Saturday, October 29, 2011

Crafting with my kids: Indian Block printing

Last week, I had a chance to go to the “Creativ Festival” in downtown Toronto with my pal.  We had a chance to meet Jamie Maldon from Colouricious who flew to Toronto all the way from the UK.  I am a huge fan of block print so I couldn’t believe my luck and started a new stash.  She has so many amazing block prints.
The girls and I worked on a few pieces.  You need some cardstock (we used old file folders for the note cards) and newsprint (newsprint works very well for the large blocks to make gift wrap), sponges, and acrylic paint.
IMG_1022Here is a close up of that splendid peacock.
Here is the gift wrap.
Lots of note cards. 
They make a lovely stationary gift all wrapped up in twine.IMG_1029
Coincidentally, I found a really special book on printing technique at a local  thrift shop.  It is from 1961 and by Swedes G. Ahlberg and O. Jarneryd.   From the introduction on the “Pleasures of Block Printing”, the authors write:
Our aim, in writing this book is to give directions for printing methods which can be carried out by the school child, the professional man, the housewife-the amateur of any age. Many beginners  surprise themselves by the ease with which they learn these methods and by the unmistakeably professional appearance of the prints they make. Many a teen-age girl might enjoy making a tie for her boyfriend and a skirt for herself using a matching pattern.
The intro says it all. We were very pleased with the results on paper and our next project is to try block printing on fabric.  So exciting.
I hope you are having a lovely weekend and to all our dear friends celebrating Diwali this weekend, we wish you a joyous celebration.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Crafting with my kids: Pumpkin Activities

This weekend, my husband took Lily out of town for a couple of days, so I was on my own with the little one which is kind of rare (she isn’t used to being solo).  I saw this post on the Fairfield House and I knew I had try something similar with her. She is so into the princess fairy tales right now. 
We set it up the “carriage” in a whiskey barrel. She loved it and couldn’t wait to show her big sis.
We were also able to use up our pumpkin seeds for a crafty activity as well.  I saw the project idea over a Teach Preschool and found further directions here. It is quite involved as you have to first dry out your pumpkin seeds, dye them and then dry them out again. But in the end the activity was a hit.  The girls made some fall trees. The trunk is faux bois contact paper.
P.S. The eyes on the little owl are hole punch reinforcements. My dad was cleaning out his office and passed along his stash from the early 80s!
Have a great week,
{This post is linked to Beneath the Rowan Tree }

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Forest Friends Hooded Scarf


This is my final kids clothes week project {I think, errrr … unless I have the sudden urge to sew at 3 am or something like that}.  I have a couple of other wips, but nothing finished or ready to photograph (fingers crossed they won’t become a rip).

About a year ago, I won a yard of Cloud 9’s Organic Forest Friends flannel from a giveaway over at From an Igloo.

Lily doesn’t have any scarves (unlike mum, eesh) - so I stitched her up a hooded scarf.  There are tutorials out there, but this one is my own construction - figuring it out on my own. In addition to the flannel, I incorporated chocolate brown minkie left over from the run for the cure t-shirt quilt and blue pompom trim.

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The temperature has now officially dropped so this is a useful piece. I think she thinks so too.

IMG_0950 It’s been a fun week. The challenge lit a fire under me, it was time to bust through the stash.  I didn’t purchase a single item and only used what I had on hand. I feel quite happy about that.

Have a great week,


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kids and Corduroy

I am behind on my kids clothing week projects.  The kids needed me more than they needed clothes - everyone has the typical October night cough (it usually lasts until March in this household). 
Anyway, the sewing mojo is back.  I have been wanting to post about corduroy for ages.  It is probably my favourite fabric for a child’s fall / winter wardrobe.
I stitched up this little corduroy jumper for E. Hope.  Brown velvet ric rac , fabric Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller / Meadow Sweet Vintage Paisley on Light Yellow Corduroy .
The pattern is New Look 6854 for Kids (out of print).  I added a kangaroo pocket, I was inspired by this post on Probably Actually (pinned by Gwen). It’s kind of wrinkled, but it is well used to store Polly pockets.
After finishing the reversible skirt, I completed the outfit with a little capelet.  The pattern is available over at Grosgrain (or Burda here).  I just increased the size slightly.
Corduroy is also great for little boys.  My pal got on board and she stitched up two pairs of flat front cords for her youngest who is difficult to fit (his waist is the size of 18-24 months but he is actually 3 years).  Corduroy can be  difficult to photograph due to the wale - as are 3 year old boys.  Pattern: Made’s Flat Front Pant. This is the first time she made pants and I think they turned out great.
I am always on the hunt for corduroy garments second hand.
These are a couple of the girls’ favourite dresses, both printed corduroy and I didn’t pay more than $5 each.  the first one is Bonnie Jean in apple corduroy and the second one is from the late 1980’s Laura Ashley’s Mother and Child collection, floral cord.  I am always on the hunt for items from this particular Laura Ashley collection.

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Happy Stitching and have a great weekend,

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reversible Clothing: The Change Your Mind skirt from 1, 2, 3 Sew

My daughters like to wear skirts, especially the little one. She has developed strong views and refuses to wear pants.  I have restricted my kids weeks sewing to garments the girls will wear and that are a simple sew.  I absolutely love the Change Your Mind skirt in 1-2-3 Sew book because 
1. I am able to destash – a reversible skirt takes up twice as much fabric
2. There are no exposed seams = a professional looking garment
3. You can customize this skirt by using any sort of trim (more destashing, yeah!
4.  The skirt is an easy sew – 1-2 hours.  I stitched up these skirts after the girls went to bed.
5. You can adapt this skirt for fall and still use up your quilting cottons.
For this version I used corduroy on one side and a quilting cotton  (Marie Osmond 2008 for Quilting Treasures) on the other. Trim jumbo ric rac.
I also made this skirt using licensed Angelina Ballerina fabric and eyelet trim.
The reverse is purple and white polka dot.
I am not sure she will ever wear the purple side, she likes Angelina Ballerina too much.  I am just happy these skirts are enjoyed.

PS. Modern Kiddo stitched up these skirts for her book review and they look really cute.

Happy stitching,

Monday, October 10, 2011

Heidi & Finn Cowl Neck Jumper Dress


Thank you for all the kind Thanksgiving wishes.  We had a wonderful weekend with lots of good food and beautiful weather. We enjoyed our turkey outside the deck (I think that’s the first time) and went on a fun nature hike.  Lily made this little Thanksgiving tree. I gave her some decor type leaves applied with chalkboard paper rectangles and left her alone for some quiet time. She wrote out what she was thankful for – Kolors, Shells, Walnuts, home etc.

IMG_0841 So I have decided to take up elsie marley’s kid’s clothing week challenge and I am working a on a few garments for the girls.  If the stars are aligned and all that there might be quite a few sewing posts this week …umm…if you don’t enjoy the sewing projects, maybe come back in a couple of weeks :)   I made this dress for Lily for Thanksgiving. The pattern is by Heidi & Finn.  The knit is very cozy and has lots of neat animals, a pheasant, chipmunk, etc. {I made a poncho out of the same fabric last year}. The belt is just the “wrong side” of the fabric.  This is a very simple sew. It actually took more time to turn the belt than complete the entire dress.





Have a great week,