Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday fun

This week on the Lil Pip Facebook page for our regular Friday fun post, I am asking what is your favourite colour.

It probably comes as no surprise that my favourite colour is purple! Growing up (in the 80s!), I had my room painted purple with beautiful Laura Ashley bedspread and matching curtains.

I only recently asked my mum if I ever liked another colour after seeing how obssessed my Miss 5 is with pink (although she is wearing all different colours now but there was a period where it was pink and only pink). Mum said I never liked pink and just always loved purple.

Certainly now I like wearing purple or green for a bit of colour. As a fair headed red head, I'm limited with what I think suits me - I really struggled in that whole pastel trend!

So what is your favourite colour? Do you have different colours you prefer to wear than your favourite colour or do you cover yourself with it?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pattern review: ‘Star’ Boat neck tee by Blaverry

When Christie from Blaverry asked if I would review one of her patterns, I jumped at the opportunity. Her latest line is nautical inspired, clean lines with so much scope for personalisation.

I asked Christie to tell me a little about her business:
“Blaverry was born from a personal need to create high end commercial style clothing at an affordable cost. I demand the best quality fabrics, construction and style for my children but sometimes my taste doesn't always match my wallet so Blaverry was born. If you prefer to have your children looking classy and cute then Blaverry is sure to be just what you are looking for.”
And the name?
“The name came from parts of each of my 3 kids first names... Blayne (bl), Gavin (av), and Ferry (erry)”
Having a boy myself, what can we make for boys?
“I will start adding a boy’s line to my patterns for Fall/Winter 2014 (our Spring/Summer in Australia!). In the meantime, the boat neck tee and reversible hoodie are both gender neutral.”
Thanks Christie, now for the review.
‘Star’ Boat neck tee by Blaverry
If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that I have been pushing myself more and more to sew with knit. Anything stretchy used to scare me but not anymore.

I was surprised when I went to print the pattern out. What I thought were usual instructions actually were quite different. This is the first time I have ever received a pattern that was all in one sheet. So yes you could go to Officeworks or similar and print out one page or in my case, select A3 size and have less cutting to put it together. Bonus!
This pattern is beautifully simple in design and construction with lovely details. It essentially has three pieces (each cut twice) so very quick to put together.

I only used a 1cm hem (rather than 1 inch) on the arms and body as I wanted them to be a little longer since it is winter here. Using the overlocker/serger is very fast and the rest of the pattern is finished with a twin needle. I would recommend you get one that is designed for stretch fabric. I get mine from my local sewing store rather than the big fabric shops (wink wink you know who I mean!).

Miss 5 is very happy with her new top and thank you to my amazing neighbour (who blogs at EmThreads) who came to my rescue to take photos when I ran out of daylight hours on the weekend. I’m rather inclined to get her to take all my photos considering how amazing they look but I think I should just work on improving my own skills!

Check out all the new nautical patterns on Blaverry – which one would you make?
Will I make this again? – absolutely. Great pattern which goes to size 12 so will last a long time with my little Miss 5.

Will I make this to sell for Lil Pip? – no my knit creations are just for the owlets.
She did so well considering how cold it was and then it started raining!

Pattern: Blaverry
Fabric: This cute spotty pink fabric is a recent line at Spotlight.

Difficulty (1-10 scale with 1 being easy and 10 hard): If you are a pro with stretch fabrics then you won’t find this challenging – 3 on my easy scale. If you haven’t sewn knits before, I think this is a great beginner patter.  
Time: 30 minutes to sew and a few minutes to cut!

(Lil Pip received the pattern to review, all opinions expressed are my own)

Butter wouldn't melt!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday fun

On the Lil Pip Facebook page, I have been posting Friday fun things. Little questions to learn more about you and me.
So today it is -

This one is easy for me, I don't drink any Cola. Every so often I have a diet Coke and I'm reminded why I don't. If I'm out I tend to have mineral water or lemon, lime and bitters. I get my caffiene hit through coffee!

So what is your preference - Coke, Pepsi or something else?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Big List of Crafters on instagram - with thanks to The Crafty Mummy

Have you seen what Tonya from The Crafty Mummy did?!? Love love love. I'm kinda Instgram obsessed so when Tonya put the call out and created a list of crafty IG peeps, I was so excited.
Go check it out and sign up if you are interested. And follow, follow, follow!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pattern review: Fishsticks Designs The Mud Puddle Splashers

I’ve been admiring the shorts that Pam from Threading my Way has been making for such a long time (see link here which then links to her many versions!). So when I was looking for a new pattern, I took a look a closer look these. Shorts and pants in one pattern, sizes 12 months to 12 years – winner!

For this version I added a contrasting solid green for the side seam pockets.
Fishsticks Designs The Mud Puddle Splashers
There are quite a few options for you to personalise your shorts or pants with this pattern. Firstly you can make either shorts or pants, add side pockets, add a back pocket, add faux fly details and include cuffs.

I love the slimmer fit of these shorts compared to others I have tried. Adding the cuffs means you can drop them down as they grow and add a little length. My minis just seem to get taller rather than wider.
I love these denim version!
I will admit the first time I made the shorts, I might have sewn the pockets on the wrong end. It is worth keeping your pattern attached to the fabric or pinning a size label at the top so you don’t get them mixed up. It is more obvious on the larger sizes but on the little ones, the top and bottom are virtually the same!

I had Master 7’s help in designing the pants. I wasn’t sure if I would be adding them to the Lil Pip range (and at this stage I won’t be) so I wanted to make something just for him. He chose the cord fabric and the red stripe from my stash. I’m so pleased that months after I made these they are in regular rotation in his wardrobe. An achievement with an almost 8 year old boy.
Hard to tell from the photo but the side seam
and back pockets are red tonal stripe

These shorts are a comfortable fit (or so I’m told), allowing for what boys do best – extreme playing at the same time as extra details that make these a little more special.
I love the little peek of the orange pocket there.

Will I make this again? – absolutely. Great pattern
Will I make this to sell for Lil Pip? – these shorts will be available at my markets September, October and November and online soon
Pattern: Fishsticks Designs The Mud Puddle Splashers – website, Facebook, Etsy and blog
Fabric: Shorts are Riley Blake Designs Hoo's in the Forest Plaid Blue by Doohikey Designs – found a little end of bolt on Etsy here but this is an old fabric so if you like it, grab it now! Pants are a cord from Spotlight and Robert Kaufman Dr Seuss Grinch Christmas Tonal Stripe Scarlet Red also from Spotlight. You can find it here on eBay or in the Fat Quarter Shop.
Difficulty (1-10 scale with 1 being easy and 10 hard): can I say they are 3 – 5 depending on what options you include. If you just do the straight sew then they are super easy, adding pockets, faux fly and cuffs just adds a little more of a challenge
Time: I would allow 1 – 1.5 hours to sew depending on the extra details.

(Lil Pip has received no payment or sponsorship for this review – I do it because I want to share my experiences) 
What happens when you get boys together for a photoshoot. Oh dear!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Lil Pip Challenge - Commuter Cowl by Luvinthemommyhood

I was a little more organised for this months challenge and actually made it in May. I thought it would be good to 'inspire' you with what I made. (Pffft that just makes me sound full of myself lol!).
Please excuse the tired eyes (entire house sick at the moment) and the dead roses that need pruning!!

Luvinthemommyhood Commuter Cowl

This pattern was included in the Sew Fab Bundle last year. (If you haven't already, sign up for the newsletter to find out about the releases of their bundles - they are awesome!). I don't usually realise the full potential of the bundles until 6 months later since I live in the Southern Hemisphere. This pattern was definately on my 'to do' list.
The whole idea of the Lil Pip Challenge is to try teach and challenge my next door neighbour Emily (who blogs about her new sewing advertures on EmThreads). I wanted something quick and easy she could make for herself. This certainly ticks the boxes:
  • Quick - took just 30 minutes to sew, including the hand stitching
  • Economical - just 1/2 yard of fabric or 3/4 yard if you want it a little bigger. Depending on your fabric choice, that is price effective!
  • Easy - other than me freaking out when I cut it, thinking I did it all wrong (ruining the fabric in the process) and then working out what Shannon meant by 'seal the circles together, sort of like they are kissing'
  • Creative - depending on your fabric choice and colour decisions, you can make this personal and perfect for you!
I knew exactly what fabric I wanted to use. Something bright, with blues and greens and not something I would wear as say a skirt but very happy to have a little accessory with punch!
My thoughtful, serious face (lol!)

I have some beautiful purple wool fabric at home (yes my favourite colour) so I can't wait to make another cowl that would be a little warmer than this cotton version. Flannelette would be nice too!

What do you think? Are you planning on making one for the June challenge? If you join us, use the hashtag #lilpipchallenge in social media so we can follow you, join the Flickr group, use the blog button >>> and please link your blog post in the Linky Party so we can find you!

Fabric: Dena Designs, Kumari Garden Sanjay Blue Link to Hawthorne Threads who have the collection but not this specific fabric. Plenty still available online.  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

May Lil Pip Challenge round up and June Challenge

In early May I announced a sewing /crafty challenge. It has been so much fun seeing what everyone has created. I had hoped that I would be able to show you my finished product but alas I still have to sew a few seams and take photos. I'm going to be a little kind on myself though as I have had a house full of sick people, a guest staying and now I'm coming down with this terrible flu going around too. So you know what, I'm going to show you next week!

Instead, I will share a few of my favourites:

First up is my neighbour Emily - who started a new blog, EmThreads, based on us sewing together (yay!). Please go say hi from me. I think she did a great job - I mean come on, check out the points on that ball. For a novice, that is ah-maze-ing!!

Next is Amy from Lady Bugs and Daisychains who made an adorable version with such bright dino fabric for her boys. I love that her eldest (who to me is still little) is already happily playing with them.

Finally, Mel from Mellywood's Mansion made this awesome version which just sends me straight back to the 80s with those colours and designs! So much fun.
The June challenge is a great one  - The Commuter Cowl Pattern by Very Shannon - available via Etsy, Craftsy or Go to Patterns.
I have to say that I actually finished my bowling set and quickly whiped up the cowl the same day. Seriously it is a 1/2 hour sew - max! Love something for me that I can make so quickly. Helps I just went straight to my stash to a fabric I've been 'saving' (ie reluctant to cut) and didn't have to buy something specific. I will be back next week (now I have batteries in my camera) to show you my version.
Just google the pattern name and you will see so many different versions out there in blogland. I love that I can draw inspiration from others but also make something that is uniquely me. How cool is this version with little dachshunds!

I will organise a Linky Party and add here later.
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.
If you want to get prepared for future months (with fabric or pattern purchases) we will be making:

  • July - The Strap Clutch by Michelle Patterns  (I'm making mine to match the cowl!)
  • August - thinking we might make a skirt or dress but let you source your own pattern since everyone is different?
  • September - Crayon Art Folio by Gingercake or your own version depending on your needs. Could be a notebook style cover or recipe book cover as a Christmas present. Or a car caddy. For my Lalaloopsy crazy girl, I was thinking something for her to carry them out and about in.
If you have any ideas for future challenges, let me know with a comment. The idea is to be doing something different so it doesn't have to just be sewing related.

Grab the button for your blog too - link in side bar >>>

Thank you Ros from Sew Delicious and Pam from Threading my way for helping to spread the word about my little challenge.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pattern review: Alex and Anna winter PJs by peek-a-boo Pattern Shop

Sometimes you just need to make basics. Things that aren’t that exciting but later you realise are as essential as another pretty little dress or shorts. It isn’t likely that anyone else will ever see these but the pure joy on my little man’s face when I finished them was totally worth it.

Now this post comes with a big apology. I have my own rule with my blog to never use iPhone photos (I even blogged about the use of phone photos in my five tips for apply for a market last year). BUT my little boy has been wearing these PJs for a couple of weeks and as I put them on him last night I realised he already has some sort of food stains down the front, add to that my camera just ran out of batteries and that I didn’t want to delay this any longer – you are just going to have to deal with the iPhone photos I took for Instagram!! Sorry! (But really they aren’t that bad are they?)
This is such a weird pose. It cracks me up everytime I look at it!

Alex and Anna winter PJs by peek-a-boo Pattern Shop
I actually have done a review (of sorts!) already for this pattern as I used it for the top I made during the Spring has Sprung blog tour last year. I still thought it was worthwhile sharing with you as I made the whole outfit as per the pattern.

My handsome, opinionated, future designer 7 year old son choose the material he wanted and specifically directed exactly how he wanted these constructed. Who am I to argue with him? If it means he is more likely to wear them, I’m in. And seriously, how much longer am I going to be able to make ‘handmade’ clothes for him before that becomes daggy or it is all about the latest ‘cool’ clothes or must have labels?
I have learnt from my previous creations with this pattern designer and did measure my son before cutting and creating. Who else just ‘assumes’ and makes the size to find out later something is too big or too small? Is it just me that mainly makes things when the kids aren’t home or in bed asleep? I made a size 7 this time and it was a perfect fit for him.

I was concerned about the fit of these pants, that they might be a little snugger than he is used to but he really loves them and they seem like a really comfy fit to sleep in.
I hadn’t ever made a waistband the way this pattern suggests and it was really fun to do it. I really love picking up little pointers with every pattern I make. It feels like I’m still growing as a sewist every, single day. I don’t assume to know everything but it is great to keep learning.

I made these just before mother’s day and I love that he wrote on one of those little ‘about mum’ type forms that ‘mummy sews shirts and shorts for me that I design’. Nawwwwhhhh.
Yep I'm a terrible mother making him pose for photos!

Will I make this again? - absolutely. I should some for Miss 5 shouldn’t I?Will I make this to sell for Lil Pip? – not at this stage

Fabric: Stripes I bought from a friend destashing before moving to Sydney and the red is from Spotlight. I find knit wherever I can!!

Difficulty (1-10 scale with 1 being easy and 10 hard): 3 as the instructions are so great and I think it is a good one to try if you are just starting out with knits.
Time: I would allow 1 hour. A very quick sew!

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