Saturday, November 8, 2008

I think the nursery is finished!!

I think I have finished the nursery, here is the finished room!

Notice the valance, I didn't follow the Simplicity pattern I posted about last time, it was too small for Boori cots and I ended up making one by just measuring up the cot.

Using starch to make fabric murals on a wall

A while ago I posted about the tree I painted on the nursery wall inspired by this very talented ladies blog. I have been thinking that the tree is a little plain and I remembered this post from ohdeedoh and finally put 2 and 2 together and decided to use starch to add fabric foliage to the tree.


Fabric to attach to the wall

1 can of spray starch or liquid starch

1 sponge, or I used a facewasher

Start by cutting the shapes you plan on attaching to the wall, I didn't bother edging them, once attached they don't seem to be prone to fraying.

Next make sure the wall is clean and dry, and the process for attaching them is really easy, first spray the starch on the wall, so it is damp.

Next place your fabric on the wall and smooth out, make sure it is all saturated. Remove any air bubbles it may have, though as it dry's I found a few returned.

Finally use the cloth or sponge to dab up any excess starch.

Once finished run your cloth or sponge under some water and clean up any starch marks. They dried in about 3 hours and they also just pull off.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Amy Butler's Cuddle Kitty

While trying to stay up to get my hubbie from a very late flight I made Amy Butler's cuddle kitty which is a free pattern from her new book, Little Stitches for Little Ones. I am pretty happy with it, although the pattern needs some proof-reading, the cutting instructions are all wrong, asking you to cut a second unnecessary set of paws and ears. I also assembled it in a different order to the pattern.

Otherwise it was quite good, the odd shape isn't entirely the pattern, I was tired and started overlocking and stupidly left the cutter down on the feet... oh well it is very cute none the less:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Big Bag Baby Blanket finished!

It took months, but I have finally completed Debbie Stoller's Big Bad Baby Blanket from the original Stich n Bitch.

I am really happy with it, I wanted to make this blanket since I bought the book when having a baby was so far in the future I never imagined making it for my own.

Ta da:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pram Liners are done!!

Ages ago I posted a pattern I drafted for the Phil & Teds' Sport, it took me all this time to get around to making it up, and now I finally can share the finished project:

To construct it I:
Cut backrest and square seat, of each from the fabric, ripstop nylon, wadding and 2 types of padded interfacing; one super stiff and one fluffy (trying to recreate some stuff called Timtex which has been discontinued here). (You only need .3 of a meter for each layer)
Then for the backrest part I layered the Fabric with the right side facing the Nylon and stacked that on top of the interfacing's & wadding and over-locked 3 sides.
I used the open edge to turn the fabric right side out (over the padding so it looks like the finished product), then repeated this for the seat part.Then I over-locked the 2 parts (backrest & seat) together by pinning the fabric (right sides together), wadding and interfacing together and stitching (leaving the nylon free) on the open end and then hand stitched together the nylon to make a smooth seam on the back. I pretty much stuck to the measurements I posted last time, but I did end up shortening the seat a little.
Finally I used my sewing machine to add the button holes for the straps, the slits each all have to be at least 3cm wide to fit the buckles through (found that out the hard way). I measured up the heights as I went so it sat flat, for the backrest the depths were all 1.5" from the edge, and 1.5" wide. The center hole on the seat is 2" wide and completely centered. And that was it, hope that helps!
(Sorry for the imperial measurements, the pram seems to conform more to imperial than metric, which is weird for a NZ pram.. they are metric aren't they?)
Now I have to get myself in gear and make the weekender up as a nappy bag in the matching fabric!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Nappy storage

I don't like nappy boxes, well I specifically don't like Huggies Nappy boxes because I am not a fan of Winnie the Pooh. I saw these storage baskets by JcarolineCreative and thought they were the perfect soultion.

Here is my rendition:

I made a few modifications, firstly I didn't bother with the label. Also Timtex is sadly no longer available in Australia and we don't have a suitable substitute so I have used a stiff interfacing, but it really pales in comparison and it is floppy when empty unfortunately. Finally I changed the dimensions to hold a large box of Huggies Nappies perfectly. I also cut up a Huggies box for a for the base rather than buying plastic for the base considering I see it moving very little in it's life.

It was a pretty easy and cheap project, it took about 4 hours and only 60cm at 112 wide for each of fabric, interfacing and lining which came to $25. I intend to make a second which I don't think will cause me too many headaches. But I am not sure if I need to have 216 Nappies at my finger tips at any one time really, but I am sure it will come in handy for storing some kind of baby related gear.

Now for some action shots... note the change table too, it is the Cariboo Classic which I am in love with.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bird Mobile

I have been admiring Spool's Bird Mobile for some time, and have had it on my list of things to make for the baby. Ohdeedoh posted about a black, red & white version which is genius as these are the colours are high contrast and offer the most development before 6 months.

This was all the inspiration I needed to get started and here it is:

The birds are very easy to sew, I cut and sewed them in an afternoon. The original describes hand sewing which I think it unnecessary and to be honest I doubt the birds would look as good. You only need about 15 cm of each fabric.
I gathered the sticks from a Jacaranda tree in the backyard and I spray painted them black. At first I tried jewellery wire but it was too stiff so changed to fishing wire at my hubbies suggestion which sits much much better.
I needed his help balancing it too, a few blogs describe it as difficult and it is. I managed by working upwards, first sewing the bottom bird on and attaching him through his head. Then I looped a fair cotton through the tail of the next levels birds and arranged them to balance. The other method I tried was a little easier, but I don't think the results were as good was to just assemble to twig as I wanted then found it's balance point.
The whole project took a few nights and and afternoon.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Nursery Artwork

I have been giving a lot of thought lately to the artwork for the nursery.

Ohdeedoh has provided so many wonderful options and seems to have mythical Etsy searching skills.

Today I am particularly taken with 2 options though. Number one is Nerd ABC's my beloved husband is such a nerd this seems perfect. Only issue is they really don't fit the theme.

A few days ago I saw a nursery which used fabric stretched on canvas for art which I liked, but today I stumbled across Nested and found this post which, like me, is deeply by Soulemama's use of embroidery rings for fabric pieces. Perfect for unique art & style! I love it. Off to check eBay for Embroidery rings and hunt for perfect Fat Quarters.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Coveting Cariboo's

A Cariboo Bassinet. I can't decide between the Gentle Motions (Left) or the Classic (right). I definitely prefer the design of the Classic, but am pondering the flexibility of Gentle Motions, which can be taken off the stand and attached to the cot to 'ease that transition' and also has a change table attachment.

I desire these both so much, though I feel the Classic does fit better with the style of the room. Available from David Jones or Babies Galore for about $400. Images via Cariboo.

Coveting Birds of a Feather Mobile

I am coveting a lot of nursery related items this morning. One large desire is Helen Ing's Birds of a Feather mobile. I truly covet this Mobile, it's wooden, it fits my theme. I am in love. Anxiously waiting a response to shipping to Australia!Available from Ige Design for US$65.00. Image via Out Blush.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

9 hours later

I have curtains up. Geeze I am tired now curtains are a surprisingly tiring thing to make. I used gathering tape and bought hooks (which I am using to attach the lining) but the rings that came with the rod are way too thick for the hooks and it didn't sit well. Luckily I had left the ends opened and just threaded it, I'm pretty happy- they are very puffy, but they have 3 pass lining and once I have proper tie backs I think they'll be quite nice.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cot action

This Silky Oak cot is from 1945, my Grandparents bought it for my uncle & my dad. He then used it for my 2 sisters and I in the 70's. It's next vacation was masquerading as a settee in my parents entryway or a decade or 2 before my 2 little Nephews slept in it. (Excuse the mobile phone picture)

When my sister and her husband inherited it they did a little work on it, replaced the mattress and replaced the stretchy metal base with slats and tightened things up. I am just not sure it's safe enough. Choice has a guide which it does meet. (although only for what Choice calls the 'upper position') I am a little worried about the latch and the top of the cot as a catching hazard. Here's a picture:

I think Simplicity 3795 is pretty good for bedding. I love the box pleated valance out of the dots and will definitely make that and the sheets in the Spring leaves fabric. I think the pillow would be good for a chair in the nursery too.

The rest ranges from optional to strong dislike. I am tempted by the bumper, but probably won't because of safety. If I don't make the BBBB and have fabric left over may make the quilt. But not the net, I hate the flowers too and the round toy thing, don't know what that's about!

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I have a lot of big dreams for what I want to make for the nursery, I hope I get it all done!

Firstly after seeing this very talented mum's efforts I ordered the Amy Butler Weekender pattern which arrived today! My plan is to make it as a Nappy bag. I love it so, though am terrified of the challenge having read countless blogs and craftster posts telling of it's difficulty.

But I love how it looks, I'm going to use the dots I posted last week with chocolate piping and the leaves as the lining.

Of course I would be incredibly uncool if I didn't have a matching change mat for my nappy bag so enter the Change Mat from McCall's 5339. I intend to make it in the Spring Leaves Fabric with plastic over the seat. Maybe with the dots on the back - I am not sure about that yet though.

I also got enough of the Spring Leaves to make a Pram Liner, but won't do anything about that untill we've chosen and bought the pram.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Painting a tree

A couple of weeks ago I posted about my awe of the gorgeous mural Redmag painted in her nursery. I love the feel of this tree and can't get it out of my mind. Green with tree-envy I set out to recreate it in our nursery.

How to create a Tree Mural

An image to paint
Data Projector or other means to 'get the image on the wall'
A pencil, I used a 2B, but with my time over would use a lighter one
An eraser
About 300ML of wall paint - I used a 500 ml tester tub Dulux Smooth Beech
A 5mm and 25mm paint brush
Masking tape
Drop sheets
A breathing mask for fumes if pregnant

Using a data-projector I traced the tree on the wall, there is something divinely devious drawing on a clean wall, it is one of life's untold pleasures to deliberately take a writing instrument to your walls, I highly recommend it.

It was difficult to get it to the right size, the room isn't wide enough for a large enough image straight on. But through some creative tracing and painful arranging of the projector eventually covered it all. I used a 2B pencil to trace it all, I worked left to right, starting at eye level. I soon found I was smudging it with my wrist though, so my time over I would use a lighter pencil than 2B and start at the top left, and try to work down and to the right.

I left it at this point and came back to it another day - your arms are very tired by this point!. I also embarked on a mammoth paint selecting mission. My wonderful Husband was barracking for a strong wood colour while I originally envisaged a neutral tone. After debate of this for some time and collecting every brown paint chip Bunnings had to offer we agreed on smooth beech, a soft tone as I desired and brown for him. I'm quite happy with it now.

Then on my 3rd trip to Bunnings, I left with not just paint chips - but paint! And brushes! I set the room up with old picnic blankets masquerading as drop sheets, masking tape on the skirting boards, a fan and all the windows open.

Then the painting began! Using the smaller brush I started at the top to avoid the smudging issue, I tried to keep my strokes long and even. I generally brushed in from the tips, but found brushing slowly outwards gave a lovely end to the branch. Generally the paint covered the pencil marks, but when it is properly dry I will attempt to wash/erase some marks left from where I went off the plan.

Finally I used the thicker brush to cover the trunk and thicker branches. I used the thin brush again to neaten the edges of the trunk and 'voila - A tree is born!'

I think I will thicken the trunk at the top, I still think the original is better, but I am quite pleased with it, plus it was fun to do!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Save for amenity's divine Woods Organic Crib Package at $392 with postage I am struggling to find suitable bedlinen for the cot.

So I have been looking online and in stores for something suitable Retro Depot have some great nature themed and Japanese fabrics which are so lovely, but I wanted something that felt as good as it looks which is hard when shopping online.

Enter yesterday's surprise find:

They are both from Japan - man Japanese design is rocking at the moment. I plan to turn the dots ($14.95/mtr) into the valance and use the 'spring leaves' ($12.95/mtr) for the sheets. I am so excited!

In fact I loved them both so much I indulged my 'to make the theme work I need to keep the fabric constant' thoughts and made a second trip to buy heaps more today.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


When I was a little 80's child my bedroom had Grass-green carpet and 3 giant decals, I have no idea where my parents got them, but my word I loved them, and desperately wanted to find something similar. There was a Zebra which was about my height as a 5 year old, a Giraffe whose head popped above the top bunk and a tree. Unfortunately I can't find a photo of them to share, but trust me in my minds eye that room is cool.

I want to put those feelings into our children's space, but in a modern and stylish way. Wallies products are probably similar to what my parents used, and they do have a woodlands animal pack which is pretty. But neither know of an Australian supplier or feel right
having animals you never see outside a zoo here.
Googling will find endless examples of impressive professional murals like these, but suffer a combination of lack of skill and cash for such an investment. However my Googling did bring me to Redmag's excellent Blog Waiting in the Capital with this gorgeous mural she painted in her nursery. (Check out the adorable toys in her Etsy store, they are awesome.)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Big Bad Baby Blanket Lust

As a long time BUST subscriber I have loved Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'n Bitch series since the first book, they introduced me to knitting which is now my #1 hobby. When the knitters handbook arrived I my postbox I eagerly leaved through the projects and drooled over the alien scarf knitty & bunny hats, not to mention the princess snowball bed, all of which have engrossed me for many hours. The last project in this book I desire is the Big Bad Baby Blanket:

I've eagerly checked out others versions on Craftster and since I first saw it had it earmarked for my bub. Well now the time to get clacking it upon me I am in a true quandary.
  1. Firstly I hear it's a challenging project and I have big plans for the next few months.
  2. Secondly it seems to need Koigu, at $12 Skein plus postage will set me back over $100. That's OK for what it is I guess and I think it will be cherished, but means it can't go into the cupboard of abandoned projects
  3. My knitting track record is flailing of late, I have had an unfinished Prepster Cardigan in Katia Mississippi from 6 months ago. I loved it, but got stuck (first big crochet pattern) and never went back. I also have an unfinished top from Knitty and only just started a jumper from Son of a Stitch in bitch for my man, which I am loosing interest in, especially since my desire for the BBBB is taking over. I think I need to close the deal on something before starting a 4th project.. but I don't know what to finish.

Ah I think I need to mull this one for a while longer. Maybe I should really commit to the jumper I am making then reward myself with 8 Skeins of Koigu!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A pram of ones own

We have a pram, I have been lusting after the Phil & Teds Sport for some time and have found one at quite a bargain.
I am very enthusiastic about pram liners, I have been trying to find instructions for them to no avail. I am yet to make them but this afternoon drafted a pattern for them. I can't wait to get started on them!

Happy sewing, 


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Naked Windows

Lincraft had a massive sale today and had 50% off all furnishing fabrics, bad timing for the bank with my nearest and dearest away on a business trip. As as with any fabric mission I have been on I didn't end up with what I went in for and instead bought fabric for the Nursery.

And here it is, a Sage coloured fake silk with pleated lines. I specifically didn't want a childish fabric but instead something that blended with the general natural feel I was going for but was elegant. It is normally $21/meter. I also picked up some 3 pass lining with a 2.36 drop with tape.

I'm not 100% sold on it as yet, I am alternating adoring it and wondering what I was thinking. Although considering they were both 50% I am quite pleased with buying both fabric and lining for
$ 74.34.

Still need to get the tape, hooks and curtain rod, but for now I feel happy with my first evidence of progress on this project.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Picking a nursery theme is difficult. I have never been one for theme's in general and picking one for someone who doesn't exist yet seems strange. What we do have to take inspiration from though is the room itself.
The carpet is very neutral and the walls are a neural yellow, which is throughout the house. It's Dulux Cowardly Custard, but doesn't appear this yellow in real life. There are no curtains or blinds on the french doors which we'll have to fix- especially as the morning sun hits them the room gets quite hot. The window has nice wooden blinds though - cord tidy absent.
What I love about this room is the view, our block is very steep and our and our neighbours yards are very densely green (code for overgrown) which is lovely. The green attracts so many birds the back of the house has a lovely natural feel. Hence we've decided to build on this and have a very natural forest-esk theme.

I have wool!

I spent alot of time pondering if I should get Koigu for the BBBB, I did really want it and was going to fork out the $12/skein for it. The catch was being hand dyed I really wanted to pick my dye lot which is not an option over the Internet and no one in QLD has heard of it it seems.

I came across this blanket however and was really impressed by the blend of tweed with the pink, the close photos show it has a lovely texture. So I decided to commit to blending 2 wools to give the interest and texture of the one in the book. I have even purchased some wool (please excuse the mobile phone pictures, my hubby has our camera overseas this weekend):

It is 100% wool Merino (on sale for $3.10/skein) & Moda Vera Sock yarn ($3.30/skein).

If it goes well I do still want a Koigu one and may still go that route. But for now, my substitutes seem nice and I'm happy.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Burp Cloths

Starting with these Burp Cloths, they are inspired by Burp Armor, which are lovely organic burp cloths, but at US$27 a pop they aren't really practical for me unfortunately. Cue my weekend project..

Burp Cloths How to

Cost: $5.92 (each)
Time: about 90 mins (each)

(makes 4 cloths)
0.6 mtrs corduroy for backing
1.2 mtrs low pill fleece
(optional) 0.3 mtrs quilting cotton for bias binding, or 180cm purchased binding.

The shape is three circles 21cm in diameter touching with the gaps smoothed over. Basically like this. The cloth should be about 55cm long.

I started with cutting a newspaper pattern based on the above diagram. Then get cutting! For each burp cloth you need 1 layer of Corduroy & 2 layers of fleece.

Once cut layer the two fleece sides, fluffy side out, then corduroy, ridged side facing out on the other side. Smooth out and pin. Like so:

Then I overlocked around the edges (my first overlocking ever!! My darling husband & beautiful mother gave me one for Christmas and I have been too scared to start until today, it's easier than it seemed, only took 4 months to pluck the courage.)

It then is technically finished, but I wanted to add some of the leaves fabric I love so much so made some Bias tape from it.

Using 30cm of it I cut a few 3.5cm bias strips. Then folded a 1/4 in on each side before folding in half again and pressing. Hey presto I have Bias Tape! Then pinned the tape around the edges of the cloth:

and... TA DA!!! (my bias tape is a little dodgy on this one, I was getting tired and may unpick and redo it, but still it's a very nice burp cloth.)