Thursday, July 31, 2014

Knights and Dragons and Damsels in Distress

 
 
 

Do you remember, when you were a kid, dressing up as a princess and fighting the dragons, being rescued by the charming knight? Yeah, me neither! I do remember that my Grandma had a fabulous dress up box in her bathroom. It's probably still there! I don't actually remember what was in it, except for a cowboy outfit, whose life expectancy was probably cut short by my lil' sis?!? I know we used to dress her up a lot.

And I do remember climbing trees with my tea set. Seriously, which kid doesn't love a little tree climbing and a little dress up!?

 
This knight hoodie is the perfect answer to doing both. A dress up that is totally OK for everyday wear. Yup, no need to drag superman or spidey through the supermarket with you. Take a Knight. Or maybe you could make him into a Ninja. You could even have a Knight GIRL. Maybe I should try that. Leave the screaming banshee princess at home and take the sensible, brave Knight GIRL.






You know you're onto a winner when the boys actually want to repeat wear things you've made. And when you get a request for a big cousin. It is coming!


 



The knight fought the dragon, and since the dragon didn't really like being hit over the head with a plastic sword, they duelled by rock-paper-scissors.

 



These guys really are great friends in real life.














 And she's saying, who wouldn't want one?



Thanks to CharmingDoodle.com for doing the hard yards and coming up with a pattern.  I wonder how her adult sizes are coming along? I did modify the Knight Hoodies I've made a bit (of course) but will save that for another time.

If you want to purchase a Knight Hoodie from The Toffee Tree, head over to my Etsy store here, where you can find custom listings in children's sizes 2-10.

Photography by Elke Dous Photography
Models supplied by Elke and myself.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Spring Blooms Sun Hat [pattern review]

No hat, no play? This has become completely second nature to us,  so much so, that as adults we want a fabulous hat for ourselves! And why not treat ourselves to our own little piece of handmade awesome!




Around Christmas time I made two Angel Lea girls Summer Daze sun hats (here), then recently had a request for an adult version for Nanny Sue for her upcoming trip to Europe. Specifically, a fabric hat that can fold up into her luggage. Lucky for me, Angel Lea has the Spring Blooms pattern - the perfect upsize without the precision that the patchworking required on the smaller hats. Honestly, this drove me... a little nuts.

Why make one hat when it is just as easy to make two at the same time? I made one for my Mum, who happens to be Nanny Sue's BFF and also about to galavant around Europe for the first time ever! Go MUM!!



Back to the pattern =  this pattern is super easy to follow, goes together easily without any fussing to attach the crown and brim pieces. The most time consuming part (as always) is choosing which fabric combo to use! Oh, the deliberation!  The fiddliest bit is cutting all of those fabric and interfacing pieces, then ironing them together. Guess when you make two, it seems like forever. Best done on Night One. Night Two will see you finish off your hat(s) completely.  If you are lucky enough to have a whole day to devote to sewing, knock yourself out. You'll nail it!

I used heavy weight interfacing for the whole hat. The pattern calls for medium weight interfacing. I just used what I could get hold of and next time I make this hat (there will definitely be a next time!) I would use heavy weight for the brim - I like the stiffness it gives but a medium weight for the crown pieces. The heavy weight interfacing did tend to make the hat stand quite stiffly when I wore it. I'm keen to see how it wears and looks after being folded through travel - I will keep you posted!
 
Rather than stitching the trim to the hat, it was quite easy to stitch a simple loop of stranded cotton to each side of the hat to secure it. This way, the hat can easily be reversed and the trim threaded back through the loops on the other side to keep in in place. Genius, I know.




The fit is perhaps a little on the tight side. I made two Small (57cm) hats for a 56-57cm heads and both turned out to be a little snug. Perhaps it's just that my seam allowances ended up being 11mm instead of 10mm. Hopefully they give a little (room , not headaches) with a bit more wearing. Else I'm sure to get a grumpy email, from some dreamable destination, that I wish it really was me enjoying.


 As soon as I have pictures of these hats in Paris and Tuscany (and wherever else they shall wander) in action, I'll be sure to post them here, too! I don't know whether these hats will meet up with each other in any of those far-away dreamable locations, those ones where it's me wishing I was there too, but it would be totes cool!  For now, be happy with my dolly, who's been nicknamed 'Dora' (there are 2 'Dora's' btw) who's head size is 48cm. The hats are a smidge too big for her. Yeah, OK, a bit more than a smidge. Still, no biggy hey. She seems to enjoy it.







I have just noticed the Summer Daze Sun Hat pattern is no longer available, how terrible, these hats are simply beautiful. I wonder if she will release more patterns?


SUPPLIES
Spring Blooms Hat (Angel Lea)
Alexander Henry Flying High Smokey Turquoise from Kelani Fabric Obsession, 100% cotton
Dark Ink coated linen from Potters Textiles in North Perth (wholesale fabric open to the public) 
Texan Light Weight Denim from Kelani Fabric Obsession, 100% cotton
Aquamarine and multicolour spotty fabric 100% cotton quilting fabrics from Southlands Sewing Centre (my go-to local fabric store)
Green dots on white from my stash.
DMC stranded cotton for ties
Heavy weight interfacing from Spotlight