Category Archives: sewing

Sometimes I Just Hate being Short….

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The cold weather is upon us here and I had to go out and buy myself some new winter gear.  You’d  think that would be exciting, hey? But winter means long pants and jeans and I am short.

Apparently, my 5’3″ height is short even by ‘short length’ pant standards, so all my pant purchases need to be re-hemmed.

After procrastinating for about 2 weeks, I finally altered all my new purchases. It wasn’t as difficult as I had remembered the task to be…..maybe my sewing skills have come along a little??

Hemming Pants

Before altering  my jeans I revisited two helpful tutorials at Do it Yourself Divas and Just Something I made.  These gals show you how to reuse the jean hem in your length alteration.  So simple and no need to worry about ruining the look of your distressed jeans with a crisp looking hem.

My next alteration task is shortening the cuffs on a jacket.  While my sewing skills have come along, I think I am still a way off doing cuffs.  Perhaps that is a job for a professional.

Do you have any helpful alteration tips for the vertically challenged?

Time for a Change

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The other week I was just not feeling the ‘vibe’ in my lounge room.   The room needed a change.  I needed a change.

Before I had a chance to spiral into a lounge room funk, grab the credit card and hit the shops for a new look, I pulled out the sewing machine.

One of the easiest decorating changes that can be made in a lounge room is to add new throw cushions.  They can change the whole feel of the room on the smallest of budgets.

I had bought some great material some time back in red and aqua.  I loved the patterns and the colours were perfect for the lounge room.  The red was already the highlighted colour in the room, but the blue could help tie in the tones of the photo canvas collage hung on the wall.

Photo Canvas Collage

Before I really had time to think about it, I had run up 5 envelope cushions.  You can read my tutorial on how to make these easy pillow slips here.

Time for a Change : Cushions

I like the two patterns and colours together. The aqua and white has really given the lounge a lift.

A few days after I threw together the new cushions, I was at Ikea and picked up this warm aqua throw for next to nothing.  It should help to keep us cozy as the cooler weather sets in.

A Time for a Change: Cushions

So on a little budget, with just a bit of time invested, I was able to give the lounge room (and myself) a lift.

 

 

Pram Liner – Success!

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I unloaded the pram at the shops the other day and was embarrassed at the amount of crumbs lodged in the seat.  I would have made less mess if I had taken a whole packet of biscuits, smashed it to smithereens  then emptied it into every crevice of the pram.  Children really are messy.  I decided the pram really needed liners. 

I could have bought some but I loved the idea of making my own.  I knew there were a multitude of patterns on the net but I have only basic sewing ability.  The chances were a pattern would call for some skill that I did not possess. 

I decided to create my own pattern, calling on my own skill set.   Luckily, the process was quite easy.  I learnt a thing or two from the first liner and happily the second one was a breeze to make.

Now my pram looks nice, bright and clean and I have the satisfaction of saying, “I did that!”

Hanging Hand Towels

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As I had the sewing machine out and I was on a bit of a roll yesterday, I thought I would make some hanging hand towels.  I have wanted to make these for ages.

I had been using tea towels as hand towels in the kitchen.  Despite their different pattern and colour, everyone was confusing them with the dish towels.  Annoying.  What was even more annoying was the fact that they wandered.  The hand towel would never be where it should be.  When you desperately needed  it, the hand towel would be hiding under a pile of dishes  in the dish drier or scrunched up on a seat in the dining room.

I scoured the net looking for a pattern to make some hanging hand towels and came across this one.

I purchased the appropriate hand towels and some matching fabric with the view to making these ASAP. Ha ha! 4 months down the track, they are complete.

I am really mad with myself that I didn’t take the time to make these sooner.  They took hardly any time at all to make and they have solved a problem that really annoyed me.

Linking up with some of these fun parties
Monday: Singing Three Little Birdies, I should be Mopping the Floor, Polly Want a Crafter?, Cherished Bliss, The Gunny Sack, Skip to my Lou, Craftomaniac, It’s so Very Cheri, Keeping it Simple, Creating Really Awesome Free Things, Alderberry Hill, Its A Blog Party, A Pinch of Joy, Making the World Cuter, Mad in CraftsSew Can Do, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tip Junkie, New Nostalgia, Ladybug Blessings,  How to Nest for Less, Watch Out Martha, Clairjustinexoxo,

Tuesday: Coastal Charm, Today’s Creative Blog, Not Just a Housewife, A Bowl Full of Lemons , DIY by Design, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Home Stories A to Z, Hope Studios, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Organising HomelifeCarolyn’s Homework, The Blackberry Vine, The Kurtz Corner,  A Little Tipsy, Gingersnap crafts, Time Warp Wife, These Creative Juices, The Thrifty Home, Its a Very Cherry World,  Cornerstone Confessions,   Rae Gun Ramblings, Northern Cottage, Clean and Scentsible, Creatively Living , Kathe with an E, Ivy and Elephants, Romance on a Dime,   The Real Housewives of Riverton, DIY DreamerPrimp, JAQS Studio

Wednesday: Oopsey Daisy, My Girlish Whims, Uncommonly Yours, Creations by Kara, Raising Homemakers, The Thrifty Home, Twin Dragonfly Designs, A Creative Princess, Sugar and Dots, Seven Thirty Three, Fabric Bows and More, Someday Crafts, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Trendy Treehouse, Women Living Well, We are that Family, The Mommy Club , Raising Homemakers, Sew Much Ado,t SimpleFireflies and Jellybeans, Beyond the Picket Fence, Free Pretty Things for You, DIY by Design, Bloom Designs, Mom on Timeout, We Like to learn as we GoFamily Home and Life, Savvy Southern Style, Fine Craft Guild, Embracing Change, HandyMan, Crafty Woman, Polkadots on Parade, No Minimalist Here

Thursday: House of Hepworths Delightful Order, Its a KeeperThe Frugal Girls, The 36th AvenueThrifty 101, A Glimpse Inside, Brambleberry Cottage, Bear Rabbit Bear, Michelle’s Tasty Creations and Crafty Ideas, Shabby Creek Cottage, Goings on in Texas, Happy Go LuckyRaising OrangesThe Answer is Chocolate, The Taylor House, Crafty Scrappy Happy, Imparting Grace, Made in a Day, 52 Mantels, Loving This Crazy Life, Days of Chalk and Chocolate, Confessions of an ADD Housewife

Friday: The Shabby Nest, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, At the Picket Fence, Whipperberry, French Country Cottage, Thirty Handmade Days, Creation Corner, Finding Fabulous, Stuff and Nonsense, Fingerprints on the Fridge Naptime Crafters, While He Was Napping, My Romantic Home, Bacon Time With the Hungry, Hungry Hippo, Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons, Remodelaholic, Happy Hour Projects, Simply Designing, Simply Sweet Home, Tidy MomYoung and Crafty, Serenity Now , Life as Mom, At the Picket Fence, Tatertots and Jello, Craft Junkie Too, A Little Knick Knack, Blissful and Domestic, Maiden D’Shade, Petites Passions, Bubbly Nature Creations, Here Comes the Sun, Liz Marie Blog, THe Grant Life, Craftionary, Redoux Interior, Common Ground, Just Us Four, Delicate Construction, AKA Designs, Family Ever After,

Saturday:  Be Different Act Normal, The Girl Creative , Funky Junk Interiors , A Vision to Remember, Positively Splendid , Its Overflowing, Natasha in Oz, Shaken Together, Homemaker in Heels, Addicted to Decorating

Sunday: A Rosie Sweet Home, I Heart Naptime, Under the Table Dreaming, DIY Showoff, Nifty Thrift Things, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Homemaker on a Dime, DIY Home Sweet HomeCherished Treasures, My 1929 Charmer

Reviving Little Boy’s Clothes

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Growing up in a family of girls didn’t really prepare me to be the Mum of boys.  As my eldest is getting bigger, the differences between girls and boys are glaringly, and at times, frustratingly obvious. 

At the moment my 3-year-old seems to be skillfully wearing out the knees in all his long pants.  With all his climbing and scooting around on the carpet playing with toys, most of his pants are near perfect except for the holes in the knees. I don’t recall ever doing that as a kid.

Thankfully, the cold weather is leaving us here in Brisbane so I didn’t have to face replacing his winter wardrobe.  However, I could not bare to throw out these almost  perfect pants because of a few holes. 

So, out with the sewing machine, a couple of quick hems and his long pants have become shorts. 

So with a little effort I have saved on his summer wardrobe budget as I don’t have to buy as many shorts.  I also don’t feel wasteful, throwing out so many pairs of pants.

Placemats for All! Messy Kid Solution?

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Sitting at dinner last night, I watched how my 3-year-old, almost expertly, made a mess everywhere BUT the placemat I had put under his dinner plate. We have a glass top table and after every meal time it is filthy!

I have tried to cut down on the cleaning up by using tablecloths, but as a new one is needed virtually every day, it was adding to the laundry and ironing – which I hate! I have placemats, as I said. They are easy, wipe-clean things but they are too small and do nothing to soak up the spills. 

A few days ago I posted an easy placemat sewing tutorial for my outdoor table.    I was so happy with how it turned out.  So last night, as I watched the finger marks extend across the tabletop, I knew I need to make a few.  But these couldn’t be just any placemats, they had to be massive, kid’s mess-worthy placemats.

Ratting around in my material box I found some appropriate material for the job.  After a  few minutes at the sewing machine, I had whipped up the first kid’s messy-saving placemat.

Hopefully this will be big enough.  It is 45 x 70 cm.  Tonight is 0-its first trial run.  If cuts down the clean up, I will be running up a few more of these on the weekend.

Do you have any tricks to help clean up after littlies’ meal times?

Placemat Tutorial

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A couple of weeks ago, I told you about the outdoor suite makeover I did in our alcove, including the nifty tutorial for some envelope cushions.

I further jazzed up the area this week with the addition of an outdoor rug I got on clearance (yeah!).

Wanting to inject more of the colour and print of the fabric into the area, I decided to make a placemat for the side table.  This is really a simple sewing project that just about anyone can do

In choosing the material for this project, I suggest that a heavier weight fabric is more suitable for use as a placemat.  If you like to mix things up, you could choose coordinating fabrics so that your placemats are double-sided.  Me, I am using the same fabric for front and back.  You will need to wash the material before you sew to prevent shrinkage.

You will have to do a little math to work out how much material you need for this project.  It will obviously depend on the number, size and shape of your finished placemats.  A common size for placemats is 18″ x 12″ (46 x 30.5 cm).  Remember to add a 1/4 ” (6mm) seam allowance to your edges.

I am making just the one, square placemat.  I want my finished size to be 18″ x 18″ (45.5 x 45.5 cm) so I have cut two squares 18 1/4″ x 18 1/4″ (46cm square to make it easy).

Pin your two pieces of fabric right sides together.

Using a 1/4″ (6mm) seam, sew around all the edges, leaving a 2 inch opening on one of the edges so you can turn your placemat right side out.

Trim the excess material from each of the corners and turn the placemat right side out.  Make sure to push the corners right out.

Press flat, making sure to fold in the edges of the fabric at the opening.

Top sew the placemat using a 1/8″ (3mm) seam. This will make sure the placemat holds it shape when you wash it.

Done!

I am loving how this area is becoming more complete looking.  It is actually a pleasure to look out on,  and it is the perfect spot for a coffee….right now, I think.

Linking up with some of these fun parties
Monday: Singing Three Little Birdies, I should be Mopping the Floor, Polly Want a Crafter?, Cherished Bliss, The Gunny Sack, Skip to my Lou, Craftomaniac, It’s so Very Cheri, Keeping it Simple, Creating Really Awesome Free Things, Alderberry Hill, Its A Blog Party, A Pinch of Joy, Making the World Cuter, Mad in CraftsSew Can Do, Sugar Bee Crafts, Tip Junkie, New Nostalgia, Ladybug Blessings,  How to Nest for Less, Watch Out Martha, Clairjustinexoxo,

Tuesday: Coastal Charm, Today’s Creative Blog, Not Just a Housewife, A Bowl Full of Lemons , DIY by Design, Funky Polkadot Giraffe, Home Stories A to Z, Hope Studios, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Organising HomelifeCarolyn’s Homework, The Blackberry Vine, The Kurtz Corner,  A Little Tipsy, Gingersnap crafts, Time Warp Wife, These Creative Juices, The Thrifty Home, Its a Very Cherry World,  Cornerstone Confessions,   Rae Gun Ramblings, Northern Cottage, Clean and Scentsible, Creatively Living , Kathe with an E, Ivy and Elephants, Romance on a Dime,   The Real Housewives of Riverton, DIY DreamerPrimp, JAQS Studio

Wednesday: Oopsey Daisy, My Girlish Whims, Uncommonly Yours, Creations by Kara, Raising Homemakers, The Thrifty Home, Twin Dragonfly Designs, A Creative Princess, Sugar and Dots, Seven Thirty Three, Fabric Bows and More, Someday Crafts, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Trendy Treehouse, Women Living Well, We are that Family, The Mommy Club , Raising Homemakers, Sew Much Ado,  Fireflies and Jellybeans, Beyond the Picket Fence, Free Pretty Things for You, DIY by Design, Bloom Designs, Mom on Timeout, We Like to learn as we GoFamily Home and Life, Savvy Southern Style, Fine Craft Guild, Embracing Change, HandyMan, Crafty Woman, Polkadots on Parade, No Minimalist Here

Thursday: House of Hepworths Delightful Order, Its a KeeperThe Frugal Girls, The 36th AvenueThrifty 101, A Glimpse Inside, Brambleberry Cottage, Bear Rabbit Bear, Michelle’s Tasty Creations and Crafty Ideas, Shabby Creek Cottage, Goings on in Texas, Happy Go LuckyRaising OrangesThe Answer is Chocolate, The Taylor House, Crafty Scrappy Happy, Imparting Grace, Made in a Day, 52 Mantels, Loving This Crazy Life, Days of Chalk and Chocolate, Confessions of an ADD Housewife

Friday: The Shabby Nest, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating, At the Picket Fence, Whipperberry, French Country Cottage, Thirty Handmade Days, Creation Corner, Finding Fabulous, Stuff and Nonsense, Fingerprints on the Fridge Naptime Crafters, While He Was Napping, My Romantic Home, Bacon Time With the Hungry, Hungry Hippo, Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons, Remodelaholic, Happy Hour Projects, Simply Designing, Simply Sweet Home, Tidy MomYoung and Crafty, Serenity Now , Life as Mom, At the Picket Fence, Tatertots and Jello, Craft Junkie Too, A Little Knick Knack, Blissful and Domestic, Maiden D’Shade, Petites Passions, Bubbly Nature Creations, Here Comes the Sun, Liz Marie Blog, THe Grant Life, Craftionary, Redoux Interior, Common Ground, Just Us Four, Delicate Construction, AKA Designs, Family Ever After,

Saturday:  Be Different Act Normal, The Girl Creative , Funky Junk Interiors , A Vision to Remember, Positively Splendid , Its Overflowing, Natasha in Oz, Shaken Together, Homemaker in Heels, Addicted to Decorating

Sunday: A Rosie Sweet Home, I Heart Naptime, Under the Table Dreaming, DIY Showoff, Nifty Thrift Things, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Homemaker on a Dime, DIY Home Sweet HomeCherished Treasures, My 1929 Charmer