Boys CAN wear pink!!!!!

I know I’ve mentioned this before but boys can wear pink in fact pink looks great on boys!

In victorian times pink was for boys and sometimes between then and now it became a girl colour and totally taboo to put it near boys.

So here’s my little selection of boys can wear pink

Raglan top from H&M. I bought this online and this is fresh out the packet. It is duskier than I expected but I love it and matched with jeans will look great. You could get a nice vinyl very cheaper to make it more gender specific if you like. I’m toying with getting boys can wear pink to iron on .

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You could make your own clothing and add a flash of pink without it being all about the pink. Team with plain gender neutral trousers and let the shirt speak for itself.

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You could also get around the whole pink thing by buying dark pink trousers. This dark pink is more of a purple pink than a in your face girly pink. Teamed with a ‘boy’ top and no one will be looking at you weird just in awe of your epic styling. These are from Debenhams.

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You could incorporate it in a subtle way in other things like blankets. I planned to do the odd flower because you can’t have Totoro without nature and flowers are nature. But then it struck me how ace the soot sprite would look against a dark pink (2nd row, 2nd from left) without it taking over or being odd. Click the picture to access a free bobble alphabet to crochet and the link to this blanket pattern.

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You could also buy items that have pink added in nicely like stripey fabric or socks like this set that is aimed at either gender and this set.

Even just a line of pink topstitching could be enough for you.

If you still can’t face pink on boys why not make stuff you will be using and make it girly because technically it’s yours. Click the pictures or the tutorials.

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tracy

Washable breast pads- FREE tutorial

I find washable breast pads much better than disposable as they never leak and you never run out.

First up you need a 13cm diameter circle. Your diameter is the width through middle.

Fold in half then half again. open out and fold in half the other way to basically end up with triangles as per pic. Cut out one of those triangles this is your dart and will shape the pad.

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I used flannelette and fleece for mine. 4 layers of flannelette/winceyette and 1 of fleece per pad. Don’t forget you need 2 pads to make a pair.

Place the two egdes of your dark together and sew in place to create your dart (middle)

Do the same to each layer. I found sewing 2 layers of the flannelette at same time much easier and no more bulky than one layer at a time. Plus it made the process of sewing 8 pair much faster.

Next up place your 4 layers of flannelette with right side against wrong side. Right side- neatly sewn, wrong side- open seam with raw dart edges. Then place the wrong side of flannelette layers to wrong side of fleece.

Once sewn this ensure none of the raw edges of darts show and therefore reduces any irritation. image

Sew around the edge of each pad trapping each layer. I used a straight stitch then trimmed them and finished off with an overcast stitch. If you are using a serger you can just do this in one fell swoop.

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Repeat for each pad till you have enough.

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If you don’t feel confident doing the darts or haven’t the energy you can use the pattern as a full circle and they work just as well without too much bulk showing through a bra and top.

You can also make bigger and thicker ones for night use and remember to only use washable creams or you may find them less effective over time.

Other materials you can use for absorbency are microfibre, bamboo, zorb and terry towelling. You can use fleece like I did or PUL to keep them breathable.

Fleece acts as water resistant barrier so provided you have enough layers to absorb any possible leaks the fleece is enough a layer to stop any leaks out other side whilst remaining breathable enough.

tracy

Covering a feeding pillow

I’ve had this pillow a while and although it is a good pillow (albeit on the smaller side) the non removeable cover is a cheap horrible fabric that tears with the slightest tug so I decided to make 2 different covers.

First up is making your cover! I basically laid it down and drew round it. Check you drew it correctly by measuring around parts of it and checking your drawn version is same measurement. For first one I’m using cotton jersey so I don’t need a big seam allowance or it will end up baggy.

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I chose to make a half pattern so I could guarantee both sides of the pillow were the same. You can see my redrawn lines where I made sure it would be same size as pillow and not smaller. Cut 2 out of the fold.

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Starting from inner curve sew together all the way leaving a gap big enough for turning but also stuffing.

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Cut a piece of jersey approx 2 inches wide and the same length as your gap. (top left)

Fold in half and sew 3 sides, 2 short and 1 long then turn out (top right)

Place this onto right side of gap, so pattern side and sew into place. (bottom left)

Create another and repeat above step then you need to turn it inside of the pillow and top stitch in place (bottom right)

At this point you can add velcro to fasten but I chose kam snaps to close mine up.

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Here is the finished product!! It wasn’t super easy to get on so I would consider adding more ease along the curves next time.

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Next up I wanted to make a cotton version. As cotton is non stretch you will need to add a little ease and a little more seam allowance, 2cm each side should do it.

First you need one cut on fold, this will be the main side and 2 cut as separate halves but approx. 5 inches added to centre seam. Fold the centre seam over twice to create a double hem. If you are using patterned fabric make sure to cut your 2 back halves mirrored (opposites).

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Place your back halves onto the front making sure to match the right sides together.

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Sew all the way around leaving no gaps. You may wish to clip the curves to make it easier to use and create extra ease.

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As you can see without adequate ease this version can be quite tight it’s all trial and error. However comparing before and after it’s like a whole new pillow.

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tracy

 

FREE crochet pattern- Bobble Alphabet

As a start to my Totoro Blanket I have made and will be releasing the pattern soon I decided to create an entire Bobble Alphabet. Then I needed numbers!!

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So here is the pattern and its FREE!

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You get the full alphabet A-Z and it’s in chart format!1-14054286_1636057770024691_1037058690331533950_o-1-003

You also get full number 1-9 (you can use O for 0- confused yet?)

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Then you can be patient and wait for the Totoro Blanket instructions to be released and add you letter squares to it!!. The blanket is 5 squares across so may not suit all names which is why I did the alphabet as a separate pattern.

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To download log into Ravelry and download using THIS link

The file will download as PDF file and you get the pattern in chart format so if you struggle let me know and I’ll do my best to help!

tracy

Quick Toddler Snood

I used fleece for my toddler snood but jersey fabrics and other knit type fabrics work great and best part you don’t need separate lining so chose something soft.

Cut a rectangle 14×20 inch. Your stretch should be going along the 20 inch length.

Fold long sides together with right side of fabric in middle. Sew along that seam.

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Next turn your tube out. Now fold up one short (unsewn) edge to meet another again so right sides face. Sew the two edges together but remember to leave a gap for turning. Try locate your gap close to the sewn seam that way it’ll be hidden inside when worn .

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Turn out through your gap. I folded my snood so the long seam when worn will be inside rather than at bottom but it’s up to you what is easier. Hand stitch the gap closed using whip stitch.

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Place on toddler and enjoy the silence because they are no longer saying I’mmmmmm cooooold!!!!

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This is a great size for babies too! To make bigger to older children and adults add approx 5 inches.

tracy

How to use fabric panels in clothes

Sewing with panels is great! Often when you buy a panel from a custom designer they are cheaper than the main print so if you’re on a budget they can be a great way to still get a piece of the fabric you like.

Some people still struggle knowing how to use them so here’s a few ways I have.

Tops are the most popular use for panels with a few patterns making this especially easy.

MBJM V tee is great pattern for panels especially if you are sewing bigger sizes and the panel isn’t quite big enough to cut a whole front out.

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Another alternative when the child is bigger than the panel and you don’t want to piece it together is to use it as a sleeve. This works well for simple designs and ones that  aren’t too large or you will loose the design.

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The most common and easier way is to use it as the whole front this depends on the panel size and the size you are making. This is an age 4 top and the limit is around age 5 before adding bits to extend is needed.

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Smaller panels you can fit baby tshirts on then buy a small amount of matching print to make trousers. The panel was £4 and the print was flawed so was also £4 from a custom pattern designer. Bargain!

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Another great pattern perfectly designed for panels is the Duck Butt Designs PPT top. It is fiddly with lots of pieces but so worth it!

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Other items of clothing are also great for panels.

These I didn’t make from scratch only hacked (read about it here) but these are a great example of how bigger panels could be used for part of a trouser leg or shorts. Alternatively just make tiny trousers.

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Another store bought item but clearly shows how you could use a panel to make a romper or even dungarees.

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Adult t-shirts can be tricky especially if you buy a one size panel. The receiver of this tee asked for it to be sewed on the front like a picture. It’s simple but works and he still has the option of a mostly black tshirt. I used Melly Sews free pattern. I did need to lower the neckline and use a smaller neck band but all in all it was a great pattern for one off make.

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You could use panels in home furnishings too. This is a blind and I used it as the centrepiece. You could also make a blanket, quilt, cushion covers and pillow cases.

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I used a second panel that was the exact same to make a baby coat. The main part of print made up the back with smaller sections making the sleeves.  and plain sections making up front and hood. I only got an age 1 out of it but with extra fabric to compliment you could make bigger sizes.

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Bags are great for panels. The Elmo bag is a woven panel and bag is my own design but you could use any shape. If you were feeling clever and needed extra room you could use big spaces like his mouth as a pocket.

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Messenger bags are also great for showing off panels as for nappy bags. Tote bags, drawstring gym bags the possibilities are endless for panel bags.

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The gnome panel is actually a nappy cut that was embroidered wrong for me so I got the correct version and the wrong one,  which leads me to my next item. A nappy is a great platform for all sorts of panels including embroidered ones. You can also make briefs from panels and recently designers are designing special underwear panels so you don’t have to cut round your design.

You can use panels for skirts, dresses, as hoods, on the back of a top instead of the front. You could even make baskets, cover for you sewing machine the only limit is your imagination.

tracy

Vegetarian Children

This week a subject came up about vegetarian children and the choice being forced upon them by parents. Some suggested it was unfair and the child needs a good meal in them suggesting meat!

I admit I got offended by this not only because it’s no-one else’s business but largely due to fact both my children were veggie till age 2. With my first I was vegetarian myself and despite craving ham I stayed away and when he got to weaning age he was fed veggie options.

In general he was a fussy eater so by age 2 I started giving him meat. My own mum would feed him mince and I would make him fish. His diet improved as did his eating habits.

Along came child number 2 and he isn’t meat eater at all. He enjoys a ham sandwich but otherwise prefers non meat meals including substitutes he’s just not that into it.

For our children it was partly our choice partly theirs. My eldest eats meat at school and gets the occasional bit of chicken at home. Youngest eats only ham sandwiches. Both are very healthy children with no health issues.

The second thing to consider is the enforcement of this diet by parents. What is so wrong with educating our children? At some point all children ask where does my sausage come from? Most don’t comprehend what that means but you get a veggie child who instead asks why are we/others vegetarian and you open a whole different subject.

Alina from We Made This Life agrees stating many told her she was forcing this onto her children but she asks aren’t meat eaters technically doing the same? Where the rule in the ‘How to be a human handbook’ that states we MUST eat meat?

Without going into detail you can explain and give them a much more informed decision about  others choices. Many parents I know give the child a choice about eating meat and many of these children chose to not eat it. Nicholas (from Global Mouse Travels) children are offered meat but say no

Kate’s Daughter from Living life our Way chose to go vegetarian herself! Kate herself wasn’t veggie and her daughters choice actually taught her and changed her eating habits. If a child chooses this step is it better somehow?

Milla from Live Oxfordshire is meat eater but offers her children a large amount of vegetarian foods compared to other meat-eating households may and as a result her child just like mine is showing preference to veggie food.

The other thing to consider when questioning our motives is surely our children wouldn’t eat it is they didn’t like it?

Not to get graphic but  a few years ago a child I looked after ate meat but was constipated basically all the time when her family swapped to more veggie meals this sorted itself. This is yet another factor no doctor will advise large meat intake for a child struggling in that way just as no doctor will say you MUST feed your child any meat at all!

Emma at Canny Food has written an article about a similar subject but she brings up her child Vegan which is includes no dairy products. (click her blog name to write the post). She also states she is in full contact with her doctor and a dietician and they have no issue with her choices due to her baby being healthy!

Jennifer over at My Mummies Pennies is the child who chose to go veggie at age 11. It’s just a phase, she’ll stop soon well she’s now 21 years later and I’m pretty sure the definition of a phase doesn’t cover 2 decades. She however decided her children could eat meat due to her husband being a meat eater yet they incorporate 3-4 meals a week that have no meat , because lets face it who wants to make 2 lots of meals 7 days a week!

Jenny at The Brick Castle is one the people I spoke to whose children are now adults. She says all 3 were brought up veggie and 2 have chosen to stay veggie! Children who were brought up this way, healthily, spoken to carefully about this choice and it’s resulted in adults who have stuck by that choice!!

One of my own decisions to not cook much meat at home is partly down to fact I’m not very good at it. I can’t add it to every meal and was never taught how. Fee at One of Each agrees if her veggie children chose to eat meat she wouldn’t be sure about cooking it. You could argue we aren’t teaching them to cook responsibly and it’s an important skill but how many of the meat-eating readers can say they could make a vegetarian meal they haven’t seen before and not include pastry and cheese in it ! Fee also states it made sense for her to raise her children to be veggie than to feed them meat and the children regret that choice later on if they decide to stay veggie.

Another family with children given meat and veggie option where one chooses meat and one choose veggie is Mummy’s Little Stars. They eat regular Quorn based meals as well as the odd ham sarnie and pepperoni pizza.

Katie at Mummy in a Tutu has the situation were her and the child’s father spilt. She states that the dad allows their child to be vegetarian but she is adamant it must be her daughters decisions and not the parents.

I agree some parents are irresponsible and many just don’t have the education to feed a child a decent diet nevermind meat free.

Did you know the Food Standards for schools states that every school HAS to have at least one veggie option every day available? Does your local/child’s school offer vegetarian because they should be. This food standards is a government requirement.

None of us are saying meat eating is wrong everyone has openly said it is their choice and they don’t feel we as a race need meat to survive but we also don’t want to say you are wrong offer a chicken leg or a beef steak so why should we have to put up with opinionated comments.

It’s important to not confuse the news stories about vegan children dying due to their diet, or the local preschool kid who looks so skinny and pale purely because she needs a good meaty meal in her. I’m not denying it’s not diet related but simply feeding a child a sausage doesn’t solve health problems related to diet.

According to the NHS Eatwell Guide Protein is needed less than vegetables and carbohydrates. The guide states vegetables and carbohydrates should make up 33% each of your daily diet milk and other dairy being 15% and meat being only 12%.

Foods containing protein are:

Eggs, nuts, pulses, beans, tofu as well as meat. It is recommended to eat less red meat as too much can lead to bowel cancer and to eat lean meats that are lower in fat.

Other advantages to vegetarian diet are you have a naturally lower fat diet and often the protein alternatives are higher in protein that meat.

Whatever your choice we are all getting it right as long as our children are healthy and happy.

tracy