Thursday, 8 September 2016

Pincushions... drawing with thread

Mini Pincushions... free-motion applique, drawing with thread 

I really must start this post by saying that my latest passion, drawing with thread has been inspired by a lovely book 'Sew Illustrated' by Minky Kim and Kirstin Esser. I had seen wonderful work by Minky on Pinterest and had greatly admired it, I love the sketched look to it all, the combination of the fabric and the thread drawing is really so appealing to me.
So I bought the book and started a few small projects from it and was soon slightly obsessed with it all.
The pincushions are adorable and quick to make I have added my own slant to them making them slightly bigger and adding a band of fabric to the bottom. I do all my work free-motion so I sew with the feed dogs down, you need a firm hand and you move the work around rather than the machine pushing it through for you.

My illustrations are not perfect but I personally like that sketched look, a little bit quirky.

You can see I have added a little tape tag to one side and backed them with different fabric.
Anything goes really and a 4'' square of fabric uses all ones scraps.
The little sewing machine pattern is from the book but as you may notice I have a left handed sewing machine... silly of me forgot to mirror image it. The other patterns are my own, the cats are my favourite but the little potted plants are sweet too. 

Fun and simple to make and I have a garden fete coming up in the summer, its a fundraiser for the children's hospital... these will go well on my little stall.

Happy sewing

Monday, 5 September 2016

The DOLLY SISTERS.. soft toy for Homespun Magazine

The Dolly Sisters

Some great opportunities have come my way this year but to have a pattern published is such an honor.
Almost a year ago I was contacted by Susan the editor of 'Homespun Magazine' to see if I would like to design a Doll for them.... this was so exciting for me.
Much thought was needed to design something reasonably simple but still appealing.

These are the 'Dolly Sisters', sweet simple little dolls with bright button eyes.

I loved designing this doll, putting in sweet features that bring the face alive.

The little headscarf with it's flowered trim, freckles anyone....just French knots, buttons for eyes and simple stitching gives her just the right look.

The little skirt has a inserted border just to add interest, frilled sleeves and a petite collar just finishes her off.

Homespun is a great Australian craft magazine with a pull out section containing all the patterns, it has a global feel with talented crafts people from around the world contributing to it's success.
 I do feel privileged to be part of this and I was truly ever so grateful to be asked.

I do believe you can order it online from Zinio.

Happy sewing


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Zipper Pouch, Embroidered Toiletry Bag

Zipper pouch and sweet 'Ollie' embroidery

Zipper pouch, zipper pouch
I am in love with these and I can't really realize that I have never made one before, yes I have made plenty of bags but not these sweet ones.
I had seen a few, well quite a few on Instagram and thought I really need to make one as a travel kit for my embroidery, I like to have something to do even when I'm far away. 
These little ones are my practice ones, for baby's toiletries [Grandbabies] but I'm in love with the blue one and it's staying with me!!    Ollie's Washing day embroidery pattern is available on my Etsy shop.

Now I did quite a bit of digging to see how they were put together and found two very good tutorials which I used as a basis for mine.

Sewing Chick you nailed with all the zip detail I followed this to a tee.
Craftster This was so good explaining the simple way of constructing this lined bag. 

This is my version of a little Toiletry Bag [zipper pouch]

My finished bag is 9.5''  wide and it sits about 8.5'' high
I cut two front borders 3'' x 9.5'' 
My Linen embroidered border 5.5'' x 9.5''
the back and 2 lining pieces 10'' length x 9.5'' width
All pieces are backed with fusible interfacing. 
8'' or 20cm zip, cotton lace and contrasting trim [just a folded fabric strip]

The front is made by joining the three borders, I did a seam just over quarter inch and inserted the lovely cotton lace between the top border and the linen. The contrasting fabric trim was inserted between the linen and the bottom border. SEE PHOTOS 

When you have finished piecing the front, press well and you may need to trim the front to match the back.
 Follow Sewing chick zip instructions and then the putting together from Craftster

I'm a detail person and a lover of fabric, these two have turned out so well all lined with coordinating fabric, too good to use!!!

So there you have it, wonderful, I wanted to showcase my embroidered rabbit and I had gorgeous fabric to use.
I have been embroidering in the evenings this last month and perfecting a few of my own designs some of which I have for sale in my shop.

These are really helpful videos for


Monday, 6 June 2016

Baby's Bibs- free pattern

Simple...A Baby's Bib sewing pattern

I like to sometimes have simple projects that can be quickly made and these Bibs are one of them. I make several at once, spend an hour or two and you can make probably six.

Two contrasting fabrics and backed with cotton Waffle easy and almost completely bagged out making such a quick project.
I bind the neck with bought bias tape leaving long ends to form the ties. No Velcro to tangle and catch in baby's hair or in their clothes, just old fashioned and simple.

Having the two contrasting fabrics on the front makes for sweet looking bibs and fabric friendly.
Join the bib front and bottoms together, press open the seams and top stitch.

 I back them with cotton waffle it washes well and is absorbent enough to catch all the dribbles.
Place the waffle back bib over the front with right sides facing and sew around the stitching line as shown on your pattern piece, clip the corners, turn through and press.

Cut a piece of the bias tape 25'' in length, position the middle of the tape on the centre of the neck edge.
Pin then sew carefully so you catch the back of the tape, continue to stitch through to the ends of the bias to create the ties, I tie a little knot at the ends of the bias tape.

See just as neat on the reverse.

I have added a little ribbon tag to create detail but there are endless possibilities, frills, lace, ricrac etc.
Over the years I have made dozens of these bibs, simple yes and sweet.

Copy the pattern pieces page 1 and 2 and print out on A4 paper, I have put an inch square so you can get your sizing right although it won't matter if they are a little smaller. 

Happy sewing

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

NanaCompany Swap-Trinket box, Linen bag and Gift cards

Sweet surprises...nanaCompany Swap

Instagram is a new addiction for me, it has been there that a whole new world of handmade wonders and fabric lovers hang out. I have learned of Blog Hops, Swaps, Quilt markets, hashtags, links, DM, and #madebymonday or any other day or month.... and so much more.
When I spied a post about a swap I put my name down and that was how it started.
I have been an admirer of Amy Sinsibaldi style for a long while, her work is lovely, small details done to perfection, the little rabbits and teddies peeping out from the quilt, so so sweet, my favourite,  do check out her blog here.  

Faith Essenburg from Sarana Ave has organized this Swap, thank you Faith it all takes time and we appreciate the effort to pull it altogether.

Well I was so lucky to be paired up with Alisha Orlando [ what a lovely name] Alisha is from Victoria Australia and as well as being a busy Mum she runs a online Fabric store, you can find her at Ministry of Fabric.

This is what she made for me, this absolutely gorgeous fabric basket.

You can see it's already in use housing all my embroidery bits which are usually spread all over this coffee table.

It's sturdy and just so lovely, I smile every time I look at it.

See all the details so perfectly done, I think it's the star of this post.

What I made

I found on Amy's blog the quote DO SMALL THINGS WITH GREAT LOVE So that's what I did.

I embroidered this on to some fine linen, living in a small town I didn't have a lot of colour choices only white so I dyed the fabric with a tea bag to get a better colour, its a soft peach.

While I was doing the embroidery I made a little round padded box, a 'Trinket' box.
I used a wee floral print for the outside of the box and on the inside a little blue and fawn spot....small designs for small projects.

From a little metal ring I fashioned the pull, blanket stitch around very firm so there are no gaps and leave some length of thread to sew it on.

The little box was all made before my embroidery was finished.

This is the base, the lovely Robert Haufman floral is a soft cotton lawn.

When The embroidery was finished I made the lid.

I really enjoyed making this it's not the first one Iv'e made, its an old pattern a dear friend taught me but I have modified it over the years.

I made a little Linen bag to present it in and some simple gift cards.

See the little beads that pad the underside of the lid, small details, its what I love.

I had to change the spacing of my words to leave room for my little handle.

All finished, I'm really pleased with it.

The little Linen bag to finish the gift.

I often make gift cards on my computer a brief 'how too' is here and I have also written a post with the instructions for making the Linen drawstring Bags .

I hope I haven't overdone the photos but its a joyful NanaCompany swap.

Happy sewing 

Drawstring bags--Tutorial-Gauzy Linen gift bags

Linen Drawstring Bags

I have made these little bags as gift or presentation bags, I feel they add a little surprise to a gift... elevate it to be more special.

In these wee bags I will send sweet muslin wraps to two precious newborns.
You can use these bags for anything, handkerchiefs, lingerie because they have a soft base they can be stored in a draw. 

 I have made these ones from pure linen and cotton Lawn 


Iv'e added little gift cards to complete the look, these bags are simple, soft and lovely.
Choose your fabric carefully because the texture and sheerness makes the LOOK.
I have used pure linen drapery fabric and a soft floral Lawn, in the base I added 'Iron on Pellon but any light weight batting will do.

From your contrasting fabric cut 1 strip for the drawstring band 2 &1/2'' x 22'' and 2 circles 7'' in diameter, also cut 1 circle of light batting.

[If you want to know how wide to cut your Linen multiply the diameter of the circle by 3.14 to get the perimeter, for example 7'' x 3.14 =21.98 ...'simple'.]
You can make any size using this formula, just remember to keep the height of the bag in proportion to the size of the base.

Cut your Linen 22'' wide and 12'' in height, fold down the top 2'' and press, take your band piece and press under half an inch on both long edges.

Place the band over the folded edge so that it sits 1&1/2''  from the top, sew it in place right on the edges of the band, do 2 more rows of stitching quarter of an inch in from the first rows to create the draw string channel.

Sandwich the batting between the two base circles and sew 1/4'' seam around the edge.

 I run a gathering thread around the bottom edge of the linen and pull it up ever so slightly, it stops stretching. Pin the bottom of the bag onto the circle base to check your sizing [sometimes the circle becomes smaller once the 3 pieces have been sewn together, just like trying on a skirt before you sew the side seams] now pin the side seam, take a few pins out and sew your side seam making sure you match the band seams, neaten edges.
Finish pinning the bag to the base circle, sew together carefully no puckers!!

Neaten the edges of your base... overlock or zigzag.

This is a close up of the drawstring band, four rows of stitching and you will thread the ribbon in the middle channel.
Cut 2 pieces of very narrow ribbon 1 yard or metre long.

Fold the bag in half with the side seam on one side, lightly press the opposite side on the band, this is the half way mark this is where to make your cut. Carefully make two small cuts through the band only, on either side of the side seam and one cut on the pressed fold, thread one ribbon through from side seam edge around the bag and out through the other side seam hole. Thread the second ribbon through the cut on the fold line coming out and in on either side of the side seam, then around and out where you started. 

Draw the ribbons up knot the ends and you are finished.
There is a very brief post on how I make my gift cards here .

Happy sewing

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