Toddler dress sewing project

A little while ago I decided to put my sewing machine to good use and make some nice clothes for my little girl.

I had a good look around and found some really cool material at Tiny Vikings. Do check them out as they have some fantastic fabrics and their customer service is excellent! I could have bought up half the shop when I was looking 🙂

Izzie's dressAnyway I bought some jersey as I quite like the comfort and ease of the clothes she already has in jersey. What I didn’t realise was that it’s not the easiest to sew with… anyway after a little Google I discovered I was using the wrong needle on my machine for stretchy fabric.

Later when I told my mum I was using jersey, she told me straight away where I was going wrong – my mum used to make a lot of our clothes in the 70s…

This is where I’m terrible – as usual I didn’t have a pattern… So, I grabbed one of Izzie’s dresses that I liked the shape of and drew around it on paper and then added a seam allowance all the way around. I sewed it all in a matching cotton.

Izzie's dress and bibThe neck was a bit trickier as I’d decided to make my own bit of bias binding from a plain red jersey and then attach it around the neck. I tacked it all into place and machine sewed it in place.

As Izzie has been teething again recently I also made a matching bib. This has a lovely red jersey on the reverse side, which I also bought from Tiny Vikings. I used poppers for this. I make quite a few bibs for my Etsy online shop so this one was a doddle 🙂

Sing_and_Sign_End_of_term_Jul15This is a picture of Izzie wearing the dress with some pink leggings. It works well with or without leggings. It also works well with long sleeves underneath.

That’s us on the right hand side of the picture. This is our end of term picture at Izzie’s favourite class – Sing and Sign.

I’ve got some rainbow and some kangaroo material left so I think I’ll be making a couple more of these. They will be perfect for autumn 🙂

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Handmade valentine – a chip off the old block!

Handmade valentineMy little girl has started nursery a couple of afternoons a week. It’s a dual thing – it gives her a little independence and also gives me some time to get on top of orders.

Anyway, imagine my surprise when I when to pick her up the day before Valentine’s Day. She’d made us a Valentine’s Day card with her handprints. It’s very cute and was very unexpected.

Handmade gifts are just perfect and I love the way the nursery gets the little ones involved in making things like this as hopefully it will be a something they want to continue with. Obviously I don’t mean making hand print valentine’s cards, but the pleasure that you get from making something yourself.

I can remember rainy days when I was little – they were for making things. Covering balloons with paper and paste, learning to crochet, peg dolls, that cotton reel knitting thingie, painting with pieces of potato, pom-poms, pipe-cleaner animals and so on and so on. None of these things ever cost much money but gave so much pleasure!

Crochet Doll Toilet Roll Cover

I get more requests and click-throughs on this website and my Etsy site for this one thing – crochet toilet roll dolls!

I first started making them quite a while ago and blogged about how it was impossible to find a good pattern. That started me on making my own pattern for these retro dolls. I’ve been making the dolls and selling them on my Etsy site and various vintage and craft fairs for a while. They are always popular. I make them in all sorts of custom colours!

I’m constantly asked where I got the pattern and the dolls from. Well, I’ve finally got around to writing the pattern up. It’s now available for immediate PDF download on my Etsy shop. Happy crocheting!

I might eventually get around to writing up a few more of my patterns… maybe it will be the zombies next 🙂

 

So, I’ve just dyed a doll’s hair…

Bride crochet toilet roll dollAs you know, I make all sorts of things. Some of the most popular of my creations are the toilet roll covers and toilet roll dolls.

I have been using the same dolls from the same supplier for quite a while now. It can be quite hard to find the right size (at the right price). The dolls are all white and blonde and I’ve just not seen any others.

A couple of weeks ago I had a custom order from my Etsy shop for one of my bridal toilet roll dolls, but a brunette. Well, I searched and searched and managed to find one but the price was ridiculous!

So, I had a sudden flash of inspiration – could I dye the doll’s hair? I tentatively started to Google, thinking I wouldn’t find anything, and low and behold found quite a few links to how to do it. Mainly on how to create a goth doll, but I didn’t let that put me off 🙂

Anyway, a couple of links were suggesting acrylic paint for vinyl dolls and I used to do quite a bit of painting so dug out my acrylics. I chose a raw umber for the dye and gave it a go. The first attempt was a bit wishy-washy, but I tried it again with a bigger blob of paint and less water and it seemed to work quite well. What do you think?

The biggest tips I can think of for doing this is:

  • Pop the doll’s head on something like a pencil if you can – it makes it much easier to handle
  • Pop some vaseline on the dolls face so you don’t dye her face too
  • Use a brush or something similar to do the roots
  • Comb the paint through before it dries, otherwise it clumps and is a pain in the bum to sort out.

I’m really pleased with the results and it wasn’t even difficult to do – every day’s a school day!

Crochet toilet roll covers

I made some crochet toilet roll cover dolls a little while and blogged about them here. They are quite popular at fairs or on my Etsy shop. I also get quite a few emails from people asking where to buy the materials or for patterns.

Crochet toilet roll doll Crochet toilet roll dollI decided a little while ago to try out some different crocheted toilet roll covers. Clearly as I make a lot of zombies, the first one I tried was a zombie:

Zombie toilet roll coverI’ve also made some Pac-Man ghost toilet roll covers, which have been more popular at fairs – they look great when they are stacked together.

Pac man toilet roll cover

I’m just working on a TARDIS coffee pot cosy and when I’ve finished that I think I’m going to try to come up with a TARDIS toilet roll cover. I’ll post up some piccies when I come up with a design.

I know they aren’t all to everyone’s taste but I like the retro look of them and I like mixing up the retro look with something a little different. They certainly make a talking point in the smallest room in the house!

Tea cosy or hat?

Granny chic tea cosiesI made these granny chic tea cosies a little while ago. I think they are pretty cool and look great on a tea pot. Imagine a lovely plate of homemade cookies next to them and some Earl Grey in the tea pot….

But, for some reason people keep asking me if they are hats. Every time I do a vintage or craft fair people are drawn to them and then say “Oh, I thought it was a hat”. Even when they are on a tea pot 🙂

Well they seem to be much more popular now as hats and I’ve had a couple of custom orders to make them as hats instead of tea cosies. Isn’t it funny how things turn out?

Here’s a little baby hat I made for a boy, replacing pink with bright greens and blues. I also added a nice big rainbow pom-pom!

Granny chic baby hat

Ted Baker Challenge

A little while ago I took part in an online style challenge. It was using ASOS clothes to create your own style. It was quite good fun looking through stacks of ‘modern’ clothes to try and get the 60s look I wanted. Here’s the blog I did for it – £100 ASOS blogger challenge.

Well, I’ve just been contacted by Ted Baker to do a similar challenge. This time there isn’t a price limit, it’s a limit of 3 items.

I’ve been searching their new collection with a 60s eye. Again, being slightly obsessed with the 60s, I wanted to create something from new that still rocked a 60s vibe. I also wanted it to be eye-catching, so that heads would turn when you walked into the room wearing this outfit!

Righto, here goes!

Ted Baker Challenge - dressI chose this as it is a classic style that is also very flattering. Geometric prints always look good in my book and add to the 60s vibe. I love the asymmetric style and the fact that the pink edging just really brings it to life.

Click here to view the dress on the Ted Baker website

Ted Baker Challenge - shoesThe shoes are a classic heel with a modern twist. The studs give it that really up to date look. The colour is fab and vibrant. It brings out the pink edging in the dress perfectly. The height of the heels adds a bit of glamour…

Click here to view the shoes on the Ted Baker website

Ted Baker Challenge - bagWho could resist this bag? It’s one of my favourite casual shapes – the bowling bag. But, like the shoes, it brings out the pink edging on the dress and really lifts the whole outfit. Oh, and it’s shiny!

Click here to view the bag on the Ted Baker website

What do you think? Where would you wear this outfit? I think it would be great at any big event where you want to make an entrance – weddings, summer parties etc. It’s a fresh summer look.

If you want to take part in the challenge, here’s the link – Ted Baker Challenge