Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

Choo-choo train cozy

Yes, it’s been a long time, lots has happened, we’ve moved house, I quit my day job, the girls turned one and along the way did a little crafting…what a 10 months it’s been! But I’m back, at least for today anyway.
I’ve just completed a train cozy, based loosely on homemade by jill’s car cozy tutorial with a few alterations…namely train tracks rather than bitumen!

I made the ‘tracks’ using little strips of black felt for the sleepers with fusible web applied to the back before also stitching them to the base pieces, then I stitched silver ribbon down each side as the track.

The pockets are slightly deeper and wider than Jill’s as trains tend to be longer than cars and a bit fatter…we don’t have any trains or cars here…yet…so instead please accept this Little Person pilot in place of a train.

Oneday my scrunchy making skills had to come in handy…ok scrunchy’s always make me think of this SATC scene, oh pop culture how you have scarred me…

Anyway, as for my scrunchy making skills, this is what I’m talking about.

Lastly is the whole reason behind this crazy train cozy thing even happening…some vintage train fabric my mum found in a small town op-shop (the small town my dad was born in), it had to be something, but was too small for most things, so a cozy it became. Isn’t it just gorgeous?

The best bit? It’s going to one of my favourite little boys for his 3rd Birthday…perfect for the family Christmas trek he’s about to be taken on.


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A bit of this and that

Over the last week or so I’ve done a few little things, a pair of felted slippers for a gift, a new knitting bag and a little bag that attaches to my spinning wheel for all the little tools that came with it.

First is the slippers made using this pattern and the yarn I recently spun. They aren’t too thick and felted REALLY quickly, it’s the first time I’ve felted in our new washing machine (the old one died just before the girls were born). The pattern has a couple mistakes around the heel, it tells you to work half as many rows as you need for the heel flap and the heel shaping is wring!

A new knitting bag, I love this fabric, I picked up the last of the roll at a very good price in a little country patchwork shop just after the girls were born. I also made the bag for my spinning wheel toys out of the same fabric and still have enough left to make another bag or two. The new bag is based on an old bag Dan got at a conference several years ago, it’s ugly, but the perfect size for a knitting book/magazine and my project of choice.

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Since having the girls the will to knit has for the time being been misplaced, the very idea of knitting is so totally unappealing at the moment…could have something to do with the 40C+ weather that Adelaide has been ‘enjoying’ recently. The will to leave the house has also vanished in a haze of heat. So I’ve been sewing and sewing. From the littlest thing to the biggest thing, I’m doing it.

The other day I whipped up a couple of dummy (pacifier) straps for the girls. These things get filthy so quickly, even with washing regularly I tend to replace them every month or so, which would end up being fairly expensive if I kept buying them, instead I’ve been recycling the silicone rings which go round the handle and changed the (stupid) plastic clips for metal bracer clips. I love these, I can clip them just about anywhere on the girls or onto car seat and pram harnesses and know that the girls can’t rip them off (yet). You could also use snaps rather than the silicone rings and thread the strap though the handle, which I will do once the rings split.
Dummy strap
Evelyn and her dummy

I’ve also recently completed another wedding dress, hopefully the last one for a while. Dan’s sister go married at the beginning of December, so we packed the girls up and headed for Melbourne, so nice to have some extra hands to hold/feed/change/generally care for the girls. We even managed to get a few moments off and ate dinner uninterrupted in a r-e-s-t-r-a-u-n-t! Oh well back to reality now, but I did enjoy the break. I also made the girls their first party dresses and they looked so gorgeous, well I think so anyway! Please excuse my awful photography, it’s not my thing, never has been, never will be…

As for the slow? Well three years ago for my Birthday I was given some money to go towards fabric for a quilt for our bed, I started with great excitement, then tucked it away when it cooled down so I could knit, planning to pull it out the next summer. Summers came and went and it stayed tucked away until finally I pulled it out over the weekend, I needed to do something that involved being downstairs in the air-con and this was just the thing. I love English paper piecing, I just wish it wasn’t so damn slow, I know it can be done by machine, but hey this is for us and will hopefully be used for many, many years to come, so why not do it the long (proper) way?
It’s my own design and I can’t wait to see what it looks like finished, I may leave out the coloured edge rows as I doubt I have enough fabric seeing as I have run out of green after cutting all the ‘leaves’ out yesterday, I literally had enough fabric to cut out the exact number needed!

So far I have finished the centre star and started on the outer flowers and background, If I’m lucky it’ll be on the bed in time for the girls to leave home.
Centre star

Evelyn is ‘helping’…
Evelyn helping stitch

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Bloomin’ Brilliant!

This post by the wonderful retro mummy inspired me to get off my bottom and make the girls some bloomers, something I had been meaning to do for ages as I’m not a big fan of disposable nappies on show! Living in Adelaide it’s really too hot quite often to put babies in clothes (we’ve just had a heatwave, in spring, 43C, 109F, what’s summer going to be like?). I decided to go one step further with my bloomers and add little skirts to them so they are extra girly, LOVE the result, they look a little weird when they aren’t being worn, but I think they look gorgeous when they are on. I also had a little fabric left over so added simple appliqués to some cheap singlets (vests) to complete the look. It’s the first time I have used the machine blanket stitch, in the past I’ve always done satin stitch around my appliqué, but it uses so much thread, takes forever and doesn’t look as nice, I don’t think anyway.

I also made a little pair with cowboys and cowgirls on them from a piece of fabric that was a must have many years ago and has sat and sat waiting for the right project…oh and check out that smile! Lights up my day!

I used a pattern out of an old ‘Australian Smocking and Embroidery’ magazine as I find that their sizing tends to be pretty close to the equivalent in ‘normal’ baby wear unlike commercial patterns which tend to be huge. They quite often have bloomer patterns in this magazine so I should be able to find bloomers to fit them for a few years to come in my collection…well at least until they get out of nappies.
Other than that life goes on, the girls keep growing and I’m always looking for new ways to make things easier and quicker to leave more time to sew…take lunch for example…

I’ll leave you with something that is bound to bring a smile to your face, well it makes me smile!
Miss Louise and her incredible hair…

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So what do I have to show for it? Other than two girls who are almost double the size they were when they were born…

Nothing beats sleeping babies!

I feel like I never have time to sew, knit or do anything, but looking back on the last 12 weeks I’ve done a bit and don’t feel so sad about my lack of ‘free’ time. The day I had the girls I was so full of nervous excitement that I had to start a new project to calm my nerves and give my brain something else to think about. So I started a little cardigan ready for next winter for the girls, it’s finished…well I still need to sew the button on, but what’s a button between friends? It’s knitted using the ever faithful Patons Totem and a Sirdar pattern from a book called Seaside Babes (Rav link).

We took the girls on their first long weekend away recently so they could meet their Great great Grandparents, this meant almost 7hours of driving each way, perfect knitting time…so I started a cardigan for me for next year, I think it should be a flattering shape for the post twin body. I’m knitting it using some Bendigo Woollen Mills yarn picked up in the ‘back room’ at the mill on our road trip while I was still pregnant, the yarn is called Cameo and hopefully stops leaving fluff everywhere soon…by the time we got home the dashboard was covered in red fluff just from knitting with this yarn.

Since having the girls I’ve found it easier to sew than knit, I think it’s the fact that in a lot less time I can have something finished than by knitting, it just feels like a more productive use of time. This week I have made 6 baby dresses! Admittedly all but one was a skirt sewn onto a shop bought singlet, but hey who am I to argue, I made it into a dress therefore I made a dress…right? I also made one of these dresses before I had the girls in preparation for my new cousin, then finally this week I made her another dress, it’s a free pattern from ‘made by rae‘ that I added a bit to here and there in the hope of making a 3-6 month size. I love the cherry fabric, I bought it originally to use as part of the bunting for the nursery, then realised it was a one-way design. Talking of bunting I made a short piece for my new cousin. No more bunting for a LONG time if ever!

The singlets for the dresses came from ‘Best and Less’, I just love the colours! That and the price is very reasonable (especially when I find them on the clearance table to $1.49). Such a great way to use up remnants, make something comfortable and avoid the singlet and nappy look when the weather heats up.

One of the pink ones is destined for another little baby girls wardrobe…

The sewing project I am proudest of though is a patchwork quilt, my first in a long time, in fact the first bigger than a bassinet size in over 3 years! I made it for a friends little girl born on the first of this month, I managed to finish it before she was a month old, now the next aim is to finish things before babies arrive! The fabric came from spotlght, I don’t normally like their quilting fabrics all that much, but fell in love with these vintage style treasures, especially the backing fabric.

Long before the quilt was finished I was wondering through town one day and came across a new paper shop! I used to love a little paper/stationary place in Melbourne when we lived there but have been ‘making do’ with normal newsagent wrapping paper and cards for the last few years…until now! Check out this gorgeous card and wrap…it suited the quilt so well!

I’ll leave you with a picture of Louise wearing something I didn’t blog while I was pregnant…just a little gender specific.

She’s my chubba bubba….check out that chin!

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Our twin girls have arrived, right now they are fast asleep and I’m having a morning of catch-up on the things I like to do for me…bliss!

Towards the end of being pregnant I just couldn’t sit down for long enough to write a blog post, I had incredible rib pain and just generally felt uncomfortable…hardly surprising really.

Anyway, our girls were born on the 5th and are Evelyn Mae, 6lb (2.73kg), 49cm (19″) born at 15:32 and Louise Claire, 5lb 15oz (2.69kg), 52.5cm (21.5″) born at 15:33. It’s been a bit of a learning curve, not helped by a total lack of assistance in hospital even when I asked for help…but thats a whole other story. We’re all settling in now and try things from time to time to see what will work. The girls have changed so much already, gaining some weight and starting to not look quite so much like we don’t feed them.

One last belly shot... First family photo

My girls

Louise in her coming home outfit, jacket and hat knitted by me of course, and bodysuit embroidered by me, it’s been ages since I did anything like this and I really enjoyed a bit of hand stitching.

In the week or so leading up to the girls arrival I got a lovely parcel in the post from Peaceful Knitter, thanks to the wonderful little knitting world that is Ravelry we have gotten to know each other quite well over the last nearly 2 years. I had sent her a parcel when I found out she was pregnant, I was just so excited (and still am). I was so excited when I got a parcel in the post myself! Most of the food came to hospital with me and it was lovely to have some treats tucked away in my bag to share with Dan in the evening when the visitors had all left. I also got a sewing pattern for a bag that I had been looking at for ages, but not been able to justify buying, it’s funny how people can ‘know’ just what to get you without ever meeting you. The girls got hats, which they have already worn when we went out on Friday night for a beer with my parents, I got some yarn, cotton ease which I have been wanting to try but when I find it here from time to time the colours really don’t inspire me, I’m planning on some skirts for the girls. There are also some lovely baby note cards which I plan to use for thank yous for a few special people. It was lovely to get a parcel towards the end when I was feeling a little over it and huge.

Before the girls were born I knitted a few girly things for them, but of course could not share these things, but here is one, a little 5 ply dress, can’t wait to see one of them wearing it! I love the buttons.

I also finished a very bright little newborn cardigan, I’m a little unsure about this one, but it’s warm and they vomit on most thing anyway…

So that’s me, a mother of two little girls, something I never expected to be able to say about myself….

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Over the last several months I have been sewing on and off for my sister in laws wedding, in the last month or so it’s been non-stop getting the dress ready as well as my mother in laws dress and of course a dress for me! Which has left me with very little knitting time and no blogging time at all, it was worth it in the end though, I hope you all agree, the bride looked stunning even if I am a little biased. Here are some photo’s, my sister in law, my mother in law and myself all wearing my sewing. Then a few pics of various views of the bride.

I finally finished the brides beaded purse late on the evening before the wedding, it turned out really well and matched the dress perfectly.

It was a beautiful day, cold and grey but everything was so clean from the rain Melbourne had been experiencing on and off for several days. It was wonderful to watch Leah and Brendan get married having known Leah for over 10 years and Brendan nearly as long. You could see how much they love and adore each other. I watched Brendan as Leah walked down the aisle and I am so glad I did, the look on his face and eyes said it all.
Can’t wait to see the new house guys!

After the wedding Dan and I took a weeks road trip, well and truely taking the long way home from Melbourne to Adelaide with many littles and big towns along the way. First we stayed at the Holgate Brewhouse, gotta keep the brewer in the family happy. Then we drove through to Daylesford where I went to Purls Palace and brought a hank of Colinette Jitterbug in the colourway tapis which I will use to knit a baby cardigan (I’m not really into baby-ish pastels). I love Daylesford and having been visiting since I was a child, it’s changed a lot over the years but never loses it’s charm for me.

Then we drove onto Bendigo and of course went to the Woollen Mills and the famous bargain room, I was fairly restrained as we had a very tightly packed car thanks to having to take lots of sewing stuff along with us including my very large machine and overlocker everywhere we went. I did get 5 balls of Bendigo Cameo for $10 a ball to knit the Central Park Hoodie (Ravelry link) and 3 balls of 8ply cotton to knit some face washers for the babies, at $2 a 50g ball it was too good to leave!

From their we headed to Echuca for the night, then onto Swan Hill, Mildura (staying in Wentworth just over the NSW border), finally a small town a little way out of Berri in South Australia, we stopped at some many towns, lookouts etc along the road that I cannot even begin to list them! What I can do though is show off my country op-shop bargains!
A Vintage glove book for…5c!!! What can you get for 5c these days?

Then some vintage baby and toddler sewing patterns and a brand new baby hat (not pictured) for $1…and no I am don’t know what I am having, don’t ghet excited about the girls dress pattern, the round yoke was just too good not to buy, I love round yoke dresses on little girls.

Oh and along the way, both while away and a little before we left I have started to knit a little for the twins, booties from sock yarn scraps and a cardigan from some yarn given to me by Knitter Bunny way back when we did the tea swap. The contrast edges are some very old patonyle my Grandma gave me a while ago. I’m now working on a matching hat for the cardigan and hopefully some booties as well, this yarn just seems to go on forever, which is great cause I love it!

I’ll leave you with some pics of my ever growing belly, somedays I am amazed to think that compared to where I will be in a few months I am still small. I’m 18 weeks today and planning on leaving work in about 10 weeks, the start of June, I just don’t need to keep working full-time much longer, we won’t die without my wage and I think that by then I will be fairly uncomfortable and ready for a rest (and some knitting).
The first two I was 16 weeks and 6 days, the third photo was just yesterday at 17 weeks and 6 days…

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