Posts Tagged ‘child’


For Otis. As I sit every night at the moment, huffing and puffing grumpily into a dust mask as we scrape and sand hundreds of reclaimed hardwood parquet blocks, I try to remember that not every purchase of second hand goods from gumtree means blood, sweat and tears. Although Otis’ antique brass bed, acquired at a price to make the bargain hunter in me very pleased indeed, did require some serious polishing and a bit of repair work on three decorative spindly bits, it was nothing compared to the mammoth task of restoring Sol’s bed.

I really wanted a metal bed of a similar age to sit next to Solomon’s, which meant waiting a while for the right one in a reasonable location to pop up. But pop up it did, and we’re all really pleased, none less so than Oti!


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Wedding fever continues apace and today, in very fitful bursts of standing-up sewing and in between nursery runs and nappy changes, I made the boys’ bow ties. It was not the most tricky of dressmaking tasks, but I’ve put together some step by step photos anyway as even though simple, it was quite satisfying!

To make one bow tie, I cut two pieces of fabric measuring 21x12cm and matching fusible interfacing to make the bow (no seam allowances required for these). I cut one long 40x2cm strip with small seam allowance down the long edges. I also cut a little 7x1cm strip, similarly leaving a small seam allowance down the long edges.  You can see four bow bits in the photo below because I made two bow ties.

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I ironed on the interfacing, dotty fusible side against the wrong side of my fabric, and folded it lengthwise towards the middle as below, then widthwise also towards the middle (it has sprung open in the photo but you can see the fold lines, and the finished fold in the second picture)

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This resulted in a neat little book-like rectangle and I machine stitched the edges down. I did the same with the second rectangle.

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The long neck strip was folded in half widthwise, right sides facing, and the long side sewn up to make a tube. I turned it inside out (faffy: you can buy special instruments to facilitate this, which might be worth it) and pressed it flat, seam to the edge. I then attached hook and loop tape, taking care to make sure they were on different sides so they match up when the bow tie goes round the neck. I did the same with the small rectangle, minus the hook and loop tape.

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The bow pieces were then sandwiched together with the folded edges  facing each other. I pinched them to make a nice bow shape and held it in place with a few hand stitches.

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I placed the bow on the table, and then put the the long strip on top of it at the centre of the bow, with the longer loop bit of tape facing away (so if the bow tie is on its tightest setting the excess is tucked against the neck and not left flapping out)

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The smaller strip was then wound round the long one and the bow to keep them together and it was secured with a few hand stitches, thread doubled for strength.


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All done!

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Very sweet photos of the full ensemble should follow in two weeks’ time -barring any jam-related disasters or toddler refusals to wear hand crafted bow ties of course…

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finished cape, ship quilt finished, Sol's bed, brass 034

This is the second cape from Meg McElwee’s Growing Up sew Liberated I’ve made as a gift. I’m getting quicker! I had bought a pale pink fabric to line the cape, but realised that I had bought about 10cm too little, which was extremely frustrating. Time limitations meant that I had to use something from my stash. It hurt a bit cutting such a large piece from this striped shot cotton that was my grandmother’s, but there’s still some left and I think it makes for quite the pattern clash contrast!

finished cape, ship quilt finished, Sol's bed, brass 032

finished cape, ship quilt finished, Sol's bed, brass 033

Therefore this one is truly reversible with a button on both sides, a Gabrielle Reith bumble bee and an enamelled coconut one. Hope she likes it!

NOT in the cape-modelling mood.

NOT in the cape-modelling mood.

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Dec 6th 2012 hat and cape 018

As it was a birthday present and the big day has passed, I can show you some photos of one of the cryptic crafting projects- a cape! Modelled with initial reluctance and then gusto by my boys:

Dec 6th 2012 hat and cape 011

From Growing Up Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee, this was an easy pattern to follow and took me two evenings. I had the fabrics in my collection already and the glazed coconut button was a present which has been awaiting just the right project. It’s a lovely shade! The cape is reversible, although the button should be further on the edge, or another placed on the inside, for that to really be the case. But I figure the floral side will be the most appealing to the recipient anyway. Otis looks like a little university dean:

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There’s a hood, but this could be left off to make the cape more superhero, if required, and it has a brilliant twirl factor.

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Happy Birthday Holly! Hope you like it!

Dec 6th 2012 hat and cape 007

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Ugh, the curse of the last minute. Sol was invited to a joint birthday party this week. Instead of being organised and either buying or making the little girls’ presents in good time, I found myself standing outside a closed toy shop 2 hours before the party was due to start. I raced home and did the fastest bit of sewing I’ve ever done. I made a little drawstring bag each, with their names embroidered on.

Little children love to put things in things, and older ones like to store treasures, so I hope the girls like and use them. Apologies for the rushed and totally unstyled photos- I will be more organised next time! (Stop laughing)

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A fresh eye

In a moment of motherly exhaustion recently I let Sol have the camera. He loved it, and worked out how to take pictures and videos and then watch them back with alarming speed. I really need to sort him out a camera that can be dropped without inducing heart attack in his parents, but so far it gets tied on to his person and away he goes. It buys me quite a lot of dishwasher/knitting/breastfeeding time. And what has been most surprising are the resulting photos. There are a few gems in there, and it’s a real insight into what interests a three year old. Ok, for every lovely photo of Otis there are five very short videos of the inside of his hat, but I thought I’d put a few of the better ones up:

His artwork:

What we spend a lot of our day doing (feeding Otis):

Very useful for locating lost objects- this is the smallest of Otis’ stacking cups wedged beneath the sofa:

Self portrait:

And many of his brother (who gives Sol a much better reaction than he does his parents):

I like the moments and object he chooses to capture. It’s like a little window.

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