It's been such a mad week here at Stash Towers that it was only after I got into bed last night I remembered that it is Kids Clothes Week this week, so I have some catching up to do!
I still need to finish the stripey t-shirt, so that's first on my list, and then I think there will be some jumper upcycling and possibly a pair of trousers...
Let's just hope I don't forget again.
Hello! It's Show and Tell Tuesday.
Seems I'm a bit late to the party with this pattern as it's been out for a couple of years now. I decided in the autumn that I needed a skirt that was not particularly flare-y but something that I would be able to cycle in (I have a diamond frame bike so getting on and off it can be a bit of an exercise in a straight skirt!). I decided that the Deco Vibe Flippy Skirt looked like it might fit the bill, and to give me further encouragement there was some beautiful pink wool in my LFS which I had been coverting for ages and I couldn't look at it sitting on the shelf any longer.
Because this pink wool is so precious (actually I just want to roll around in it and not cut it at all), I decided to make a muslin. But this time I mean a proper muslin which I hack at and draw all over until I get perfection (as opposed to my ususal 'muslins' which usually end up being dyed and worn, and are more of a trial run really). The other reason is that I still (turns pink with embarassment) haven't got rid of my baby belly, so proportionally I'm a bit of an apple, or at least I feel like one.
Working out my current measurements was somewhat alarming and I ended up cutting a size 20 (winces in horror) skirt with the intention of taking it in wherever humanly possible. Here's the front:
Sorry it's all a bit scrumpled. Here's the back:
I started this just before Christmas and had just enough time to try it on quickly and see that it looked rather massive (phew!), but not enough time (or the presence of a willing helper) to get back in it and pin it properly. So that's the next step, and now I've posted about it, I hope that will get me the kick I need to get it finished and the pink wool version started.
Stashlet had a lovely stripey (basic beanie-type) hat that he managed to throw overboard when we were out with the buggy last week (and despite two retraces of my steps, it was not to be found, grumble).
I'd been thinking for a while about getting him something with a bit more ear cover, so on Monday, for want of something better to do, we were going to go into town and buy an ear flappy type hat. But there was a blizzard outside so he needed a hat before we went out the door. I combed the internet and found FleeceFun.com which has a whole range of hat patterns (and other things) for free download, including trapper hats, here modelled by Slumbie Bear.
I made two in the small child size and they fit Stashlet's head pretty much perfectly. They were really simple and quick to sew up, and with a very minor bit of fiddle you only need to hand stitch about 3" worth of seam. You might remember the robot fabric from this jacket; I lined it with an Ikea fleece blanket. The white one, which needs a bit of finishing off, is a fleece from a proper fabric shop (!) which I've had for ages. Stashlet loves his robot hat and has been wearing it in the house as well as outside.
So instead of going hat shopping we went to the playground instead. Yay!
Hot on the heels of Celebrating the BOY, I just found out that next week, next week! next month (more like!) it's Kids Clothes Week (formerly known as Kids' Clothing Week Challenge) over at Elsie Marley.
Even better, from now on it will run 4 times a year and have it's very own site, which just shows how popular it is. I need a kick like this to get me finishing stuff so I'm making a little list in my head of what I could make finish. We'll see how much come to fruition next week...
Hot on the heels of Celebrate the BOY, I've just discovered (via Meg at Elsie Marley) a new pattern collection for boys (toddler to age 8) by Pattern Anthology so I thought I'd share it with you especially as the patterns will only be available until 24th March.
Meg made this fabulous pair of cargo pants for one of her boys and I'm inspired to try a pair for Stashlet, my last attempt at trousers being baggier than Bowie's 10 pleat pegs (remember them, anyone?) and a lot less attractive.
And if you have girls, you won't miss out because there is a collection for girls too - again, with time limited availability.
Edited 29-03-13 to add
Despite the fact that it is way past the 24th, these patterns are still available to buy individually and I have also seen discount codes for buying more than one, so all is not lost if you wanted one of these and missed the deadline.
Firstly, a big thank you to everyone for all your lovely comments about the quilted placemats. They are on hold for a week or so but should make a final appearance very soon.
I've been making t-shirts using Dana's Basic Tee pattern which comes as a free download for size 4T-5T - a bit big for Stashlet at the moment but as I learnt very early on in my mothering career, he'll always grow into them!
The 'grey' one is an upcycled, ex-black t-shirt donated by Mr G, and the fabric is so old that I looked at this version as more of a trial run. But it worked out ok so I am sure it will do for a summer - perhaps with a bit of fabric painting on the front.
The pale blue one is one of my old t-shirts. The fabric is a 2x2 rib which was fine for sewing the body of the t-shirt but a total pain for the neck, which is why it looks so awful and baggy. I then attempted to top-stitch it and the stitches went everywhere - it was one of the stretch stitches that my machine does and therefore not worth the angst to unpicking - so this t-shirt will have to be worn only when viewed from afar!
The navy pinstripe is a wonderful jersey from my LFS. It is lovely and heavy, and sews like a dream. I bought a metre on the basis that I would make a skirt (more on that in another post) and use the rest for tops for Stashlet. I need to get a second reel of navy thread before I finish this because I"m going to get out a twin needle and use that for hems and neck edge, so hopefully that will be done in the next couple of days.
Don't fear, dear readers, this is not the end of my t-shirt frenzy. I also plan to try the t-shirt pattern from Sewing for Boys, the advantage here being that I can make t-shirts for Stashlet in his existing size and he can wear some right now. So watch this space!
Last weeks S&T went int to the trousers (as Mr G would say) but I'm back on track this week, and all the typing I failed to complete late last Tuesday night will make an appearance in a couple of Tuesdays' time.
So then, remember the quilted placemats (here and here). I was going to get a shade card for DMC perlé cottons and try to match a turquoise thread but it was all taking an age, and I just couldn't wait. I have never had a strong urge to quilt before but these placemats really made me (nearly obsessively) want to hand sew. I got hold of some non-DMC perlé from my LYS last week and there's been no stopping me. I've been sewing in front of the telly , in the car, at the supermarket...
I decided on a semi-random circle design and marked the circles out with a soft lead pencil (I don't know whether this is 'good' quilting practice or not...), using cups and plates for the smaller circles and my trusty extendable compass for the larger ones.
I think the patterns work just as well on the back as on the front, and it would be nice to do something like this in a plain colour (perhaps a navy or dark red with white thread). This technique is Japanese I think but I can't remember what it's called.
I was going to bind the mats with a dark blue edge but having tried a tiny bit of dark blue thread for quilting, I've decided that it wouldn't go with the turquoise which is a bit of a difficult colour to match. I think I'll probably end up using the same calico as the backing, unless something pops inspiringly out of my stash.
So next time you see these, they should be finished and probably covered in pasta sauce.
Stashlet's birthday hedgehog cake looks a bit worst for wear (the buttercream would not cooperate) but judging by a small sample this morning (eaten purely for research purposes, you understand), it should taste fine.
If you want to make your own hedgehog cake, it's very simple:
I used a double quantity of Pam Corbin's buttercream recipe (from the River Cottage Handbook no8: Cakes) which made just enough to stick the sponge slices together and cover the beast: beat 125g soft unsalted butter until pale and creamy, then mix in 200g icing sugar and 50g cocoa (that's the total weight) in three lots beating well after each addition. My butter was too cold and it was a total bugger to get it to stick to the cake, so be warned.