Toddler swingset skirt (Oliver + S pattern)

Another skirt! As you can tell, I’m going through a skirt phase. My little boy has been spared so far but his luck may run out soon.

Today’s skirt is made with a Oliver + S pattern. I’m quickly falling in love with these patterns, they caught my eye a while ago and while I didn’t think much of them there was something that just kept on taking me back to them, so I started looking for photos of finished projects and I finally saw just how beautiful they are. They’re simple designs, not complicated and difficult to make like some other big brands, easy to make yet have those little details that make them just great.

I made the swingset skirt (the pattern comes as a set with a tunic, which I may make soon since it looks like it’d look good even over a long sleeved top in winter). It’s a pretty simple skirt, I think the way the waist is made, it has elastic – drawstring – elastic, really gives it an edge and makes it fall beautifully. It is fully lined, which I was a bit unsure about at first but it actually works very well.

Without further ado, here’s the skirt!

Oliver + S swingset skirtOliver + S swingset skirt  Oliver + S swingset skirt Oliver + S swingset skirt

It’s great. I love the way it hangs and how it flows, and also how it looks feminine but without restricting her movements at all, so she can get on with what really matters!

Oliver + S swingset skirt


Vegan millet cakes

Recipe time! I’ve been slacking in the cooking department over the past week or so. Don’t get me wrong, I still cook, but nothing exciting or worth blogging about, I’ve just been quite lazy and uninspired. Hopefully I’m back on track now!

MilletI’ve been wanting to make millet cakes for as long as I can remember. My mum used to make them when I was little and I really loved them, I keep on asking her for the recipe but always forget to write it down. The other issue is that I’m trying to only add vegan recipes to my repertoire as I’m trying to cut down on the animal produce I consume (for ethical as well as health issues). My mum’s recipe called for an egg as a binding ingredient but after reading it seemed that adding more water when cooking the millet would make it creamier and stickier, so I gave it a go. It worked!


Ingredients (makes around 12 cakes):

– 1 cup uncooked millet
– 2 carrots
– 1 onion
– 1 courgette
– olive or coconut oil
– spices (I used mild chili powder, cumin and turmeric)

First of all, cook the millet. Let it toast for a few minutes in a dry pan (toast, not burn, keep an eye on it!) then add 2 1/2 cups of water to the pan, bring to the boil, cover and let it simmer on a medium heat, occasionally stirring to avoid it sticking to the pan.

Meanwhile, finely chop the vegetables, I went for a shortcut and whizzed them in the blender. Cook in a pan with a little oil until they’ve softened up, the time will depend a lot on how big your pieces are.

When both the millet and veggies are cooked let them cool a little then combine together well, add salt and spices if you wish then shape into cakes – it helps if you wet your hands to stop the mixture from sticking to them.

Place under the grill and cook until crispy, or until they look appealing to you! They taste great both hot and cold, and go amazingly well with some Worcestershire sauce. I loved these, I think they’d be great to make when I have time during the day and just pop in the oven when it’s time to eat. I wonder if they freeze well, I will try that and report back! Enjoy 🙂

Vegan millet cakes, served with broccoli and leftover risotto

On a separate note, you can tell when daddy comes to the playground. Happy Sunday!

Shark attack!


Friday night skirt – for me!

Over the past couple of years I’ve made (both knitted and sewn) so many clothes and little things for my children that I totally neglected myself. This was due to a number of reasons, children’s clothes are cuter (that’s a fact), they take less time and fabric to make, there are less lumps and bumps to accommodate and last but not least my shape has changed so much between pregnancy – postpartum body – pregnancy again that I knew it wasn’t really worth making something that would fit me only for a couple of months or so.

Simplicity 2451

I lost almost a stone in the past couple of months and my wardrobe desperately needs an update, so it seemed like the right time to get going again – and for once I don’t fear having to measure myself to pick the right size! I have quite a few projects in mind but I must remember that I only have limited spare time (and funds to buy pretty fabrics) so I’d best not get too excited.

First proper project, a linen skirt! I’d like to wear skirts more often so I guess the first thing to do would be to have a few. I used the Simplicity 2451 pattern, I wanted something fairly simple and this seemed to do the trick although I was very tempted by the Simplicity 1717 pattern, I think I may try that too soon.

The fabric is a pale blue linen I picked up from Ditto Fabrics, their shop is quite close to my house so I pass by there quite often, how tempting!

Pale blue linen fabric

Simplicity 2451 D

I don’t really have any complaints about the pattern. I did the view D, it was only a few pieces so quite quick to cut, instructions were ok – a bit confusing as there was a bit of back and forth between the steps for the different views – and it only took me an evening to sew up (ok, I still have to hem it, but that doesn’t really count!).

I’m quite pleased with it. It’s a tad short but not too much, the only thing that needs working on is the zip as it sticks out a bit at the base but I think it’s one of those things that is only glaringly noticeable to me. I may get round it by putting it on the side rather than the back next time!  I will also need to give up on it not having crinkles, I forgot how evil linen can be.

Simplicity 2451 D

I will make it again, very soon in fact. I had one of my babywearing wraps shortened last month and I have enough leftover fabric to make a skrit with it! I’m debating using this pattern or the other skirt pattern I mentioned above, either way I’m really looking forward to it!

Lenny Lamb Cherry Lace

Sunday night project: top and skirt toddler set

I had a productive weekend for once (amazing what you can accomplish when you stop wasting all your time on facebook, pinterest & co!), I’ve started sewing again at last and I’m so engrossed in it I have to make a huge effort not to buy tons of fabric! So many pretty things out there… but I’m being good and only buying a little bit at a time, and try to stick to only one or two projects at a time.

A friend mentioned Craftsy, I had heard of it before but didn’t think much of it. How wrong was I! It’s awesome, I’ve been on it for a week and I’m already addicted. Classes, patterns, other people’s projects to look at… I only wish there was a forum too (or maybe there is one and I’ve missed it?). This is my page/profile, though there’s nothing yet as I haven’t had the time to add anything. Will do soon.

I got an email shortly after joining with a hefty discount on my next purchase so I took the plunge and enrolled in a Beginner Serging class, or overlocker for us living across the pond. I will report later on how it’s going, I really look forward to learning to use my overlocker a bit better!

Back to yesterday’s project. I made a top with the Fishsticks Designs Charlie Tee & Hoodie pattern, it’s a great easy pattern which I’ve used a lot both for hoodies and tops.
Lillestoff Vikings blue fabricI haven’t used a pattern for the skirt, it was simply two rectangles around 20″x9″, sewn up the sides and gathered the top (it needed quite a bit of gathering!), while the waistband was a 19″x5″ strip of ribbing – I measured this to fit my 2.5 year old, her waist is about 20″ – folded over and stitched on.

The main fabric is an oldish Lillestoff print, the stripey one is some jersey I picked up in the sale from a local fabric shop over the weekend. I looove Lillestoff, if only it was a bit less expensive! But it’s soft, good quality and the prettiest designs, I will probably get more soon, I especially like the Vikings print…

Without further ado, here’s the set!



I hope to get a better action shot when we’re out this afternoon! So so pleased with it – which is unlike me as I’m usually very picky and unhappy about things I make just after I’ve finished them.

Raw breakfast banana choco tarts

Happy Sunday everyone. Mine has been rather sluggish so far, both my little ones were very restless last night so I had little sleep and my little guy seems still rather grumpy this morning, deciding that he wants to be glued to me at all times.

Why do I tell you all this? Apart from the fact that I love having a good old moan, I wanted a bit of a pick me up for breakfast so I combined the  raw chocolate brownies and this breakfast banana pie  from Raw on $10 or less (such a great blog, it’s great to show that eating raw needn’t be prohibitively expensive!) and ended up with these breakfast banana choco tarts.

Ingredients for 2 tarts:

– 1/2 cup nuts (I particularly like a mix of pecans and cashews)
– 1/2 cup dates
– 1tbsp shredded coconut
– 1tbsp honey
– 1tbsp cocoa
– 1 banana

Put all the ingredients apart from the banana in a blender and whizz together, put the mix in a small tart pan and press down, creating the raised edges with your fingers. Put in the fridge to set for 10/15 minutes (or enough to wash the blender, make the filling, wash it again and get a plate ready!).

Next blend the banana, saving a few slices as topping if you wish. If your bananas are small you might need 2. Put the filling in the base, top with bananas (or anything else you wish) and sprinkle some cinnamon or cocoa on top and voila’, breakfast is served!

Raw banana choco tartsRaw banana choco tarts

Minion dress attempt

I love love love sewing but I can’t do it during the day (apparently kids, needles and scissors don’t mix) and by the time evening comes I’m usually too tired to do anything.

I made a bit of an effort last night because I wanted to make a minion (from Despicable Me) dress for a friend’s little girl. I decided to modify a pillowcase dress, so first off I needed a tutorial for that! I use this one for Sew like my mum. Also, I wanted to make a little bit girly so instead of plain blue for the ‘body’ I got a fabric with a floral pattern, and the yellow is a kona cotton but I totally forgot which yellow it is.

I know my pictures are never great but they’re especially bad as they were all taken in the evening, apologies for that!


It was all pretty simple: I made the panels with yellow on the top and blue flowery fabric on the bottom. On one of the panels (before sewing them together), I stitched a black strip of fabric, around 2″ wide, along the length of the panel, then made two circles with felt, one grey and one white, for the eye, and a much smaller one with black cotton fabric.





I then did the rest of the dress following the tutorial. Hint: if you’re doing curved armhole as suggested by other tutorials, use bias tape. Don’t try to turn it over and over again. Trust me on this. Then of course, just as I was hemming the bottom edge and I had about 3″ to go before the dress was all finished, this happened. Then it happened again. It was getting late and I was tired, I swear the machine knew!

But, at last, the dress was done! A bit of a late night but I’m pretty pleased with it, despite a few hiccups which tend to happen when I first try out new patterns/styles anyway (does that happen just to me?). The only thing I’d change is to make it much less wide, I tried it on my 2.5 year old little girl and it was rather big, but I guess that’ll make it last longer, as a shorter dress then tunic – they’d better release a Despicable Me 3 next  year!)



Excuse the blurry pictures. She wanted to try the dress on right away (hence her head peeking in the first pic) and then decided she wanted to climb up the kitchen door. 
I’m planning to make another pillowcase dress soon for her, while at the fabric shop picking fabrics for this one she got very excited so I think it’s only fair that she gets one too!


Spelt bread and raw strawberry jam

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about my diet and how far I’ve come in the past few months. I changed the way I eat a lot but more for health purposes, of course I was hoping that eating better would also mean losing a bit of weight but I didn’t really expect to.

The biggest change was that I cut out all processed/refine sugar, as I’ve already mentioned, and that has benefited me in many ways. First of all, I feel more in control of what I eat, both in terms of portion sizes and cravings, my mood are better and I have more energy. I’ve also almost entirely cut out meat, this wasn’t intentional but it just happened, though I still tend to eat fish once or twice a week and dairy and eggs fairly often. I made a conscious effort to substitute all these things with vegetables, so I’m eating a bit less grains (pasta, bread, rice etc) too.

I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to be gluten free for a couple of weeks or so to see if I could notice any difference and yesterday, while at a health food store, I had a spur of the moment decision to buy some spelt flour and have a go at making spelt bread. One tiny little detail: spelt isn’t gluten free (I only realised this many hours after buying it).

Nevermind! I shall blame this on the extended sleep deprivation and all that. I gave it a go anyway and used the recipe that was on the packet. It was quite quick and fairly mess free and didn’t need as much work as wheat bread; unfortunately I don’t own a bread tin yet (must get one!) so the poor thing went all flat instead of rising in a lovely loaf shape, but let me tell you, it’s actually rather nice! It will be quite amazing with some soup once the weather goes colder again.


I wanted something to put on it and couldn’t quite think of something that was a bit special, just like the bread itself, until I remembered about this easy recipe for raw strawberry chia jam.


It’s all pretty straight forward: mix 3 tablespoons of chia seeds, 3 tablespoons of honey (or agave nectar or maple syrup) and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice (one large lemon should be enough) together in a little bowl – as you can see in the photo, it’s that odd brownish mess!

Mash the strawberries – 1lb according to the recipe, I used a 400g pack – with a fork or pulse in the food processor, combine with the chia seeds mixture and pour in a container (you may want to use one that is big enough…) then simply put in the fridge and leave it to set for at least half an hour. Done!


You can now enjoy your lovely super healthy jam on your not-gluten-free spelt bread 😉



I’m fighting with all my might not to go and eat the rest of the bread and jam right now. Must…. resist…. temptation…..