Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Adventures of Sally and Tinny!

Oh the adventures that Sally and Tinny had today. Ostriches, bike rides, hiding in the grass, shoulder rides, playgrounds and watching the ducks in the river! You would never guess they were partying it up at a New Year's Eve Party last night, even if it was only until 9pm!

Those of you who know me will be aware that neither of my girls are called Sally or Tinny, but their dresses are. Both these dresses have been sweeping the blog world, and I was lucky enough to pick up both pdf patterns in reduced price offers.

The Tinny is a multi-version dress from Straightgrain that goes from a size 1 up to a size 6. I made Mia, who is an average sized 5 and a half year old, the size 6 and it fits well with room to grow. The pattern has 3 different skirts, 4 different collars and 2 different cuffs to choose from. I picked the pan collar, tulip sleeve and twirly skirt, and had my first attempt at putting piping onto the sleeves and collar. I did have to make the skirt shorter than it should have been, due to having less fabric than
 I  needed.

I used some vintage fabric I had been hoarding which was a orange-red colour with a blue little red riding hood character on it. It suited the style of the dress perfectly, and when it was finished Mia could have stepped straight out of 1974, which was the look I was going for. The only issue I had with making it was that I tried to put piping around the waist and failed miserably, so then I had to redo the waist making it a bit uneven and giving it a high-low look due to an uneven hem. I still love it though! The fabric I used also wrinkles easily, meaning I will have to iron it, and I am allergic to ironing. The zip instructions were particularly clear and I was really pleased with how the zip looks as zips and I don't usually mix.

The Sally is a simple sundress with a square neckline which fits straight over the head without a zip, and huge pockets perfect for collecting. I made Miss Ellie a size 2 but she is almost 3 and I should probably have made a size larger as it is a bit tight to get on. The pattern comes from Very Shannon and goes from a size 2 up to a size 8. Ellie loves this dress, and it is her go-to choice out of her wardrobe each morning. It was an easy sew without a zip or buttons, and the instructions are very clear. I put extra small details on it in the form of pink buttons and ribbon. The one thing I would recommend with this pattern is to ensure you don't use too heavy a fabric. I made Mia one out of a heavy linen and the weight of the fabric drags it down.

It is the first of January 2014 and we had an early morning outing to Otaihanga, a reserve five minutes drive from out house which is full of possibilities for adventures. I have made two New Year's resolutions. One is to spend less money on material possessions and more on experiences and fixing up our house. Compared to the majority of the population I am pretty frugal, but a year of earning money again after 2 years of earning pretty much nothing has meant that I have been tempted by pretty things. So I want to step that down. I would love to be able to take my girls on some overseas adventures, and have some myself, in the next few years, so I want to be more aware of where our money is going. Our house also needs several things done to it in the next few years, and house renovations are sickeningly money consuming!

My other resolution is to say no more. I had a year of saying "yes" last year to some pretty big things and it left me, and my family feeling pretty strung out. I am awful at saying no and I feel terribly guilty if I do, but I am beginning to realise that both myself and my family deserve for my to say "No". Hopefully these two things together will give me time and motivation (to use my fabric stash downstairs rather than buying clothing!) to sew and share these creations on my blog. After at least a year and a half of not going near it I also have a convenient back log of creations to tell you all about.

Happy New Year Everyone and may 2014 be your best year yet!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Okay so I haven't blogged since the time of the dinosaurs!

 I am not sure why I stopped blogging for over a year. I have still been creating, including a stage of selling from kids clothes at markets and online, but I have decided that is far too stressful and time consuming to continue doing alongside raising a family and other work commitments! I loved putting my creations online and keeping a record of all the things I created for my family, so I am going to attempt to resurrect my blog.

Mia my eldest and all her friends have been turning 5! Here in New Zealand children start school as soon as they turn 5 which seems crazy if you are American or English, but its just the way things have always been here. M had a Fairy Tale party which I will try and share photos of another time, but her friend Belle is having a dinosaur party. I decided (or M nagged me until I gave in!) to make a dinosaur tail each for Belle and Mia to wear to the party. My decision to make two was mainly made by the fact that the two girls have known each other since they were babies and are highly competitive, so Mia turning up to Annabelle's party with a dinosaur tail while Belle went without was highly likely to end in boasting on Mia's part and tears on the birthday girls!

My girls tested them out yesterday. They stomped around like dinosaurs, had tail fights by wiggling their bums and Mia even went for a jump on the trampoline in hers and wanted to wear it to bed.
The tutorial for the tails can be found at the awesome Running with Scissors blog. It was very easy and clear to follow and I just converted all the measurements to cms for us metric minded folks. One piece of advice if you ever want to stuff something, go to the Warehouse and buy cheap pillows, much cheaper than buying stuffing from the craft shop!

I can see hours of enjoyment being had by my girls with the tail, although I think I may have to make another one for Ellie to avoid fights!