A new sweatshirt and a tutorial

My lovely daughter has decided that tops with zips are for taking off, not leaving on to keep warm. Helpful, huh. So I needed to get her a warm top that she can’t take off. And considering I didn’t have any suitable fabric and The Baby Factory were selling plain sweatshirts for $8.99 I wasn’t about to go making one.

Trouble is the ones at the Baby Factory were just plain colours. Not quite fancy enough for my baby girl. I just had to add something:

Don’t look too closely at the actual applique. My technique is crap. This was only the second time I’ve ever tried it and I’ve obviously still got a LOT to learn. But the idea? I’m happy to share that.

Wanna make one of your own? Maybe not a heart, you could do whatever shape you like.

Find yourself a plain sweatshirt. Plain ones are usually cheap, so that's a bonus.

Cut out your base shape (apologies for the ribbon already sewn on there, I got a little ahead of myself). I used red polarfleece because it was the only red fabric I had.

Sew ribbons one by one to the base shape you cut out. Sew each one close to the edge, on both sides.

Keep going, adding ribbons and ricrac or whatever you have until it looks the way you want it. Trim the ends.

Pin in place on your sweatshirt. Now this is where I need help. I couldn't put interfacing on the back of the heart because it wouldn't stick to the polarfleece. Should I have used it on the inside of the sweatshirt to stop the fabric from stretching? Can anyone help me with that? If so, please leave me a comment. I could do with the help!

Using a zigzag stitch with a short stitch length, applique around the edge of the shape. I used a width of 3mm and a length of 0.2mm. I think that the length was too short. Anyone wanna help me out with that one too?

And that’s it! A great way to give your kids cute, unique clothes without the expense of premade stuff or the time and effort involved in making something from scratch.

Nicola x

I heart buttons.

I heart buttons. A lot. Almost as much as fabric. Almost.

A while ago, button heart wall art was all over Pinterest. I was in love. And this was actually something I wanted to have a go at straight away.

I actually made this a few months ago when I first saw the millions of pins, but thought I would share it with you anyway. The frame was another freecycle find, it was originally gold but with a bit of spray paint it had a new life. I painted the backing board the same colour (or as close as I could get it) as my bathroom wall, then just got happy with the glue gun and some buttons! I was pretty happy to find out that the buttons fit behind the glass too.

Cool huh? It now sits proudly in my bathroom.

The sad thing is that hardly even made a dent in my button collection…

Nic

Carrot Muffins with Cream Cheese centres

Someone recently pinned this idea on Pinterest, and as soon as I saw it, I couldn’t believe I’d never tried this before!

I have an awesome (in my opinion) Carrot Cake recipe, and I’ve made muffins with cream cheese filling before, but never put the two ideas together. Silly.

So the other day I experimented with our family’s favourite Carrot Cake recipe and had a go. This is what happened:

Oh yea. They were amazing. Just looking at that photo again makes me want to eat about 10 more of them. Mmmmmm……

Want to make some too? You won’t regret it, I promise.

Notes before you start: This recipe will JUST make 12 muffins so when you’re spooning the mixture into the tins I suggest you spoon cautiously or make less. You want about half of the mixture under the cream cheese, half over. I also take no responsibility for you eating the whole batch before anyone else gets a chance.

Carrot Muffins with Cream Cheese Centres

Ingredients:

  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c soya oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 c grated carrot
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 125g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Prepare muffin tins.
  2. In a small bowl mix together cream cheese and icing sugar. Set aside.
  3. In a larger bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine.
  4. Add vanilla, oil, eggs, carrot and walnuts (if using) to dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Spoon a small amount of mixture into each muffin tin (see note above). Divide the cream cheese mixture into the 12 tins using two teaspoons, one for scooping and one for scraping the mixture into the tin. Try to drop the mixture into the centre. Spoon the remaining carrot mixture on top of the cream cheese, taking care to not leave any cream cheese exposed.
  6. Bake in the oven for 15 mins, or until risen and muffins spring back when touched.

What to do when your toddler is driving you nuts

 

Cloud doughHead to Pinterest!

Seriously. I have a whole board full of ideas of things to do with kids. Some for older kids that I’m keeping in mind for later, some suitable for toddlers. If you have any more awesome ideas, leave me a comment below. I could always use more!

A while ago I pinned this awesome idea for Cloud Dough:

Cloud Dough by Juggling With Kids - click picture for link to pin.

It’s just flour and baby oil. The original recipe is 8 cups flour to 1 cup baby oil, but I halved the amounts since I didn’t have that much flour to spare and wanted to store it in an icecream container. I also only had the scented aloe vera and vitamin E baby oil, but that just made our activity smell really nice!

This child of mine isn’t really into mess (which I’ll admit comes from me) but lately she has been a little more adventurous with things like this and has actually tolerated getting her hands dirty. Right after we started she asked for the cloth to wipe her hands but I distracted and encouraged her to keep playing which she did, for 45 minutes! I’m incredibly proud.

Check out her pants. They were just clean on. It was a struggle for me but I keep my mouth shut and we kept playing. Towards the end it was of course all over the floor too. I’m also incredibly proud of myself.

Back to the dough. It’s soft like flour, but squishes together like wet sand at the beach. After these photos were taken I went and grabbed her mini beach bucket and spade and we made little sand castles!

We had so much fun. It turned our bad ‘horrible weather outside and Miss Squish not having her usual nap therefore me not getting a break’ day into a great afternoon with a new experience.

Suddenly I’m reminded that these days are numbered. Soon she will be all grown up and won’t want to play with flour and baby oil on the kitchen floor with me… Must do things like this with her more often.

Nicola xx

Some new hairclips and a little how to

I’m on a roll with completing projects at the moment. The other day I finally glued the alligator clips to the felt shapes to finish up the new hairclips for Squishy. Why didn’t I do that sooner? It took no time at all!

A nice pile of new hairclips for Miss Squish.

Wanna know how they were made? I’ll do my best to explain the steps.

We'll start with the big circles. These look complicated but they really aren't. They are made from a whole lot of circles in different sizes. For the one on the left, the circles are folded in quarters and stitched to a base circle. The one on the right is made in the same way, except the circles are folded in half, then into 3. You can experiment a lot with different fabrics with these, have a play and see what you can come up with.

For this navy clip I cut 3 sets of 3 circles from felt, and stitched them together with embroidery floss and added a knot at the top of each stitch to make it stand out. I then glued each set of circles to the alligator clip, slightly overlapping each other.

This yellow flower clip is made with felt and repurposed denim. Made in the same way as the navy circle sets above, these yellow circles are stitched together tightly to create the slight ruffle in the felt. All of the pieces are glued to a base piece of felt before being glued to the clip.

These ones are made with the same circles that I used in the first clips except this time they are just folded in half and stacked on top of each other using hot glue to hold them all together. The smallest circle is folded and glued around the whole stack to tidy up the edge. Again, be creative with the fabrics. Who knows what you might come up with!

This one is pretty simple, I'm sure you've probably seen the technique before. One wide strip with the ends glued together. One smaller strip wrapped around the center to bunch it together like a bow. Easy.

I love making hair accessories. They are so quick and easy and there are so many different options.

Next time I’ll take photos and do a proper tutorial for you :)

Nicola

I have an addiction.

There. I said it. Well, actually it’s not my only addiction:

Of course it doesn’t help when Spotlight have a 30% off storewide sale, which includes things already on clearance.

This is my loot I got this morning:

Pile of fabric

My new loot.

I actually went to buy thread, because it’s kinda expensive and always good to get on special. But of course I had to check out the clearance table because the only thing better than marked down fabric, is 30% off marked down fabric.

This was my first find:

Blue and green chevron flannelette

Blue and green chevron flannelette

This is going to make some awesome pyjama pants. It was on the fabric clearance table for $3, I got 2 metres so with the discount it came to $4.20.

Then I stumbled across another clearance table with marked down fat quarters and bagged fabric remnants. So I hunted through and got these:

Two fat quarters

Two fat quarters

A pile of knits in blues and grey. Check out the cute little penguins in the boats!

And a pile of knits in yellow, pinks and cream.

I love getting new fabric. But I LOVE getting new fabric for cheap.

And it gets even better. A couple of my friends have given me fabric lately too, just bits and pieces that they have no use for. Like this:

A disney curtain and some khaki green corduroy.

I am in love with that curtain. It’s awesome vintageness. Check out what I found on the selvage:

Genuine!

It’s a pretty big curtain too, and in really good condition considering it was probably hung in a kids room a while ago.

And the other lot of fabric gifted to me last week:

Fluffy green and mystery blue.

These are stretchy, but I have no idea what they are. Luckily, I have Dana Willard’s new book The Fabric Selector and in it she tells you how to work out a fabric’s composition based on the smell and the way it burns when you light a small piece. I’ll have to get on to that.

Just in case you wanna buy it:

I have far too much fabric. My shelves were already full and now I have to find a place to put all this.

How terrible! :)

Nicola x

Getting somewhere…

I did it. I finished one of my things that needed finishing. Yay!

A new pencil case for my 5yr old little friend who has just started school (his birthday was in January… better late than never!)

Using this cool tutorial:

And the inside… I didn’t have any other fabrics that went well together for a little boy, so these ones had to do. I quite like them together though.

Perfect to fit a pile of coloured pencils, since 5yr olds actually have no need to take their own pens and pencils to school. The school supplies them apparently.

Ready to do some serious colouring!

Happy Birthday little man! Hope you like your present.

Now for his little brother’s birthday present…

Nicola xx

How not to make muffins

I’ve managed to butcher my favourite muffin recipe. The last two times I’ve made them, they have turned out horrible. Everything seems ok until they go into the oven, but they just don’t cook properly. See?

The failed muffins.

They look cooked, except for the fact that they haven’t risen and are still wet on the inside.

I know the problem has occured somewhere between me using the original recipe straight from the website, and me using my handwritten version in my recipe book. Did I miss something out when I wrote it down? Maybe. When I find the original recipe I might be able to figure it out!

I’ll keep you posted, and if I’m successful I’ll share the recipe!

Nic.

Repurpose: A bag for the crafting

Each week on a Tuesday, I go along to a local craft group. We take turns at each other’s houses and just sit around doing whatever craft project we are working on at the time and chatting. It’s great! A chance to get out of the house by myself and hang out with some lovely ladies.

I realised after the first couple of weeks that I needed something to carry all of my STUFF in. I was going to sew a bag, but then realised I had this really good, sturdy bag hanging around in the cupboard:

Sturdy hessian bagIt’s a hessian bag with a plasticy coating on the inside that my Nana got when she bought some Barker’s products. Nice and strong, and quite big too. Perfect for carrying crafting bits and pieces.

But a bag with a big ugly logo on the side? Not my style. So of course I had to add fabric. Yep, fabric is the answer to yet another of life’s questions. Love it.

I wish I was one of those people that have all different kinds of mod podge lined up ready for their individual uses. But I’m not, so I used paper Mod Podge instead, cos that’s all I’ve got. Yep, I did it. Paper glue on fabric. Hey, it worked!

Oh and this just happened to use up a few of my lovely scraps again! I’d even go so far as to say it’s another Scrap-Buster project!

So this is what I did:

After cutting out my petals and deciding on the layout, I glued them down with LOTS of Mod Podge underneath and over top.

Here's all of the petals glued down. I know you can see through the pale pink one on the left, but it became less noticable as it dried so I'm ok with that.

 

With the help of a little hot glue, I added buttons and a little lace to pretty it up just a bit more.

And then of course I had to do something about the other side because of the giant ugly logo there too. A little blue and white floweryness.

And that’s it! A crafty bag for crafty evenings with crafty ladies. Awesome.

Nicola xx

Where I’ve been lately…

Ugh. Fallen of the planet? Not quite, but I have felt like that a little bit lately. When I started this blog I was so enthusiastic and I have a huge list of ideas of things to share with you all. But then life gets in the way and I guess I haven’t figured out how to balance everything yet.

But anyway, moving on. I have managed to get back into my sewing room recently and have actually completed a few things.

Like these cute little baby hats:

It’s a miracle those hats got completed these last few weeks, but it was one of those tutorials you see that you just HAVE to get started on straight away. Even though I don’t have any babies to give them to yet. Actually, I do have some friends who are growing babies at the moment… if you are reading this, act surprised!

What I should have been doing is trying to complete some of my unfinished projects instead of starting new ones! Here’s a little sample of what I’ve got lying around unfinished:

Pencil case pieces cut out ready to sew

Unfinished: Pencil Case, cut out ready to sew.

Felt shapes and alligator clips

Unfinished: Felt hairclips ready to be glued.

Polystyrene ball with finger knitting wrapped around

Unfinished: Finger-knitted wool-wrapped ball needing a little more patience.

Cloth nappy materials

Unfinished: Squishy's large set of cloth nappies. 12 down, 6 to go.

Fleece pieces for monster soft toy

Unfinished: Monster soft toy ready to be sewn.

More info on each of these projects as I get through them.

And then there’s the HUGE list of things that I want to get started on as well. Things get added very frequently but just don’t get completed that fast! Guess I better get a move on!

Nicola xx