Tag Archives: sewing


Bunting on Monday…

Project overseen and fabrics chosen by Niamh, purchased in the recent GJ’s fabric sale – to which every craft blogger in the north seems to have been!

Cracked my first Nicole Mallalieu pattern on Tuesday…


Are you sick of this fabric yet? Not I! This is Nikki’s 90mm coin purse pattern, and not terribly tricky… though I must admit it’s not quite finished – I haven’t tackled the crimping/squishing of the metal frame yet, as there’s nothing resembling a cork coaster in the house. Think I’ll be making more of these 🙂

Revisiting “Smartie Cookies” on Wednesday…

I had some helpful comments back on this post after we used M&Ms on the last batch of these. This time we used Smarties. Hardly any of these cracked, which is good, but some of the (all-natural, as Marita pointed out) colours were altered in cooking – the green ones turned yellow, the blues went quite pale, and some of the others were dulled as well. They look like they’re out of a 70’s cookbook! Oh well. Tasty nonetheless. I think our playgroupers appreciated them.

Recent Bits

I mentioned a recent streak of creativity yesterday. Yesterday’s post was going to be much fatter, in fact, and show you all these goodies. But then I went and did some fancy cutting and pasting and accidentally lost a whole slab of bloggity-goodness. Swear words were muttered, and the ‘executive decision’ was made to split the post in two.

So yes, I have been making a few bits and pieces. Several weeks back I went along to Nikki’s sew-along for the Rainbow Comfort Pack effort (goodies for kids affected by the recent bushfires). I spent the afternoon cutting out pieces for bags, but not sewing. It was enough to get the bug again anyway, and in the next week I made up 5 of these cutie pie recycled-woollen-jumper bunnies:

Bunny & Ball

The pattern is a freebie from Betz White, find it here. Four of these went off for the Comfort Packs, but the one above is staying here with us, for the Wee Bairn, whenever he should make his appearance. I think I had a little bit of guilt creeping in, because up until the bunny, there had been no crafting whatsoever for the new addition.

Next up was this lovely Puzzle Ball, which I’ve been wanting to make for a while now. It wasn’t quite as difficult as I had imagined. Tricky, yes, and I wish I’d worn a thimble for those last connecting stitches, but not super difficult. This pattern comes from Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. There is a similar free pattern here, which Christie has made to great success, but I think I prefer this more ‘solid’ version.

Puzzle Ball

Tunic Top

I also succumbed to a pattern in the latest issue of Ottobre magazine, and made up this tunic top for Niamh. It should fit her in… um… about 2011 or so. Whoops! I did measure her, I swear. I decided to make the next size up, since I didn’t want her to grow out of this the moment I made it. Unfortunately, Ottobre kids’ patterns are graded by height, and since Niamh is fairly slight in build, I would have been better to go with the smaller size but increase the overall length. Ah well. Eventually she’ll fill this one out. Meanwhile it’s still hanging on the wall where I took the photograph – it’s an interesting artwork 🙂 And just how adorable is that ric-rac trimmed heart pocket?

Tunic Top - Pocket Detail

Finally, finally, something for me, me, meeee. This Wildflower Pincushion has been calling my name for a while. It’s a pattern by Anna Maria Horner, and can be found on the Better Homes and Gardens (US) website, here, should you wish to make your very own. Again, fiddly, but not too bad. I probably made it a little bit trickier for myself by reducing the size by about 25%, since I didn’t want a whomping great pincushion. This is just the right size. Love it – it looks like some freaky spore-flower from outer space.

Wildflower Pincushion

Fabric With Intent

Quilt Fabric

I’m not quite sure how it actually happened. The stars aligned, or something. For ages I’ve been dithering about maybe possibly sometime making a quilt. Dithered and done nothing about it. Actually, I do have a few quilting books around the shelves. Also, a kit for a baby (girl) quilt, which Mum bought for me, and which I was supposed to make up for my niece (oops). But so far, I’ve essentially done nothing about the urge. Then I started to get a (late-pregnancy induced?) creative streak going, and then this started up, and then Amitie decided to have a sale, and so naturally the urge struck once more. So I hopped in the car today and headed out with a purpose. Some hours later (Amitie is quite the hike from here, and my poor heavily-pregnant lower back does not thank me for all that extra time in the car), I returned, bearing the goodies above. I’m not going to suggest that I’m 100% happy with my choices, but I am pretty close. The best bit is that I chose these, they didn’t come as part of a kit, they aren’t even all from the same range (though three of the prints are from ‘Another Iota’ by Robert Kaufman). For someone who considers herself pretty terrible at colour-pairing, I’m pretty happy with the outcome. Also, there were the contributing factors of a) having Niamh with me, and b) being restricted to one hour by my car park. (Actually, since Amitie has a dolls’ house and assorted goodies, Niamh wasn’t really the limiting factor). In the end, I decided to stop questioning my choices and just go with it. Now to get on and actually start cutting/sewing, and hopefully it will all turn out the way I envisage.

PS. The fabrics are better in real life than they look here on my screen. I fiddled the colours as much as Picasa would let me, but in reality they are richer, more vibrant than this. Better photos once the sewing is in process, I hope. Can’t seem to get any decent light into this house.



Some time back I signed up for a blog meetup – ‘Mixtogether’ – held by Nichola & Justine (aka the crafty girls behind Mixtape Zine). Sounded good – come up with a crafty gift (the theme this time being Creative Journals), turn up, meet & greet other crafty-bloggy girls, eat & drink yummy stuff. Yay. Only we know how good I am with deadlines, so it’s probably not terribly surprising to you that – with the Mixtogether on today – I was just starting my gift two days ago!

Anyway, long story short (too late!). I got it all done in time with only a few moments of panicky stress and swap anxiety (would it be good enough? would I be laughed out of Amitie in shame?) I’ve been meaning to have a go at some bookbinding for ages (Dermot gave me this book for Christmas – it came in handy). This binding is a Japanese stab binding, with a hinged front cover. I’m pretty happy with the outcome, and I’m pretty sure Nichola liked it too 🙂

Here’s the inside of the journal so you can see the funky end papers (it’s difficult to photograph a book that by design does not lay flat):

And to go with this, I whipped up a pencil roll which is a slightly more grown up version of the crayon and pencil rolls I’ve made before. This kind of just evolved from fabrics I had in stash. It’s a little bit reminiscent of the aesthetic of two of my very favourite bloggers, I think (Tree Fall and Soulemama).

Here’s the inside – Finn helped me to pick out floss colours to match all the coloured pencils (they’re watercolour pencils, in case you’re wondering about the paint brush there in the middle):

And a close up, coz I just can’t get over those little circles! They were fun to stitch while we were watching the Olympic opening ceremony last night:

Despite me feeling less than perfect (random virus #27 (or so) for the year is still hanging about, and I have an ongoing headachy thing), the mixtogether afternoon was lovely. I received a beautifully made portfolio from Jane, but that will have to wait for some morning light before I get photographs. I’m dragging me and my sore head off to bed.

Out of Uniform

Finn’s school had a dress-up day today to raise money for another local school recently damaged by fire. The theme was SUPERHEROES & CAREERS. I know. Weird combo. Don’t ask me.

Anyway, I spent yesterday on the sewing machine (pants, apron, super big toque) and today our little super hero went dressed as a chef. (Niamh decided to get in on the crazy hat action too :giggle: – told you she really liked it!)

I have another post lined up for you – almost as cute as this one – but I figure that you’d die of shock if I posted twice in one day… so you’ll just have to wait!

Welcome to Two

The big day. It dawned misty and magical, so after packing Daddy off to work and Finn off to school, Niamh and Mummy walked down to the reserve to get some Birthday Girl photos.

But. Hmmm. There was a lot of this:
(She’s about to yell!)

And this:
“No Wotos Mummy”

So Mummy took a photo of Niamh’s beautiful Soulemama-birthday-crown on a magical and mystical log, instead.
(Note – I made this yesterday. So much fun – It took me about an hour (and only that long because I was messing around with elastic casings). Niamh does like to wear it about, honestly. At her convenience, not mine!)

Then Niamh had to try out the very wet playground (of course she did):
(At least we got to show off the new shorter ‘do’)

Then we found out Mummy forgot to pack a playground snack. (Ouch). Whereupon we went home, and Niamh had a nice long kip:

And Mummy got the kitchen ready for this afternoon’s cupcake fest:

Finally… proof that there was both smiling and crown-wearing yesterday:
Happy Birthday beautiful girl!

January Dump

This is a bit of a filler post, I apologize. It’s a bunch of stuff I made in January but never got around to blogging, perhaps because I was busy with the making, and with all that other stuff. So here you go:

I made this little artist-tote thingummy for Marita’s daughter Heidi’s birthday. The inspiration came from several places, but in the end I sat down and made it up as I went. Despite a few dud calculations, I think it turned out okay.
Mini Artist Tote outside
Mini Artist Tote inside

My sister stayed with us for a couple of days in January, and asked if I could make her a pouch for her new digital camera. The camera is shockproof and waterproof, so the pouch didn’t need to provide super protection, just a barrier against scratching. The first attempt came out a bit small (bonus for me, as it’s now my coin purse), but number two was a winner.
Zipper pouches

Next up, bibs (same spotty fabric!) for a friend’s baby. This is where I shamefacedly admit I haven’t sent them off yet, d’oh! Suzie, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry, and pretend to be surprised when you (finally) see them, okay?
More bibs

Then, Finn’s school library bag gave me the chance to use up some more of that mushroom fabric, plus co-ordinating colours picked by him (hence the yellow, of which I am less than fond):
School library bag

But wait. That’s not all! I also made a green stripy grocery bag – no pic, but it’s from this craftster tute. It was easy peasy, and I plan to make a bunch more. Aaaand, then, squeaking in on the last and second last days of January, I de-and-reconstructed a men’s green shirt to make a school Art Smock. Yay!

And just in case you think I wasn’t busy enough in January, guess what else I did? (This will make you fall down in disbelief, I promise)… I read FOUR books:

  1. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
  2. Other People’s Children (Joanna Trollope)
  3. I Choose To Live (Sabine Dardenne)
  4. Dandelion Soup (Babs Horton)

(Of those, I heartily recommend the First and Fourth, but reserve merely a ‘meh‘ for the others).

So now. I think you can guess what two of my New Year’s Resolutions were!

Pre-Christmas Crafting

I didn’t pledge handmade this (past) Christmas, but as it turned out, many of our gifts were handmade anyway. First there were these, next up were a couple of bags for some more small friends of ours. This one:
Library bag for Mr G

using that ubiquitous mushroom fabric, was for a five year old boy, and was given as a Library bag, complete with new book inside. The other:

Bag and Bunny for Miss A

I made for his sister, who is three months younger than Niamh. The bunny pattern came from here; the bags I made up as I went along. I was quite pleased with these, and I think the recipients were happy too 🙂

Next came a wild burst of kitchen activity (mostly by Dermot, I do admit), and some playing with my new toy for labelling and packaging, to create the fabulous boxes of goodies for our families:

Christmas Goodies

All boxed up

Gocco Printed Xmas Cards

(Inside: Orange cordial, Spiced nuts, Mexican drinking chocolate, Dried Mango, Cranberry & Pistachio biscotti, Orange spiced tea blend – all handmade; and a teatowel – which we did not make ourselves!)

Finally, at the eleventh hour (the night before Christmas Eve), I managed to squeeze in some homemade goodness for my own kiddos. I finished up the stitching of ElfGirl and ElfBoy, and made them up into a couple of simple drawstring bags. In hopes of starting off a new Christmas tradition (which I kept hearing about on various blogs), these held brand new PJs for Christmas Eve. Here they are under the tree:

Xmas PJ Bags

Oh, and lest I forget, somewhere in there, I also managed to whip up Finn’s party cake:
Bowling Party cake

I made up a packet teacake for this, as everyone knows kids only eat the (hideously sugary buttercream) icing and leave the rest. For his actual birthday, I made a more grown up cake – a rich, moist, dark chocolate cake covered in ganache and silver cachous… but forgot to take a photo, d’oh!

Next up, post-Christmas crafting 🙂


So. While I was out…

It turned out that No-vember meant not only (almost)No-blogging, but also (almost)No-stitching. Not a single cross was stitched with these hands in November (shock!), but I did get to and finish the girl-elf I showed you back here, and made a good start on boy-elf. Pics when they’re both finished.

Also, I did some crafty gift making for a couple of the small people in my life. I don’t think either of their mums read my blog, so I can show:

First up, I made a kitty version of Sara Bear, who will go to sweet Lilly. I hope she likes her. Finn has named her ‘Heart Love Kitty’ on account of the hearts in her shoes (uh… which you cannot see… so I guess that makes little sense to mention!)

Heart Love Kitty
(Pattern by Hillary Lang)

Next up, a crayon roll for Mr A, Dermot’s nephew. This was fun. I made two – the other one for Finn and Niamh, and it had mysteriously vanished by the time I came to take these pics.

Crayon Roll

Crayon Roll
(Based on the tutorial at Skip to my Lou, via Sew, Mama, Sew).

Finally, I whipped up a last minute (11pm, November 30) advent calendar-ish thing to round out the month. We’re also doing the Lego advent calendar this year, because we just looooove Lego around here (except notsomuch when coming across it with bare feet in the dark.) The one I made is simple little felt bags of chocolate goodies, tied with a pretty ornament which goes on the tree (or will, at least). Ornaments from Allsorts.

Advent Fun

Oh oh, looks like there’s an imminent break-in!
The Break In

Hope you’re all having a great weekend 😆

Makin’ Stuff II

Until a few days ago, we had in our house this scary looking thing:
(I refer to the one on the right, not either of the others, though the one in the middle scares me a little too!)

That weird koala-headed thing is a doll stroller from years back – best guess is it belonged to my sister. The frame is still in good shape, however the cover has never fitted well, and, though I don’t think you can make it out clearly here, has been held together with string, rubber-bands, a nappy-pin and a big wad of blutac. When Finn started trundling his teddies around in it a couple of years back, I promised I would try and make a new cover. So… now you see how bad my procrastination can really be! 😥

When Niamh started getting interested in Baby Jack (Scary Doll), I idly thought of buying a new stroller. A quick trip through Toy Kingdom assured me that I could have a new dolly pusher, as long as I wanted it in, lets see… pink, pink, or, oh yes… PINK! Anyway, I bit the bullet and decided it couldn’t possibly be that difficult to sew a new cover, after all. Oh yes, and some bright spark decided it might be fun to have a reversible cover, what’s more. (That would be me. D’oh.)

Some time and many curse words later, after staying up until midnight on Monday finishing the thing… and then finishing it some more on Tuesday while Niamh was napping… aaaand then finally finishing it some more after picking Finn up from pre-school, we have one super-dooper swanky new cover (and one cute boy who isn’t too cool to be photographed with his teddybear):


(yes, I know. It’s pink. Oh well.)

But wait, that’s not all:


Ta da! It’s also green and blue. Hooray! (See – I’m not really anti-pink, I’m just pro-choice 😉 )

I tried to convince Niamh to take it for a test drive, but she decided to go with a mechanical inspection instead. That’s my girl!