Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Rosa's little red riding cape

If you are a regular reader, you may remember the Little red riding hood outfit that i made my daughter for world book week last year. You may have also read about Rosa and her many costumes. My daughter has been making great use of her cape and loves wearing it to school. She tells me that she lets everyone take turns in wearing it and even the boys seem to join in with this. So whilst i was clearing out my fabric scraps bin the other week to give to various playgroups and nurseries, I found the offcuts of the red cape velvet. I thought i'd make one last thing before giving the rest away and i chose to make a little cape for Rosa. It was pretty straight forward. I used elastic at the neck just as i did in the full size one but used a popper to fasten as i couldnt get a small enough button in red. I had to sew two button holes for the ears to poke out of, which was a little fiddly in the velvet but they are pretty secure. It going to be a christmas present, i hope she likes it!

Monday, 10 November 2014

Clothing rail

I needed a small solution for my tiny wardrobe. My clothes used to live in my daughters room but when we built the floating bed, all the extra junk had to come out of there. This was my solution. Its a giant version of my wall pegs that I have used a lot throughout the flat already. It has a metal rod on the inside of the dowel so it is quite strong. It is attached to the wall with an industrial metal threaded wall plug. It holds all my hanging clothing with room for a few more pieces. I'm very happy with it. I used the rest of the grey wood paint from the ladder in my kids bedroom which gives it a sophisticated feel and the giant ball on the end stops anything from sliding off. Job done!

Floating bed

We have a small two bed flat. Space is valuable and more importantly, how those spaces are designed becomes crucial to the functioning of a small but happy space. My son turned two at the end of the summer and i decided it was well overdue for him to move from my bedroom and into one of his own. As we only have one other bedroom...he had to go in with his sister. She was a little bit put out by the idea and as her room cannot fit two beds, we really had to think this one out. My first idea was a bunk bed but we didn't want to cut out light from the only window. Second.... im more than fussy about furniture and didn't like anything on the market that was suitable for our space. Then I had an idea for a floating bed that went over the doorway. Everyone said I was mad, that it was too high and that it would be impossible to make. Well yes, I decided it was a bit beyond my own skill set, so I found a talented man who could do it for me. I had designed the overall shape and height etc but my wonderful carpenter brought it to life. Here is the new room, redecorated, now fitting two beds spaciously inside what was a small one bed room. I am delighted with the results and so glad I persevered with the idea and didn't let anyone persuade me out of it. The kids love their new room and have been happily co-habiting for a few months. I highly recommend this idea for small spaces, it really will change the way you see your flat.

I bought a scaffold ladder instead of having a smaller one made, as i wanted to create a stong vertical within the space. As the floating bed brings the height of the room down, i wanted to visually extend it upward again. This really has worked within the room. People comment on how the room has hardly been changed and how amazing it is that we havent lost any floor space. Its true, it is pretty amazing! Im still undecided about wether i am going to finish the wood though. I do like the nude finish but it will obviously stain over time, so its something i need to consider.

I also chose a slatted base to give a lightweight appearance. I thought a solid piece of wood may appear a bit oppressive and too heavy. Slats also enable the air to circulate but i didnt want to see the bottom of the mattress, or sheets falling through as you walk underneath it. To solve this i bought a nice heavy weight canvas and stapled it on top of the slats, where the matress sits. It has a nice simple texture and keeps the visual clean and clear.

The ladder goes right up to the ceiling.

A few visuals you may notice from previous posts...lots of things i made here. I love bright colours on a white background. 

Gone fishing

I remember having a magnetic fishing game when I was younger. My sisters and I loved it. I was reminded about this game when I was  reading Ant and Bee and the Doctor to my daughter. The game in the story depicts lots of wonderful creatures that the characters fish for.
I wanted to create a similar game for my children so I set about getting a few materials that would enable me to sew something up.
I started by trying to get my 5yr old daughter to draw me some sea creatures that I would then sew up but this never really took off. She lost interest and having made the rods I put the materials away for a few months for momentum to strike.
Over 6 months later I re discovered the half finished project and decided to just make it as simply as I could so that it would at least get finished and the kids could play with it before they got too old. This is the result....
Made from the left over curtain fabric from my daughters room. Washers are attached to the eyes so that the magnetic rods can 'catch' the fish.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Giant bubbles

We have had great fun 'bubbling' over the last month. Lots of experiments with mixture and types of wands. Many more pictures to come i'm sure, this seems to be a much loved activity with the kids...the neighbours kids....and pretty much everyone we meet in the park! Here is a brief picture story of what we did. If you want a good recipe, you will have to leave a comment and i will reply with my long winded options!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Outdoor kitchen

Using items that I scavenged I made a little outdoor kitchen next to the play house in our garden. The children love to make mud pies, and what better way to do it,than with real pots and pans, spoons and containers for leafy ingredients. This way the rain will clean most of the mess and the playhouse can be kept relatively clean. I'm not a huge fan of mud pies in the city as the kids get so messy and we have no back porch or spare sink... but they really love it and I suppose I just need to get over it and let them play! After all, I remember spending many an hour making mud pies next to my mother's greenhouse. I doubt she was too delighted but she never stopped me. So play on kids, make some fabulous mixtures! 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Rosa gets some accessories

This was my daughters idea but very much made by me.... If you couldn't tell! She goes to a pottery club and one session she asked me to make a bow for Rosa as she wanted it to be a headband. I made these little clay bows and have only just got around to fixing them to the elastic so that they can be used. We have since made a few handfuls of these bows but each time I think people are pinching them which is a real shame. We have only come home with 5 so far. The other 3 we attached to hair ties for my daughter and a friend. We will keep making them in the hope we get left with a few more. 
Rosa does look quite sweet with her accessories. What a good Idea it was!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Mermaid tail

This is my gorgeous girl in her mermaid tail. I made it as a costume for a party she went to recently. She looked at some mermaid pictures on Google and found a very realistic or rather, sophisticated, image of a woman with a huge tail, swimming underwater with huge breasts. And said to me, Mummy I want to look like that! I tried to explain the obvious and said I would try to make something just as good. This is the result of a lot of labour over a few days, through baby naps and night times. It is essentially an apron tied on the back. It means you can take it off if it gets annoying and still be wearing a lovely dress underneath. So maybe its more of an accessory than a costume.

First I drew a tail shape, (constant alterations until it looked right). You can see that I drew a rough scale pattern onto it. This was to work out roughly how many I would need to make.

Then I drew up my scale pattern with a full cm as seam allowance and got to work cutting out about 120 pairs! Very monotonous, reminded me of the bunting. But small curves are a lot harder to cut.

Each scale was stitched and pressed flat using a card insert.

The tail was cut in calico and silk and then wadding added to the fins.

Each scale was placed into a row and each row was stitched, one at a time, until it filled the whole tail and looked like this......

When the light hits it, its gorgeous. The colours are so rich and the tiny bits of sparkle just make it look more fun.

I added the sparkle to the tail fin and then cut the same pattern using fine tissue paper which I had drawn the tail fin lines on. This was then carefully pinned on and sewn on top of.

Here you can see the stitching on top of the tissue paper. Then you peel away the tissue paper and you are just left with your perfectly spaced stitch lines.Looks like you are just great at sewing!

Here is the front and back piece of the tail, ready to sew together. I added two long ties to the top in a coordinating silk, right sides together and bagged it out. I hand stitched the top waistline to finish it off. I then pressed the hole thing under weights and books overnight as I didn't want to iron it and ruin / melt it!

First thing in the morning my girl tried it on with excitement and I'm happy to say, it looked great. Phew job done. Five days of work for three hours of wear! Sigh! Hopefully it will get worn again.

Hair bows V2

My daughter has a thousand hair accessories.........but its never enough! She loves it when I make her new ones. Above is her own colour choice, below are mine.

World book day 2014

No guesses needed. First choice was Winnie the Pooh. I drew a blank on the costume front and asked her to pick again. She chose Little Red riding hood and i thought, phew, easy, cant go wrong there!

I drew a cape shape freehand and then mirrored it. (I prefer to cut a whole piece, rather than cut on the fold as I find its never accurate enough otherwise).

I gathered the neck with elastic just to keep it nice a soft and comfortable. Also in an attempt to avoid strangulation!

The dress was a school summer dress with a apron that I made from an old linen table cloth. Much easier than last years. And hopefully she will wear it again too.

CSP or cloth pads

Here are the first pads I made. I love my Moon and Sckoon cup but I thought id try my hand at the version of sanitary wear that I could sew. It was a lot harder than I thought. I made 3 night and 3 day pads. They look good enough I suppose, here's hoping they work.  They are a present so I hope the recipient isn't too scared of them!