look who's two!

Tuesday 11 January 2011
Hi y'all, I'm back home from holidays. Although any parent will tell you that travelling with children isn't actually holidaying, it's just parenting in a different place with additional challenges because the kids are out of their comfort zone. Anna was extremely naughty the whole time, but Cairns in tropical north Queensland is a beautiful place and we managed to have a good time despite her best attempts to sabotage it! We took a boat trip out on the Great Barrier Reef and saw some beautiful coral and fish, a day trip into the amazing Daintree rainforest (a world heritage listed wet tropics area), and a fair bit of splish splashing in the huge outdoor pool in Cairns since it was so hot.

I don't know if this has made worldwide news yet, but most of Queensland is currently under flood, in fact an area greater than Germany and England together is affected and today there is a major flood crisis in Brisbane and surrounds. There was no catastrophic event like Hurricane Katrina, but the aftermath of the flooding is just as bad. My inlaws in Ipswich have been evacuated and will be safe, but we are worried about their property though. My thoughts are with all those in Qld, I could not imagine losing everything or fearing for your life in this manner. I hope you all keep dry and safe.

Anna had her second birthday while we were away, I cannot believe how quickly the last two years have passed. It such a cliche that you hear parents often say, but now that I have lived it I can understand how true it is. How did I get from this:

to this so quickly?

Of course another birthday means another birthday dress. This year I went for a simple style with some cutesy embellishment:

It's a red stretch cotton poplin made into a simple shift dress with a double layered puff sleeve made using McCalls 5916 which is now firmly a TNT dress pattern. I used some black gingham bias tape for the neckline and sleeve edge, which meant I could eliminate the neck facing so it was even quicker to sew because while sewing in miniature isn't difficult it can get fiddly sometimes.

I used some heat'n'bond transfer paper to iron on a dacschund image from black gingham on the front of the dress. That stuff is magic - very quick and easy to use and this dress has gone through the wash twice now and there's no hint of fraying of the edge of applique, and it is still firmly stuck on despite no sewing. Basically all you do is iron the heat'n'bond paper to your fabric, cut out whatever shape you want, peel off the backing paper and then iron it onto your garment (or other fabric), and you're done! So simple, but much easier than doing applique stitch around the edges of your embellishment.

And here's my two year old who epitomises the phrase "terrible twos" to a tee, hamming it up for the camera:

Happily, she is back at daycare but my husband and I aren't back at work until next week so we have a few quiet days without her. I'd like to say we are relaxing and re-enacting life pre-child, but sadly we are painting the kitchen and hallway, so it's all go, go, go around here at the moment.


  1. That dress is adorable! Isn't it great to be able to embellish a child's outfit so easily. So little work - big impact. Wonderful job!

  2. Cute dress and yes where has the time gone. Glad you didn't get rained out on your holiday, but like you I am very concerned about those in Queensland.

  3. This dress is so sweet. I love the sleeves. Happy Birthday to little miss.

  4. she's two already? good golly. Put down the paintbrushes and go out for lunch for crying out loud!

  5. Great dress! I love love love the heat and bond stuff. I often get the little girls t-shirts from Target- they come down as low as $3 in the sales, and then use the heat-and-bond to embellish them and make them cute. I do generally sew a straight or zig zag stitch around the outside of the applique so that it stands up in the long run to the treatment by small people. I find it does make a difference to how they hold up over time.

  6. So cute. They grow up so quickly. My baby is 17! Where did the years go?
    We did the FNQ holiday a few years ago and really enjoyed it. You can be guaranteed warm weather up there. Hope your family's property is ok. This is all so crazy. Was it only the other day we were complaining about the drought?!

  7. Anna is so sweet. My baby turns 15 next week and my eldest is 19 shortly after. Time passes so quickly.

  8. WOW, it has gone very quickly... I think I started reading your blog just before you were pregnant! WHOA!

    Happy 2011 to you guys! I love seeing what you make, so here's to loads more sewing and blogging through the year!

  9. She's such a cutey! The Qld situation is horrific. Am glad your in-laws are safe

  10. I love the dress, the little details make it really special. I'm glad you're safe. I thought you were away from the worst of the floods, but I was a bit concerned about you. Enjoy your painting time.

  11. Hello, good to have you back, Happy birthday to Ana, she seems a lovely child, loved and active, one day you do feel this longing of her life.
    The dress is beautiful, delicate and seems to fit exactly what she needs, that is room to move.

    I wish all sesus loved ones and those who do not know get out of this flood in the best possible way.


    Eilan - Brazil
    Olá, é bom ter você de volta, feliz aniverário para Ana, ela parece uma criança adorável, amada e ativa, um dia você sentirá saudade desta faze da vida dela.
    O Vestido é lindo, delicado e parece se adequar exatamente ao que ela precisa, que é espaço para se mexer.

    desejo que todos os sesus entes querido e todos os que não conhecemos saiam desta enchente da melhor maneira possível.


    Eilane - Brasil

  12. Happy birthday to Ana, I can't imagine this cute and gorgeous girl being naughty!!!! I'll be thinking and hoping for the best for your parents property. It's incredible and very sad to watch what is happening up north.

  13. Happy Birthday!! She's adorable in her dress - love the little dog, and I bet she does, too!

  14. Happy Birthday to Anna! She is the cutest little "terrible two."

    The flooding is indeed news over here too. Wishing your family and everyone affected safety and the best for their properties.

  15. What a cute dress for a cute girl. Happy Birthday to your sweety!

  16. Wow, time does fly. Happy birthday to Anna!

  17. Glad you had an enjoyable holiday! The trim and dachshund on the birthday dress are too cute!

  18. Wait...wait until you are watching her graduate from high school and crying...silently weeping into your handkerchief because you are missing the terrible twos and would give anything to have them back! Ask me how I know! *LOL*

    Hope Anna had a wonderful 2nd birthday!

  19. Two?? How did that happen. Love the dog embellishment.

  20. I'm sending you a message from Ireland, and the flooding is all over the news here. Sorry to hear your ILs are affected, I hope everything works out for them...

    How cute is Anna! The dress looks very good too. I have three girls, and I find it hard to predict what they will wear. I made a nightdress for #2 (5yo), with applique, and she refused to wear it because the applique was babyish. Everyones a critic...


  21. Happy Birthday to Ana!! And Congrats to Mom to making it this far (my mom said the first two years of my life were the worst of hers, but she's also said I'm the best thing she has ever done).

    Super cute dress!

  22. She is such a beautiful little girl, her birthday dress is so cute.

    Hang in there. I have the boy version of Anna at my house, I promise it gets better! But hoowee, do I remember very distinctly the feelings you're expressing.

  23. She is such a cutie! Hard to believe that she is 2 already!
    Sorry to hear that your In-laws are effected by all the rain/flooding. So what now?
    The dress turned out very cute! I do need to post, I made skirts for my dear grand daughter and also my neice's little girl for Christmas Eve. They were each a bit different, but the same redish/orange velveteen... I will try to get my posts updated. I'm working on a couple other projects now for the new grand baby!
    Take care. Tell your in-laws they are in our prayers!

  24. Both Anna and the dress are very, very adorable.