Monday, 28 January 2013

Happy Birthday Eloise

It is my friend's birthday (well actually 3 friend's birthdays today...but only 1 got a gift from me...sorry to the other 2!

My good friend Eloise turned 30 today - yep, you heard me the big 30. It is scary...I can now talk about things happening a decade ago and actually remembering that time! I have been friend with Eloise for 2 decades!

Onto happier is what I made her

 using this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew. Although I did make the bag slightly deeper as I figured Eloise may want to carry more stuff! I used lots of interfacing (as instructed) and I think it came out looking really professional. Eloise has given me my biggest compliment to date, "it is so well sewn"! Thanks Elo :)
I will definitely be making one of these again (or lots of these)...I think they are such fun to do. What colours would you choose?

Sunday, 27 January 2013


Hi all, sorry I haven't been around for a couple of days. I wish I could say that I have been doing so much sewing that I have run out of time for blogging...this would not be true.

I have had a horrid cold and have not felt up to doing very much.

I had "craft night" - an evening spent with friends doing some craft - and I managed to almost finish sewing the wallet that I mentioned earlier. I am really happy with how it turned out (and found the tutorial from fabricaholic was very clear). I need to add some thick interfacing to make the wallet have a bit more support to it, I also think that interfacing make items feel more professional sometimes. I also need to add a magnetic snap to the wallet - then it is done :) Pictures will follow when I have taken some.

On a different note, I did some hand sewing today (I sewing...not a sewing machine in sight!). A little felt heart that I hope to fill with lavender and then do as a giveaway on my Facebook page - I want 100 likes for the page before I will do a giveaway so get liking and sharing!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


I have sewn a teddy for a new born little girl. It is the first white teddy I have made and I think it looks so cute with the pink highlights. (I normally do boy teddies so they are made using blue fleece). And the fleece material is so cosy - perfect for a lifelong friend :)
The head looks a bit misshapen in this picture...but it has handmade charm right?
 I did some embroidery on the feet - her name and the date of her birth.
My new labels are looking smart

 Thanks to label-makers on eBay for the delivery :)
What do you think? Are there special things that you sew for new arrivals?


Oooh look what arrived today. Supplies for the Rapunzel party...beanie hat and wool to make a Rapunzel wig, shiny purple for the dress, purple bias binding for the bunting and thin pink ribbon for the sleeves of the dress. Talk about organised! I have until 31st March to sew it all together ;-)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


A very bad phone picture of the snow. It is still falling hard...I may be a tad over excited!

Busy busy

So, I have been sewing away...completing orders (I am still in a bit of shock that people actually want to purchase my sewing! - albeit 3 people!). But as it is not new sewing (another cd case) I have not bothered to upload any photos!

There is a secret project that I have sewn...but I am waiting for a birthday to occur before I can post any pictures - but it is awesome!

I have recently been asked to make a teddy for a new-born (born yesterday!) so I have been busy cutting out all the pieces today ready for sewing tomorrow...I hope! I am so flattered to be asked to produce something for a brand new being (can you tell I just watched "call the Midwife") - feeling broody!

Bought some fabric from eBay the other day...and I also went into Tiverton (my local town) and bought some fabric from a sewing shop. I love getting parcels in the post...and PayPal is pretend money and very easy to spend! But there is nothing quite like going into a sewing shop and touching all the fabrics and seeing them on their rolls in full glory.

Which do you prefer? Online shopping or "real-life"?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Slipper Tutorial

Adult slipper tutorial

Hubby asked for some slippers and when I found this dinosaur material I knew he would love it (I know what you are thinking...and yes he is an adult who is a fan of dinosaurs!).

This is my first tutorial - so apologies if it isn't very clear (please ask if you need clarification and I will help!).

Firstly you need to create your template. Use a shoe that fits. Draw round the shoe (add and inch all the way round).

 Cut out this template (this will be your sole - you can flip it round to make the other slipper).

To make the toe template draw around your sole template adding 1/2" all round.

Continue the toe down the sole template until you pass the halfway point of the sole template.  Increase the edges of the toe template to fill out the shape.Draw a straight line to join your start and finish points together. Cut out - this is your toe template.

 Around the heel on your template (ensure that you measure beyond the halfway mark of the sole template. I did mine 15" and still think it is too short!
 Use this length to draw a straight line (the top of a rectangle). measure 3 inches down from this line (this will be the edge of your rectangle) join all the lines up to create a rectangle. Cut out - this will be your heel template.
Cut out a piece of wadding using your sole template - make it 1/2" small all the way round. This will be your inner sole of the slipper. Now cut out your fabric. I used fleece and patterned fabric.

So you should have (in whatever combination of fabric you have chosen) 4 toe pieces, 4 heel pieces, 2 wadding pieces in sole shapes, 4 soles (2 for each foot - don't forget to flip over your template so that you have a right and left foot).
Let's assemble to toe piece first. Sew 2 toe pieces right sides together along the straight edge
 clip the seam and turn the right side out. Top stich along the straight edge. Next you need to cut 2 slits on the wrong side of your fabric (only snip through the back piece of fabric...DO NOT cut through both pieces of fabric) - this will be where your elastic will thread through. Now is also the time to add any embellishment that you may want to add onto the toe (flowers/heart etc) Repeat for the other toe piece. Put the 2 toe pieces to one side.
To assemble the heel - get 2 pieces of heel material and sew right sides together along one long edge of the rectangle. Clip the seam and turn right side out.

Fold the inner material (in my case the fleece) over the edge of the outer material. This overhang should be about 1.5cm - this will be the casing for your you do need to be accurate).
Stitch in the ditch to hold this in place.
Cut any excess material - there will be an overhang of your inner material - trim it off. (It should look like the bottom piece in the bottom picture!).

Repeat for the other two heel pieces. Put the completed heel pieces to one side.
To make the sole; sandwich a piece of wadding between 2 matching sole pieces - i.e. two right feet together (remember you will have a right and left foot sole)
(Note - your wadding piece should be smaller than the one in the picture...learn from my mistakes!)
Pin the toe piece, right side down, onto a sole piece (whichever material is facing up on the sole will become the actual bottom of the adjust accordingly. I chose fleece for the inner and out of my sole so it made no difference).
 (in this picture the sole is already sewn - you don't need to do this...although it may help if you are struggling to keep all the layers together. It make the inside of your slipper look more messy though - not the end of the world!)
Next, pin the heel piece to the sole (with the wrong side facing up).
Sew through all layers - so that should be a sole piece, wadding, another sole piece, the toe piece and a heel piece. Ensure that the heel piece is on top of the toe piece. In the picture mine is overlapping, but really it needs to overlap more so. Repeat for the other slipper.
Turn the slippers the correct way out and thread a piece of elastic through the heel casement (I use a safety pin to help).
Thread all the way round the heel piece and then through the 2 slits in the toe piece.
Check the fit - adjust the elastic as necessary and sew the 2 ends of elastic together. Repeat for the other slipper.
Put on...warm feet!
So, how was it for you? Are you going to make yourself a pair for this cold weather? If you do, I would love to see what fabric combinations you choose.
Please note: A lot of time went into this tutorial if you use this please link back to my blog and give credit. This pattern is for personal and SMALL sale use only - please do not mass produce slippers made using this pattern.


Slippers for my hubby.
Yes, you heard husband...who is 31 years old...and requested dinosaur slippers! I still have to iron some non-slip grip things onto the bottom (I bought them off eBay...I hope they work!) to stop hubby slipping all over the place.

There will be a tutorial for these (have taken lots of 1st tutorial!) when I have amalgamated all the information into something coherent! I drafted the pattern myself and had a couple of trials before starting on the proper pair...but they still aren't quite right ( I will adjust the tutorial accordingly!).

Can you see how the inside of the toe is being pulled by the elastic? I think this is because the heel sections are not long enough. I think this details will bug I guess I will be making another pair at some point! Or at least new heels!

Anyone fancy a pair?

Saturday, 19 January 2013


So, FAR to early to be thinking about this really...but my eldest is turning 5 (I cant believe it) in March...right at the end of March to be specific!

This year, I thought she could have a theme for a birthday party (normally we just have lots of children in the local hall, with party games included). I asked her what theme she wanted...not surprisingly she asked for Rapunzel.

So, searching the web I have found some cute ideas. And, as I am going to try to craft lots of it, I have made several eBay purchases to start on the projects (and keep them hidden somewhere until March!).

First off - the hair. Lovely tutorial from Sew Like My Mum. She claims it wont take too long...we shall see! .

She also made a cute dress for her daughter so I am planning to give that a go too. Rapunzel Dress. Hopefully, that will be the eldest's outfit sorted.

Now onto the decoration. Firstly the cake...something like this  which should be manageable...although something like this would be awesome (pretty sure the cake making skills in our household will NOT stretch this far...
Then I saw some cute bunting - purple flags with the yellow sun on it. I figured I could run some of that up in felt in no time...something like  

Can't forget Pascal - think this idea is so simple and effective - it is from the Disney site.

  Pascal Party BlowersI thought for games we could do pin the tail on the horse (you know, the white horse in the movie...forgotten his name atm!). We can all make crowns and decorate them with little gems. And lanterns...I want to send up lots of lanterns. As we may be camping I thought I may attach string to each one - saves on the law suits when the lanterns land on someone else's tent!

Hubby's sister and her little boy are over from over Australia during the birthday period (perhaps a Flynn costume needs to be in the making too!). I hope the weather is nice and perhaps we can go camping...and all these decorations should be able to travel with us!

Anyone got any other good Rapunzel themed ideas? I would love to hear them if you do. I am wondering if I am going a bit over the top...but then it is a 5 year old girl's birthday party...why not! It should keep me busy if nothing else!

Thursday, 17 January 2013


Remember this project? I mentioned it in a blog sometime LAST YEAR! Well, I have finally cut out the material required (using the old coat of my youngest).

What do you think? I think its going to be lovely and pretty. Although my brother has just given me a super wallet for perhaps this will be a birthday present for someone.

I have spent a lovely afternoon with some friends whom I haven't seen for a while. I have eaten far to much for lunch (homemade bread is a bit addictive!). It was lovely to have a catch up. Wish I had more time (working takes away so much socialising time - how unfair!).

So, I now have 3 projects all cut and ready to go, a birthday present to make (when the fabric arrives). Am busy tonight - but really want to get going and actually complete one of the projects!

Anyone else looking forward to some crafting?

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Something useful

So tonight I made a couple of plastic bag holders. One for me, and one for a woman I work with.

Nice and simple to make - with French seams to keep all the seams tidy. And so handy for keeping all those plastic bags waiting for reusing (bin liners, nappy bags, shopping bags, lunch bags...any other uses?) whilst keeping them nice and tidy.

I think I might be a bit in love with this Clarke and Clarke fabric. It makes me feel like Spring may actually be on the way. I am using it to line my beach bag too as it goes so nicely with the oilcloth beach huts that I am using for the outside (the oilcloth may also be Clarke and Clarke...I cant remember!).

It is hump day today...all downhill until the weekend now.


Look what just turned up :-) I know what I will be doing today

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Owl - Take 2

Tonight I made an owl for my eldest. My youngest LOVES her owl...and I think my eldest is feeling a bit jealous and wishing she had chicken pox again! I think I may prefer this one...
Any thoughts on which owl you prefer? I like how the feathers of this one contrast more. And it was much better, having done it once, as I didn't have to unpick this one so many times (or re-read the instructions!).
Talking of chicken pox...we are still in the thick of it.
 She seems to suffer more with hers...and we are 3 days in and new spots are STILL appearing - will it ever end?

Sunday, 13 January 2013


My youngest has contracted chicken pox. My eldest had it a week or so ago and managed through them with very little fuss (surprisingly as she is a bit of a wimp!). My youngest is covered in spots and is feeling very sorry for herself.

Eldest with chicken pox

I have used it as an excuse to make her a cuddly toy to cheer her up. I made a patchwork owl from issue 43 of Sew magazine.

I found it MUCH more fiddly than I was expecting (I don't know why, but I assumed it would be super easy to make...even with all that detail). It is also a great way to use up little bits of fabric as most pieces are small. I will make one of these again, I like the result - definitely worth the effort (I appreciate the picture doesn't do it justice).

I printed off the pattern pieces but then needed to add a centimetre seam allowance as cutting (I always find this annoying with should include the seam allowance!). I am tempted to enlarge the pattern and use it as doorstops for the future!

My little girl likes it though, and has stopped whinging for a short time - so all's well!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

PJ trousers - on a roll

So 2013 has started well then. Today there has been 2 makes! (the cd case AND hubby's pj trousers).

These took much more effort than I thought they might. I used some existing trousers as a template. I left a generous seam allowance (having learnt from experience!). They were then far too big - they looked like clown trousers (perhaps that is more to do with Hubby's choice of material?!). So after LOTS of tightening up of the seams and trying on etc I finally got them to fit!

He says they are comfy too - result. I am mourning the loss of this material...I had bought it to make myself a summer shirt in. I am disappointed with the hems...I hacked off too much material on one side so the hem is tiny compared with the other leg.

Ok - what's next?

Look how motivated I am!

CD Case

So, last post I mentioned that I was going to make a cd case like this. Well, I have already done it! It was a lovely tutorial to follow (although best read it properly else you, like me, will end up unpicking it 3 times before it turns out right).
You know all those audio cds that come with kid's books? Well our family is always scattering them all over the place. I hope that this pretty cd holder (materials chosen by my eldest daughter) will encourage the girls to keep their things tidy and safe!
So, what's next?! Beach bag I think.
If you are on facebook - like my page

Friday, 11 January 2013

Sewing in 2013

Projects so far

So far I have decided to make a cd case like this one, the youngest got a cd player. Both girls have enjoyed listening to the audiobook cds that come with some of their books. Unfortunately they also leave them scattered/lost all over the floor.
I got my January issue of Sew magazine and there is a sewing area organisation thingy that I want to make. It goes under your sewing machine and has pockets that hold your scissors, pins etc so that you don't lose your scissors behind your sewing machine whilst sewing (like I do).
My husband has asked me to make him pj trousers (I drafted a pattern from his existing pair...they are a bit generous....they look like clown trousers!). So I shall be tweaking them (although it isn't like he is going to leave the house in them!).
I also have a Collette pattern that I want to make. It is called the truffle dress (I haven't found the material for this...and I do have another dress pattern that I really ought to finish 1st so this one may take a while).
And lastly, so far, I want to make a beach bag (yes, I know it is England, and yes, I know they are predicting 3 weeks of snow - nothing like being organised). I have some lovely beach hut oilcloth and I bought some stripy Clarke and Clarke material (for the lining) and thought I may base it on this pattern.

Any projects in the pipeline for you? Please can be my first comment!

Christmas round-up

So, finally finished the mammoth task of making Christmas presents. They mainly turned out ok...I made 25 in the end (many more than I would have bought!). I got a really touching reaction to a cat doorstop I made for my step-mother-in-law, she thought it was lovely that I had gone to the effort of making her a present - it made me feel really good!

Santa sack...think I would make this a bit bigger - it ended up being a bit narrow

I used a pattern that I found on the internet (no longer have the link)...but I made several of these. It was the 1st time I cut multiple pattern pieces at the same. Unfortunately all the bears ended up with saggy bums! Something wrong with the dart placement I think.

Some presents were stranger than others....I particularly enjoyed making the patchwork stocking (from here).

Overall, it was a rewarding experience. I would definitely consider doing it again for this year (are we really in 2013 already?!).