Monday, 29 July 2013

Playgroup art & craft: Paper cupcakes

Rummaging through the art cupboard today I found a packet of multicoloured craft 'sprinkles'. I don't know what they are made of, but the resemblance to their edible counterparts gave me the idea of making paper cupcakes.
I put out coloured patty cases and showed the children how to put a blob of glue inside their case before filling it with scrunched-up tissue paper (an A4 sheet is about the right size for a small cupcake). More paste on top of the tissue paper 'cake' secured the sprinkles and some glitter shapes for decoration.

We ended up with a couple of plates of very pretty cupcakes, so delicious-looking that R even had a lick of one... just in case they tasted as good as they looked.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

A stretchy skirt for me

As I'm trying to get together a decent wardrobe of clothes, and as I'm terribly fussy and haven't found any skirts I like, I've started to do some sewing for myself. And it seems I'm not the only Kids Clothes Week participant switching from kids' clothes to women's clothes: Shino of Nutta! has started her own 'Mom's Clothes Weeks' ('weeks' because this will be ongoing) and is inviting people to upload photos to a flickr group. So Shino, here's my first contribution: a stretchy pencil skirt.

I bought the fabric at Darn Cheap. Weirdly, it is reversible, with a stripes on one side and spots on the other. It was missing a label and besides being some kind of knit I have no idea what it is - but I really like it. I based the skirt on this tutorial from Crafterhours, but the calculations were a bit difficult for my mathematically-challenged brain so I ended up just winging it... and it worked out fine.

Apologies for the bad photos but besides being a bad model, I had to take these using the self-timer on the camera while being interrupted constantly by children running in and out of the room. You'll just have to take my word for it that it's super comfy and looks pretty good!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Kids Clothes Week Project 3 - Trackie dacks

For my son K, to show him that I love him enough to (occasionally) sew something for him too. No pattern - just drafted from another pair of pants, with pockets added in the front. I used a pocket pattern piece and instructions from some shorts in Happy Homemade vol. 2, because pockets do my head in so I didn't think I could draft them myself.

Fabric is cotton jersey from Spotlight and a bit of ribbing from the op shop, with some fluoro green synthetic stuff for piping and the tie at the front. Used some cool fluoro thread for overstitching, and put an iron-on sports number on the back: 9, for K's age. Naturally, I didn't notice the flaw in the jersey - a kind of raised bit with a tiny hole - until I had finished the pants, and naturally that flaw is positioned right at the front. I ironed a bit of interfacing on the back and am hoping the pants will last at least a few weeks before I have to mend them. And if you're wondering what the hell 'dacks' are, it's Aussie slang for pants (and 'dacking' someone is when you sneak up and pull their pants down, but don't tell my kids that because it'll give them ideas).

K saw the pants as I was putting the finishing touches on and said 'these are awesome!'. So, success.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Kids Clothes Week Project 2 - Flowery skirt

This fabric caught my eye about a month ago in Spotlight and I spent weeks wondering what to use it for before deciding on a Burda Magazine skirt pattern (which I notice you can buy as a single pattern here). I made a few changes: I altered the waistband so the skirt would have a waistband at the front and an elasticised casing at the back (instead of the original design which has a zip at the back) and left out the underskirt.

I got a bit of a head-start last week by forcing myself to sew the bits I knew I would least enjoy (the pocket flaps) so I could forge ahead with the rest of the skirt without dreading all the pinning and piping that the pockets entail. As it was I found putting the pockets in very confusing, despite having made a skirt from this pattern before (curse you, Burda magazine, with your confusing instructions!) but somehow bluffed my way through and they worked out fine.

It is, of course, winter here in Australia, but given that we've just had our warmest July day EVER (a balmy 23 degrees, followed by a massive thunderstorm) I think I can be forgiven making something so summery, in anticipation of warmer weather... and in the meantime, it'll have to be worn with tights and a cardigan.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Long time no sew... Kids Clothes Week, Project 1

...although that's not quite true. I have been sewing, and have even finished a couple of skirts for R and a top for myself, but as we've spent the past month playing tag-team with a particularly debilitating virus, and as during this time I managed to drop my camera, completely destroying it, blogging has fallen by the wayside. But now I'm back! Thanks to my mum's old camera and Kids Clothes Week (not to mention several litres of lemon and honey drink and a couple of boxes of panadol) I have sprung back to life. And made a new dress for R. And photographed it.

Pattern: 'Dress with frilled shoulders' (dress a) from Happy Homemade Vol. 2
Size: 4, and it fits perfectly
Fabric: Denim chambray with ribbon detail

This is a really sweet pattern which is easy to sew. I like the narrow width of the frills, and the square neckline lends itself perfectly to embellishment with ribbon. Having failed to find the 'perfect' ribbon in any of the FOUR fabric shops I went to, I ordered one online from Ribbons Galore (great service - will be using them again).

R loves her new dress almost as much as she loves the little present I gave her as a modelling inducement.