Willow and co. Ash Pants

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Have you seen the new willow and co. patterns yet? The look book is full of inspiration and obviously appealed to me as I have succumbed to this pattern while it is still very new – something unusual for me.
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These pants come as part of a jumpsuit pattern, so you also get a top pattern, full suit and these trousers- 3 pieces of clothing all rolled into one! I chose the trousers to make in the knowledge that my daughter most likely would refuse to wear the top as it is a bit frilly around the neck with the ruffles. Also, I like the trousers best- so it’s win win.

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The pattern was really easy to follow and sew up. I did french seam the front and back centre seams for added strength and top stitched them down so they didn’t rub at all. I even went for the ruffle effect on the waistband (which I thought may be too much, but is actually quite sweet). The pockets were a plus for Boo, though she did comment that she would like them bigger, and next time I think I would use the largest pattern size rather than middle, as she can only just get her hands in them.

As soon as Boo put these on she said “These feel like pyjamas Mummy.” This could be a compliment as they are so comfy, or may mean they end up being worn in bed. I don’t mind if they do as they were so quick to make. I do think I’ll make another pair in chambray which may look a little more like day wear, and I expect they will be worn lots as they are so comfy.

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Sadly our British weather seems to be hanging on to April showers even though we are well into May, so these photos were taken on a blustery afternoon and are the best of the bunch- taken in 2 minutes flat. Take a look at the funk fly-away hair below!

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If you need a simple trouser pattern, that could be also used to make summer shorts and pyjamas, then I’d definitely recommend these. Watch this space for more examples..

She’s Back! … With a Funky Pigeon Pinafore.

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Wow! Am I really here? Is this the right place? I can’t believe that I am posting again after such a long, long time! It has been over six months since my last post and I had nearly given up on blogging, just because life (as it does) seems to have taken over and my sewing and making mojo seemed to have disappeared. But recently I’ve been taking tentative steps back into the world of crafts, and I’m feeling hopeful that the signs of spring outside will help me to restore my enthusiasm and creativity. I’d apologise for my absence, but expect it is of little consequence to you, I’m just glad if you are here, giving me another chance (or, in fact, if you are here for the first time).
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The last few months have been a roller coaster for me, with my eldest starting school, adjusting to life with one at home most of the time, birthdays to plan and, more notably, the last few months with, and passing away of my wonderful daddy. I’m not going to dwell on things here and I’m not making excuses, just explaining.
Anyway, I’m going to jump in with a new dress I made a few weeks ago for Little Boo – the funky pigeon pinafore.
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If you have had a browse here at all you’ll know about my love for the geranium dress (thank you Made by Rae!). However I have decided to create a new silhouette for my recently 3 year old, especially now that she is slimming down and growing up. I will definitely return to the geranium, but it’s fun to mix in a new style. This dress was actually based on the bodice from the geranium, but you could use any bodice pattern you have to hand.

I simply drew around the bodice pattern, then extended down at a slight A-line, basing the length of the skirt on a current dress. Simple! I do like simple.
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The overlap at the back extends down the length of the dress, making a nice detail. I managed to find some buttons that match this fabric perfectly, and used contrasting thread to sew them on. I used a contrast button at the top too as a feature.
This could be made just as easily with poppers down the back, or a zip, but it is great practice for sewing button holes!
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I made this dress with no sleeves, which is perfect for spring as it can be layered with a top underneath, and a cardi on top. Come summer it will work fine on it’s own.
You could even make this dress fully reversible if you wanted to… Using the bodice and adding a lining cut exactly the same means all seams are covered, and buttons can be used on each side. I simply kept a plain lining as I always end up preferring one side of a reversible item.
There we go, short, sweet, simple. My first new (returning!) post. I hope to be back again soon (much sooner)!

Strawberry Creams

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I thought I would share these oh so simple strawberry creams as they are perfect to make when you have a really sweet tooth AND are so easy to make with toddlers too.  We made these on the spur of the moment today following a mammoth play dough session, most of which my daughter spent making heart shaped biscuits to bake in her toy oven.  When I asked if she would like like to make some real strawberry sweets, I think I got the fastest EVER response from both children – “Yes!” (No time to add please!). 

The great thing with these is that little ones can join in with the whole recipe, though I sadly didn’t get any pictures of mine making these as I only decided to post this when I searched on Pinterest and didn’t find a pin on these already (crazy I know). 

So, to make these you will need:

25g melted butter

225g icing sugar (confectioners)

1 teaspoon milk

1 teaspoon strawberry essence (I use silver spoon)

A little red food colouring

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This is so simple you can simply sift the icing sugar (I don’t even bother to sift!) into a bowl with all the other ingredients. Add colouring a little at a time and mix until you get a ball that you can then knead to spread  the colouring evenly and to smooth it out. The children love to see the colour emerge and the smell of the strawberry.  If it won’t ball up, add a little extra milk, if it is too sticky add extra sugar.

Now all you (or your little helpers) need to do is roll out onto a board dusted with icing sugar (so it doesn’t stick), grab your cutter (mine used play dough cutters- which we thoroughly cleaned first) and place your hearts onto a bit of grease proof paper or tin foil on a board in the fridge for 20 mins to cool and harden.  You can see these aren’t perfect versions… they really ARE child made, but if you take a little time yourself they can look very pretty.

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Finally, remove from fridge, pass to your child, and watch them devour in one go.  Beware, these are sugartastic fun fun fun but, hey, you are only a child once (and I like to relive my favourite childhood memories myself once the little ones are in bed)!

If you have followed carefully you’ll have noticed these are spookily similar to peppermint creams! You can be as creative as you like, change the flavour (vanilla, coffee, orange…) change your shapes (ghosts, snowflakes, dinosaurs). Let your children have fun with them.  We made some of these last valentines for Big Boo to take to pre school.  I’d love to see some of your own creations if you make some – let me know If you do.

 

Oliver and S Ice Cream tunic.

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I took the plunge and finally bought this fabulous ice cream dress pattern from Oliver and S. I have been coveting it for a while, and finally succumbed after seeing Gail’s lovely new briar rose version (see it here)- I don’t think this lady ever creates something that is less than perfect. This time I think my version is pretty good too – having a great pattern to follow does help rather a lot!

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If you haven’t tried any Oliver and S patterns yet, I really do recommend them, they are easy to follow with helpful hints and tips.  The only change I made was to use some elastic for the button loop rather than matching fabric. After my last creation for Big Boo (the cargo shorts on the previous post which I made in age 4 and he can only just squeeze into), I decided to err on the side of caution and made a size 4 for my big 2 1/2 year old. You can see there is plenty of room to feel the breeze and, when (not if!) I make my next,I may try a size 3. That said I think she can just about get away with this now, and she’s quite happy to put it on (always a bonus!).

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No scooter test run yet, but this top sure is great for flying a kite, and we have had some perfect summery breezes for that recently – what a great way to spend the summer holidays!

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And just to leave you with a final photo, I couldn’t resist this opportunity when we stopped off for some yummy Cornish whippy ice cream at the local shop today. Not the best photo ever but a perfect match for her ice cream tunic, don’t you think?

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Dinosaur Eggs in Nest (tutorial)

Big Boo loves all things dinosaur (as do so many little boys I know) so when we found out his pre school were reading about them we decided to make some dino eggs for them to test out their palaeontological skills on!

I found this idea on Pinterest a few weeks ago and it has been a real hit (ha ha! See the photo at the end). Here are the ingredients for the eggs, and you will need some small plastic dinosaurs for the ‘fossils’:

You can get dried coffee grounds from most coffee shops, if you ask behind the counter they will probably pop some in a bag for you free of charge.

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You need to pour the ingredients into a mixing bowl (or have your assistanthelp you)….

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Then mix it all up.  Make sure you stir it well so there are no big lumps.

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Next add the water a little at a time until it is wet enough to pick up and mould together into a ball.  Place some mixture in the bottom of a cup, add a dinosaur and top with more mixture.  Tip this out and use your hands to mould it in to an ‘egg’ shape… ta da!  One dino egg.

Now they need a while to dry out, I put ours in the airing cupboard for a couple of days, then bring them out and place them in your dinosaur nest, made of sand and mud (shredded paper and tissue paper).

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Now all you need to do to become a real palaeontologist is grab a hammer and crack those babies open!