Friday, December 21, 2012

Ladies shirt refashion Tutorial

It’s time to raid the op shops or your grandma’s house to create this gorgeous simple shirt… or you that you can buy doily’s online.

suit able for any style of shirt, tank top etc. check your wardrobe, op shops, or the stores have fairly cheap blank clothing.

You will need
1 shirt
1 doily


1) Find the centre position on the back of your top and pin doily in place.
2) Sew around the outside where it has the most crochet stitches.

3) Turn inside out, pinch up the shirt layer only and snip an opening.
4) I use my applique duckbill scissors for this next part (shown below), and trim as close to the stitches as I can.

And you're DONE!
It's that SIMPLE!
not bad for a $4 shirt, right?


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Reusable Produce Bag Tutorial

We all try to be Eco friendly, and not use plastic bags, plus most of the stores don't even stock them... except when it comes to the fresh produce section!

And our fruit and veggies usually only sit in these bags for an hour while we finish the rest of the grocery shopping and bring it home to unpack straight into the fridge or fruit bowl.
So I'm going to show you a very simple way to make some reusable produce bags, that I look forward to using during my new grocery shopping trip!

You will need:
garment washing bag from cheap store (I bought the largest possible size they had, so I could get two produce bags from each washing bag)
cord or string


1) cut off the top of the bag, just below the zip.

2) Cut bag in half if you have one that is big enough to turn it into two bags.

3) Turn each half inside out and stitch up the newly cut side.
remember to back stitch a few times near the top opening as this will as much strength as it can
Don't forget to back stitch the top of the already stitched side as the thread would have been cut and leave it weak.

4) weave cord or string through the bag, towards the top and secure in place with a toggle (this step is not required as the plastic produce bags don't close)

Please ignore how empty my produce bags actually are, its end of the week and due for another stock up.

And you're DONE!
It's that SIMPLE!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Car Pouch Tutorial

And who hasnt put their hand in their hand bag and pulled out a toy car instead of their ringing mobile?

With this cute little pouch, your child will be able to keep 3 of their favourite cars nice and safely together.
Ready to play with while out and about- waiting for the doctor, on the cafe table, or in the middle of the groccery aisle!

You Will Need:

Outer fabric 17x 24cm
Inner fabric 17x24cm
pocket piece 17x16cm


1) Fold pocket piece in half to create a rectange 17x8cm, and top stitch along the folded edge.

2) Position on the bottom of the inner layer

3) On the bottom-back of your inner piece, find the middle and mark 1inch either side of it.
This is where you will sew a straight line to create the individual car pockets.
Be sure to go back and forth a couple of times at the top of the pocket to make sure it will hold up against cars going in and out all the time.
4)I will be using a hair elastic and button for the pouches closure, same concept as the Fold-up Shopping Bag.
Snaps can also be put on towards the end, in the two corners if you prefer.
5)  Placing fabrics right side together, it is time to pin together and sew around the outside, leaving a turning gap at the top (shown where my fingers are, not sure why my photo is turned at the moment)

6) Snip the corners and turn in the right way. Top stitching the turning hole and all the way around the outside.

7) Positiong the button in place.

And you're DONE!
It's that SIMPLE!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Electronic Fabric Stash

If you haven't already been able to tell, I like to be organised.
It helps me to know where things are, and easily able to see what I have.

And this doesn't stop when it comes to my fabric stash.

I have it folded around corflute (a plastic type cardboard available from most hard ware stores, and also used in signs for realestate and bottle shops) and grouped in boxes according to type and size.
I also place them in to the box standing up right, so that when you take off the lid and peer in, you can see the edge of each fabric and don't have to pull out your wanted piece from the bottom of the stacked pile- because you can guarantee that's where the one you want will always be!

This box is my cotton prints:

This one contains my flannelet, drill and denim: (plus a few misc like stretch and satin that i don't have much of, as i don't like working with it as often)

and these two boxes contain my fat quarters and "scrap" pieces: (I don't keep really scrappy pieces, it has to be decent enough to use on my every day sewing)

As well as my very easy to see-into-boxes, I have also taken photographs of each piece of fabric separately (generally as I buy them so i can stay up to date) and store them on my computer in folder called "Fabric Stash" Again I list them according to type and size. (Yet to write exact measurements, but believe me, I have considered it!)

This way I can sit at my computer and browse what I have and what might work for a project before I need to start unstacking boxes and finding the fabric.

I also get great satisfaction at seeing a piece of fabric "crossed off my list" when I have used up a  piece completely, I simply delete the photo from my records.

How do you store and sort your fabrics?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Easy Fold-up Shopping Bag Tutorial

This is possibly the easiest way to make a fold up shopping bag, that you wont be able to live without 1 (or 3 like myself) in your handbag and car.

You will need:
Either a simple rectangle/square shaped bag you have made, or a premade bag to make it even easier.
1 hair elastic
1 button


1) Find the middle of the back, and sew a hair elastic in place with a few straight stitches back and forth.

2) Turn the bag to face front up
3) Fold the bag, first with handles on top of the bag

4) Fold one 3rd of the bags side in on itself
5) and repeat with the other side

6) Then start rolling from the bottom and find where the elastic will stretch to.
7) Mark with your sewing needle, but dont start sewing the button on until you unfold it, to ensure you one sew through one layer of the bag.

8) Fold back up and secure with elastic around the button.

And you’re DONE!
It's that SIMPLE!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Mini Purse Tutorial

This mini purse is great for loyalty cards, business cards, carry a bit of change, women's products, phone case (maybe add a layer of batting for this) and many more ideas for this cute purse!

You will need:printable pattern piece
1 layer outer fabric
1 layer inner fabric
1 layer of interfacing (or batting if you are making a phone case)
hair elastic and button or snaps


1) layer fabrics right side together, with interfacing/wadding on wrong side of the outer fabric and pin together.
i will be using a hair elastic for closure on this wallet, so place that between the inner and outer fabric, half way along the curved side.

2) Start sewing from the short flat side, all the way around finishing on the shirt side, leaving a turning gap approx the size I am showing between my fingers.

3) Snip corners and turn right way.

4) Top stitch the short straight side, so the turning gap is closed up.

5) Pin the short side up 3.5" towards the curved edge.
6) Start sewing from the folded edge, up the straight, around the curve, and down the other straight side stopping at the fold on the other side

7) Add your button closer, or snaps.
Button and button hole would work, so would Velcro.

And you’re DONE!
It's that SIMPLE!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sew Very..... Cheap?

Just like sewing doesn't have to be complicated
It also doesn't have to be expensive

I always look for free patterns and tutorials online
It may take a little perseverance to search for what you are after using the right keywords in google.
Sometimes searching in google images helps, as you can see if it matches before clicking a heap of different links.
Or if your happy to browse and let the ideas come to you, Pinterest is a great place to start.

The library is another place I find great for sewing
I have borrowed MANY books that have a pattern fold out in the back.
Or pages with patterns you simple need to photocopy to the size they say.

Finding cheap supplies can be just as easy also.
Sometimes buying in bulk for small notions can work out cheaper. And while you might only need one or two at the time, you'd be surprised how often you would use zips, magnet clasps, key rings and swivel clips etc if you had them on hand!

I find plain coloured homespun fabric is cheaper in my local quilting store then it is to get solid colours from Spotlight or the likes.

And keep an eye out for fabric sales, or destash websites.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kids Week: Day 5

Opps a little late in posting this...but here is what I created for my eldest son on the last day of the challenge.

I have no been requested by my eldest 2 to make all of the colour ninjas EACH!
thats 5 each (minus this one)

At least that means it is liked I suppose....
A big thank you to Crazy Little Projects, for the printable template.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kids Clothing Week: Day 4

My youngest needed some new shirts for summer, so instead of buying printed tee's, and possibly costing more $$.

I bought a few blank and striped shirts for $3 and $4 each with the intention of embroidery and appliquing on them.

Only trouble is.... working out which of the millions of ideas and designs I actually want to put on these 3 shirts!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Kids Clothing Week: Day 3

Today I am doing a bit of a mass production of clothing.

20 dresses on the go, which will all be on their way to my favourite charity Dress a Girl Australia.

While I wont get these all completed today, I have made a decent start on them, and KCWC was exactly what I needed to motivate me to start.

Looks like day 5 will be continuing with dresses (have some embroidery planned for tomorrow as I'll be out most of the day)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kids Clothing Week: DAY 2

Nothing I like more then making something girly and pretty after sewing for my 3 boys all the time.

So I was very excited about starting today's clothing item... because its DOUBLE!!!

Day 2: Cute matching cross-over pinafores for my friend's soon-to-be-born twin girls!

I love when twins where matching- but different, so I am loving how unique these two dresses turned out.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Kids Clothing Week: DAY 1

Twice a year there is a Kids Clothing Week Challenge, hosted by Elsie Marley, where the challenge is to spend a min. of 1 hour a day sewing kids clothing.

I already had these items on my to-do-list, but I thought, what perfect timing to do it during the challenge week.

Day1: PJ pants for middle and youngest child (will make matching shirts to go with them)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Organising My UFOs

I bet your wondering why I have so many space crafts that I need a way to organise them, right?

Well in the sewing/crafting world, UFO stands for Un- Finished Objects.

So being the neat freak I am, unfinished projects can feel messy and overwhelming to me.Here is my simple solution to keep these organised, prevents them getting messed up and also means they are easy to see and I am more likely to grab one and finish it off.

For starters I have a notebook sitting on my sewing desk, right beside me sewing machine with a list of things I want or need to do next.
I will work my way through this list (not in order), things that "need" to be done, will be done in order and take priority over "wants".
As I complete an item, I scrawl it out so i can no longer see it, and its clearly crossed off.

If I have the fabrics in mind for particular projects, or have started to cut something, I will bag it in it own zip lock bag, and stick a little sticker on the front to tell me at a glance what project is in the bag.

and then they are stored in this container. Looks kind of pretty for UFOs don't you think?


How do you organise your unfinished projects?
Do you have an actually "to do list" or is it more like a mental wish list?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Seasonal Cushion Covers

I have been admiring these cushion for a while now, and with Christmas fast approaching I thought I better get to work on my Christmas "to make" list.

I made these covers removable so they could 1) fit over existing cushions, 2) not have to try and store a filled cushion during the rest of the year and 3) not have to worry what cushion filling would actually store like.

Cant wait until Christmas time and have these on display! (First I need to finish the other 2 cushions)

This is the tutorial I used, from Sparkle Power!, to make the removable cover.