A bit of everything

The last week has had a bit of everything, but not too much Kid’s Clothes Week sewing. You know how it is. I get distracted.

I’ve been absorbed in chicken first aid. Our crazy Lucy/Lucas, who I’ve started calling Frizzle, has come down with a bout of wry neck which can be caused by a vitamin deficiency or head injury (and is apparently quite common in crested breeds). Frizzle is not only a white crested black polish chicken, it has the frizzle gene too. It’s going to look crazy upon crazy when it’s all grown up. Here, I am trying to dry him (has to be a boy after all this effort, right?) off after a tumble into his water dish.

frizzle wry neck

In any case, I’ve been looking after Frizzle and Eileen in the brooder for the last week, keeping up his water intake, supplementing with vitamins and feeding him tuna on the side. It seems to be working. Frizzle’s head’s been upright for much of the day.

And then, of course, Elena got her cast off. We were all relieved but she’s still reticent to walk which is making things stressful. She needs to use her leg to get her muscle tone back but needs lots of coaxing to even hobble around. I’d kind of had my mind set on the cast coming off as the end of this little adventure, but clearly that was a mistake.


And, you know, these two are constantly in cahoots.


I’ve been poking around in the garden, and joining in Ros’ Quilt Block Boot Camp (check it out over at Sew Delicious).

raspberry kiss block pink raspberry kiss block blue

So, you know, not really participating in Kid’s Clothes Week.

nightie charlie tunic dress

Except for this nightie, which you will have been watching come together ever-so-slowly if you follow me on instagram. The pattern is the Made By Rae Charlie Tunic with dress add-on. I’ve sewn it in flannel, size four for extra sleeping and growing room (Elena measures for size 3). I sewed the neck facing as per the pattern (though rounded base of the yoke). I skipped the sleeve and hem facings, and just used coordinating bias binding.

bias binding facings

I haven’t put it on Elena yet. I fear she’ll refuse to take it off and it’s way too warm for our current weather!

  • Pattern: Made By Rae Charlie Tunic & Dress Add-on
  • Size: Size 4
  • Fabric: Flannel (in the stash) and bias from Addicted 2 Fabric. Facing’s a mystery!
  • Variations from pattern: Rounded the base of the neck facing, and finished hem and sleeves with bias binding instead of facings.
  • Also sewn: I sewed the tunic up for this pair of pjs last year.


Posted in chickens, clothes for children, garden, Kid's Clothes Week, Made by Rae, raising children, sewing, stash | 3 Comments

KCW: It’s that time again…

It’s Kid’s Clothes Week again. Again! I can’t believe how quickly the months are flying by at the moment. There are already some amazing projects over on instagram if you search #kidsclothesweek.  My plans revolve around autumn and winter sewing, with a few summer skirts thrown in for good measure. Pinafores, pjs and pants.

In any case, I got to sewing last night and made my first Souffle skirt from Flosstyle. The free pattern covers sizes 1-5 and is a very quick sew. I think it took me a little over an hour from start to end.

souffle skirt

I quite like the style of this pattern. The paper bag waist is just a little bit different. I had intended to hem the skirt with picot-edge bias binding, but completely forgot until it was too late.


This skirt is made from another project’s left overs and my fabric was an inch short. To compensate I used width of fabric with one side seam instead of cutting two pieces and having two seams. It’s slightly odd, but I can’t see Elena caring. I sewed the size three length, with size two width and elastic.

I snapped some photos before Elena woke this morning.


With my assistant. And his cars.

The skirt is sweet. And perfect for ballet practise, apparently. Two sleeps ’til the cast comes off – and then she really won’t stand still!


  • Pattern: Flosstyle Souffle Skirt (free pattern)
  • Size: Size 3 length, size 2 width and elastic.
  • Fabric: Princess-print quilting cotton by Sugar & Spice Textiles, purchased from Spotlight.
  • Variations from pattern: Sewed with one WOF piece, rather than two cut pieces.
Posted in clothes for children, Kid's Clothes Week, sewing | 2 Comments

Mid-week in pictures

A busy week here. A relaxed public holiday making new friends and enjoying wine over lunch for the first time in…(what feels like) forever. Elena starting her preschool program, and enjoying it. Hugo running at a million miles an hour and sleeping through a few times. Me learning that if I turn my back in the garden, teddy will get a bath. I was lucky it wasn’t me.

There has been some sewing of skirts. A trip to the park with Thomas, Hugo’s new best buddy. Some fussing over chickens. Some knitting – but not enough. Trying to talk myself out of buying this pattern, which I rather like. Some pottering around the garden picking strawberries and blackberries, and willing the next round of raspberries to ripen. Looking at all the weeds which need pulling out. Some decluttering of bench tops which are almost clear. All up, pretty good.

Hugo with hose Hickory shoes garden tomatoes strawberries berries raspberries Hugo thomas teenagers

How is your week treating you?

Posted in mid-week in pictures | 3 Comments

Amelia or Adam?

Alice and Eileen have a mothers’ group going on. I’ve been letting the girls out into the garden whenever there’s no risk of rain and I must say our babies are adorable.

mothers groupdustbath

Alice is a rather protective mother, always having been the most skittish of our two hens. She’s not so keen for me to handle her chick. Eileen, on the other hand, is quite happy for me to pick her and her baby up.


Today was the first day I’ve really had a good look at Alice’s little one, and it strengthened my suspicion that our eggs were all mixed up. After my last chick post I sent photos of Lucy/Lucas to their breeder – only to discover that the chick is not a Silver Spangled Hamburg as I first thought but actually a White Crested Black Polish. A completely different kettle of fish!


And today, when I managed to inspect Alice’s chick (Amelia/Adam) I realised it had no feathers on its feet – and so might not be a Langshan. I this little one could be a Silver Spangled Hamburg. Perhaps! I’m going to email the photos off and see.

We’ll be crossing our fingers that either one of both of these little ones will be pullets – and that we won’t be rehoming roosters! One of our teenage chicks has started crowing, so we have at least one in our midst…


In any case, they are both happy, healthy and completely adorable. Check out this fluffy butt.

fluffy butt

As a Polish chicken, Lucy/Lucas will have crazy feathers. I love that they are already a hot mess.

Polish 1

Got it!

got itdustbath for babies

This, my friends, is why chickens are addictive.

Posted in chickens | 2 Comments

Pink, and the end of an era

We had our appointment at the fractures clinic yesterday and Elena’s the proud new owner of a bright pink fibreglass cast. Thankfully, she only has to have it on for a fortnight and has been given the go ahead to walk on it, and do pretty much anything except run around, go in the sandpit…or jump on a trampoline. Don’t think there’s much chance of that happening again any time soon!


Elena’s so terribly bored. We’ve watched more television than I’m proud to admit, and done enough craft to fill a season of Mr Maker. Whatever works, right?

The good news, though, is Elena’s been given the go ahead to go back to school to start her preschool program next week.

So this week has also seen the end of an era – Elena will (all things going well) be at school five days a week from next week, and Hugo in child care for four days. My crazy, chaotic, mental breakdown-inducing days of juggling them both on a Thursday and Friday are over.

pink 2

I’m going to savour that one day a week – get lots done in the garden, do some study (hopefully, if my uni application is accepted), and maybe some sewing too. It feels quite unreal. The quiet day to myself won’t last for ever, but I’ll have no trouble enjoying it while it’s here.

Posted in raising children | Leave a comment

The end – and getting better at arriving there.

I found this quote on one of those one-day-to-a-page desktop flip calendars at work. The old fashioned ones, with almost see-through paper. The quote really hit a nerve. It’s so unlike me. I’m absolutely not an inspirational quote kind of girl.

When you get right down to the root of the meaning of the word ‘succeed’, you find it simply means to follow through.

F.W. Nichol

However. I’m a compulsive project-starter…and, I think, not so much a compulsive project-finisher. I feel the need to get better at following through – and getting to the end of things. I need more persistence in my life. If I’m honest, I’m a crafting goldfish. I get distracted by all the pretty things and endless possibilities.

In craft terms, I think more follow through will help me reduce the size of my stash, bring order to my crafting space, and go some way towards clearing my conscious. For some reason, I always end up feeling guilty leaving something unfinished – even if I’m the only one who knows the project exists.

To that end, I’m going to keep myself honest by creating a work in progress page – and keeping it updated. It’s not revolutionary, but copied – I have good blogging friends who have the same. First on the list – my Magrathea which is growing slowly, a quilt panel which I’m hand quilting for Elena to take to school for nap time, the cotton cardi I started for Hugo (which is only missing cuffs and the neckband)…and my current chicken coop work in progress.

Magrathea - progressMagrathea - progress 2

And well, I guess I could do with more follow-through in my general life as well. I imagine a neater house, a better organised budget, more name tags sewn into children’s school clothes, a tidier garden. I wonder?

chicken coop number two

<end navel gazing>

Posted in craft, knitting, quilting, random | 1 Comment

Lucy or Lucas?

Will this chick turn out to be a Lucy or a Lucas? That is the question. This little one is a Silver Spangled Hamburg, being raised by Eileen (a Langshan). It’s four days old today, having hatched on Sunday, 11 January.

Chick 4Chick 2

I am just a bit in love with this little chick. It is just too cute, with it’s little tuft. I let Eileen and her chick out this afternoon for a pick and I think they both enjoyed it. It’s so nice to see Eileen back to her normal self. Now I’m just worrying about keeping them both healthy!

Chick 3 Chick 1

Posted in chickens | 1 Comment