Friday, 27 July 2012

Rapunzel Dress

A friend of mine pinned a link to an etsy store selling girls dresses based on the dresses of Disney Princesses. The little miss is quite the fan of anything Disney Princess, so I re-pinned it of course. The Etsy store was My Kids Drawers but I think she's too busy with the orders she gets through Facebook so she isn't putting anything on Etsy at the moment. You can find her on Facebook by looking up 'My Kids Drawers' though.

What I loved about her princess dresses was that they are 'real' dresses that can be worn out and about without looking costumey, but it's also obvious (to anyone who knows their princesses) what they are styled on.

The little miss's current favorite princess is Rapunzel, so I decided to make a little something extra for her birthday. I liked the idea of the dresses being a pesant style: firstly because they are easy for young ones to get on & off themselves, but also because they are a pretty basic style dress and easy to make without a pattern.

Besides being purple, I think the main thing a Rapunzel dress needs is some lacing up the front. I thought long and hard about how I could do this... I thought of using metal eyelets, or strips of fabric with button holes, or sewing on loops of ribon, but they all seemed like just a little bit too much effort! I looked through all of the notions at my local fabric store and found exactly what I needed – pre-sewn elastic loops on a crochet-type strip. I covered it up with some pretty ribbon and used thin ribbon in the same shade for the lacing. I had originally planned to put elastic on the bottom of the sleeves, but when I was sewing them up I really liked the way they looked without the elastic, so I just hemmed them instead.

All in all I'm very happy with how it all turned out in the end; but most importantly, the little miss just adores it!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

I have to start off this post with a confession. I didn't actually make this one myself... I showed my husband the link and he did the making, but I was the one who found the recipe. OK, so I didn't actually find this myself either, I re-pinned it from a friend but it was way too good not to share!

Note: this photo was a bit of an afterthought... it was taken after we had already shared the bars with visitors we had earlier in the day. The recipe makes a lot more than what is shown here!

I'm from Canada and the first time I took my husband back 'home' with me he discovered the world of Reeses peanut butter & chocolate products. You can get peanut butter & chocolate combinations over here in NZ (in fact you can actually get the original Reeses peanut butter cups if you know where to go) but the husband still insists the mini Reeses peanut butter cups from Canada are the best.

There are all sorts of recipes and products out there that combine chocolate and peanut butter, but until I took my first bite of one of these bars I never thought anything could compare to those Reeses peanut butter cups... I've never been able to put my finger on what all of the other recipes were getting wrong, but this one gets it all right! These bars are pretty intense, so you probably want to cut them into small pieces – and the recipe makes a huge amount, so in theory they should last for ages. But beware, they're so delicious & more-ish that you'll find yourself picking one up every time you go past them, and since they're so rich so you end up feeling it later!

We've only made this the one time so far, but we have had to instill a new rule because of their allure... These are only allowed to be made at our house if they are being taken somewhere else to share, otherwise I fear mine & my husband's waistlines will expand at an alarming rate!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Monster Knee Patch

One of the first things I made from my collection of Pinterest items was this awesome knee patch. I must admit that I was super excited when my little boy finally got a hole in the knee of his pants so that I could try this out! 

The first thing I discovered was that this project would be much easier on a pair of trousers that have a wider leg than those of a size 2 toddler. I had a lot of fun making it and it cost me nothing as I was able to find everything I needed from my drawer of fabric scraps. However, I did curse this little monster quite a bit as I was trying to fit the tiny narrow leg through the bottom of the sewing machine (hence why this project would be much better suited for slightly bigger kids). 

The link for this from my Pinterest board takes you here:
Clicking through to the link made me realise that I never did actually click through to the link when I made my version of the monster knee patch... Clearly I was so excited to get started that I just looked at the photo and went for it. I might as well admit now that I often jump into projects without thinking it all the way through (or actually reading the tutorial as the case may be). 

I would definitely use this project to patch holes in my little guy's clothes again, but there are a few things I would do differently. For this monster I just used what I could find in my fabric scraps drawer (which was: thick red polar fleece for the mouth, thick black polar fleece for the eyes, and white quilt batting for the teeth). The eyes are fine, and the red of the mouth is lasting better than I expected, but the teeth are starting to come apart a bit. I would probably use a stiffer fabric for the mouth next time (or back the polar fleece with something) and I would use felt, polar fleece, or some other non-fraying fabric for the teeth. I knew that the batting was not the best thing to use for the teeth, but I am impatient and at the time I didn't have anything else white that would work - also, I wasn't worried about it lasting for too long as my guy is currently growing out of his clothes well before he gets a chance to wear them out (hence why I was so excited when he actually wore a hole in something).

My little guy & his monster.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Hello, my name is...

Hi, I'm Shannon (my crafting name is Lilly-Belle) and I like to make things. I use the internet to find inspiration - my Pinterest is kind of like a snapshot of my craft brain. I will use this blog as a way to share items that I have made (good & bad) from things I have found on the internet via crafty tutorials, recipes, or just general inspiration.

Stay tuned to see what part of the internet Lilly-Belle will share first...