Summer-Mumma-mades

Recycled dress using my favourite pattern, again. It used to be an old nighty from the Gap, but the smocking elastic went and then it was just a shapeless pile of pretty fabric. Not any more!

One of Harriet’s grandfather’s shirts, cut down into a summery tunic. Shown here with no pants, ahem, but ordinarily, I’d suggest something more. I used a great free pattern from babyccinokids.com, although it’s super hard to find on their website. I think this would work well on a boy as well… probably turned around and maybe with a collar? I’ll definitely use it again, maybe even with some fancy twists (and some pants).

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Quilt for EK

In Christchurch, every baby is given a small black and white board book to help with their eye development and, hopefully, an early love of reading. A very good friend of mine is pregnant for the second time, but the new baby will not be born in Christchurch, so I wanted to make something to fill the gap.

The front is made from a black and white charm pack by Moda, mixed with a turquoise cotton I bought in a Plunket fundraiser grab bag. It’s backed with a black and white check/spot, and filled with a cotton flannel.

I’m super proud of making the binding myself, and for the hours of blindstitch I actually did. I was tempted to resort to topstitching with the machine, but resisted.

New shoes

Experimentation in progress:

Harriet is in need of shoes now she’;s been walking for over a month, and she’s keen to try walking on pavements and rough ground. I thought I’d try to make a sandal, as it’s been so warm here. These are on the right track…

…but now quite there yet. They tend to slip around her feet a bit, and I think I need to re-think the back strap.
On the up side, they were very easy to make and the lovely think leather came from Hands in Christchurch for only $10/kg, so I definitely have enough for a few more attempts!

Summer shirts

Harriet and I have just come back from a week in Christchurch. It was absurdly hot down there for two girls who have thoroughly acclimatised to Wellington. Good thing I made these before we left:

Knowing it would be hot, I made up some little peasant tops, using the tutorial from indietutes again. One is in what I suspect is a coral cotton/silk (but was purchased in a grab bag from a Plunket fundraiser, so who knows?) and the other is a very graphic light cotton from Global Fabrics. I flared the bottom of the tops out into an A-line, and left off the elastic on the slightly-longer-than-last-time sleeves.

They’re comfortable and light and were in constant use in the hot sun, protecting fair little arms (that were also slathered in suncream). Also, H seems very happy in them…

…mostly…

(Notice the very fun props she has. They spend far more time being played with than worn!)

Sewing leather shoes, part 2


A very basic shoe, but a much needed one. The mary-janes are very similar to a pair I was given when Harriet was newborn. I made a cloth pair based on the originals about 6 months ago, and she has now outgrown both sets.
These were made from a knee length pink suede skirt. I’ve stepped up my game with the transition from cloth to suede, and added a few little details, like the bunched backs to help keep them on.

They’re so easy to make… a foot tracing for the lower piece and horseshoe shape for the top, with arms long enough to meet at the back.
The model has recently discovered velcro, so shoe-on shots are hard to come by!

Here’s our best attempt:

Tips for sewing with leather:
– Leather needles, leather needles, leather needles
– Go slow
– Use cheap leather to begin with (reused is the best kind)

Firsts

First quilt:

First monogram:

First reuse of old linens:

First birthday present:

Less than a month til H turns one. I loved making this for her… it’s primarily old table linens, including the back which is one beautiful botanical embroidered cloth. The batting is an old woollen blanket and the prints on the front are mostly Heather Ross.

Tricky Beasts

Buttons. They can completely change the flavour of a garment, they can make of break your knitting. And it’s really hard to find good ones. They’re all plastic, and they are either old lady-ish, a rugby ball, something pink and cheap looking or faaaaar too expensive for the likes of me. Tracking down a goody is hard.

Anyway, I’ve finally finished the finishing of the cable cardigan from Drops.

My plan all along had been to go with red buttons and to sew a red and white striped ribbon up the edge where the buttons sat. But somehow I left Goldings with orange buttons instead. When I laid them out, they were great, but really orange. In the centre of each one, I’ve sewn in a white and a turquoise bead from a mini-stash my aunt sent me.

It seems to tone down the orange, without reducing its effectiveness. I’m very pleased with the result! And when Harriet finally gets to wear it (in 6 months time, it’s photograph over a size 1 year tee… I think my blocking worked), hopefully she’ll have grown out of eating small choke-able objects!

New chair

Well… a new-to-me chair cos there’s no way this puppy could be mistaken for something fresh off the line.

Who knew the lovely Sallies on Taranaki St would deliver for ten smackers? Bargain. And they carried it up my two flights of stairs (weirdly) on their heads. Go them.

So after my unfortunate, but very comfy chair was delivered, I set to work. Four meters of piping and some creative pinning later, I discovered that I was not very good at this. I kept at it though, I’d already hacked into my lovely 5 meter length of ticking and there was no way through this, but to sew it up. Some of it made it to the machine, but a lot of it was hand sewn.

I intended on loosely basting it together then running the seams under the machine, but I found hand stitching oddly absorbing and compulsive and my stitches got smaller and smaller until finally the machine was quite redundant. It took forever though, and I found out why thimbles were invented, not that I have any, but I bear the scars.

It was worth it though. Final result… something I can let the baby touch!

Blocked at every turn


So my gauge was a little bit off. Only a little bit, or that’s what I thought. Being the kind of knitter who looks disdainfully on tension squares, I only discover at the end of a project if it’s worked or not. Not sensible, I know, but tension squares are boring. I know that makes me sound like a petulant teenager, but really, who has the time or willpower to knock out ten square centimeters of wasted wool? I do take precautions though… I used a 4 ply wool and size 3 needles for this pattern. I cast it off, rustled up the baby and whacked it on… just to see how much too big it would be.

It wasn’t too big. Thank goodness it wasn’t too small either, but all that work for something she’ll get a month’s wear out of… hmmm, don’t think so. As you can see, I tried blocking it (another thing I’m too much of a lazy knitter to usually do), and it’s stretched out a little, but I’m going to have to size up my needles when I start on this.

As a consolation though, a present came in the mail from my mother in law. A felted Country Road fine knit jersey, some beautiful cotton and pleather! I’m thinking tunic and peasant top for H and a tote for me.