Easter Hats

Two months ago, we sold our house in Syd­ney and moved to a semi-country area called the Blue Moun­tains. We love it here. The air is fresh and clean. The traf­fic is non-existent. Our new house in a bushy area is incred­i­bly peace­ful. But the move meant our kids would attend a new school — a pub­lic school. Hav­ing only expe­ri­enced Steiner schools before, the new school has been as much a cul­ture shock to me as to the kids.

For one, this school has a lot of events — and I mean a lot. Every week there is some­thing new. Crazy hair day, cake stand sales, snake edu­ca­tion (yes there are snakes around here), excur­sions, and Har­mony Day dress-up. It’s hard to keep up, and I admit, I’ve failed to pre­pare the kids for a few of these events, much to their dis­may and embarrassment.

So when the school sent us a note that we needed to “make” spe­cial hats for our kids for the Easter Parade (and oh by the way, could you also con­tribute cakes for the cake stand?), I saw this as an oppor­tu­nity to redeem myself as a Com­mit­ted Parent.

I con­sulted my chil­dren about the designs of their Eater hats. My 5-year-old son imme­di­ately requested a “pirate bunny” hat. My 7-year-old daugh­ter didn’t have any ideas. So I thought I’d make her some­thing bright and rainbow-y, because she likes rain­bows. I got this Japan­ese hat-making book out (“Oshabe­rina Boshi” — or “Chatty Hats” by Yumiko Itoyama), and got to work.

Japanese hat-making book - Oshaberina Boshii

For the pirate hat, I mod­i­fied this brim­less hat pattern.

Japanese hat-making book - Oshaberina Boshii

I used black can­vas for the hat, and dark blue can­vas for the lin­ing. I mod­i­fied the pat­tern to make the sides wider, to make it resem­ble a pirate hat. Then I painted a skull-and-swords pirate sym­bol on a piece of fab­ric (yes you can laugh at my fee­ble attempt)…

pirate bunny Easter hat in progress

…and attached it onto the fin­ished hat with fusible web. Lastly I made a tiny eye-patch for a store-bought bunny doll, and pinned it to the hat. Finished!

pirate bunny Easter hat finished

For my daughter’s rain­bow hat, I decided on this tulip hat pattern.

Japanese craft book Oshaberina Boshi tulip hat

I used six dif­fer­ent Kona cot­ton col­ors in pas­tel shades.

tulip rainbow hat in progress

Then I pinned some store-bought pas­tel eggs at the top for the fin­ish­ing touch.  

Rainbow Easter hat finished

I was very pleased how these hats came out. And the kids seemed happy as well!

 

 

pirate bunny and rainbow Easter hats

I didn’t for­get to make car­rot cup­cakes for the cake stand, either. 

Carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing

The Easter Parade was so much fun to watch. It wasn’t quite what I expected though, because other kids had truly crazy and bright-colored hats, which looked like they were made by the kids, not the par­ents. The black pirate hat espe­cially looked demure and tame among the ocean of colors.…

School easter hat parade

But it doesn’t mat­ter! Because for once I felt like a Com­mit­ted Par­ent on top of a school event. And my kids were happy to wear the hats I made, sing happy Easter songs with their class­mates, and eat yummy cakes for lunch — though maybe not nec­es­sar­ily in that order.

I hope you all had a happy Easter weekend!

Polar Bear Tote Bags

I love the new polar bear fab­ric by Mico Ogura. The bears in pants and scarves are super adorable, and the print comes in beau­ti­ful shades of blue, pink, and yel­low. Aren’t they great? These are insu­lated snack sleeves, by the way.

Polar bear insulated snack sleeves by Piggledee

But my favorite color is grey. So when a client asked me to make not one but two tote bags in this grey polar bear fab­ric, I knew they would turn out pretty special.

Grey polar bear tote bag by Piggledee

Grey polar bear tote bag by Piggledee

This is tote bag num­ber one: It is a sim­ple gus­seted tote bag, but very large in size.

Grey polar bear tote bag by Piggledee - zipper viewGrey polar bear tote bag by Piggledee - pockets

The bag has a recessed zip­per clo­sure at the top. There are two inside pock­ets: an exposed zip­per pocket, and a patch pocket. I love how the bear heads are lin­ing up at the zip­per side and on the handles!

Polar bear tote bag by Piggledee - bottom view

Here’s what the gus­seted bot­tom looks like. 

And here’s tote bag num­ber two!

Bucket tote bag in grey polar bear by Piggledee
Bucket tote bag in grey polar bear by Piggledee

It’s smaller than the first one, and great for every­day use as a handbag.

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It has an oval bot­tom like my bucket dia­per bags.

Bucket tote bag in grey polar bear by Piggledee - inside view

There are two patch pock­ets inside, and a cara­biner tab on the side.

I hope these polar bears will bring my client lots of smiles!

 

Liberty Oilcloth iPhone Case

I have made quite a few phone cases in the past, but I am quite excited about this one I just made.

Liberty of London iphone pouch

The Lib­erty of Lon­don oil­cloth is beau­ti­ful of course. But what I love is that this case is just the right size for my iPhone 5, and noth­ing else. It had to have a flap clo­sure for the per­fect siz­ing — a zip­pered pouch will always be a lit­tle too big, to com­pen­sate for the nar­rower zip­per open­ing. This flap closes with a small mag­netic button. 

Liberty of London iphone pouch

I devel­oped this case for a cus­tomer actu­ally. She wanted a phone case of this exact dimen­sion, in a dif­fer­ent Lib­erty fab­ric. So this blue case was one of the trial ver­sions I made. But it so hap­pened that I needed a new phone case for myself, too, so lucky me, I get to keep this trial version!

Liberty of London iphone pouch

I added a sim­ple strap for this case, so I can wear my phone case cross-bodied. Here’s a con­fes­sion: I’m one of those sad peo­ple who are glued to their phones. I tend to mis­place my phone all the time though, in my own house, espe­cially when my clothes don’t have a pocket. With this phone case, I can wear the phone on me all the time.

Plus, because the oil­cloth fab­ric is water­proof, I can now enjoy my daily walks even in the rain, know­ing my phone will not get wet. Hooray!

Liberty of London iphone pouch

Extra-Large Insulated Lunch Bags

Ever since I started mak­ing insu­lated lunch bags, cus­tomers have been request­ing that I make them in a larger size. I hon­estly don’t know why it took me nearly two years, but I finally made one today. Just in time for another hot Aus­tralian summer!

Extra-Large Insulated Lunch Bag (Stripe) by Piggledee

I love this big size. It’s only two inches wider and two inches taller, but the dif­fer­ence in capac­ity is pretty sig­nif­i­cant. Just look at this com­par­i­son photo.

Extra-Large Insulated Lunch Bag (Stripe) by Piggledee - Size comparison

The bag looks so roomy inside, I can fit lunch for my whole fam­ily in it. If you are using the bag just for your­self, there is enough room for your morn­ing tea, lunch, after­noon tea, a water bot­tle — plus a cou­ple of ice blocks to keep every­thing cool for a few hours. 

Extra-Large Insulated Lunch Bag (Stripe) by Piggledee

 

Even at this large size, doesn’t the bag still look cute? I love this black and white stripe fabric.

Extra-Large Insulated Lunch Bag (Stripe) by Piggledee

Extra-Large Insulated Lunch Bag (Stripe) by Piggledee

This extra-large lunch bag is avail­able now in my shop. There’ll be more fab­ric choices in the future, but if you con­tact me, I’d be happy to make a cus­tom lunch bag in your choice of fabric.

 

 

Cocktail Napkins

I have been mean­ing to make servi­ettes for my shop for the longest time. We use cloth nap­kins at nearly every meal­time, and they are incred­i­bly ver­sa­tile. The only rea­son I waited this long to make them for my shop was that they are bor­ing to make. I mean, they are just… square cloths. And fold­ing the four sides with a hot iron (before sewing them) isn’t the most fun job.

Piggledee cocktail napkin (organic leaf)

But last night I had a sud­den inspi­ra­tion. I can skip the iron­ing part! Instead of iron­ing all the folded edges first, I gen­tly rolled the hems with my fin­ger­tips as I sewed them. This tech­nique took a bit to get used to, but once I got the hang of it I was thrilled with the result. The hems are nar­row, clean, rea­son­ably straight, and best of all I didn’t have to burn my fin­gers with a hot iron. 

Piggledee cocktail napkin (organic trees)

As a bonus, I found this napkin-making process relax­ing. The sim­ple motions were ther­a­peu­tic instead of bor­ing, and I loved that I could sew while lis­ten­ing to my favorite pod­casts (This Amer­i­can Life and The Longest Short­est Time). It was a lit­tle addic­tive actually.

Piggledee cocktail napkins (stripe)

These nap­kins are about 7″ square (18cm). Great for enter­tain­ing, every­day meal­time, or for pack­ing in the kids’ lunch boxes. They also dou­ble as a reusable wipe for clean­ing your lit­tle ones’ faces. You can also use them as mini place­mats to brighten up a snack time.

Piggledee cocktail napkin (organic trees)

Isn’t this tree fab­ric adorable? It’s 100% organic cot­ton. But my favorite might be the stripy one — the cot­ton linen fab­ric has a nice linen feel, and the yarn-dyed stripe pat­tern means you can see the stripe just as clearly on the back side as well. Then again I love these tulip organic cot­ton ones, too… Just adorable! All these cock­tail nap­kins are now avail­able at my shop

 

Piggledee cocktail napkin (organic tulip)

 

EpiPen Case

I have recently launched my new prod­uct range — EpiPen cases for chil­dren and grownups. Over the years, peo­ple have asked me to make EpiPen cases, because they couldn’t find any com­mer­cial ones that are pretty. It took a while for me to come up with them, but here they are!

epipen pouches by piggledee (elephants)

These are the ones for chil­dren. Aren’t the mini ele­phants adorable? I love this sturdy, lam­i­nated cot­ton from Japan that is water­proof and stain-resistant. The matt fin­ish of the vinyl coat­ing is gor­geous. The mate­r­ial feels solid and smooth in your hands.

Epipen case by Piggledee (blue elephant)

epipen pouches by piggledee (green elephant)

I used rip­stop nylon for the bag lin­ing. The pouch is not machine wash­able, but it’s easy to wipe it clean, inside or out, with a soapy damp cloth. The pouch has a layer of padding inside to pro­tect the EpiPens — it feels nice and cushy.

epipen pouches by piggledee (grey elephant)

Each pouch comes with a spe­cial med­ical ID card. Amy from Glo­ri­ousmess!, who is an amaz­ing designer and a med­ical doc­tor, cus­tom designed these for me.  I par­tic­u­larly love the “Dr. Piggy” ver­sion for chil­dren — so cute! For grownups, Amy designed one with a red cross. The cards are printed on thick, high-quality paper to keep inside the pouch with your med­ical devices.

Epipen case by Piggledee (green elephant)

The pouch comes with a D ring tab on each side, and one cara­biner tab. With a cara­biner, you can attach the pouch securely to a hand­bag or school bag, so you can eas­ily find it in case of an emergency.

Epipen case by Piggledee (pink elephant)

Epipen case by Piggledee (elephant straps)

I also made an optional, adjustable strap for wear­ing cross-bodied — in case of school out­ings, for exam­ple. You can remove the strap and keep it inside the pouch when not wear­ing it.

Here are my lit­tle mod­els test­ing the pouches with the shoul­der straps.

Epipen case by Piggledee (model shots)

Epipen case by Piggledee (model shots)

I couldn’t have designed these pouches with­out the help of kind friends who tested them and gave me feed­back. I don’t own any Epipens myself (except for the smaller, trainer ones I use for tak­ing pho­tos) or have any expe­ri­ence with ana­phy­laxis, so their feed­back was cru­cial. So thank you, Tanya and Sam! Based on their rec­om­men­da­tions, I made the pouches large enough for two EpiPens and a small bot­tle of antihistamine. 

For older chil­dren and grownups who might find the ele­phants too child­ish, I love these clas­sic stripes and polka dots.

Epipen case by Piggledee (stripes and dots)

Epipen case by Piggledee (stripes and dots)Epipen case by Piggledee (stripes and dots)

Epipen case by Piggledee (polka dots)

And for the ulti­mate in pret­ti­ness, I made these Lib­erty of Lon­don pouches with their lam­i­nated cot­ton fabrics. 

Epipen case by Piggledee (Liberty of London)

Epipen case by Piggledee (Liberty of London)

Epipen case by Piggledee (Liberty of London)

These pouches are great for lots of other uses as well. I’ve been using mine to carry blood glu­cose test­ing devices, and a set of med­ica­tion tablets. It hap­pens to be just the right size for it, and I love that I can keep it in my hand­bag with­out get­ting it all dirty.

Piggledee epipen cases (Liberty of London)

These med­ical pouches are all hand­made with love from start to fin­ish. They are now avail­able at my shop.

 

 

Mini Coin Purse

I can’t tell you how much I appre­ci­ate all the sup­port and com­ments on my Face­book page. There is noth­ing more grat­i­fy­ing than com­ing up with a new cre­ation in the morn­ing, shar­ing it on Face­book, and get­ting imme­di­ate feed­back from my cus­tomers. Like yes­ter­day, when I shared this photo of a mini coin purse.

Liberty of London Mirabelle coin purse by Piggledee

I made the coin purse with Lib­erty of Lon­don lam­i­nated print called Mirabelle. Nor­mally I wouldn’t use white fab­ric for a coin purse, because it’ll get dirty very quickly. But that’s the magic of lam­i­nated fab­rics — they are super stain resistant!

The pat­tern is my own. I made sim­i­lar coin purses a cou­ple of years ago, and just mod­i­fied that pat­tern. The ones I made before had sep­a­rate com­part­ments for coins and cards, and were more com­pli­cated to make.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Original coin purse by Piggledee

 

This time, there is just one com­part­ment for coins and folded notes. But sim­ple is good, accord­ing to your com­ments. Because school chil­dren only need to carry a bit of change.

Encour­aged by the pos­i­tive feed­back I received, I made four more of these coin purses that very afternoon.

Liberty mini coin purses by Piggledee

I took their pho­tos imme­di­ately after­wards, and by the evening, the coin purses were added to the auc­tion album. These all fea­ture lam­i­nated prints and nylon lin­ing — all Lib­erty of Lon­don prints except the ele­phant one. Don’t they look so cute together?

Laminated Liberty mini coin purse by Piggledee

Green elephant mini coin purse by Piggledee

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(More pho­tos)

Open­ing and clos­ing a zip­per can be fid­dly for lit­tle ones. But with the key ring tab on one side of the zip­per and my Pig­gledee tag on the other, it should be much eas­ier. I attached a key ring and a swivel clip, so you can secure the coin purse to a hand­bag or a school bag. You can also attach it to your key chain, and that might be all you need for a quick trip to the shops.

I have five of these mini coin purses in the auc­tion album. Please check it out if you are interested!

 

Rainy Day Shoulder Bags

I’ve been a lit­tle obsessed with lam­i­nated fab­ric lately. Par­tic­u­larly those matt ones that are more sub­tle look­ing. From a dis­tance, you won’t know that these fab­rics are vinyl-coated — they look like nor­mal cot­ton fab­ric. Even up close, it’s hard to tell some­times. My favorite is the Lib­erty of Lon­don lam­i­nated fabrics.

Liberty of London laminated fabric

These are the most beau­ti­ful lam­i­nated fab­rics I have ever seen. In addi­tion to the gor­geous Lib­erty prints to begin with, the lam­i­nated ones have great stur­di­ness, mak­ing it suit­able for bags of all sorts. It feels amaz­ing to touch — smooth and reas­sur­ingly solid, and it doesn’t have any icky syn­thetic feel. As a bonus, the mate­r­ial is water­proof and stain resistant.

The only draw­back is that these Lib­erty fab­rics are super pricey! This is why I had only made small things with it so far — like phone pouches with a wrist­let, makeup pouches, and pen­cil cases. 

Liberty of London pouches by Piggledee

Top left: rainy day mini wrist­let pouch / top right: tri­an­gle pen­cil cases / bot­tom left: flat makeup cases / bot­tom right: makeup pouches with a flat bottom.

But today, I made some­thing a lit­tle bit big­ger — cross-body shoul­der bags! These bags are twice as large as my pen­cil cases, and has a sim­ple zip­per clo­sure at the top. It’s a nice roomy size for a small wal­let, phone, keys, makeup, and a few other essentials. 

Rainy Day Shoulder Bag by Piggledee

Rainy Day Shoulder Bag by Piggledee detail view

Isn’t this blueberry-like print gor­geous? The strap is long enough for a small to medium-sized woman to wear cross-bodied, or hang from one shoul­der.

Liberty Rainy Day Shoulder Bag by Piggledee

 

 

You can remove the strap if you like, and use the bag as an orga­nizer pouch instead. 

Liberty Capel Rainy Day Shoulder Bag by Piggledee

 

This print called “Capel” is one of my all-time Lib­erty favorites. And black goes with everything.

I used water­proof nylon taffeta for the lin­ing. Hav­ing water­proof mate­r­ial for the out­side and inside makes these bags pretty handy for rainy days. There is also a layer of quilt wadding inside for added cushi­ness and softness.

Rainy Day Shoulder Bag by Piggledee

Here’s another rainy day bag using lam­i­nated fab­ric — though not Liberty.

Rainy Day Shoulder Bag by Piggledee

I love this zebra-like bag.

Rainy Day Shoulder Bag by Piggledee detail view

There is a tiny gus­set at the bot­tom — just to give some three-dimensional shape to the bag.

These rainy bags will be avail­able at my Face­book auc­tion, which is going on right now. Please come over and say hello

 

 

 

Snack Sleeve

I’ve been hav­ing so much fun mak­ing things for the Face­book auc­tion mar­ket. There is some­thing about cre­at­ing for a spe­cific audi­ence — my lovely Face­book friends and sup­port­ers — that is par­tic­u­larly moti­vat­ing and excit­ing. I love com­ing up with prod­ucts I think they’d appre­ci­ate. Like these insu­lated snack sleeves.

Snack sleeve by Piggledee - green cats OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sev­eral peo­ple in the past have sug­gested that I make either smaller insu­lated lunch bags, or insu­lated ver­sion of snack bags. So I made some­thing that’s in between the two - it’s a very ver­sa­tile size!

Piggledee snack sleeve inside view

These snack sleeves are a lit­tle big­ger than a typ­i­cal sand­wich bag, and has a flat bot­tom. It’s a per­fect size for a tab of yoghurt and a piece of fruit, OR a small­ish con­tainer of lunch or snack. I rec­om­mend using a mini-sized reusable ice pack to keep the con­tent nice and cool.

Piggledee snack sleeve inside view

This round con­tainer with a blue lid is from Ikea — the shal­low one, not the deep one. I love these, and use them all the time for our kids’ school lunch box. The snack sleeve also fits other types of small con­tain­ers. Fill it with cheese sticks, yoghurt, slices of cake, choco­late… or any other snacks that are best served cold. The ice pack and the insu­la­tion mate­r­ial should keep the con­tent cool for a few hours.

I used a layer of Insul Bright inside for the insu­la­tion effect. The lin­ing is PUL, using the non-coated side on the out­side. I used PUL just because I was run­ning out of coated nylon, but I do like the soft hand of PUL — with the non-coated side fac­ing, it almost feels like nor­mal cot­ton fab­ric, but with water-resistant effect. Even though the non-coated side is sup­pos­edly safer with food, as opposed to the coated side, I’d still avoid putting food directly in con­tact with the lin­ing. It’s safer to use a con­tainer or a wrap around food, before stor­ing it in the snack sleeve. 

Here are some of the cute fab­rics I used for children.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Piggledee snack sleeves for children

And for grownups, or for older chil­dren, isn’t this mush­room fab­ric lovely? 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Piggledee snack sleeves with mushroom fabric

I hope to see you at the auc­tion! You can visit my auc­tion album here.

 

 

Everyday Tote Bag

I have been want­ing a new tote bag for a while. You’d think I have plenty of bags to choose from by now — but I didn’t. I have sev­eral bucket nappy bags, a back­pack con­vert­ible bag, a beach tote bag… and they are all won­der­ful for fam­ily out­ings. But they are all too big for every­day use. What I needed was a bag small enough for my wal­let, phone, keys, small snacks… and my beloved iPad. That’s it. 

Black cat tote bag by piggledee

So this is the lit­tle black bag I whipped up this morn­ing. I used a very sturdy cot­ton can­vas fab­ric my mother found in Japan a cou­ple of years ago. I love the cute-but-not-too-childish print of cats, yarn, apples, and other whim­si­cal drawings.

Black cat tote bag by piggledee detail view

I like sturdy bags, so I used black can­vas for the lin­ing, for­ti­fied with inter­fac­ing.  There is a lit­tle patch pocket inside for my phone.  I also installed a cara­biner tab on the side for my keys. These tabs are so handy — because there is noth­ing more frus­trat­ing than hav­ing to fish for your keys in your bag when you are in a hurry.

Black cat tote bag by piggledee inside view

The han­dles are heavy-duty cot­ton web­bing in black.  All this black­ness means I won’t have to wash this bag for a long time! Plus black goes with every­thing — espe­cially in win­ter. The han­dles are long enough for me to carry the bag from my shoulder. 

Black cat tote bag by piggledee bottom view

The bag has a nar­row flat bottom.

Black cat tote bag by piggledee

See, the bag is just the right size for all my needs, but there is still a lit­tle room left for extra things, just in case.

I’m very happy how the bag came out! I might make some for my shop in the future.