Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas eve sewing...

I woke up on the morning of Christmas eve wondering what Lola would wear for Christmas this year (it's a good sign that there's not more worrying things on my mind isn't it?). And because she had 2 christmas days to attend, I wanted something special that she could wear to both without being the same outfit. Brilliant idea - the reversible pinafore!!

So early afternoon, I made the dash to our closest fabric store to find some fabric that was Christmassy-without being 'Christmassy' (if that makes sense). I very happily found some green fabric with Ho Ho Ho print, and then a gorgeous red and white floral fabric.

That afternoon I washed and dried the fabric, ironed it - then sat down to start sewing around 9.30pm. I made a makeshift sewing table in the lounge room so I could watch the Christmas eve carols, and I had to sew super slowly so my makeshift table (aka ironing board) didn't wobble too much :)

I had a lovely time sewing and ironing, then sewing and ironing, then choosing buttons (hardest part?!) then sewing and ironing some more - all while my little family slept in the next room (yes, I've finally decided that ironing while sewing does make a huge difference to the end result).

By 12.30 on Christmas morning - the outfit was done (complete with a modified Bonds denim skirt which I sewed a row of broderie anglaise to make it christmassy).

Here's the little Christmas angel in her cousin Mikayla's bedroom on Christmas day number 1:

And here she is being 'centre of the universe' on Christmas day number 2

We had a lovely extended Christmas with our family, and we're looking forward to 2010. We hope to slow down in the new year, finish renovating and enjoy our little family and home.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Reversible Pinafores - Lola's wardrobe is now complete..

Lola and I got up early this morning and headed off to Ipswich to visit the Handmade Expo markets at the Ipswich Turf club. I really wanted to get there before anyone else arrived so Lola and I could wander and see what was available (she wants to walk everywhere now as well, so that was another reason I wanted to avoid big crowds).

So, did we enjoy ourselves? Yeah - I'm really glad we went. There were a LOT of stalls, and I'd say there were a handful of ones I really liked.

First thing we bought was a little hand whittled-wooden puppy dog for only $3! I couldn't believe it was only that much considering the work that must have gone into it? so Lola held onto that while we wandered around.

Then I found this gorgeous reversible Pinafore from Rod n Lil (etsy store here).

The hardest part was choosing which fabrics I liked the best (there was a lot of "I like the front of this one.. but the back on that one..) For only $20 - I can see Lola getting so much wear out of it this summer (and even next summer - it looks to be one of those items of clothing that will grow with her..)

And lastly we picked up a Sandwich wrap from Mumatopia (her store is here).
We bought it for Si actually - he's the 'sandwich king', and I've hidden it away and we'll wrap it up for him for Christmas. It's lined with PVC table liner on the inside, and has velcro so you can wrap your food up nice and snug. And the lady had an awesome 'felt sandwich' which she used a to demonstrate her product, which was cool too.

So, that was our visit to the Handmade expo. Definitely worth the drive to Ipswich.. It even got me motivated to do some sewing this afternoon. More on that next week :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sweet Emmeline

Emmeline is turning 1 soon, and we will be celebrating with her next weekend. I'm ready in advance with her present - it was made and photographed last week.

The fabric is from a set of my old bed sheets that mum gave me recently. I'm sure I went through a phase of loving it - then hating it when I was younger, but I'm back to loving it now :)

Having a baby girl has done unexpected things to my tastes. The more cutesy the better these days.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Melt your heart moment..

I couldn't resist capturing this moment and adding it to my blog (I can't wait to show Si the photo in the morning). I am going to go climb in bed beside them now (for once, there's plenty of room for me :))

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Two little girls in the park

Earlier this week, Lola and I met up with our friends Julie and Jess to visit a new shop over at Bulimba. The shop "My first room" was so much fun. We left the girls facing one another in their prams (muttering away to each other), and practically danced around the store. We left well and truly inspired. After a quick stop for coffees, we took the girls to the park. It's so nice that they're getting older and really starting to interact. I wonder if they like each other as much as their Mummy's like one another?

Sunday, November 22, 2009


This weekend didn't go to plan. We had anticipated relaxing and cooling ourselves on a Northern NSW beach, but instead had to make do with the baby bath in the back yard.

It all started with an icecream (a chocolate Billabong). And it ended in the bath/bucket in the only patch of shade in our backyard currently (between the washing line and the shed).

At some point during the afternoon, I put Lola in the wetshirt and hat that her grandma Lily made. Lily had picked up some fabric at a closing down sale, and wasn't sure what to do with it. Originally she made the hat (in the photo's) and thought it would be good for Lola to wear in the water. That gave me an idea, so the next time Grandma came to visit, I sent her home with Lola's wet shirt (which she's about to outgrow) and asked if she could please have a go at making one of these (my sewing skills aren't there yet). She did a great job - but I'm not entirely sure that it's going to be sun proof enough for our QLD sun. I think it's just a lycra fabric? I might have to do some googling, but if anyone can advise - I'd be very appreciative.

The sun is so hot here right now, and I think I'd need to be 100% sure that my baby's skin is protected before I let her go too crazy in the sunshine :) Although having said that - I couldn't keep her out of it today (nor the dirt for that matter).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Softies for Mirabel

I read about the Softies for Mirabel project at Meet me at Mikes months ago. I really wanted to be involved, and I'm very proud of myself for making my softie, packaging it up tonight, and uploading a photo to the flickr group

The beetle is from this book

I thought he was good for either a boy or a girl, and hopefully he'll make someone smile.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My bedside

I'm participating in my very first "My place and Yours" through Meet me at Mike's website. Such a great idea to inspire people to blog (who doesn't love a glimpse of someone else's life).. The bedside one is a great idea.

I've taken my photographs this afternoon.. And while I was tempted to do a bit of ‘arranging’ of items (add a couple of cool things here, take away some of the daggy stuff like my women’s weekly mag), I resisted. If I’m going to be honest, and embrace my individuality – I’m going to admit to the world that I read ‘ladies magazines’ (my favourite part is the cooking and craft sections though)..

So here it is in all it’s glory..

To explain a few things

- The baby monitor has been used maybe 3 times since Lola was born. Who needs a monitor when your baby is asleep only inches from you (with her foot in your face most of the time)
- The drink bottle is what I’m trying to give Lola in the night when she wakes wanting ‘comfort’.. she’s not stupid though, and she cannot be fooled into believing it’s mummy.
- The paw paw ointment needs no explanation. It’s a cure all for everything.
- The pile of magazines (and catalogues) is only occasionally flicked through. I used to read before going to sleep, but now I don’t want to wake anyone by turning my lamp on, so I don’t get to read hardly at all these days.
- Anne of Green gables was bought for $5 at Vancouver airport with our last Canadian dollars on a recent holiday (July 09). I read it as a kid, but want to read it again.
- And the Moleskin notebook is my Lola journal. I’ve been writing to her since before she was born. And I stick stuff in it – bandaid from her first immunization – hospital wrist band etc. there are notes sticking out of it from the time I tried to document her ‘routine’ (like I could try and use the information for ultimate power)... What a mistake that was J
- I don’t think there’s anything else noteworthy. Let me know if anything else warrants further explanation?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Stuff I made for the party...

Party bags!!! full of smarties, lolly pops, tiny teddies and other lollies..

Chocolate crackles

preparation shot of the chocolate crackles..

Another Iggle Piggle cake (this one was complete with In the Night garden characters, green cupcakes and lollipop trees :)

Invites and Thank you cards

I loved the invite that we made for Lola's party. We both loved how 'off centre' the photo was - and the blue sky was asking for something to fill it (it's a Canadian summer day sky). So I added text to give party details (which I've scribbled out for posting on here) and away we went :)

For the thank you cards - I wanted to use the same concept (writing over the blue sky), and use a photo of the birthday girl at the party. But just between me andyou (my two blog followers) - I didn't have any good photo's from the party - so I dressed lola up again a few days later and went and took these shots :) We're not sure which photo to use as the thank you card. we each have our favourites -but what do you think?

I'm going to handwrite thank you notes on a piece of paper - and stick that to the back of the photo.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

1st Birthday cake

So, Lola's party is not till this weekend - but being a first time "mother of the birthday girl", I needed to practice my cake decorating to make sure it was perfect for the party. So Si and I decided to make a 'test run' cake for the actual birthday to work out what works and what doesn't. So last night I made Lola's iggle piggle birthday cake.

I realised pretty quickly that ready to roll icing/fondant is more difficult and takes more practice than I first thought (the 'experts' showing me how to do it on youtube didn't help either).. So after 'removing' the layer of cracked fondant - I decided to ice it with regular icing instead (i have the most kickass pack of Wilton icing colours).. so the blue came up really nicely and I made his blanket and 'features' with fondant.

In the end I think it turned out well - and most importantly the birthday girl loved it too.

Happy Birthday banner

This is the happy birthday banner I made (got the idea from

I loved the thought of having it hang over all the birthdays in our family for years to come. I even asked Si to put two permanent hooks on the wall so we've always got somewhere to hang it up.

It got its first 'run' today for Lola's birthday. She kept pointing at it all day long. I think she liked it :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Reversible Hats

I lost Lola's hat and she needed a new one - but I thought they'd be pretty easy to make so I didn't rush out and buy another one. Instead I bought this pattern off Etsy

It worked out really well I think? It took me about 3 hours to make the first hat (in light pink corduroy and calico), and 2 hours the next night to make the 2nd hat (the bright pink 'nana' fabric with purple flowers on the other side). I was watching tv while I was pinning and ironing though..

Lola does not like wearing any hats. so getting photo's was a mission..

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Family picnic blanket

I loved this blanket when I first read about it in Handmade Home..

I got the chance to make it last week. I can't wait to see all the journeys it goes on in it's lifetime. I used old sheets from my sister in law - and it's backed with the orange chenille bedspreads that used to be on Nana's spare beds when we'd sleep over.

Fathers day gift

September this year was our family's 'first fathers day'.. I wanted to make something special, so I stitched up this satchel from Amanda Soule Blake's Handmade Home book

I wanted to make something for Si from Lola that he will keep forever. He can use this satchel to keep special things he gets from his daughter over their lifetime.

I handstitched some words on the front - and also lined the satchel with some fabric from Nana's stash

In the satchel was a photobook I made of all the photo's of father and daughter so far (and there were a lot!).
Oh and he also got breakfast in bed (which we soon learnt isn't as easy as we'd hoped it would be).. Lola kept crawling over the bed trying to grab everything on the tray.. we thought for sure we were going to have breakfast literally 'in our bed'.. but it wasn't too bad in the end!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pillowcase dresses

Here are some of the pillowcase dresses that I've made recently.

This one is a favourite - it's from one of Nana's old pillowcases (I remember them from when we used to stay over at her house). There were yellow, pink and purple pillowcases. I made 2 others for Nana's other great grandchildren. I kept the yellow for Lola. It's still too big - but that's the beauty of these dresses - I can just do big bows to keep it on her :) and yes - she has worked out how to undo the straps..
And here is Lola reluctantly modelling one of the dresses I made for my cousin's baby's first birthday.
This is a better shot of the dress (I think this photo was taken before the screaming started)..

This was the very first one that I ever made. The pattern I used is from
After making this one - I stopped using that pattern though, and modified it slightly. I put elastic across the front instead of threading the bias binding the whole way across.

This is the same dress on a hanger :) (showing the 'stitched with love by me' tag that my Mum bought me when I started sewing)

Friday, October 2, 2009

hoot hoot

I copied this picture of the owl off a shirt I bought from BigW. It was my very first applique attempt. I cut out my fabric, sewed it together, picked out some buttons from Nana's stash for the eyes, then wasn't sure what came next. I visited the helpful ladies from Sewco and came home with tearaway and vliesofix. After ruining my ironing board cover - I finally worked out how to get the owl onto the shirt :) I think the very first recipient of the shirt liked it very much!


My neighbour Kat found a pattern for this Babushka doll in a sewing magazine she borrowed from the library. I've since found out it's the work of Johanna from one red robin (

The doll it made was HUGE!! I wasn't sure what I was going to do with her when I'd finished - but I decided to give her to my cousin's daughter for her Christening.

She didn't stand up too well - but I still think she looked great.

Little Smappy Doll

This is the first pattern that I bought off Etsy from the Whosies and Whatnots store.
It made the cutest doll for Lola. The pattern was easy for a beginner.

birds on a stick

I had every intention of sewing these birds and making a beautiful mobile for Lola's room like on Sew Liberated's blog So I made the birds, but that was as far as I got. I couldn't find a twig that I was happy with. Then Lola got a hold of the birds, and she just loved chewing on them. In the end, I chose to let the birds remain free..

easter chickens

My inspiration for my next sewing project was from my neighbour Kat. She found it at
I wanted to make my daughter something special for her first Easter - so I made her these chickens. Then I wanted to make one for all the babies in my Mothers group (with a chocolate easter egg in their front pockets). Then my sister wanted me to help her make a load for the students in her yr 2 class. By the end - we were totally out-chickened.

bye baby bunting

$70 bucks? - no way, I could totally make that!

And I'm sure with those words, many sewing careers began..

My lightbulb moment came on a trip to Sydney in January of this year. We were at a shopping centre and I saw some gorgeous 'flags' that I wanted for Lola. On checking the price - they were so expensive! So the flags (which I soon learned were called 'bunting') became my first sewing project. My husband helped me measure up the fabric (to get the most flags possible) and then I sewed them up. They now hang proudly in our family room. Our awesome neighbours tell us they can see them through our windows, and they love them too.