Independence Day Geranium

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Happy 4th July! Today has been hot and sunny and our little UK town has been celebrating Independence Day with fairs, festivities and picnics. We live fairly near to some large US air bases so there is a high percentage of American children at School and pre school here.
America week has been running since Monday and Big Boo has come home with flags, Native American bracelets and head dresses, an American cent (“Now we can go to America one day Mummy- I have the money!”), and hot dog picnics.

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I had already bought this fabric with plans of a jersey Geranium dress, and it turned out to be perfect for Boo to wear (along with her red and white striped underwear!) for her pre school celebrations.

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I altered the sewing a bit and stitched the head hole first to give a nice finish, then pressed the arm holes in place to sew them up after turning the bodice the right way (I did line the bodice, and it gives the dress a bit more stability). These photos are second day of wearing and I should have ironed the turned up hem and the sleeves, but they do look quite smart when pressed- I promise!

Boo started off happy to be photographed but got fed up quite soon as you can see here!

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I hope those of you celebrating today have a great time!

Liberty zoo print Geranium

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Here comes the sun, here comes the sun and we say… “It’s alright”.

At last the summer has arrived here in the uk, a good excuse for a new Geranium dress for Boo. Back in April I went for a day trip to London with my mother (my first visit since having children!) and we kicked off the day with a visit to Liberty. If you have never been the beautiful building alone is worth taking the time to see, but if you are interested in fabric it is definitely one of those places on your tick list to visit. Liberty floral prints are so instantly recognisable, beautiful and timeless, that I was drawn to them. However, when I spotted this animal print I wanted it immediately. It has that beautiful softness of liberty lawn, perfect for a hot sunny day with a light breeze to catch it.

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I immediately new I wanted to make one of Rae’s Geranium dresses using it, and I haven’t been disappointed. I made my favourite style- cap sleeves, button back, and as usual simply cut one length of fabric for the skirt and placed the seam at the centre back.

This has already been worn a few times, with leggings on a cooler day…

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… And today on our country walk looking for damsel flies. I have to add this picture of Big and Little Boo walking hand in hand marching ahead to be the first to spot them. A moment of sibling camaraderie captured forever- or blackmail for my son who ‘does not hold hands with girls’! Oh the things we get carried away with in the sunshine.

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I hope you have been enjoying the sun wherever you are.
Watch this space for yet another geranium (think I am becoming slightly obsessed).

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)!

Geranium flipped!

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My daughter is a fan of moo cows (yes, and horses too, but they are a little bit more predictable) so when I spotted this fabric I just had to grab some. However once it had popped through my letterbox and was spread out on my kitchen table I had no idea what to do with it – make a bag, use it to quilt… or clothing.  So it sat in my fabric draw for a few months, and every time I reached for some fabric for a new project, this fabric would virtually moo away at me, desperate to be used.  I finally decided what to make when a number of blogs all caught my eye at the same time and I had a ‘flash of inspiration’ type moment (which is unusual for me, I usually mull things over a while before making a decision).  The first was the fab flip pattern series from frances suzanne, and the second was this lovely summer dress I spotted over at Caila Made.  Teamed with my love of the Geranium pattern from Rae I decided to mix the two dresses up and create a cow Geranium with deep pockets in plain black to tone down those crazy cows.  It came together really easily, as I just needed to add in the pocket panels to the width of the skirt.

And my daughter’s initial thoughts…. “Moo cows mama! NO, DON’T WANT TO WEAR IT!”. So this dress did seem as though it was consigned to the cupboard, for the poor cows to be slowly moth eaten, the pockets to fill with dust…until today!

Whilst Little Boo watched tv unaware, I manged to gently ease it over her head and get the poppers done up without her even noticing- result! When she finally realised she simply looked down and said “look, moo cows mummy”, then went back to the tv.

So I finally have some photos to share with you. A few little treats helped her to discover the pockets….

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“Look mama, sweeties!”

and finally she was smiling in the sunshine, in cows (well, kind of smiling).

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Even Big Boo commented when he came out of pre school, whether it was, the dress, the weather, or the ice cream that put him ith such a great mood he bestowed this hug on his sister I do not know…

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Geranium cat and mouse dress

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At last some pictures of my cat and mouse geranium dress actually being worn!

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When my husband walked in from work this evening he claimed he had never seen it before, so I don’t think I have put Little Boo in it many times since I made it. I originally thought it may be a bit more of a party dress, but today I have had so many lovely comments about it that I think it will be coming out a lot more often, plus Boo was quite happy to put it on, and it has the stamp of approval as a full on play dress – great for scooting…..

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and romping with dinosaurs!

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This is a bit of an indulgent blog showing off my little girl and a dress pattern I absolutely love but, hey, it’s my blog and I’ll show off if I want to! Better get on with some new sewing…

PS: Click here for more about the dress and a tutorial link at Made By Rae.

Geranium Tunic and Matching Shorts

imageWell KCW was sadly a bit of a disaster for me.  Despite plans for copious sewing and fantastical creations, I only managed to complete one item and start one other.  I can use illness as one excuse, but the other reason is because (as this along with some other recent events have made me realise) I just don’t like to sew because I have to.  They joy I get out of creating something for me, my children or friends seems to disappear if I feel I am making things out of duty or requirement.  I know that in some ways I am lucky that I can keep sewing as my hobby, but as soon as the weekend was over I was desperate to get back to the sewing machine and finish my second outfit.  Anyway, at least I completed it and despite Little Boo telling me she didn’t like foxes (I think it was more the idea of getting out of pyjamas that was the issue!) these clothes seemed to go down well.

I’m a BIG fan of the great Geranium Dress from Made By Rae and now have made three dresses from the pattern (deer dress, indigo stem dress, and cat dress).  This time I went for a tunic instead which has turned out to be a great idea as it is really practical for every day wear, especially when teamed up with some shorts!

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These are a pair of Big Boo’s old jeans that had a huge hole in the knee (how most of his trousers end up). It was really easy to use some of the spare fabric to finish them off and turn this into a whole outfit.  I even made a really quick tutorial here if you want a go yourself!

Birds, Cats, and a New Geranium

Oops, I’ve done something I didn’t mean to. We’ve had a busy few days making the most of the slightly warmer weather and the last few days of the Easter holidays.  On Saturday we visited a Bird Of Prey centre for my nephew’s birthday.  I’m not sure what I think of this sort of place, the tethered birds look so restricted and the cages too small, but I know they can be important for endangered species.  Anyway, Big and Little Boo loved it and got to hold a barn owl on their arm (well Daddy held the barn owl next to Little Boo) and were very excited about it.  I was amazed Big Boo had the confidence to do it. Here he is being very brave:

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Later on that night when they were both in bed I made my mistake.  I went downstairs to my sewing machine, picked out the cat material I had earmarked for a geranium dress (my third, see my first and second here) for Little Boo, and started to cut and sew.  Oops.  That was my first challenge for kids clothes week.  Not sure what I am going to do now.  Oh well, at least I have this to look at whilst I try to find some inspiration (I’ll post some prettier pictures when Little Boo is in the mood)…

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