Hey ! Hey!  Don’t yell at me. I didn’t come up with the book week parade, but I might be able to help yours be more joyful.

I have looked around and found a few interesting ideas.


Guinevere’s Gown by Laura Tolton.


  • Susan and Lucy…. Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
  • Ancient Greek and Roman characters …… from the horrible history books….or any history or historical fiction book.
  • A witch….. The Witches by Dahl.

Animal costume by Studiotoutpetit.


  • cats and dogs
  • mice….. 7 year old is thinking of going as Reepicheep from The Voyage of the Dawntreader by C. S. Lewis…. so I might adapt this one.
Another easy idea....from Pinterest ....and compfortable too.

Another easy idea….from Pinterest ….and comfortable too.


  • Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl
  • Little Red Riding Hood’s Fox

I have collated a bunch of ideas on my costumes pinterest board here if you need other inspiration.

Some of the the book-club girls and some ring-in's at the school fundraiser.

Some of the the book-club girls and some ring-in’s at the school fundraiser.

Last night we dressed up for a school fundraiser. It was trivia with a roaring 20’s theme. Can’t let the kids have all the dress-up fun.

A fabulous night! Thanks girls.

Easter Hat Inspiration

March 25, 2013


The fascinator hat. Image from David Jenkins Photography.

Lots of Easter Hat Parades coming up this week.

Here’s some inspiration…..

…. this year I thought, the wackier the better.


Bunny ears?. Image from Model Dash.


Death by Chocolate Fascinator. Source: Hats by Cressida.


I can imagine this made in paper. Photo from Model dash.

LFW SS2013: Philip Treacy Catwalk

Philip Treacy Catwalk Hat. Photo from The Frisky.


The wire bow. Source: ArturosRios via etsy.


Lara stone at ascot. Image from Grazidaily.

A fabulous paper number. Source: Add Funny

A fabulous paper number. Source: Add Funny


Great last minute idea!! The bread hat. Image from Million Looks.

Can’t see anything you like?

Maybe there will be something on my pinterest board for you.

Oh, I bet you thought this was never coming!
You can find the first half of the giant list of fete and fair tutorials and printables here, along with the criteria I used to decide on what was included and what I left out.
If you still want more ideas you can see some past items we have made (although not all have accompanying tutorials)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  1. The Scrapbooking Jar by Crate Paper Blog
  2.  Chalkboard Serving Platter by Wit and Whistle.
  3. Knitted Snake by Purl Bee 
  4.  Paper Fortune Cookies by design wash rinse repeat.
  5.  Pebble Mat by Junk Hippie 
  6.  Clay bird ornament by JessicaJane Handmade.
  7.  Owl cushion by button bird designs.
  8.  Pillowcase shopping bag by Grow Mama.
  9.  Mouse Ornaments by Family Fun 
  10. Crocheted Washcloths by Purl Bee 
  11. Monster Bags by harrysdesk 
  12.  Pram cards by The Pleated Poppy
  13.  Salt dough Christmas Ornaments by Oleander and Palm 
  14. Rice filled heating Owls for children by Just another Hang Up.
  15.  Beaded Heart Wand by First Palette
  16. Circle Zip Earbud Pouch by dog under my desk
  17.  Tea Bag gift Tag by The Studio Of Mae.
  18. Cardboard Horses by Design Sponge
  19. Mooshy Belly Bunny by Chez Beeper Bebe 
  20. Felt Crowns by hellobee
  21. Easy Drawstring Bag by Purl Bee 
  22. Recycled Book Bird Decoration by Under the Table and Dreaming
  23. Present Cards by Craft and Creativity
  24. Babies Triange Dress by Purl Bee 
  25. Monster Slime by all things simple 
  26. DIY ice cream sundae box by family bits.
  27. Monster bibs by stubbornly crafty.
  28. Cloud and rain mobile by dailylike recipe?
  29. Bunting by the yvestown blog.
  30. Lunchsacks by All people quilt.

Enjoy….and let me know if you think you might make anything.

Book Week 2012.

August 25, 2012

9 year old as a suffragette, complete with banner and fliers.

6 year old as Gretel from “The sound of music”

My story series. Suffragette by Carole Drinkwater


The Sound of Music by Bert Fink.

9 year old took a bold turn this book week parade and decided to be a suffragette. It lead to lots of discussion in our house…. which was helpful and an education for us all. I was totally unaware of the lengths women and men went to for equality on this issue. And while I am here, I will give this series of books a plug. Our 12 year old started reading other books from this history fiction series when she was about 10 and enjoyed them immensely. They cover royal history, some ancient history and more recently modern history. This months scholastic bookclub (which I usually groan when it gets pulled from school bags) has a great deal on these books. 22 books for $88 dollars. Brilliant!

6 year old, after much discussion, decided on Gretel Von Trapp from The Sound of Music…… and yes! it is a book. Her costume came via the grandparents. A fabulous authentic Austrian dress, and a few other bits from their amazing dress-up box. Thanks guys.

I hardly made a thing!

Hope you enjoyed your book week as much as we did.

I couldn’t resist putting this one in. Gretel, Polly ( from The Magicians Nephew by C.S. Lewis) and Emily.


Hatshesup costume  from last year.

It is my habit to only make one costume a year for book week and for all the rest to come from our dress-up box…. or someone else’s.

This keeps the cost and stress down, and helps the kids get creative about which character they want to be.

Last year it was the  11 year old (now 12) who got a special costume made.

I though, just in time for this year I would share a tutorial of how I made the bib.

If you want to create one and don’t sew, you can follow the along, but just use cardboard as the base and instead of stitching the finishes on, use glue. If you do it this way there is no need for lining or binding and would be much less time consuming.

So with no further chatter……..

The Pharaoh Bib Tutorial

What you will need

  • Cardboard or paper to make pattern
  • base fabric ( I used blue velvet) a rich colour is best
  • lining fabric (I used gold satin)
  • bias binding (again gold)
  • Iron-on stiff interfacing
  • Large gold sequins
  • Gold wool
  • Gold thread
  • Gold fabric paint tube
  • Contrasting fabric to reverse applique (I used a gold silk)
  • pencil, scissors, sewing machine and thread.

How to do it.

The pattern 

1. Start with a rectangle approx 42cm x 18cm

2. Using the measurements given create this shape (It is half of the bib…. doing it this way means you get a symmetrical result) Click on the image to enlarge.

3. Folding your base fabric in half and placing the fold on the edge marked “place on the fold” cut the basic shape.

4. Cut another of these pattern pieces in the same way for both your lining and interfacing. You should now have 3 different coloured fabrics (base, lining and interfacing) all the same shape.

5. Back on your pattern piece sketch out an idea of how you will lay on your ‘design’. Egyptian patterns are very repetitive and tend to follow the shape of the item. Start about 1.5cm in from the edge (this is where your bias will be sewn) and create a design that works towards the centre. Make sure you leave some of your background fabric to show through.

6. Put your lining to one side and just work with your base cloth (blue) and your interfacing now.

Iron the interfacing to your base cloth (wrong side of base fabric to shiny side of interfacing) using a dry iron.


7. Transfer your design onto the interfacing.

8. Sew your sequins and stitching on in the design you have chosen. (glue if you like it will be much quicker)

9. Place your other gold fabric behind the area you want to reverse applique ( have it show through) Sew, with a machine, the shape you have designed from the right side of your bib. Do this to both sides of your bib to keep it symmetrical.

10. On the decorated side of your bib lift the base fabric away from the gold fabric you have just sewn on. Carefully cut away the base fabric very close to your machine stitching.

It should look like this…..
Now do the other side.

11. Paint your reverse appliqued sections and allow to dry.

12. With right sides together lay your lining onto your bib. Stitch the straight edge with 1cm seam allowance.

13. Turn bib so that the wrong sides are together. Give it a really good press with the iron. Be careful of the sequins as they can melt! Best to iron from the lining side.

Pin lining and base bib together at neck edge and outside edge.

14. Machine your bias binding around the outside edge. Do the same with the neck edge leaving 15-20cm at the beginning and end of the neck edge. This will be your tie to secure it around the neck. Fold over to encase the cut edges (trim if you need to)  and pin.

15. Using slip stitch, hand sew the bias binding down on the lining side. Tie a knot in the neck edge bias strings to secure.

16. Now, if my directions are clear, you will have your own unique version of this.

To complete the costume use the fabric and decorations you have left over to make a headband and armbands. Strips which velcro together. Wear over a long thin white dress (or a white sheet worn in a cylinder shape) with a straight black wig and go nuts with the eye make-up.

Time to “Walk like an Egyptian”

Let me know how you go. I’d love to see your creations.


The deceptively simple easter egg flower hat/fascinator for 8 year old.

From the other side.

You can see our inspiration here.

Both hats cost less than $8.

Mummy was really happy with the outcome, and the girls had a great time.

It’s something of a spectacle to see 730+ kids, plus a good number of teachers, getting creative.

Magical rabbit in the hat. Designed by 5 year old. Made with lots of help from 13 year old.

Easter Hat parade.

April 7, 2011

Strike a pose...

News Flash …. The Easter Hat Parade has nothing to do with Jesus!

This has always annoyed me, but it turns out  historically …. it really doesn’t.

It’s more to do with fashion and spring.

This year, we ran with it…..

More like a fascinator than a hat or bonnet..... but once you get to year 6 the sillier the better.

Origami crane with hanging bilbys. Thank you 12 year old for your origami skills!

4 year old just got in the act. A simple rock star hat.


Starting with the basic upcycled cape.... see yesterday's tutorial. Upcycled cape tutorial

Please excuse the bad photo! 1. Trim the overlocking from the sleeves we cut off the robe yesterday.


2. With one sleeve fold in half with hem edges together and press.

3. Open the sleeve back up and mark with a pin. Preferably a straight one!


4. Find the centre back of the robe neckline, and line up the centres. Just tuck the sleeve piece behind the finished neck edge of the cape.


5. Pin (top and bottom edge) all the way around the neck edge lining up the hem of the sleeve piece and the inside edge of the cape.


6. Put cape on anyone who won't run away, and using pins, shape the sleeve piece to the desired collar shape. From now on I will call this piece a collar.


7. Check to see that you are happy with the shape, and get it roughly the same on both sides. Don't over panic this step as we will even it up later. It is best if the collar doesn't extend past the ties.


8. Take cape off. Unpin collar from cape.


9. Take out pins and replace them, one-at-a-time, along the edge of the shape you want. Just do this for half of the collar.


10. Keeping the centre of the top and bottom collar marked, flatted collar back out, and check the shape again.


11. Keeping the unpinned edges together, fold in half at centre pins. Pin through both layers of fabric and cut. Remember to add seam allowance. About 1cm is good.


12. Take out all the pins and lay flat. Get the other sleeve, put right sides of the sleeves/collar together and cut a second shape from the other sleeve exactly the same shape.


12. Pin sleeves together. If you are using slippery fabric like I did, your edges may not exactly match.... Just trim them so they are the same.


13. Pin all around the collar leaving the hemmed edge unpinned. You should still have a pin marking the centre back. Leave this in. You will need it later.


13a (optional) I added a little strip of felt to the inside of the back collar to give it some body. If you wanted a very stiff collar this would be the time to add very stiff interfacing the same shape as the collar, or boning strips at about 5 regular intervals along the collar.



14. Sew around the pinned edge of the collar (and through the felt if you used it. Leave hemmed edge open.


15. Clip across the corners of the collar, being very careful not to cut your stitching.


15. Turn the collar to the right side (the side you want to see). Use closed scissors to gently push out the corners.


16. It should now look something like this. Give it a good press.


16a( optional) Remove pins from the inside holding down the felt.


16b. (optional) Stitch through all layers of the collar to secure the felt.


17. Put the collar on. Pin the hemmed edge flat underneath the finished collar edge. (You are going to have a slightly unfinished edge on the inside... but girls!... it's a costume) Make sure it is in the middle.


18. Stitch through all layers about 2mm from the seam on the cape.


18. Presto! An upcycled collared cape.


My poor model was home sick from school the day I made this tutorial and took all the photos. She is normally very cheery! Thanks 10 year old.

*Please note: This cape/cloak is made for the stage and for older children. If you are making this as a dress-up for toddlers the tie at the neck may result in choking when playing around the house and on play equipment. I guess that’s why in ‘The Incredibles’ the designer says “NO CAPES”

1. Start with a basic bath robe. The length of the robe will be the finished length of your cape.


2. If your robe has ties and loops, snip them off as close as you can to the stitching that attaches them, without cutting the robe. Don't throw these away... we will need them soon.



3. Put the robe over the shoulders of your superhero/king/emo inside out. Don't put your arms in the sleeves but leave them to fall from the shoulder of the robe. 4. Pin along your caped-crusaders shoulder line making sure all the sleeve fabric is on the outside of the pinning line.



4. Pin the ties about 15cm (6") down the front opening on either side.


6. From where your pins start, sew a smooth line along the pinning line that goes over the shoulders. Move the pins so that you don't sew over them.


Keep going until you reach the already sewn shoulder line and smoothly join your line in.


7. Cut off the fabric (including sleeves) to form the new shoulder line for your cape.


8. Sew your ties to the front as positioned.


9. Turn the cape (not a robe anymore!) to the right side, iron along shoulder seams and now they are ready to save the world.... or rule the world... or cause unknown pain to all who thwart their evil plans!

Your cape is ready to wear….

But wait…. there’s more!

Stay tuned for the more upcycling adventures in ‘Robe-to-Cape’

Soon…. For cape to collared cape

After that…. For detailing your cape.

*Please note: This cape/cloak is made for the stage and for older children. If you are making this as a dress-up for toddlers the tie at the neck may result in choking when playing around the house and on play equipment. I guess that’s why in ‘The Incredibles’ the designer says “NO CAPES”