Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lalaloopsy 5th birthday party

So Miss 4 turned 5 …. in February. I know I’m totally on top of my blogging aren’t I? I also didn't have a chance to get out my camera all day - so all iPhone photos. Sorry!

Yummy cupcakes!
Very excited birthday girl!
This is one party that was a lot of fun to put together. If you don’t know the story of Lalaloopsy (which are sending me broke), essentially they were once rag dolls that magically came to life when their very last stich was sewn. Seriously, could it be more exciting for a sewist to create a party about rag dolls!!

Table set up ready for the party

We try to stick to the rule in our family that they number birthday you are having is the number of friends you can invite. Seems to be working for us at the moment. So Miss 5 had five little friends come over on the afternoon of her actual birthday. It was very manageable with the activities we planned.

Button biscuits with holes poked out with the end of a chop stick
I try to organise just a three or four different games or activities. We set up the lounge room floor with all her little Lalaloopsy dolls, the new Lalaloopsy Sew Sweet House Playhouse and a little remote car. Towards the end of the party we played a really fun hide and seek game that Miss 5 received for Christmas. One person (big brother on this day!) hides a little doll somewhere in the house. There is a bunch of cardboard circles which you turn over that prompt questions like, ‘Is Lalaloopsy in a room with a bed?’. It includes pictures and words. Then there are about 6 circles that have Find on them and over the egg timer goes as the person rushes off to find the doll based on the clues. A really great game for this age group.

Lalaloopsy hangers from the ceiling
In the kitchen (as you can see in the photos), the girls really had the most fun. I printed a bunch of Lalaloopsy doll outlines (see source list below). I raided my fabric and craft stash and had the table filled with fabric, ribbon, wool, sequins, stickers and more. The girls had a BLAST designing their own Lalaloopsy doll and had to come up with the names too. I should have printed more as some of the girls did two or three versions. Highly recommended for a party game or even a rainy afternoon of fun.
The creative zone making their designs
I didn't take a photo but I made each girl a little button hair clip and a ribbon flower hair tie with a Lalaloopsy doll face in the centre. I prefer these to a bag full of lollies but they did have the chance to take from what was left on the table. (There is a little sneaky photo on Instagram if you want to follow me to find it though).
You can see all my pins on my Inspirations for Miss 5’s birthday party board here on Pinterest.
Sources for everything I put together for the party are here: 
  • Invitations and party kit via Etsy (shop isn’t available at the moment)
  • Tissue paper decorations – via a local bargain shop
  • Lalaloopsy hanging decorations –
  • via eBay
  • Scallop punch for the cupcake toppers – via eBay (and already used quite a bit since)
  • Buttons from my stash to make the letter A canvas which now hangs in her bedroom
  • Green backdrop, green striped baking cups, serviettes and plates – from
  • Master 7’s birthday party last year!
  • Chocolate button mould –
  • via eBay
  • Doll base via 
  • Lalaloopsy ribbon and faces –
  • via eBay

Some of the girls Lalaloopsy creations
A very fun day with six excited little girls and two exhausted parents.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sweet Pouch Swap - reveal

This post is way overdue. Insanely so! But I think it deserves to be shared!
With Texas front and centre!

Back in January, Ros from Sew Delicious announced the third Sweet Pouch Swap (seriously if you want to be involved next time – sign up to her newsletter). I want you to briefly reflect on my madly signing up on my iPhone while on holidays!! I was so happy to get a spot. You can see here what I made last year and what I received.

Different 'patched' fabric on the reverse
I was teamed up with the absolutely beautiful Martha from Texas. I felt like it was fate in a way. Such kindred spirits! Martha’s day job is working in environmental education for her local town (I say town but I imagine huge, massive Texas style city!).  The brief was to create something for a greenie with a sewing room decorated in red and black.

Martha is a crazy busy person (yes another thing in common) and was running her own swap at the same time (here is what she made – wow!!). We kinda, maybe, might have agreed between us to be a little more relaxed with the deadlines hence why this post is so long after (I did send and receive it in April though). Martha’s sewing business is making zippered pouches. Seriously? The pressure!! No way was I going to make her a zippered pouch. What’s the point really.

I added an extra pocket inside
I decided to make another pattern from the Sew Fab Bundle last year. The LBG Studio Convertible Clutch. I wanted it to be the type of bag she could use for sewing bits and bobs or take out or use in her room. I ended up using the exact same material as I did for the swap last year since it was sewing themed and red and black. I wanted to add a little something for this Texas girl so grabbed a shape of Texas and appliqued it on. I don’t have an embroidery machine so I hope she doesn’t look too closely as I might have skimmed the edges a little and cut off a city or two!!

Martha’s beautiful daughter collects magnets so rather than a bag filled with treats, she actually had a Melbourne magnet, a Sydney magnet and an Australian animal magnet included. Those things are heavy so I didn’t include as much as I would have liked to. Of course the obligatory Tim Tams and caramel Koalas were inside!

You can follow Martha on Instagram. Blog or Etsy .

I’ll be back next week to share what I received.  


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pattern review: Debbie’s birthday dress by sewpony Vintage

One pattern I've been meaning to review for ages is the Debbie's birthday dress by Suz from the blog sewpony. I've made a couple of versions of this now and have been meaning to get photos but rather than delaying it even more, I'll share just this one with you. I can always blog about the other versions later, right?

Debbie's birthday dress by sewpony Vintage

This dress is the original vintage length
Debbie's birthday dress is a vintage style pattern. The design is a classic A-line style. There are two variations available in the pattern - one with a separate bodice (which I made) and the other one has a seam down the centre of the dress with a peter pan collar, accent buttons and a pocket. I haven't had the chance to try the collar yet but I would love to try it with cord fabric as the main dress and some pretty feature fabric for the collar, pocket and lining.
The pattern has been updated since its original release and I think it was worthwhile. In the original pattern, I found it was quite short. Yes that is the vintage look but my little Miss prefers her dresses longer. In the two dresses I have made since, I just added some length to the dress. Suz has updated the pattern to narrow the width on the shoulders, narrow overall width and lengthen slighly. I will just have to make another now, won't I?
Miss 5 loves the pink lace detail at the front

I added some little flutter sleeves to the version I made here. No reason, just I wanted to add a little extra detail. I would love to try the tunic adjustment which might justify making another (surely Miss 5 doesn’t need ANOTHER dress!).
Suz has spent a lot of time perfecting this pattern and it shows. I really love learning new things since everyone has different ways to achieving the same outcome. Honestly one little aspect of her hem is pure genius. Genius!! (I’m trying not to give it away so you buy the pattern to find out!). 

Will I make this again? - absolutely. I have one that needs a button and another nearly complete!
Will I make this to sell for Lil Pip? – not at this stage
Sweet little button closure detail at the back

Pattern: sewpony Vintage Etsy store and check out the Flickr group for inspiration
Fabric: Tilda Garden Memories Teal Fabric (in short supply now and very expensive. Wish I had lots more as was very popular) and basic cotton from Spotlight.

Difficulty (1-10 scale with 1 being easy and 10 hard): 6 just because of the little details with lining, bodice etc. and I haven't even attempted the collar. Yikes scary!
Time: I would allow 2 hours to sew this dress.

Lil Pip has received no payment or sponsorship for this review – I do it cause I want to share my experiences

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pattern review: The Ananda Pants by Chopstix Patterns

If you have been following my blog for a while, you will notice lots of reviews using patterns designed for knit or jersey fabrics (like the Janey Jump Around Dress last week, the Tumble Tee, the Vintage V neck or the Funky Mister Shorts). I have really been challenging myself to sew more and more with knit not just cause I like a challenge but it is largely what my children wear. Plus it is so different to make I make for my business and it makes for a nice change.

The Ananda Pants by Chopstix Patterns

The designer describes these pants as “an easy fit, yoga style, knit pant for girls”. I had read other bloggers saying that the fit is quite long so I was confident in making a size 4 for my little Miss 5 – yes if you were there you would have seen me holding up the paper pattern and saying ‘yep that’ll do!’.

This pattern was included in the Sew Fab Pattern Bundle last year. Because I’m in the southern hemisphere, I often don’t get to make the patterns until 6 months later. One advantage of this delay is I can watch what other bloggers create – there are some great ideas with this one.

The pattern is sized from 2 through to 10 and I can see myself making these for many, many years to come.

This pattern is a beginner pattern. It only has two pieces – the leg (cut two!) and the waistband. If you want to try sewing with knits, this is a fantastic one to try. Next time I will mix it up and have a contrasting waistband fabric.
My poor Miss 5 had a bump near her eye - still modelled beautifully!

Will I make this again? - absolutely. I think Miss 5 would like these in many colours as they are super comfy and easy to wear.

Will I make this to sell for Lil Pip? – No I really wish I could find knit at a price I could justify selling for.
Cute and comfy fold over 'yoga' waist

Fabric: Found at an op shop (thrift store) last year – I’m totally loving the 80s vibe of this pattern.

Difficulty (1-10 scale with 1 being easy and 10 hard): 2. Seriously get your knit on!

Time: A very quick sew – perhaps 1 hour including cutting the fabric. That’s being generous. 30 minutes would do it!


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Pattern review: Janey Jump Around dress Peekaboo Pattern Shop

It has been a while since I’ve reviewed a pattern. I can directly attribute my lack of ‘new’ pattern making to my busy market period. I tend to not have any time to make additional things other than my market stock. Since I don’t have another market now until September, I have some spare time on my hands and have been making lots for the owlets lately.

Janey Jump Around dress
I’ve been trying more and more to sew with knit / jersey fabric. As soon as this was available I downloaded it – and it’s free! I love the simplicity of the pattern. That it is comfortable to wear a dress to play in and can also be a little more special.

The pattern is sized from 6 months to 10 years. I made a size 5 for my little owlet who only just turned 5 in February. She is small but I like this has room for layering and growth. 
Ignore the fact that I cut the front pieces the wrong way, I just had to be careful to cut them both the wrong way. I also have used some fold over elastic all around the front rather than the suggested ribbing just to add my own spin. I choose the long sleeves and omitted the ribbing on the cuffs. There is option for short sleeves and you could make it sleeveless if you fold over a scant hem.

I will need to replace the buttons here as they are too small but I couldn’t find the right size or colour amongst my very random vintage stash of buttons. These were chosen by Miss 5 of course!

A little singlet poking out underneath - whoops!

Will I make this again? - absolutely. I think this is a great every day dress for weekend wear or kindergarten.
Will I make this to sell for Lil Pip? – No – yet again a lack of good quality knit at a reasonable price point. I’m happy to pay for my own children but I don’t think people would pay what I would need to charge.

Fabric: Found at Spotlight last year. I collect whenever I can!

Difficulty (1-10 scale with 1 being easy and 10 hard): 6 just because it is knit and some find it a little more challenging. The actual construction of the dress is quite simple.
Time: A very quick sew – perhaps 1 to 1.5 hours including cutting the fabric.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Challenge fabric

I have chosen this lovely 'Outfoxed' fabric by Lizzy House in the Outplayed colour way to make my bowling set. I mainly buy large yardage for my business but love collecting fat quarter bundles of designs I love. I have no idea what I was going to use this for but thought the blues, purples and corals would work well for my little Miss 5 and her big brother Master 7.

I love the little hedgehogs and foxes peeking out.

I bought this fabric a fair while ago (circa 2011??). A quick look online is not coming up with much but perhaps you might be more successful!

What will you use to make your bowling set?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Join me in a sewing / crafty challenge

The Lil Pip business side of things is now made up of two people - myself and my partner Bridie who blogs over at One Crafty Morning. We have been very fortunate to have my gorgeous next door neighbour, Emily helping to design our new look. As a thank you, I have been giving her sewing lessons. It is rather fun getting together and if she comes unstuck, it is just a matter of popping over the fence to ask a question (usually over a glass of wine!). Emily is already very creative - I own two of her necklaces which can be found on Etsy or follow her on Instagram - so it is just a matter of teaching her slightly different skills.

Since I'm trying to extend her, I challenged her with making this "I heart Bowling" sewing pattern by Birdiful Stitches via Etsy or You Can Make This. Bridie is going to join in and we thought others might want to as well. So the month of May is bowling month!

I heart Bowling pattern by Birdiful Stitches (Source)
This pattern only needs 6 fat quarters of fabric or you could make it really scrappy and use all different fabric. I think a rainbow style with four different fabrics in one colour for each one would look fantastic.

So who will join us? I will be back tomorrow to share with you the fabric I have chosen.

If you want to get prepared for future months (with fabric or pattern purchases) we will be making: 

If you have any ideas for future challenges, let us know with a comment. The idea is to be doing something different so it doesn't have to just be sewing related.

Lil Pip Designs

If you join us, use the hashtag #lilpipchallenge in social media so we can follow you, join the Flickr group, use the blog button above and please link your blog post in the Linky Party below.

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