Dunga-shorts or Shortalls, even John Johns apparently

image

I’m not really sure what the correct term for this item of clothing is, but I found all kinds of names whilst trawling the internet for a pattern/tutorial. Anyway, I have been dying to make some, what I like to call, ‘dunga-shorts’ ,ever since the sun has been out in force and I finally found the time at the weekend thanks to super dad.

IMG_1793

Made by Rae is where I found this free pattern and tutorial.  Rae has some really great patterns and how-tos, although this was from a guest blogger, it doesn’t link through anymore though, so I’ve taken you straight to the original on ikatbag’s site.  The instructions are really clear (I only messed up one part!) I did the simpler version without the waistband and just added the side pockets instead of all five. I didn’t want them to stand out, so I used the same fabric.  It would be fun to make lots of variations.

IMG_1789

I also added elastic around the bottom because they now look like those old-fashioned ones, which I just love, and make me want to squish Roo’s little chubby toddler legs even more than usual.

IMG_1801

I did use a contrast fabric for the lining as I thought the colours looked good together and Roo likes birds. The lining is some old (slightly faded if I’m honest) fabric from IKEA and the main fabric is an old shirt of Matt’s.  I used pretty much the whole shirt, whose collar and cuffs really had seen better days.  If I was super-organised, I would now be posting one of those before and after photos, but this week, sorry guys, it was one step too far.  Ah well, there’s always next time! 🙂

IMG_1791

The little fox came from Sass and Belle and was given to me by my lovely friend Laurel when Roo was born.  I have only just got around to making the perfect item of clothing for it to adorn now, 18 months later, but I think the fox was waiting for just the right thing to come along.

IMG_1788

In fact I think I love these so much, I’m feeling the need to make Roo at least two more sets!  I’ll let you know how that goes.

image

image

image

I also made double amounts of dinner tonight so that my friend who has just had a little girl doesn’t have to cook tomorrow.  All I could think about with a newborn was home-cooked food as I was always starving (that lasted about 3 months!) and I just wanted to give the babe the good stuff.  I’m not able to do things like I used to now we have Roo but batch cooking was a small, but attainable kindness today and  it just feels really good to offer something like that.  So my friend and I both win (unless my cooking is really bad – haha!). I made this Four corners lentil soup, by Sarah Britton which is so yum, easy and quick and the easiest ever soda bread which is a real treat, thanks Laura for introducing me to The River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook.

IMG_1814

Super Easy DIY Fabric Tape

image

This really is a super easy project that you can do in under half an hour.  You can definitely do it watching Girls, The Good Wife or The Jinx, which is our current watch list.

IMG_1756

Maybe you, like me, have fabric scraps hanging around from various projects.  Throwing away good fabric, even a small piece seems such a waste, but equally you don’t want it hanging around forever.  This year, for me, is all about using up what I already have and not buying anything new when making things for my home, family and friends.  So I’m going to try and think of projects to use everything up. The stash is getting out of control!  I also have a secret stationary obsession and definitely can’t justify spending any money on really pretty fabric tape.  So I’ll just make my own and you can too.

image

I have only suggested you get two pairs of scissors ready as I have ruined a couple of pairs of fabric scissors by using them to cut tape, paper, card etc.  but you can just use normal scissors if you don’t have fabric ones. I think this works best if you choose lightweight cotton fabrics that don’t fray too easily.  I used some scraps left over from the quilt I was making.

IMG_1751

And also a few other bits I had lying around.

IMG_1752

All you need to do is lay your fabric right side down on a flat surface and stick the tape to the edge.

IMG_1766

Then cut the fabric as close to the tape as possible and trim the ends off the tape. That’s it!

IMG_1762

This is a really pretty way of taping up brown paper for special presents or parcels, it even makes newspaper look really pretty if you want to do some eco wrapping.  I used mine for the first time today when I sent off a special letter for the project ’52 Hellos’ from Meet me at Mikes – you can read about the project and get involved too here.

IMG_1747

Stitch your heart out quilt

IMG_1742

So . . . a patchwork quilt, it’s complete and my, oh my it was quite a task.  It’s going to be for Roo’s first proper bed but is doubling as a play mat at the moment, as he is still in his cot.

IMG_1735

This really was a labour of love, I think this is what mothers do for their children, for no particular reason, just because.  Sometimes mothers do these things and their children probably, no, definitely don’t even want them – hopefully it will stand the test of time and Roo will actually like it one day, he seems to think it’s alright now.

IMG_1739

I used different cotton fabrics collected from all over the place: the florals are new fabrics, the white was a worn out shirt belonging to Matt and the paisley a piece of fabric inherited from my Grandma.  I found the navy backing in a charity shop and the other plaid I have had for a long time, the first item of clothing I made for Rupert, a pair of summer trousers, was made from this.

IMG_1733

IMG_1732

IMG_1734

I still have to do a little bit of hand sewing to keep the wadding in place, but that’s ok, he hasn’t even got a bed yet!

IMG_1730

I have been reflecting a lot this week on the world’s events and to say it’s been a tough week for a lot of people is a drastic understatement.  It makes me grateful for what I have and without wanting to belittle daily feelings of frustration or tiredness or anxiety, which we all face at times, life is sharply put into perspective when you see others suffering real tragedy.  I recognise that I am small but I also feel an important sense of gratitude to have been able to give my son something I made for him this week, and to have done what I can do, by donating to the plight of the Nepalese.  Here are just two of the places you can do so too: here (Unicef) or here (Red Cross).  Do that and do something for or with someone you love.

IMG_1744

Drumming Robot Tote Bag

IMG_0959

This is a bag I screen printed with the help of my lovely friend Laurel.  We made a few different ones but this remains my fave.  She really knows what she’s doing and I recommend trying a screen printing class or workshop it’s a lot of fun.

IMG_0950

I took a photo of a robot Matt bought in a junk shop and edited it to make it black and white screen print friendly.

IMG_0952

The finished screen print is very close to the photo.

IMG_0951

 

You can do simpler screen prints at home with stencils and a DIY screen like this or like this or buy a fancy kit like this one.  It was really fun to do this with Laurel and I love screen printing now!  I can’t wait to do some more and experiment with more complicated designs.

 

IMG_0956

Laurel has an amazing shop in Exeter called Arrietty, an Aladdin’s cave of haberdashery where they run super fantastic workshops; it’s a must visit if you are in the area.  She also sells her own beautiful hand screen printed items in the shop and you can not only get your own robot bag but an array of baby grows and more. Here is just a selection:

IMG_2145

Laurel hard at work:

IMG_0599

She’s only grumpy when the gramophone breaks down.  Don’t worry though, Dan fixed it.  I love this photo!

IMG_2301