Saturday, 30 October 2010

Fun in the sun and a new bag for mamma!

After 2wks of random downpours every day ( all be it still warm!) We have finally had a break from the grey clouds and enjoyed some lovely sunshine these past couple of days.

We have given nanny Dee a guided tour around our local part of Malta.
We met the local fisherman and his cat.....

took in the views,
both outside....

and inside....

(This is the inside of the Dome ceiling at the Cathedral in Medina)

Even went for a bike ride....

I have eaten my body weight in Rice and peas (believe me that's A LOT!) and managed to do some guilt free sewing to produce a new little tote bag for me, myself and I....

Tomorrow were off to Valletta to visit the flea market!.....Must remember that I am not allowed to buy anything that cant be taken back to England in a suitcase!!!!

Happy weekend trick or treating.


Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Nanny Dee.....

Is arriving this evening.

We are all very excited. Nanny Dee has only seen the Whirlwind 3 days over the last 7months!.....She is staying for 3weeks.


1) Built in baby sitter! Neily boy and I are going on the razz big time! (can't actually remember the last time we went out on our own for the evening!)

2) Someone else to do the washing up and housework (Yay!)

3) Hours of guilt free sewing for me whilst Nanny entertains the Whirlwind.(BIG YAY!)

4) Long lay-ins whilst Nanny makes Whirlwinds breakfast, gets her changed, takes her out.....I may in fact spend the entire 3 weeks laying in, and put a sign on my bedroom door stating ''do not disturb before 12noon'

5) Jerk Chicken with rice and beans EVERY NIGHT! (at least this is my plan)

But mostly we are looking forward to spending quality time (when I'm not doing any of the above mentioned!) doing lots of sight seeing around the island and enjoying the warm autumn weather.

Neily boy is excited too as apparently Nanny makes a better cup of tea than I do!

x K

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Preppy pan collar makeover....A tutorial, eeek.!

The Whirlwind has a stack of plain t-shirt's in her draw, I have been meaning to spruce them up for ages and finally got round to doing one during yesterdays nap time.

From boring old plain t-shirt, to this........

You will need....
pencil, paper, ruler, tale measure, sewing machine, needle & thread. breakfast bowl!
x1 plain t-Shirt ( from here on referred to as a tee)
x1 22x13 inch piece of fabric.
x1 7inch strip of bias tape (store bought or make your own)
x2 buttons
x2 2inch strips of elastic thread.

Please note these measurements are what I used to create a collar on an age 2 toddler tee. You may have to adjust your own measurements accordingly.
You can click on each picture individually for a closer look at my notes.

First off I created a pattern for the shape of the collar I wanted. I basically found a bowl from the kitchen which had approximately the same curve as the neckline and placed it on top of the tee, then made little pencil Marks on both sides of the side of the bowl where it met with the shoulder line.

Now place your bowl onto a sheet of large paper (I taped 2 A4 sheets together) and draw your curve line from shoulder mark to shoulder mark.

Eyeball the look and shape that you want for your collar.... I wanted a curved peter pan style, but you could easily do pointed lapels(good for boys tee's) or a scalloped edge the choice is yours.

Go back and pick up your tee again and measure the back neck line from shoulder to shoulder, then divide this number by 2.

Take this number as the distance you need to draw a straight line up from the inner shoulder point in your pattern.....For example The Whirlwinds tee measured 9inches along the back neckline This divided by 2 is 4.5inches. So I drew a straight line 4.5inches up from the top of the inner curve I had already drawn on my paper. (make sense?). Extend the outer curve into a line to match the first. This will be the part of the collar that runs round the back of the neck.

You basically now have your pattern, but you need to add seam allowance. I always use a 1/4inch seam allowance and I eyeballed this around my pattern like so...

Once this is all done cut out your pattern (including seam allowance) and you should have something like this...

Now the fun begins!...

Fold your desired fabric in half and line up the short straight edge of your pattern with the fold. Trace round and cut out. Do this twice, when you are done and open up your fold you should have two long strips resembling a 'C' shape....

Pin the collars right sides together, mark two points a distance of 2inches along the middle top curve, and sew all around your perimeter from one point to the other. Do not sew across the 2inch mark as this will be where you turn right side out. Once sewn trim your seam allowance (no closer than 2mm from your stitches and not across the 2inch opening) and then clip tiny slits along your curve lines and clip the corners this will give much smoother curves once turned right side out just be careful not to cut through your stitching.

Turn right side out...use a chopstick or a blunt pencil to help push out your corners. Tuck in your opening ,iron flat and topstitch around the entire collar.

Take your tee and turn inside out. Find the mid point of the back neckline(fold shoulder seam to shoulder seam to find this) Do the same for your collar and pin the inner neckline of your collar to the inner neck of your tee working from the back mid point to the front lapels....
Sew together starting about 1/2inch in from the start of one end of the collar, and stopping 1/2inch from the other end of the collar( this gives you room to attach your bias tape.) I used a zigzag stitch, but I don't think it matters if you use a straight stitch as there will be an opening at the front anyway to get it over your head.(you will notice in my pics that my collar did not quiet meet up in the centre, this is because I changed my mind over which tee I wanted to make over.. I noticed a hole at the bottom of my original tee... and was too lazy to re-do another collar, but on the original tee they met closer in the middle!)

Now turn your tee right side out and flip your collar out and iron down.

Mark a vertical line 3inches down the centre of your tee between the 2 lapels (collar) and cut (make sure this line is straight!)

Take your bias tape (measurement calculated by x2 the length of the incision + an extra inch for tidy ends...Tuck in 1/2inch at each end for tidy seams)line it up with the top or your tee( in the 1/2inch space) and sew all the way down one side and up the next of the cut in one continuous length. (look here for how to make your own bias tape and how best to sew on bias tape) Go back and sew down the 1/2inch section of the lapels on top.
I seem to have lost the pic for cutting the front of the tee and sewing the bias, so I have tried to write clear directions on this earlier pic instead.

Hand sew on your buttons, one at the top, one mid way down. Do the same on the other side for your elastic loops, You will have to test exactly how big or small your loops need to be depending on the size of your button.

Voila....Stand back and admire the cuteness of your work.

Then spend half an hour chasing your little one around the place trying to get a decent pic ! Or admire yourself in the mirror as you can easily make this for your own tee.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. It is the first one I have ever written and its a bit thrown together, so please feel free to ask me anything vie comments or email if none of it makes any sense!

x K

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Wool Plaid shorts.

You can never have to many shorts.... right? They can be one of the most versatile items in any fashionista's wardrobe.

Wear them in the sun with a simple tee......

or layered up in the winter with leggings and boots.....

These ones are made from a wool plaid and my favourite Amy Butler print from her love collection. I am going to work on creating a tutorial for these as I'm really pleased at how they turned out, and It's about time I shared one! Also it gives me an excuse to make another pair!

x K

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Reunited, and it feels so good......

Well she is finally here, my one true love and I are finally reunited. It was a long drawn out reunion to be honest. For the first couple of days all we could do was look longingly at one another. We were desperate to be left alone, but with only 10 days in England and 101 friends and family needing a visit I had to wait at least 5 of those days before we could have a long embrace, and even then it was limited. For this reason we were unable to participate in Kids clothes week (I was so naive to even think we would!) although we did create a pair of green apple print baby shoes with matching applique onesie for our good friends new baby boy and a matching (in red apples) for his big sis.....obviously I forgot to photograph them, but trust me they were cute.
After that I had to bundle my lover up in bubble wrap and 15kg of my favourite fabrics and supplies, stuff it all into 2 suitcases and up, up and away we went.

So far we have created 11 red super hero capes.....

For Neilyboys works 'Its a knockout' fun day. There are 10 in his team but The Whirlwind demanded I make her one as well, and it stopped her from trying to pull them off the machine once she had her own. This turned out to be a really fun afternoon where we got to meet a lot of Neilyboys colleague's family's.

My new HUGE beach bag......(it has rained every day here since I finished it!!)

I made the pattern up as I went along and I can seriously fit EVERYTHING including the kitchen sink in there!....I LOVE IT!

Another bag for a little girls 8th birthday. I made it late one evening to take to the party the next day, so obviously I forgot to photograph it...Again! (It was denim with cute floral semi circle ruffles) But here are some pics of The Whirlwind at said party wearing the H&F dress I made for her 2hrs before the party started.

She has a matching bow clip in her hair (somewhere!) I absolutely love this fabric. I found it in a little fabric shop by my mums last year. I only bought a meter and made myself a skirt. I desperately wanted some more, but whenever I went back to the shop they never had it in and the little old lady that owns the place couldn't figure out what I was blabbing on about when I tried to describe it to her, anyway when we were home last month I popped in just to buy some buttons and there it was, so I bought 4metres (it was only £4.99 per mtr so why not huh!)I'm planning on using it for the lining of The Whirlwinds new coat (when I get round to it)

We also made some shorts out of a zara tea towel......Neily boy thinks there too short but I think they are really cute!

I have 2 more tea towels in autumnal colours to make some more, it may be raining right now but it is still very humid and shorts with tights is such a cool look when it cools down.

So that's all so far.

On the sewing table this week is a new bag for me, just a medium size tote to use when I need to pick u a few groceries as the supermarkets charge you £1 per bag out here.
Then I think I might start on the winter wardrobe as it looks like the weather has definitely turned now and although all of The Whirlwinds summer dresses will look cute layered up, she will really needs some heavier weight stuff.

Also I have started on a 'secret' project which I might just share a few sneak peeks with you!

Happy stitches for now and checkout this cool giveaway/fundraiser on this super cute blog

x K

Monday, 13 September 2010

I may not have a sewing machine, but we can still make........

......Fairy Princess wings
I think 'we all know' who had the most fun doing all this cutting and sticking!......We will be finding bits of peach tissue paper everywhere for weeks! There is also a matching wand but she point blankly refused to hold it up for the camera!

If you haven't seen or heard of the wonderful Elsie Marley then go take a look at her blog. She is hosting another kid's clothes week challenge for Fall/Autumn. She did one in the spring which I missed, but as I will be reunited with my 'ONE TRUE GREAT LOVE'(sewing machine) this Friday I think joining in will be a fun way to get back into the sewing swing of things

So what do i plan on making....

- A new coat for The Whirlwind. I really loved the spring coat I made her but it was always a bit snug and now just wont do. so I shall use the same pattern and I'm thinking purple cord or twill for a new one, as believe it on not it does get a little cold here in the winter months.

-Pants/knickers....We're potty training right now and you can never have too many.


-A beach bag- Can you believe I never took one to Malta, so had to buy a really bright yellow awful thing in a beach emergency.

So that's for starters...What will you be sewing?

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The silent city

Wednesday was a public holiday in Malta. I don't know what for exactly, but more than likely it was to do with a Saint!
We decided to head to the Medieval city of M'dina....
It is situated high on a hill

It has Lots of winding narrow streets

Beautiful houses (The old palaces which are now private residence)

A beautiful Cathedral

Panoramic views of the Island

Lots of history (something to do with Knights)

Beautiful little features everywhere

Is this not the prettiest cash point machine you have ever seen!

It is also known as 'The silent city'...again i don't know why....
But for the 1.5hrs we were there it was renamed 'The incredibly noisy toddler city!!'

Yesterday was my birthday.......I got a different selection of presents than i normally get, i think due to having to post them and all, but all lovely and much appreciated. The highlight are my john Lewis vouchers which i CAN NOT WAIT to blow in the haberdashery department when I'm home next week (exactly a week today).

Happy weekend folk's. We are barbecuing and water parking it this weekend how about you?


Friday, 3 September 2010

Life on the island.

So I'm a very bad blogger.....It's official.

The truth be told i have found myself in a bit of a blogging rut since we moved to Malta. I have started many post's but finished none (except this one i hope!) The main problem is my lack of sewing machine and supplies.
I'm finding that one day is very much like the next at the moment. I never thought I would find myself complaining about the heat, but it really has been too hot. In the high 30's/40's most days, although the temperature has dropped the last two days and there have actually been a few 'grey' clouds in the sky this morning...apparently we are set for storms this weekend!
Due to the insufferable heat and the mountain of a hill we have to walk up to get home from a trip, we are spending most of oer days as follows...

Mornings at the beach, the playzone (indoor ball park with air con!) or walking along
the promenade.
Then home for lunch by 1pm.
Then 2hr nap (for me too!)
Followed by an afternoon of me chasing The Whirlwind round the flat with a potty hoping
she will poo into that, and not on the floor! (thank God for marble floors!)

We have also become somewhat obsessed with the Disney Movie Cars, and by 'we' i mean The Whirlwind. She is not happy unless she has watched it at least 8 times a day. Literally from the moment she wakes till the moment she goes to bed at night she goes on about it...''Watch Car's now mummy?''...''I'm Lightning McQueen''...''I'm the fastest, just like lighting McQueen''...''Lets race, c'mon Lightning McQueen''....On and on she goes! So far she has managed to manipulate a Lightning McQueen toy car, bucket and spade and cup and plate set out of us. But she can spot the brand images from 50 paces and it is EVERYWHERE.....I guess its the 'Boy's' Equivalent of Disney Princesses (whom she doesn't even bat an eyelid at!

Our evenings are where it has all come alive....We have had lots of dinners out and barbeque's with friends, one of the biggest adjustments living out here has been the fact that the children are all up late. Ruby comes 'everywhere' with us and it has taken me a while to figure out how best to handle this, as her routine in the UK had her in bed at 7pm on the dot, without fail. This is the time we tend to go out in the evening's here. She would be fine for the first hour (but we are an hour ahead here anyway) then she would enter the manic know the zone where they are tired but don't want to give in to it, so just go manic, and wont sit still...Not fun when your in a restaurant (a restaurant full of other children all sitting nicely without making a peep!)
But I think she is getting used to it now, Later naps for her and more alcohol for me has resulted in us being a lot more chilled out of an eve now.

There is a mother and toddler club starting up next week which we shall be going along to with some friends that we have met, and then the week after that we are actually going home for a week. I am very excited about this trip as i intend to spend the whole seven days glued to my sewing machine....and it will defiantly be coming back to Malta with me this time.

Looking out my window it is actually raining right now, that's the first time in the eight weeks we have been here that it has rain. I think i will have to take The Whirlwind out to jump some puddles!
x K