Dow Dow and Nee Nee

April 8th, 2014

My kids have special nicknames for each other. When Bunny was very small and couldn’t say Buddy’s name, she called him “Dow Dow”, and when Buddy couldn’t say Bunny’s name he called her “Nee Nee”. It’s become so much a part of them that the names stuck, and little Buddy introduces himself as Dow Dow and refuses to call Bunny by her name even though he can say it. Even Chris and i find ourselves calling them by these cute little nicknames.

I love it so much that for over a year now i’ve been wanting to make them matching tshirts with their little nicknames on. But as per usual, i got stalled because i overcomplicated the project. I’m a designer, so of course i HAVE TO make the shirts, in fact i have to design a completely new style for their shirts, then i HAVE TO design something cool to go with their names because a name on it’s on is not enough, the fabrics must be astoundingly awesome etc etc to the point where i can’t pull the trigger. But you know, sometimes it’s just better to keep things simple. So instead of all my grand plans, i used pre-existing blank H&M tshirts and simply put their nicknames on the front in my own handwriting. And just like that a years worth of procrastination was over.

For Buddy’s i used my new Silhouette Cameo + their fusible applique fabric and ironed it on – and for Bunny i just cracked out a bottle of fabric glitter glue and got writing. And it’s funny, for all this simplicity and instant gratification these shirts still got a “WOW thank you mommy!!!” and a huge cuddle. Lesson learned :)

So before they grow up too much and stop using their special toddler names for each other, here are Dow Dow and Nee Nee in their matching shirts, doing their favourite thing, playing at the riverside and being generally awesome.

cool fabric// double cloth

April 2nd, 2014

I love discovering new fabrics. Before last year i had never heard of double cloth, and must admit i only bought it because it was so weird and cool i just HAD TO. After working with it i was even more in love and i think it’s one of the coolest fabrics i’ve ever used.

If you’ve never come across double cloth heres the deal: It’s basically two fabrics that are joined together. Sometimes they are connected by a binding weft – but in the case of the double cloth i bought, a water soluble glue. If i pulled, i could have separated the two fabrics by hand. When purchased it was stiff, but i was assured by my supplier that i should work with it before washing. So thats what i did. Last year i sewed up a Cascade skirt sample with it (you may remember this skirt from the Breakwater lookbook), and then washed it after. It was amazing to see how the rather stiff skirt changed shape after laundering to be so soft and flowy. The photo above shows the skirt before and after washing, cool huh? The thing i really loved about this was how it worked with the Cascade, showing the inside colour in little peeks. Plus there is that added benefit of the drape of light fabric without having to add lining, since it’s basically included. So very very cool. I desperately wanted to include this fabric in kits last year, but i had dawdled so much with testing it out, that my supplier had run out before i could order. Epic bummer.

So have you used double cloth before?! Discovered any new-to-you fabrics that kind of blew your mind?

don’t be a grumpy cloud

March 28th, 2014

So we sometimes have cases of “the grumpies” in our house. When ordinarily cute and sweet tiny people find themselves in a grumpy mood. When it first started, i didn’t really know how to combat it – i tried lots of things – but one day, because hey, i’m an intrinsically silly person, I told Bunny to stop being a grumpy cloud because she was my happy sunshine. And then i threw all the socks in her sock drawer at her. We called them grumpy raindrops. And we literally pelted each other with socks until she was giggling.

That was about two years ago, and that’s how grumpy cloud was born. Since then, whenever our kids are grumpy we ask them if they’re grumpy clouds, and the game begins again. It’s gotten to the point where if Chris or I seem a bit off the kids will ask “are you a grumpy cloud?! DON’T BE A GRUMPY CLOUD!”. so awesome.

After a while i thought it would be fun to have a little reminder of our game. I love all the cloud cushions i’ve seen popping up all over, so i thought it was a perfect marriage! I quickly whipped together this little cloud out of some leftover fleece i had lying around, embroidered “don’t be a grumpy cloud” on the front” and then stuffed it!

It was instantly a family hit. Like i think i need to make another because sharing is an issue hehehe. These days instead of pelting my grumpy kids with socks, i chase them round the house with this pillow, and have a grumpy cloud pillow fight until everyone is giggling and happy, and my happy sunshines are back. Best accidental parenting solution ever :)

(Meanwhile, i asked Bunny to look grumpy so i could take a photo of her – and i totally love the progression, from good acting to “Oh i give up i can’t do it!” hehee. The second photo of her is what we call her “happy mad face” which is literally her trying her hardest to act mad when she is actually happy. It’s so silly and i love it!)

Ruched maternity skirt with ruffle hem

March 25th, 2014

Ruched maternity skirt with ruffle hem

Well my dear friends, it’s another Ruched Maternity Skirt! hehehe are you tired of these yet? I hope i’m not boring you!

This is one of the new variations i created before release the PDF version of the pattern. I really like how the ruffle turned out! I feel like it’s quite a different look from the midi skirt.

I must admit that it was kind of hard for Chris to get a photo of me with a semi straight face… as just off camera the kids were on their jungle gym and Bunny was yelling at Buddy “can you say, MOMMY HAS A GINORMOUS BELLY?!” hahaha yeah… i kind do :)

the make room for baby sale!

March 22nd, 2014

Well my dears, as you know baby number three will be arriving soon, and i’ve officially entered that nesting panic stage where i want to set up her little space and know i’m prepared and it’s making my brain all kinds of crazy. The only problem is, i kind of use the babies future room as stock room… uh oh. So i’ve decided that since i’m taking everything slow right now, and plan to keep doing that after she arrives, it makes sense to have a little sale and clear out that room! So here it is, my make room for baby sale!

I’m clearing out some of my beloved stash fabrics, ready to wear design samples, and of course sewing kits! I even found i still have some stock left in my US warehouse, which i’d love to clear out so i don’t keep paying storage. And because it’s just darned fun having sales, i’m also going to have 20% off PDF patterns for the next few days (use code BABY).

Everything is pretty discounted, so there are a tonne of bargains to be had. Happy shopping and happy sewing!

(Here’s a little peek at a few of the items in store)

SHOP [  SEWING KITS]

SHOP [ FABRIC ]

SHOP [ READY TO WEAR CLOTHING ]

Megan Nielsen Crescent Blouse & I make fashion tote bags on sale!

SHOP [CRESCENT BLOUSE PATTERN (PRINTED) originally $20, now $12 on Amazon // I MAKE FASHION TOTE BAG originally $15, now $5 on Amazon]

studio peeks: sample making

March 20th, 2014

Megan Nielsen Studio peeks// sample making

It seems that in the midst of pregnancy, moving and general slowing down i haven’t shared any studio peeks for months!

So here’s what i’m working on right now: pattern samples for the next 2 patterns i’ll be releasing through Simplicity! I’m trying really hard to get these finished and sent off in the next few weeks – as i really don’t want to leave it too late and find that this is the pregnancy where i go into labour early. What am i saying, that’ll never happen hehehe.

So here we have the progress on some Ruched Maternity skirts in some lovely grey ponti knit. Oh ponti, i love you so. Definitely one of my favourite fabrics for sure. Once these are done and dusted and the pattern is reformatted, i’ll be moving on to the Ruched Maternity tshirt. So exciting!! I’ve loved seeing how well received the previous two patterns i’ve done for Simplicity have been, so i’m dying to get these out. I believe they’ll be available for purchase towards the end of the year.

So what are you working on at the moment?!