KCW: KID shorts for Hugo

Hugo has a few loves in life: dogs, cars, buses, stars and balls. It’s a given, then, that when I was rifling through my fabric and stumbled across this Spot material I couldn’t pass it up. I was given this fabric for my birthday by a lovely friend and I hadn’t sewn with it because I couldn’t quite decide what it should become. I knew exactly what part Spot was going to play in our lives. Spot shorts for the boy who loves puppies. A perfect fit.

kid short flat front pockets spot puppy

As soon as we put them on this morning Hugo was thrilled. He sidled up to me and gave my leg a giant hug. He melts my heart.

I chose MADE’s KID short pattern which I’ve blogged about before (and here). It’s straightforward, unisex, with a wide size range and versatile mix and match options. This pair is flat fronted, boy length with pockets. I made the size two even though Hugo measures for the 18mth size – I find the flat front option slim fitting and like the kids to have space to move (and grow). I did use the 18mth elastic length to make sure they stay up!

I found the pattern placement a bit of a challenge, but I think they turned out okay in the end. Spot is an awkward size!

side on

Hugo doesn’t stand still. Ever. So all I’ve got are some photos of him on the run and pointing out his stars.


They are cute. I think Hugo is cuter.

I had some scraps so I also sewed him a dribble bib (pattern here).

spot dribble bib

Posted in clothes for children, creating for boys, Kid's Clothes Week, MADE, sewing, stash | 4 Comments

KCW: Serendipity shorts

These shorts are the result of a very slight re-working of the Sewlosophy Pattern Co. Serendipity Capris pattern (I have written about this pattern here and here).


In fact, I used the same pattern pieces I cut out for my weekend sewing. I pleated the front of the pants (tutorial here) and left the cuffs off. I finished the pants off following the trouser instructions.


The shorts are sewn from a stretch drill. I didn’t realise it was stretchy until I had washed it so pressed on with fingers crossed. The front of the waistband is sewn from non-stretchy chino drill for a bit more stability. And some pink. I sewed a size 2T for my tiny girl, with size 3 length.


I think they’re sweet. Elena approves. She will grow out of this pink stage, right?

Hugo’s turn tomorrow.

Posted in clothes for children, Kid's Clothes Week, sewing | 3 Comments

KCW: A dress up crown

Elena had a dress up day at child care today. That we remembered yesterday afternoon. Whoops. Attentive parenting all the way. Thankfully, (I never thought I’d say this) Elena’s really into pink fairies at the moment so an acceptable costume was but an hour’s work. We used the wand and white fairy tutu from two terms of dancing performances, and I sewed up a crown (pink, of course).

I used the free Comfy Crown pattern from Tadah Patterns (formerly Fresh Patterns). It was easy to sew and looks good even though I went with the simplest (read: quickest) option and did some wonky seams to boot. I used the pink drill from yesterday because it was still sitting out. And I’m a bit lazy.

Quick, crazy photos on the way out the door – and we were good to go.

comfy crown fresh patterns dress up crown munchkins

More KCW sewing tonight. Probably another pair of pants for Elena as I forgot to measure Hugo before we poured him into bed. Probably some more Sewlosophy capris because I have the pattern pieces cut out and they’re easy. And I’m lazy!

Posted in clothes for children, Kid's Clothes Week, sewing | 10 Comments

Pink pink pink capris

I’ve been thinking Elena could do with some 3/4 length pants for spring/autumn – and then I came across this pink chino drill at my local fabric shop. I knew it would make my girl’s day. Elena’s always reminding me that “I love pink, Mummy!”

I was inspired by Jenya to try the capri view of Sewlosophy Pattern Co.’s Serendipity Trousers pattern (which I received when I tested for Destri earlier in the year). Check out the pants she made for her Little Monkey – they look great. I even went looking for chambray, but couldn’t find any.

Anyway, I still think these pants are a great sew. They come together so quickly. I had this pair done in an afternoon. I think they’re pretty cute.


And I don’t think you can get much pinker.

close up

Funnily enough, it’s actually Kid’s Clothes Week this week. I’m going to try and keep my sew-jo going.

Posted in clothes for children, sewing | 3 Comments

Mid-week in pictures

Things have been going full steam ahead here – lots of doing but not much blogging. We’ve been getting stuck into the garden now that the warm weather has arrived. Despite my neglect we have flowers peeping out of the ground, our raspberry patch has taken off, I’ve been planting some new things here and there, and we’ve installed a raised garden bed which is keeping my strawberries happy. The chooks are good. Elena has another ear infection and Hugo’s having a rough day (but is happily fast asleep). Enough said there.

lavender bulbsEileenpink camelliaraised garden bedsred cameliafejoapink tulipbean bag

Elena and I are off outside now. In her words ‘you can do the work and I can eat an ice block in the sun’. Sounds like a deal.

Posted in mid-week in pictures | Leave a comment

fruit & nut bliss balls {gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free}

I think I’ve mentioned before that we’re still trying to sort out the mystery of Hugo’s tummy. It’s been a windy road so far.

We started with Hugo only sleeping in 45 minute cycles by four months and ended up with a short stay at QEII. QEII was hard. I came home very upset with myself but, in time, came to understand the experience included a whole lot of judgement from the nurses who actually completely missed Hugo’s problems.

We came home with a diagnosis of failure to thrive and a lot of exceedingly unhelpful advice. I was told I was feeding him ‘wrong’ (whatever that means, anyway…), that I needed to push him onto solids (mixing in butter and formula whenever I could), and stretch his feeds to get him sleeping better.

In reality, in the months following, a helpful GP and peadiatrician helped us establish Hugo actually had severe silent reflux which his medication wasn’t treating adequately. The correct medication – and he was sleeping much, much better almost immediately (and sometimes through the night). Elimination diets have established severe reactions to dairy and soy (so much for those instructions to add butter and formula to everything…). To be honest, we’re also assuming he has problems with gluten as everyone else in my family does and we’re not ready to test that out.

Hugo reading

We’ve found Hugo’s happiest following a gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free diet but he still falls into the category of ‘failure to thrive’ as he falls outside of the weight growth curves. Man, I hate that term.

Hugo and I have been back to the paediatrician and he has suggested we try a range of things, including moving towards a lower fruit, lower fluid, higher fat, higher fibre diet.

I’m trying to use nuts to work more good fats into our diet, especially snacks. We don’t eat a lot of nuts and Hugo won’t have a bar of peanut butter. I’m also going to become good friends with coconut milk, I think. And visit a paediatric dietician.

In any case, I’ve been looking around for a good bliss ball recipe. With a bit of tweaking, here’s what I’ve come up with. The possibilities are endless and you can change them up however you like as long as you end up with a mix which will hold together. Keep in mind that this recipe is designed to increase my children’s fat intakes…so maybe ditch the oil and use water if you don’t have the same goal!

fruit and nut bliss balls

fruit & nut bliss balls {gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free}

  • Servings: about 24 balls - but it depends how big you make them!
  • Difficulty: easy peasy
  • Print

1 1/4 cup of mixed nuts (today I used raw cashews and blanched almonds)
1 1/2 cups pitted dates
1/2 cup other dried fruit (I used dried cranberries but you could try apricots)
1 tblsp cocoa
1 tsp vanilla essence
Coconut oil or water (I used canola today and it worked)
Desiccated coconut for rolling

Throw nuts, fruit, cocoa and vanilla essence into a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add oil (or water) gradually until mix holds together when rolled firmly into balls.

Roll into balls, and then in coconut.

Keep in the fridge. Can be frozen (if they last that long).

Elena and I loved these balls. They are delicious. Hugo had a few little ones – I hope they grow on him!

Posted in dairy-free, food for kids, gluten-free, recipe, soy-free, sweet | 6 Comments

The week that went missing

Well, we all got sick. Come Monday morning, it became clear that I also had Hugo’s virus. Elena came home early from child care with a fever – and Alex wasn’t feeling so great either. We ended up incapacitated for most of the week. It’s been a total blur. Yuck.

I’m so glad it’s mostly over and done with. I suspect the kids will be well enough for school tomorrow, so we’ll be back to work – although I still feel rotten and would gladly sleep. I hate being sick. This virus has been a nasty experience!

While we were horizontal and wishing ourselves better, spring seems to have crept up on us.

unknownmay bush

Today was beautiful and warm (a balmy 18°C!) and the blossoms are out.

blossoms blossoms 1 white blossomsThe tulips are popping up, although they seem a bit late this year. The garden’s a bit meh this year. To be honest, it has really suffered since I’ve been back at work.

new tulip

I managed some knitting over the week – not one piece blocked though, and plenty of ends to weave in. Lots of time camped on the couch will do that for you!


We’re looking forward to a healthier week ahead. I hope yours goes smoothly too.

Posted in garden, knitting | 4 Comments

Sick baby, mama anxiety and dino tails: our weekend

It feels like we’ve had such a long weekend. Poor Hugo’s been very unwell. Our GP assured me it was a virus, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the poor mite has proper influenza (generally miserable, fevers, vomiting, rigours, runny nose, cough, off his food and milk, fitful sleeping and waking disoriented). Horrible. Ever since Alex’s brush with meningoencephalitis – the un-fun double whammy of inflammation of the brain and the surrounding cerebral tissue – we’ve been on meningitis high-alert. I feel like I run constant diagnostic checks each time one of us gets sick. So yeah, fun weekend. Not great for exhaustion or anxiety levels. Hugo’s on the mend, thank goodness.

On the upside (if there is one) the weather has been foul and so staying inside hasn’t seemed so bad. I’ve had a big pot of bone broth cooking for Hugo this afternoon and we’re taking it easy – with Alex and I taking turns to pop out and do the grocery shopping.

instructions at the ready cutting

Saturday afternoon saw Elena and I get our sew on and start some dinosaur tails I’ve been planning for ages. Um, yeah, I need to tidy my sewing space. Understatement of the year (decade? century? millennium?).

double trouble

I followed the great tutorial over at Running with Scissors with a few changes here and there (which I’ll blog when I’ve got some daylight to work with and my pint-sized assistant is otherwise occupied).

It took Elena a while to warm up to her tail this morning but once she got her courage up there was no stopping her. You can see she was at full strength by dinner time…I have more blurry dinosaur pictures than you’d believe!

IMG_1474 where's that tail

Even dinos like their Duplo.


Posted in dress ups, sewing | 9 Comments

Speed knitting

A gorgeous girl turned one this week. She lives in Tasmania so I don’t see her and her mother, my friend, much at all. Imagine my surprise when I got a text earlier in the week that her mum would be in Canberra for a visit today!

I cast on yesterday lunchtime with haste…and knitted like my life depended on it. I was sewing on the last button just as our doorbell rang. Good timing! I really should get more organised with my birthday knitting.


The cardigan is my old fallback pattern (the only smart option when time is limited) in a yarn I dyed myself. I purchased the buttons when out shopping with this friend, so they were a natural choice for the gift. Ravelry details are here. Luckily she didn’t mind me snapping a few hasty pictures before it left the building.


We’ll have a slow weekend – the weather’s forecast to be pretty grim and Hugo’s not well. We’re headed for a quiet one inside, I think.

Posted in clothes for children, gifts for babies, hand dyeing, in threes, knitting, random, yarn | 2 Comments

A new door for the chicken run

A few weeks ago I came home from work to find Eileen and Alice clucking around the backyard, looking confused. I was confused too. I was the first one home and they had definitely been locked in when I left. Maude was nowhere to be found.

teeth marks

Upon closer inspection, I realised that something (a big dog? a fox?…whatever it was had big teeth) had attacked our run and managed to snap the door frame. I did eventually find (a very dead) Maude on the other size of the yard. So horrible. She’s now fertilising one of our citrus trees.

The weather has been so horrible that we’ve just been securing the run with some solid mesh and cable ties each morning and night. Sunny weather had us off to buy some timber on Saturday morning, only to find out that the store (Bunnings Tuggeranong, if anyone local is wondering) is expanding their DIY education program…Score!

We made an appointment and I turned up this morning with the broken door – and had help (and free use of power tools) putting it back together. It was great! An hour and a half later, the door was mended and fortified. I think it should be fox safe now. I hope.

new coop door

close up

My next chicken plans are to install an additional, mesh-topped run – Alex and his father started digging the ground for it today – and then to clad our current set up to make it a bit more weatherproof.

new run preps

It was freezing, but we all enjoyed the time outside.

spray cleaning Hugo and Alex the girls

Posted in chickens, DIY | 6 Comments