Jungle January- Just made it!!

So its the last day of January! I have really wanted to join in the Jungle January fun.  And right at the very end of January I found the perfect fabric! So here is my Jungle January….

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This dress is NewLook 6889 in version A. The only change I made was to the length, which I made a tad shorter. And I added a sash. There are no fastenings to this dress and its a nice comfortable fit. Easy as pie and the red leopard print is just plain AWESOME!

What else have I been up to you ask? Well, its the middle of a Queensland summer- so I’ve been crocheting a scarf! I know it makes absolutely no sense, but on a stinking hot day- I love to switch on the old clunky air conditioner to freezing and start crocheting. I am not the best crocheter yet either but I am happy to give it a whirl. Here is my no pattern scarf. Its basically just a row of chain stitches to the width you want then an alternating double crochet and chain stitch until you get to the length you want and then add some tassels! Easy as pie! This one is made on a large hook with nice soft and chunky yarn. It will look great with a pair of jeans when winter eventually rolls around.

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Now that the first week back at school is done and dusted and the family is getting back into the ‘school routine’ I am hoping for more time with my beloved sewing machine. I have itchy fingers after receiving some new patterns in the mail this week from the lovely Valerie at Valerie’s own sewing blog. Plus a few more ‘must makes’ floating about in my head. If only there were more hours in the day! 🙂

No Sewing- But there is CAKE!

My twin boys turn 12 tomorrow!! Where on earth does the time go? Their favourite ‘thing’ at the moment is a game called Minecraft. If you have kids around the same age, chances are you know exactly what I’m talking about. For this years birthday I have made them a Minecraft cake each. (Ain’t no way they be sharing a cake as well as a birthday!) So tonight I am just sharing some photos. Have a great Australia Day tomorrow! I know we will. x

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I have to add a little credit here to Sew Delicious. If it wasn’t for the unbelievably cute Fox cake I may have just bought a ready made cake each for the boys, but this post reminded me of how special ‘Mummy Made’ can be. x

Back to school- Library Bag

Well hello there! Only a few more days left of the school holidays. I can almost hear every one sigh with relief. This year my big boys start High School (holy smokes!) and my gorgeous girl is going back to school. I have been homeschooling Miss K and loving it but unfortunately my bank account is insisting I go back to work. So school it is! In a mad rush we have managed to get her uniform, shoes and books all sorted. On the list of items she will need for the school year was a Library Bag. I have to admit, I did intend on buying one from a shop. That was until I saw the prices of them and how terrible they looked!

Being a beginner and still finding my feet with my sewing machine (no pun intended) I ran through the motions of making this bag in my head over and over and over again. And when I actually got out the machine and stitched it together I was really surprised at how quick and easy it was!  This drawstring bag can be made in any size- so I reckon home made giftbags would look great for that bottle of wine or to hold some little pretties for a childs birthday, even a fancy bag for swimming gear or kindy sheets.

So, yes, this is my first go at a tutorial. Keep in mind this is one beginner showing other beginners- if you have any tips and pointers please please comment after the post! I’ve put together some pics of the process in hopes I can help along another sewing newbie.

EASY PEASY LIBRARY BAG

Things you will need:

Your chosen fabric (pre-washed and ironed of course!)
Fabric scissors
Tape measure
Pins
Bodkin or safety pin
Drawstring or cord
and your Sewing Machine and Iron.

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The first thing you will need to do is cut your fabric. I am making a library bag so I found a nice big book to help me decide on size.
Once you have worked out how big you want your bag (make sure to add in 1.5cm or about 5/8″  for seam allowance!) cut out 2 lining pieces and two outer fabric pieces all measuring the same size.

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Now on the top of each piece, measure and mark 1.5 – 2 inches (depending on how thick your drawstring is)

Next you will be sewing the lining pieces together with right sides together. start and finish at the marks you have just made. repeat with the outer fabric, stitching with right side together. You will end up with something like this..

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Now trim those bottom corners a bit so your bag doesn’t end up with bulky corners. Careful not to cut the stitching. Make sure you do both the outer fabric and the lining fabric.

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Now you need to iron those seams apart. The iron really is a sewers best friend.

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Still with me? Great. See those open bits.. that will be where the drawstring slides though- so lets stitch those. Aim to sew straight down the center of that seam allowance ( I used my presser foot as my guide). Sew all the way down to just past the bottom of the slit. With your needle still down, turn your fabric and stitch across to the other side (I did a little back stitch here for extra strength) turn again and straight back up to the top. It will look like a little U shape when you are done. Repeat this step on all the other little slits.

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Fantastic! Now turn the Outer fabric right side out. Put the lining inside with seams lined up. You will have the wrong sides together now..

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Pin the top edges together and stitch across the top, I used my presser foot as my gauge for this, once you have done that, iron this seam toward the inside like so…

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Looking good, now you need to measure and fold this edge again, pin in place because this is going to be the casing for your drawstring. once you are all pinned, stitch nice and close to the edge. We are almost done!

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Now you will need your Bodkin or a simple safety pin will work too. Thread your drawstring through the casing of your bag. If you have enough to do two loops it will make pulling it shut easier, but one loop will work fine too. That’s all I have used here.

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And once its threaded, tie the ends or stitch them together. Woohoo! Look at your stylin’ bag. Pretty easy huh?

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It’s all happening here!!

Hello lovelies!

Wow have I had an awesome couple of days. My last post was a little bit sooky. That’s allowed, I’m sure it is. As soon as I had posted it I jumped across to my Bloglovin feed to see what all of you were doing. I love being able to admire the work of others. I jumped on to Valorie’s own sewing blog to see if she had drawn the lucky winner of her January Giveaway. She had- It was me!!!! Selfish sewing here I come! I am so excited to get started on the lovely patterns that will be coming my way. How’s that for timing too? Just the cheering up I needed.
But wait! There’s more! I was scrolling through some local garage sale sites over coffee on the weekend and found a pre-loved Horn Sewing Cabinet going for a steal! Oh happy days! Here is my lovely new cabinet, all open and ready for me to use.

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My ‘new to me’ Horn Sewing Cabinet. Isn’t she beaut! ❤

Of course as soon as I had her home I needed to put her to use.  I pulled out Newlook 6932 and made my littlest man some summer jarmies for our incredibly hot weather. He is pretty happy with them. He happens to be a big Mickey Mouse fan.

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I have also finished the M6391 I have been working on for the Princess.

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This pattern called for pre-gathered lace for the layer between the two ruffles. The lace I bought was not long enough (bugger) so I had to alter the length of the second ruffle by about 3/4 inch. The skirt layers would have looked even nicer had I bought a wider pre-gathered lace. But I still think it is a cute skirt. I added a matching lace trim and threaded some pink ribbon through for the top of the ruffles. Looking at it now I am wondering if some trim on the hem of the lower ruffle might look better.

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How cute is the Gingham. I really think Gingham is so under rated. It always looks so sweet.

Now what to make next…

Bit like a roller coaster ride

So here’s the thing. I have been sewing. The whole process is such a rush- from the moment I find the perfect fabric and couple it with the perfect pattern I have visions of what the finished product will look like, I cut into my fabric after carefully preparing and pinning, then mark it all up ready to sew. the machine starts whirring and a little smile hovers as I see the garment taking shape. I am only new at this so I tend to read and reread the instructions, I pin, I repin. It is exciting. I get little butterflies thinking about each process, I even get a little rush of adrenaline as I near the finished product. I sit back and smile looking at my creation with pride. It is exactly like riding a roller coaster. Its great! Fun and exciting!

But this time my roller coaster took a wrong turn, the last two things I have made I haven’t liked. A little Top that I have made for miss 8, and a Nighty for me. I had such high hopes for both of these. And I am so disappointed! I just want to roll them up into a ball and bury them in the garden. Ok ok, so maybe they aren’t SO terrible but they just are not what I wanted. The little Top has already found a new home (oh the fabric was so awful to work with!!), and the nighty is fine, nothing wrong with it. Perfect for sleeping in. I just think its BORING! Maybe that’s it, maybe I need to stop looking for all the ‘Quick and Easy’ patterns and more on to something more interesting. I haven’t really sewn much for me yet, I guess a bit of selfish sewing might be an idea too. Sewing for the kids is great, most times its just a straight size, no curves to work around- easy. But I think my sewing will benefit more if I practice for myself. My body shape right now is curvy with a capital C. I measure across 3 sizes in most patterns I have looked at. So I have been avoiding it altogether. Perhaps I need to shake it up a bit.

I think I know now that quality of fabric makes a big difference. I fell in love with the print for miss Ks top so much I ignored the feel of the fabric. It just frayed like mad as soon as I cut it until I zigzagged it, but by then my floors were covered (and still are if you look closely!) in little bits of awful fabric. It was just wrong wrong wrong. It had no drape either, so I just felt it made the fit look awkward. Bummer. I don’t have photos of it, I got rid of it as soon as it was finished. But you are not missing much.

I did take pics of my nighty though. Don’t know why- its pretty dull. I LOVED the fabric for this, and I still do, so light and floaty. I got it from Bargain Box.

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Perfect for hot Queensland nights. I just wish I had found another pattern. One that’s not so shapeless. It just feels like a waste. But lesson learnt, I really need to consider each pattern carefully. Keep in mind my body shape and choose carefully. Well, anyway here it is…

my Ho Hum Nighty

my Ho Hum Nighty

I was happy with my neatness though

I was happy with my neatness though

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It actually looks kind of ok in the photos, but don’t let that fool you. Its very boring in the flesh.
Back to the drawing board. Or should I say sewing table.

And THIS is why I love to sew

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Pure joy and delight. My little girl dancing in her new dress. I love the simplicity and sweetness of this dress. It was cut on a size 8 but could have gone smaller as I have had to make adjustments (I really do need to learn how to do that part properly) to the back. And there is still a bit of room there, but that is the beauty of children’s clothing, in a few weeks it will be perfect!

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I am still pretty in love with the dress itself, and light crisp cotton in simple polka dots are just perfect.
And bubba girl thinks it pretty spesh.
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(see & sew B5592)

Sewalongs

Do you dabble in sewalongs? I have just spotted one I might be able to join in. Check it out! I’ll wait…

Elegance & Elephants

It looks good doesn’t it. Gets you thinking. My biggest worry with sewalongs is the chance you might get so caught up with ‘themes’ that you might lose focus on what YOU want to make. That being said, I still wouldn’t mind giving this a go. I have an idea already…