Friday, September 13, 2013

C is for...

Cuddles and Coastal Cargos, of course!!!  Thanks to Melissa of Blank Slate Patterns for designing this fabulous pattern, I managed to pull off two pairs of awesome looking and fitting pants!
The Coastal Cargos are an intermediate level sewing pattern.  That said, I didn't find them hard and with Melissa's instructions I was able to pull off my first successful welt pockets and fly zipper - two things I have avoided or failed at in the past.  With two growing boys I decided it was time to roll up my sleeves and get serious!
I love the detail on these which includes welt pockets and fly zipper, as already mentioned, as well as back elastic casing, slash pockets at waist, cargo pockets, button tubs for rolling up on hot Queenslander days, belt loops AND last but most importantly bias tape finished seams!  I love this detail, not only does it look cool it means there are no raw edges to worry about when you roll them up!!!  As I said, these weren’t hard but they were fun and interesting to sew and will be fave’s in my boys cupboards no matter the weather, and let’s face it in Australia it is more Summer than any other season, ‘beautiful one day, perfect the next!’
MrT is 6 and at 125cm tall and 25kg, he’s a big six year old.  I made him a size 7 and to be honest, next time I’ll be making him a size 8, and quickly before he outgrows the pattern, which finishes at size 8.  I didn’t take into account his ‘cherry bottom’ and I will need to add some extra in that area for next time.  His brother, XMan, is just 12months younger and at 110cm and 16kg, he easily fit a size 4 and needed me to reduce the back elastic by an extra 5cm or 2 inches for the pants to stay up, he’s soooo petite in comparison.  It always astonishes me how different my two boys are!  I omitted the zip fly on XMan's, mainly because he can't really use one yet and his hips are certainly not bigger than his waist.  I followed Melissa's 'How to Sew a Mock Fly' tutorial, it turned out great.
Because I sew I don't get hung up about size, but I always check the measurements carefully.  I ummed and aahed abou the 8 for MrT and should have gone up the size, I mean he is growing and even if they are slightly big now it won't be long and they'll fit pefectly and then, before you know it, they are too small.  I guess I'm lucky that most of my handmade clothes go through two kids, it makes me happy that they get some extra love, if they aren't worn out by the first!!!


The boys chose their own fabric.  I love that they call it ‘fabric’ too and they correct people when they say ‘material’!  I wonder if I do that??? Oops.  XMan the youngest, in the yellow, loves coming fabric shopping and strokes it and oohs and aaahs, I’m teaching him well!  He chose the yellow because it makes him happy.  Why else would you choose fabric???  It is cotton twill, so I approved.  I chose the grey accents and he was lukewarm about it until I had sewn it on and then this huge grin spread across his face and he was like ‘Are they done?  Can I wear them yet?’ and I heard that at least three times a day until they were finished, funny boy! 
MrT went with the herringbone, which I love!  It's a quilting fabric from Michael Miller and is actually a perfect weight for these pants and our climate.  He picked out the green trim too.  I thought they would be a bit OTT but funnily, they are understated and just a bit edgy, which fits his style perfectly.  I decided to jazz up a plain white t-shirt and added a herringbone pocket and a piece of the green contrast fabric as detail.  It turned out well, and is now soaking due to Daddy not taking it off before eating spaghetti last night, YES, the dreaded spaghetti stain on a white t-shirt! Sigh, they are boys and it is white LOL! 
The boys had a great time putting these pants through their paces.  I love that they are so active at this age.  XMan is doing acrobatics and he was showing off on the trampoline, his older brother was trying hard to keep up but is certainly not as agile, he had us in fits of laughter.  Thankfully, nobody got hurt and the laughter and good times continued so Mummy could get her photos.
Their imaginations went into overdrive, with the boys turning into secret agents and fighting bubbles gone bad with pirate swords!!! Ok, we do love a bit of dress up at our house.  I guess their is no crime in combining characters and props in any long as you are still having fun.  MrT wore a sword to the finger and there were a few tears, smoothed over quickly by cuddles from his younger brother.  They make my heart melt with how much they love each other, all bickering aside.

The Coastal Cargos are a cracker of a pant!  And the sewing of them was made even more enjoyable by the joy my boys bring to wearing them in everyday life. 

Just a couple more photos incorporating a few of my favorite things –
The details of sewing;

Being appreciated by the loves of my life; and last but not least

The joy, love and journey of two brothers!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It was a Monster Bash

XMan turned five this year!  I know, we all say it 'Where did the time go?'.  It's so true that time just flies, especially when you're having fun; and we generally do.  As five year olds do he wanted to host a 'Zombie Party' - aahh that would be a NO!  So we compromised and came up with a 'Monster Bash'.  Not the ghoulish kind - the cute, cuddly and slightly offbeat kind.

And so a request was made for Monster costumes, no zombies allowed!  And I'll admit they do look a little 'Dinosaury' but I couldn't resist the foiled jersey when it jumped out at me.  XMan picked the disco sequinned fabric in green for his costume and red for his brother's, their favourite colours.

So I fankenpatterned a few patterns together to create a pair of pants and a hooded raglan long sleeve tee.  Really any pants and hoodie pattern would do.  I just cut down the middle of the hood and back pattern pieces and included a seam allowance, so I could insert all the dragon spines and sew it back up.  I made a tail for each but seriously, after all my efforts they had them on for all of oh, five minutes!!!
I basically used tutorials from Pinterest for the dinosaur hoodie how to and this one for the dinosaur tail inspiration.

The party was a great success and all the little monsters had a great time.  Grandma was visiting and set up a spooky spectacular photo booth.  Which was really just a piece of black calico as the backdrop, shredded organza for spiders webs and spooky cut out eyes sourced from Google Images.  We made the spiders from pipe cleaners and Chupa Chups - needless to say the kids weren't scared of them and they got gobbled up pretty quickly.  And XMan got the opportunity to be a zombie for part of the party!!!!
It was lucky the party went ahead at all.  My husband was away and as usual I was trying to do too much and all though my Mum and I worked fairly consistently all week on party related items, it was still a rush.  It didn't help that XMan woke up on the Friday with an upset tummy and given he'd just been in hospital for vomiting for MrT's birthday party only two weeks before - a whole other story - I thought I would keep him home and let him rest up for his party...wrong move! 
Whilst I was hurriedly trying to decorate the cake before school pick up time, so we could all have a relaxing family night without party preparation, XMan got his finger stuck in a Nerf gun!  He'd obviously had it stuck in there a while before he started screaming as his finger was already swollen and purple and wasn't budging - no matter the ice, oil or soap used!!!
It is the third time I have had to ring the ambulance, and of course, only since I have had children - Boys!  They were great and suggested, as we were only five minutes away and he was able to travel, to take him to the Fire Station as they have instruments for cutting.  After a horror drive of screaming, they were extremely helpful and had it cut off within five minutes without damage to XMan or his finger, happy days!  Ha ha, bad mother, he's still in his pyjamas and it's after lunch!
Love my boys, think we'll have birthday parties off site next year so Mummy can have a rest!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Kids shorts workout

So, I'm back!  After a blogging hiatus, after only a short introduction, I have been induced by the amazing and awe inspiring creative blogging community to start sharing my own creativity, again. So, without all the blah blah blah let's talk about the fun stuff? Yes? YES!

Have you seen the Kids Short Pattern by the amazing Dana?  Do you have children who outgrow shorts, hell clothing!, in the blink of an eye... Yes, me too!  Then you should do yourself a favour and check out these babies.  And she has all these great tutorials on simple ways to change them up.  I really am a      fan and so are my boys!

I made the racer shorts version first and really, I'll let the pictures do the talking.  The boys couldn't wait to get them on and head off to the park on their bikes!  I know we live in Brisbane, Australia and we don't really entertain a winter, for us though this afternoon was cool - overcast, rainy and really a little bleak.  However the sun did try to shine and we were all so active we didn't even feel the cool.  They
really put those shorts through their paces and told me they were comfortable and even 'Stayed up Mummy!'.  (Just between you and I, XMan, the youngest has trouble keeping his pants on due to a 'no bottom' issue - lucky I sew!)

XMan had a small accident on the way home and his older brother, MrT, came to his aid as the ambulance man.  Ever the goose, he continued to cheer his little brother up by faking his own accident.  They really do love each other.  The obligatory weed, ahem - flower - picking ensued and the song and lyrics  'How sweet it is to be loved by you' always comes to mind.  A gorgeous afternoon making memories.

So, what's next?  Have you seen the April Rhodes Staple Dress? Well, it's half taped together sitting under my iPad as I'm typing.  Better run, need to finish tracing before I head off for school pick up - less than an hour!