Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas 2013

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas - I can't believe how quickly it came and went!


I've been a bit absent from my blog during December - busy, busy, busy, but I'm hoping to slow down a bit and get back into it in the new year.

XXX


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hand Print Cushion

I whipped up this cushion for Riley's Nanan for Christmas ....


Considering I'm not very good when it comes to embroidery, I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Joining in with Show & Tell.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Elf on the Shelf 2013

Remember Harvey, our Elf on the shelf?? Last year he got himself a bit lost and didn't get here until just 4 days before Christmas.

This year he arrived right on time and has been getting up to all sorts of mischief ever since ....


Riley loves searching for Harvey each morning - such a fun Christmas tradition!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Button Ornaments

These little ornaments are so easy to make and they're a great way to use up any buttons that you might have lying around.


I go through phases of jewelry making so I already had all the supplies that I needed in my stash. Now to make some more.

Joining in with Show & Tell.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Book Review: A Book is a Book by Jenny Bornholdt


Books can be true and not true and sometimes they can be both at the same time.

A book belongs in a library, on a bookshelf, in a bookshop, in your house.

A story belongs wherever a story belongs.


If it’s Sunday and raining, a book is the perfect thing. Even a small book, because boredom can be very big.




This is a book about books. Each page shares a new insight into the magic of books and the joys of reading. 'Told' from a child's view, it is sure to appeal to young and old alike.


Sarah Wilkins' illustrations are simple and sweet - a perfect match for the whimsical and humorous text.

There are so many choice bits of wisdom that I can relate to, but my favorite line would have to be:

If you need to get around your room without touching the floor, books are good. You should only use your biggest, worst books for this game.


Does anyone else remember playing that game as a child? We used soft toys and pillows instead of books.

This is truly a book for book lovers of all ages to enjoy and it is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

Get your copy here.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Peasant Blouse

Is anyone else frantically working away on their Christmas sewing list?


I whipped up a couple of summer tops for a sweet little girl. It's such fun sewing girly things for a change!

I used the Polly Peasant Dress and Blouse Pattern from Sew Much Ado. I LOVE this pattern. It's super quick and comes with options for both a dress and blouse as well as different hemming and sleeve options.

Since the recipient isn't mobile yet, I went for the blouse option with a straight hem and gathered sleeves - simple but so cute!

Joining in with Show & Tell.

Friday, November 15, 2013

For The Boys! Blog Hop: Reading Cushion

It's the final day of the For the Boys blog hop organised by Madam Samm from Sew We Quilt and Amy from Sew Incredibly Crazy.

When I found out about the blog hop, I just jumped at the chance to join in. I do a lot of sewing for my little man and I thought it would be a great way to get a start on sewing some Christmas presents.


I've been tossing around the idea of a reading cushion for a while now. We're very much into our books at the moment and I know I love snuggling up with a good book, so I'd like to encourage R to do the same.


I quilted the pocket in straight lines, not that you can really tell but it does make it nice and sturdy while still being comfortable to sit on.


The closure is a covered zip which was really easy to do and gives the back a nice finish.


Be sure to check out these other awesome bloggers and their For the Boys posts ......

November 15th

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tutorial: Keyring Pouch

I have a quick little project to share with you today. These little keyring pouches are super cute and a great way to use up some fabric scraps. The finished size is approximately 3 1/4" L x 2" W x 1" D - the perfect size for a tube of lip balm and with Christmas just around the corner why not whip up a few as gifts.


All the hardware was provided by K & C Supplies. Make sure to check them out - they have an awesome range of zips, buttons, charms and more.

Supplies:
- 2 pieces of exterior fabric, 5" x 3"
- 2 pieces of lining fabric, 5" x 3"
- 2 pieces of medium weight interfacing, 5" x 2.5"
- 2 pieces of coordinating fabric for the tabs, 2" x 1.5"
- 9" zip
- swivel lobster clasp
- zip charm (optional)

Iron the interfacing onto your 2 pieces of exterior fabric, there will be 1/2" uncovered at the bottom of your pieces.


We're going to start by making the tabs for our pouch. 

Take one of the 2" x 1.5" pieces of fabric and fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together. Sew down the side with a 1/4" seam.


Turn right side out and press flat with the seam centered at the back. Repeat to make the other tab. Set aside.


Place one of your exterior pieces right side up, if your fabric has a directional print, make sure that it's going in the direction that you want it to. The 1/2" without interfacing should be at the bottom (not being attached to the zip).

Lay your zipper on top, right side down and with the zipper pull to the left.


Place one of your lining pieces on top, right side down and aligning all edges. Pin if desired.


Sew together using your zipper foot. I like to use the edge of my zipper foot as a guide.


Flip pieces so that they are wrong sides together and press away from the zipper teeth.


Place your remaining exterior piece of fabric right side up (again if your using a directional print, make sure that it's going the right way). Lay your zip on top face down, this time with the zipper pull to the right. Place your last lining piece right side down. Line up the edges and sew as before.


Flip wrong sides together and press.


Top stitch next to the zipper on each side.


Match up the raw edges of the lining and exterior fabric. Pin in place.


Sew down each long edge with a 1/4" seam.


Center each seam over the zipper teeth and press open.


Take one of the fabric tabs that we made earlier and fold it in half. Place it in the bottom end of your pouch and line up the raw edges. Center it over the zipper and hand baste in place - make sure to only sew through the zipper tape and the tab.


Open up your zipper about half way.

Thread the lobster swivel clasp onto your remaining fabric tab. Fold in half and place it in the top of your pouch. Repeat as you did for the previous side. You could also sew a bar tack over the zipper teeth at the open zip end, to keep it from moving too much when we sew the ends closed.


Gently turn the lining right side out. Sew down the two short ends with a 1/4" seam (I like to go over the zipper 2 or 3 times to secure it). Trim off the ends of your zipper roughly 1/2" from your seam and snip off any loose threads. 


Now we're going to box the corners.

Start by opening out your corner. Center your stitch line on top of the folded edge and fold the seam away from the zip, making a triangle.

Measure 1/2" in from the corner and rule a line at right angles to the stitch line. Repeat for all corners and sew along the marked lines (don't forget to secure your stitches at both ends).


Trim off the corners 1/4" away from stitching line, use pinking shears if you have them.

Turn right side out through the zip and gently poke out corners.


You're done! Attach it to your keys, bag, or belt loop and you're good to go.


Optional: I added a little charm to my zip pull for some extra bling.


Now make a bunch more!

They're also a great idea for school children - I'm going to make one for R to clip to the inside of his bag for when he needs to take money to school.

If you make a Keyring Pouch using this tutorial, I'd love for you to share some photos in the Monkey Makes Three Flickr group or leave me a link in the comments.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Angry Birds Party

Last weekend we had R's Angry Birds birthday party. The aim was to keep it simple, cheap and fun.


I didn't organize any party games and the boy's were happy enough running around, playing with R's toys and making up their own games. The time frame was 2 hours which gave them enough time to play and eat without anybody getting bored or going crazy (namely Phil and I - lets just say that I have a whole new level of respect for R's teacher).

As far as food went we had cocktail sausages, sausage rolls, chips, mini donuts, jelly and marshmallow pops - pretty much your standard party food.

For drinks, I opted for juice boxes and thought that it would be fun to use themed cups for the goody bags. I really like how they turned out. Everything fit nicely and I didn't feel like we were handing out half empty goody bags at the end of the party. The Angry Birds pens were a big hit.


For the cake, I contacted a lovely lady through facebook and she was happy to make the cake toppers for me. She did an exceptional job with them - you can check out her website here.



Everyone had a great time and R loved it which makes all the pre-party stress worth it. Even so, I don't think we'll be doing it again for at least a couple of years.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tutorial: Grocery Bag Dispenser 2

As promised here is the second grocery bag dispenser tutorial. This version is a little more refined with no raw edges. I used a home dec fabric for this but I think it would work equally well with quilting cotton but you may want to add a lining to give it more structure (simply baste 2 pieces of fabric wrong sides together before starting).


Supplies:
- 1 fat quarter
- 2 6 inch pieces of 9 mm wide elastic
- coordinating thread

Cut your fabric into an 18" x 18" square and a strip measuring 10" x 2".

We're going to start by making the handle (refer back to tutorial 1 for photos).

Take your piece of fabric that measures 10" x 2" and fold it in half lengthwise, press. Unfold and fold each raw edge into the center line you just created. Press again.

Fold in half again. Press and pin. 

Sew down both sides of your handle close to the edge.


Set aside. 

Take your main piece of fabric and fold it in half wrong sides together and pin. Sew down that side using a 1/4" seam allowance.


Turn wrong side out and press your seam.


Sew down that seam again with a 1/2" seam allowance.



Turn right side out and press the seam being careful not to crease the sides of your bag bag. You should now have a long tube with all the raw edges nicely enclosed in the french seam.


Now we're going to create the casings for our elastic. Starting at the bottom end, fold over the raw edge about 1/4" and press. Fold over a further 1/2" and press again - pin it down as you go. Repeat for other end.

Starting with the bottom, sew around close to the edge, leaving an opening at the back for inserting the elastic.


Take one of your 6" pieces of elastic. Attach a safety pin to one end and begin threading it through your casing. The elastic is short so try not to twist it and be very careful not to lose the other end inside the casing. Once you've pulled the elastic through, sew the ends together and sew your opening shut.


Before sewing the top casing, lay your bag bag flat and center the seam at the back. Place a pin to mark each side (equal distance from the seam). Taking the handle that you made earlier, find the center and match it up with the pin on one side (the right side of your handle should be facing outwards). Slide it under your casing and pin in place. Repeat for other side of handle. Sew casing as before leaving an opening for your elastic.


Press the handle upwards.


Sew in place at the very edge of the bag bag.


Thread through your elastic like you did for the bottom. Sew the ends together and sew opening closed.

You're done!


If you make a Grocery Bag Dispenser using this tutorial, I'd love for you to share some photos in the Monkey Makes Three Flickr group or leave me a link in the comments.