Sock animal creations. A sock crocodile.

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Not feeling great at the moment so decided to work on something fun.  Decided to try and create a new sock creature.  I posted photos on my Facebook page as I created but I thought I would write a quick blog post too.  I chose green as a colour for this animal as I figured it a great colour for a crocodile.  The first job was to machine stich the outlines and cut them out.  Then you have to join the 2 main parts together. I ended up with this shape.

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It looks like a weird worm at this stage lol.  Once I added the eyes things started to look a little more snap snap as my 20 month old daughter would say.

Sock Crocodile eyes
The next job is to shape the tail. When I machined the outline I created bumps so a few stitches in each bump helps to make them stand out.
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A crocodile needs a smile. It sort of reminds me of the crocodile from Peter Pan. With the ticking clock. To create a smile I pinched a seam along each side of the snout then added some running stitches. I made sure the seams turned up near the eyes. We want a smiling crocodile.
Sock Crocodile
The feet have 3 little bumps for toes and with a couple of stitches in the nose to create a snout we love him.

Watch out for the blog entry on the next strange sock animal creation. How to make a sock snake
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Nappies and things

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Baby things can be expensive so here’s a few tips that I have learnt.

Don’t spend a fortune on branded things unless they are absolute worth it. For example the very best nappy cream in the world is Sudacrem.
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Not just for when there is a rash though when there is this tackles even the worst really brilliantly. I have used it with both mine and apart from teething badly or ill hardly any nappy rash at all.

Nappies are expensive. Pampers are without doubt brilliant but not cheap so look for bargains. Of the store brands the absolute best are toujours from Lidl. They are cost effective too. The newly released summer 2013 version is slimmer and better. Just brilliant. The toujours wipes are excellent too and at under £1 for a large pack are also the best priced. Nappy bags though cheaper the better. Don’t be fooled buy the cheap smart priced ones.
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Buggies. Well need I say more. There are so many. The best at the start are the travel systems because you probably need a car seat too. A pram system with a clip in and out car seat when they are tiny is invaluable but once again you don’t have to spend a fortune. Very quickly you will find yourself wanting something smaller and lighter. I went back to my trusty old McLaren and love it.


Sewing projects. More Halloween costumes.

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Baby Twinkles costume all done it’s time to move on to mine.  I have stayed with the pirate theme and opted for the top of a simplicity pattern I found.  Simplicity 3618.

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The first thing to do is copy the pattern out with a bit of help from my creative assistant. 

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I have chosen a teal blue for the shirt and a black craft velvet for the bodice.  I have found a pirate hat eBay bargain and have some striped socks and plain boots to put on with some black culottes.  Should be great. 

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I also have a top to finish for my mum tonight so with a roast chicken in the oven I get cracking on the pattern retrace before dinner. Phew this creative stuff takes planning lol.
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Halloween Pirate inspired costume

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Halloween pirate costume. pirate fabric inspired outfit

I promised I would write a blog entry / post / article on this sewing project and here it is.
The fabric was bought from www.alwaysknittingandsewing.co.uk. s local Fabric craft shop recommended it for novelty fabrics like these pirate prints and they have an eBay store.

pirate fabric

I decided to make trousers from the dark fabric and a top from the light.  I chose Simplicity 7189 for the trousers.

pirate fabric

The pattern for the trousers is only two pieces cut out.  You need some bias binding and some elastic.  I used 6mm for the legs and 12mm on the waist. I cut out age 2 for the pattern since my little one is quite tall. As always I recopied the pattern on to new paper rather than use the original. This is an easy pattern so only took a couple of hours of sewing. The hardest part is seeing the bias binding for the elastic and making sure you catch the edge but leave a big gap for the elastic.
Simplicity 7189 pirate fabric inspired outfit with trousers in skull and crossbone
For the top I chose a dress pattern but decided to make it short like a tunic top. I used Simplicity pattern 1924. This is one of their new project Runway patterns and is lovely.
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I especially liked it for the top as it uses poppers or buttons as fasteners rather than a zip.
Simplicity 1924 using pirate themed fabric

Once again I copied the pattern out then measuring against one of her tops I worked out how long I wanted it to be and drew out bottom pieces in the required length. I used some blue facing as I felt the white needed a backing. I love the poppers on the back.
skull pirate theme fabric top using Simplicity 1924
I simply adore this top. I bet the dress is adorable. The Simplicity Project Runway patterns encourage you to pick and choose from elements of the pattern and embellishment like sleeves of different styles, added lace here and there, different style bodices or adding collars or pockets to suit. I prefer simple lines so no added extras. I love it and can see this outfit in lots of other fabrics for the summer.
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She seemed really comfortable and it fitted beautifully.
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Relaxing Sundays and home made Vegetable Soup

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Today we have opted for relaxing.  It’s been a week of rushing about so sometimes having a relaxing day is lovely. Seren-Grace and I have been reading books and playing with the Ikea drawing easel. 
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Meanwhile I realised my fridge needed a good clean and while I was emptying it found lots of rather sad vegetables so decided to make a vegetable soup.
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Vegetable soup is one of those easy things to cook no recipe required just use what you have. It will always remind me of my Grandma. She made hugs pots of it all year round and it probably was to use up vegetable bits rather than throw them out. She over salted it more often than not but still I hold memories of warm bowls of soup so thick your spoon would stand up quite fondly. Mine is not as salted lol. I started with that good old base of onion and celery. A potato has been added to help thicken the soup then basically I added what I had in my fridge that needed using up. It’s all bubbling away nicely now.
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Yummmm can’t wait till its ready later. I let it boil then added it to the slow cooker to continue to slow cook the rest of the afternoon. Ready for some lovely fresh baked bread at supper time.
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I also finished the bottom half of the Halloween costume. More about that later.
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This afternoon I might actually sit and watch a movie. No baking no sewing no computer work. That’s a rare thing for me it really is a lazy day lol.

Added note 6pm. Watched Mirror Mirror and it’s now my favourite Sunday afternoon movie. The soup is gorgeous. I made some dumplings to make the meal feel fuller. Must admit it’s better than my Nana’s was. Sorry Nana.
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Halloween Costume and lazy days

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Today felt like it should have been a pyjama day but we ended up going on the hunt for coloured chocolate for cake pops and caramel syrup for coffee.  To that end I braved my local Morrisons supermarket.  I hate that shop.  Don’t ask why I just hate it.  Rumours of terrible rat problems probably don’t help lol.  So instead we picked up some fruit and a nice beef joint all of which cost far more than I expected. I am a confirmed Aldi and Lidl fan these days.
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Back at home while Seren-Grace played with a box on wheels thanks to a cute toy I picked up at the Science Museum I cut out the bits for her Halloween costume ready to sew tonight.
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Kids playgroups and more sewing projects.

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Perennial3Today is playgroup day. It’s a lot for a small tot and inevitably towards the end all the toddlers are starting to get a teeny bit ratty and really tired.  We did lots of painting again today and of course we love the singing session at the end.

Afterwards we popped into our local Fabric and home stuff store.  I love Gordon Smith’s in Malvern.  I love all the baking and cooking supplies upstairs and although mostly the fabrics are for curtains etc they do lots of supplies so we regularly pop in for threads, zippers, buttons etc.  Today we also bought some fabric for a new pattern.  This was a free pattern I found on Pinterest by Sew Mama Sew at www.sewmamsew.com. The perennial tunic.

When I get around to this project I will write an article.

 

Update on this article. (Nov 2015 ) I actually made the tunic and it’s lovely for those playgroup days or these days Nursery.

Perennial tunic from Sew Mama Sew with fabric from Gordon Smiths in Malvern.

Perennial tunic from Sew Mama Sew with fabric from Gordon Smiths in Malvern.


Halloween costumes and winters nights

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I love this time of year.  I love the cold winter evenings snuggled up indoors.  I love treacle toffee and wind storms.  I love Halloween nights and always stay up and watch a scary movie alone. I inevitably then ending up unable to sleep but it’s all part of the fun.  I love bonfire night and fireworks.  Slow cooked casseroles and steamy puddings like bread and butter pudding.  Out come the marshmallows for hot chocolate which has to be Cola Cao bought in Spain.

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  I have some great fabric for a pirate inspired theme outfit for Seren-Grace and some fabric in my box to knock up a costume for me too.  I am going to have my first go at cake pops and skeleton gingerbread men. I have new pj’s and some cute slipper socks to keep toes warm. 
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Oh Autumn to winter is a fab time of year with the promise of Christmas and maybe snow just round the corner. 


Purple is the colour for winter

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Purple reminds me of chocolate and Christmas.  Maybe it’s because Cadbury dairy milk comes wrapped in purple foil and my Xmas tree colour scheme is purple and silver.  Maybe I also remember a nativity play as a child where the wise men wore purple and gold probably because the church like purple but it simply reminds me of Christmas.  It’s a rich lush decadent colour and luckily for me I suit it.  So some lush purple fabrics for new dressmaking projects.  The spots for my girl and the plain for me.  Oh better get sewing.