28 Nov 2012

Net Butterflies

I was busy getting netting for a tutu for my niece and didn't think about the weight/scratch factor properly so I ended up with some white and purple that I couldn't use. Inspiration hit and I am re-purposing the netting into little butterflies for the kids upcoming birthday party. Now I have grand ideas of making butterfly nets to 'catch' them in.

Finished Butterfly

First cut them into strips. These are approx 2.3" x 5"

Then round the corners with no precision at all

Lay on top of each other and concertina the middle - hold tight!

Wrap some cotton around the middle and knot it tight (may need some spare hands at this stage).

Grab the top piece in one hand and the bottom piece in the other hand and pull them away from each other firmly. The back pieces form the top wings and the front piece the bottom wings. If you pull hard enough they will stay like that.

Wrap a piece of pipe cleaner around the middle and twist. Curl the ends for antennae

Mod sailor dress

What did I do for inspiration before Pinterest?! I saw this cute dress and realised that I actually had that material in my box. I just HAD to make it! The instructions are very easy to follow. I made it a bit bigger as per the suggestion in the tutorial but then had to go back and shorten the shoulder straps and take it in at the sides under the arms - neither of which was really a big deal. Oh, and I only had 4 buttons, but I don't think that matters. Someone actually asked me where I bought it which is always a lovely compliment :)

Definitely worth making. Chloe loves it and it is nice and light now that we are actually heading into warmer weather.

Chloe wasn't really in the mood for standing still

25 Oct 2012

Little Airplane Bags

I am starting to worry about the 7hr plane ride we have next year, more specifically how the kids are going to behave. I have seen all sorts of tricks from having something new to give them every hour, to giving ear plugs and chocolate to the people sitting around you. I will try and have lots of things for them to do, but otherwise we may just have to wing it (ha ha). 

I am going to take a few of their smaller toys as they will often play with them for a while, especially Chloe who has a great imagination at age 4. I also want to have a bag of special treats to eat that I can pull out every now and then. So what do we need for both of these things? Bags! I found this cute remnant of cotton with aeroplanes on it at Spotlight and knew just what I would do with it.

Inspired by this tutorial I made a couple of bags. It was a very easy to follow tutorial and they turned out quite cute, and perfect size for a few special treats.

I then made an adjustment for a drawstring version (mainly as I had lots of material and didn't want to use up all my velcro). 
  • I left out the co-ordinating strips along the top and went straight to sewing the lining to the outside fabric. 
  • Before sewing the 2 sides together I sewed 2 buttonholes close to where the lining joins the main fabric (for the drawstring). 
  • Once it was all turned in the right way I sewed to lines around the top to create a tube for the drawstring to go through.

 The drawstring used to be the handles from a bag I got from a clothing store when I bought a dress. (MUST KEEP EVERYTHING!!)

Showing the buttonholes and 2 lines of sewing to create the tube for the drawstring.
Finished drawstring bag - inside

So cute!
 The finished bag fits all the animal toys perfectly, and as they currently have no storage container it will be very useful.

24 Oct 2012

Polka Dot Cake

I just love Pinterest. I am getting so many ideas there and its so easy to find them again! This one from Once Upon a Pedestal caught my interest and I thought it would work great for hubby's upcoming birthday. Of course I had to try it out so it won't really be the surprise I had hoped. Oh well.

I had to make a couple of adjustments as the blog calls for a cake pop pan and I wasn't going to spend $30 on one for just one cake. So after a bit of internet searching I found a post that says you can just crumble up a cake and squish them into balls. Now, I should have trimmed off the browned edges first, but this was just a trial anyway. It took some pretty firm squishing but it worked. 

 The balls are butter cake and I decided to put them in an easy choc cake to change the flavour a bit. The result was very tasty! The coloured balls were a lot denser giving the cake an interesting twist.

The cake balls are hidden in the middle

Not too bad for a test cake
Next time I will put a bit more cake mix in the bottom of the pan before putting the cake balls in.

12 Oct 2012

Baby bibs

My step-brother and his wife are expecting their first baby in February and I am really excited for them. I had made a few things for my step-sister for her little ones and I got the idea to do some embroidered bibs for his bubba. I made sure to do them nice and neutral as the gender will be a surprise. Now I just have to hold on to them for a while so that it doesn't seem like a ridiculously early gift. I'm thinking christmas as we are moving overseas in January and that way I won't loose them in the move.

The back is toweling, the top of the front is white micro-fibre so it is super soft around the neck (it looks cream in the pic), and the bottom is flannelette. I put in 2 domes so it can hopefully last a while. I also like the square shape as it covers more of bubba's tummy and, lets face it, with babies more coverage is always better.

Little crochet squares

 I have a lot of leftover wool from various projects so I thought I'd make up a bunch of little squares and eventually, maybe make them into a blanket....one day.

The squares are made up like this:
5mm hook
DC - Double crochet
ch - chain
Sl st - slip stitch

  • Magic ring, chain 3, 
  • In magic ring: 2 DC, ch 1, (3 DC, ch1) 3 times. Pull magic ring tight and join to first ch3
  • Chain 3, turn
  • Next row: 2DC in corner next to ch3, ch1, 3DC in same corner, ch1, *(3DC, ch1, 3DC) in next corner, ch1. Repeat from * 2 more times to complete the square. Sl st to join to the ch3 and finish.

Now I know that is not as neat as normal crochet patterns as I'm not used to writing them out, but I hope it makes sense.

Newborn Owl Hat

I couldn't resist this pattern from Repeat Crafter Me. There are so many gorgeous ideas and patterns on this site so it is well worth a look. I already had some wool I had stocked up on a while back and never used which was nice and fluffy and soft. It is just too cute but of course I don't have anyone to give it to. Another one for Beanies for Babies I think. 

The hat took 1 evening to make up including making the eyes. I had to get some wool for the beak and some big black buttons so 2 nights total.

15 Sep 2012

Butter Cream Icing and CAKES!

Milly's Kitchen run cake decorating courses and I have been interested in doing one for a while so when I got some vouchers I decided now was the time. I chose to do the decorating basics as I haven't done any fondant work and this course was just for butter cream.
The first surprise was we didn't use butter - it was all done with vegetable shortening which, when made with icing sugar and water, can be kept in the cupboard. The other new addition to the recipe was meringue powder which firms everything up. 
First week was being told and shown all the basics. Second week was doing them all. The train cake was my first attempt. It's amazing how long you can spend trying to get the first layer of buttercream smooth on the cake. the train design was transferred to the cake using piping gel so the rest was kinda like colouring in.

Cake number 1
 Week 3 was cupcakes and practicing using different tips in our piping bags. Week 4 was the last one where we learnt to do roses and then were let loose to do what we wanted on our last cake.
Cake number 2

A couple of weeks later, after a trip to the zoo, Chloe and I decided to make a zebra cake. She told me I had to put a zebra on the top so I used the piping gel transfer technique.

And then the big ta-da for the inside! I'm really happy with how well this worked. You put 3 Tbsp of mix in the middle of the tin, then 3 Tbsp of the contrast colour in the middle of that and keep alternating until you run out of mix. Chloe made her own which was eaten before I got a pic but it worked really well too.

Soft Tutu Skirt - kinda

When I was little my mum spent FOREVER making me proper tutu's for my ballet competitions. If Chloe ever gets into that then I'm sure I would do the same, but for now I have followed the pattern I have seen many places where you simply knot the fabric/tulle around either a ribbon or a piece of elastic. 
I opted for elastic as I thought Chloe could put it on easier. I got some white, pink and purple soft netting and cut myself some strips. This was all completed in an evening and I thought Chloe would enjoy playing in it....I was wrong. For some reason she didn't like how the colours striped at the top so it was given to a friend. I'm going to try this again sometime with stiffer tulle to try and get a more stand-out tutu.

Plunket Book Cover - Alex

I finally got around to making a cover for Alex's Plunket book. It was really just a matter of picking up some stiff felt for the cover as I had everything else at home. I went for a little train that I had used for a cake design as he likes trains. Doing his name in the cloud made it easier to get a better colour with the paints. Last step is to sew down the big cloud and it's done.

The border is a bit wiggly as Alex was sitting on my lap and kept trying to push the button to cut the thread.

18 Aug 2012


So it's been ages since I made these, but they are so cute that I just had to share. I love making PJ's for my kids. I especially love the sheep material for Alex's ones.

On another note we have moved....again, so I don't have me sewing table anymore. It's a real pain to think I have to drag out the machine if I want to do anything. I will definitely have to sort something out or I won't be doing any sewing anytime soon :(

Another Brain Waves Beanie

Hubby and son love wearing their Brain Waves beanies so much that I couldn't resist making another one for Beanies for Babies in some girly colours. IT'S SOOOOO CUTE! It's one of those things that I don't want to give away but really don't need. I tried to convince Chloe that she needed another hat, but she told me I should give it to a little girl who needs it. Gotta love her.

Poor Alex had to model the girl one for me - he wasn't too impressed.

27 Jun 2012

Booster seat update

When I made the booster seat cover I realised that the part where the straps came out was messy, and it has not held up well with time. I started making another cover out of PUL material and realised that it didn't need to be so hard. Here are some pictures with a much easier way to do it:
Sew strap onto wrong side of fabric as before

Fold strap back over fabric

Add second piece of fabric to be joined on top - right sides together with loose bit of strap folded back in the middle
This shows strap from wrong side folding over and going through the seam to the right side

This is the result - no hole this time

Baby gifts

This cute little guy is for my good friend who just had a little girl. I sewed her initials onto the feet, just as I did with a little green version for her boy when he was born. Thankfully I had knitted him up a while ago, and he has been waiting for the perfect little one to come along.

The other thing which I am going to try and make is something I saw on Pinterest - a hooded car seat blanket. It looks great as it stays in the capsule and the belt is done up under the blanket which is a lot safer. I have picked up some merino for the inside layer and some flannelette for the outside layer. Looks simple enough, just have to do it!

Brain Waves Beanie

I recently picked up a crochet needle again to see if I liked it better than knitting, and for some things it is great. Top of the list has to be beanies as it is much faster to whip one up, and easier to work in a round. I saw this pattern by Playin' Hooky Designs and had to do it. I love that it has an adult and childs pattern as I am hopeless at adjusting patterns. I already had some black and cream wool so just got some red for the alternate waves (red and black are Canterbury colours).

Hubby keeps saying that he feels like he's wearing a tea cosy, but then insists that he really likes it. I must admit that the 2 boys look really cute when they wear them together, and Alex knows that he has the same hat as daddy and loves it.

13 Jun 2012

Magnet Board

I found this one on Pinterest and have wanted to do it since I saw it. I am a bit tired of not being able to use the fridge when the kids are playing with the magnetic letters. This way they have their own space to play and my fridge can become less cluttered - that's the theory anyway.

I got myself a oil drip tray from an auto store (unfortunately they only had skinny ones). I gave it a light sand then 2 coats of white undercoat. I already had some magenta wall paint but thought that might be a bit much in a big block so I taped off some stripes before doing the top coat. The edges looked like they may scuff the wall so I put some black utility tape over the edges to give a little buffer.
Finally I added 4 small bulldog clips to the bottom with the hot glue gun so we would have a place to display all the wonderful pictures Chloe does at kindergarten.

It is hanging with the 3M velcro picture hangers as suggested in the original blog.

I had a bit of a find while we were in Whitianga to use on the board. In a $2 type store I got a sheet of printable magnetic paper for $2 (surprise!). I only got 1 as I wasn't sure if it would work, but it did. It's quite thin and the magnetic part isn't great, but I got heaps on an A4 sheet and I'm not going to be worried if they go missing.

The cut out shapes and numbers

It was very easy to cut out

20 Apr 2012

Scrap monsters

Alex has been having long naps recently, so the other day I thought Chloe and I could make scrap monsters. I had made one a while back when I was bored and he was named 'Eyeses' or 'Isis' as he only has eyes. 
I got our my scraps of material and Chloe chose what she wanted to use, what sort of limbs/features her one would have and what shape he would be. She helped me sew on the buttons and pressed certain buttons on the sewing machine so that it was a joint effort. The body is about the size of my palm.
Isis, Patrick and Icy

The back

I then made one as she wanted me to use the pink fleece. When he was inside-out he looked a lot like the starfish on Spongebob Squarepants and so he was named - Patrick.
A bit of fun for an afternoon. These could make fun beanbags as well.

Polar Bear

I got one done!! Tick!!
I finally sat down and sewed together the polar bear that I had already cut out and pinned. It really didn't take long which was great. Chloe had picked out a fat quarter of this material one day and decided that I would make her a soft toy with it. I found a book of patterns at the library and this is the result. It is designed to lie down so looks a little funny when being cuddled, but she loves it. It's name is Spotty.

The bell around his neck is from an easter bunny. At least he's not gonna sneak up on us. 

5 Apr 2012


When I first saw the term 'WIP' I had no idea what people were on about. It took me a while but I worked it out - work in progress. I am a little depressed that I have accumulated a number of WIP's and also a couple of W-to-be-IP's. I thought if I listed them then I could work through them, hopefully one at a time. I have this bad habit of starting something and then seeing something else cool to make so starting that at the same time. I'm just glad the quilt is done! 

 *beanie for Beanies for Babies (to be given to hospitals and such for new babies and kiddies who need them. BFB Facebook page
*singlet for Beanies for Babies 
*soft toy for Chloe from some material she chose at Spotlight one day *PJ's for Alex for winter *PJ's for Chloe for winter 
*cover for second seat cushion so we have a spare 
*fluffy knitted bolero for Chloe 
*knitted dragon hats for friends having babies in the Year of the Dragon 
*quilt for Alex (in design phase, material purchased) 
*cushion to match Chloe's quilt (designed, won't be started until I get this list smaller)

 Hmmm, I thought of more as I went. I just don't seem to find the time at the moment to get them done, or the motivation after the kids are in bed. Maybe if I finish one then I'll be inspired to do the rest. Right, off to do some knitting!

8 Mar 2012

Finished Quilt

IT'S DONE!!! I have finally finished the quilt. I am very happy with the result and I know it is going to be snuggly for Chloe as the weather starts to cool down. I ended up hand stitching the back of the binding for a tidy finish and I'm glad I did. It only took me 4 nights to do (!!!). In the grand scheme of things it wasn't that long. 

I am already investigating what pattern to use for one for Alex and so far I like this one, also by Moda Bakeshop. 

23 Feb 2012

Quilt - part 5

It's quilted!! It took longer than I thought, especially as I really only wanted to do it in the daylight so that I did it acurately. I had lots of fun rolling and turning, and then with 5 little squares to go my thread ran out! Doesn't matter as it's done now. 

The overall look of the back
Big squares, little squares

Tonight I trimmed the edges and have pinned on the binding. Not much more to go!!! I'm using this tutorial on how to bind the quilt. First I want to make a little tag to go on it with a message for Chloe so she knows it was made especially for her.I'll add that on when I do the last row of stitching on the back.

Binding all pinned and ready to sew