Little Peoples Belts

IMG_7793 So the weekend away was most eventful! I really surprised myself with how much I actually achieved! I went with great intentions but having three children (now 5 and under) I didn’t really believe that I would get much done; if anything to be really honest.

My husband decided that he was going to take the two big kids into town to get some ingredients to cook up a lovely casserole for dinner so I stayed at home and got going on the sewing whilst our baby boy slept. I powered through heaps of belts; the ones using twill tape took no time at all; about ten minutes each, the ones I made with ribbon took a little longer only because I ironed some interfacing in-between two strips of ribbon just to give it a bit more rigidity. I think they have come up really nicely so I’m now working on a tutorial to add to my site for anyone that’s interested in making a few. You certainly don’t have to have any experience in sewing to be able to make them, and you could even just hand stitch them if you don’t own a sewing machine. (Obviously it might take you a bit longer though).

The belt my son is wearing in these photos is the ribbon version. I have to say it was a lot more difficult to get him to pose than my daughter; it comes pretty naturally to her, this one didn’t enjoy it as much so when I asked him to then model the twill tape belt it all went horribly pear shaped so I just gave up – I figured it wasn’t a fight worth having. I like to pick my battles wisely!

IMG_7792

Twill and ribbon belts

Belt

Screen Printing

IMG_2847

A few weeks ago a good friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in doing a screen printing course with her. To be totally honest I wasn’t really interested because I once did it at uni (back in 1997) and hated every moment of it but for some reason I decided to say ‘yes’ and give it a second chance. I have to admit that I loved every minute of it! Lucy and I took Saffron Craig’s course held at Material Obsession in Drummoyne. From the minute I walked into the room I had a good feeling about the day. Saffron was a delightful teacher, full of knowledge on the techniques of screen printing, colour and fabrics. She certainly was a wealth of information!

I turned up to the class very unprepared. Partly from lack of time and partly because we weren’t told to bring anything with us or do any prior research. Ten minutes into the class we were asked what we might like to screen print! My girlfriend Lucy had come prepared with an image she wanted to print – I had no idea what to do. I decided to do something for my baby girls room. She seems to have a bird theme going on so I came up with a simple bird & tree motif to screen print. So I grabbed a pencil and a piece of paper and sketched it up quickly, (and I have to say surprised myself and how quickly I came up with something not too bad…. am I allowed to admit that???!!). Below are a few shots of the process.

IMG_2835

IMG_2837

IMG_2843

I have to admit that I was thrilled with the final product. I am going to turn it into a cushion and embellish the design with felt & stitching…. but this will happen over the course of the next month or two so you might have to wait a few weeks to see the final product!

If anyone is interested in attending Saffrons class I can highly recommend it! Saffron travels all over Australia offering her classes from the big cities right out to little country towns. Grab a group of friends and give it a go – I’ll guarentee you’ll thoroughly enjoy every minute of it! Thanks Saffron – a nice way to spend a day! (Oh and thanks Luc for the inspiration to give it a second go!!)

IMG_2854

(Above: the beginning of my print coming together)

IMG_2856

(Above: firstly I decided to do the trunk as an outline but didn’t like it so on the next piece of cloth I blocked out the trunk)

IMG_2857

(Above: and here is the final product)

Fabrics… My Idea of Heaven!

Image 1

Happy New Year! I’ve been laying low of late, what with Christmas festivities followed straight after with Boxing Day and then the New Year it’s been pretty busy at our house and really no time to sew.

For Christmas my wonderful husband gave me my very first overlocker. I was so excited I wanted to get it out and give it a go on Christmas morning but he didn’t realise that he needed to buy thread so I can actually use it…bless. So whilst I was away on holidays I got on line and sourced some lovely fabrics from eQuilter along with some overlocking threads and today it arrived in the post! Such lovely fabrics… this really is my idea of heaven. I just can’t wait to get started on lots of cute clothing for my kids.

Then from my Dad I was given a gift voucher to The Bronte Sewing Room which was very thoughtful. My Mum told me he came up with the idea all on his own, he then searched the internet for a suitable sewing course that he thought I would really like and found this! Love you Dad xxx. So I thought I would book myself into their adults sewing class and take along with me my pattern to make Dad a night shirt…. he’ll love it I’m sure.

So what with the night shirt for Dad plus all the cute clothes I have planned to make for the kids I think I’m going to be very busy for the next few months. Then finally once all that is done I am going to try working with silk; a tie for my husband and a shirt for my sister and me. This might be a little ambitious but I figure ‘What the heck, lets just give it a go’.

Can’t wait to see what 2014 brings! Hopefully a lot of success and very few disasters!

Happy NY.001

Zipper Bag

The course that I am attending is just fantastic and this week we learnt how to make a zipper purse. I am going on holidays next month to the sun so I decided to make a slightly larger bag with waterproof lining so that I can put everyones wet swimmers in there and then throw the bag in the suitcase as we move from place to place. I just LOVE the fabric I sourced and I’m pretty thrilled with the final outcome. As for the zip – I didn’t realise that you could cut them!!! When I get a moment I’ll do a re-run on my own and see how it goes; I’ll make sure I take some photos so I can share it with everyone.

Zipper Case

Best Friends

Sew La Tea DoI’m not really sure what I’d do without my bestie. We’ve been best of friends since high school, nowadays we are separated by distance but we remain the absolute best of friends. It’s our birthdays in July and today I received an early gift! (I have to admit I haven’t started thinking about what I could buy her because I’m hoping I can find something lovely on my holidays). I could tell by the feel of the present that it was a book – and she usually gives me a good book but this was bigger and heavier than normal. When I opened it I was so touched, she had bought me the most gorgeous book called ‘Sew La Tea Do’ by Pip Lincolne. So much thought had gone into her gift, I’ve only just discovered this big world of sewing and she can tell that I’m really enjoying it so has thought of something that relates to my new found hobby.

Sew La Tea Do is a fabulous book that has 25 different things to make; most of it sewing related but there is the odd sneaky little recipe in there too! The book comes with really clear step-by-step instructions backed up with photos and also all the patterns! I can highly recommend it to anyone, beginner or not – I think it would appeal to all.

When I called to thank her she told me that Pip (the author) has a great shop in Melbourne called Meet Me At Mikes, and also has a blog (some of you no doubt will be interested in her blog!)

Inspired!

Thank you to everyone that has emailed me about my first ever pin cushion that I posted yesterday!

A lot of people have commented on the fabric I used ….. my Mum actually gave it to me. Years ago my Mum sewed a lot… making my sister and I skirts, dresses for special occasions and all sorts of other things for the home. Today she tends just to do repairs for my Dad and the odd hem for my Nan. She kept her favourite fabrics and threw out the rest, I’m not sure why she decided to keep some … I suppose she hoped to one day get back into it again but I don’t think she will now, she has too many other things going on in her life now (and she’s now learning to knit!).

My good friend Lucy was so inspired by my post that she even pulled out her dusty machine this morning and whipped herself up her first pin cushion using beautiful fabric! Doesn’t it look lovely!!!

image

Thanks to everyone for your kind words of encouragement; it’s been fun so far….

Simple Pin Cushion

IMG_0088

Pins, god they hurt when you jab yourself with them – in my very long sewing career of about 15 days I have gabbed myself one too many times and I’m sick of it.  I’ve decided to get rid of the silly cardboard box I have my pins kept in and replace it with a pin cushion. I figure it can’t be too hard to make a pin cushion, it’ll be quite like the bunting flags I did this week, sew up two pieces of fabric, turn it inside out, push out the corners, stuff it with some wool and then finish it off. (Let’s just hope it’s as easy as I make it sound!)

1. What you will need

– Two pieces of square fabric; I am using two different patterns for a bit of added interest

– Some stuffing that you can buy at a haberdashery shop (or raw rice or cotton wool balls work too; I’m using cotton wool balls)

– Something to push out the corners (a chopstick will do) but I used a point turner. Personally I think a chopstick or the end of the scissors does just as good a job if not better

– Pair of scissors or Stanley knife

2. Instructions

– Decide on the size of the cushion you would like. I am going to make mine 10cm x 10cm so this means I need to cut a square 12cm x 12 cm to allow for a 1cm seam on each side of the fabric.

– Cut the fabric to size making sure you have right angle corners. I believe you can purchase some sort of cutting mat that helps you with this but I am yet to learn about that…. that’s a job for another day – I think quilters use these boards frequently….

Measure up

– Place the right sides of the fabric together and pin.

IMG_0074

– Start sewing just off center of one side and sew right around the square finishing just off center on the other side (see photo below).

IMG_0080

Look at top of fabric, you can see that I have sewn and around the outside and left a bit in the middle in order to flip the fabric inside out

– Stop when you get 1cm off the end of the fabric. Make sure you leave the needle in the fabric, then lift the foot, pivot the fabric, put the foot back down and continue sewing. (You need to do this at ever corner).

IMG_0078

– Carefully cut each corner on an angle. This helps to get a good corner when you push the fabric inside out.

IMG_0081

– Now trim the edges off; I am cutting mine 0.5cm in from the outside.

– Turn the fabric inside out and push out the corners using a point turner/chopstick/end of your scissors (whatever you have at hand)

IMG_0082

– Iron the cushion so the material sits flat.

– Fill the cushion with stuffing (I am using cotton wool balls).

IMG_0083

– Pin the hole up

– To sew up the hole you have two options:

i. Use your machine to sew from one end of the side to the other (this is the easy option but won’t have the nicest finish)

ii. Carefully sew up the hole by hand, picking up as little of the fabric as possible so that the stitching is almost invisible.

IMG_0086

Hello cushion, bye bye pricks! My very first pin cushion successfully completed – gee I’m doing ok in the sewing department so far! My first two attempts at sewing something have actually worked; here’s hoping that continues but I have a sneaky suspicion that I won’t be so lucky!