Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

Pearl’s creations

January 28, 2012

Here is Pearl’s handiwork from the craft classes the other day.  She was keen to do some more crochet, so took her (my!) hook and yarn along.  The flowers are made of loops of chain stitch.  She has also made a necklace and some bracelets.

The two “rose” brooches are made by folding circles of fabric into quarters and sewing them together.

She had a great day, and has since been busy making necklaces and bracelets for all her friends!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Fainjin’s badges

January 27, 2012

Fainjin and Pearl went to a badge-making and sewing class today.  Here are Fainjin’s efforts.  I’m told the dinosaurs are a tyrannosaurus rex and a brachiosaurus, but I have to confess I’m not sure which is which.

The two fire-engines are incredibly cute, and the bee on the flower was made especially for Babess, who was delighted and honoured and insisted on wearing it for the rest of the day.

At the top of the picture you can just see the edge of the “glasses case” (drawstring bag) that he did in the sewing class in the afternoon.  He was a bit worried about the sewing – this morning he said to me, “But Mummy, my stitches are all too big…”.  However, he has done really well, and I don’t think his stitches are big at all!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Being mothered by my 3-year-old

October 15, 2011

I was sewing this morning, trying to finish a project to a deadline.  Fainjin and Babess were fascinated, and jostled to watch me.  I  did sew a little bit with Babess in my lap, but it is very awkward so I persuaded her to sit on a chair next to me.

She and Fainjin both kept leaning on the table to see the fabric coming out the other side of the sewing machine, and moving around pushing things on the table.  I had scissors (sharp!), spools of thread, various feet for my machine, pins and other bits and pieces there, so it was making me anxious.  I noticed that they had swept a small pile of thread offcuts onto the floor with their moving about.  I got a bit short with them, pointing out the mess and noting that it could have been something sharp, they should be careful and sit still if they wanted to watch.

Babess patted my arm and said soothingly, “Don’t wowwy, Mummy.  I will pick up da mess for you.  I pwomise, you won’t have to.  Don’t wowwy.  It will be alwight.”

Way to make me feel like I’m the three-year-old…

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

Ahoy there, me ‘earties!

September 20, 2011

Yesterday was apparently “International Talk Like a Pirate Day”.  I don’t know who thinks these days up.  Someone in the UN?  Anyway, for some probably-unrelated reason, today was “Pirate Day” at daycare.  They are having a dress-up/theme day about once a month, and the kids love it.  Today was possibly the most successful yet, I think, just judging by the number of costumes and the enthusiasm of all the kids at the end of the day.

Parents don’t have to provide a costume for these days – daycare has dress-up clothes, and encourage the kids to “make their own” whenever possible.  Today they made eyepatches and I think newspaper hats.  Nonetheless, when I can I like to do something.  I had a look at some “pirate” kids on TV at the weekend, and determined that the main thing that made them look like pirates was the headscarf.  Belts, waistcoats, ragged pants, etc, all added to the look, but the ones who were wearing everyday clothes just needed a scarf to make the main transformation.

I just happened to have a length of sun-damaged red cotton in my stash, a gift from another crafty person.  Perfect!  I tore a couple of strips, about 20cm wide, and showed the kids how simply tying them on their heads made an instant “pirate scarf”.  They were thrilled!  The torn edges looked better than cut ones would have – more piratey.

There was fabric left, so I tore a large square and folded it in half to make a “triangle skirt” to tie over Babess’ regular skirt.

Then I eyed the remaining rectangle.  Hmmm.  I folded the edges to the middle, cut holes on the folds for arms, cut slashes along the bottom, and hey-presto, a pirate vest!  It didn’t quite fit at the top, needing a little shaping, but safety pins are a marvellous solution when you’re in a hurry.

The two costumes took me perhaps five minutes total: no sewing, just scissors and two safety pins.  The kids love them, the teachers thought I was a genius, and best of all I can salvage most of the fabric and put it back in my stash when they’ve finished playing!

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

Schoolkid stuff

July 21, 2011

Fainjin is very much looking forward to being five next year, and going to school and doing all the things that schoolkids get to do.  He seems interested in the sort of music lessons that Pearl has on Saturdays, for example, and he loves the idea of the after-school care programme (they have LOTS of Lego).

Today Pearl went along to a school holiday programme where she gets to do lots of craft activities, particularly making little soft toys.  I asked Fainjin this evening if he would like to go to this programme next year, when he’s a schoolkid.  “Yeah!” he said.

“What would you make first, do you think?” I was curious.

He thought for a little bit, then smiled and said, “A rabbit for Babess.”


© UpsideBackwards 2011.


April 11, 2011

I did some sewing yesterday afternoon.  I’m very pleased with the results:

Spotty dress!

Babess is also thrilled.

The dress is reversible – the other side is like a negative image, a green dress with red dotty pockets and contrast band.  It was actually easier to make it that way than to make the “original” version with a facing.  Instead of a hem, I just put bias binding all the way around the bottom of both skirts.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

Domestic arts

January 25, 2011

We had a very creative day today.  One of Pearl’s friends came over for a playdate, and they had a great time together.  They pottered around outside while I did tedious things like hang out the washing in the glorious sunshine, and then we went to the supermarket and raided the pick-and-mix bins.

It was a raid with a purpose – not just to load up on sugar, but to keep the girls busy for a good hour or so as well.  When we got home with all the goodies, I set the girls to work mixing up a batch of chocolate cupcakes.  They had great fun measuring and sifting and stirring and licking the spoons, then while the cakes were baking and cooling we had our lunch.

Icing and decorating was a major after-lunch undertaking, and the girls decided to mark each cake with the initial of an intended recipient.  The aim seemed to be to crowd as many lollies and decorations on each cake as possible:

Yummy... and look at my new stone benchtop, too!

Of course, we didn’t use up all the lollies decorating the cakes, so we had to clean up a few afterwards…

Then Pearl suggested that they do some sewing.  Her friend has a wiggly tooth, so they made “tooth fairy purses”, little bags to hold teeth under one’s pillow awaiting collection by the Tooth Fairy.  They’re very sweet little things, blanket-stitched all around and held shut by ribbon threaded through a bead.  We had some flower motifs in Pearl’s craft box, so each bag got one of those sewn on the back as well.  (I was going to put a photo here, but I can’t find Pearl’s bag… perhaps it’s under her pillow!)

The friend’s mum was very impressed when she came to collect her, they really had been industrious.  Of course, she was presented with a cupcake on arrival too, and they took a box home with cakes intended for various cousins and friends.

All in all, quite a successful playdate.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

Mummy made it

September 9, 2010

Babess loves the little orange cardigan I made for her (you can see a glimpse of it in the “Baby Pigtails” picture), and whenever someone mentions it she holds out the sides and says very seriously, “Mummy made it”.

Sometimes she then goes on to claim I made her skirt, skivvy and tights, which can render her audience a little skeptical!

Fainjin loves his fire-engine pyjamas, but now also has an over-inflated idea of my sewing skills.  He is wont to ask for a new pair of pyjamas most evenings, all with different designs.  And if he can’t find a t-shirt he likes in the mornings, his answer is “You can make me one, Mummy…”

Pearl has a slightly better idea of what is possible, which is a great improvement since she was three and asked me to knit her a baby sister.  She has a school “disco” coming up in two weeks, and it’s going to be Fancy Dress.  She had some realistic suggestions for a horse costume that I could make… and was willing to consider being a cowgirl instead.  That’s still a possibility, but luckily for me her cousins are dancers and have lots of different costumes for us to check through first.

It’s nice that they all have such unshakable faith in my abilities, though.

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

Fire Engine Jammies

August 20, 2010

It’s not a pretty dress, but Fainjin was quite pleased.

Too excited to stand up straight!

In fact, he’s still wearing them.  He didn’t want to take them off, so he’s gone to bed in them, chalk marks and all.  I had intended to wash them, but never mind.

I’m quite proud of the piping on collar and pocket, I’ve never done that before.  I will confess to having sewn the collar on about a dozen different times and unpicked it again before I finally believed that the pattern instructions were correct and it would all work out… very much a learning experience!

And yes, there’s plenty of fabric left over.  I could make him and Babess matching dresses!

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

If he were Greek, Scottish, or Polynesian, it wouldn’t be controversial…

August 10, 2010

It’s a month since I made Babess’ dress.  I got the fabric for it for $2/metre on sale, and I have quite a lot of it.  I also bought the same fabric in a pink-y shade, intending to make several dresses for the girls.  I still intend to.  So far, Pearl and Babess have one dress each, and they love it when they’re both wearing them at the same time.

Fainjin was regarding the pair of them at the weekend, in their matching frocks, and said something about “Babess’ pretty dress”.  We chatted a little bit about it, then he said, “Mama, you make me a pretty dress too?”

Umm.  Well, I could.  No reason not to, really, except for convention.  I have made clothes for him before – shorts, jerseys, hats – but in the light of the pretty dresses, I suspect they have faded into insignificance in his mind.  Before I could come up with a reply, he decided, “You make me a fire-engine dress!”

As it happens, I have some very cool fire-engine fabric, and already had intentions for it.  “How about fire-engine pyjamas?” I riposte.



Anyway, there might be enough left over for a skirt…

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

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