"We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson

Friday, January 28, 2011

Steggies for a cause!

Well it was back to work for me this week, so a bit longer in between posts. Fortunately, I still got a little bit of sewing time in especially on Australia Day when the stinking hot weather prevented us from venturing outside.

A new sewing shop in Springwood called 'Sew Beautiful' is organising a handmade toy collection for the victims of the recent Queensland floods. What a great idea! I thought these dinosaurs would be perfect. The pattern is from 'One Yard Wonders' by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Haskins.

Of course my boys love them and want to keep them- perfect opportunity to talk to them about those less fortunate than ourselves. We have so much and take so much for granted. It is so hard for them (and me) to imagine losing everything.

To Jonah, Luke and Gabriella, be grateful for what you have and be generous to others because all our earthly treasures will fade away and are worthless compared to the everlasting peace that comes from knowing God.

So here they are. The kids and I hope they will bring big smiles to little faces.

If you would like to take part, make and donate your handmade toys to:
   'Sew Cuddly'
   c/o- Sew Beautiful
   1/121 Macquarie Road
   Springwood NSW 2777

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Busy but productive day

All the craft I've been doing has to begin to wind down now. It's inevitable and so sad. I am back to my part time job next week after 6 weeks holiday. Teaching truly is the best job in the world, especially my job as a Learning Support teacher. I love it- nearly as much as I love making things! But with the beginning of the school year comes the preparations that have to be done. So today, I started getting organised for the school year. I have so loved being home with my kids for this time and I am very grateful that I don't have to work full time so I can still spend plenty of time with them and hopefully get some crafty time in as well. It is a balancing act with one child at School, one at Preschool and one at Grandma's for 2 days per week, but we seem to muddle along quite well somehow! In amongst the school work today, I did manage to complete a few small projects which I am really happy with. These included another headband with a gorgeous fabric flower which I love (will definitely be making more of these!) a funky button necklace which I'm putting away for Gabby's Birthday and baking choc chip cookies. Here they are. Enjoy!

How cool is this necklace?! I used bright vintage buttons I've collected over the years and threaded them onto a piece of ribbon. She's going to love it! Shhhh this one's a surprise!

Headband for Bethany. Do you like it Carolyn? The flower can be clipped onto either side of  the headband or worn separately as a hair clip.

Yum! The boys and I made these choc chip biscuits today. So yummy but so unhealthy! We made them as a special treat to take with us when we go away this weekend. So looking forward to that!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Oh I love this one!

Experimenting with new patterns has to be my new favourite thing! I love how you can just browse patterns online, choose one, pay for it, download it and start sewing straight away. This is what I did with this little number-  a cute pattern by 'That darn cat'. I really enjoyed sewing this one. I bought the butterfly fabric from Pink chalk fabrics for about $4.50 a yard (bargain!!) and only used half a yard to make the dress! The spots are another Michael Miller wonder. I really am trying to move away from spots. I love them so much and they seem to work with everything. I forced myself to buy some stripy fabric yesterday so stay tuned for something different. The big buttons on this dress are from 'Sew Beautiful' in Springwood. Chunky buttons have to be another favourite of mine! Here it is.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A little girl

This project was a bit of a challenge for me. It was much trickier than I thought. I don't really like her, just quietly. Her body is too skinny, her legs are too fat (I can relate!), her arms are crooked and her eyes are uneven. I'm not sure that I have the patience to try again, but we'll see. My husband said her ears look funny. I had to tell him they were pigtails! I do love that I am learning lots with all the craft I'm doing at the moment. Trial and error is frustrating but good. So here she is. She doesn't have a name yet. When I ask Gabby what the dolly's name is, she says 'Awesome'. Favourite word at the moment. At least somebody loves her!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

2011- The year of the handmade gift

I have always loved making things, but have rarely given my finished products away to others except my kids of course. I think this is because I haven't felt my stuff was good enough. My friend Kim, gave me a lovely lavender heat pack for Christmas. She made it and I love it because she cared enough to spend time and effort creating something with me in mind. How special is that? Kim has inspired me to do the same. So don't look at the uneven stitches, mismatched fabrics and crooked seams! It's special because I made it. This week, I made this apron for my beautiful friend Kim for her birthday. The 2nd photo is of me modelling the apron before I gave it to her. Here's to 2011- the year of the handmade gift! Well, I'll see how I go.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Reversible headband

My little girl has hair issues! It is getting long, but it is so fine that when I pull it back nicely it doesn't last very long falling out before the day has even begun. I googled 'reversible headband tutorial' and came up with this little number. It is really quick and so easy to make. I added a little flower embellishment to the red one which just pins on so you can still reverse the headband or wear it without. It keeps Gabby's hair off her face and looks cute too!  I think I will have to make one to match every dress I make. My nieces have already put their order in for what colour headband they would like. Better get busy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Favourite fabric?

I wanted to make Gabby a dress for her 2nd Birthday which is next month. I came across this bright and beautiful fabric in an online fabric shop called Pink Chalk Fabrics and fell in love. It could be my most favourite fabric ever! If you look closely, you can see an owl and flowers and trees. How cute! The pattern is by Leila and Ben and was so easy to make. It was finished in just a few hours.

Fabric is 'It's a Hoot' by Momo for Moda
It looks gorgeous on her, but when I tried it on, she said, "Don't like it!" Oh well! It's a good thing 2 year olds in my house don't get to choose what they wear! Sorry chicken, your mumma loves it!

I made this next dress for Gabby to wear at Christmas. I wanted it to be Christmasy but still able to be worn after Christmas. My husband, Jeff didn't like the red and aqua colour combination at first, but I thought it was kind of cool. What do you think? The straps are adjustable so hopefully, she will get a lot of wear out of this one. 
The strawberry fabric was from Spotlight and the aqua spots are from the Michael Miller Ta-dot series

Friday, January 7, 2011

And something for the boys...

Here are the boys' Library bags made with the gorgeous Dr Seuss fabric. They love them and can't wait for the holidays to be over so they can use them at school. 

These are so easy to make. You need 4 pieces of fabric just a little bigger than the size you want the finished bag to be- 2 for the outside and 2 for the lining. Place front and back of outside right sides together and sew sides and bottom together. Leave inside out. Place front and back of lining right sides together and sew sides and bottom together leaving a hole of about 4 inches at the bottom of the  bag. Turn lining right side out. Using scraps of fabric, make handles. Fold strips lengthways with right sides facing and sew along raw edge. Turn right way out. This is my least favourite part of the process! Place the lining inside the outer bag. Pin the handles in desired position in between the lining and outer bag with all the raw edges lined up. Sew around the top of the whole bag. Pull lining out of bag, then pull outer bag through the hole you left in the bottom of the lining. Hand sew the hole in the bottom of the lining and then push it back into the outer bag. (I like to fold the top of the bag down at this point so you can see the lining, but you don't have to). Top sew all around the top of the bag to finish it off. Voila! You can make these in any size and could use them for shopping bags, gift bags, library bags and so many other things. My boys like carrying their soft toys around in theirs!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Exciting day!

What an exciting day today has turned out to be! Gabby had some success with her toilet training quest (yay!), Jonah's photo appeared in our local newspaper and I received some fabric I ordered from America only last week and what could be more exciting than that!!
How cute is this Dr Seuss fabric which will become new Library bags for my boys. Who doesn't adore Horton the Elephant and Cat in the Hat? Can't wait to get my hands on this! Stay tuned for the finished product coming soon!
Robert Kauffman 'Celebrate Seuss' and 'The cat in the hat'

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Every little girl needs a tutu!

Another girly thing I made yesterday is this cute tutu. It was so so easy and Gabby loves it. When I showed it to her for the first time she said, "Awesome!" I have never heard her say that before! She calls it her 'dancing skirt' and boy does she dance!  I love turning up the music and dancing with my kids. So much fun! My nearly 5 year old son, Luke, loves to dance and decided he wanted a tutu as well! In the end, he settled for a little tutu for his soft toy lamb. Luke helped me make the tutu for his lamb. He is my alternative, creative, 'outside the square', funny boy. He keeps the family entertained with his little quirks and witty comments.

Luke and Lamby
To make the tutu, cut a piece of elastic to fit waist. Sew ends together. Tie strips of tulle onto elastic until it is all filled up. Easy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Gabby girl in her pretty new skirt

Here are a couple of pictures of Gabby in her new skirt. I also added some embellishments to a pink T-shirt to match.

Monday, January 3, 2011

So here goes!

Before I had my little girl nearly 2 years ago, I had no idea how nice it would be to make pretty little things! Having had 2 boys (who I adore) we always had a lot of blues and browns and I never made any clothes for them. When I had Gabriella, I went mental making skirts, dresses, hair clips, headbands and all kinds of girly things! So fun! The other day I made this skirt for Gabby using bright pinks and greens- all fabric from my ever-growing stash. 

As you will probably see in future posts, I love spots, stripes and bright colours. I don't usually make pink things for Gabby as there is so much pink stuff in the shops, but I found this raspberry and green spot fabric on special and couldn't resist. I lined the skirt with pink gingham (cheap as!) so you can't see all the messy hems on the inside. I will try to take a photo of Gabby wearing the skirt, but she is quite the temperamental model these days!

With the leftover strips (I originally made the skirt so big, it fitted me!) I made this bag for my niece Olivia's 6th Birthday. I am going to put her present inside it. 
She is a very girly girl, so I can just imagine her walking around with this slung over her shoulder!