Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Creative Space: Owl Softie

There is a lot going on in my creative space at the moment just not a lot that I can share with you yet, so I'm going to share this little guy instead ....


I made him a while ago now but wasn't sure that I actually liked him. Riley loved him straight away and he has been added to the collection of toys that sit on his dresser.

Speaking of Riley, he is just the sweetest thing ever! Whenever I'm working on something and I get down about it or it doesn't turn out right, he loves it. He loves everything I make and he's always full of compliments to make me feel better about it.

Find more Creative Spaces here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Creative Space: Hand Warmers

The days/nights are slowly getting colder and some mornings it has been absolutely freezing outside (literally). Riley goes to Kindy 5 mornings a week now and rain or shine, snow or ice, we walk. There are only so many layers that I can put on him to help keep him warm, so in addition to hat, scarf, gloves etc, I made him a couple of little hand warmers.


The idea with hand warmers is that you heat them up in the microwave and put them in your pockets to help keep your hands warm.

I used some lovely soft flannel and filled them with rice. These would make fantastic little winter gifts and are a great way of using up fabric scraps.

Find more Creative Spaces here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Proud Mummy Moment

Riley has been slowly working on writing his name. He got right up to the last letter before deciding that it was far too hard and he wasn't even going to try. I'm pretty relaxed when it comes to his learning because as I have seen in the past, when he is ready to do something he'll just do it.

We have a chalkboard wall in our house and it is the best thing ever. It means he can practice his writing or drawing whenever he likes and without the fuss of setting up the table and dragging out paper and pens. The other day he was drawing on the wall and I happened to mention to him that one of his drawings looked very much like a y. I could almost see the lights going off in his head and he started practicing his y's straight away.

Today I took it a step further and with some gentle encouragement (in the form of a small toy) he wrote his name pretty near perfectly. He was absolutely bursting with pride (as was I).


There'll be no stopping him now. He loves showing off and once he can do something (and he gets such a good reaction from it too) he keeps on doing it until the next 'new' thing, but as the saying goes "practice makes perfect".

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Creative Space: Easy Peasy Fleece Blanket

Now here is a super easy way to change up a kid's room - just add a fun new blanket!


I spotted the coolest fleece at Spotlight the other weekend and thought it would make an awesome little boy's blanket.


I wanted to keep it simple so all I did was trim off the selvedges, round the corners and finish the edges on my overlocker. Fleece doesn't fray so the overlocking isn't strictly necessary but I think it finishes it off nicely.


If you don't have an overlocker you can hand sew around the edges using a blanket stitch or there are some great no-sew options, like this one here.


Find more Creative Spaces here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Gift

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday and now that it's over I can finally share with you all what I made for my Mum.


I made her a bookmark (the photo doesn't do it justice) and I packaged it up in a cute little pillow box made using this tutorial. 


I just love how it all turned out and I'll definitely be doing some experimenting with the bookmarks (I've already ordered some more ribbon clamps).

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tutorial: Short Sleeves to Long

So Autumn/Winter seems to be well and truly upon us and Riley is in desperate need of some more long sleeved tops. He is still growing so quickly that I can't often reuse clothes from the previous year without making some changes, so this year I'm planning on adding long sleeves to some of his t-shirts. By the time Summer rolls around again he'll have grown out of them so I may as well make them last longer and get as much wear out of them as possible.

After browsing the internet and not finding a tutorial that I liked, I decided to have a go at writing my own. One with loads of photos for people (like myself) who need them.

For this tutorial I'm going to use an old top for the sleeves but it would be easy enough to adapt if you wanted to use some knit fabric. Just add an extra seam allowance on the bottom of the sleeve for hemming and make sure to cut your sleeves on the fold.


Supplies:

- A t-shirt that you want to add long sleeves to
- An old t-shirt/top to cut your long sleeves out of
- Sewing machine (an over locker would be useful but not essential)
- Thread that matches your t-shirt
- Rotary cutter and self healing mat (not essential but makes it even easier)

First you need to make your template.

Lay the t-shirt, that you are planning on adding your sleeves too, on top of a long sleeved top that currently fits. Line up the seams where the sleeve is attached.


Slide a piece of cardboard underneath and draw around the part of the sleeve that extends out from under the short sleeve. I used a ruler so my lines were nice and straight. Add a seam allowance to the top and the side that angles out (I added 1/2 an inch). Cut out your template. There's no need to add a seam allowance at the bottom as we're going to use the existing hem at the bottom of the old t-shirt. Your template should look something like this:


Lay your template on your old t-shirt. Place it so the straight side lines up with the side and bottom of your old shirt.


Cut around your template. Flip your template over and repeat on the other side of the shirt. You should have 2 pieces that look like this:


Turn your 2 pieces so they are right sides together. Pin and sew up the open long side of both pieces. 


I used my over locker but if you don't have one, you can just use a regular sewing machine.


Next we're going to attach the sleeves to your t-shirt. 

Tuck your long sleeve into the short sleeve wrong sides together. Line up your seam with the side seam on your t-shirt and pin all the way around. As you can see I tucked it in a bit further than the edge of the sleeve to stop the edges of my long sleeve showing later. As it was I ended up trimming around my seam anyway.


Sew all the way around the sleeve. I started at the side seam and sewed right on top of the original line of stitching closest to the edge of the sleeve. Pull your sleeve out and it should look like this:
(At this point I had Riley try it on to double check that I had gotten the length of the sleeve right).


Repeat for the other sleeve and you're all done!


This is my first tutorial so I hope it all makes sense. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Recipe: Muesli Bars

These muesli bars are so quick and easy to make! They taste delicious and you can use whatever mix of dry ingredients that you have on hand.


INGREDIENTS
3 cups quick cook oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup flaked almonds
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup craisins
400g can lite sweetened condensed milk
2tbsp melted butter

METHOD
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, almonds, chocolate chips and craisins.

Add the condensed milk and melted butter, mix well.

Press the mixture into a lined 9x15cm pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden. 

Leave in pan for 5 minutes before carefully cutting into bars. Turn bars onto a wire rack and allow to cool fully.

Find more recipes here.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Success!!

There's one thing that you should know about me .... I'm useless when it comes to sewing clothes .... I have tried and tried without success ....

However, I was so inspired by all of the lovely clothing floating around blog land during the Kid's Clothing Week Challenge that I just couldn't resist having another shot at making Riley a pair of pants and you know what? They actually look good. I had a few minor issues with the pattern but now that I've used it I know how I want to adjust it for next time (yes there will be a next time).


I used some grey corduroy that my Mum gave me a while ago. I'd always intended to make a pair of pants out of it but I just hadn't worked up the courage to cut into it. I also used my overlocker for the first time and it was awesome! All the seams look so nice and finished.


Riley loves them and we both did a little happy dance when he tried on the finished product and they actually fit.

Joining in with Our Creative Spaces.