Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pattern love - Kwik Sew 2705 - dressing gowns (bathrobes) for kids

I've made this pattern a gazillion times and I just added a review to patternreview.com. (you may have to join... but if you're not a member already - why aren't you ?!   Its a great resource for getting tips on commercially available patterns.  Sometimes I've looked at the results of peoples attempts and said 'um, I don't think so!')   But this is definitely not one of those patterns:

I mean bathrobes aren't high art, but they are functional and my kids love 'em.  I have made this out of fleece:

and satin
and assorted cotton prints / broderie anglaise... unfortunately no pix.  Made it in one of those awful slippery hologrammatic sequin shimmery fabrics.  Now THAT was a disaster!   Daughter who requested it hated it and it was like sewing deflated balloons.  NEVER AGAIN!

But if you've got any young children buy this pattern now and trace it off however you like to do it.  Kwik Sew patterns don't come on that flimsy brown tissue that every dressmaker has learnt to despise.   No way, these suckers come on full on hard white paper that is meant to be traced.  They know you want to use this pattern over and over again or their very reason for being is called into question.  That's why I love Kwik Sew so much.  No multi sizes like 4,5,6, then 6,7,8 tthen 8,9,10 then 10,11,12, then 12, 13 14 for them.  Nuh uh!  You get the whole lot on one pattern 4 (toddler) through to 14 (young lady or it happens, my very petite favourite fiend Ngaire).   Now that's value for money.

Personally - I trace onto sew in interfacing.  Its stiff and sits on the fabric nicely to rotary cut around the pattern pieces over and over.  I do this with all my patterns.  What if you cut into size 10 and you're a 12 in that pattern?  Too late, you've cut off the variations.... drama.    I bought a 50 metre roll of the cheapest nastiest interfacing for $50 from mrecht.  You don't want anything hard to work with.  This stuff is stiff, easy to see through and INDESTRUCTIBLE!!     

But I digress.

The pattern lasts until 14 years old and [maybe] too cool to wear a dressing gown that mum made.  I doubt that though, you can do this in so many gorgeous fabrics - unlike your choices in the shops.

It occurs to me now that a glamorous version for a young lady to wear would be this done in a red silk with black silk bindings and cuffs?!  Oh my girls are growing up... cue adolescent tantrum.  Well hopefully 2 more years before then.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Scaring the birds off !

We've been seeing a lot more birds in my backyard lately.  Not the nice variety.  The Indian Myna variety.  Squawk squawk.


They've been sitting on my washing line and crapping on my washing.  And leaving poop on my pavers.


A quick google was in order "how to scare birds off my washing line / discouraging birds / birds pooing on my washing".  These finally led me to someone who suggested googling "bird scarer".  wow.  did that pay off!   Apparently all you have to do it discourage them by hanging some bright mobiles and a picture of a hawk.


I laminated a sillhouette image of a hawk on A4 paper and stuck it on the water tank which the birds will see as they're coming in to take up position.

I  made a mobile out of old cds stuck together so they're rainbow sides are out - always beautiful - and a bit of fishing line.  They spin and catch the sun.  I had nowhere to put them actually over the washing line so I hung it in a tree beside the line and formulated big plans for a wire that would run over the top of the line with some hanging every few inches or so.

But you know what?


The outcome was absolutely instantaneous !



Sunday, January 10, 2010

Enough sewing... lets bake biscuits, ahem, cookies

Vegan cookies that is...

My favourite cupcake book of all time has been joined by a cookie book: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  So I'm going to turn all yankee and call 'em cookies for this post.

Anyway,  I already had picked out Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles to make 'cos they sound unreal.  But Daughter2 chose NYC cookies.  The picture looked like a Neenish Tart and I thought - OH NO I hate them!  But thankfully it just looked like one.

Its some little flat pancake of a biscuit with icing on the back.
OMG they smells so good.  This is the three stages of biscuit [can't help myself!] making: dough on the tray/ finished baking / flipped to cool.

  And the book has been christened with my first annotation.   

Time for icing.  But thanks to impatience and stupidity - it's too thick.  And far too sweet.   Another annotation required.

And as ever, kids get off on baking. 
Verdict:  Yum.

Hubs enjoying one with a coffee.  And Slinky eyeing off the activity wondering if its anything she'd like.  Alas, no.

So if you fancy some great bikkies away from the norm, and with the added bonus of being dairy free and animal friendly, come to my house!   I'll invite you to share a cuppa and an NYC black and white cookie.

Stay tuned for the snickerdoodles...