Monday, 14 April 2014

Exploring the waves

Last week we had a few days away - we went down to Cromwell and then further south to visit my family.  We had lovely weather and it was a good chance for K to explore new and familiar places. 
It was a great opportunity to give her one of her birthday presents, just a little early, an explorer vest and matching hat!

The fabric is the same tan coloured drill, with small animals embroidered on it, that I used last autumn to make K a music box dress.  I had originally planned to make the vest in red, but the image of a fisherman stirred in my mind!


I lined the vest in a light blue print with kites and used bias binding left over from the nurse's uniform I made recently to edge the armholes.

The pattern for both the vest and the hat are from Oliver + S 'Little Things To Sew' (again!) and they work so well together that I'm surprised I hadn't thought of it earlier!

I took these pictures with K standing on the back of her Pop's boat - but be reassured the boat was on land.  Unfortunately we caught no fish on our exploration of Lake Dunstan but K is imagining how big the one that never even bit our hook was...


Here she is with her Pop out on the boat - wearing a very safe vest instead!  Love the hat inside the hoodie look!

Next time... maybe... the fish will come home with us!

Two more items for my tally in the 'Cover to cover' challenge from 'Bartacks and Singletracks' (numbers 8 and 9) and numbers 83 and 84 in my O+S count!

Bartacks and Singletrack : want to go all the way with me?
 

Friday, 4 April 2014

Little Houses

My daughter K has a great preschool and although she's only been there a year she will miss it when she goes off to school soon.  So just as we did for her Playcentre, we've made a gift for them...

Yes - the little houses from my favourite book (as mentioned in the last few posts, repeatedly!)  Oliver + S Little Things to Sew - in case you forgot!

Mine do look quite different as I chose bright colours - but I still like how they look - well except for the over-large door on the house above!
 
I got extra creative for the blue 'shed' as the tractor was the only wheeled item I could find in my fabric stash.  A shed should work well for farm kids anyway.
Preschool has a large mat with roads and house on it, so these will add a extra dimension to the children's play.  I hope they can use them!

And more houses from a while back I haven't shared yet...


Back at Christmas time Santa made some houses for K using the 'Storybook Lane' panels by Kelly Le Creel.  Now Santa did two silly things - he forgot to purchase the pattern to go with them, and then he forgot about Liesl's awesome houses in LTTS.

Santa made these using Kelly's basic pattern (here) but adapted some to open up.  They look good, but could have been so much better!  It took Santa a while to work out how to do the finger puppets - but he made them work very well - they can both stand on their own and be used as a puppet, having an internal 'hole'.  A LOT of work for Santa.

There are many more puppets but I couldn't find them to photograph today - off on their own adventure!  I also have another background piece that can be used with the puppets.

The foam houses are number 7 in my 'Cover to cover' challenge from Bartacks and Singletracks and number 82 in my O+S count!
Bartacks and Singletrack : want to go all the way with me? 
Who would like to come and play at our house?

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Nurse

As with my previous post I'm working my way through the Oliver + S 'Little Things To Sew' book with some gusto at present.  So much so that I have made two bias trimmed aprons!
Only one is shown here - as the other is tucked away for K's upcoming birthday - and she has no idea!  This one is a farewell gift for Playcentre.  I made the smallest size and although it is a bit small on K it fits fine.

Medical set from our local Toy Library
I found some cheap blue poly/cotton blend from Harald's in Christchurch and used some to make my first puppet theatre.  Then I had my great idea - the fabric would be perfect for a nurse's uniform!  Originally I was going to adapt the 'Sleepover Pyjamas' by Oliver + S, but the bias-trimmed apron from LTTS seemed so much easier.  The only adaption to the pattern was the 'v' neckline - a very simple change.

I made my own bias binding and 1/2 metre of fabric made enough for two aprons, comfortably.  I placed the side pockets too high but they should be fine for some of the wee people at Playcentre (ages 0 to 5).  I used velcro at the back.
I

The word 'NURSE' was done by writing the words in erasable maker then zig-zagged over with a 2mm wide and very short length stitch.  I did interface the fabric behind the words to give it more strength.  It really finishes off the outfit!


Another finished item for the 'Bartacks and Singletracks' 'Little Things to Sew - Cover to Cover Challenge'.  Number six!
Bartacks and Singletrack : want to go all the way with me?
And number 81 in my O+S count...  I love these patterns!

Monday, 24 March 2014

Three, Four, Five...

I've been making some progress... but only on one of my goals!

I want to make as many things as possible from the fantastic 'Oliver + S Little Things to Sew' book by Liesl Gibson.  I started slowly with two puppet theatres and one backpack, but have upped my game by sharing three more today!

Firstly some bags (not for juggling balls)...

These are considerably smaller because we needed them to hold some card games, like 'Uno'.  The fabric is by Riley Blake, 'Pieces of Hope'. 

K is great at Uno and we've been having lots of family fun with it recently.

This one is much larger, being only marginally smaller than the pattern and has a future secret purpose in mind!  Love the lamb fabric.  :-)

18" dolls are not easily found in New Zealand (I've hunted) so I adapted the Doll's Tea Party Dress for our 11" Gotz darling.  I scanned the pattern pieces and reduced them by 75% (with some fiddling for seam allowances).  This is still a bit big so next time I will try about 60%.  In order to avoid fiddly hems and seam finishes I fully lined the skirt piece and it becomes reversible!


I had already made K a hooded cape about two years ago, and it is well used for imaginative play.  So I needed a new adaption - I made it smaller!

The pattern dimensions have been halved, i.e. if one part was 10" long, I made it 5".  I was not terribly accurate in my measuring and did not play with seam allowances, just made narrower seams.  The only issue was fitting in the centre piece to the sides of the hood, it could have been 1" longer.  It worked!

The doll is a fantastic knitted one from a pattern by AK Traditions.  She is about 19" tall, with particularly long legs, and is very cuddly.  Most of K's dolls have over-large heads so it was a bit tricky finding a doll to fit the cape.

I hope my adaptations are allowable in the 'Bartacks and Singletracks' 'Little Things to Sew - Cover to Cover Challenge'.  A lot of thinking and planning was involved!

Bartacks and Singletrack : want to go all the way with me?
These are numbers 78, 79 and 80 ( bags counted together) in my great O+S count.

I also must mention that I have finished another two items (bias trim apron and tutu) but these have been hidden as upcoming birthday presents.

How are you going on your challenges??  Doesn't time fly when you are having fun?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Catching Up!

I've been working on a variety of projects over the last week - but feel I haven't accomplished anything significant.  So here is a catch-up post of my 'smaller' projects....


Little butterflies made from a pattern in Lori Holt's 'Quilty Fun'.  I used charm squares of 'Marmalade' for this and have plans to make it into a larger projects using some of the other 'Quilty Fun' blocks.


A cigar box covered in Heather Ross's 'Nursery Versery'.  I used some batting to pad it out and stuck the fabric on with a mix of double sided tape and PVA glue.  K really needed a place to store her hair ties - so now we know where they should be!  The inside is covered in cream coloured paper.

I found a pile of cigar boxes at a garage sale recently and they have great possibilities as the wood is light, but solid and there is no residual smell.

A 'find it' bag made with plastic insects, made for a friend's birthday.  We also made one with dinosaurs, but the hardest part of both was finding the actual names to add to the list on the back of the bag!

Lots to do!
Lots of gardening... this is a shot of my herb garden and vegetable boxes.  Last week we took out a 2 metre tall camellia (bare spot at front right where K's rake is) and there are still some conifers to go before we square this part off.  The bricks are still being worked on... plenty to do there!
O+S class picnic blouse and hopscotch skirt
And this is a very proud K, with her trophy for leading her pet lamb at last year's local show.  We have only just received the trophy so lots of showing off is happening!

O+S Roller Skate dress with 'Tiny Tea Leaves' cardigan
This is what she looked like with her lamb last October - just to prove she wears Oliver + S most days!

I'm hoping you are all having more success at completing things than me!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

A Backpack for a (nearly) Schoolgirl!

My K is starting school in a couple of months!

We're all very excited, and nervous, but I'm sure she'll be fine.  In New Zealand they can start from their fifth birthday so the New Entrant classroom gets a steady stream of children throughout the year.  I should know - my last two years teaching was with this age group.  They're delightful, enthusiastic and ready to burst into the world of learning.  K will be no exception, especially as she is already telling us that she wants to be a teacher when she grows up - though we are still encouraging the farming idea.  :-)

A schoolgirl needs a new backpack and I went back to a favourite pattern (Oliver+S's 'Little Things to Sew' backpack), and made it again, but bigger!  I used this post from 'Siestas and Sewing' to give me guidelines on how big I should make it and I really appreciated the information - especially the hint Cindy gave that the straps need to be as close to the top as possible.

K's original backpack - made to the LTTS pattern by 'Santa'.
The backpack is approximately 15" high by 11" wide and 5" deep.  It is probably a little too big for K so we'll have to make sure we don't fill it up with books.

 
The fabric came from Spotlight when I was on a shopping mission with fellow blogger 'J-Wo sews'.  Thanks J-Wo!  The fabric panel was about 80cm long and 110 wide - but I had no trouble cutting out the main parts. I managed to put New Zealand at a prime spot - and the rest worked from there.  It is an old map (includes 'USSR') and is not very accurately printed as our eagle eyes have already spied some geographical errors.

I interfaced the outer fabric and also sewed in a layer of nylon to add some waterproofing.  We've had the craziest few weeks of weather - I'm expecting snow storms in early autumn next!

The outside was a welt style pocket that is designed to be partially hidden.  I also purchased bag strapping from a local upholstery business and it works well.

The lining is from Tasha Noel's 'Country Girls' range.  Love the ducks!


Bye K.....!!  Mum will miss you!

I'm linking this to 'Bartacks and Singletracks' 'Little Things to Sew - Cover to Cover Challenge'.  It only my second (different) project - but I have plenty of other ideas!

Bartacks and Singletrack : want to go all the way with me?

This is also number 77 in my Oliver+S personal count.  :-)

Saturday, 1 March 2014

French Chevrons

I've been working my way through the 'Pillow Pop' challenge on Threadbias and have now finished my February cushion/pillow - a day late - but done.

'Chevron' by Brooke Biette.

I used a mixture of French General fabrics.  I've liked these for a long time and have quite a stash of them, but now find myself drawn to brighter colours when fabric shopping.  However Kaari Meng's fabrics really blend well with our home.  I love her reds and tans... so timeless!

I was inspired to use this colour range when looking at the 'Pillow Pop' group pictures and am really pleased with it.  I actually like it more than the original in the pattern.


I used some red Essex linen on the back and because of the extra weight I didn't quilt the back.  The handwriting fabric is from 'Fa-la-la-la-la' by French General.
 It's quite different than my first 'Pillow Pop' cushion but I'm very happy with both!

Linking up with 'Finish it up Friday' at Crazy Mom Quilts.  :-)

Have a good weekend everybody!
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