Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rag Patchwork Jeans Pencil and Notebook Folder

Using up some of the denim jean scraps I've got - I made another of my Pencil and notebook folders for one of my daughter's friend's birthdays.

I've found these folders make great gifts for both boys and girls. You just have to find fabric to suit.

I like this denim one. It helped use up some of my smaller scraps..

The squares are patched together with wrong sides together so the seams are on the outside. I then clipped the seams and washed it all (inside a pillowcase to catch all the fluff).
The seams will fluff up even more and look better over time as the folder is used.

I really like the effect - and hopefully the birthday girl will like her present!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A little clothes upcycle for my girls

One of the simplest things I've ever made - and subsequently my most popular tutorial, having been pinned and repinned like crazy - is for this simple iPod or MP3 player armband for use when exercising.

It's a simple clothes upcycle - using an old t-shirt top.
For the tutorial you can go here - it's one of my 5 steps in 15 minutes tutorials that ANYONE can sew!

Here's one of the comments on the tutorial post:

"I just used this tutorial (found via craft gossip) to make a quick arm band holder for my phone. It literally took 10 minutes (would have taken less but my 2 year old was "helping" me) and works great! Thanks!"

Now my girls have their own MP3 players that they like to listen to their music on - and sometimes they listen and dance around too - so I thought they might like their own little MP3 player armbands too!

So - I found a couple of old t-shirt tops in my stash - they're stretched and have some holes in them, but there's plenty of useable fabric there...

And now my girls have their own cute little MP3 player armbands so they can listen to their music and dance around hands free!!

Their armbands will also roll up and fit inside their little
MP3 player cases that I made them from some denim and cotton scraps too: 

(you can find the tutorial for these here)

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Round Tuit 125

Halloween is almost upon us! Have you got all your decorations ready?
I got in early with our Halloween themed Murder Mystery Party last month - so our spooky decorations have been hanging out for the end of October to come out again!
I'm looking forward to checking out any last minute ideas before the big day on Wednesday!

So let's get to the party...

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:

And since it's almost Halloween, I had to choose Halloween themed  crafts!
First of all, these cool spooky ghosts from Babblings and More:
Super cool!
Always lots of great ideas from the girls at this blog - so go and take a look:

Next, this gorgeous
 Halloween Pumpkin costume from Pinkie for Pink:
Lots more great ideas from Nichole on her blog, so go and say hello:

Finally, these brilliant 
Halloween cupcakes from Simply Sweet 'n Savory:
Ambreen always has lots of delicious recipes for all manner of foods on her blog - I'd highly recommend a visit:

For those featured, feel free to grab a 'featured on' button from my buttons page.
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 facebook during the week, and also on this post next week.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Fabric Fairy

Recently one of my readers emailed and asked me how I found buying fabric online - and also from another country.  

Well, I'm happy to purchase things online and often do. With anything I buy, I shop around to find exactly what I want, at the best price I can - and if that is in another country then that's fine! 

A few weeks ago, I was looking to purchase some ruffle knit fabric.  My daughters both have tops made with this gorgeous fabric that they almost worn out because they love them and wear them so much!

I looked here in my hometown of Cairns (the easy option), but couldn't find any, so then I looked online - and found the best place to get ruffled fabric to be The Fabric Fairy.

They have a great selection and all at a good price, so I went ahead and ordered some!
The website was really easy to use and very quickly I'd placed my order and received my confirmation.

Now The Fabric Fairy is in the USA and I'm in Australia, so I had to wait for international postage - but it only took 2 weeks (which is fast to get up to our small little town up here in Far North Queensland!) and I was so excited when my package arrived with my gorgeous ruffle knits!

My girls approve of the colours and can't wait for me to make them new tops!  So I plan to get those done in the next week - and I'll post all about them and try to add a tutorial too!
There's enough fabric to make something for myself too! Yippee!!

So if you're looking for fabric - don't be afraid to buy online and buy from another country too!
 I can highly recommend the fabulous Fabric Fairy.
They specialise in knit fabrics, but also stock plenty others together with patterns and notions.
Just look at this cute fabric which is set to arrive in store any day now..
Sooooo cute!!!

The Fabric Fairy herself - Megan is also passionate about fabrics and super helpful if you need any guidance or advice about your fabric choice.

So what are you waiting for - head on over to The Fabric Fairy now and see what you can find!

Happy Fabric Shopping!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


The final thing I learnt about with my sewing machine this week is Fagoting!

Now to be honest I'd never heard of this until I read it in my instruction book. Have you?

Fagoting is a method of joining two hemmed pieces of fabric together with decorative stitching, and leaving a gap between the two pieces.

This one was nice and simple to do.

Just fold the two edges of the fabric over and press, then pin onto a piece of paper leaving a small gap in between!

Then using a regular sewing machine foot and these stitch settings (number 9)

Line your machine foot centrally on your seam and stitch away!

Then pull away the paper from the back and you're done!
(I used regular white paper, but would choose tissue paper or similar next time as it would be easier to remove without pulling the stitches)

So here you have my test example of Fagoting!

Another decorative stitch to keep in mind for future projects!

Have you ever tried this?

I hope you've enjoyed these mini tutorials on things sewing machines can do! They included rolled hems, blind stitch hemming, smocking, pintucking and fagoting.
I learned lots of new useful techniques that I'm sure I'll be using again soon!

How well do you know your machine and do you make full use of all it can do?

Next I shall have to start to explore my overlocker (serger)! I'll add that to my to-do list and look at it gradually over time! I have two large books with overlocker projects in, so I know there are lots of possibilities to discover!

Friday, October 26, 2012


Come and take a look at the fabulous Madwestdesigns!
Marie has some gorgeous hand-knitted and crocheted items - and if you can't see what you're looking for - then do contact her as she welcomes custom orders!

New in her Etsy store are these gorgeous Mug Cozys:
How cute are they? And they'll keep your cuppa nice and warm too! Cute AND practical - I love them!

Taking of cute, take a look at Hoot the Owl:

And this adorable crochet turtle:
Who wouldn't love one of those?

Madwestdesigns also has a fabulous range of handmade scarves, hats and slippers.
There are so many beautiful items in this shop, it's well worth a visit - I can only show you a glimpse here!

Marie can also be found on her lovely blog, and also on facebook.

So why not have a browse through Madwestdesigns on Etsy and see  the beautiful handcrafted items Marie has to offer!


In my quest to learn what my sewing machine can do - today I want to share what I learned about pin tucking!

A Pintuck is essentially 
a fold of fabric stitched into place.

They are used either just for decoration or to help create shape in clothing.

My sewing machine tells me to use this foot once again (the same one I used for blind stitch hemming)

Then to create the pintuck, you simply fold the fabric where you want it to be, position the fabric so the needle will pierce the fabric just inside the fold 
(depending on how narrow you want your tuck to be)

and adjust the screw at the front of the foot so the sliding part is up against the edge of the fold.

Then let the sliding part of the food guide your fabric through as you sew your pintuck!

I decided to use this technique on my daughter's school dress which had a tear in the back of the skirt part.
The tear was slightly to the side, so I made a tuck in both sides to even it up!

(Don't look closely at the mismatched checks on my tucks. This dress has been patched so many times and only has to last another 4 weeks of school, so it was just a quick fix!!)

So yet another thing learned about my machine!

Here's an example of some beautiful pintucks - from the fabulous Pam at Threading my Way:
A lovely Pintucked skirt:

And for some more examples of pintucking and smocking (which I learnt about yesterday) go take a look at the entries to Ricochet and Away's Fab Folds Challenge!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lily Bella Fabrics

A fabulous online shop with a wonderful selection of fabrics and patterns.

New in are these gorgeous Mama Said Sew fabrics by Sweetwater:

Or perhaps you're looking for a selection of fabrics - then take a look at the fabric bundles they have on offer, like this bag of fat eighths:

Then if you're looking for some inspiration of what to make - then why not browse through their great selection of patterns.

Whatever you're looking for, Lily Bella Fabrics is well worth a visit.

So head on over there for a browse right now!

Happy Fabric Shopping!

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