Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Art Work on Bags & a Cushion...

When my children attended pre school many years ago, they were exposed to a wonderful art program. Amongst many other works of art they created, were some fabulous paintings on fabric. Two of these I made into a cushion over twenty five years ago. My two eldest children each created their art work with leaf printing and sewing. My daughter sewed the butterfly and my son the mushroom. This cushion is still in use over a quarter of century after it was made.

I recently found another two fabric paintings created by my kids whilst at pre school. These works of art were initially used as place mats, but had been carefully put in a cupboard for safe keeping. I wanted to put their art on show. This is what I came up with...

 ... a carry all tote, with gussets. My daughter created this art work. It depicts the whole family in front of our house. She's painted me in the red and yellow spotted dress. She is the one with the blue hair. Next in line is Mr TMW, her father. The two smallest are her little brothers. If you look closely, you can see two of the flowers are outlined with sewing.

I've designed the bag so it folds up easily. Inside I sewed a large pocket. Unfortunately, I sewed it upside down and didn't realise until the bag was finished. I didn't fancy unpicking, so I've left it as is; an upside down pocket, which of course doesn't work, but I'm the only one that knows that.

... and a second carry all tote. I've just washed it and it really needs an iron. My eldest son painted this. The original was twice the size. I cut it in half. One half is the pocket you can see on the front; right side up. The second half was used to make a pocket inside the bag and the tab to close the bag. It's a nice strong bag because of the fabric used, but it still folds easily.

I just love to be able to see and use my kids' art work, instead of having it safely stored away. I'll take more photos with nicely ironed bags.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Zippered Pouch

I used this great tutorial by Toni, from Make It Perfect, to make the cute little zippered pouch pictured, for my Mum. Instead of wadding, I used a medium weight interfacing and I added the wrist strap. It was a very quick and easy project. I'm very pleased with how it turned out. Mum uses the purse a lot.

I also made Mum a carry all tote bag, for shopping or visiting. It is fully lined, but has no interfacing or stiffening, as I wanted it to be able to be folded easily into a small size. There's two large pockets; one on the outside and one inside. The bag is quite roomy, as there's a gusset at the sides and bottom. This is not a good photo, but here it is anyway.

I've made quite a few pouches now, all smaller than the original. They have so many uses: makeup purse, small first aid kit, pencil case, storage for little items in a handbag and for the littlies they store all manner of things.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Quick Birthday Gift Tag...

Here's a little gift tag I've made to match a present I'll be making on the weekend. I got the idea from Stampin' & Craftin' (Stampin' & Craftin' blog is no longer available).

  1. Cut four pieces of material into squares with pinking shears.
  2. Cut out a square of thin green cardboard with pinking shears.
  3. Sew the squares onto the cardboard by machine.

It's quick, easy and I think it will look good tied to the Art Caddy I'll be sewing. I'll show you the card attached to the Art Caddy when it's finished.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Finished Bag...

I had planned on doing lots of sewing today, but it was a lovely sunny day, so I spent most of the day in the garden. We still have seven days till Winter is officially over, but I think Spring has come early.

Before I went outside, I finished the bag I started in my piping tutorial.

Since sewing this bag, I've purchased a piping foot for my machine. It makes piping so much easier, so it was well worth the money.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Treasure Bag...

This little treasure bag is quick to sew and can be made from scraps of material.  It is not lined, so I have used French seams to keep it tidy.


    - 2 pieces 16cm x 19 cm - main colour for the outside of the bag
    - 2 pieces 16cm x 4.5cm - contrast colour for inside top of the bag
    - 2 pieces 13cm x 3cm - contrast colour for the drawstring casing
    - 2 pieces of cord 34cm


    Right sides together, sew the contrast to the main colour. I used a 6mm seam and finished with a zig zag stitch. Finger press the seam to the top and topstitch 3mm from the seam. 
    Sew contrast to main colour...
    Topstitch 3mm from the seam...

    Sew the front and back together using French seams:
    1. With wrong sides together, sew the front to the back at the bottom with a 3mm seam.
    2. Trim any loose threads.
    3. Turn the material so that the right sides are together.
    4. Finger press and sew a 6mm seam
    5. Open to the right side
    Step 1: sew wrong sides together...
    Step 4: sew right sides together... 

    Repeat Steps 1 to 5 for both the side seams.

    Step 1: sew side seams...
    Step 2: trim loose threads...

    Seams finished...

    Hem the top of the bag:
    1. Sew a zig zag stitch around the top edge of the bag on the contrast.
    2. Finger press a 6mm hem and stitch.
    3. Turn so the contrast is on the inside and finger press
    4. Stitch near the bottom of the hem.
    Steps 1 & 2: zig zag and hem...
    Step 4: hem...

    1. Turn the bag right side out.
    2. Stitch a fine zig zag around the four edges of the casing. I sometimes do the zig zag twice.
    3. Turn the short ends under twice, finger press and stitch twice.
    4. Turn the long edges under 6mm once  and finger press.
    5. Measure 1.5cm from the top of the bag and pin the casing.
    6. Tack the long edges by hand and remove pins.
    7. Run two rows of stitching along the long edges.
    Step 2: zig zag around the edge...
    Step 3: hem the ends...

    Step 6: tack by hand...
    Step 7: stitch twice along long edges...

    1. If the cord will fray, put sticky tape around one end and attach a safety pin.
    2. Thread the first cord through both casings.
    3. Thread the second cord through both casings.
    4. Knot the ends of each cord.
    Step 1: attach sticky tape & safety pin
    Thread the 2nd cord...

    There you have it; a quick, easy little project.

    Pin It

    Monday, 22 August 2011

    Doll Stroller Liner...

    I'm not a big fan of plastic toys, however, a cheap little plastic stroller has been a big hit with the little ones in our family. It cost about $10 (Aus) and has been money well spent. The frame, although plastic, seems quite durable. The fabric lining was not so strong and needed to be replaced.


    I unpicked the old liner and used it as the pattern to cut the new fabric. I drew on the old material to indicate where I would need to attach the straps and sew the seams.

    The original liner was just two pieces of material sewn together, with binding around the outside. To make it stronger this time, I decided to line the material. This simply meant cutting two of each piece and adding an extra bit to attach the liner to the stroller underneath the seat.

    D rings reused...

    Pink, pink and more pink...
    Lining for strength & looks neater...

            And now for a test run with the toys...

    Sunday, 21 August 2011

    A Place for Everything...

    When our children left home, Mr TMW and I each took over one of the kid's bedrooms as our own rooms for hobbies. Originally, I only put one desk in my room and consequently had my sewing machine set up in the dining room, with all of my sewing gear stored in my room. This set up worked quite well, but I wanted everything in the same room.

    So off to Ikea and I bought a second desk for my sewing machine. The two existing EXPEDIT bookcases were rearranged and moved to appear as one. Funnily enough, this has actually made the room look larger. 

    Ikea now have drawer inserts to fit into the EXPEDIT bookcases. I purchased four of these to house some of my fabric stash. The rest I'm happy to have on show. I also bought two fabric covered boxes which fit the bookcase perfectly. These slide in and out very easily. I'm thrilled with how it all fits together. I can store my fabric, photo albums and sewing books exactly where I want them. Inside the two cane baskets are all the genealogy info we have for both of our families. Again, all within easy reach. 

    I already had one filing cabinet underneath my existing desk, but bought another for underneath the new sewing desk. It's perfect for storing cottons, scissors and things that I want at my finger tips as I sew, as I can reach it without moving from my chair as I sew. 

    The last purchase was an inexpensive shoe organiser from Big W. It hangs behind the door and is perfect for storing small items such as zippers, ribbon, ric rac and piping cord.

    I'm not a tidy person by any means, but I do like to be organised and this means everything needs to have its own place.

    All in all, I'm very happy with my little make over.

    Saturday, 20 August 2011

    New Fabric...

    I love receiving material in the post!!! It's like getting a present, except it's not my birthday. Yesterday my parcel of gorgeous fabric from Saffron Craig arrived. I only put the order in a couple of days ago; super fast delivery.

    Magical Lands... not a good photo, as I've used the flash

    I'm not sure what I'll make with Magical Lands yet; probably a dress, but it would look great as a bag or maybe cushions.

    Dandelions pink... I LOVE this
    Dandelions pink is my favourite of the three. It will make a cute little dress.

    Owls Nesting...
    The Nesting Owls fabric is going to make a fabulous canvas for my sewing room. I wasn't sure whether or not to order this from the picture online, but I am SO pleased I did. The fabric is even better in real life.