Saturday, 29 October 2011

Its a good excuse to buy new shoes!

Its that time of year when you need to get out your old shoe boxes and fill them with presents for Operation Christmas Child who then very kindly deliver them for you to children around the world who would otherwise get very little for Christmas. We do this every year and its a really fun way of giving something back but also a good way of discussing the subject of poverty with young children. If you need any other reason to get involved then please check out the photos on the Operation Christmas Child facebook page. If the smiles on the children's faces as they receive their boxes doesn't warm your heart and make you want to send a shoe box then nothing will!

Izzy, Sam and I went round to my friends Laura's house to do ours together. As well as buying things for the box, I also asked the children to choose some of their own unused toys to send.

Laura and Amelia



You can now find out where your box is going if you donate online at the Operation Christmas Child website. You get a little bar code to put in your box and they email you with the destination. A great idea! The website has lots of blog banners and badges which you can use if you want to help publicise the work they do and encourage others to get involved. See here. You can also find Operation Christmas Child on facebook and on twitter

Another 9 gorgeous dresses arrived today for the Pillowcase dress appeal. All little ones which is perfect as I have just found someone visiting a nursery school in India in the New Year so they will be just right! They are both slightly different versions of the the pillowcase dress too which I love.

The first two were from the Domestic Goddesque who has a lovely blog which you can find here. These two dresses were a lovely dark pink.

This one with a pretty ruffle

and this one with a pretty flower trim

The elastic in these dresses runs around the neck line so there are no ties. I am learning so much from receiving all the different dresses.

I also received a lovely parcel of seven dresses from Pat who used a vintage pattern for her pretty dresses. This pattern hasn't been used for around 30 years until now!

The dress were lovely. The fabric was a mix of cream, blue and gold patterns and the dresses all had pretty handmade ties. So sweet!

All beautifully made - another great design to try out.

and did I mention Pat sent seven dresses!!

Huge thanks to both of you. This takes the total to 436 dresses! Also more exciting news from Alison of Peggys Pickles. She has arranged a pillowcase dress decorating party at Drink, Shop and Do in London on 6 December from 6.30pm so if you are in London pop in and say hi!

I also won a fab giveaway this week on the lovely My Love Bumps blog. How exciting. Pop over and say hi! My prize was a gorgeous purse and brooch made by the very talented Pants and Paper. They are absolutely gorgeous.

Another lovely week!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

More things to do in the holidays

Izzy has become a bit of a seasoned tester/reviewer for the 'Find Me A Gift' website over the last year. They always choose such lovely things for her to make and review. She has tried a felt heart sewing kit, painted some wellies and made a dolphin mosaic picture all of which we have really enjoyed making together. The challenge during this half term was to try out and review the Straw Art Kit.  

I thought Izzy would enjoy this one as she loves designing and making things. The box comes full of brightly coloured plastic straws and lots of different fixings.

As you can see Izzy takes her job very seriously!

We actually found the instructions to make things such as the dinosaur below quite hard (although this probably says more about me than the instructions!). You have to cut the straws to make some of the more complicated designs and young children would definately need quite a lot of help I think.
But rather than give up I put the instructions away and told Izzy to see what she could make all by herself and you know what, as soon as we did that she started having fun! She just used her imagination and came up with all sorts of things. This we decided looked like the front of a combine harvester

This was our windmill

A flower in a vase

A double combine harvester!!

and our pièce de résistance a double hanging bird cage 

Complete with chicken!

Izzy really enjoyed this set once we started doing our own thing and she has asked to get it out 3 days running now which says it all really. She has booked in her dad to try and make the dinosaur with her at the week-end!!

Some other lovely things I spotted on the Find Me A Gift website were these gorgeous

Love Heart Stamps

and I love this Chocolate Cake Mould

Its well worth checking out the Find Me a Gift website and facebook page.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Bandana Bib Tutorial

I've been making bibs for ages now and sold lots over the last few years but have never got round to making a Bandana bib. I thought I would give it a try today as I had to make a present for someone going on maternity leave at work and it was surprisingly easy!!  I thought I would share it as a little tutorial. If you are a novice sewer give this a go. Its all straight lines!! This size bib will fit a new born baby to around 1 year.  Once babies are weaned and eating food you might want to make the bib slightly longer and wider to cover more of their clothes.

Are you ready?

I made my own pattern. The bib is basically a triangle shape with the top measuring 17 inches and the two sides of the triangle 12 inches. I didn't have a piece of card big enough for the whole thing so I had to make a template for half a bib which I then place on the fold of the fabric so when you cut it out and unfold you have the triangle.

Cut one triangle from a nice cotton fabric and one from a nice absorbent fabric. I like to use towelling fabric for the back of my bibs as they are great for soaking up milk. Lay the two triangles on top of each other pattern facing downwards and pin like so

You then need to sew all around the triangle leaving a small gap to turn it inside out. You see the gap below? Make it bigger! Much bigger!!

You should then clip the corners to make them less bulky

like this!

Turn the bib inside out through the gap that you left - if you make your gap as small as mine this will be a complete pain in the  **** and will take you ages amid much swearing. If you make it bigger it will be much easier!

Once you have managed to turn it inside out, you need to iron your bib flat. It should look like this with a small hole in one side. Make sure you iron over the gap and ensure the edges are neatly folded in ready to sew over to seal. You then need to top stitch all around the edge of the bib. This will close the gap and also reinforces the bib and makes it neater. You could do this in a different colour thread if you wanted.

You can then add your fastening. I use the snaps that you hammer on as I think they look really professional. They seem to be quite hard to get hold of though. You can use sew on ones or velcro instead.

Ta da! The finished item ready to be worn by a cute baby!

and inside

and modelled by a teddy as I don't have a baby anymore!!

and heres one I made earlier..

If you make a bib (well done for being able to follow my directions!) please let me know how you got on. Remember I want photographic evidence please!!