Sunday, 5 October 2014

A DIY Jungle Party

Finn is five! And so to celebrate our first, proper, kids party. And an old fashioned kids party at that, otherwise know as encouraged chaos!

We started with the theme - animals - jungle / safari / domestic - up to you! Mainly as Finn has always talked about being the person to take people to visit animals in the wild - now amplified thanks to the discovery of Go Diego Go on Netflicks! So his party invitation were created and sent far and wide.

Next on the list was the cake. Now i'm not a baker and so sought advice from the friends and family and ended up using the Big Raspberry Cake recipe from the Great British Bake Off (minus the raspberries, plus some vanilla essence and an extra egg.) I then made a ganache (which sounds so bake-y!), which is chocolate and double cream. I left it over night to set and then whipped up a good dollop to make the filling then softened the rest to cover the cake:

After this had set it was on with the coloured fondant icing (brought from a shop!). I rolled the base out on cornflour and used water to stick my cut out shapes.

Next were decorations. I spray-painted charity shop plastic animals, made paper vines which were blu-tacked to the walls, animal-print balloons and blow-up animals - created a perfect jungle!

I designed a special message for our blackboard wall.

Next the all important party bags. Having gone to several parties recently I knew how much kids loved getting these but also the pressure to fill them - they can get so expensive. A tip from a helpful shop owner saved the day. I got two packs of animal books from Ebay from an outlet similar to the The Book People. I then found some great printable downloads from Pinterest and dropped in a lolly!

Getting the food right was crucial. Again Pinterest offered lots of inspiration and soon we had a table of jungle treats.

 Jungle Juice, Swamp Water, Twigs, Tiger Tails, Bettle Wings, Flying Bugs, Safari Salsa and Shark Fins, Snake sandwiches

 elephant poo!

Snake eggs

 Hungry Hippo Dips

I also made Lion Pizzas, Crocodile teeth (watermelon) and the show-stealer a Mud Bath (Chocolate Fountain) with pineapple and marshmallow dippers.

Although the weather wasn't great we were still able to play some favourites of pass-the-parcel and musical chairs.

Which resulted in one happy birthday boy - pictured here in his Go Diego Go outfit. I made the vest using the Oliver + S Explorer Vest pattern - and swapping the top pockets for the Diego emblem (made from felt) instead.

Thanks to everyone who made it a success and such fun!

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Tooth Fairy

Finn's has lost his first tooth.

 (not impressed at my giggling and photo demands)

This may not seem like blog-worthy news but as he's still (just) four, we were not expecting. More importantly I was not ready, I hadn't got the story straight and no pound coins in the house.

So I made this tooth fairy pillow.

The felt tooth is a pocket to safely store the pearly whites until the fairy is ready for the swap - I've added initials so there can be no fairy mix ups.

Not to be caught out again I've made Sophie's well in advance too!

To finish off such a momentous occasion, the tooth fairy looking after junior Dewar teeth is a letter writer - an old fashioned type of fairy!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Bon Voyage

So Mum has embarked on a trip of a lifetime - she and my Auntie are visiting my cousin in Vancouver.

A momentous journey for anyone, but particularly as Mum isn't the best traveler and tackling such a challenge without the support of Dad has made the prospect more daunting. Her determination to succeed has been amazing and I'm so proud of her.

I put together these packages for Mum and Auntie to add a little comfort to their journey.

Mum's set used the lovely Liberty fabric from my maxi dress and a dress I made Sophie. I used a lovely turquoise and white polka dot to contrast on the slippers.

Auntie's set was this lovely soft pink and mustard Ikat deign with a mustard floral contrast.

Mum's set included a passport holder. I added her name using the embroidery alphabet feature on my sewing machine. Unfortunately I ran out of fabric and time to make Auntie one too!

Friday, 12 September 2014

A recycled bag

After the success (and quickness!) of mum's bag last month I decided I wanted one. After looking through my stash I decided that the postage stamp scrap quilt wasn't going to happen but would make the perfect lining for my new bag.


In keeping with the recycling theme I decided the ideal exterior fabric would be denim and old holey jeans would be both durable and worn in to be perfect. So I chopped up a pair!

I'm really pleased with the finished product. 

Its nice to see so many of my favourite fabrics.

I used one of the back pockets from the jeans as an internal pocket to my bag.

 Big enough for all my stuff!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Teepee Tutorial

I made this a couple of years but only just realised that I've not posted about it. I wanted to share it mainly because I followed a really simple set of instructions I found from IKEA.

Ikea is also a great pace to find fabric to make this. Most of their fabric's are extra wide, bright colours and patterns, durable and affordable.

The 6 wooden poles were from B&Q. We quickly sawed the excess off, drilled a hole through and then gave them a coat of varnish to darken their colour and make them a little more hardwearing.

To keep the poles in place I sewed leather thong at intervals on the inside. I used the same leather thong to tie the poles together at the top and make a tie for the opening.

The teepee is great fun, can be changed to whatever the imagination conjures and provides a useful hideaway from afternoon sun.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A Tote for Mum

I made this lovely tote bag for my Mum using the Everyday Tote pattern from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross

I didn't have quite the right amount of the Echino fabric (a lovely light animal print linen from Eternal Maker) so i adapted the pattern by just bringing the sides in (on both external and lining fabric).

Inside is a useful pocket so you don't loose your essentials - crucial as this bag is big and will caryy plenty of necessary stuff! I think I'll make myself one next.

Monday, 21 July 2014

McCalls 6015 - a quick distraction!

Rather than packing for holiday, the day before we were to leave (at the crack of dawn) I decided to make Sophie a new frock.

Mum had originally planned to knock this one up herself, but one because of one thing or another, never quite found the time. So whilst procrastinating about how many shorts we all needed I stumbled upon the pattern and fabric she had bought and off I went.

The McCall 6015 is a proper little girl's dress.

I went for the version with capped sleeves.

It was fairly straight forward although I'm not sure if I followed the instructions for hte zip and sleeves to the letter - however I'm pleased with the result!

And luckily the pretty dress managed to distract the waitresses from the havoc she caused at the pizza restaurant!