Saturday, May 24, 2014

Embroidery with kids

I have just learnt a very valuable lesson. Never underestimate what your child can do. Also try many different things with your child, because you never know what they think is totally awesome and fun to do. We've been a bit sick this week, Emma the most. So yesterday when we decided it was best to stay home and just rest the day, I knew I had to come up with something fun to do.

As soon as I took my embroidery hoop to start a project myself, she asked if she could try it too. She's never ever tried doing embroidery so I got a piece from our non-slip mat, blunt needle and embroidery thread.

 I was stunned how excited she was. Usually her attention span lasts for 10-15 minutes, but with this we were going for over an hour. I think all the different colours helped. I cut a short piece of the colour she wanted, started it for her and then she went up and down with the needle. Once the thread was finished she got to choose another colour and so forth.

The non-slip mat works great because it has big holes in it and is very easy for little hands to handle. We had a little break after an hour to have lunch and then after lunch she went back to work! WHAT!! was my reaction.

This is super good way to let your little once practise embroidery. Who cares if it doesn't make a picture, they are still practicing fine motor skills. I think this would have enough of practise for her, but because I was embroidering on fabric, she wanted to make a picture on fabric as well.

Straight away the challenge was that she had to use a sharp needle (I tried to explain this to her, but she didn't care). The next challenge was that embroidery for a 3,5 year old is very very difficult when she can't even draw colour inside the lines yet. I thought that straight lines are probably the easiest way to go, so I drew her different geometric shapes to choose from. A square, a house, a diamond, a triangle... She wanted to do a rainbow...

Geometric rainbow it was to be then, a good compromise I thought. I drew the lines with a sharpie (I don't care if they show) and I also was dictator enough to force the colours in the right order. But after that she did almost everything herself. Of course I helped her to make the knot at the end of the thread, but she was very precise as to where the needle was coming up and where it was going down. The sharpie actually helped a lot on the wrong side as well, because she could see it on that side too.

 GOSH I'M PROUD! Did I mention that yet? I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw her going. Not once did she poke herself with the sharp needle and I sat right next to her the whole time with my jaw on the ground. She is 3,5 years and just made her first proper embroidery work! I'm so stoked, and so is she.

It is now on a prime spot on our wall, but I'm hoping to move it to my craft room wall soon. She was so excited to show her rainbow to her dad and this is surely one of those crafts that will be saved forever!

So want to see what I made myself?

It is a giraffe that Emma's drawn. I really really love it so I thought I needed to embroider it. Yesterday ended up being all about Emma, but what a happy day it was for her even though she was sick.

 Once again, if you try embroidery with your child, please please send me a picture. I would LOVE to see their creations!

Monday, May 19, 2014

First small airplane flight for the little miss

Sometimes life gives you treats. For Emma it was last Sunday afternoon when she got to go for her very first small airplane flight. Of course she's a bit of a world traveller already and has travelled from one side of the world to the other 5 times (and she's not even 4 years old yet), but still this was something totally different. You're flying much closer to the ground and the ride is much more bumpy than in an airbus. She was so thrilled to get up there!

The back of the ute is the best place to watch the gliders be tugged up in the sky.

Of course Noah had to get a chance to sit in the plane too and he was pretty puffed sitting at the front. He only cried about 10 minutes after Emma took off.. After couple more years hopefully he can be as lucky as Emma was yesterday. Apparently she had LOVED it. It didn't matter that it was rather windy and the ride was bumpy, she had giggled with joy and enjoyed her special experience.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Easy as pyjama pants TUTORIAL

This is dedicated to my dear friend Linda, who has so bravely started her sewing practises and already finished at least 3 pyjama pants for her daughter and one pair for herself. May you keep sewing them pants and next time we'll have to learn something new, maybe shirts? And then dresses for summer! Or or what about bags??

 The whole pyjama pants fascination started when I made her a sewing kit for her birthday present. I cut the pants and elastic, drew the instructions and she just had to sew them together (and the finished pants look awesome by the way). I wanted to take pictures of all the stages, but I run out of time (sorry Linda!). But now I've taken photos of all those steps PLUS how to cut the pants without any pattern!! Interested?

So these are the pants we'll be making (the picture above). I didn't get any pictures of the finished pants on their own as she was watching me make them like a hawk and as soon as they were ready they were on her, and they haven't come off since. So I'm guessing we're having a pyjama kind of day. Anyone can make these so do give it a try, they are EASY!

You will need some cute flannelet fabric, existing pyjama pants, elastic and obviously scissors and a sewing machine. The pyjama pants, that you will use as a pattern, don't have to be exactly your child's size. Pj's are very loose so if it wasn't for the length, my daughter could still fit size 1 pyjama pants though her normal size now is 4. So I could even use size 1 pyjama pants as my pattern, but I would have to add enough length. Make sense??

I have tried to put two pictures side by side and I will give instructions below the image. Now let's get started already!

Turn the pyjama pants, that you are using as the pattern, wrong way around so that you see the seams. Fold the fabric so that you will fit one pant leg on it, right sides together.

 The long side of the pyjama pants will go along the folded edge of the material and the crotch is the curved part (image below, right side). Remember that you will have to leave plenty of fabric over the waistband as you will be folding it back to fit the elastic in the waistband of your new pants.

 Then it's time to cut! Start cutting from the bottom (here is where you add some length if you need to). Remember that you will be folding this over at the end as well so you need to add a little bit extra anyway. When cutting everywhere else I usually leave 1cm seam allowance (meaning I cut 1cm from the edge of the pattern piece).

 When you get to the cutting of your waist area remember that the elastic gathers the fabric. Meaning that DO NOT cut along the pattern pants for the waist, but instead cut straight after the crutch curve (look at the picture above again). If you don't like cutting with the pants on top of the fabric, use a pencil to draw around the pattern pants first and then cut along that line. This is totally optional and I for once don't do this.

Obviously you need too pants legs to to make pants, so to cut the other leg I use the one I've just cut. That way I don't have to leave any seam allowance and the two leg pieces will be exactly the same size.

 Now unfold your two pieces and put them together with right sides facing each other. Your pieces should look like the ones in the picture above. Then sew along the curved edges (along the black lines that I've marked in the image. Don't sew anything else just yet. Instead grab the scissors and cut a little strip off from the middle of the waist. I haven't marked it on the image (silly me), but you can see that the right end of the waist is higher than the left. The higher side will be the back of the pants and lower side the front.

Turn the sides that you just sew together and your pants will actually resemble pants! Now sew both of the legs. Start from the bottom of the other leg, doesn't matter which one, and go around to the bottom of the other leg. Your pants are now real pants. All you need is the elastic on the waistband so that the pants will stay up.

Use your child (if you're making these pyjama pants for her) to measure how long piece of elastic you need. Then fold the fabric around the waist and make it wide enough that the elastic will fit through it after you've sewn around the waist. I always use the elastic to help me make sure that it's wide enough. Pin down the waistband and sew around, starting at the back, but remembering to leave a gap where the elastic will fit through.

Picture on the left (above) shows the gap. Safety pin works great when you put the elastic through the waist.

Once you've put the elastic through the waistband, put the ends of elastic on top of each other and sew together. Then let that last bit of elastic go under the fabric and sew the gap closed.  

All you have to now do is the hem lines. I use an overlocker as you've probably noticed, but you don't need to. You can just as well do these pants without an overlocker. For example to finish the hem lines, just fold them twice like in the picture on the right. Sew the hems, turn your pants right way around and there you have it, your pyjama pants are READY!

 There you have it, no pattern needed pyjama pants that are honestly so easy to make! (If you have any questions or if I wasn't clear enough at some points, feel free to ask for clarification.) Now put them on, be proud of yourself and send me a picture! I love seeing all the creations you guys do. And sleep tight with your new pyjama pants that you have done all by yourself!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

OH MY GOODNESS people! I have been pinching myself the whole day. I am one lucky mama. Not only do I have beautiful children with amazing personalities, but I have an unbelievable husband who keeps surprising and spoiling me time and time again. Wait till you see the present they made me, it will blow you away! But first few photos from our Mother's Day photo shoot. We just couldn't get any with both of the kids with me, so individual photos it was. My poor Noah fell over earlier in the week so he has a nice cut under his nose, in case you wonder.

I'm not the easiest person when it comes to different occasions. For example on birthdays I don't need presents from my husband but instead I want to do things together as a family that I will remember. Then on Mother's Day and Father's Day I want the present to be handmade by the kids (at least to some extent). So because the kids aren't in school yet to make me something for Mother's Day, my poor husband has to come up with something that the kids can make. This year will probably top every following year, it is that AMAZING!

 I KNOW, RIGHT?!!! AHMAZING!! Apparently Emma had been smashing the tiles and she was so excited to tell me how much fun it was that she got to go bang, bang, bang. Then together with her dad they assembled them on the pot. I think it's the most amazing handmade present I have ever gotten. Thank you my darlings, I am so lucky to have you in my life.