Little Lined Purse Tutorial

This little purse is for a very lovely little lady who turned five today.  She is very elegant and sophisticated and her mum has taught her girls to love pretty things.  I thought I would photograph the process because I think it's a great gift for anyone of any age, and all you need is fabric scraps and a zip!

I cut two outer pieces and two lining pieces of fabric 7" wide, 6" high and chose some ribbon and lace.  I measured my pieces based on the 15cm dress zip that I had.

Two inches down draw a line and then place your ribbon
on that line to measure the next line.
Draw a line 1/4" in from each line
Place the lace on the inner lines and pin
Stitch down
Centre the ribbon between the two strips of lace and stitch right on the edges

Sandwich the zip between the outer fabric and lining with right sides
facing and right side of zip facing right side of outer fabric, and stitch.
Flip over so wrong sides face and stitch with a long stitch.
Do the same to the other side of the zip
Make sure the zip is open and lay the right sides of the lining together
and right sides of outer fabric together.  MAKE SURE that your ribbons
meet perfectly, with right sides facing and stitch all around, leaving a
 small opening in the lining fabric. Here you have the option to
 box the corners
Turn the outer fabric through the zip opening and through the hole
in the lining and put the lining back into the bag,
and use a ladder stitch to close up the hole.
Add a charm or ribbon to the zip if you want.
Happy Birthday Rhubarb, Rubles, Ruby Rubes.

I have also been playing around with some stamping.  Something for a ten year old birthday in a week's time.
Quite into the stamping, I am.

So this is the last day of January.  It was good; I enjoyed it, but I'm look forward to February.  Our calendar seems to be jampacked with goodness, Rod Stewart, a girl's night out, Waitangi weekend with Whakatane friends, Napier's Art Deco Week, a SA vs NZ cricket game, a four-year old starting morning kindy, and the beginning of a year of study.  A lot going on in the next 29 days.

Shop Handmade

Once a month, I'm going to invite a friend to appear on my blog and there will be a handmade giveaway.  My first guest is going to be Chantal, who has a shop on Felt.  Watch this space, she'll be here soon.  In the meantime, browse her shop, 'like' it or 'tweet' it, and choose which set is your loveliest.  To enter the giveaway you'll need to name the set of butterflies you would like to receive.  

Visit Chantal's shop

There are several handmade shops on the blogosphere and I am sure that most of the sellers will send internationally. 

Some handmade online shops are

Etsy America
Made It Australia
Khayali South Africa
Felt New Zeland
Not On The High Street United Kingdom


I-Spy bag and a Tractor T

Last night I whipped up an I-Spy bag for Emma.

It was quite a quick project.  I didnt follow a tutorial but a quick search has come up with a great tutorial on Skip To My Lou.  She has a beautiful blog and a facebook page.  If you 'like' her page, you can then download a beautiful printable calendar for 2012

The kindy-boy's tees are getting a bit grubby, so we did some stamping to hide the stains spruce them up.  I so often have to let go of wanting to do it myself so that it's just right, because often they arrive just as the project starts.  

His corner:  

My corner:

We adults always want it to line up, don't we?  I'm so pleased that I've hung this up to dry and not quietly slipped it into the bin as a project 'that didn't really work out'.  He will end up LOVING this t-shirt.  That's what counts.

Using a piece of felted wool works well as a stamp pad.  It works better than having the ink on a hard surface.


Butterick 9715 - Vintage romper

I needed a break from the bridesmaid's dress so I dug out a vintage pattern that was given to me buy Granny Ormond.  Just as I was about to start, Lesley, (Granny Ormond's daughter) arrived and we tackled our way through a little romper.  There were no instructions and the patterns don't have markings on them, so it was quite a challenge, but I enjoyed it.  At this stage, everything I sew is such a learning process.  


Butterick b5176

I'm sewing a bridesmaid's dress for a friend.  
This has involved blood, sweat and tears, I tell you.
Tonight she came for a fitting and..................it FITS!! (this is a big deal because last week, it didn't fit; the raw edges on the left where the zipper goes in, just met).  This is the trial run, now I have to start on the real one.  This one needs a zip in the left seam (see the bits of thread?) and it needs to be hemmed.  The sleeves also need to be joined properly and then the bodice should hang and sit much better.  And Ben needs to mow the lawn.

Ribbon headbands

I had two ten year old girls for the day.  In the last hour of their visit, they asked if they could sew something.  I convinced them to make headbands and remembered some stripey ribbon I had and knew that this would be the quickest way to go. They got lost in my bags of fabric and started wrapping and draping themselves and I was left to sew...

The process is really quite simple, I eye-balled it and it worked, but I realised that if they had been the wrong fit, I would have had to unpick six rows of forward and backward stitching.  My suggestion would be to put your stitch length on the longest and give each join one row of stitching before trying it on.



This morning three extras arrived at my door.  So I bundled them off to Te Mata Peak with 4 banana boxes.

 we ate

and ski'd 

and pulled faces.

James was so desperate to find a way of enjoying it without actually doing it.


Op Shopping

I went op-shopping this morning and found 11 crisp white serviettes with this pretty handwork.  They were hardly used or very well looked after.  This exact thing has been on my wish-list for ages so for $4.99 they were mine!  Out with the paper serviettes and bring back the real thing!

When we got home I was folding them up and James arrives at the scene and says "Oh mum, are those napkins?" (how terribly proper of him).  "Let's set the table, and don't forget, napkins to the left of the plate"  Seriously??? Where did he get that from?

When I told him he could only set the table at dinner time, he replied "oh okay, I'll just keep an eye on them".

And I found 2 big pieces of fabric, 5 metres of the blue and white and 2 metres of the grey stripe.  The blue stripe will be sewn into Summer pyjamas and the grey stripe will be a beach bag or something.  $4 for the lot.

Bike bags

Every now and then we walk down to the dairy where the kids get $1 each to buy lollies.  James rides his bike so there's a logistical issue on the way home.   I end up holding the small bag of lollies, which is not ideal because they're his lollies, not mine (my very literal boy).  So last night I made him a bike pouch.  While I was sewing it up, I was wondering how he would respond.  One thing I knew for ABSOLUTE CERTAIN, was that he was not going to jump up and down and say "THANKS MUM" with a hug.  No, this boy of mine truly believes that it's his God-Given-Right to receive things that I've made for him.  Regularly.  But I do know that he loves it.  He'll just show it differently.
When he woke up, I showed it to him....

He looked at it, smiled and said "A bag for my lollies, let's make another one for my balance bike".

So he chose the fabric and disappeared.  

It's a no-kindy day today, so I think we'll walk to the dairy to test them out.  These bike buckets/bags had to be whipped up very quickly but check out this tutorial for a great bike bucket.


Lego Inspiration

I have this amazing book by Lena Corwin who blogs here.  She's got me loving hand-printed fabric.

So while my son and his friend were playing with lego this morning, and my one-year-old was emptying half a loaf of sliced bread on the kitchen floor, I was very thankful to the bread for keeping her busy while I tried something out.

I painted a lego base-board with fabric paint.

Covered it with fabric and rolled it.  

Flipped it over and, VOILA!

Full of the imperfections and rusticity of something produced by hand, I LOVE the outcome.
Next, I'll be doing these with bright primary colours, so it looks more like lego, maybe get out all the smaller boards and piece them together into a quilt for my four year old's bed.  The dots might get a bit much though, maybe a cushion.  I read Vanessa from V&Co's latest post on her dotty heart bag.
Think my girl-child needs one of those, for sure.


My First Blog Post

So my lovely friend, who is having a baby soon, skyped me some encouragement last night to get started with this blog.  I'm so glad she did because I've really wanted to.

Sewing is my outlet and when I have Five Minutes' Peace, I think about what I can sew.  I have a bag of unfinished projects that I should finish, but there are always other exciting things to start, so the pile grows....

This skirt needs an elastic, free motion applique skills learned from this lovely blog and book

this hand embroidered quilted table runner needs binding,

this baby dress needs to be finished, and it needs a new baby because the baby it was intended for is now 1!

I could go on and on...

.....and why did I agree to sew a bridesmaids dress for a friend?  Thanks to a very supportive husband, who is helping with technical advice and cups of tea as I battle my way through sewing with satin...