Friday, 25 November 2011

Market Day!

Over the last week, I have been sewing madly to get ready for the Christmas Market that will take place later today. I have quite a bit ready, but still wish I had more! I wanted to have some of my change mats and maybe even a playmat to display... but well... in such a short time it was just not possible!

Amongst the things I have made, I have these very cute backpacks for kids (in my opinion anyway).

They are easy to open & close and fit easily on a child's back. Once on the back, they are securely closed, and nothing can drop out, even if you cartwheel ;) They are fully machine washable and lined in white so it is easy to see what is inside. It is also possible to have them plasticized (for a swimming bag or just to be weather proof).

You can have them with just the child's name, or more practical, you can have one for each activity your child does with appropriate picture & lettering. Then store the necessary items for that activity in the bag. Meaning you can just grab the correct bag as you are running out the door to get your darling to ballet, music lessons, gymnastics, swimming... without leaving something necessary behind! ALSO, the bag will have your child's name on it, so others will know where to look for your child's items if you are not there for a moment - which happens if you have more than one child.

I saw the need for this while visiting my Sister last week. We had taken my older niece (Hannah) to swimming lessons & my younger niece (Grace) had come along to watch, but on route she fell asleep in the car! So my Sister got Hannah in & dressed in her cozzie (swimming costume for the non-South Africans) while I stayed with Grace asleep in the car. Then we switched so I could watch Hannah's lesson - she was very excited to have someone new to witness her swimming prowess!

Problem was, when Hannah got out of the pool, I had no idea which of the bags belonged to her, and she was not sure either - Mom always sorts this part out. So I had to wrap my shivering niece in my down jacket, leave the warmth of the indoor pool, and run, jacketless, back to the car to ask the all knowing mother!

A personalized swim bag would have been just the ticket!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Turkey Day!

Celebrate Thanksgiving with a pretty table as well as good food!

Above are a few napkin options. Last year I added a turkey to a hand towel as a hostess gift for the friends we enjoyed Thanksgiving with - always nice to have the theme throughout the house, guest bathroom too!

You can add one of these designs to aprons, tea towels, placemats, place setting name tags, napkin rings, table runners, ...
you get the idea!

Have a look here for more embroidered designs for Thanksgiving.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Face Cushion

Part of my little blondie niece's Xmas gift done :)

Can you see the resemblance to her cushion?

I had some admiring glances for the cushion.....

Calico really likes Grace... think he sees the resemblance... or maybe he just wants to nap on the cushion & it wondering how to get it in the right position!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Gift Bags

Heading into the Christmas season, there are always many gifts to be sourced and sorted... teachers, doctors, co-workers etc etc. A lovely idea is home made items like biscuits and jams etc. But how to package it? Well, why not make up some gift bags in fabric? These bags can be reused or repurposed as a toiletry bag or to hold clothes pegs, chargers, cotton balls, tea bags.... you get the idea - they can be useful :)

And less waste is a good idea for the environment, helping to reduce your carbon footprint. Hopefully the dustbins full of giftwrap after Xmas day will soon be a thing of the past!

You can stiffen these bags with interfacing, use brooches as closures, use covered buttons... the options are up to your imagination!

Go on... give it a go!
Or order some at our upcoming Xmas Market... details to follow.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Christmas Market coming up...

I will be selling my handmade goods at a Christmas market soon, so need to get sewing for it!! I realized that many of my items are customizable, so I am thinking of taking orders at the market... always nice to give a personalized gift.

So I am also working on samples! Killing two birds with one stone, I am making some of the Christmas gifts I had planned to make and will use them as samples.

The first of these planned items: personalized cushions for my two nieces & our little God-Daughter. I have completed Hannah's this morning, and am quite happy with the result:

I designed the eyes, nose & mouth myself, following Manga drawing instructions, then converted them to stitches using my clever Generations software.
(Anyone who machine-embroiders NEEDS this software!! It is pricey, but WOW is it clever, and simple to use. Anything I can draw I can turn into stitches!!)
Give Generations a try - it is very reasonably priced for a month trial of the full version - click here to read about this offer. ATW is a GREAT resource for machine embroidery, well worth the membership fees - which are very reasonable.

Anyhow, these cushions can have eye colour, hair colour & name appropriate for your child, as well as the main fabric to match their bedroom.

I got the idea by combining two ideas. The first a sewn 'portrait' my Sister wanted of their family. I still have to try this with Generations, as with the other software I used before buying Generations it did not turn out THAT well...

(William has an apple on his t-shirt as he is Apple mad - NOT a green heart)

And the 2nd: at the end of our 'Girls' Road Trip' I spent a couple of days with my Sister. The 1st night I put the girls in their beds I was not 100% sure which bed belonged to which niece as they share a room. I was thinking they needed something on their beds with their name on it - and so the face cushion was born!

Happy stitching until next time....

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Travelling Knickers

My Mum gave me this idea a while back, and I have been meaning to give it a try ever since. Now, as we are about to leave for our 'Girl's Road Trip' and my partner on this trip has just celebrated a birthday - it was the perfect time!

Thelma & Louise are off!
Until my return...

Happy stitching!!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

No Pattern Required

Every now & again I get asked to make something I have never though to make before (& may never get asked to again). This time it was a chef's hat for my dear friend ChefInBerlin (don't you just love her logo?!).

Here is the inspiration for the item...

Working with a great product from Vlieseline called Decovil I that when ironed onto fabric makes it handle like leather - it is stiff enough for those lovely stiff little handbags you have seen - like Amy Butler's Chelsea Bag

Anyway... it worked well & ChefInBerlin is happy.
Here is my very patient husband modeling it :)

It took a bit of fiddling & trial & error... but proof that you can make anything yourself & you don't always need a pattern to do it!

Happy stitching!!

....had to add the Sous Chef in the hat....