Wool and the Gang, cool knitting kits

WATG0

I’ve been feeling so much like knitting lately, so the Wool and the Gang kit I ordered came right in time! I’m going to be knitting the Mini Tartan Hula Hoop for Sara, and if I hurry a little I might just be able to finish it before Christmas.

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Do you know Wool and the Gang? It’s a super hip company, providing über cool knitting kits with everything one might need for one project — wool, needles, the pattern, and very easy-to-follow instructions. (If you love the Wool and the Gang designs but are not so into knitting, you can also purchase a ready-made piece, knit with love by one of the ‘Gangstas’, a global-wide team of knitters.)

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I love their branding, the quality of their materials, and their belief in handmade and sustainable fashion. Knitting their projects is so fun!

In spring, I made the Sailor Jumper (modeled by Pim below, after a rough and dirty game of football!) and I love how easy it was to knit that jumper and how nice it turned out when it was finished.

pim_WATGThe Wool and the Gang knitting kits make really great presents too — everything comes wrapped in a cool paper bag, and anyone who has an interest in knitting (even if they’ve never knit before!) I’m sure would love to receive a kit like this.

xxx Esther

Super Simple Christmas Paper and Gift Tags DIY

Wrapping Paper and Gift Tags DIY

Hi there, it’s me again! Here we are one post later and we’re already in the middle of December rush. Is it just me or does time fly faster every year? It feels like just yesterday it was still summer, doesn’t it? But it truly is the most delicious time of the year for me. I love the cinnamon smell, the beautiful carols and songs, even all those cheesy Christmas movies and cartoons and the different anticipations this time of the year brings for Tila. Like tree decorating, Christmas crafts and of course presents that St. Nicholas and the big almighty Santa Claus bring.

Last year I decided to start making my own wrapping paper and gift tags for these two men simply because Tila is one very smart cookie and I’m worried she’d get suspicious if she noticed they use the same paper and tags as we do.
This year for St. Nicholas I used this super simple technique of pencil-eraser stamping that literally takes you a few minutes and I made gift tags that even people with no drawing talent can do. I posted a picture of both on my Instagram and many moms loved it so I thought you might too.

Wrapping Paper

For the paper you need:

-Wrapping Paper (I used the plain brown packing paper you get at the Post Office)
-Pencil With an Eraser on the end
-White Paint or even better (and much less messier) a White Inkpad

First measure and cut out the amount of wrapping paper you need for your gift.
Tape it to the table so it doesn’t roll down while stamping.
Now tap the eraser onto inkpad or paint and press firmly onto paper.
When you’re done you move the paper on the wall and leave there to dry completely.

What You Need for Tags

In the meanwhile the gift tags can be done and all you need for those is:

-Thick brown paper or Thin Cardboard
-Scissors or Craft Knife
-Black Drawing Pen
-Small Pom-Poms
-Glue
-Red and White Twine
-Hole Paper Punch

Xmas Gift Tags Xmas Raindeer Gift Tag

Cut out rectangles (mine are the size 6 x 10 cm) and draw this simple raindeer you see on the photo above, glue a pompom where its nose should be, write a name of the recipient and punch a hole in the center about a centimeter from the top edge.

Now cut about 20 cm of twine and slip it through a hole.

Voilá! Simple as that.

Ps. Don’t forget to get rid of any evidence. If there are any failed tags, throw them away! Don’t leave any pompoms lying around! And wash the eraser! Kids are sometimes (many times) much smarter than us… ;)

-Polona

To read more from Polona, go to her cute blog Baby Jungle!

Last minute advent activity calendar

adventTomorrow is the start of advent — only 25 days to go ’til Christmas! We do have an advent tradition in our family — my mum always had an advent wreath on the table with 4 candles in a circle, and one candle was lit on every Sunday in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and then a fifth candle in the centre was lit on Christmas day. But we’re not accustomed to the advent calendar, the countdown calendar with 24 pockets filled with little presents or candy, counting down to Christmas day. I think this might have to do with Sinterklaas, who’s in the country till the 5th, overlapping the first days of advent and overdoing, possibly, the idea of giving.

Where I love the idea of getting ready for Christmas, slowing down and focussing on togetherness and goodness, I don’t really want to overflow our children with goodies after the feasts of St. Maarten (candy) and St. Nicolas (candy and presents). But I want them to experience extra warmth, fun, and also to comprehend the fact that they have a lucky position in the world.

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Yesterday I spent some time working on a super last-minute advent calendar without gifts, but with ideas for fun, sweet, and genuine activities to make the weeks before Christmas extra special. I printed everything on grey card stock paper, folded and closed them with round sticky dots on which I rubbed transfer numbers beforehand. It’s nothing super fancy or special at all, but the simplicity reflects what I would like our advent to be!

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Maybe you would like to play along? I’ve made the file I used into an advent activity calendar PDF. There are 29 activities, so you can choose the ones you like best. Just download, print, cut and fold, put a number on them and hang on the wall.

Enjoy, and happy first day of advent for tomorrow!

xxx Esther

 

The Little Things… A Doll Hospital!

The Little Things by Babyccino Kids A Doll Hospital (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids)

For this post in the The Little Things series, we made something I think every little boy or girl will love: a doll hospital!

TLT1 TLT5 The Little Things by Babyccino Kids A Doll Hospital (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids)

This is such a fun project to make, and it’s really quite simple. Also, most of the materials we’ve used are recycled!

A trip to the local greengrocer provided us with the (future) hospital beds. With simple white paint (I used primer which was left over from our house renovation) I painted the vegetable boxes, and with red acrylic paint from the children’s craft box, I made a red cross on each bed.

From old pillowcases I made white mattresses, sheets and pillows for the beds. And I couldn’t resist painting a red cross on the sheets with fabric paint.



Nurse-cap (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids) Prescriptions for Doll Hospital (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids)

And then — how ADORABLE are these free downloads for a DIY nurse cap and doctor’s prescriptions? Sara from SakaDesign made them for us again. She’s so talented!

A Doll Hospital (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids) TLT7 A Doll Hospital (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids) A Doll Hospital (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids)

I painted a similar red cross on a simple white suitcase (which we bought), to create a doctor’s case. And, of course, every respectable doctor’s case needs some serious doctor’s necessities!

The pharmacy around the corner kindly gave us a syringe, some plastic containers, a measuring spoon and cup. The simple bandages and plasters came from our first aid kit. We glued a strip of paper in the lid of the doctor’s case to hold the prescriptions, and filled the plastic containers with colourful ‘pills’ (M&Ms!!). We also put a thermometer, a scissors and a stethoscope in the case.

TLT11 A Doll Hospital (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids)

And here are Doctor Ava and Doctor Juul, ready to heal some very sick baby dolls! As you can see, they take their task rather seriously. ; )

A Doll Hospital (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids) TLT13 A Doll Hospital (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids) A Doll Hospital (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids) A Doll Hospital (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids) A Doll Hospital (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids) TLT20

TLT21 TLT24 A Doll Hospital (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids) A Doll Hospital (The Little Things by Babyccino Kids) TLT26

The girls played for hours with the doll hospital. It was such a huge succes! (And I’m thinking, wouldn’t it make a very sweet holiday gift as well?)

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xxx Esther

PS –  This is the newest post in a series which is called ‘The Little Things’. Thank you Maud Fontein for taking these beautiful photos, and Sara Musch for the adorable download. The girls’ outfits are from Mabo Kids!

 

Little crochet money purses

crochet bag 3 crochet bag 4I always like to keep my hands busy during long car journeys, so I’ve started knitting and crocheting while my husband drives the way to our holiday destination. On the way to France last month, I started a (doll size) granny square blanket, which was really fun!

During our stay, there were a a few nights where we kept our children busy during dinners by asking them to make a collection of loom bands, and then selling them (by auction!) to friends and family. We had a good laugh and the kids earned a few cents, which made them proud and looking forward to the next ‘Vide Greniers’ (flee markets) we always like to visit during the weekends. To keep their earnings safe, I quickly crocheted a little purse for each of them, and they turned out really cute. Here’s how I made them (using cotton yarn with crochet needle 3,5):

crochet purse

First, chain 30.
Row 1: single crochet in all 30 chains. (30 sc)
Row 2: Change colour. Double crochet in first sc and in each sc across (30 dc)
Row 3: ch 1, turn. Double stitch in first dc and in each dc across (30 dc)
Row 4 & 5 and 6 & 7: repeat row 2 & 3

(For one colour: Row 2 – 7: chain 1, turn. Double stitch in first dc and in each dc across (30 dc) )

Begin flap:
Row 8 (same colour as row 7): Ch 1, turn. Double stitch in first dc and in the next 14 dc (15 dc)
Row 9: ch 1, turn. Double stitch in first dc and in each dc across (15 dc)
Row 10: change colour. Double stitch in first dc and in each dc across (15 dc)
Row 11: ch 1, turn. Double stitch in first dc and following 6 dc, skip one dc and ch 1 instead, dc in 8th dc and next 6 dc (15 dc)
Row 12: ch 1, turn. Single crochet in first dc and each dc (and ch) across (15 sc)

(For one colour: Row 8 – 11: chain one 1, turn. Double stitch in first dc and in the next 14 dc (15 dc). Row 12: sc like above. )

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Bag assembly: Fold purse, and starting at the lower left corner, slip stitch the sides together. Once you get to the top right corner, chain enough to form the strap, then attach to other side of bag and ‘faux’ slipstitch the other side as well. Fasten off and secure ends.

Finishing: Fold flap over front of bag to find placement of button. Sew on button and fasten through space formed between dc 6 and 8 in center of Row 11.

crochet bag 1 crochet bag 2Voila! I hope I explained everything correctly. They are really simple and quick to make!

xxx Esther

Knitting loom

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Have you ever heard of a knitting loom? Well, I had not, at least until recently, when I had the chance to catch up with Erika from Miko Design. She told me how she discovered knitting again, thanks to these nifty little things.They are sold at HEMA over here in France and in the Netherlands. You can also get them off Amazon.
Since then we have been looming away at our house – it is seriously easy and strangely addictive. Both my girls now have a new pair of leg warmers and we are in the process of making a poncho. Hilariously, we have no idea what size it is going to be, so it might become a present for baby Marlow or fit Coco perfectly, who is now 8.

As you can tell, we are weaving loom novices, but YouTube is full of knitting loom tutorials, as, for example, this one or this one on how to knit a hat.

Coco

Have fun, it is a great way to get back into knitting or, in fact, learn how to knit!

– Emilie
P.S. The lovely jumpers the girls are wearing were not knitted on a knitting loom but are from Babaa Knitwear.

Spring is here! Say it with pillows.

Because yesterday was the (official) first day of spring, I finally finished a little project I have been working on… Pillows! I used mixed techniques to put words on them — embroidery, appliqué, and painting with textile paint. I especially enjoyed the embroidery work — it’s been a long time since I did embroidery, and I forgot how much fun it is!


Happy spring everyone!!

xxx Esther

Valentines craft — love birds

Happy Valentines Day! Our kids woke us up with the sweetest handmade Valentines cards this morning… But I had nothing prepared! So I quickly made these ‘lovebirds’, by folding a piece of paper in half and cutting it in a heart shape. A piece of masking tape keeps it closed and forms the beak. Inside I wrote little love message and poems. So when the kids come home from school they will have a little surprise waiting for them!

xxx Esther

Inspiring holiday ideas from Sweet Paul!

You probably have heard of the talented Paul Lowe Einlyng, better known to most people as ‘Sweet Paul‘. His blog and quarterly magazine are an accumulation of wonderful craft projects, yummy recipes and creative decor ideas, all photographed in the most stunning and inspiring way. I’m a big fan of Sweet Paul!

Sweet Paul is sharing some ideas below that were published in his 2013 Sweet Paul Holiday Kids issue. I’m pretty sure they will inspire you to do something crafty with your kids the coming weeks! (Or if not, you can just gaze at the pretty pictures.) The entire magazine, full to the brim with inspiring activities like the sneak peeks below, is available as a PDF download here (for iPad click here). And it’s beautiful!

xxx Esther

Cheese Sticks
These are amazing when served with eggs.

Makes 20 sticks
1 sheet puff pastry (I love to
use Dafour)
½ cup grated cheese of your choice

1. Preheat then oven to 375°F.
2. Cut the puff pastry into half-inch strips.
3. Twist them gently and place in a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
4. Sprinkle with cheese.
5. Bake until golden. This will take about 10 minutes.

Mister Rabbit and Miss Cat
These are very simple toys to make. You can make fabric scraps, make sure they are a natural fiber so that you can watch them.

You need:
fabric
pen
needle and thread
cotton stuffing
sewing Maschine
1.Start by drawing your animal on the fabric.
2.Emboyder it using small stitches.
3.Cut around the animal so that it follows its shape, you need a front and a back.
4.Sew them together right side against right side, turn inside out and stuff with stuffing.
5.Sew up the hole.

And here are the instructions for the adorable Peanut Snowman at the top.

Peanut snowmen
This is a great kids project. Looks awesome on a small tree.

You need:
whole peanuts
white craft paint
marker
wool string
hot glue gun
acorn tops
1.Start by painting the peanuts white.
2.Once dry use a marker and make eyes and mouth.
3.Hot glue a acorn top to the top of the peanut and fasten a piece of wool string around the neck.

Thank you Sweet Paul!

The Little Things… Gift (un)wrapping!

I love gift giving — there is something so wonderful about planning the perfect gift for someone special, wrapping it in the nicest possible way, the actual excitement of giving it, and finally seeing the joy on the face of the receiver…

This week for The Little Things, we’ve created simple holiday wrapping paper by stamping triangles on craft paper. It makes such a happy house to pile some presents in a corner of your house… And Casper and his little friend Mees had a ball opening the presents and playing with the awesome toys inside (all kindly lent to us by A Day with Kate).

It’s easy to create this simple holiday wrapping paper. Just make a triangular stamp by cutting a corner of a regular eraser. We made one bigger and one smaller stamp. The kids can help to stamp the paper!

Sara Musch made wonderful matching gift tags (just download for free here), and the ‘Pretty Things Inside‘ tape is also from A Day with Kate.

xxx Esther

PS –  This is the fifth post in a series which is called ‘The Little Things’. Thank you again Maud Fontein for taking beautiful photos in your awesome house, and Sara Musch for the cool download. All the toys are from Janod via wonderful webshop A Day with Kate, and the boys’ outfits are from Gray Label, also via A Day with Kate.

Mikodesign — gorgeous screen prints and dolls!

I’ve written about Erika from Mikodesign before… I just love her creativity and her gorgeous range of screen-printed products. Her DIY doll kits are amazing, and so much fun to put together if you like sewing. Sara and I are in the process of making the new, special edition neon I Love Paris rabbit together — a lovely little project! It even comes with a little tote bag and a skirt with Paris print, plus an additional Eifeltower that can be turned into a really cool hanger. (In case sewing is not your thing, Erika also sells the dolls ready-made.)

And… I’m so happy that Erika is joining us for the ShopUp this weekend!! She’s told me she will bring a whole range of DIY kits and ready-made dolls, and darling clothing sets for the dolls as well. Plus tons of her adorable ornaments and accessories. All designed and handmade by Erika herself of course!
You’ll find me heading up the queue in front of her stand!! : )

xxx Esther

PS all photos are taken from Erika’s lovely Instagram feed.

The Little Things… an easy-to-sew child’s apron made from a dish towel!

For this week’s The Little Things, I’m showing you how to make a super sweet, and super easy-to-make child’s apron out of a dish towel! No kidding, if you have a sewing machine (or know someone who does!), you can make this apron.

One simple dish towel and two (shoe) laces is everything you need to get started!

The sweet image above (drawn by Sara Musch) shows you exactly how to do it. Click here for your free download! And yes — it is really that easy. You only need to sew seven straight lines! Two for the arm holes, and five for the pockets…


My mum taught me to use a safety pin to easily thread a ribbon through a channel. It works really well!


The end result is cute as a button. And what a sweet gift for the holidays!

Enjoy making this… (And please share the result in the comments below!)

xxx Esther

PS  This is the third post in a series which is called ‘The Little Things’. Thank you Maud Fontein for taking the beautiful photos, and Sara Musch for the sweet download! I used an apron and shoelaces from Hema, and Ava’s shirt is from Nils & Happy to see you.

Make Your Own Pair of Baby Shoes

I love crafting in general but sewing is my favourite. Once upon a time I used to sew a lot, but one little super energetic little girl later this hobby somehow got pushed to the side a bit.

Then the other day I got an email from Karolina, a lady behind this new brand from Poland called First Baby Shoes. She wanted to tell me all about a brilliant idea they came up with – to design kits that contain everything in order for you to hand-sew your baby’s first shoes. So all the shoe parts (already pre-cut and holes pre-made), two needles and a special yarn are in the kit and all you need is a little time.

They have kindly sent me one kit of AKI model in green to try out and now I have a first pair of shoes waiting for my baby boy! Aren’t they super cute? Everything comes in a beautiful cardboard gift box so if you plan to make them as a gift there’s not much for you to worry about. Instructions that come with are in English but there are also video tutorials here that come in much more handy by my opinion.

The shoes should fit an average 9 to 15-month-old and are made from leather and the soles from super light, flexible and anti-skid gum and all the elements are produced in EU which is kind of rare but that much more appreciated these days.

-Polona

To read more from Polona, go to her cute blog Baby Jungle!

Make your own Dreamcatchers

This past weekend my sister and I sat down to make dreamcatchers. It’s a project that both of us have wanted to do for the past few years, and I’m so happy we finally got the chance to do it together. We had so much fun! (I think we’re both a little bit obsessed now and I’m trying to convince my sister to start up a little shop to sell them!)

We’re currently staying in our family beach house on Bainbridge Island, so we were able to search the beach for treasures to decorate the dreamcatchers. We then went to the little bead store on the island and picked up some pretty beads, strings and ribbons. I really love how they turned out and I thought I would share how we made them:

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • sticks for the outside circle (try to find ones which will bend without snapping)
  • string or thread (we used natural hemp because we liked the look and feel of it – but you can use anything!)
  • beads, feathers, ribbons, shells, and anything else you want to use as decoration on your dreamcatcher

And here are the basic steps:

  • Create a circle with the sticks and tie the sticks together using string (we tied the sticks together in several positions around the circle to ensure they didn’t come apart)
  • Start to create the webbing of the dreamcatcher by first tying a long string onto the circle of sticks at any point (this string should be at least 5 feet long to ensure you have enough for the entire web). From there, you move to the right of the circle and loop the string around the circle at different intervals around, keeping the string nice and taught (see photo above for how to loop the string).
  • Once you’ve made it around the circle, you’ll then repeat this process, going around the circle again, but this time you’ll be looping onto the path of string you’ve just created. Add some beads on the string in desired places as you web the string around (see photo above). You’ll then continue this process until you’ve created a circular web inside the circle. You can tie a knot at the inside of the web when you’ve finished.

  • Now that your web is finished, you can now add the tassels and decorations to your dreamcatcher. Here you can be really creative: string up some beads, tie a feather to a string and then add beads, braid together different colours of strings, string up some shells, pinecones, ribbons, etc. This is really the fun part and here is where you can involve your children!

And that’s it! I’ve added lots of photos in case my instructions aren’t clear – so hopefully you can get a good sense of the steps as well as some inspiration for ways to decorate your dreamcatcher. If you have any questions, just ask in the comment section below!

xx Courtney

Mouse House

As a child I received a custom made dollhouse for Christmas.  I loved playing with it and spent many hours re-arranging the furniture, and adding special little touches to it.  I still have a fascination with dollhouses and everything in miniature.

Several months ago I found a vintage dollhouse at a thrift store and I couldn’t pass it up.  Henrik and I decided it would be the perfect home for our Maileg Mice.  I added a couple of coats of paint and some paper to the house and it’s as good as new.  I then added a few pieces of furniture and a mouse portrait painted by Henrik to make our mouse family feel at home.

My children have enjoyed playing with their mouse house and Henrik is already talking about moving his claymation guys in…

-Meta

Sew much sewing

Oh it’s been way too long since I posted anything here, I am terribily sorry. I think I’ve been caught in so many projects and haven’t had the time to do some of the things I like best, like sharing some lovely things with you. One of the projects that has been keeping me busy these days is all the sewing I’ve been doing for my kids. I thought it would be nice to share a few of those with you today and maybe inspire you a little to try and make something!
I usually create my own patterns and creations, however I’ve been using patterns created by fellow blog friends and it has been such a fun process. Here are just a few from the past couple of weeks …

I created this bathing suit from a legging pattern, The Fancy Pant Legging. If you are looking for an easy knit project with really amazing results check out the Titchy Thread website, the leggings are really cute, comfortable and a quick sew. The instructiona are easy to follow with tips on how to sew knits and photos to acompany them. The legging pattern is great for newborn and little kids- they make great PJ bottom or even summer shorts to wear under dresses.

The Roly Poly pinafore is another wonderful pattern, and really great to learn how to sew. This can be worn as a tunic, a top or an art smock- it can be layered over t-shirts and therefore worn all year round. The best part is that it’s reversible! Check out Imagine Gnats for all the details. Can I just add I had such fun dip dyeing my fabric.

If you are more experienced sewer, then I highly recommend the bubble shorts by Elegance & Elephants. It comes with an elastic waistband or a sailor looking front flap. These shorts are just too cute and the large pocket are great for stuffing all your little toys!!! You might want to see the other patterns on the website, it’s all so cute.

And well, I could not leave the boys out (although the Fancy Pant Legging is great for boys too) — check out Blank Slate Patterns for a great variety of boys patterns. I use the Coastal Cargo pattern and modified into a short for these. And can you tell I’m slightly obssesed with dip dye? I just can’t seem to stop, soon all out clothes will go through the process!

I’d love to know if you try any of these patterns- send over some photos! If you need help, I’ll be more than happy to help. Happy sewing!

xo Celina

Easy DIY goodie bags

We just brought Ava to her creche with 14 of these cute bear goodie bags. I thought to share this with you, as they were totally easy to make! (We did it late night yesterday evening!)

Just cut the top part of a paper carrier bag, and cut out two ears from the left-over top part. Put some little presents in the bag, pin the ears to the top to help them stay in place and close the top on the sewing machine. (Or, just use glue if you don’t have a sewing machine — you can keep the ears in place with cloth pins when they’re drying.) Use white gouache to paint the eyes and snout, and when dry, use a permanent marker to add some details. Done!

xxx Esther

DIY: Simple skirts for little girls

When I was in Amsterdam with Esther last month, we sat down one evening to make some cute stripy skirts for the girls. (I should clarify – I did a bit of ironing, and Esther did everything else!!). She whipped up three skirts in one evening and I was so super impressed with how quickly you can have results! The girls were wearing their new skirts the following day! Esther explained the simple steps to me… but of course, like with anything else, you can’t fully learn how to do something unless you really sit down and do it yourself. So I was determined to come back to London, buy some cute fabric and learn by doing.

My mom is here visiting us so I figured it was the perfect timing to do so. Together we set up my sewing machine and sat down one evening for a little sewing session. It is surprisingly easy! And I must say, quite addictive!

I thought I would share the steps for how to make a super simple elastic waistband skirt (taught to me by Esther). My sewing lingo is very basic, so I’m not even sure if I can properly explain it… but I figured my basic steps might be helpful for other beginner sewers.

  1. Cut the length of fabric you think will be suitable for your child’s height. (I’ve made a few skirts now for Ivy and I think my favourite length began with a 46cm length of fabric. The length of the pink skirt in the photo below is longer, roughly 52cm). Remember to wash the fabric first so you know how much it is going to shrink (or allow for shrinkage if you don’t wash it first).
  2. The width of the fabric will become the waist/width of the skirt (the elastic will determine the size of the waist, determining how much fabric gets scrunched by the elastic). Widths of fabric differ – the wider the fabric, the fuller the skirt will be. (The floral Liberty print skirt pictured above has a 135cm or 54″ width.)
  3. Fold your fabric width-wise with the inside of the fabric on the outside, matching up the two outside edges. Sew a basic seam along this edge (about 1.5cm from the edge). Now you will have a loop of fabric with one seam. (You can iron the flaps of the seam down so they are flat against the fabric – this help keeps things looking tidy and also helps when sewing the hem and waistband over the seam.)
  4. Create a hem at the bottom by folding the bottom edge up (about 1cm) once and then folding again (about 2.5cm) to create a neat hem (where you don’t see any of the unfinished edge). Iron the folds, and pin the folding down so that it stays straight and in place. (You can measure while you do this to ensure the hem is straight and remains the same thickness all along the bottom). Then sew the hem in place.
  5. Create a waist band by doing roughly the same thing as the bottom hem (only it can be thinner, about half the width of the hem). I’ve been using elastic which is 9mm wide, so I just need to make sure the waistband is wide enough for the 9mm elastic to fit through easily). Iron the folds and pin down so that it stays straight when you sew it. Sew it together, leaving a small gap at the seam of the skirt for you to get the elastic band into the waist.
  6. Insert the elastic into the waistband using a safety pin pinned to the end of the elastic. Work the elastic all the way around the waistband and cinch up to your desired waist size (make sure the elastic doesn’t get twisted). Sew the elastic together so that it makes a loop within the waistband.
  7. Finish the skirt by sewing shut the gap of the waistband.

And that’s it! It’s so basic. The skirt consists of one seam, one hem and one elastic waistband. Easy peasy! I hope my instructions haven’t confused you. If you have any questions, just ask in the comments section below.

x Courtney

Tie-dye!


I totally remember tie-dying as a child — it was such fashion back then, and I remember how fun and exciting it was. You never really knew what the results were going to be like! So I picked up a packet of fabric dye from the local drugstore (there wasn’t much choice — I used Dylon dye for hand use, colour Ocean Blue), and a few simple, white cotton T-shirts for the kids (plus a onesie for Casper of course). After pre-washing the shirts, I wet the shirts (or you can just leave them wet after washing), and put the kids around the table with each a shirt to use and a bag of elastic bands. I explained some different folding techniques to them using this page, and we started! For Casper’s onesie, I made a big donut by creating a big rosette and pushing the tip back through the rubber band. For Ava’s shirt, we made a line of small rosettes which we tied together with one elastic band. Pim used the folding technique, making vertical folds and tying them at irregular intervals. As you can see he’s very pleased with the results. And Sara made random circles, bigger and small, which also gave a cool effect I think.

After tying the shirts, I prepared the dye in the kitchen sink and we submerged the shirts in the dye for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally with a big steel spoon. Then, I rinsed with cold water and let the kids untie their shirts with plastic gloves on. The excitement and surprise — they absolutely loved it! After a quick spin in the machine the shirts were ready to wear. With pride!

xxx Esther

Spring Tent DIY

My son Henrik loves to make tents and forts.  He builds one practically every day.  This year for an Easter surprise I decided to make my children a tent that they could leave up and play with all day every day.  I used the genius tutorial featured on a beautiful mess invented by Rubyellen.  I then made some of my own modifications.  I added an extra wooden piece of moulding at the bottom of both sides so that the tent won’t slide down and will stay upright on hard wood floors.

I also added a window with a roll flap that snaps open.  I lined the inside of it with a blue geometric fabric.  I trimmed the window and the outside of the tent in a solid aqua fabric bias tape that I made.  I ended up using a small black polka dot fabric for the tent.  I cut and sewed the green fabric on the bottom to look like grass and make it feel more like spring.  To make the tent more cozy I made a few floor cushions in corresponding colors (even a star pillow).

I think it’s safe to say they love the tent.

I may have also got my children two bunnies.  I couldn’t help myself.  I had bunnies growing up as a child and had so much fun with them.  Henrik named the black one hoppy and Maja named the brown one honey.

Aren’t the bow tie and bow so cute that Henrik and Maja are wearing?!  If you’re interested in some for your little ones my sweet friend makes them and you can get them here.

I hope you enjoy!

xoxo–Meta

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