Thursday, May 21, 2015

Upcycled Jeans Pocket Organiser

I made this hanging organiser from jeans pockets and waistbands last week. I was inspired by similar organisers I'd seen on pinterest, but one was just a picture and the other was stuck together with hot glue.
I wanted to sew this one and I'm really pleased with how it turned out!

I simply patched together a selection of cut out pockets I had in my stash.

Then I pinned and carefully stitched a couple of cut waistbands around the 4 edges. 

This was the hardest part as the waistband is so thick to stitch through, particularly the corners, where I had to join 2 waistband parts together. On one of the corners I managed to join two waistband pieces using the buttons and buttonholes already there! Perfect.

Finally, I needed to add something to the back of the organiser, to help it hold its shape. 

I chose to use my scraps of buckram (a kind of really thick interfacing).  I stitched these together in strips until I had enough to cover the back. I then stitched this backing to the edge of the waistband, skipping the thick parts and belt loops. I chose just to leave the backing like this as it will just be hanging against the wall and nobody will see that side, so no need to make it look pretty!

To hang it up I simply pushed a small piece of dowel rod through the belt loops at the top and tied a piece of cording to this.

It's a neat organiser to have. Pockets of various sizes for notebooks, pens, rulers and notes. Plus the belt loops are handy for pens too!

It's also a great way to use up those jeans waistbands - and of course the pockets.

For lots more ways to upcycle jeans or other clothes - you can visit my ongoing linky which now has over 600 clothes upcycling ideas.

Please do also check out my clothes upcycling challenge for this year, where I'm upcycling a pile of clothes from last year's school carnival to sell at this year's carnival.  Go here to see what I've made so far.

To keep up with the latest from this blog and all things upcycling and inspirational, I'd love if you followed me on 

I'll be linking this post to many of the wonderful linky parties whose pretty buttons can be found on the bottom of this page and whose direct links are on my linky party page.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A little inspiration for your bag!

My 2 daughters (aged 10 and 12) both love inspirational and motivational quotes and have chosen some to put on some upcycled jeans bag tags that they made themselves!

They have a great little selection of quotes and tags in their very own on-line store:

If you're looking for a unique gift for someone special, or perhaps just something for yourself, at just $5 these upcycled denim bag tags are the perfect choice.

So why not head on over to my daughters' shop and have a look!
If you have a particular quote in mind but don't see it there - you can always send them a message and they can custom make a bag tag just for you!

Supporting little entrepreneurs!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Making maths fun - or how I've stitched some fun into maths for my kids!

Yesterday I made a 'lockable' fabric box to use as an incentive to get my kids to practice maths problems. You can read about that here!

It got me to thinking about other things I've sewn when trying to help them with their maths!

First there were the giant foam dice 
 and a large chalkboard scoring pad I made so we could play Yahtzee outside. Yahtzee is a great game for practising basic maths skills of adding and multiplication.

Battleships is great for practising co-ordinates, and it's a really fun game - and one than can be taken out and about to play in the car, waiting rooms etc. For a free printable battleships sheet go here. I sometimes slip word searches or other puzzles into the folders to so they can play on their own too.

Later on I made a set of Times Tables Memory Pockets.
Each pocket has as set of cards with a different times tables on so you can play the game memory with them, matching '2 x 3' with '6' for example.

We had this hanging on the wall next to our dining room table and often just grabbed a set to play a quick game.
I also wrote a free e-book for learning your times tables in just 5 minutes a day, which is available on my other blog - Be our Best. This book includes the printable templates for the memory game.

So that brings me to what I stitched yesterday to make maths fun for my girls.
A lockable fabric box, with a combination lock. I used scrap fabric and an old plastic place mat to help it keep its shape.

Now I'm going to use it to hold treats in that the girls can only get at if they can solve the maths puzzle correctly!  I can change the combination on the lock each time I set a new puzzle!

All of these things can be done without sewing  - but it's what I love to do, and my girls are always appreciative of things I make. Adding some colour and interest makes some simple boring things just a little more fun!

This is my favourite kind of sewing - something with a use and a purpose. Not necessarily something that we need, but something that we can use!

What's your favourite kind of thing to sew?

I'll be linking this post to many of the wonderful linky parties whose pretty buttons can be found on the bottom of this page and whose direct links are on my linky party page.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Round Tuit 258

Hello and once again welcome to another Round Tuit Party.
This is my first week in a long time with no extra work, or school / sporting activities to attend, so I get to focus on some sewing, blogging and home stuff for 5 whole days! Yippee!!

So let's get right to it!

Welcome to this week's linky party. A place where you can link up your posts and creations, and be inspired by others.

Tuits are very hard to come by, especially the round ones. For years people have been saying, "I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit". Well now you can have one of your very own, and all those jobs that have needed doing will finally get done!
Here's my favourites from last week's party:
First of all, this awesome 
Waterproof Inside and Out Tote Bag from Sew Can Do:

For those featured, feel free to grab a 'featured on' button here.
Creating my way to Success
Now it's your turn:
Link up your own projects - old or new - no rules - just share your creativity and inspiration!
I'd love if you grabbed the button - then you can have your very own Round Tuit!
And of course we all love visitors and comments so do visit some of the other links!
By linking up here you're giving me permission to use photos from your post in features here on my blog.
I will feature my favourites on this post next week.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

My daughter the designer!

This morning my younger daughter (aged 10) told me she wants to be a designer. After sketching a couple of skirts and hinting that I could make what she designs, I suggested she tried bags or pencil cases (I'd much rather attempt that than sewing clothes!).
So this is what she came up with this morning:

Before she left for school, I got her to choose the fabrics and notions she wanted from my stash.

And then I set to work!

The purple velvet she chose for her name didn't show up as clear as I wanted against the darkish background, so I did my applique stitching around the edges in white to make it stand out more.

She also found a button that she wanted to add to the bow!

I started out with the back of the pencil case.

But I struggled with the shiny green fabric she'd chosen for the pockets. They ended up too small and not exactly straight.

So I looked in my stash for...a pair of green jeans! and used the back pockets from those instead!

In the end - I was quite pleased with how it turned out. I think I followed her design quite well.
Just hope she likes it when she comes home!

This also reminded me of something that Maya designed and made a few years ago:

This is definitely something I need to encourage more of!

I had a lot of fun with this, and hope that both my girls will design more things to make - and make things for themselves too!

Have you ever made things that your kids have designed? Or got them to make things for themselves?

I'll be linking this post to many of the wonderful linky parties whose pretty buttons can be found on the bottom of this page and whose direct links are on my linky party page.
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