How to Make your own Kids Leggings

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Leggings are a great staple in your kids wardrobe…but if your kids are like mine, you need a lot of them!  My little girl goes through at least 2 pairs of leggings a day!  So why not supplement their wardrobe with a few homemade pairs…they are great for stylishly sending your little one off to daycare in…

leggings-daycareFirst, find your favourite pair of leggings, that have a great fit and copy the pattern!  Its super easy!

FIRST STEP:  PATTERN

leggings-supplies-listTake your leggings and put one leg inside the other, as in pic 1 below.  On your drawing paper draw a straight vertical line, longer than the length that you need…this will be your straight grain line.  Mark the front and back.

leggings-step-1-3Match your grain line with the side seam of the leggings…this is the middle point between the front seam and back seam…it can help to pin this side seam onto the grain line on your paper to keep things super straight.

Then simply draw around the leggings shape!  Yes its a little tricky as you do not have a flat shape, but take your time now…its worth it.  To make super sure the measurements are correct, measure different parts of the leggings and ensure it matches up to your pattern.  i.e. same depth from waist to crotch, same inside leg seam length etc…Ignore seam allowances at the moment…just get the final garment measurements correct first.

Now while this may seem a little daunting…getting the pattern right will mean you will be able to make heaps of different leggings…all from the one pattern…you can do it!

Ok, now we have the basic shape.  If you have a child who is a little taller than most…or a little shorter…who has a bigger bottom or a smaller tummy…then tweak those parts of the pattern to ensure a better fit for your child.  Once done…lets add seam allowances…for the leg seams and crotch seam I suggest .75cm (especially if you are using an overlocker).  I added 3.5cm at the waist and 2.5cm on the leg cuff.  Neaten up all your lines (retrace final pattern if necessary) and see if your pattern looks similar to this…

leggings-basic-basic-pattern-size-1NOTE:  If your child is wearing a nappy they will need a waistband rise from middle of waist to back seam to help accommodate this better, as shown above.  If there is no nappy, you may have a straight waistline seam from front to back.

YAY!  Congratulations!  You have your own leggings pattern!  Now lets test it!

I hope you have been fabric shopping and have bought stretchy fabric, elastic (same thickness as your sample unless you want to get creative) and matching cotton thread.  See HINT below for more tips on fabric.

STEP TWO:  SEWING

First step is of course to cut your pattern out.  With your chosen fabric, right sides together, cut out ONE PAIR of your pattern piece…that is 2 pieces which are a mirror image of each other…if you haven’t cut a knit fabric before…see HINT below…

leggings-sewing

OVERLOCKER…if you are lucky enough to have an overlocker, overlock cuff seam first on each leg…then placing inner leg seams together, sew…repeat for other leg.

MACHINE SEWING…if you are sewing these with your sewing machine…use a zig zag stitch to finish the cuff seams nicely.  Change your stitch to a straight stitch (2.5 length) and with inside seams together (right sides together), stitch down inside leg (as in pic 2 above)…repeat for other leg.

So now you should have 2 leg pieces…turn one leg right side out and place inside the other leg as in pic 3 above…match the crotch seam and pin…pin the rest of the seam ensuring fabric doesn’t slip and then SEW.

Yay!  Now you have the basic leggings!  Just hem the legs with a sewing machine… (see HINTS if you need help with this)…and then finish the waistband.

Turn your waist down by the same thickness as the elastic and sew into place…ENSURING that you leave a 2cm gap between the start and the finish to thread your elastic through.  Thread elastic through your waistband…sew the ends of elastic together…then finish the waist band seam!  DONE!

leggings---final-with-headband

Now grab your little one and get them to try on your new handmade creation!  Take photos, give yourself praise and show off!  You deserve it!  Tag us on those instagram shots too so we can see your wonderfulness!

NOW…please do not get disheartened if your leggings need a little tweaking…if you get them right the first time, congratulations!  If not…thats ok…pin point the areas that need work…tweak the pattern and try again!  It is definitely worth it and those pesky leggings that are not so perfect…can be your kids new PJs!  Also, don’t forget you can always message me on FB or email me if you get stuck!  I am more than happy to help you get them right!

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leggings-lifestyle-2I am so happy my little girl has groovy leggings to wear to day care now…she just looks adorable and now that I have sampled this pattern a few times…I will make them using more expensive fabrics…because a girl can never have too many leggings…ENJOY

HINTS:
-If you get stuck with creating your PATTERN, I have this leggings basic pattern size 1 you can use…the measurements are for a size 1…but I have marked the points where you can make them bigger or smaller as needed…you may need to make a few samples to get them right, but once you have your pattern MAKE HEAPS…  

-To HEM your leggings, turn the bottom cuff up 2cm, with wrong sides touching…and stitch in place.  By tweaking the pattern you can make your cuff hem any width…I experimented with 2 different hems above…

-FABRIC…the leggings above are all made from Spotlight fabric…when choosing a knit fabric, give it a stretch to see how stretchy it is…less stretch means a tighter fit, more stretch will mean a looser fit.  Ensure you buy a bit more than the length of the pattern…i.e. buy 55cm of fabric to make this size 1 pattern which is 48.5cm long…I always struggle to find great knit fabrics…so if you have any resources let me know 🙂 xx

-CUTTING…make sure you cut your pattern with the stretch of the fabric going horizontally…you will have a much tighter pair of leggings if you cut the other way.  If you purchase a one way print fabric (like the green above)…it will be easy to know which way to place the pattern…if not, then give the fabric a stretch…you want the stretch to NOT be in-line with the grain line.  If you look at the orange pair of leggings above…I cut them the opposite way (deliberately) and they have a much tighter fit than the others…believe me you will notice it when you put them on!

-CHEAT SHEET…if you are finding the pattern making way too daunting…buy a cheap pair of leggings you like…carefully unpick the stitching…and trace around the shape!  Super super easy …

 

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How to Make a Mothers Day Gift

Mothers Day is awfully close now … and yes… sadly…I would love to receive a dressing gown and definitely new pjs but realistically … if I create my own special handmade gift with my children … that is pretty special too.

So this momento is our Mothers Day Special … A fingerprint initial …

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This is the initial of my sons name … aged 3.  I also did one of my daughter … aged 12 months and next year I plan for them to fingerprint the next initial in their name and so on … over the years they will spell out their name with their ageing fingerprints!

This gift is a meaningful fun way to have a great…albeit messy…time with your little one.

finger-painting-collage

I recently created a letter shape using yuppo in a blog post and I have used it again for this creation…the beauty of yuppo is its washable and reusable so my son was able to make 2 letter finger prints … one for us and one for grandma… why stop the fun after just one

This trick to this is to dab a little paint onto paper on the side or onto a sponge so their finger isn’t overloaded with paint.  The zealousness of the young child can make the distinct print hard to find and the creation can look rather different than intended… so we finished ours with very fine gold paint finger prints.

finger-painting-close-upSo what are your plans for Mothers Day?  A treasure to mark the passing of time of your littlies can never be over estimated … in the middle of the craziness of motherhood … its beautiful to stop, smile and watch the beauty of our babies.

Happy Mothers Day to all the mums out there…

 

 

Ombre Easter Eggs

Easter is just around the corner…there are chocolates and bunnies everywhere…so here is my final bit of easter inspiration…

ombre dyed egg

The ombre egg!  Now for these to work best you will need to get your egg hunting boots on and find some white eggs…I found this rather tricky and ended up finding mine at the Queen Victoria Market!  How relieved was I!

ombre dyed egg

I gently boiled the eggs and while hot put them into a small chinese cup … big enough to hold the egg upright.  Then after making up a concentration of the dye solution I poured a small amount of the dye into the cup and left the egg for 5 minutes.  I added a bit of water to the dye solution and left for another 5 minutes…repeat until you have 4 or 5 levels of colour…i.e. an ombre egg!

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HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE and I do hope you have enjoyed my little DIY take on Easter this year.

 

Easter Bunny Bunting DIY – How to…

Well that time of year is creeping up on us…with 2 young ones it is so much easier to get into the decorating spirit…so this week…Easter Bunny & Ombre Egg Bunting…

easter bunting

easter bunny bunting

Download the easter bunting template, pick your favourite paint colour chips and start creating.  I totally recommend tracing the design onto an old plastic container lid or cardboard box…this will make it so much easier to trace.  I have designed this template for specific paint chip sizes…the ombre egg was created with the Taubmans paint chips and the easter bunny has been created using British Paints chips. Choose your favourite colours and have fun…its a handmade craft to make you smile…

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Creating this bunting is super easy…the only tricky part was attaching the bunny head to the body…I used sticky tape and a little piece of cardboard to give the head extra support…apart from that, the bunting is such a decent size that it makes a great visual impact …more easter goodies on their way to be shared…

 

Liberty Fabric Easter Eggs

A quick idea for those handmade easter decorating buffs…

Liberty Fabric Easter EggsI used some foam easter eggs shapes and simply covered them with scraps of liberty fabric…a gorgeous sweet stylish easter decorating idea…enjoy xx

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How to Spray Paint your Vases back to Life!

Many a year ago…I got married…and yes I bought all the vases used for the wedding reception…some good…some not so good…so time for a revamp! Handmade gift vase anyone?

spray paint glass vase copper

The hardest part of this DIY was finding the right paint to spray paint glass!  So here is what I used…

glass spray paint copper

I bought both of these paints from Artscene…they have such a great range of colours you will have so much fun choosing!  The beauty of Artscene…I finalised payment one day and they were at my door the next! Now thats service!  Sorry Bunnings…you were no use to me.

For this project you need:

-glass vases…these can be sourced from op shops too
-contact paper to cut shapes from or super good masking tape
-your chosen spray paints (I chose Krylon copper metallic and Liquitex sage green)
-newspaper to protect surfaces

So this super easy project doesn’t require much…but heed my warning…do not use cheap masking tape like I did (sad face)…the paint bled, the tape didn’t stick and I didn’t achieve the sharp lines I was after.  I did however, use the excess surround of some Macaroon Kids stickers that I had to achieve the perfect circles.  You could always cut your circles or triangles from contact paper.  By all means, if you cannot be bothered taping up fancy patterns onto your vase…you can go crazy like I did and just paint the whole thing one colour!  My allover copper vase looks pretty spesh!…NOTE: this can be addictive and I am very close to spraying every vase I own…then moving onto plastic containers…wire baskets…photo frames…

painted-vase-tape

Once you have worked out your design, mark it out on your clean vase.  Now is the fun part!  Take your project outside – with newspaper to protect surfaces – and shake your cans!  Ensure only the areas you want coloured are visible and everything else is covered.  I filled the vases with newspaper to protect the inside of the vase from being coloured too.

painted-vase-spray

Follow directions of your chosen paint and ensure you spray lightly…better to have more coats than to have runs everywhere!

Wait for your new handmade homeware to dry and then…pull that ugly paper away and see your new creation!  How proud are you!  Get yourself some pretty flowers…what a great excuse…and sit back with a cuppa and admire your handiwork…

spray painted copper vaseSo…what will you revamp first?…

 

How to Sew a Softie Lion Toy

So today is softie day! Ever thought about making a softie handmade gift for someone your soft about?  This project is a great starting point and perfect for kids over 8 years too!

DIY Lion Softie

So this cutie is relatively easy…materials you need are:

1. some old woollen clothing…I sourced mine from a local op shop
2. some old buttons…check out op shops for this too
3. fabric for the mane…wool felt is great as it has natural stiffness, leather is optional
4. pins, needles, sewing thread & scissors
5. toy fill for your lion…I use 100% corn fibre from here
6. a copy of the lion softie toy pattern template – try & print this on scrap paper…

Lion Softie toy materials

First cut out your pattern, pin onto your fabric and cut.  ENSURE you cut TWO PAIRS of ears and TWO lion bodies.

lion-pic-2

Next is to prepare your roaring lion mane…I suggest either 2 or 3 layers for the mane…but you can go crazy!  I have chosen 2 main felt layers with scrap bits of leather as the third.  Cut PIECE ONE 35cm x 8cm, PIECE TWO 35cm x 6cm and the optional PIECE THREE 35cm x 4cm…or smaller bits if you desire…I am all about using found scraps…wool could be great here too.

lion-pic-3Next step: MARK 1cm down from the long side of piece 1 and 2 (0.5cm on piece 3)…please use a marker that is REMOVABLE (like chalk) or else you will see the line on the reverse side.  Then cut strips 1cm apart (0.5cm for piece 3)…pin all pieces together onto one side of your lion piece (as above)…then its time to sew…

How to sew a buttonFor this lion I hand stitched the mane on with running stitch…a great starter stitch for novice sewers…if you are producing a special handmade gift for a small child or baby to play with, I would really recommend you machine stitch mane on…we wouldn’t want any issues now would we?  Then simply place the button eyes where you want them and cut a nose.

lion softie how to sew buttons

Now its time to sew those button eyes on … in case you are unsure on how to sew a button…I did a video tutorial to step you through it…I hope you find it useful.  You also need to sew your lions whiskers on and again…another video tutorial for you.  Its so easy hey 🙂

So now your lion is starting to take shape!  Its time to either get on a sewing machine, or get comfy with some hand stitching.  Take ONE PAIR of EAR pieces, right sides together, sew around top curve only and turn out to the right side…do this for the other ear also.  Next pin the ears onto the head (right side of fabric) of your lion -I suggest using the body piece that doesn’t have the mane on it-…face ears downward and stitch into place.

Put both pieces of your lion together…right sides facing and pin together…you will note I use 2 pins in one spot to mark where I need to leave open…we can’t sew him completely closed yet after all.

lion-sew-all-around

Now that your lion is all together…time to turn him out and let him see the world…

lion-all-sewn-up

What stuffing do you like to use?  Choose your favourite and fill your new creation…ensuring you place plenty of stuffing into the hands and feet.

lion-stuffing

Pictured above are just 3 stuffing options…
1.           this is the eco corn fibre stuffing I use for all my baby toys…no chemicals in this baby so very safe…also has a firmer/stiffer feel than other types & gives a good weight to your toys
2.           this stuffing is a curly poly stuffing which has a heavier feel…this will give your lion a very weighty, dense feel…
3.           this stuffing is the toy fill you can get at Spotlight etc…it is the lightest of all and the cheapest.  This will give your handmade gift a spongy lightweight feel.

All that is left is to carefully stitch up this lions side and your all done!  A new friend has now joined your family and is ready for play and fun!  What a beautiful handmade gift you can pass on with pride.  Please please please send me any pics of your creations to funbegins@macaroonkids.com as I would love to see what clever variations you will create.

DIY Lion Softie Toy

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE comments, so please feel free to let me know what you think of the above DIY…

10 Best Kids Crafts Blogs – going handmade

I keep mentioning a few kids crafting blogs over and over and thought maybe I should put all my favourites in one place for easy reference.

O.n.e                              I have a new blog crush!  I am completely in love with Mer Mag!  Its all well and good for kids to create their ‘crafts’ but when you can encourage their creativity into the direction of new stylish ‘decorations’ that look fantastic displayed proudly in the home…well … I’m SOLD! Merrilee is a very talented mum of 2 littlies and frankly, I am completely jealous of her effortless style…check it out and be prepared to be inspired!

TrapezeDollForPLAYFULBookMerMagNIcoleGerulat-300x400

T.w.o                            Recently I discovered Bloesem on Facebook and Instagram and again I am completely in love with their style.  Irene, the founder of this blog, is Dutch and her sleek modern style, along with that of her contributors, really shines through.  I love discovering so many new great kids products through following this blog as well as being inspired to create items with a new twist!

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T.h.r.e.e                        Being a part of this modern world, means we get to ‘taste’ so many cultures from the comfort of our lounge!  While I would love to be roaming the world…this will have to do for now…El Hada De Papel is trilingual…English, Spanish and German (in case you need to brush up on these languages)…Hannah, Noah and Hilke are the writers of this blog and as their title says ‘you (will) find ideas and suggestions for crafting with kids…of different ages’…thoroughly charming…need I say more?

lechuza-manualidad-niños-rollo-papel-hygionico

F.o.u.r                         The graphic designer/mum behind this blog has a sweet ideas to keep little hands busy…Molly Moo has some ideas I want to try myself…kid free

F.i.v.e                         I have referenced this blog recently…I just love Handmade Charlotte!  Every day she posts something either crafty or informative, relevant to busy mums…and its a great ‘go to’ when you want something to keep small fingers busy for 5 minutes.  Rachel is a mother to five children! Yes 5! As well as being a designer and writer of this blog!  She truly puts the busy into busy mum!

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S.i.x                         There is a team of contributors at Classic Play who continually produce easy crafts to do with your kids…I like being reminded that the simple things entertain the children more than the complicated ones.

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S.e.v.e.n                My son ADORES Mister Maker…so here is the website to give your little one loads of entertainment.

E.i.g.h.t                 I have also referenced Made by Joel in previous blog posts…I love seeing what this father comes up with for his little ones…they are our inspiration after all.

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N.i.n.e                  LMNOP is an Australian blog all about its title…love make nurture organise play… doing the homework for you, you can find great Australian designers’ work…all child related…all in one place…below is a pic from Pip Lincolne’s (of meet me at mikes fame) book…

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T.e.n                    If you are after printables for either children or adults…Eat Drink Chic has all the links needed to creatively inspire!

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Enough yet?  Just one more link of another Australian site…for the adult crafter…Craft Hunter! Get your craft on tout suite!

How to create hand painted XO cushions – without zip

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I am loving the current graphic ‘alphabet’ trend and what better combo of letters than the loving XO!  These instructions will work for any letter (like the initial of your childs name perhaps?) or any shape (a heart or cloud … Continue reading