Monday, 30 May 2011

Babiekins Issue 5 Out Now

People and parents ... The new issue of Babiekins Magazine - "for the trendsetting child" - is out now. View it for free online at www.babiekinsmag.com. Enjoy - it's full of lovely ideas x

Image from www.babiekinsmag.com

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Other Side of the World

Yesterday, we received a parcel all the way from the other side of the world. It was from our friend Miss Scott who has been living over in Sydney for the last year and a half.


The parcel contained two gorgeous hand crafted gifts wrapped in blue tissue paper. These gorgeous little baby shoes are by Aussie crafter Evie Lala. I love the illustrated linen fabric, with the corduroy bottoms. Very cute indeed and I can't wait to have little chubby toes to pop into them.


And continuing the elephant theme was this adorable appliqued bib. There seem to be more and more elephants creeping into Baby Biddle's nursery.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

A Bright and Beautiful Baby Quilt: Part 3

Progress continues with the handmade quilt for Baby Biddle.

My backing fabric of vintage red gingham is approximately 150cm by 160cm so I needed to make 370 hexagons to fill this. Here they are ... it doesn't really seem like there are 370 hexagons in this picture but believe me, there are.


Next I laid them all out on the living room floor to get the pattern I wanted. This process took much longer than I'd thought. There were so many decisions to make, and with a belly the size of a bowling ball, it was a bit of a tricky feat to accomplish. So Mr Biddle helped me complete the pattern and decide where all the hexagons should go.


Once we'd decided on the final design, Mr B stacked each of the twenty rows into little piles which I then labelled with post it notes.


And since then, I've been sewing together these little colourful piles into long strips - I've found a good system which creates two rows at a time. I've done six of these strips so far (12 rows in total) and have four more strips to complete before I can start attaching them together into one large piece.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Rompers for the Rascal

Come out, Baby Biddle, come out. We want to meet you. The boy is staying firmly put inside my belly so I've continued to sew for him.

I bought this New Look baby pattern (No. 6970) a while back to make infant rompers with. The pattern is suitable for new borns and babies up to 24lbs.


I bought some retro look baby vests from Mothercare in browns, yellows and reds, with motifs of little ducks on them, and wanted something to go over the top. So I decided to make the rompers out of this soft lemon-curd coloured ticking which I bought at the Shepton Mallet Flea Market.


The rompers turned out surprisingly vintage looking - I think they are reminiscent of old 50s bathing costumes! And once again, using a pattern created such a professional level of finish. I don't know why I'm so surprised by this but it's no wonder I've got a bit hooked on patterns over the last couple of weeks. I'm definitely to aiming to make more of these rompers, plus they have poppers in between the legs so they're practical too. I might even make some as a christening outfit.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Baby Shoes

I bought the Meet Me At Mikes craft book a little while ago, partly for the Teeny-Tiny Goody Two Shoes tutorial. The little baby shoes, crafted from scraps of vintage napkins and embroidery looked so cute and I wanted to have a go myself.

I created two pairs ... a little cowboy themed set in brown, and I cut into my prized Cossack Girls Kokka print for the first time for the other pair.


I have to admit that after spending the rest of the week working with professional patterns, I was a bit disappointed with the level of finish of this project. The shoes do look mega cute, but I'm unhappy that there are raw edges on display on the inside, and I found the instructions quite tricky to follow. I ended up making quite a few changes to the process after creating the first shoe. But I think they will look very sweet on the chubby paws of Baby Biddle.

Friday, 20 May 2011

A Bright and Beautiful Baby Quilt: Part 2

Progress update - 229 hexagons now completed.
Aim - to make 360 hexagons in total.
Plan -  To sit on the sofa this evening, put my feet up, watch the last three episodes of Mad Men Season 4, and sew sew sew.
What I will need - More paper hexagons, a pot of fresh pineapple chunks to try and bring on labour, a lovely husband to sip whisky beside me in the spirit of Don Draper.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

My Own Kids Clothing Week Challenge Continues

Having made my first attempt at using a proper pattern, and having found it surprisingly easy, I decided to step things up a gear and attempt a much more complex pair of dungarees. Using the same Burda Easy pattern (No. 9772) as the little red trousers, I continued the corduroy theme with these little rompers for Baby Biddle.


As with the trousers, these won't fit him until he's about 6 months old but I was delighted at how professional looking they turned out. Using a pattern meant I learnt things about the construction of clothing, using interfacing, etc, which I wouldn't have been able to figure out myself.


The light weight brown cord came from Millie Moon in Frome, the illustrated ribbon from The Makery Emporium in Bath, and the vintage red buttons were 50p from a vintage shop on St Catherine's Hill in Frome which I can't remember the name of. I love how they were displayed on the back of a vintage playing card.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Kids Clothing Week Challenge ... a tad late

I just became aware that last week was the Kids Clothing Week Challenge through the lovely Handmade at Home blog (click this link to check out the gorgeous rainbow striped cardigan fellow blogger Kelly knitted for her daughter Little O).


Started by blogger and crafter Elsie Marley, the idea is that you spend an hour every evening for seven days making clothes for your children (and you can share your efforts on her flickr group). Well I've missed this year's KCWC but I've been making an effort to catch up this week instead! I haven't been sticking to an hour a day - more like several hours until Baby Biddle wriggles too much in my belly for me to sit at the machine.

So first up, I decided to have a go at using proper patterns. I started with a really easy one from Burda Easy (No. 9772) for a little pair of baby trousers. The smallest size was for ages 6 months so it'll be a little while before the Biddle Bump will wearing these, but I'm really chuffed with how they turned out and using the pattern was much easier than I'd thought. So I'll try something a little more complex next time.


The bright red soft corduroy came Millie Moon in Frome, and the lovely illustrated linen ribbon, which I edged the pocket in, came from The Makery Emporium in Bath. 

Monday, 16 May 2011

A Bright & Beautiful Baby Quilt: Part 1

Our Baby Boy is due on Saturday. Yes, this Saturday ... although I'd be delighted if he wanted to put in an appearance today. Mr Biddle and I are so looking forward to his arrival and can't wait to start the next step of our adventure. But for now, we must wait. And wait. And wait. And my goodness am I get getting bored and impatient. So I've been filling my time with various sewing projects.

I've decided to embark on the ambitious task of hand making a bright and beautiful hexagonal quilt for our Son. I was completely inspired by the vibrancy of this quilt on the Ungt Blod blog.

Image from http://blog.ungtblod.com/
I'll definitely be trying pyramid quilting in the future. But I wanted to create a quilt by hand rather than at the machine, partly as it's for my little boy, but also as a lovely way to pass the time whilst I wait for him to arrive. So I'll be making Baby Biddle's quilt by hand piecing over paper hexagons.

So my first task yesterday was to cut out my fabric squares ...


I love this selection of fabrics. There's a mix of all sorts here - cuttings from old clothing I wore as a teenager, 30 year old fabrics from my own childhood nursery, florals and polka dots and fairy tale characters, material bought last week and material bought a decade ago.

Last night, curled up in front of the TV with Mr B, he cut out paper hexagons whilst I started to tack the fabric over them.


I want this to be a fairly large (and well padded) quilt to spread out across the living room floor. I imagine it's where Baby Biddle will learn to lift his own head and to roll and to begin his crawling. So I have calculated that I need somewhere in the region of 350 hexagons in total! So I'll be keeping you updated with my progress ... which if he decides to pop out soon, might not be for a while. Or if he's overdue, the fruits of this particular labour might be finished for you to see in in the next couple of weeks! Place your bets people.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Vintage Inspired Treats from the V&A

Last week, I was ordering some fabulous fabrics from the V&A shop website (their Liberty prints are currently on sale - yippee) when I found a couple of little vintage inspired treats for Baby Biddle. If you haven't checked out the V&A Shop before, it's really superb for all kinds of unusual gifts. 

I have a bit of a circus obsession and I picked up this Edwardian Circus mini tote bag (only £6 in the sale) with a plan to fill it with pots of raisins and rice cakes when Baby Biddle is a little older and we go out and about on day trips.


Keeping on the circus theme, how brilliant are these plasters for any children in your life?


Other things that caught my eye on the V&A website were these beautiful traditional style alphabet blocks for £20 ...
Image from www.vandashop.com
These Vintage Wildlife Blocks for £26 ...
Image from www.vandashop.com
And I absolutely love this 'My First Alphabet' by Marcus Walters for the meagre sum of £15 which I'm very tempted to order for Baby Biddle's bedroom ...
Image from www.vandashop.com

Friday, 13 May 2011

The Legend that is Lego

Lego has to be one of the best toys ever invented. Surely. I loved our big box of it when I was a child and I can't wait to buy lots for Baby Biddle. So imagine my delight when I was in one of my favourite gift shops yesterday, the brilliant Bloomsbury in Bath, to discover that Lego have started a vibrant range of storage and homeware products.

Not wanting to jump in feet first, I started tentatively by purchasing two mini boxes.


But I've got my beady eye on the following primary coloured goodies.

The Lego Head storage box ...

 Lego water bottles ...

 Lego lunch boxes ...

And the Lego brick toy box ...