Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spring is here!!!

Finally! It is officially the end of winter. Other than one lovely day this week I wouldn't have known. Although, Adam has been on count down...'How many days 'till spring Mummy?' So cute!

Anyway. I wanted some new designs for my shop, some fun springy dresses. Happy colours and a simple design. I thought, and sketched A LOT of dresses, but kept coming back to the LilBlueBoo Sienna dress. I have made so many of these now for Sophie, and for gifts. I looked into licensing and wadda-ya-know...you can buy a licence...so I did!

Using the gorgeous Patty Young fabrics as well as some recycled fabrics, I have so far managed to get three up in the shop. I say 'managed' because I am home alone wit the kids this week, so sewing time is limited! Plus, I'm so tired...not having Mark here is hard. We all miss him and can't wait to see him again at the end of the week. The kids have been edgy and Adam has been very sad...breaks my heart!

Anyway, I digress! Here are a couple of the dresses that are now available in my shop. I love them. Especially the pirate one. Mark forced me to list it, even though I really wanted to keep it for Sophie.
I managed to snag a lilblueboo scrap bag and I was so pleased with the fabrics that were in it. So, Sophie got a new dress and a new pair of leggings to go with it too. I used an old pair as a template. I love all the mixed up colours and patterns. It was such a grumpy day yesterday, when I took these pics, but Sophie seemed very happy with her new dress. She kept pointing at it and saying 'wassizzz?' (translation:whats this)
I wished the stripes matched though :S
Thanks for reading :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Christmas gifls...

I know, it's VERY early to be thinking about Christmas gifts, but I plan on making as many gifts (or buying secondhand/handmade) so I need to be organised. Plus, seeing as though I know lots of bloggers have taken the handmade pledge, I thought that you lot might be able to give me some hints.

Ok, here is the list I have so far...

I want to make Sophie and Adam a Waldorf doll each. I have been looking around the web and found a great tutorial here. I love the idea of making them something from natural materials, and that doesn't come packaged in plastic.

Adam desperately wants some more Lego, and has about five different types on his list - yes he has already made a list! So I though I would just check out EBay and get some second hand batches, then I can make a big bag and applique 'LEGO' onto it and that's that one.

I think I'll be making another pair of pj's for Marky, he loves the other ones I made him so much. Thankfully his Mum bought him another pair so I was able to wash the ones I made...eugh! I know, Men can be gross sometimes eh!

I was supposed to make my Dad a Gilet for his Birthday, but seeing as though that was 10 days ago, I think it might be a little late...ooops! So that will be what I make for him.

I made a scrapbook for the family members who are still in England last year, which had a picture of each baby, every month of their first year of life and then it's one picture a year after that. I loved it, and they did too. So I will send the pictures for them to keep their books up to date. I included on each page what each child was doing by this age and what their favourite things to do where, for example; Adam at 1 year would walk around saying 'Hiya' to everyone and everything! Funnily enough, his sister does exactly the same thing :)

Where was I? Oh yeah...gifts.

This one is ambitious, but I think I have enough time to pull it off.

I'm going to make Adam and Sophie a quilt each. I have been itching to make Sophie a quilt since I found some vintage fabric MONTHS ago. So now, I have a deadline of Christmas to get them done.

There are some beautiful toys on Etsy, that I just love and I think the kids will too.

How cute is this bowling set

I love this

Ooooh and this

Sooo cute 

Parachute man... I had a plastic bag version of this, how much nicer is this one 

Wooden family

Wooden blocks, which I would personalise for my bubs.

Nesting family

Ok, I'm being summoned...gotta go.

I would LOVE to hear what handmade gifts you are all buying/making this year :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oh Sunshine...

Finally the sun came out today, so I bundled Sophie in the car with some of my Etsy dresses to take some piccies at the beach.

The photos in my shop have all been taken on my phone and you can tell!!! So I have been itching to get them changed after getting my new camera. So I seized the opportunity today :)
Look how pretty :)
Little blue number

Super easy to make...little bow on a hair clip!

Back of my favourite party dress. It's a little big on Sophie, but you get the idea.
And the front :)
Simple little summer dress. I made HEAPS of these for the Craft Markets last year. Polka dots are just SO cute!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A bit of a re-spray

I found this round table at the local op shop (charity shop) for $30!!! I re-sprayed the legs and the chairs. I have eight of these chairs as they belong to a larger table, but I reckon each table only needs four.

I then re-covered the seats with oil cloth and popped the studs back in and hey presto!!! New table, and much nicer than the old one, even if I do say so myself.
This high chair needed a little attention too, so I checked out how it was put together and thought that I would be able to undo it, and recover it...
And I could!!! It was easier than I thought actually. I just cut off the covers and used them as templates for the new fabric. I then sewed around three sides, leaving the side that you can't see open, and then once I had turned the fabric right-side-out and pulled it on, I hot glue gunned it into place...hey presto! New high chair :)
Now all I need is a little art work to liven up the walls and it's done.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

New Jammies for the man

Ok, I have hassled my hubby Mark, since I first started sewing...eventually, after his jammies died a death, he asked for some new ones. I more than a little excited!!! I am ashamed to say that this was MONTHS ago, it was well before we moved. Poor guy has been wearing jammies with a massive hole in them.

Anywhooo, I finally got around to making him some new ones. He loved his old ones so much, and due to the fact that they are pretty much no longer wearable I thought I would chop up the old ones and use them as a template.

How relaxing is seam ripping!!! I just chilled out and ripped those suckers up. Although, I don't always feel this way...especially when I'm ripping open the seam of something because of a mistake I've made grrrr!!!

Ok, here is a view of the front and back piece.

This is the new fabric...how cute is my other half, picking out robot fabric :) The bit attached to the back is the pocket. I attached this by sewing along the opening part of the pocket with right sides together. I then folded it back (as it is in the picture) and ironed. I'm not normally a fan of ironing, but it definitely helped in this case.

I then turned the pocket back to the outside and sewed the back part of the pocket to the front part of the pocket (I'm sure that doesn't make sense). I sewed along both sides and the bottom, leaving the top open. the top part of the pocket is closed up when you make the waistband.

Sewed the front to back portions. Then the U shaped crotchy bit (I'm sure there is a proper name for this). then I sewed down each outside leg.
When I took apart the waistband, I noticed that they had serged/over locked the elastic to the fabric. I like this as the elastic doesn't move around.
I re-used the elastic and pinned to the fabric.

Can you spot the obvious mistake? ( Luckily I did too, before I sewed it).
Yup, I pinned the elastic to the fabric on the right side and that is wrong! It should be pinned to the inside, sewed around the top, folded and sewn again.
A grainy picture of my lovely man :) He says he loves his jammies 'cos he knows I made them with love (even though they took about 6 months to come to fruition). He's not normally soppy so this is a BIG compliment!!!
Please note, I took these pics before I got my lovely new camera :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm in LUUUuuuuurrrveeee!!!

I have been looking for a camera for a looong time now and after seeing Dana's post on her FAQ's section I was adamant that I wanted a Canon Rebel.

Yesterday it arrived and I can't leave it alone. I just love it. No longer do I have to use my iphone to take my photos..I have a lens that I can move myself and a proper flash and everything!!!

I love the detail in this picture. It was such a tiny shell too.

And...look at Sophie! This is how I see her and now the camera does her a little justice. I know we all think our kids are gorgeous, but how great is it when the picture actually captures the sparkle in the eyes.

I'm a happy chicken :D

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sunshine Award

Thank you to the Screamstress who passed on the Sunshine Award to me... I'm not sure what I did to deserve it, but it's a sun-shiny addition to my day :-D
I now have to tell you 7 things about you that you don't know, OK I'll be honest, but it might not be pretty.

1. I play netball, and I'm pretty rough too. I once (accidentally) punched a guy in the face, and was secretly pleased with myself (don't hate me for that one)

2. I'm vegetarian

3. I can't crochet and it annoys me that I can't

4. I swear more than I should

5. I used to be a copper...(don't hate me for that one either)

6. I want to be a teacher and I believe that it will happen one day (not based on my responses here though)

7. I love Harry Potter, and Twilight!!! I really love them...

I pass this award on to..
Bethany at Craftopia
Erin at LuckandBliss
Julee at Greenishmama

I look forward to your responses...

Monday, July 12, 2010

I'm not here today...

You won't believe me when I tell you... TRUDY from SEWING WITH TRUDY (Sorry for shouting, I know it's early in the morning for some of you) is featuring me on her blog today. I know, I can't believe it either. I'm so thrilled that she's having me over there...

OK, I'm tempted to delete the above and write something not so gushy, but hey ho, that's just me and it's honest if nothing else.

OK, I'm rambling again. If you haven't already visited Trudy then you HAVE to go. You will love her blog. She's a fellow refashionista of the highest calibre and manages to sew and blog and home school four beautiful children....I know, pretty impressive huh!

Trudy offers advice on what to wear and how to wear it, and I often have her pop in my head when I'm about to put a flouncy top on with a flouncy skirt...oops!

Be prepared though, have a cuppa in hand...you might get lost as you spend a hunka chunka time cruising around her blog and please do...it's cool as!

Oh and say hi to me when you hop over :) http://sewingwithtrudy.blogspot.com/ I'm making a cowl neck tee shirt dress...hope you likeee

Soooooo excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Copy cat...

I love this skirt, it's like my track pants. You don't have to shave your legs and it's quick and easy...of course I always shave my legs though....erm, OK not all the time.
The above skirt was bought from Target aggggesss ago (before my pledge not to buy new clothes) I still have not bought anything new. Except running shoes, but they are exempt anyway :P
This skirt is an exact copy of the above one. It looks different because the original was made with all the same fabric, but I couldn't resist buying all sorts of fabric.

I literally measured all the panels of the original, then I sewed each panel together so that I had four rings of fabric. I then set my machine on the longest stitch and gathered the tops of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th tiers.

I gathered the top of the second panel to the length of the first panel. Then, with the bottom of the top tier and the gathered/top of the second tier (right sides together) I sewed them together, making sure that the seams down the side matched up.

I did the same with the third and fourth tiers, then hemmed the bottom of the skirt and made a casing for the elastic waist and using a safety pin I threaded the elastic through and sewed the gap closed.

As a rough idea, you make the top panel a few inches wider than your hips, then each subsequent tier gets wider and wider. You can make this as gradual or wide as you like, depending how much fullness you'd like.

The first garment I ever made was a mini version of this for kids. I plan on making them again. Keep and eye out for it...I'll be selling them in my etsy shop soon too.

I used my lovely new fabric...and I LOVE IT!!!

Using the Sienna dress pattern, which I just adore, I made Sophie another dress. This pattern is so versatile and the instructions are fantastic. It's so easy to make a simple dress, or to change it around and do a little of your own thing with it too.  
Little monkey WOULD NOT sit still for a shot. She's such a busy bee. I sat her on Adam's little chair to try and contain her but she thought it would be great fun to slide on and off, so apologies for a rubbish picture :)
I made this tee-shirt for Adam using one of his old ones as a template and thanks to the above pattern I can now make very pretty tee-shirt neck lines...I wish I had been smart enough to work it out by myself

I used a stencil from lilblueblue and freezer paper stencilled the design onto the front. Adam loves this tee, he didn't take it off for four days straight. I know...that's really gross, but it was the school holidays and erm that's all I've got.

He looks so sad in the picture, and that's because he is. He was watching Free Willy with his Dad and took the whole thing very seriously. So sweet!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Glass painting with acrylic paint

I love the painted windows at Kindergartens, they're so cheery and fun.
Adam and I washed up some empty coffee jars and peeled off the labels. I used Tea Tree Oil on a cloth to get rid of the sticky bits (that's an adult job)

We just used acrylic paint and had a heap of fun. He loved his little jar and had fun deciding on which treasures would be lucky enough to live in it.
We dropped blobs of paint on the lids and used a pencil to make swirls and pattern
I had a lot of fun doing mine...maybe too much fun :D

Rice coloured with food colouring for kids...

Hey, I just thought I'd share with you a little project that Adam and I did over the holidays (it's end of term 2 holidays here in Australia). Adam loves crafts and couldn't wait to get his hands on this stuff...I always tell him what we're up to, you'd think I'd learn to wait until we were actually going to do it, but no! I open my big mouth and then have to suffer through the four million 'are we going to dye the rice now?', 'when are we dying the rice?', 'you promised we could do it, when are we doing it?'...you get the idea. But we had to wait for Sophie free time...Anyway, I'm rambling...

I used the whitest rice that I had in the cupboard, which happened to be Arborio (risotto) rice, which happens to be the most expensive but mine was at the bottom of the pantry so we were never going to eat it anyway.

We put about 2-3 cm of water in each container. I used metal pots and tins so that the food colouring wouldn't stain.

We then put a few drops of food colouring in each and stirred until the rice was the colour we wanted (we wanted it to look like nerds)

We then drained off the coloured water (carefully), and laid it out on the newspaper overnight. At this point I had to endure more whinging from Adam who was pretty peeved that he would have to wait until the morning to play with it.
But is was worth the wait, and I figure that since both rice and food colouring are 'food' that Sophie would be safe to play in it too.
They played for over an hour with it and yup, it went everywhere. But vacuumed up pretty easily too, so no harm done. I don't think I would let them play on a carpeted area though, you'd be finding it for months

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Ok, I try my best to use secondhand clothing and fabrics or use up my stash, when I'm making clothing. But occassionally I buy new and ooooh my goodnesssssss.

http://hawthornethreads.com/fabric/designer/patty_young/designer_knits have a new selection of designer knits. I love them, love them, love them. I can't wait for my package to arrive.

I bought this...

and this....and thissssss...

and thisssss! I love them and I wanted them all but I think I was fairly restrained considering I have NEVER been able to find knit fabric that didn't look like jamies....Can't wait to play with them :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stencil looks great...shame about the tee shirt

Adam and I stencilled the fabric for this tee shirt ages ago, and I finally sewed it together tonight... I'm a little disappointed with the fit of the tee shirt.

Adam loves it so I suppose it doesn't matter too much, plus the fabric is lovely and soft - perfect for bedtime :)

This is the stencil. It was printed onto freezer paper and cut out with a very sharp craft knife...I had claw hands by the time I had finished.

Adam painted the colours on...I was so proud of him. He was super careful and did a great job!

This is the finished picture after the stencil had been removed

Adam - admiring his handiwork :D

Simple jersey knit hat

For some reason, this picture WILL NOT come out the right way round....so you will have to tilt :)
The above, light blue hat has been a staple with both my babies, but I wanted to make a hat to match Sophie's dress.
It was super dooper easy...I made a few :)

I copied around the outside of the hat, leaving enough seam allowance. Sewed together, right sides facing. Used a spaghetti strap turner to turn the long bits through. Serged/overlocked the bottom and turned it up about 2 inches and hemmed it, with white cotton to contrast the blue.
Toasty warm ears, and perfectly co-ordinated :) I reckon that this is so simple that you don't even need a pattern or another hat to copy. Just measure the head, minus maybe about half and inch to an inch and then make it long with long 'ear-y' bits to tie in a knot on the top of the head. Just make sure you use the stretchiest knit you have, as one that I made wasn't very stretchy and I don't like it as much at this one :)

Happy Birthday Sophie-dophie

My lovely little girl turned one today. I can't believe how fast time has flown.

I wasn't sure what to buy her for her birthday as she really didn't 'need' anything. Big bro, Adam gave her a My Little Pony, which she has carried around all day....sweetie :)
I made her a little dress, using LBB Sienna Dress pattern.
I also made her a matching hat, which was ridiculously easy. I'll post about that later, if I get the chance

She can walk, but I had to wake her from her nap and she was a little unsteady on her feet, so she needed a little help from Dad.

I intended to stencil a little something on the front, or maybe an applique...I still might as I think it looks a bit bare.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Christening dress and accessories for Jennifer...my gorgeous neice :)

Knitted booties, headband with broderie anglaise accent and gown with knitted bodice and sooo soft skirty bit...Handmade...gotta love it.

My sister had her eye on a very expensive gown, which I tried my best to recreate. I fretted over this more than I have ever fretted about anything I have made. Then the post took forever to deliver it too... But it got there in the end. I still haven't seen pictures of Jenny in it though. They live in England and I am on the other side of the world :( Hint hint!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

We have internet!!!!!


After two weeks away...I am giddy to be able to get back online. I am painting the office/sewing room this morning and can not wait to get my machine set up...plus I have so many ideas, sew sew sew...can not wait!!!

I actually sewed my first thing yesterday...a custom Christening gown for a lovely Etsy customer. I was so excited to get my machine out... but I've made a mess of the dining room now. I can't sew tidily, I manage to get everything everywhere.

So, on with the painting...I've actually decided to do make a blog just for the house renovations, as this one is supposed to be just for sewing. I will probably start over the next few days.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


So happy that we are finally moving...yay!

We wont have any phone lines for the first couple of weeks, so this will be my last post until then :(

However, once we're in, I will have a fancy sewing room and I can not wait to get into my stash and under my presser foot again.

Thanks for reading

Steph xx

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 5 - Energy

Today was about using as little energy as possible.

We do this in many small ways already, so it wasn't a massive change for us.

We turn off lights when not in use, use the quick wash on the washer and dishwasher. We dry our clothes on the line, we don't use a hairdryer to dry our hair.

I have a little tip though that we started doing this week though. Boil a kettle full of water when you make your morning cuppa and then put the boiling water that is left into a flask. Ours stays steaming hot for hours and when you drink as much tea as we do it's great to save a little energy...and not have to wait for the kettle to boil each time

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day Four - Food

The idea today, is to buy seasonal, locally produced food. Avoiding packaging as much as possible too.

This should be fairly easy. We have been doing this pretty much since the start of the project and before too...

I don't understand why some companies package fruits and veges...what a waste! They don't need to be packaged.

It's funny actually. I went to the bakery yesterday and I had forgotten to bring a green bag so I just said to the girl behind the counter that I didn't need a bag. She looked at me like I was mental and asked if I wanted a carrier bag instead..."erm no thanks, I'll just carry it". Heaven forbid I carry a loaf of bread for my family.

Anywho...I wrapped the bread in muslin when I got home and it has stayed just as fresh as if it was in a stinkin' plastic wrapper. Plus, it was so yum that it didn't have a change to go funny at the ends as it got eaten up.

I plan on making some little bags out of muslin, for stuff like mushrooms and smaller items that need individual bags (grapes, mandarins etc).

Day three - Transport

Well, we changed our gas guzzler to a prius which is definitely a step in the right direction.

I wanted to walk to and from school with Adam, but this isn't working as well as I had planned. It's a 6km trip for the little fella (all up) and it's more than his little legs can handle. Even on a scooter.

So we have agreed that we will only walk in the morning and I will pick him up from school in the car on the way home.

Hopefully, when I can find a decent second hand bike, he will be able to ride the whole way there and back.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day Two of the No Impact Project - TRASH!!!

Ok...it's a pile of garbage... I know that! It's not quite as cute as the pictures we normally look at. But for me it's been an experience.
The beer is all Marks and I know that we should be avoiding waste, but this particular beer company also does kegs which you can refill and refill and refill :) Happy me because from now onwards we will not be disposing of beer bottles and happy Mark because he still gets beer...and pretty tasty beer by all accounts.
The milk cartons are a little misleading as there are three empties. It just so happened that two of them only had a teeny bit left (yes I know, my family often have more than one carton open).
Same with the wine bottle, I used the remaining wine in my risotto. So no, I didn't have a full bottle of wine :(
The papers are school letters - why they can't e-mail us the information I do not know...maybe something I could suggest.
Lastly there is a bottle of Sukin, which is a body wash product. It's a nice product and pretty 'clean' as they say. It only has a small amount of preservative in it and the rest is natural. However the last scrap here is a wrapper from the soap that I will now be buying instead of plastic bottles. The paper can be composted and there is no waste!! Yay!
Lastly there is a pile of veggie scraps which would ordinarily be composted, but we are moving house in two weeks so it is a little unrealistic to be composting now :)
We use washable nappies and wipes, so no waste there and when we went to the market yesterday we brought our own drinks and only bought stuff that was not packaged...like fruit and pretzels :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

No Impact Week - day one

My family and I have been inspired to follow Colin Beavan's No impact Week.

I first saw this on Nikki from WR's blog.

Day one is Sunday (today) and it's all about consumption.

Which in a nutshell means STOP BUYING STUFF. To be honest we are pretty good in this regard. My aim is to improve our practices and to find some ways of doing things better.

So today our 'to-do' list includes;

- List all the stuff we need to buy this week, and try to limit to the stuff that we really need.
- Fill a re-useable bag with ALL of our rubbish for the day.
- Try not to buy anything new.

Check out more details here

Have a great day :) I'll be putting more information on here about how we get on and the changes that we make :)

Monday, April 12, 2010


Well, in less than four weeks this will be our new home. It is a beautiful California Bungalow located near the coast (Victoria, Australia). It has been restored to its current state by the previous owners. There is still a lot of work to be done...
Sanding floors,
re-do kitchen,
lay flooring in kitchen,
window fittings
to name a few...
But I CAN NOT WAIT. I will make this house the most beautiful, homely home my family could ever wish for. I am so looking forward to sharing everything with you.. .so my sewing is likely to be very 'home' based as well as including some DIY along the way. I hope to keep up my clothes sewing too.
I will post more pics of the house as and when.
The official move date is the 7th of May... yippee!!!