops and bought a cheap icecream cake as a backup.

I don't know if Ella was shocked or excited when I brought the cake out.  I will go with excited.

Everyone commented that it was a bit below my standards until we cut it, then they forgave its appearance.

So it does look pretty good inside.  Another problem with it - too sickly. I love cake, I mean I love it, I love everything sweet, but this was too sweet and I never realised (until this cake) that there was such a thing. 

The day after her birthday, I was exhausted. The kitchen was piled high with dishes, the last thing I wanted to make was ANOTHER cake. I had to. I had promised Ella that she would have cake for daycare. Another pinned cake that I had shown Ella before, that now I wished I had never shown her and just bought a cake.

He was not too bad to make. It was pretty quick. Made in a couple of hours before Mat and I went to see Elton John. He was a hit (the cake - Elton was pretty good too) at daycare and all the teachers were shocked I had made it.

So there you have it. My birthday is in 3 days and like every year, once I get Ella's out of the way, I can't be bothered to do anything for mine. I am still cleaning my house and finding random empty beer bottles. I think I need a nap.

I think Ella has the right idea!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Retro shorts

When I saw these shorts back in April they screamed 'retro' to me. All they needed was some sweat bands and some long knee high socks and they would make the perfect outfit. Little did I know that they would make the perfect outfit for a 70-80's party.

I have already blogged about Harry's outfit, I have been meaning to post about Ella's - it was way too cute.

It started with the O+S Class Picnic Shorts. This pattern calls for woven fabric, but I had knit fabric in my mind from the beginning. I had not seen it done before with that pattern.

The first pair I made, size 12-18 months. Without the nappy, I think Ella's shorts size is going down, not up. They were a little too big - my idea, put them in the dryer and shrink them. Yes they shrunk a little bit, but the dye came out of the cheap spotlight fabric and ran.  So time for a second pair, this time 6-12 months to get the look I was after.

This pattern worked really well in the knit, the only thing that I had to change were the front facings. I cut them out as per the pattern, but in order for them to fold over the front piece, I had to double fold them, so they are half the width of the original - which I like.

The fabric for the shorts - the stripe is from Spotlight. My machine usually does not like Spotlight knit fabric and chews it up, but with this it had no trouble at all.  The red - that is Patty Young from last year. This is lovely soft knit and I wished I bought more of it.

I am really happy with these shorts - I can see more pairs in my future - too bad they dont go down to 3-6 months as I am sure Ella could get away with a smaller pair. 

What do you think of Ella's costume - way too cute if you ask me. She loved the pigtails and has requested to have this hairstyle more often.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Swing when your winning

My lack of posting has not been due to a lack of sewing. The last two weeks Mat has been on nights, so I have been sewing up a storm.  My lack of posting is due to a nearly four year old giving me every excuse under the sun why she cannot try anything on that I have made.

Now, this is not due to her not liking or wanting anything that I have made, as I threatened not to make anything else for her and this was met with tantrums and floods of tears.

The top is another O+S, this one the Swingset Tunic. I finally bought this pattern a couple of weeks ago. I don't know why I resisted it for so long. It is too sweet. It is out of print now, but I was lucky enough to get a copy from Earthgirl Fabrics.

It is really easy to put together.  I made the size 3T - it is a little big for Ella and should fit her next year. The only thing I had to do was shorten each strap by 2.5" or it would have been just slightly too revealing.  Fabric is seersucker from Spotlight - $4.00 a metre and this top uses less than half a metre.

The shorts - they are the O+S Sailboat shorts. I have owned the pattern for a couple of years, but never made them.  I will do another blog post on them, as they are way too cute and really easy to put together

Ella ordered only one photo to be taken in her outfit - I took about 20, but could only salvage one on her own and one with her friends.


What it is with these figurines. I don't know. Ella and Harry are obsessed with them. The only time they stay at the front door (where they are supposed to be) is when they are asleep!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Crossing over to the darkside

I have never really understood the Liberty obsession.  OK start flaming me now.  It is seriously expensive fabric. Tt is expensive online, but in Australia it is even more so.

I have a serious fabric obsession, but even I thought it was too much to pay until.......

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

What more can I say than 'oh my goodness! I now understand'    I have since found the above fabric and have bought only 1/2 a metre (at $50 per metre) to make a replica of this top for Ella.  Would I buy this fabric for myself - no, it is too expensive.  Would I buy it for my nearly 4 year old - yes.
Why as mums do we do this?  Somehow we can't justify the expense for ourselves, but can for our kids. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Livin' in the 70's

My boss missed out on Cold Chisel tickets, so he decided to hold and 70's and 80's party instead.  Fancy dress was required to fit the theme.

First up was Harry. I dont think that there would be too much 70's or 80's clothing around for him in his size, so I needed to be creative.  A quick look on Google (how did we ever survive before Google was invented) and I found this photo

I knew it was perfect for what I wanted.  I just needed some plaid.   A trip to the local Vinnies and a kilt for 50 cents and BINGO.

I am sorry, I know I am biased, but can this little boy get any cuter!!!!  The pants are just perfection!!!!

The pattern is...... O+S Sketchbook shorts. I have just lengthened them - added a bit of width to them and I have made the waistband double the height - so he is totally rocking Harry high pants!

The belt - thanks to the local Salvo's for that, an adult belt cut down to about 20cm long.  

Everyone at the party thought he was very cute - straight out of Caddyshack.  Ella and Harry were the only kids (out of about 20 that came) that dressed up, which was a shame. I will show you her outfit next post as she was way too cute as well.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I've Got a Crush

An innocent crush!!!

It was my mums birthday on Halloween and so far I have not given her a present. I have an excuse though - she lives nearly 2 hours away and was on a cruise on her birthday.

I have been debating what to give my mum - I usually get her a handbag, I worry about giving handmade gifts, but I know she is one person that will really appreciate it.

It is a table runner. My mum has a HUGE country table in her kitchen. It seats ten people. Mat reminded me when I made it that it was not long enough for her table.  It was not meant to be. It is currently 62" long, it would have to have been double that to cover the length of her table. 

Fabric is Innocent Crush by Anna Maria Horner. I love this fabric and have had a half yard bundle forever. I love the solids in this as well - the white is Kona Cotton in white - my old faithful and the other colours are from the fat quarter pack of Art Gallery Pure Elements that I won a couple of weeks ago. Those solids are so lovely, and really soft. I think I might have to get some more of them.

I hope my mum likes it. Mat has given his nod of approval. Usually he looks at the things I made all glassy eyed, but this time he said I should make one for our table - now there is a compliment if I ever heard one.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Here's One I Prepared Earlier

I made these shorts yonks ago. It was over two years ago. I started making them and basically finished them except for sewing the waistband closed and cutting off the threads.  I tried them on Ella, and they were too small!!!

She was chubbier then, and had a big nappy bum. I was so put off, that they were put in my WIP basket and that is where they sat for two years.

My little girl, she has grown (she is still quite short for her age) and her hair has grown, but she has not put on any weight.  She has also lost the nappy bum and still can fit into her 00 sized shorts, so these shorts were pulled out in the hope that they might fit. 

I actually think that they are a little bit big for her. They are sized 18-24 months. She could probably do with the 12-18 months size. Gasp!!! She will be four next month!

The pattern is another O+S staple, the Puppet Show Shorts. I am lucky that I have the pattern in both sizes. They went out of print and were in high demand, but now you can get it in digital download from the Oliver and S website

Thought I would add one more photo of Ella's hair at her request. She is loving her hair today in all in fluffy glory.  I have been making her wear her hair in a plait when she goes to daycare as I am petrified that she will get headlice - the benefit for her the day after two days at daycare - FLUFFY HAIR!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I've got crabs.

Not that sort - that is just gross!

No, this sort.

Fabric is Crab Walk in Orange by Emily Herrick   The fabric comes from the Going Coastal line, and I think I actually need to buy the whole set of it.  That is coming from someone who is on a fabric ban, so maybe I will just put it in my shopping cart and leave it until my stash gets a little bit smaller, or my bank balance looks a little bit better.

Shirt is using my trusty O+S Sketchbook shirt. I have seriously made this shirt way too many times to count now. This is by far my most used pattern.  This time it is made in a size 12-18 months, but I have have lengthened it to the 18-24 months - only because my kids only get taller, they don't tend to fill out.

I have had a cracker of a sewing week this week and have churned out quite a few projects. It is amazing what you can achieve when you have a little peace and quiet at night when Mat is on night shift. So there will be quite a few blog posts to follow in the coming days.

Friday, October 28, 2011


I have wanted some seersucker for a while - well ever since I saw this shirt. I have put myself on a fabric ban have resisted buying any. A couple of nights ago, I was ironing some fabric and I looked at my ironing board cover and realised that if it wasn't seersucker, it was pretty close.   Luckily I kept the scraps after I made the cover, and had more than enough for a pair of shorts for Harry.

Pattern is the O+S Sketchbook Shorts. I have made these before. This time however, I omitted the front pleat - which I think gives a more casual look.  I also made the shorts flat fronted instead of having the elastic the whole way around.

Aren't they so cute. I fell in love with them as soon as they were made. Mat was not convinced when I showed him, as he thought that they were a bit girly, and would be better on Ella than Harry.  What do men know when it comes to fashion anyway!!!!

What do you think of Harry's face now. I think it is pretty good. Most of the swelling has gone now, he just has a little bruising across the bridge of his nose, and the burn-mo. Luckily, it turns out that I don't think his nose was broken, as I am sure there would have been a lot more bruising if it was.

Sorry - had to put that last picture in, as Ella wants to be in all photos these days, and gets quite upset if she is not allowed. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Winners are Grinners

I don't usually win blog giveaways. I enter my fair share, but it doesn't usually matter how many entry's there are, I don't win.   So when I won Sukies giveaway, and there was over 250 entries, I was so shocked.

What did I win????

8 fat quarters of Art Gallery Pure Elements Solids.  I am going through a solids phase at the moment so I am loving these.  Plus I got a little scrap of patterned fabric, don't know what it is called, but I think I might have to get some more of it.

So thankyou Moona Fabrics and Amy aka Sukie for the giveaway and for choosing the great colours.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tricycles and tears

Yesterday morning I was at work, the kids at daycare and I get a phone call. My heart always skips a beat when I see daycares number flash up - I always panic that something has happened.

Yesterday it was one of those days when something had happened and my heart dropped.

"Harry has had an accident, he has fallen off a tricycle and hit his face. His nose and lips are swollen and his nose is bleeding. We think his nose might be broken, and we are also concerned, we don't think he passed out, but his eyes were rolling back in his head"

It was a long 10 minute drive to daycare, I was trying to hustle but had visions of being booked for speeding on the way.

This is what I saw at daycare

When I saw my little boy, it took everything to hold back the tears.  He was dazed and didn't really make much noise. The GP didn't want to see him, it was a trip to the hospital. 

We seem to be regulars at John Hunter Hospital and every time we go there, they whisk us in straight away. They were concerned about Harry as he was quite drowsy, but once they gave him a good pinch to wake him up, he perked right up and was happily trotting around the paed emergency ward.  Two hours of monitoring and many visits to other patients we were released.  

They don't know if his nose is broken, at the moment there is too much swelling. I am just glad that it is still in its original position, I had visions of it being plastered on one side of his face. We have been warned about black eyes and his face turning all different shades due to the bruising that will come out.  

This is Harry today - a lot better than he looked yesterday. The nose is still swollen, but no bruising yet.  Even with his injuries he is still a little cutie.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Its a Parade

I feel like I haven't made any clothes for ages. The reason being is my kids have way too many clothes. I enjoy sewing them, but I am worried that they wont wear them all. 

Ella loves dresses. Unlike me, I don't own many dresses. I feel more comfortable in a pair of pants or jeans. If you ask Ella what she wants to wear, her answer will always be to wear a 'pretty dress'

This dress is really simple. I have made it a couple of times before, here and here.  They are made using the Lil Blue Boo Sundress tutorial.  

The fabric - the main body of the dress in 'On Parade' by Sarah Jane from her Children at Play collection. I love this!!!. I had originally decided to do the top of the dress in white, but my fabric did not 100% match, so I changed it to the red - which actually looks a lot better than the white. It is Denyse Schmidt from the Picnics and Fairgrounds collection. 

The worst thing about this dress - it is TIGHT!  Tight around the chest. The tutorial uses chest measurement and adds an extra 1.5". The problem with this, it is hard to get it on. You can put it over her head, but to get her arms in - that is a whole different ball game.  So my answer is to get Ella to step into it, and also to step out of it. 

So there you have it a really quick summer dress. I love a project that you can finish in a couple of hours. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Check Mate

Remember the quilt from this post? I basted it, and quilted it and then I left it. The only thing that I needed to do was the binding, but it has been sitting at the end of the bed in my sewing room for the last month. Yesterday, I thought I would bind it, as I was going to give my friend Fiona a binding lesson.

The funny thing is, I actually enjoy the binding part of quilt making. I enjoy sitting on the couch and hand sewing it. Call me nuts, but I find it very therapuetic.

This is the biggest quilt that I have made, it measures 72" x 52" - it was not too bad to quilt, and like usual, I have just used straight line quilting, following the checkerboard pattern.

I am loving the back - maybe I actually like it more than the front.  It is the first pieced back that I have ever made, and I winged it with the design, as I have never made anything like that before. Love the quilting lines on the back.

So there you have it - one more down. Now last post, Mat asked me 'who or what this quilt was for?'  I didn't know then, and I still don't know. Maybe for the spareroom/sewing room. I don't know.... Does everything need a purpose?