Category Archives: Baby niece
It’s also a chance to share this beautiful photo, taken by my sister, Jo. She looks like a little fairy!
Doesn’t she look adorable? The fabric is a Tilda quilting cotton, and Jo says it’s a really useful dress. Very quick to make, so a pattern to keep and make again for next summer.
I’ve been thinking about printing my own fabric for a while, and came across Jane Foster’s courses while googling one day. I love Jane’s work, and the chance to learn from her – too good to miss!
Jane is based in Kingsbridge – about an hour from me – so I drove down there on the most beautiful day. There were four of us, and I think we were all a bit nervous!
It was fascinating to hear from Jane about her career and life as an artist. And I fell in love with screenprinting on my first try. I’m not very good at drawing, but the process makes simple designs look great, so it’s ideal for me.
I designed a flower using paper cut outs and round stickers, and struck with that for my one and two colour prints.
We printed three bags, some scraps of fabric, and paper. I also made tiny niece Greta a bag.
She was a bit confused there was nothing in it (she had a very good look to make sure!), but soon came round when we showed her how to put toys in there. (Also, she’s wearing the smocked dress I made – my sister knows how to make me happy).
Whenever I go on courses I am amazed by the variety of work produced – here is one bag from each of us. Could they be more different?!
You can find out more about Jane and her work at www.janefoster.co.uk – course details are in the Shop section.
Tiny niece Greta loves Peppa Pig, so I’ve been doing some Peppa knitting for her second birthday.
It was too hot at her party to try on the jumper, but she seemed to like it. “Mine” she said.
And she loved her toy. I wish I could wear a pink tutu on my birthday!
Peppa even got in on the candle blowing!
The fabulous Muddy Puddle cake is by my sister, Jo. It was delicious!
Ahh, little girls’ summer dresses. I’m planning a few different styles for tiny niece this year.
This one is the Purl Bee Smocked Dress & Shirt pattern which I received for free when I signed up for their newsletter.
I think I did some smocking at school, and it was fun to try it again. I say fun – I decided to use polka dots rather than the gingham they recommend, and it took a few tries to get it right.
It’s a lovely pattern. The smocking produces beautiful pleats at the neckline and a gently gathered full skirt. The binding finishes the arm edge and extends to form straps.
The only thing I will change next time is the width of the binding. I found 1 5/8″ rather narrow and fiddly, and the inside isn’t as neat as I would like. I think making the binding a little wider would make the dress much faster to sew.
On Monday, I’ll show you how I did the smocking on polka dots. It’s very easy but might save you some time if you’d like to try it!
The pattern for this little rabbit comes from Toy Knits by Debbie Bliss.
The book was published in 1995, and I bought it soon after, which means I’ve been making this pattern for nearly 20 years! I think the first one was for a sweet little girl called Eleanor, who is now a beautiful twenty-something.
There’s something about this cute rabbit in an oversized sweater that makes me come back to it again and again. The sweater is knitted from two strands of DK yarn worked together, so I sometimes make a matching cardigan as a baby gift.
The pattern taught me how to increase and decrease, and to use smaller needles (3.25 for DK) so the toy stuffing doesn’t show through.
Here is Greta measuring her new rabbit (I’d just measured her for a dress). She looks like a natural!
Do you have a pattern you’ve been using forever?
This little owl was a request from my sister. It’s made from Tiny Niece’s first baby clothes. This is the second I’ve made – the first was a dinosaur for her brother – and I’ve learned a few things the hard way!
– Most important is to use a pattern with big pieces, and not too many of them. This pattern, from Simplicity 1549, is ideal. The dinosaur wasn’t! Great pattern, but had many little pieces and there was a point when I was surrounded by countless tiny bits of jersey and I really wanted to give up. But couldn’t, because the pieces were made from precious baby clothes.
– Joining different prints together to fit the pattern pieces looks great. Here, I’ve used some decorative stitching to highlight the seam.
– Use iron-on knit interfacing for the main body pieces. I didn’t with the dinosaur, and when stuffed he grew, and grew… We named him Tubbysaurus.
– Stitch limbs to the back piece before joining. You don’t want to have to unpick, the less handled the better.
– Watch out for poppers and buttons which might break your needle. Guess how I know.
The eyes on this owl are appliqued circles with embroidered eyelashes, and the beak is felt. Tiny Niece loved him!
On a completely different subject, I’m enjoying reading about everyone’s Me Made May exploits. I’m aiming to wear one me-made every day. I want to see which things get the most wear, and identify any gaps. I’m planning a league table at the end of the month as I don’t like taking daily pictures. I’m so glad the rules are flexible!