DIY cloth baby wipes

September 23rd, 2014

I have been cloth diapering Baby Bird since she was about 2 weeks old, and i noticed very quickly once i started that i didn’t have enough cloth wipes. In a mad panic i ordered more, waited and waited, and then realised: I CAN SEW.

Moments like these i kind of want to bang my head against the wall for being so silly. I mean seriously meg?? My stash of soft flannel fabric is huge and this task simply could not be easier. Grrrr.

So i quickly sat down, cut a bunch of 7″x7″ (28cmx28cm) squares, rounded off the edges, serged/overlocked the raw edges and we were good to go. It was just that easy. So if you use cloth wipes for your babe, or are thinking about it, don’t forget to check out your fabric stash before you buy! Personally i like using flannel or terry cloth for my wipes. It’s always such a good feeling when you can make something rather than buy it right?

Now feel free to giggle at me for forgetting i owned a sewing machine and scissors.

spotlight on // roving ovine

September 17th, 2014

*Please note that none of these posts are sponsored, and all products were purchased by myself*

It’s been such a long time since i did a post highlighting great works in the handmade/indie sphere, but i’ve found so many great things recently that i think i’m going to revive it!

Bunny and Buddy are best friends, and a lot of their games are spent play acting themselves. It cracks me up. They will take whatever doll or animal they can find and turn it into a version of themselves. So i decided i wanted to make them some ragdolls that looked like them. HA. After a long time looking at patterns, and trying to find inspiration all over the web, i kept coming back to Roving Ovine. I couldn’t stop thinking about them, and knew that they were much better than i could ever accomplish on my own. Sometimes its best to accept your strengths and weaknesses, and i am not a doll/stuffed toy maker.

Laura makes the most gorgeous rag dolls, her prices are amazing, as is her customer service, and you can even customize the dolls to look exactly like you want. Happy dance.

So i showed her a few dolls of hers that i liked, described my kids, their likes and dislikes, and these are the Bunny and Buddy dolls she created for me. Aren’t they kick ass amazing?! I love them so much!!!

Needless to say, Bunny and Buddy adore their dolls, they drag those dolls all over the house playing games. it’s awesome. I also really love the fact that Buddy’s doll isn’t too much of a doll. You know? I wanted to be a careful getting a doll that for boy that was definitely for a boy, and not a “baby doll”. Does that make sense? kinda?

Anyway, I really want to get one for baby birdie too, but i really want to wait until she is at least a toddler so we know what to make hers look like. I think she’ll enjoy that more.

So if you are looking for a truly amazing handmade doll for your kids, or a gift for someone elses other little love, I highly highly recommend Roving Ovine!

wrapped dress

September 13th, 2014

It was only a matter of time until i turned my Wrapped Maternity Crop Top into a dress! You may remember back when i was pregnant i made the crop top version of my Wrapped Maternity top pattern? Well i just couldn’t stop thinking about how cool it would be as a dress!

I wasn’t in the mood to wear a completely lavender dress, so i went for a grey skirt instead. It was a really simple change- i just unpicked the hemline and added a circle skirt. I haven’t even hemmed it yet because baby birdie woke up and i ran out of time. You know what, i might even just leave it unhemmed because its working just fine as is.

At the end of the day i’m really happy with how this turned out! It’s really really great for feeding baby in, and i honestly can’t decide whether i like it better as a crop top or a dress… maybe i need to make another crop top now!

[Make this look]
Dress: Megan Nielsen // Wrapped Maternity top  pattern + circle skirt
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens // Peep toe high 

an accidental perfect fit

September 11th, 2014

Following on from my last post, there was such a great response to sharing the in-progress-not-quite-right side of designing, that i thought you might enjoy seeing another design that didn’t turn out as planned on first go. I drafted these pants for Buddy, and when i tried them on him i found that i had included too much ease. They were just too baggy in every way. I was upset because i didn’t want to adjust the pattern, i was tired, and had used up all my freetime for a few days on them. BOO> But then Bunny declared she loved them, tried them on, and low and behold they are perfect for her. The fit is exactly what i had wanted for Buddy. Cue angels singing, and happy smiles all over.

Which of course leaves me in a really nice situation, i know where to go from here. Now i know the size I drafted is actually perfect for her measurements, and i can grade down to get Buddy’s size. Easy as pie. It doesn’t normally work out this well, so i kind of happy danced afterwards!

So for now, until i find some time to grade the pattern down for Buddy, i know someone will be enjoying these lovely pants! I might even make Bunny another pair with heart knee patches, as the last heart patch pants i made for her were so well loved (read: worn to death).

first drafts

August 30th, 2014

One of the big mistakes i see home sewers make is beating themselves up for a garment not turning out “perfectly” the first time they make it. If you have that attitude when it comes to sewing, you will be constantly disappointed, and will imagine that everyone else is better than you. That is not the case. The best attitude you can have with sewing is considering each “failure” as a draft along the way to your final garment.

You’ll see people call these muslins or test runs or toiles. It’s all the same thing. A practice run. You try something, and it wasn’t right the first time, so you learn from it and make a new one.

So today i have an example for you! This is a nursing tunic that i dreamed up with i was pregnant with baby bird. Here is the sketch, ahhhh so cute yes?

The idea was to have slits up the side of the tunic for easy feeding, and also for the front piece to act as a bit of a nursing cover. I planned to wear it over leggings & jeans with one of my many nursing tanks underneath (love those things to death). I was envisioning comfy but cute postpartum wear for that period after baby is born and you feel like a gross blob.

So this was the first draft. It seemed pretty good when i made it, so as per usual i put it through my wearability test. I’ve worn it for almost 3 months like this, and have found that this first draft needs some tweaking. It looks very cute and perfect when you stand still (See above), but if you move a little too vigorously or dare to pick up your cute baby. DRAMA. The front and back pieces get caught (sometimes separately often at the same time) rather unattractively exposing your entire behind and/or midsection. And the seam of your tank top which you tucked into your leggings (it was comfy okay?) making it look like you have VPL when you don’t. Ummm no, not a good look. See the below exhibits:

Obviously changes will need to be made. I am very happy with the length, so i’ll keep that, but for my next draft i will either add another layer underneath to bridge the side gaps, or i’ll cross over the front and back pieces under the arms. Perhaps i’ll do both. We’ll see.

So as you can see, this one little design will be going through a lot of changes before i’m happy with it. I will probably make this top around 5 times to perfect it for my personal use. If i decide to release it as a pattern, there will be more drafts as each size and variation would need to be tested.

So if you take out a pattern for the first time, or draft a little piece of awesome to sew up for yourself, and it doesn’t work out the way you’d hoped the first time, take heart! It will never be perfect the first time! The Briar and Virginia both took years of development before i was completely happy with them. Consider this a first draft, make your notes, implement your changes, it WILL be better next time. That is what sewing is all about. It is a craft because it must be worked at it, it is not magic my darlings.

Frozen Elsa costume

August 28th, 2014

SO i made Bunny an Elsa costume… and then i photoshopped her into a frozen poster (poorly). yeah that happened. hehehe.

Much like every little girl who has ever seen Frozen, Bunny became obsessed with Elsa. She would watch it on loop every day if i let her. She was singing Frozen constantly, and her pretend play Elsa games were lasting like a whole day. So i knew it was time to make her a costume.

Since baby bird was still teeeensy tiny at this point, i tried to make it as simple as possible. The main body of the dress is some cheapy satin, which is shirred with elastic thread. I should have shirred all the way down to her waistline if i was being really true to the story, but i was tired, and i think empire waists are cuter. The cape is just a blue netting/tulle thing with spots all over, and i attached it to the top of the dress before adding the sparkly arms. It’s joined to one line of shirring to gather it up. The sparkly arms are made from a white and silver sparkly spandex, and i literally just used the top part of a stock standard tshirt pattern i have. I didn’t even hem the neckline or sleeves. naughty meg.

So that’s it! It was super quick and Bunny was over the moon. Cue epic “Let it Go” concerts in the backyard all winter (without shoes of course… this is Australia after all!). The only adjustment i had to make was adding the slit in the side seam, as after i gave it to her i was informed that unless you have a slit you are nothing. I had no idea the slit was so important to Elsa’s aesthetic! It’s so adorable the stuff kids notice.

I’m really happy with how this turned out, and Bunny uses it constantly. Even better a few weeks later one of her friends had a Disney princess themed birthday party and Bunny was able to wear her costume out of the house, which i think basically made her whole year hehehe. And here’s a photo of the dress on its own on instagram.

And after all that, i got a little crazy with photoshop and plonked her on a Frozen poster hehehe. I’m a good amount of crazy. But i must admit, it took ages and i got tired, so the rest of the photos after the jump are unedited in our backyard. Sorry hehe. Gosh i love how much she enjoys her costumes!

XOXO

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