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Week 10 Toddler Pinafore 

Keeping it simple this week. I’ve just spent a few days finishing a Uni assignment on a particularly difficult topic plus there has been loads going on at home, so, here is something I did outside of my head.

It’s part of an idea I had for what to dress bub in overnight while we are camping as she WILL NOT stay under the covers and I have no idea what the weather will be on the East Coast in September.

I wanted it to be layers and comfortable and warm without screaming “I’m pyjamas” and something she can keep wearing as she gets bigger.

Quite a bit of thought and research went into this over the last few weeks.

I started trying to find out the best kind of camp blanket for warmth. It’s woollen, of course. But I have not the time nor the money to knit her a completely woollen outfit. Plus the itch factor of most wool fabrics ruled that out.

Next on the list was fleece (or as I know it polar fleece).

This was kind of perfect.

I think polar fleece is made out if recycled plastic- so that’s a bonus (And I’m not ready to be disabused of that notion yet, thank you, I can’t afford to be right now)

 In addition part of a bundle of second hand clothes we received recently was a fleece Kathmandu jacket for bub in a beautiful teal green.

So with that in mind as a top layer, and a simple cheap cotton onesie and the bottom layer, the middle two are going to be this pinafore and a pair of loose pants.

I ordered the fabric in a Lincraft sale two weeks ago and got beautiful microfleece for $4 a meter. 

I was going to wait for all the fabric to arrive but the navy blue was sitting there all washed and ready and I really needed to do something other than uni work so here we are.

I based it roughly on this pin, which is a so simple, pretty toddler/little girls dress.

Click for link

But my printer wouldn’t print the pattern so I traced one of her old pinafores on to baking paper 

*NB making an actual pattern is highly recommend – the finished product is so much better plus I felt like I was doing it ‘properly’

I hope you can see the pencil- one line was for front, the other for the back

So, I traced and cut and pinned and even stay stay stitched, then zig zagged over the top so it all looked right.

I also hemmed around the neck and arm holes and did a bit of notched cutting (look at fourth image from last to see what i mean)(Oh yes, I have all the lingo down now)

I then used the buttonhole attachment on my sewing machine (which I adore). Every other buttonhole I’ve done has been by hand. Pah! say I to buttonholes taking an hour. Mine took about twenty minutes all up. 

In addition I worked out this rather cool way of keeping buttons handy while you are sewing them on – 

so they don’t wander off and disappear in your sewing table-which I’m sure looks just like mine…doesnt it?

Anyway there you go. Part one of bub sleep system done.

Not that she’d try it on for photos, so you’ll have to make do with regulation “on a white surface” ones.

Parts I’m most proud of? The strap ends and buttons. Also the idea of the drawstring so it won’t ride up. I’m going to put them in the pant cuffs too. That way they can be loose comfy daywear or snuggly nightwear that keeps out cold air.

There will definately be more pictures when I do the pants. 

In the meantime I’m just proud I made something properly- I even changed the bobbin thread.

NB Please excuse the slightly formal academic language- think I’m still in assignment mode.

Just quickly, because I took about forty five minuites to get right-ish, I also wore my first Sari this week thanks to this pin. What do you think?

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Week 6 – Trying a name change.

Little E’ or “bub” what do you think? I’ve switched them around a bit- tell me which you prefer
Hello all. Yes, this should be a part two post- I know.

But Little E had her immunizations this week and I don’t want to judge relaxation activities for a baby  on a slightly grumpy and off colour one.  So that can wait until next week.

Plus alll the stuff from last week.

Plus we had our (unexpected ) first Airbnb guests (go here for blatant self promotion)

I’ve been keeping up with the baby massage though and even though bub is not quite up to par it seems to help soothe and calm. If nothing else she likes the routine and having her feet rubbed.

One tiny thing though- I’ve been using doterra lavander oil (Which I adore as does bub) but we are racing through it. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make it stretch further? Carrier oil maybe? If so which one?

So- sensory activities (like the glitter bottles from last week) led me to reading about all the different ‘styles’ of education

Yup- screenshot

I didn’t get much further that that infographic (Oh I adore Reggio -sigh- so hard to find. Undecided on anything else as yet) before I stumbled across this

Yup- another screenshot

A home made colours book from paint samples.

I loved this idea so much I didn’t get past the pin- just took the idea and ran with it. But here’s the link : http://craftulate.com/homemade-colour-book/

Apparently it was homemade with free colour samples (read on yet another “travel games for toddlers” pin).

I googled “free colour chips paint au” expecting either

a) nothing

b) come into such and such hardware store or

c) (at best) one of those fold out pamphlets with 100s of tiny squares.

But I found that most, if not all, paint brands offer free chips. I  went with British Paints (ah Rolf Harris before he was evil, Sheepdogs and jelly beans (or was that Dulux?) )

They have this amazing site with billions of colours which, if you grew up with renovating parents and a passion for those free paint booklets and cards in hardware stores while you were hanging around waiting planning what colours to paint your future house (yellow and white- god knows what I was thinking- probably just over Heritage Green and Mission Brown ) is paradise

I decided to try for a rainbow plus black and white.

I clicked and clicked and clicked and expected any second to see a box pop up with “you’re not really painting a house are you?” Or more realistically “you have exceeded the number of items you can select”. That never happened. However because I felt so furtive we ended up with two reds, two purples and No orange and No black but a brown.

Because of my current adoration of India I couldn’t click past this

 either. So we ended up with two greens. Or blue green as we’re calling it.

The paint chips arrived. They are huge. Like almost phone size but square. You know what I mean. I’m enormously impressed. Well done British Paints. If I’m ever painting a house or a wall (instead if making a book with my bub) you will be my first port of call. Free postage too!

I thought this would be a nice family activity so I showed little e the chips and explained what we were doing & she got very excited and threw them all on the floor . As bubs do.

For making the book I thought I’d simply stitch some pages together as I have done in the past but when I went to Pintrest looking for reminders on how to do the stitching I came across this brilliantly simple idea,  and Little E loved the video. (Of course now I can’t find the original pin. Something learnt here. Pin the pins. You’d think it would be obvious. Apparently not. Anyway- good simple tute – just no video)

So using some 220gsm Drawing Paper (think thin cardboard but way more flexible- benifit of living with an artist) we made two booklets. Or I made two booklets and bub kept changing the screen at exactly the wrong moment.

Then came the fun part- GLUE!. We put a small amount of kids craft glue into a little pot and found a paintbrush.

Having mummy glue the first colour down did not a happy little e make. Nor did being in charge of the paint chips. It was glue or nothing.

For a while she happily dabbled glue on the back of the chips and the pages and the table and the chair and my arm then she decided to try eating it.

As a rule “It should be it’s made for kids” is not a wise reply to give when asked “is it toxic”?

Especially not when faced with a freaked- out -child -just -ate- something- not -food mummy.

It obviously wasn’t toxic. Thank God. Knock on wood. Praise relevant dieties. She’s fine.

Somewhere during the dabbing and sticking and the ‘Not on where the colours are we don’t want them to stick together “ of it all I thought of adding some ribbons.

I’d bought a bulk bag of ribbon offcuts from ebay a month ago because

1. I was sewing again

2. I have a little girl

and 3. I like wearing ribbons too.

Kind of irrelevant except it meant we could get all the colours we needed plus some extra (a black ribbon to go on the white page).
Asking a child under two to pick specific colours of ribbon from a bag as big as their body is for want of something not sweary a tad foolhardy.

All they will want to do is dump the ribbon on the bed, lie in ribbon, swim in ribbon, throw ribbon on the floor, put ribbon in any bag and pocket available saying “pretty”.

There were tears when ribbon alllll went away.
I should have decanted 3 or 4 of the right colour into an open container and had bub choose colour by colour.

You live, you learn.
Anyway. After bub had had the extra glue washed off (while I furtively added glue to some chips, stuck the folded pages together to be thicker and more board like & stuck the two pamphlets together) we sat down and colour by colour added ribbons.

Little E insisted on gluing again and did a good job. Didn’t try to eat the glue again and only minimal amounts went on hair/clothes/table/not ribbon.

By now it was late afternoon so I put the book on the mantlepiece to dry and with only minor upset got on with our evening routine such as it is.
The next morning Little E asked for “My Book” & after going through all of her reading book titles only to be met with a no and shake of head we realised she meant the colour book.
She looked so happy holding it- was lovely.
Since then we’ve been through it together and added the colours names.
It’s currently bubs book of choice to “hold” or read to us, and very often get read to her and she fiddles with the ribbons and calls many colours “green” or “pink” depending on the day.

Beautiful idea and not something I would ever have thought of otherwise. Something precious and useful. I’d highly recommend doing it.

(Obviously I plan on adding a ‘proper’ cover and cutting the trailing ends of ribbon. Will I? Probably not. Does it matter? Not one iota)

I think it’s the kind of activity I’ll repeat as they’re bound to fall apart or be surpassed in knowledge – simple colour names could become spelling or the light spectrum (ROYGBIV anyone?). 

When bub is older she can even pick the colours online & hey, brilliant school project resource (If, say, you picked mosaic art as a topic or just want multicoloured title letters).
So that was kind of lovely.