Weekend Away

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This weekend my husband and I are off to the Southern Highlands for a few nights R-&-R (my husband especially needs it after his efforts on the town last night…. but hay what’s new!).

It is suppose to be tops of six degrees whilst we are there so I can’t imagine we will be getting out of the house all the much – I think we will spend the few days inside by the fire reading books and doing some craft or cooking with the kids. So to save me from going completely gaga I have decided to take down my machine and whip up a few belts for the kids. Don’t you love the use of the word ‘whip’ – I make it sound like I’m a professional on the sewing machine but the reality of it is that a twenty minute task will probably take me about an hour…and that’s per belt!

If there is one thing I always find difficult to buy, it’s small sized belts. Yes there is the odd shop that sells children’s belts but they are still miles too big for my kids. This is especially true for my middle child whose  waist is five centimetres (two inches) smaller than our third child who is 22 months younger! (Poor kid – he’s super skinny).

So the other day I laid my eyes on this really bright coloured twill tape and thought, “If I just buy a couple of D-rings I could whip up a few belts in no time”. So this weekend that’s the plan – I’ll see if I can make some belts for all the kids in these great rainbow colours…. and if it turns out to be a success I’ll add it as a tutorial. I’ll keep you posted.

Old School Techniques

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This week my good friend and I met again for our monthly get-together and did some sewing and a lot of talking. Her Mum was down from the country for the week so she joined us and I learnt a really good old school technique; but more about that later…

At the beginning of this crazy ‘learn to sew’ adventure I started a year ago I bought this gadget online from the USA called a Yo-Yo Maker because it makes cute little material flowers from scraps of left over material. (God only knows what I thought I was going to make with it!). So a year after purchasing it I actually opened the package this week and attempted to use it. A few things I discovered:

1.  One and a quarter inch yo-yos are way too small to do anything decent with (in my opinion that is!)

2. A Yo-Yo is the American term, a Suffolk Puff is the British term

3. You don’t need a Yo-Yo Maker to do it – in fact I think it’s just as easy to do it by hand. It’s so easy that I have created a tutorial here.

I decided to make some hair ties for my little girl and her cousins so I collected a few pieces of scrap material from the scrap box and cut out some circles and got to work hand stitching. You basically do a running tack stitch around the outside of the circle and then pull the thread to make it gather, tie it off and then sew the hole closed…. when I did my first one I thought “Gee that doesn’t look right at all!”. So my mums friend had a look and told me that the problem was that I had not folded over the edge. So simple but being a beginner I didn’t think of this. Once I folded over the edge it made the world of difference to the finished product.

Elizabeth is 63 years old; has sewn all her life and has passed her knowledge onto her daughter. She can sew anything – and I mean anything; regardless of the level of difficulty! She just takes one look at something and can copy it. She has a real talent. Elizabeth grabbed my failed Suffolk Puff and said “Look you just fold over the edge, crease it and then sew”. Most of us today would use an iron and carefully fold over the edge and then press it with an iron but Elizabeth just folds it over, creases it in-between her thumb and index finger and carries on around the circle. She told me her grandmother taught her to do it this way and that she had always found it to be very effective. So I tried it and it really does work! And to be perfectly honest you would never know that I haven’t used an iron. I like to keep things simple and this certainly is a lot more simple (quicker and easier) than using an iron. It’s certainly worth a try and it even means that I can now make them on the train on the way home because I don’t need the iron anymore!

Sweet don’t you think?

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