the girl who made me a mother

There is something special about your first child. And it’s not just because they have more photos than anyone else in the family. No, there’s more to it than that.

You have your L plates on as parents, you fall in love with this tiny little baby and are so overprotective. You do everything by the book, the littlest temperature or cough is a trip to the doctor. You don’t want to spoil them but you don’t want to do the wrong thing. From that slow drive home from the hospital you do everything with caution. You worry about them. All the time. Or is that just me?

They get all of your attention, you do crazy things with their hair (ahhh the good old waterfall ponytail), you spoil them (I mean did she really need 3 different seating options) and you do the flash cards, all the toys you think they need, the baby stuff you are told you need and soon realise you don’t. Yep all of that.

I really did love the waterfall pony. Oh and you do indoor playcentres. Probably the only child who I would take to a playcentre to meet other people. That all went out the window when the twins arrived.

you capture the first of anything and everything! There were so many photos to choose from for this post. Oh so funny first messy meal that went everywhere. There were lots more like this. Notice the fabric covered highchair. The only child who had a fancy highchair that was such a pain to clean that I went plastic or wood after that one. You learn.

And in my case I made lots of her clothes – knitting and sewing. Much easier when you just have one to make for and dress each day. Every day is a fashion parade.

they get to wear clothes the first time not handed down.

they adopt your hobbies

you think everything they do is just the cutest (another handmade outfit)

they develop a sense of fashion

they are there to welcome brothers and sisters to the family

and they have little brothers and sisters that look up to them

they lead the ‘pack’….at home!

keiracar

And they just grow before your eyes and test the water for the rest of the kids to follow.I remember as the eldest thinking it was terribly unfair that things got easier for my brother and sister but I loved being the eldest and 9 years ago we welcomed the eldest of our babies into the world. It’s gone way too fast but she’s the life of the household. Funny, sweet, talkative, a good girl who loves drawing, writing, piano, craft, baking, doing the right thing and having fun. I wish I could bottle up this sweet age and keep it forever because there are no complaints from me. For her birthday she wanted time at her favourite store kikki k and some new winter boots. Done and dusted.

mandarin picking, chicken pies and cookies

I can’t believe another weekend is over. I always feel like I need another day especially when we pack so much in. Netball in the freezing cold at the crack of dawn, rugby in the mud, swimming lessons, laundry, trips to the shops, more swimming lessons and then the weekend is over. But this weekend we had no birthday parties or events so made the most of some home time. We picked loads of mandarins and some oranges off our trees. It was always my dream to move from a concrete backyard to having more space and some apple trees. For some reason I always imagined my kids picking apple trees but citrus is close enough.

We’ve ordered our first communion dress, decided on a simple headband for the hair and went looking for shoes but need to go again somewhere else. We got on top of the laundry (for like 2 days) and Sunday afternoon I got down to some baking. Pioneer Womans’ Chicken Pot Pie and her oatmeal crispies. I just love making pie from scratch. Instead of a whole chicken I use chicken thighs and poach them on the stovetop. Then chop up and add to the pie filling. I doubled the filling recipe, chucked in some zucchini and oh it was delicious. The pastry was made by following her flaky pastry recipe and absolutely delicious. I managed to get 2 rectangle pie tops out of the 1 dough recipe which was great and froze the 2nd pie to give to a new mum at school. You need to set aside some time to make this for dinner but it is worth every minute you put it into it.

And the cookie dough I froze in logs and popped in the freezer too. This recipe is delicious and you can leave out the pecans for a lunchbox treat or add more pecans for a home treat. These are so good hot out of the oven.

I hope you had a great weekend. I always feel the need for a 3 day weekend……………………..oh and there was knitting! I have 63cm of stocking stitch to knit and am really on go slow mode. I’ll get there but every time I sit down to start something needs to be done.

 

one finished wallaby

Although I finished the knitting a week ago it takes a week (or more!) to get the last bits done.Weaving in ends, blocking and buttons.

And I had a bit of a choice of buttons as I picked up some lovely ones from a quilting store closing down. There were a few big containers of these button tubes and I spent a good while going over them trying to find ones that would be great to have in the stash.

I settled on these cute ones and I think they are just right.

This really is a great little pattern. Wallaby by tiKKi can be knit in 4, 8 or 10 ply. This is the 10ply and it’s knit on needles smaller than 5mm so it feels really thick and spongey (I’m trying to describe it) rather than loose. It’s just gorgeous.

I knit the smallest size and used Bendigo 10 ply Luxury because  I love Bendigo wool and also because it was in the stash. The colour brick is so perfect and the pattern was super easy to knit.

I think I’ll make another one once I’ve finished my big cardigan that I’m doing at the moment because I just love it so much.

Ravelry details are here….oh and I only have 2 buttons on my cardigan because I forgot to do more buttonholes after the first 2.

 

don’t wish away the early days

I never forget when a reader questioned why I thought things would get easier once my kids started school. I made a comment in a blog post about how I couldn’t wait for the kids to start school so I could have a bit more time to myself. And she set me straight. She was right, I was wrong and I actually miss those early days before my kids started school. When we didn’t have to be out the door at a certain time 5 days a week plus saturday mornings for sport. If we wanted to have a home day then we could. No sports or uniforms or library bags to remember. No notes, no P&F, no after school activities, rehearsals, sports training. And so on and so on. I really was living in my little dream world where I thought that once the kids start school that I’d have all this time on my hands. I loved those days. I just didn’t know it yet.

Who would have thought that I’d be looking back over photos remembering those early days of being a mum to 3 little ones. It was only 3 or 4 or years ago but I remember it as a busy but happy time.

oh those twins kept me busy! that’s for sure. I didn’t have too much trouble losing the baby weight because life was always a rush. My poor twins don’t have many photos of their first year because it was such a whirlwind that we somehow got through.

I made more of their clothes back then but was still learning. Thankfully little people don’t mind if you’re learning or not the best sewer.

So mums of little ones don’t wish away the days just yet. Enjoy them. Enjoy the days at home because they go so quickly. Take photos of things that don’t seem like much to you at the time (breakfast, bathtime, trips to the park, fun outside) and I promise you’ll look back on them fondly. I love life with my big family and all the busy-ness but gosh it was fun at home and I don’t think I realised it.

 

milo may

Did you know that May is also month of the Milo? Say what? If you’re a knitter and fan of tiKKi’s patterns you probably already knew that. A month to knit and celebrate the Milo…a little knitted vest.

Milo is probably her best known pattern and it’s gorgeous. I’ve knit it twice (here and here) and now have a sudden urge to knit a little one in rustic. And when I’m not knitting I’m admiring other people’s knitting online.

milo

Milo is a lovely way to learn how to knit cables…ahem I’ve only knit one item with a cable in it….or knit it without the cable. There are plenty of options in the pattern which you can buy here and find out more about knitting Milo May here and here and of course there is a hashtag #milomay2015.

a little rustic giveaway

Still crazy busy here! Retro daddy walked in the door from the airport last night and I walked right out with my wallet, the baby, a helper (aka my big girl) and went out for a little retail therapy. It had just been one of those nights and I got to enjoy an hour of peace and quiet.

This morning a big delivery of wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills arrived and in my usual style I ordered before the shade card arrived. I love it all but think I went a bit overboard. So I’ve got 3 balls to give to one lucky person, wherever you live in the world. Just tell me what you think you might make from this. I’ve got 2 balls of Rustic 8 ply in Tea Rose and 1 ball in 8 ply Shoal. This is a handwash only, beautifully coloured wool that you will love. Oh and the labels are still on, I’ve just photographed them the other side.

I’ll pick a winner next friday 22nd May (give or take a day or two).

one busy life and an almost finished wallaby

I’m sitting here with the baby, a couple of scotch finger biscuits and my coffee taking a few minutes to get a blog post up today. May is turning out to the busiest month ever here as retro daddy is the busiest at work, we start our weekly preparations for First Holy Communion tonight (and of course I’m a group leader because they needed a new one for a group and I can’t say no), all the sports are in full swing, I’ve got one home sick, still have 2 school applications to do this month, one birthday party to organise and host and some big decluttering jobs to get on top of. Phew.

I need to knit most days just for my sanity and to destress after the day but with so much on I’m only knitting when the house is clean and washing sorted (sorted, not put away).And last night spent a nice quiet hour finishing off the little wallaby I’d been knitting. You can see why I love the 200g balls from Bendigo Woollen Mills. I’ve still got plenty left and could probably do 2 cardigans from the 1 big ball. The pattern is Wallaby by tiKKi and I’ll share more of the details once it’s finished and ready to gift.

Now all that’s left to do is weave in my ends, lightly block it (I just wet it gently and stretch out a little on a towel, I use a couple of pins to keep edges in place/straight and then leave to dry) and find the perfect button. The colour really is beautiful. Brick in Luxury by Bendigo Woollen Mills. Grab it in the 8 ply if there is still some available as it’s a perfect red.

And that’s all from me. Have a great day and hopefully it’s less busy than mine.

home hair cuts

I cut all of the girls hair in this house. We call it mummy’s salon and I’m not the first mum and won’t be the last who does haircuts from home. Now when it comes to the boys I have to confess that in the past I’ve sent them to the barber. Well that was until our 2nd boy refused to even sit in the chair. So just the big boy went.

Then daddy came home with a set of clippers and had a go on our little guy. And when daddy was away for a few days I thought I might try on my big boy. It wasn’t school photo time and what was the worst that could happen? Right? Now beforehand I didn’t know there were youtube videos telling mums (and dads) how to do it but oh did they help me. I stopped and went back and paused and followed along.

So here are the 2 videos that I like the best. I’ve done both – just clippers and then clippers and scissors and have to say that I love just the clippers best. Let me know what you think. I better do a before and after on one of my guinea pigs for another post. But I’m pretty happy with the hair cuts so far. We’re still working on getting the little guy to sit still but my big boy loves having his mum do it and I have to say that it’s a good saving not just in time but in money. Oh no wait, the first time I ever did it I think we spent 40 minutes just getting it right and watching the video a few times so it wasn’t such a time saving but definitely a money saver. Oh and by the way there are videos for a much trendier cut if you like as I know that’s how the kids like it these days (listen to me! like an old lady) but I’m a short, back and sides kind of mum here. And so is the school.

and speaking of hair I was trying to find a picture of hair on my flickr collection for this post but came across this hair raising one! It sure was a day we were unprepared for the wind at the Blue Mountains.

Do you do the hair cuts at your house?

letting go (just a little bit)

I was going to write a post about all the worry and things on my mind at the moment (which is giving me big headaches because I’m a teeth grinder from way back) and then I realised just how amazing today was and that I never knew what today would look like. When you have a baby you wonder how they will grow up. You take care of this little person, send them to preschool which is letting go of them for a while and you know that one day you’re going to send them to big school. And that is scary. When I was preparing to send my big girl off to school I said to a mum how do they not all escape during lunchtime? How do I know she won’t try to leave and come home? I got a reassuring don’t worry she won’t run away. They don’t.

When you have a little one with special needs or serious health issues, the idea of sending them off to school is something you either can’t imagine, can’t get comfortable with or maybe you can’t wait for. And it’s scary. Maybe you’ve got a child who can’t walk or has big meltdowns everywhere you go or doesn’t say a word or is in and out of hospital. You’re doing therapy and medical appointments and just hoping that it gets easier. You wonder what their future will be like. You wonder will they need a special school. You wonder what happens after school. The worry is never ending when you have a child with additional needs and you have good and bad days. And the bad days are so hard and you feel like the only person going through it. And the good days are so wonderful because the littlest things mean so much when you’re working so hard on learning new skills.

This year we are really making an effort to get out and do things that in the last 2 years were just too hard. We were at a fete and someone wanted to go to on the big swing ride. We thought oh no that  looks too big for her, what if she slips out, what if she hates it and starts screaming as soon as the ride starts. But no she wanted on that ride. We asked the attendant if she was big enough and it was ok. They said yes. She got on, smiled and waved and LOVED every minute of it. I went to rush in and get her off the ride but in the time I got myself organised the attendant had let her off and she ran to her big sisters and walked out with them. As if she’d been doing this ride thing her whole life. She didn’t need me fussing over her.

Yesterday was her first interview for big school. I was so nervous because I didn’t know how it’d go. New surroundings, new faces, would we be having a good day, had I picked the right time of day for her and so on. I really could go on. I picked out a new little outfit and she wore it all morning (ok she wore it the night before and I had to wash the top and leave it to dry overnight hoping it would dry by the next morning) and was in the best mood. When we got there her daddy was trying to get her to hold his hand but she was just so confident and strolling in on her own (leading us in!). She had no idea we had an interview beforehand but she was happy and played and didn’t want to leave. As in lie on the floor and say no and not move until a little box of lollies came out and the offer of lunch and she was up and out of there. We shared a happy meal and I just thought of how far we’ve come.

Next year I will let go and enter a new stage of our lives. We don’t know where she’ll go to school (it’s a nervous waiting game) but it will be a special school and we hope and pray that she’ll be happy, safe and learning. I’ll always worry just that little bit more for my special little girl but today made me realise that everything will be ok. That she will continue to surprise us and grow and is a true blessing in our lives. I have a very special place in my heart for all people with special needs and never could have imagined the love and compassion that I feel for them and their families.

 It was a big day……………………………

TIC TAC Minions are coming + a giveaway

Congratulations Megan, Chrys T, Margaret, Kathy B, Julia (Squeeze Cuddles) and Paul Mackay who have won movie passes to see the Minions movie

brought to you by TIC TAC

Growing up I remember my nana always having a TIC TAC packet in her bag. But unlike me and the empty TIC TAC packs that you will find in my bag she always had a full pack in her handbag. And for some reason I remember that if we finished the pack it didn’t matter because she always had another new pack in there, ready to go. I wonder if she still carries at least 1 or 2 packs of them in her handbag. I’ll need to ask her.

We love TIC TAC in this house – I love them for the peace and quiet they provide at the supermarket check out when I’m doing the groceries with all the kids. It’s a major achievment to get through the shop without someone totally losing it and the checkout isn’t the finish line it’s just the last hurdle in the race. A TIC TAC packet that we shake and shake, pass over and pay for (and don’t put in with the rest of the groceries – very important) is a lifesaver if I’m going to get out of the supermarket in one piece.

And they hold their pack for dear life until we get to the car. And once we’re strapped in they open the pack and take out one and close the pack. And open the pack and take one out and close the pack……it’s peace and quiet in the car right there.

We love to line them up and count them, play with them and spell out words with them before  eating them. We also played a guessing game where you make a shape/letter/object and the rest of us had to guess it. Those TIC TAC tend to move around a little bit so it’s fun to play.

I also like them for the older kids if they’ve left the house without brushing their teeth and have morning breath before school. No one needs that. I also like one after my coffee if I’m out and about. And how did we survive all those years without knowing that we could use the lid of the TIC TAC for this purpose. Do you remember this discovery through social media?

Now we decided on a very rainy day to play TIC TAC bingo. Just take some sheets of paper, draw up a grid, put in some random numbers, get your players ready and someone with their back turned on the players calls out random numbers. So much fun.

We love orange flavour but all that is going to change once my kids discover that there will be TIC TAC Minions in the shops.

Us aussies are the first IN THE WORLD to TIC TAC Minions which is kind of nice because we always have to wait for the best movies and tv shows over here. The Minions movie is coming to cinemas from the 18th June and we’re pretty excited about the movie because we love Despicable Me and we love Minions. I know the kids won’t be the only ones laughing but I’m wondering will I laugh as hard or sing along to Underwear.

TIC TAC are bringing out TIC TAC Minions and you’ll find them at the supermarket from the month of May (which is now!!) for a limited time. And the kids are going to love this because they are banana flavour (since Minions love bananas) and you’ll be able to buy  TIC TAC packs with your favourite minion Kevin, Stuart or Bob! We love Kevin and whenever I say Kevin I think of one of the minions saying Keveeen. There are 2 sizes of packs and if you want the little minion faces on your TIC TAC then you’ll want to get the 24g packs as shown here.

I have to confess that we always buy the big packs because they never last long.

In fact I was sent 3 packs of these TIC TAC Minions and had to hide them in my sewing room over the long weekend, I photographed them and then they quickly disappeared! In a word….popular! But I already knew that before they came into our house.

AND NOW FOR A GIVEAWAY

TIC TAC and I have organised to giveaway 3 double passes and 3 family passes for some lucky people to see the Minion movie! All you need to tell is tell us your favourite Minion and why and whether you’d like a double or family pass.

Giveaway is open to Australian residents, one entry per person, full terms of my giveaways can be found here, entries close 14 May 2015.

Win a signed copy of Margaret Fulton’s Baking Classics

CONGRATULATIONS KATHRYN H AND MARILYN WHO HAVE WON! Thank you everyone for entering

It’s no secret that I love to bake and I love my cookbooks. I do have my favourite books and they are the ones that have foolproof recipes that always work and always get eaten. Oh and that don’t require lots of fancy ingredients (that aren’t in my pantry when I want to bake).

Growing up we always had Margaret Fulton cooking books in our home. And over the years I’ve loved that she’s a little scottish lady just like my grandma.

The latest cookbook from Margaret Fulton is gorgeous and beautifully styled and photographed. It has a great range of classics to more modern recipes for cakes, scones, biscuits, pastry and more.  Sometimes you just want the perfect scone recipe and other times you want to go all out and make choux pastry and something to impress. You’ll have the opportunity with this book as it’s got something for everyone.

What I love is that the start of each section has a  hints and tips section. This is so helpful especially when you’re trying something new like pastry or aren’t sure of something. We all know that you can follow a recipe to the letter and then end up with a flop or you didn’t put it on the right oven shelf. The hints and tips will be great for the kids and less adventurous and those wanting a perfect finished product.

I received a copy of this lovely book myself and have  2 signed copies of the book to giveaway. All you  need to do is tell me why you want to win a copy for yourself (or maybe someone else)………….

this is not a sponsored post, I received a copy of the book , giveaway is open to  australian residents, one entry per person, terms of my giveaways here, entries close on Mother’s Day 10 May 2015. 

Share your mum hack to win!

CONGRATULATIONS Helena, Kathryn T and Rebecca H who have won. Thank you everyone for entering

brought to by LEGO DUPLO

For as long as I can remember we have had the DUPLO tub at our house. You just can’t beat it as a toy and we love when we receive it as a gift because we can add to our collection. You can never have too much DUPLO. Even my big kids can be found playing with the younger ones because they love it so much.

When you have your first child you play with them and teach them how to play with toys and wonder will they ever learn to play on their own. Then brothers and sisters come along (a few more than the average household in our family) and you have instant playmates. Once you have a child with special needs though you really need to get involved in the play and teach at the same time.

Now you’ve probably seen some popular hacks on social media recently. I’m always looking at the mum hacks because they save time doing things I do all the time. And when I try to think of my favourite or if I have one of my own I always come back to baby wipes. Yep baby wipes. Not just for baby bottoms. I use them for a quick wipe of the floor if there is a spill, wipe the bin down, clean up some crumbs, remove a mark from the wall, give the kids shoes a quick wipe before they jump out of the car if it’s a uniform inspection day and they haven’t been polished. Do you want me to keep going? I could…..I have baby wipes stationed all over the house because I am always using them.

Well I’m going to share some DUPLO Mum Hacks with you which are fun ways to use DUPLO that you might not have thought of.

TEACH YOUR KIDS TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR TEETH

Who knew DUPLO could help you teach your kids to take care of their teeth. Thanks to Pinterest I discovered that you could be teaching your kids to brush and floss their teeth by pretending that the DUPLO bricks are teeth. Grab a toothbrush and show the kids how to brush in a circular motion just like the dentist showed them. Let them have some fun and you could get out the toothpaste and a bit of water to make it more fun. Sit back and watch them brush their pretend teeth.

 PASS ME THE RED ONE PLEASE….

I’ve spent a lot of time in speech therapy sessions. But I’m sure that  my little miss has no idea that I’m helping her with speech when we get out the DUPLO tub because she just thinks it’s fun. But we’re expanding her vocabulary and knowledge at the same time. Meanwhile my nearly 3 year old now asks me ‘where is the….’ and looks at me waiting for an answer after I’ve grilled him on a few things in a book or game. You’ll notice I don’t have too many bricks out when I’m doing this. Just keep it simple in the early days with 2 or 3 choices and starting with the very basics. Here we are teaching some simple fruits and colours. First I test and see if you she can point out the fruit when I say the name and then I’ll muddle them up and try again and then I’ll go to colours. If you’ve ever sat through a speech therapy session with a toddler or child with special needs then you’re probably all over this one.

You can also assemble a collection of blocks in the same colours I’ve shown and have your little one group them together. This is easier for little ones to do before they can name the colours and it’s a great skill to have.

 

HAVE A BUILDING COMPETITION

One of my favourite things to do when I need a mini break or to do something around the house is to ask the kids to create their best ever big building or creation.

OK, if I’m telling you the truth I might offer them $2 and tell them to take their time, be creative and build the best they can. Then I make a coffee and come back to judge them. And meanwhile you should see them creating…..you’d think it was the world’s best DUPLO building competition.

Now just for you I’ve created a Pinterest board here with some more fun ways to use LEGO DUPLO. You can also check out some great #DUPLOMumHacks here on the Facebook page

AA

And now for the fun bit……… I will be giving away THREE prize packs valued at $90 ( each pack includes the LEGO DUPLO Airport set, the LEGO DUPLO Number Train and the LEGO DUPLO My First Construction Site) by selecting a new winner at the end of each week for the next 3 weeks.

To enter just tell me your tip to help make mum’s life easier! Upload your idea using #DUPLOMumHacks. You can leave a comment here, upload a photo or share it on social media (instagram, facebook, twitter) with  the hashtag #DUPLOMumHacks and @retromummy. Can’t wait to see your mum hacks. 

All entries shared using #DUPLOMumHacks will also be entered into the LEGO DUPLO Facebook Competition and appear on the #DUPLOMumHacks tab on the LEGO DUPLO Facebook Page. Click here  to find out more and see other entries.

Giveaway is open to Australian residents, one entry per person, for full terms and conditions of this giveaway please read  here

.

All entries uploaded using #DUPLOMumHacks will automatically go into the LEGO DUPLO Facebook Competition, please see additional T&C’s here
By submitting an entry, each participant: (a) warrants and represents that he/she owns the rights to the content submitted and that the content submitted is: (i) original to him/her and has been legally obtained and created, (ii) does not infringe the intellectual property rights, privacy or publicity rights or any other legal or moral rights of any third party; (b) grants the LEGO Group a worldwide, royalty free, perpetual license to, copy and reproduce the video or entry on the LEGO® website at www.LEGO.com, its websites and its social media channels; and (c) agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the LEGO Group against any and all claims, damages, expenses, costs and liabilities relating to trademark, copyright, or other intellectual property rights, right of publicity, right of privacy or defamation.

knitting for my bigger girls

Gone are the days when I can pick the pattern and wool colour and knit away for all of my kids. Turns out they like to have a say in what I knit………and pink was not on the cards for my big girl.

So I ordered a couple of colours for my bigger kids and am letting our soon to be 9 year old choose the colour for this pattern. The pattern below looks perfect and 10 ply means it will knit up faster. You can buy the pdf version of the pattern here or go old school and get the printed version here.

image source Bendigo Woollen Mills

I have to say it’s a tricky age to knit for but maybe that’s just because I don’t like too much knitting and love to knit baby size. I’ve chosen Bendigo Luxury in Ghost (great soft grey colour) and Slate (lovely charcoal grey colour) and then also picked up Stellar in one of the latest colours – Tanzanite. I think I’ll knit for the rest of the kids with the other colours and any leftovers are going to make a gorgeous chevron blanket.

If you need some knitting inspiration then you can’t beat searching on ravelry, I search the patterns and when I like something add it to my faves. A couple I’m loving are Livie, Kindling Season, Gretel, tiny tea leaves, a kina, featherweight,  and anything by tiKKi.

your sewing doesn’t have to be fancy

One of the great things about having a sewing machine and fabric is that you can make something so simple and easy – a cushion cover or an easy skirt – and it doesn’t have to cost you very much money or take much of your time.

My little miss just loves dresses and skirts and with the colder weather we were running out of some options. Half a yard of fabric that I picked up on etsy a few years ago, sew a side seam, hem it, do an easy waistband casing, thread in the elastic and put it on my girl. Done and dusted in 20 minutes. Here are some instructions I wrote recently. She wore it yesterday afternoon and off to preschool today and is the happiest little girl ever. I also did a little brown polka dot cord skirt at the same time but she’s loving the butterflies. And just a note I’ve used my regular cream thread on this skirt but if I was making something fancier or a dress with more effort then I would match my thread. I always keep colour 111 from gutterman in my machine as a general all purpose thread. And don’t even ask me about changing overlocker threads, I never do that.

So start simple, don’t overplan it or get complicated patterns with zippers and buttons, just do something simple and you’ll be on your way. And if you get stuck there is always youtube.

I will say that buying 100% cotton fabrics will make your handmade clothes last longer and go the distance compared to poly/cotton. Check out the quilting section of your fabric store and especially the discount bolts. If you are after a licensed fabric or particular fabric that your child loves (butterflies, princesses etc) and are struggling to find it locally then I google it first and see if any aussie online stores have it, then I hit etsy or ebay (aussie and US) and put in what I’m after. That’s your best option and same applies if you’re looking for something older.

there has been sewing…tissue covers

My sewing machine has been gathering some serious dust! Just not enough time to get in there especially with an 8 month old who crawls everywhere and puts EVERYTHING and I really mean everything in his mouth at the moment. But church needed some handmade items and I took that as a great excuse to get on my machine for a few hours. I’ve shared a tissue cover post last year and you just can’t beat it for a quick and satisfying project that you can do in bulk for a market stall, fair or for presents.

This time I used this tutorial which made them a bit bigger but really worked nicely. I raided the stash and made them up before realising I needed green because not everyone loves red, white, blue and pink.

If you like to watch a video then watch this one here which is great and I shared last year when I was whipping up some of these babies for the mothers day stall.

My top tip is make up one or two and if you are happy with the size and instructions then sew the first side seams on all of the fabrics, take them to the iron and press all together then do the other ends and pop your tissue packs in. Now if you are doing a really big production line and have set yourself an ambitious target then I skipped the pressing the seams for quite a few and just did the good old finger press.

I did see mention of slitting the plastic tissue pack down the centre but I had plastic peeping out so I decide to remove the tissues. You could just put the tissue pack in unopen and leave it up to the person receiving it. Up to you.

Anyway, this was one afternoon and one night in my craft room. I had a few helpers who couldn’t get to sleep put the tissues in and I really need to get them sewing soon so they can help. I put them by the front door late last night and then as we were rushing out the door remembered I didn’t photograph them. Ducked into dining room, took a few photos, then out the door to church. Definitely give these a go as they are a great beginner project or fast project for any level of sewer. There are also loads more tutorials if you pop ’tissue cover’ into your search in pinterest or youtube.