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11  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Owl Pyjama Case on: May 10, 2012 12:53:23 PM
I needed more order in my life, and an excuse for some stash-busting sewing. Owl ticked all the boxes - I used up lots of scraps, and made my daughter's room (fractionally) tidier.
Here he is, full of pyjamas:   

And here he is flat, in his night-time form:

I love win-win sewing!

There's a tutorial on my blog here: http://runcibledays.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/happy-birthday-too-whoo.html

(It's very wordy and picture heavy, but I'll try to condense it a bit and add it here later).

Thanks for having a look!
12  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Valentine eggs on toast on: February 14, 2012 05:34:04 AM
Happy Valentine's Day!

The secret? You cut a heart shaped piece from a slice of bread and then use the hole as a template for frying the egg. Meanwhile toast the heart-shaped bread, and it will fit the egg perfectly.

More photos here:
13  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / bedtime micro-storage in pirate polka dots on: September 06, 2011 01:03:19 PM
Isn't it nice when something works first time?

My son has been needing a place for his bedtime things (torch, handkerchief, clock & whatnots) to stop them falling off the edge of his bunk. And all of a sudden, I knew just what was needed!

There are pockets for all the night-time essentials, and the whole thing hangs on the edge of the bunk using velcro strips.

Here it is unfolded:

The fabrics even match his pirate bedlinen - yo ho ho!

Thanks for having a look!

(more photos here: http://runcibledays.blogspot.com/2011/09/place-for-everything-or-storage.html )

14  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Ruffled baby bloomers - now with links to template and tutorial. on: July 19, 2011 06:08:48 AM
I've made a couple of changes to the pink gingham bloomer prototype  (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=382473.msg4526560#msg4526560) - moved the lowest ruffle up a bit so it doesn't get caught in the leg elastic casing, and topstitched the ruffles to make them lie flat. This is the improved version...

Surely every girl needs a pair to match every outfit?

The template is downloadable from here:


And the instructions are here:

15  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Sorbetto top variations - from the fabulous free download by Colette patterns on: July 13, 2011 12:21:49 PM
The sorbetto top by Colette patterns is my new favourite pattern - super-quick, fits without fuss, and allows for any amount of adaptation...

Here's the link: http://www.colettepatterns.com/blog/colette-patterns-news/free-pattern-to-download-the-sorbetto-top

And here are a few of mine...

The pattern suggests a central pleat at the front, but this is a my summer version with gathers instead.

First attempt - I left the pleat open just in case it turned out a bit small - but should have trusted the pattern, it's true to the sizes on the chart.

Inspired by a version on the colette flickr pool, this has a faux-placket and buttons.

Using up a cotton voile that I've had since before the dawn of time (or at least for the last 15 years), this one is fully lined so as not to be completely transparent.

And finally, a minimalist version in swishy silk.

Why isn't this in the pattern review section? - because I haven't yet made it as per the original pattern. I'll be singing its praises in the reviews as soon as I manage to stick to the instructions all the way through (just once!).

More here: http://runcibledays.blogspot.com/2011/07/sorbetto-sundae.html

Thanks for looking!

16  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Frills and spills - ruffled bloomers for summertime on: June 08, 2011 06:33:16 AM
What could be better than a pair of matching bloomers to go with a lovely summer dress?

Matching bloomers with ruffles!

I was so looking forward to making these that i didn't stop to take photos, but I'll be back with a tutorial after the next pair!


(edited to add - tutorial now available here: http://runcibledays.blogspot.com/2011/07/making-pants-while-sun-shines-ruffled.html)
17  COOKING / Dessert / Light Sabre birthday cake on: May 15, 2011 12:51:12 PM
When my son asked for a light sabre birthday cake, he meant a full-size version... I suggested various other options but he had a very clear plan.

Thank goodness for swiss rolls and edible glitter!

18  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Frou-frou skirt for springtime ** now with tutorial ** on: April 03, 2011 06:45:45 AM

It must be the season for twirly floral skirts! This is for my one year old: the outer layer is a Riley Blake print that I've been hoarding for too long, and the petticoats are an excuse to use up some fat quarters of pretty fabrics. It's good to see them out of the sewing basket and in action at last.

The sizing here makes a skirt which fits my one-year-old quite generously - I think it could easily be adapted for bigger sizes by adding a bit of length on the skirt.

What you need:

You will need a quarter of a yard/metre for each of the two under-skirt layers, and slightly more for the outer fabric to allow for the yoke as well.
You will also need elastic for the waist - about 20'', and a few inches of extra elastic for the ruched skirt.

What to cut:

Four rectangles, each 16'' by 4'' for the front and back yoke, and front and back yoke lining.
Six rectangles, two in each colour, 23'' by 7'' for the front and back inner, middle and outer skirts.

First the yoke and lining:

With right sides together, sew 1.5'' seams at both short ends of the yoke front and back pieces, and press the seams open.

Repeat for the yoke lining front and back pieces, but leave the top 1'' of one of the side seams open.

Press the seams open for the yoke lining pieces, including the seam with the 1'' opening.

Stitch together the yoke and yoke lining around the top long seam, with right sides together and matching the side seams, with the edges of the open section on the yoke side seam abutting each other.

Trim the seam allowance, turn to right side and press.

Sew two rows of topstitching along the waist edge - the space between them will form the casing for the waist elastic, so check it is wide enough for the elastic that you plan to use.

Now for the skirt and petticoats...

Sew together the front and back pieces of the three skirt layers along both side seams, and press the seams open.

Hem and press the bottom edge of each of the three skirt layers.

Place the three skirt layers together. I aligned the hemmed edges so they would all be the same length on the finished skirt, then pinned and basted the top edge. The side seams are quite bulky if they are aligned for all three layers, so I didn't match up the side seams for the middle- and under-skirt layers - it made the gathering easier at the next step.

Mark the centre of the front and back pieces before gathering.

Gather all three layers together, until the top of the skirt is the same length as the lower edge of the yoke.

Pin the gathered edge of the skirt to the yoke, with right sides together, matching the side seams and the centre front/back.

Sew through all layers using a half inch seam allowance to attach the yoke to the skirt.

Trim, and press the seam allowances up towards the yoke.

Press a half-inch hem at the lower edge of the yoke lining, and pin the yoke lining in place inside the skirt.

From the outside, topstitch through all the layers

Almost done! I wanted the petticoat layers to be a bit more visible, so added a little bit of ruching using clear elastic. This might reduce the twirliness of the finished skirt, though, so you could skip this step if you prefer.

Ruched skirt

Mark a vertical line on the outer skirt layer about 5'' in from the left side seam.

Cut your elastic to about half the length of the skirt (mine was 3'').

Then stretch the elastic and sew it onto the wrong side of the skirt along the line you have just marked(I used a wide zig zag stitch, which is very forgiving).

Repeat the ruching process for the middle skirt layer, this time with a slightly longer piece of elastic - I used 4''.

Last of all, thread the waist elastic into its casing at the top of the yoke through the little opening at the top of the side seam (I use a safety pin at one end to wiggle it through). Sew the ends of the elastic together, and then stitch the side seam opening closed.
My waist elastic was 18'' long, about 2'' less than my baby's waist measurement.

There are photos of all these stages at http://runcibledays.blogspot.com/2011/04/frou-frou-skirt-tutorial.html

Enjoy your springtime skirt!

If you make one, please let me know, I would love to see it!
19  CLOTHING / Sewing Pattern Reviews / Classic boys' pyjamas from 'Vintage Style for Kids' Book on: March 25, 2011 02:21:26 PM

Mixed feelings on this book: on the plus side, it has beautiful photography, the clothes are gorgeous in an Enid Blyton-esque way, and there are plenty of patterns for boys (not just pyjamas, but shirts and shorts as well). On the other hand, the instructions are brief to the point of unhelpfulness, and the computer printouts of the pattern pieces don't give any indication of scaling, so construction from this book is a hit and miss affair. On balance, possibly more of a coffee table book that a useful resource for making childrens' clothes? Having said that, if you are prepared to use the patterns as a basis for making your own adjustments, and to tweak the construction methods a bit, you could build a whole wardrobe from this book - it would just take some time and resourcefulness!
20  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Hoodie with ears on: March 08, 2011 01:27:41 PM
Who doesn't need a hoodie with ears?

The hoodie was made for my son for World Book Day - he wanted to dress up as Captain Bluebear, and I wanted to play with my new overlocker!

He stitched the bear tummy on himself...

The ears took a bit of experimentation before I got them right! Here's a link to the final version...

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