Saturday, April 30, 2011


Well I have decided to add yet another craft to my already growing list of things I start and then never seem to find time to do.  I have been looking at some beautiful crochet and knitting online lately and decided I needed to give it a go.  So off to my local op shop I went and picked up all the following for less than $7.

I've been working on knitting up the grey to get my rhythm and whilst I know I have problems with tension, I think I'm getting the hang of it all.  I haven't tried anything fancy yet, just straight knitting so far.

To the trained eye, I'm sure this looks really rather messy but it's a start.  I'm pretty keen to make some little things for Mr. J and Miss E but have no idea where to start.  I think I need a few hours to browse the web and find all those great knitting sites.  I'd love to try crochet too but one new thing at a time I think.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Time to Finish Some UFO's

Do you have one of these?

This is my tub of UFO's (unfinished objects).  At the moment it continues to grow as there are so many things I want to make but don't have the time to do them all.  This week, my aim is to get this box empty before I start on anything else.  Hopefully my beautiful children sleep at the same time today so I can at least make a start. 

What does your UFO pile look like?

Decking Goes Down

Over the long weekend here, my husband, Mr. D started to get the decking down outside.  He's now got all the merbu down (pictures of that to come in anothe post) and will be working on the finishing touches over the next few days.  Although I did give him the day off to go fishing tomorrow ;-)
The start of the decking.  This wasn't even a quarter of it all.

Daddy's appretice.  He didn't like the sound of the saw or nail gun!

Just fixing daddy's mistakes.

Taking a break to have a man to man chat.

A 2 1/2yr olds contribution to laying the decking!

Halfway there.  This was a perfect place for the Easter Bunny to leave a trail of eggs.
I'm pretty impressed that Mr. D was able to do all this himself.  He's done a pretty good job and can now stand back and look at it all, knowing he did it himself.  I'm very proud of him actually and I'm loving my new area outside.  It's almost like another room on the house.  Mr. J and Miss E love it too!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Purple Paisley

Well, what to do with lots of purple paisley flannelette?  Make a matching set for Miss E.  This is another of the fabrics I got from my mum's stash cleanout and have been meaning to make some PJ's for Miss E for ages.  I started with the pants and decided it was far too cute for bedtime.  I think the whole world should have a little purple paisley in their life.  Thus began the 3 piece set. 

Glad I stopped at 3 things.  A top aswell would definately have been overkill!
Pants made from Kwik Sew 'Sewing for Baby' book.  I sewed the elastic in as I hate it when it gets twisted!

My bib pattern.  Backed with terry towelling for added protection.

Shoes from my own pattern.  The pattern I have used in previous posts is now too small for Miss E so I simple traced around her foot, adjusted a few measurements and voila!  They are the perfect fit as she has quite a long slender foot.

More PJ's

Whipped up another pair of PJ's for Mr. J yesterday.  I was going to make a long sleeve raglan top to go with the pants but decided against it as he gets quite hot in bed and I think this would be overkill.  I decided to use one of the plain t's I bought a while ago on sale for a whole $1.80.  I made the pants in the size 2 this time rather than the size 4 I have used previously and they are a much better fit.  I did shorten them near the waist band slighty as I knew I was planning on adding ribbing to encase the elastic rather than folding the top over to create the elastic casing.  They are being worn tonight and the dinosaur applique is a huge hit.
I put the applique off centre for something different.  I quite like it here.
Close up of applique.  I was going to hand draw something but found this outline here.

Trying to get a nearly 3yr old to stand still is nearly impossible.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What's Happening in my Backyard?

Just an update on the progression of our deck.  Looks like it's going to be a fantastic 30th birthday present.

These got a bit of a workout, 

to create 21 of these.

What's a boy to do when there are holes in the backyard?

Site supervisor, Miss E and her latest pair of shoes.(Link to the pattern in previous posts of baby sets.)

Gutter and verandah start coming down.

Builders get to work on their bit.

This is noisy!

So far so good.  The rest is left for my DIY handy man.  I think I can call him that ;-)

This is going to be a lot bigger than I imagined but it's going to be great.  I can't wait until it's all finished.  My lovely husband now has his work cut out for him, laying the merbu decking.  All 500 metres!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Oliver + S Sketchbook Shirt

Firstly I just want to say I LOVE this pattern.  For some time now I have been wanting to make Mr. J a nice shirt to wear and after my first terrible attempt here, I have been reluctant to give it another go.  However, browsing a few blogs and chatting with the girls on Essential Baby, I came across the Oliver + S sketchbook shirt.  After looking at the shirts the very talented Nic made from this pattern (see an example of her shirts here) I decided it was one I had to have.

This week I went through my stash of fabric with Mr. J and he chose one I hadn't expected him to but I was quite pleased he did.  It's a vintage print with Penny Farthing bicycles on it that I was given by my mum when she was cleaning out her stash.  I'm hoping she's pleased that her fabric has been put to good use.
I then began the tracing off of the pattern, cutting out and sewing together.  I was pleased with how well it came together and how easy the instructions were to follow.  In particular, I was very happy with the sleeves as I always seem to have trouble with easing in excess fabric but there is not a single pleat in either sleeve!

 Here's the finished product and I do have to say I am a little proud of myself.  I will definately be making this one again.  I think a long sleeve version might be next for Mr. J to wear to my 30th birthday in a few weeks.

I used snap closures in the end as I couldn't find buttons that looked right.  I think these go perfect with the vintage look but I am a little worried they'll pull out of the fabric with regular use.
Close up of shirt front.  Note the sleeves, no pleats!

Shirt back with yoke.  Very easy to put together.
One very happy model.
Shirt back in detail.  This shirt is designed to be left untucked.  You could make the pattern longer though if you wanted to tuck it in.
Close up of sewing on the pocket.  I have learnt from past sewing to make sure I sew little triangles at the top of pockets.
I think I'm going to have to go and buy some brown fabric to make a pair of matching pants now.  Perhaps I'll use a little of the green fabric in the pants to make them a matching set.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nappy Clutch Bag

When I had Mr. J back in 2008, I wanted a bag I could grab quickly to take to the shops or mums group without lugging the huge nappy bag around.  I couldn't find anything exactly right so I decided to make my own.  I teamed it with a matching tote bag and it has served me well for the past 2 and a bit years and is still going strong. 
My original clutch bag and matching tote.  Still going strong even with everyday use and abuse.
I recently decided that I might tweak my design a little and make my clutch bags to sell.  To get my head back around my pattern I grabbed some fabric from a local store and set to work on making one to ensure I had everything the way I wanted.  I'm really happy with the final design and am all set now to get working on another 12.  When they will be completed is another thing entirely!
Kids chairs come in handy for something.

Reverse side with zip pocket for money etc.

Close up of the zip which will be a heavier duty zip in the future as I'm a little worried this one will wear out over time.

A place for everything.  Nappies, wipes (most brands will fit), dirty nappy bags, mobile phone (will fit an iPhone), credit card (in this case a library card) or rusk pocket and usually mine carries a disposable change mat aswell.   It does all fit in neater than this, I just wanted to show what it could carry

Mobile phone pocket secured with a snap, you don't want that to fall out!

My logo.

I'm looking forward to making these and seeing if they are something that people would be interested in buying.  If you are looking at my blog and are interested in one of these, please email me at  I also ask those looking at my blog to please not copy my design.

Now I'm off to work on a couple of other projects before I start cutting these out.

My Outdoor Space is Underway

Back in late 2006 when we bought our first house, we planned to build a deck coming off the kitchen area.  Fast forward to April 2011 and I can finally say it's underway.  It's taken a long time to get to this stage with various things getting in the way (mainly those unexpected bills that crop up) but my lovely husband has started digging the holes for the posts and the materials are on the way!  I can't wait to have my wonderful outdoor space, just in time for my 30th birthday.

Here are a few before pictures for you.  Excuse the fence (and the ivy we are trying our hardest to get rid of), that's a project for another time.  Although it doesn't look like it in the photos, we have done a lot of work out here already, ripping things out and clearing up the back yard to make it much more kid friendly.  I'm hoping the deck will just add to that and give the kids somewhere to play outside when the weather is wet.
This is the current view from my back door.  Not very appealing to say the least.

Daddy and his helper starting work on the 21 holes he has to dig before the builder comes to do his bit on monday.  (I think we own too many toys too!)

View from the other end.  The backyard isn't all that big but it's enough for our little family.
 What's a boy to do when there's a pile of dirt in the backyard?

Action shot.  Jumping from one dirt pile to the other.

Hopefully I'll be back soon with progress pictures and then before long the completed deck.  Although it will be without a roof for a little while.  That's what happens when your husband is a qualified roof plumber!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Monkey Business.

Back in 2008 I made a sock monkey for Mr. J.  (I got the idea from this blog post).  Since then I have made another 3 or 4 for presents but hadn't made one for a while.  Fast forward to this week and a friend asked if I could make her one to give as a gift to a 2 yr old.  I dragged out the pattern again (find the tutorial here) and set to work on a pair of pink and black socks.  Here is the result.


They definately look handmade but I think that adds to the character.  The long arms, legs and tail are perfect for dragging around the place when you have little hands.  I also used felt for the eyes rather than buttons to avoid the choking risk.

Now that I have got this pattern out again, I think I might have to whip up another one of these for Miss E.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

PJ's for Mr. J

These PJ's have been sitting in my UFO (unfinished objects) pile for quite a while.  With the weather getting cooler at night, I decided I had better get them out and finish them off.  Mr. J sat on my knee while I sewed the circle applique on the top and didn't once try to touch the machine.  I was amazed!  It's not very easy to sew with a toddler on your knee though.

The PJ pants were made from a knit wit pattern and as the fabric isn't stretch, I made the size 4 instead of the size 2.  The t-shirt was one I picked up from a chain store and appliqued the circle on.  I was originally going to applique a guitar on but wanted to finish them today.  The guitar wasn't going to be quick with a toddler around wanting my attention so the circle won.  I actually think it looks quite OK.

As soon as he put the PJ's on, he had to pretend he was sleeping.
Full length shot.  This was the best I could get.  Even when I put the telly on he wouldn't stand still for me.