baby · children's clothing · kids clothing · vintage patterns

Vintage Style 2416

This pattern has been in the stash for a litle while – I think it dates from around 1981.

Vintage Style 2416 by you.

I’m a bit of a sucker for traditionally styled toddler dresses.  I matched this one up with some vintage fabric and ended up with this.

Vintage Style 2416 front by you.

It’s a soft, lightweight winter twill.  Very easy to construct, and I find that yoked dresses are easy to get on to toddlers and are a comfortable fit over their rounded shoulders.

IMG_9289 by you.

It’s very difficult to get a good posed photo of Stella at the moment!  She loved the dress, and keeps on pulling at it in the wardrobe, wanting to put it on.  Must be comfy.  The sleeves have an elasticised casing at the wrist, the skirt has a generous flare gathered into the yoke, and the yoke closes with two buttons at the back.  The neckline is finished with self bias binding.

Vintage Style 2416 back button detail by you.

I could have made it a little longer, but I think the 18 month size is okay for our little Stella.

IMG_9294 by you.

baby · children's clothing · crochet · kids clothing · sewing

Newborn gift

Many of my friends are (still!) having babies.  Taya was born a few weeks ago.  I made her this little summer outfit.

For Taya by you.

The top is crocheted from Cleckheaton Bamboo, using this pattern.  I ran out of yarn a few rows short, so wasn’t able to do the fancy edging.  The little bloomers are from a Simplicity pattern (the number escapes me).  I’m looking forward to seeing it on her. 

baby · children's clothing · craft · crochet · kids clothing

Crochet Hat Nika

With a couple of balls of Cleckheaton Bamboo in the stash and in need of some almost instant gratification, I did a quick trawl of Ravelry and found a hat pattern,  Crochet Hat Nika.  I used a 3.00mm hook with 4 ply yarn as per the instructions, but boy did this hat turn out small!

Stella's new hat by you.

I started crocheting on Tuesday evening and it was done by Wednesday evening.  Here it is on Stella:

IMG_6606 by you.

Not a great photo but you get the general idea.  I’m trying to decide whether to keep it for her or give it to the next person I know who has a baby girl.  Here’s another photo just so you can see those cute litte red curls coming from under the hat.

IMG_6604 by you.

I’m off to an evening with Amy Butler tonight, and I’m so excited!  I’m certain that quite a few Melbourne bloggers are going along – see you there!

baby · children's clothing · crochet · kids clothing

Chevron Cardigan

It is finally finished – the Chevron Cardigan!  Ta-da!

Chevron Cardigan by you.

Crocheted in Patons Smoothie (100% acrylic, so easy to care for – as already discovered when Stella knocked a cup of black coffee over it when I was still making it, and when she vomited on it this week) – using a 4.5mm Clover Softouch hook.  The pattern is by Melody Griffiths and is from a book called Crochet in No Time, which I found at my local library.

Chevron cardigan - front detail by you.

The pink buttons were in my stash (originally from Spotlight, perhaps?) and tone in nicely.

Chevron cardigan - sleeve by you.

The flare of the sleeves and the body of this cardigan is rather lovely.  I blocked it with steam from the iron after construction, which really settled the shaping in beautifully.  Blocking crochet (and knitting, I presume!) makes such a difference to the appearance of the finished item.

Chevron cardigan - front by you.

Unfortunately it really is a bit too big for Stella at the moment (the pattern states it is a size 1-2) but it should fit next winter.  See what I mean?  Where are her hands?  At least the colours suit her and coordinate with most of her clothes.  Hmmm, now what to crochet next?

baby · craft · quilting · sewing

Mia’s quilt

Baby Mia was born on the 1st of October – it’s now almost the end of the month.  But finally, her quilt is finished.

Mia's quilt - with hands by you.

Although I spent hours agonising over the block placement so that I wouldn’t have the same combinations in the same line, or the same two beside one another more than once, I must have mucked things up a little when I piled up the blocks before sewing them together.  There are a few glitches.

Mia's quilt - on bed by you.

I’m not certain that this should actually be called a quilt, since although there is plenty of piecing, there is no actual quilting involved.  There is a layer of wadding in between, and I backed it with fabric from the stash.

Mia's quilt - detail by you.

The fabric squares are a mixture of vintage chenille and quilting cottons.  Now to get it in the mail! 

baby · children's clothing · kids clothing · patterns · sewing

And a coordinating dress for Stella

Thanks so much for the compliments on Clare’s top!  That fabric is very cute, isn’t it!  Apparently it began life as a bedsheet.  Luckily, there was just enough left to squeeze out a dress for Stella as well.

I used New Look 6792 (circa 2008, unlike the pattern for Clare’s top).

New Look 6792 circa 2008 by you.

And the finished result?

Stella's New Dress by you.

This is a size small (for 3-6 months! crikey, Stella is almost 17 months but at the upper edge of the weight suggested for size small) and fits perfectly.

Oh look!  It's chalk! by you.

It’s pretty much made according to the pattern instructions, other than omitting the ric-rac trim around the armholes and adding bias binding trim to the hem.  And we even have some coordinating knickers (a gift from my sister-in-law):

Cute knickers! by you.

Too cute!  The knickers stop Stella from undoing her nappy all the time.  Here’s a close-up of the front:

New Look 6792 - front detail by you.

Those little puffed half-sleeves are so cute and so wearable (keeping the sun off those little white shoulders).  The tucks are a lovely detail, as are the curved side yokes.  The curved yokes are a bit tricky to attach to the dress front, because you’re joining a concave and convex curve, so I wouldn’t suggest it for beginners.  The back has a lapped zipper which I could have done a better job of if I’d inserted it earlier in the construction process, rather than when the instructions said.  I might need to get a copy of a general sewing reference like the Reader’s Digest one to double check for these types of issues.  That said, a delightful pattern!

baby · miscellaneous · musings · planned projects

A week between posts

This may have been the first time that I’ve gone a whole week between blog posts (other than when I’ve been away on holidays).  I’ve been doing a little bit of crafting, but haven’t completed any projects.  Currently I’m working on a chain of crocheted loops, a crocheted scarf, a cot quilt for a friend’s new bub (yes, the one I visited a week ago – this will be a late baby gift), a bag for a friend’s sister, another bag for a friend who just turned 40 (the party was on Friday night; the gift will be very late), my kitten embroidery from Brown Owls, and the back of my Churn Dash quilt.  Lots of unfinished items there – but they are works in progress rather than UFOs sitting in the back of the cupboard!

I visited the Quilt and Craft fair on Friday with my parents and Stella.  The quilt display was incredible.  I am astounded by the amount of time, love and work that goes into making quilts!  I found it really useful as a way of crystallising what I like in a quilt.  Although there were many that I can appreciate, I really like quilts that are pieced, rather than appliqued, and I prefer traditional designs but in comtemporary fabric prints.  And I like a lot of white!  Now there are a few new quilt ideas percolating in my brain.  And would you believe it, with all those stalls at the fair, I didn’t buy ANYTHING!  Nothing at all!  I had too-much-choice paralysis.  I did collect some business cards from places that I know I’ll go back to one day, but otherwise I was overwhelmed with the variety.

Generally I try to stick with crafting in this blog, but this post from Pip really struck a chord with me!  My life is flat chat at the moment.  I’m not doing a particularly stunning job at anything.  By the time I work two long days at my regular paid job, do the books for our businesses, do the washing, ironing, tidying, sorting, shopping, bill-paying, etc, my kids and hubby aren’t getting the time and attention they deserve.  I’m taking multi-tasking to a stupid level (even now as I type I’m playing a game with Clare – and I should just stop typing, give her my undivided attention and play).  Superwoman I’m not.  But I have so much internal conflict about what I SHOULD do and what I want to do (and they are sometimes the same thing).  I need time for myself, but I don’t want to be taking it at Clare’s and Stella’s expense.  Like many women, it doesn’t seem to matter what choice I make; I end up feeling guilty.  I feel guilting about the amount of time I spend blogging too, of course.

Enough navel-gazing!  Stella has a cold and is asleep at the moment and Clare is occupied with a puzzle, so I’d better get to the shower and make a proper start on the day.  I’ll be back later with normal programming!  And because I don’t like to post without a photo, here’s one to finish off.  Stella has this thing about climbing.  Since she’s only 13 months old, it’s not such a good thing.

Stella the climber by you.

baby · craft · crochet · sewing

My pirate princess

About six weeks ago Miss Clare had to start wearing glasses.  We’ve been having regular eye checks since she was around three and a half years old, and they’d always been a little indecisive about whether she should wear them or not.  This time I took her to a different optometrist, who was fairly quick to prescribe them.  Clare has been incredibly cooperative in wearing her glasses, despite wishing that she didn’t have to.  Today, we had another checkup, and now she not only has to continue with glasses, but she also needs to have her good eye patched for an average of four hours per day in order to strengthen the weaker one.  So what does a crafty mum do?

I came across this wonderful eye patch tutorial at about the same time as Clare started wearing her glasses, and filed it away knowing that patching would be a possibility.  So today we made three different eye patches that slip over her glasses, eliminating the issues associated with stick-on eye patches and with the traditional elasticised “pirate” type of patch.  Clare chose the materials and decorations – there is another with a heart on the front, and another out of pink fairy fabric.  I am so proud of her – she wore her patch for around four hours today.  Well done my pirate princess!

Remember the crocheted dress I made for Stella months ago that I was unhappy with?  Now that she’s wearing it as a pinafore, I think it looks rather cute!  It’s definitely nice and snuggly in this chilly Melbourne weather.

baby · cloth diapering · cloth nappies · sewing

Fitted cloth nappies

When pregnant with my first child, we decided that we would mostly use cloth nappies (diapers, for any Americans reading this).  We decided this for a number of reasons – cost, environmental factors, and because I’d rather poo go down the toilet than be put into a rubbish bin wrapped up in plastic then go to landfill.  Okay, enough of the soapbox there.  Fitted cloth nappies were just starting to become readily available in Australia at that time, so I made a few (a lot) myself.

There are plenty of patterns available to make fitted nappies and covers if you are interested.  I used the Mama Bird fitted diaper and Ottobre cloth diaper patterns (and did a fusion of the two as well).  These have an outer body of printed flannelette and inner soakers made from old towelling nappies.  They do need a cover – I prefer PUL (polyurethane laminate) covers such as those by Bummis or Baby BeeHinds

In the four and a half years between having each of my daughters, there is a huge range of cloth nappies now available, both online in Australia and in retail (our local bulk disposable nappy retailer also stocks lots of cloth nappies and covers).  In my opinion, the secret is in the covers – you need good covers, then there are less leaks than with disposables.  We do use disposable nappies when it suits us, such as overnight and when away for a whole weekend (we’re not completely purist) but the majority of the time our baby is in cloth. 

The fitted nappies make it easy – just wrap around and do up, like a disposable, then the same thing with the thin cover.  No pins etc.  I wash every second day, line dry, don’t soak (storing the nappies in an empty bucket works fine, and there aren’t any stains), and use flushable liners inside each nappy to make poo disposal easy.  The fitted nappies I made were used by my first daughter, then a friend’s child, and now by my second daughter.  It makes them very economical!  If you want to make your own, you can use whatever materials you have on hand, such as old flat cloth nappies, towels, flanelette etc or buy specialised materials retail or from stores such as Bubba Earth.

baby · children's clothing · cloth nappies · craft · kids clothing · patterns · sewing

New Look 6257

I bought this pattern ages ago, when Clare was really too big for it.  It languished in the pattern stash, but I couldn’t bear to get rid of it.  Lucky for Miss Stella – it’s now been made!

It’s a little dress with matching pants (Miss Stella is in cloth nappies, so I like matching pants that have plenty of room in them, and most sewing patterns accomodate cloth nappies, unlike many bought baby clothes).  Here’s the front:

And the back:

And another close-up of the front.

I like the ric-rac trim and the self-covered button.  The fabric is a quilting cotton recently received from Z&S fabrics.  I can’t wait to see this one on her!

In the meantime, here’s a photo of her wearing the floral romper-dress I made a little while ago.  It looks so sweet!  (Gee, I’m a little biased, aren’t I!)