Monday, 13 September 2010


I haven't not very much to report on really, I certainly haven't finished any more projects recently. I have, however, started a few. Or rather I've started tracing out patterns. I've decided to make Alex a pair of Dortje trousers (from Sewing Clothes Kids Love). According to the book they are girls trousers, but frankly, at this age I can't really see how it makes a difference. I'm going to make them in blue denim (from what used to be my old maternity jeans) with details in a grey/black tiger stripey denim fabric I got from I've decided to spend some time this week tracing quite a few patterns I want to make from various Ottobre magasines. I've decided to participate in a Kids Clothes Week Challenge (see the little button on the right) next week, and I don't want to take up loads of time preparing patterns. I'm hoping to finish the trousers for Alex, and also make a couple of pyjamas for Tristan.
So watch this space...

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Oh, it's been a very long time, I blame the summer holidays. With Alex home all day, there's not been much time for me to make anything, let alone write about it. Still, back to nursery on Monday, so I shall try to do better. Some weeks ago I cut out the parts for a new IMKE shirt for Alex, and I showed them to him explaining what it was and how it was going to fit together and he was very impressed, so last weekend, he obviously thought he had waited long enough for it, as he gave me a stern look and said; so anyway mummy, are you going to make that top for me or not? Fair enough, I got the machine out that night and of I went. It actually took two nights to stitch together as the threads kept breaking, at first I thought it might be because the thread is cheap and maybe not so good, I got a job lot from e-bay some time ago, but it appears that it is getting worse, and it only affects the upper thread which makes me think my machine needs servicing. Shall have to look into that, if anyone has any ideas, please let me know! I think it breaks where the thread first descend from the top of the machine to the bottom, and at times it breaks every ten cm or so. I shall try if it works better of non stretch fabric, with a straight stitch.
Anyway here is the finished result:

The main body, the hood and the long sleeves are made in a turquoise jersey fabric, and the hood lining and and the short sleeves are in a yellow jersey with turquoise monkey faces. Alex likes monkeys. I think if I do another one of these for him, and I would imagine I will, I'll make the hole for the head a bit bigger, although the two I have made are a bit on the big side, it's a bit of a struggle to get it over his head, I've noticed that with other, bought tops too, so I think he might have a quite big head. Physically as well as figuratively speaking.

While this is the only thing I have completed over the summer, I do not want you to think that there has been a creative lull in our house. Oh no, Alex has been very busy, making and painting pictures and things.

This is what our dining room table has been looking like during most of the last few weeks. In this picture you can see a picture, in a frame, of a robot and his bright red van. 
  Here is a picture he painted today with bath crayons on the side of our bath tub, apparently it's Goldilocks and a singing bird. He has since added another person to it as well. I must admit that I am really rather impressed, and proud, by this. He's only three and a half! I pretty much still draw like that.

I shall try not to be so long next time, I'm planning to have a go at a pair of trousers to Alex next, but of course that is depending on the machine. Other then that I have quite a lot of unfinished projects on the go which could do with some attention. I started crocheting an elephant for Alex when we were on holiday, and I got the pattern and materials for a monkey for Tristan, then of course there is the birth samplers for both Tristan and cousin Poppy which I'm cross stitching they might have to wait a while for them though...

Monday, 14 June 2010

Busy bee...

So eventually I did get time to finish Alex's fleece, and I am really rather happy with it. Luckily so is Alex, I've actually not been able to get it of him other then to sleep the last couple of days, so it's been a matter of wash in the evening, and dry over night. Thankfully fleece dries fairly quickly so it's not been a real problem.

As you can see I've used the lime fleece for the body, and the olive for sleeves and hood, I also lined the hood with a lime coloured jersey fabric I also bought at Dots N Stripes ( see my blog list for Nicole's blog, or my previous entry for a link to her shop-I love it!). I think it's working really well.
One thing in particular that I am pleased about with this top is a clever little detail on the hood, which was suggested in Sewing Clothes Kids Love. Instead of putting in a drawstring in the hood for the kids to get all tangled up in, they suggested putting in a little piece of elastic in the front of the hood, in the hem allowance, and it really works, and it looks very nice too I think. It's on the whole a very nice book, as ever there is more girl clothes then boy's ones, but that's just to be expected, I still feel I'll get plenty of use of its projects, and as the sizes goes from toddler to 11-12 years, I can see myself making hundreds of IMKE shirts in different versions over the next ten or so years.

Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' Outfits

But that's not all I've been doing recently, oh no, I've also finished a little bag for myself (although Alex did try to get me to give it to him) it's a bit of a cheat really as the fabric to this project came ready cut with Cath Kidstone's 'Sew', so I really just had to stitch it together.

Compare and contrast the pictures...
It did also allow me to practise making my first ever button holes, four of them, I can definitely do with some more practise on them, although it wasn't as difficult as I had expected. I do feel as if I am getting better with my sewing though, which is nice, I am certain that if people who really know their stuff were to inspect some of the seems on either of those projects, they might find one or two things to improve upon, but that is just what I'm doing, so I'm OK with that.

I haven't really got anything else started at them moment, although I am hoping to get a few baby bloomers finished for Tristan, and maybe also cousin Poppy, before we go to Sweden for to weeks on Saturday. I know that bloomers probably is considered a female piece of clothing, but I figure if I make Tristan's in a manly sober blue or similar, it is just possible that he will mange without getting any problems in the future. He might even not know it's girls clothes, and I do think at the crawling age, they are much more practical then shorts which goes down over the knees. And he will look adorable in them, of course he always does as you can see here:
Feeding himself...

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Back and raring to go!

OK, so now I have brushed myself down, and stopped feeling sorry for myself. I have spent a not inconsiderable amount of money on new scissors, pins, needles and a really great project bag to keep it all in.
I have also eventually had the chance to actually started a new project; I am planning to make a fleece for Alex using the IMKE pattern from 'Sewing clothes kids loves':

by Nancy Langdon and Sabine Pollehn using this doubled faced olive/lime fleece from Dots and Stripes

( a lovely web shop, well worth a visit at any time).
At this precis moment I have only traced and cut out the pattern pieces, but I am hoping to get a chance to continue with it.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Oh dratt!

I appear to have lost the bag I made some time back, I would make a little link here for you to my earlier post, but I can't work out quite how to do that so you'll just have to scroll back to see it. It would have been quite annoying enough had it just been the bag which was lost, but in it was the green dress, which I was making a few adjustments too, and a rather lovely project bag in which I kept both my fabric scissors, and another pair of scissors, as well as a fair few sewing extras I had treated myself too over the last few months as well as the latest number of Ottobre and a Swedish sewing magazine my mum had just sent over, I just kept them in the bag to show the other ladies at the course. So essentially I've lost the first two things I've ever really completed, as well as some of my most expensive sewing equipment, so I am a little bit upset. I will however brush myself down and carry on, I hope to post fairly soon on some new project.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

At long last...

I've finished my dress! It's taken me ages, as I had to order a zipper foot, surprisingly difficult to find one for my sewing machine, and also, as ever there is a lot going on here.

Alex has started nursery, which he loves, and he comes home soaked or covered in paint most days, which surely must be a good thing! The ladies have commented that they have never known a kid like it for getting mucky.

When he's not there we do try to do some fun things together, the other day he helped me making the desserts:

The dessert Alex made

Anyway, here is the dress, in it's complete form:

The dress that I made

I did get Dave to take a photo of me wearing it, but I looked like Jabba the hut in a dress. It is massively large, but I did take the measurement when I was seven month pregnant, so I would have been more upset if it was the right size.

I'm really pleased that I've finished it though, as I want to start making clothes for the boys now, and Alex is really looking forward to getting some. I have rather been hoarding fabric, and I also think that if Dave don't see it being turned in something, anything really, he might start whinging. Some trousers for Alex next, I think, followed by t-shirts and coats for them both. Watch this space...

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Small steps forwards...

We've had a hectic couple of weeks here, both the boys have been ill, but as of yesterday they are both officially over it for this time. It has not left a lot of time for writing here though, or indeed for doing things worth writing about.
I've however managed to get some bits and pieces done on my dress; for instance I've done my first ever pleats and I'm really rather pleased with them.

From the front...

...and the back

I'm hoping to finish it this week, a little bit depending on how I get on with the zipper, having never put one in before I'm a little bit nervous about it. I'd really like to get it done though as I'm really impatient to start some other things, not least I've got things planned for the boys, but more about that another time.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Lazy Sunday...

but still rather productive. It's been lazy in-as-so much that we haven't done any of the boring but necessary things we always try, and often fail, do get done on a Sunday, such as cleaning and laundry. I did instead spend most of my day making this bag from a book called 'Weekend Sewing' by Heather Ross, and I am really rather proud over it:

And here you can see the lining as well:

I really started it last Saturday, with tracing and cutting the pattern and fabric, and yesterday I attached the pocket to the inside lining, and divided it so I get a mobile pocket, as well as a larger one. I did the rest of it today, as Alex decided to get up at half past five, I thought I might as well get something interesting done. Everything went very smooth, until the very last seam, one of the handles, when all of a sudden the needle appeared to be hitting something whenever I tried to reverse, it was making an awful noise and eventually the needle broke. I changed it, of course, tried it on another piece of material, all was fine, so I went back to the handle, and it broke again! After a fair amount of faffing about, it started working fine again, I still don't know actually why it wouldn't work, maybe it was just a bit to thick and I somehow straightened it out in the end. Either way, you'd have thought that whilst spending all that time attaching the handle I would have had checked that it was on straight and wasn't twisted in the middle, wouldn't you? Well I hadn't. So I had to rip it up and start over again. That last 15 or so centimeter probably took me as long as the rest of the bag combined to complete, but in the end it got done, and I have already had some use out of it. I used it to carry home some groceries this afternoon, and it really holds an amazing amount of stuff. I will definitely be making more stuff from that book, there really are loads of really nice, and useful things, and it is easy to understand what you are suppose to be doing.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Oh, now it's been a little while since I wrote, but I blame my parents. They have been here for a week, and it's been lovely to see them. Alex has been spoilt rotten and is no doubt going to be a nightmare for the next week or so. But as they see each other so rarley I think it's ok.
Whilst waiting for mormor and morfar (that's swedish for grandmother and grandfather) I brought out some paints to entertain him. It produced some lovely paintings and this is the artist after the event:

Rather Gothic, don't you think? He's got a natural sense of style.

The day after my parents arrived I ran a 5km race at Clapham Common. It was the first out of 5 which are to take place between now and October. I got in on 47 minutes, which was pretty much as I had expected, and of course it leaves plenty of scope for improvement. The next one is on the 23rd May. My main goal is to run the entire race this time, as oppose to run/walking as I did now, and to get in on 45 min or less.

I have finished of the highet chart, I am only waiting for some ribbon I've ordered to hang it of, and I've decided to do the decorations by and by, as I want to hang it up and be able to use it as soon as possible.
I'm also starting to see some progress on my dress I am making at my sewing class. It's going really slowly, as I only got a couple of hours a week to work on it in class. I'll try to finish it of by easter, so I'll have some time for a smaller project the last bit of term.

At least now it is starting to look a bit like a garment, and not just like a collection of oddly shaped pices of fabric!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

It's oh so quiet...

I really haven' got a lot done on any of my projects recently. I do sometimes find it a bit difficult to fit in all the things I want to, or indeed should, do. I do try to get out for a run a few times a week, I got a 5km race on Sunday. I did manage to do about four km last night and I do feel rather good about that. I'm also in the process of taking a drivers license, and today I had my first lesson since before Tris was born. Also I've booked in for my theory test in four weeks time, so I'll have to spend some time studying for that- but I'm sure Alex and Tris will show great understanding for that and let me have an hour or so a day to study, Methinks not!
Anyway, enough excuses, I have at last tonight managed to get the last seams done on my height chart, and I've also decided on a burgundy coloured ribbon to use as the 'spine' of the chart, so it should be completed soon. I'll not bore you with a current picture off it, because, frankly it looks pretty much the same to the naked eye as it did last time. Just imagine a piece of ribbon going up the middle of it and you are there.
Instead I'll treat you to a picture of a sleeping Tristan:

Isn't he a particularly scrummy baby?
It's only us here now, the other two are upstairs. My big little boy, Alex, has not been his usual self today. He's picked up some kind of bug, so he's been sick most of the day. Hopefully he'll be alright tomorrow, but it has rather knackered the entire family I think. So now I'll try to get a pajamas on Tris without waking him up, and go to bed myself.

Friday, 26 February 2010


Yesterday was Alex's birthday, he turned three. We have had two birthday parties, one on Sunday gone, for all his friends, and on the day itself we had the family over, the English side of the family that is. It's the first year Alex has really been aware of it being his birthday, and being able to look forward to it so it was a bit special. It's funny though with all the planning and preparing and cleaning, and then it is all over in about two hours, it is all rather knackering. Here is a few pictures from the day:

Alex on his birthday scooter, with his birthday hat!

With the cake

After the party in his new Postman Pat pj's

I haven't really had a chance to work on their height chart, not least because most flat surfaces has been covered in chocolate cake recently, but I have got some work done on a flower fairy cross stitch I'm doing for my niece Poppy. No prices for guessing which flower fairy. I'm going to add her name and date of birth to it when it's done, like a birth record. But it is quite big and fiddly, so I'm hoping to have it done for her 1st birthday, in December! This is what I've done this far:

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A few little projects

When my brother and I were little, our parents used to measure how tall we were on the kitchen door every so often. There was little marks in pencil telling us how tall each of us had been at various dates. When I was about eight, and my brother ten, we moved to a bigger house and of course the little house, with its kitchen door post, was put on the market and sold. I assume the markings were painted over before the sale. Anyway, I wanted to mark how my kids grow, and I wanted to be able to keep my markings, so already before Alex was born I decided that we were going to have a height chart, but I never really found one I liked, so I decided to make one. Now some time has passed, but last week I found a bag full of cot bed linnen, which we were given but never have used as we don't have a standard sized cot. Amongst those were a very pretty gingham duvet cover which I thought would be perfect for the purpose. Unfortunately I didn't think of taking a photo before I started, but here is what it looks like now:

I've just cut it in half the width, sewn it together again but under each other to make it twice the length. I then moved the white top bit so the teddy bear picture is still in the middle. I am going to mark out the chart bit, and embroider it, and then decorate it somehow. I think I'll use a few mini cross stitch kits with children's motifs I've got for free with various cross stitch magazines. I'll post a picture again upon completion.

I've got a couple of cross stitch projects on the go already. I started this little bookmark for David ages ago, before I when on maternity leave.

I've decided to try to finish it of soon, so I keep it in my bag and do little bits now and then when I'm on the bus, without the kids, but that's not very often.

I should get a chance to do some work on it today though, as I have to go in to work, in the City. Not to actually do any work you see, but to have a meeting with HR. It appears I might be made redundant, and they want to have a chat about 'my options'. Whatever they might be! I just wish I had had a chance to get a bit more rested, but Alex decided that 5am was a good time to get up, so I've been awake since. Tristan slept until eight. It's a bit annoying, because yesterday Alex slept until eight, but Tristan got up early!

Friday, 19 February 2010

OK, here goes! I used to have another blog once upon a time, but due to work and other annoying things getting in the way I never really wrote on (in?) it. I've been thinking of starting again for some time, but I feel my old blog has grown somewhat hostile after being ignored for so long, I don't think we could ever start over again and patch up, so I started a new one.
At the moment I am all alone at home which is very rare, and also very nice, although I do have to go and pick up my little boys soon. They have spent a few hours at their nans today, she normally have them on a Friday as I attend a sewing course in the mornings, today there is no class as it is half term, but I had quite a lot to do as Alex turn three next week, and we are having a birthday party on Sunday. I have therefore been buying the last bits and pieces for the party and have made a start on the party food, I must admit that I opted for a bought cake in the end, simply because I couldn't find a big enough cake tin, very annoying, but I guess the main thing is that there is a cake there, and it's a chocolate one, as requested.
As I was out and about in wonderful Woolwich I popped in to the two charity shops they got there and I managed to get away with some fantastic bargains. I have been looking around for some fabric for curtains for the kitchen, but the ones I've seen have all been at around £9 meter, and as I'd need about 5.5 meter in total, it's just a little bit much right now, but lo and behold, I today found three big (ca 3x2m) pieces of fabric, with a lovely apple pattern on, which will look lovely, for £1.75 each! I also got loads of other bits of fabric, one blue polka dot one I'm thinking of making in to a circle skirt for myself, the rest I'm not exactly sure about yet, but they were really nice, and I'll think of something.
My plan is to write here about the things that I make, I am really just learning to sew you see, but I think I'm getting the hang of it, and I have loads of great ideas, and I am sure I'll be able to acquire the necessary skills as I go along. At least I hope so, headless optimism has always been one of my defining characteristics.
Either way, should I succeed or should I fail, I promise that I will post on here regularly on my progress, as well as on other things, at least once a week, I swear on my bright red KG shoes!