Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Woolly Wednesday

Star Wars and knitting go hand in hand in our household!

(Sorry I have no idea where this image originally came from... please let me know if you do!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My first tutorial. Your first bag...

Well, I've decided it's finally time to bite the bullet and post a tutorial! So, I'm starting simple! Feel free to offer constructive feedback for next time! I'm starting with a very simple bag I designed for some young girls that came to my house and wanted to learn to sew! This is a great beginners project but of course anyone can make it! It's a very handy bag and my daughter (10) uses hers all the time! Enjoy...!

* 40cm x 115cm drill or similar heavy-weight material ( this is your main colour for outside and inside of your bag) (corduroy, velvet, upholstery fabric etc)
* 50cm x 115cm denim or similar heavy-weight material in contrast colour (this is your outside, pockets and handle colour) or 1metre fabric if you don't want a join in your handles
* thread to match

Cut 3 pieces of your main fabric 13" across and 15" high
Cut 1 piece of your denim 13" across and 15" high

Overlock one side of front to contrast and set aside

Cut 2 denim pocket patches 5" across and 7 1/2" high

 Overlock or zig-zag edges of pockets

Turn top of pocket over approx 1" and sew down sides approx 1/4" in (just on inside of overlocked edge)

Turn top right side and press, fold up corners into triangles, press seams using overlocked edge as a guide

Sew top of pocket to seal in edges, pin pocket to front of bag, approximately 1" in from sewn join, sew down close to side and bottom edges

Make 2nd pocket as above (omitting corners if desired) and sew to middle (or as desired) or one inner bag piece

Sew 2nd side of front pieces together to make a tube, then turn until pocket is approximately centred on front and sew bottom seam as shown

Place both inside pieces right sides facing and overlock down side, along bottom, up second side, turn pieces right side out and check you're satisfied. Have a little break if you need one!

Cut 2 straps 4" x 36" (or join two pieces together to make roughly that size, preferably using a diagonal join)

 Fold your straps lengthwise and press, fold both sides in to the middle.
Top stitch both sides close to edges to seal

Attach your handles to outside of bag approximately 2" in from sides, making sure you don't twist them. 
Sew them down approx 3/4" from edge

 Turn inside of bag inside out, place outside of bag into it lining up side seams and raw top edge. Make sure the side of the lining with the pocket is on the opposite side to the pocket on the front of the bag.
Pin in place to hold together ensuring handles are not caught in, and leaving gap for turning (I left a gap between the handles)

Sew around top edge approx 1" from top, leaving gap for turning

Pull bag through opening (grab the handles!)

When your bag is fully turned you can then push the inside back into the outside the right way!
Press top edge ensuring the inside lining does not show on the front, taking special care at the opening.

Top stitch edge of bag close to edge, ensuring you seal both sides of the turning opening together.
Stitch a second row of stitching another 1/4" down.

Press your bag!




Thanks for visiting! This is a very simple bag so I'm happy for you to link it on your blog, or make to sell, as long as you reference me as the designer! I'd love to see any you make so please post in my flickr group which you can find at Hopefully this will be the first of many tutorials... come again! 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Woolly Wednesday

Just finished this scarf! Could it be a record!? Dead easy free zig zag pattern... cast on 36 then purl 4, knit 4 and gradually move across a stitch at a time each row!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pocahontas eat your heart out!

This is just to make you laugh a little! The beauty of sewing is that occasionally you get a commission that just makes you chuckle! A friend's boyfriend decided he'd like to attend a fancy dress party as Pocahontas!!! Being dark and all it was really rather amusing! So, after a little searching on the internet for suitable ideas I found this brilliant tutorial A couple of large, cheap t-shirts later... and a bit of snip snip... I got it done! My husband was none too pleased about having to model but alas I was forbidden from taking photos of him!

 I had to alter the pattern slightly because he wanted a one shoulder costume (men! wouldn't you know he'd make it harder!!!) I joined the two collars together and sewed them to the diagonal! Phew! That worked!
He never wore the feathers and arm/head bands and I'm sure he was rather cold on the night being winter and all! But he turned out a pretty convincing Pocahontas... you'd never know he's bald under that glossy hair!!! I'm sure I'll never make another costume like it but it was fun to do!!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Woolly Wednesday!

Oh, I do love a bit of Noro Kureyon in Chevron! Dead easy and so addictive!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


So, I've just come back from the most amazing Women's Conference in Sydney! "Flourish" is the national conference run bi-annually by the Women's Ministries in the Presbyterian Church of Australia committee (WMPCA for short!), of which I am a member! We've been madly preparing for this for the past year and this year's conference was even more exciting than our first... we made it two days packed with workshops, speakers, fabulous food, and heaps of networking opportunities! Some of the highlights for me were getting away and meeting new people, many of whom are doing amazing things in their communities; fabulous singing; some fascinating interviews with women who were prepared to share their lives with us; leading a workshop on hospitality with a bunch of enthusiastic people; sharing a hotel room with a great girl from Tassie who's set up a great online network for Hobart mums'; hearing some inspiring guys talk about encouraging women to live to their God given potential; having some of my favourite people come up to the conference this time and lead workshops; and so much more! Loved every minute of it! Even added a bit of colour of my own!!! I feel like the real me has finally reached the outside!!!

I also had a great catch up with a good friend of mine... and made Ninjago costumes for her boys while I was there! Fantastic to catch up with someone who is so real about her life, such a good listener, and a top girl even if she can't sew! Fabulous dinner Saturday night, great coffee, and a nice drop of dessert wine! It's always good to see her and her family when I make a trip up to Sydney! Also really enjoyed visiting my old church and catching up with so many familiar faces! Can't wait for my next holiday up at Gosford!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cross-stitch crazy...

Cross stitching is one of those "not-so-cool" crafts I've done since I was about 14! I make no pretence that I don't love it! Sometimes I don't do it for months at a time but it's like my fall-back craft... I always pick it up again in the end! I know it's kind of daggy but I find it relaxing. At the moment I'm trying to finish 3 cross-stitches that I've been working on for ages and ages... so why don't I show you those... and also a few I've finished over the years!
 I love Lizzie Kate! So simple yet effective!

 Bought this one years and years ago and was always disappointed at the difference between the warm tones of the picture and the cool tones in reality. Determined to finish it this month!

Yes, I relate to this... totally!!! Almost done! Just a bit more back stitching on the chair and it's finished! I often frame my own cross stitches to save money. I buy a suitable read made frame, get the framer to cut a mount to size (much cheaper!), then press my aida and spray glue it to the backing. It's only when cross-stitches are so "out" like this one is that I get them professionally stretched and framed.

 I did this cross stitch a while back when I lived near the coast... it has about a million 1/2 and 1/4 stitches and about 2 million colours! It's very pretty and delicate and is no bigger than 5 x 7".

 I love the red hat society! It's so much fun! This is one of the two cross-stitches that I have in the theme!

 Sometimes the simple is sweet! I made this to match my house colours a few houses back! Done in no time!

Bit addicted to Country Cottage Needleworks designs. Like Lizzie Kate they are quick and simple!

 Margaret Sherry does some lovely work... always with a lot of detail! I love the quirkiness of this design!

I've always been a bit of a royal fan and I loved the colours and kitsch of this design! It works well in my newly revamped studio which I must show you photos of one of these days!

As you can tell my style is very ecclectic! I like what I like! Generally I'm attracted to colour or quirkiness but sometimes I will surprise with something altogether different!

Some of my favourite designers areCountry Cottage Needleworks
Lizzie Kate

These days I much prefer to buy PDFs. Check out

There's plenty more cross-stitch finishes I could show you but I'll save them for another day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Woolly Wednesday

A little summer weight vest using a Sirdar pattern... very soft and comfy... I realised I need a white t-shirt for Little Miss to wear with it!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cushions by the dozen...

 Last year I went to my daughter's Grade 3 class and made footprints with the girls at lunchtime... we mixed paint and textile medium... they picked the colours they wanted...  got quite a production line going with paint, fabric, water... let them dry for a few days...

...then the girls hand-sewed around their feet with cotton (quite amusing when you watch them sew themselves to their school dresses!)... and I took them home and added ribbon for thong straps... 

 It's taken me the better part of a year to manage to raid my fabric stash and turn them into cushions... and sew buttons on to the "thongs" for decoration... but they did all look good when they were finished... and hopefully the girls will have a lovely momento of their feet in grade 3!

It was quite interesting to watch the girls that had patience to finish their sewing... and the ones who pleaded with me to finish theirs!A couple of the teachers asked to have their feet done so I ended up with a couple of extras!

 Allyson wins the prize for the longest feet... can you pick hers? Can you find the flattest feets? The highest arches?  This project came from a delightful book by Marcia Layton with loads of fun and creative projects involving hand and foot-prints in it.

 I'd highly recommend this as a simple activity which gives the kids a very special memory! Having said that... I'm really glad the cushions are finally done and heading to their owners with my daughter today!