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1  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Buckle tai baby carrier! on: February 12, 2011 03:21:41 AM
This is my first post for ages! I had a baby, and got all busy and what have you, but am so proud of my latest project that I had to show it off.

I have a Manduca carrier for the little one, and though I really like it, there are a couple of things about it that I'd change if I could. And then one day I thought, hang about, I COULD! So I sat down one evening with the carrier and a pen and paper, measured and thought and sketched out my ideas, and after a few naps, some blood, sweat and tears, I came up with this. I like to think of it as the dirty love child of a mei tai and a soft structured carrier, but I think the technical term is a buckle tai:

The straps are the same length, they just look a little wonky cause there's no baby in!

The webbing runs right the way through the straps, and the whole way around the waist belt for added strength. The fabric is upholstery canvas from Ikea and is lined in more canvas. The straps are foam padded, and the body is padded with a little polar fleece, so it's comfy and warm.

The Manduca has a sleeping hood, but I found my little one hates having her head covered, and it wakes her up, so I made a little sleeping flap which folds and fastens down with poppers when not in use. It's double padded, so it's extra comfy for her when she's snoozing.

And an action shot! (Please excuse my filthy mirror)

I took it out for a test run yesterday, and there are a few things  I'll change next time (oh yes, already planning a next time) but on the whole I don't think it's too shabby for less than 10 of materials and about 4 hours sewing  Cheesy
2  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Baby Ripple Blanket! on: January 23, 2010 08:17:30 AM
This is the first time I've ever finished a blanket. Yay! I've started on LOADS, but always seem to abandon them along the way. So I tried a smaller, baby sized one, and success!  Cheesy

It's made from Cotton-Ease, which I love, but is ridiculously difficult to get hold of at a non-ridiculous price in the UK. Stupidly easy pattern + picture tute here: http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/neat-ripple-pattern.html

I haven't decided whether to give it to my extremely pregnant friend, or keep it for my baby (I'm not due for a while). I'll wait and see if she has a boy yet. I'd use it for either flavour, but she's pretty traditional!  Grin
3  COOKING / Dessert / Jellybaby lemon cupcakes! on: August 16, 2009 04:26:32 AM
I made these bad boys for my mum's birthday yesterday - they're the lemon cupcakes from Rachel Allen's 'Bake' book. And they are REALLY good - the lemon buttercream is just lemony enough, and the cake is moist and dense. Yum!  Cheesy

I wanted to get the little jelly lemons to decorate the top, but they didn't have any in the shop, so I had to go with jellybabies instead.

4  COOKING / Dessert / Tea-poached pear cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream on: March 13, 2009 10:01:13 AM
I'm off work sick today, but not really feeling as sick as I should be, so I eased my slight guilt with cupcakes!

They're tea-poached pear cakes loosely based on this recipe. I left the vanilla beans out of the cake mix, cause I wanted to frost them with my experimental vanilla bean buttercream. They're very tasty  Cheesy

Before frosting:

After frosting, and with extremely girly sprinkles!

I totally recommend trying this recipe, even if you can't resist altering it a little! It's so moist, and the flavours are sweet and subtle. Very nice Smiley
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Birds on wires midi messenger bag on: February 03, 2009 05:33:02 AM
I literally haven't made a bag in years, but I saw an awesome photo of birds sitting on power lines, and in my head it became floral and embroidered, and then there really wasn't any way it could be anything but a bag. Some hours later, this baby was born. I'm in love with the concept, but pink's not really my colour. But I'll definitely make myself one with little green or grey birds  Cheesy

It's made from raw black denim, lined with floral cotton. The little birds are appliqued on in the same cotton, and the lines are embroidered in a pale pink. The strap and the little fastening tag are lined too.

It's smaller than it looks - my dressform is just midgety! It's a perfect everyday size - roomy, but not too big.

Hope you enjoy!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Toasty-warm Talea winter coat! on: December 21, 2008 02:56:00 PM
Just finished my winter coat, adapted from the free (!) Burdastyle Talea pattern (www.burdastyle.com/patterns/show/12). I made it a lot less busy, and had to adjust the sizing, as the shoulders and waist were huge on me. It's a bit of a labour of love - I've been working on it for weeks - but it wasn't that complicated, it's just a lot of coat to manoeuvre round your sewing machine! 

I got the fabric from ebay for super cheap - it's a great heavy pure wool, and I lined it in light grey polar fleece, so it's super warm, but not at all itchy to wear! Buttons were from my stash, so all in all, one very low budget coat!

These pics aren't the best, I'll try and get some natural light action shots when I can (too excited). My dressform has smaller boobs and bigger shoulders than me, so the fit isn't ideal, and the flash washed out all the colours - it's lovely and dark and subtle really, but you get the idea  Cheesy

7  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Grey Grace Lace Beret! on: December 03, 2008 04:30:52 AM
It's a tongue-twister...I guess. This is actually my third ever completed knitting project (I've got about a hundred UFOs knocking about, but rarely finish anything) and I'm pretty proud of it. It's also the first time I've ever blocked anything, and it is indeed magical, although in my noviceness I have somehow managed to get some of the eyelets to widen more than the others, so the one on the fourth pattern row is quite the loner and kinda looks like he shouldn't be there! Oh well. Live and learn.

I love it, anyway, and I really like this yarn - it's Sublime extrafine merino, and it's really soft and warm. Winter days, here I come!

8  COOKING / Dessert / Dairy-free/vegan cake recipe? on: October 31, 2008 11:03:08 AM
My niece will be 2 soon, and her mum has asked if I'll make her a birthday cake. Only problem is, she's allergic to milk, so all my current recipes are no good.

Can anyone suggest a good, tasty dairy-free cake and frosting recipe?

Thank you  Cheesy
9  COOKING / Dessert / My first cupcakes! on: October 19, 2008 11:27:51 AM
So my latest crafty love is baking, and after eyeballing all the mouth-watering cupcakes on this board, I decided to try my own.

The first batch (chilli chocolate with red vanilla buttercream frosting) wasn't the best looking -  I put WAY too much red colour into the buttercream, and it was practically luminous. I'm surprised I haven't turned red - but I quite surprised myself by how nice they tasted. Go me  Cheesy

So then I went for batch 2. Vanilla with vanilla choc buttercream (oh yeah, I'm mad for the buttercream). And now I'm in love. I may not even eat them, just peek adoringly at them now and again! I'm particularly smitten with the tiny animal sprinkles!

And I know this is not a dessert, but while I was baking, my lovely hubby was hard at work making these ginger chicken spring rolls (from SCRATCH - what a star!), which were totally delicious  Cheesy

10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / 3 new tops! on: May 27, 2008 01:44:02 PM
I've been sewing like a madwoman lately. That is, a madwoman who has a full time job and is getting married very soon. So really I've just been sewing a bit, but still a lot more than normal.

Anyhoo, these are my 3 latest creations, the first one is for mememe ( Cheesy) and the other two are to sell. All made from scratch with my own patterns and all-new materials. As you may notice if you are eagle-eyed, I'm still playing with the button placement on the first one (am v indecisive). I can't even decide if I want buttons on there at all! I think I do, though.

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