30 January 2015

DIY baby pants tutorial

With the GBSB starting again this week its the perfect opportunity for me to show you how to make a pair of fabulous little boy (or girl) pants from an old t-shirt (or some new jersey fabric, we aren't fussy).

You will need:
A old jersey shirt or fabric
Paper and Pen
Fabric Scissors
Overlocker or Sewing machine with zigzag stitch
A pair of baby trousers to use as a template (I have included my pattern for 0-3m which you can download for free here).

Start by washing an ironing your old shirt, we don't want the pants to include any sweaty pits, or left over baked beans do we.

Take a pair of trousers that you already own for your little monkey and fold them in half. Lay the half on top of a piece of paper and draw around the outside but stop where the waistband and ankle sections are as we need to make separate pieces for these. you will need to add seam allowance to all sides except the outside leg which you will cut on the fold so no seam is required here.

Do the same thing again for the waistband and ankle sections. You will then need to double the height of these pieces as they will be folded in half. For the waist section add a seam allowance to all sides once you have doubled it. For the ankle sections add a seam allowance to the top, bottom and right sides but not the left, you will cut the left piece on the fold.

Cut your t-shirt open along the seam lines so you have a flat section of fabric. Cut 2 leg sections on the fold, 2 ankle bands on the fold and then cut 2 waistbands. The waistband is not cut on the fold because I found that a t-shirt did not have enough fabric left to enable you to do this. Instead cut two and we will join at both sides.

Open up the two leg pieces and with right sides together. Pin the outer top sections only and sew these together. I used an overlocker for neat edges but you can do this just as easily on a regular sewing machine, just make sure to use a zigzag stitch to allow for some stretch when you pull these on and off your baby.

Open up the leg sections again and lay right sides together with the two seams on top of each other in the centre, they should now look like a pair of trousers. Pin the inside leg sections and sew a continuous line from the bottom of one leg to the bottom of the other.

Now you are going to make the waist and ankle sections. With right sides together place the two waistband sections together and pin at either end, sew the two ends together. For the ankle sections, with the fabric still folded as cut sew the open edge together as you did with the waistband.

Now fold all these sections in half hight wise with the wrong sides together so the join seams are on the inside and press.

With the leg sections still right side together place the waistband section inside the top of the leg section with the raw edge at the top and pin all the way around. Sew round this top raw edge making sure you have placed your side seams sensibly and be careful not to get the bottom of the band stuck in the machine. I placed my seams at the sides, but you can line them up with the seams on the leg sections if you prefer.

Using the same technique as for the waistband do the same for the ankle sections.

Now you can turn you pants the right side out and press.

And your done :) These awesome little pants only take about 30 minutes if not less once you have the hang of them. Your little ones will have a new wardrobe in no time!

23 January 2015

Felt Finger Puppet Gang

Come and meet the gang.... Percy the Polar Bear, Henry the Hedgehog, Leo the Lion, Mr Fox, Kitty Mew Mew and Mr Dinosaur. I don't know why but all my soft toys have always been male, I'm not sure what this says about me? Do your soft toys (I would say did, but come on you know you still own some) have a gender? I would love to know I'm not the only odd one out there.

So anyway, it's been a while since I have played with finger puppets, but how cute are these little felt guys? You might be wondering then why I made them? Well now that Master Fox is 6 weeks with every day he is getting more awake and more inquisitive. To help him learn about his new world I have been looking for activities to do with him to stimulate and help his mental development. There are lots of great ideas from simply showing him things around the house to smells but of course my favourite activity was the one which featured finger puppets! I probably could have gone with a theme, say woodland or zoo animals or something but he doesn't know the difference. I just made up my favourite animals ;)

Little Felt finger puppets are so easy to make. All you need is some felt, scissors, needle and thread. Draw roughly around your finger onto a piece of paper but add about 1cm all the way around. Once you have done this cut it out and this is your finger template. From that you just need to cut shapes from felt to make little faces and features and sew them on with co-ordinating thread. Once you have finished with the features you then sew around the edge and top of the puppet leaving the bottom open. You can of course use glue if you don't want to sew them.

They took about 15 minutes per puppet which makes this another awesome project for making during baby naps. It took me about 3 naps to make these 6 little guys, not bad at all.

Have you ever made any toys for your little newborns? I am continuously hunting for ideas for playtime so would love to hear about them.


16 January 2015

We are Knitters North Snood

I said quick and easy didn't I? Well it doesn't get much quicker and easier than a massive chunky knit snood does it.

I have a confession to make though that I really didn't need any more scarves/snoods. I probably have about 30 already, but well I don't have a chunky pink snood do I so that's a perfect justification right there.

This pattern was a free download from the lovely people at Love Knitting which is where I get most of my wool from online. They provide a super service, deliver quickly, do great offers and also give away free patters all the time. I would definitely recommend taking a look at their website if you are in the UK and after some knitting supplies.

The pattern itself comes from designers We are Knitters and is made using their 100% Peruvian chunky wool. The snood only takes one ball, so whilst it's not the cheapest wool to buy the project won't break the bank. I choose this fabulous pink colour which is pretty similar to my hair yes, but I don't ever wear clothes this pink so it nicely brightens up an outfit without clashing too much. 

The pattern was not complex, made in a simple basket weave, but it comes out a lovely texture which is also reversible, something I find very important in a scarf or snood. It is also perfect for my sleep deprived baby brain as a bit of mindless knitting which I could pick up and put down in the 10 minutes between feeding, sleeping and changing nappies. 

I am really pleased with how the snood came out. As the wool is 100% it's incredibly soft and so snugly warm which is perfectly timed for this time of year, it's also not in the slightest bit itchy. It's also great as I currently can't actually button up my coats so need something  whilst out for a walk that won't blow away in the wind, I can see me getting a lot of wear out of this in the next few weeks. 

If anyone has any ideas for quick and easy craft projects I can take on please let me know!! 

9 January 2015

Jersey Baby Trousers

Introducing... Master Fox. This handsome little man really has changed my whole world but he is totally worth it. So to celebrate his arrival my first make of 2015 is this dapper little pair of Jersey trousers which I made from an old tshirt.

Baby's end up with lots of legless body baby grows, which are great, but in winter you need to keep those chubby little legs warm. However you don't get multipacks of trousers like you do babygrows and as any parent knows you need a million pairs of everything due to the amount of washing a baby generates!

To get the pattern for these trousers I just drew round a folded pair he already owned and added a seem allowance. I then cut the pieces from an old tshirt and whipped them together on the overlocker. They really were incredibly easy to make. I mad these as a prototype before cutting up some nicer fabric so I will do a quick tutorial for you when I make up the next pair. 

I hope you like this quick little make, and the picture of our new little cutie. He was a little bit jaundice at birth so he looks super tanned in this piccie. He is all fine now though :) I can't wait to think up all the other little things to make for the monkey. Watch this space! 


3 January 2015

Happy New Years

Wow, well that's 2014 over and we had one hell of a year in the Fox household. Trips to Greece, Norfolk and Denmark. Many days out with friends and family and most importantly we made a mini Mr Fox! That's right, Master Fox was born on 10th December and how our life has changed since then, ignoring the sleep deprivation, for the better of course. He is by far the most awesome thing I have ever made and in the true meaning of a yearly round up I would say he is definitely the best thing I made last year. I know making a baby doesn't count as 'craft' but well I still made him from nothing so in my books this is totally acceptable.

So I suppose I should do a round up of 2014. A year a go I wrote this post about what I aimed to achieve in 2014. In the most part I think I managed to achieve most of this so lets have a look at the key points:

1. Set up a regular blogging schedule. There is no doubt about the fact that this is a bit of a failure. I did, for the most part, manage to run a bi weekly posting schedule which I was very good at sticking too. However late pregnancy, and the recent arrival of our little monkey has completely shot this out the window. I think my best aim now is just to try and blog as much as possible. I think I should aim for once weekly, even if there is no craft, as I think it will help me and you lot know what to expect a bit more. It all got a bit sporadic at the end of the year.

2. Improve my dressmaking skills. I definitely achieved this. There is still much room for improvement but I learnt about Full Bust Adjustments, started using an overlocker and experimented with some more difficult fabrics.


3. Make 5 items I will actually wear. When I set this goal I thought it might be a bit of a tall order, but do you know what I actually achieved this really easily. Check out my top 5 wearable makes of 2014 above (Just in case you wanted to know AVA makes a really good maternity dress).

4. Knit a Jumper. The aim of this goal was to knit a jumper for myself. Something I completely didn't do. But on the bright side I knitted a jumper for Master Fox so I say that's a tick for this box!

5. Think about Christmas early. I definitely did this this year, and good job with Master Fox being 10 days early! I don't think there would have been a Christmas this year if it hadn't been for me starting in November.

6. Be a good wife. Well obviously I aced this, but truthfully, apart from Mr Fox having to do a lot due to me being pregnant I think we managed to strike a pretty good harmony in 2014, long may it continue.

So what goals am I setting for 2015? Well I want to keep it pretty simple this year as my time will be pretty taken up with the boy but there are a couple of things on my mind. Firstly is to obviously be as good a mum as I can be. Second is to get my figure back and get back to sewing clothes again. I just need to get all the chocolate out the house first!! I think the key for 2015 is to accept that small projects are best, and that larger ones may take some time to complete.

How did you find 2014, and do you have any crafty resolutions for 2015? Please do feel free to share, we would all love to hear about your goals as well as mine.
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