Category Archives: Easy Sewing Projects

Aqua and Cream Burlap Tote for handmade swap

It’s swap time again and this time my recipient had Aqua and White as her favourite colours. Luckily I had just the perfect printed burlap to make her a gorgeous tote for summer.I was in such a hurry to get it made and sent out, that I completely forgot to take photos along the way. So I will make another one soon and post the tutorial then.Printed burlap is such a great way to add wow to a simple burlap tote. There are so many designs available in printed burlap in the major fabric stores at the moment I would highly recommend experimenting with it to create a perfect summer beach tote!

I hope Jo enjoys her new tote as much as I enjoyed making it!

Heart Shaped Pocket Warmers Tutorial

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you my heart shaped pocket warmers which I made for Mary for the last Handmade Swap I participated in. Even though Spring has sprung here in Australia, I thought these might come in handy for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere who are just about to embark on your cool season.

So here is the tutorial of how I made them:

  1. Cut two heart shapes out of felt. I used a printed felt for the front and a solid yellow for the back.

2. Place hearts wrong sides together and stitch around the edge leaving a 2 cm opening.

3. Insert a funnel into the opening and pour in enough rice to fill the pouch.
4. Pinch opening closed and stitch opening closed.
5. When you are ready to use the pocket warmers, simply place in the microwave for 30 seconds on  high and insert into pockets.

These are a lovely gift for Christmas tied together with ribbon and a small gift tag explaining how to use them.
If you are looking for other easy to make gifts, I am running a free 30 minute workshop at the Brisbane Craft Fair 16th – 20th October 2013 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. It runs daily at the fair at 1.30pm in Workshop 4. I will be showing you 3 easy Christmas Gifts to make in 10 minutes or less. So if you are coming to the Fair be sure to stop by and say hi!

My Swap Goodies! Ready to go for The Handmade Swap!

It’s been a busy few weeks with the Ekka and getting ready for my first swap in The Handmade Swap. The Handmade Swap is an organised craft swap in Australia where members send each other Handmade Gifts 5 times a year. It’s really cool and lots of fun.So this swap I had to send something to Mary who lives on farm and loves bright colours. So made her all these goodies and sent them off.

I made a document wallet out of Burlap, lined with a printed cotton with little chickens on it – perfect for farm business files! I love this document wallet so I am going to make the pattern available in my online store soon.

I also sent her two heart shaped felt pocket warmers. You just pop them in the microwave 30 seconds and then put them in your pockets to keep you hands warm, perfect for this time of year.

And then finally I made her a modern take on the old crochet tea towels. The hanging crochet tea towels are so practical (especially with a 1 year old in my house who pulls down the tea towel at least 6 times a day!), but I don’t know how to crochet. So this was my fabric interpretation of the crocheted tea towel. I think it turned out quite well, so I will also add the pattern for this soon.

I sent the items off about 2 weeks ago and yesterday received a lovely letter in the mail from Mary telling me how much she loved them all! Now I can’t wait for the next swap!

So with lots of patterns to get ready, it’s back to the studio for me!

Final Ekka Entry! Baby Burlap Doll Travel Cradle

Here is the last of my entries for the Ekka craft competition this year. For the Childrens Toy section I have made a Baby Burlap Doll Travel Cot.

This small bag, opens out and inverts into a stand up doll cradle!

I would like to claim credit for the ingenious design behind this cradle, but I can’t. A friend of mine recently showed me a knitted version that she had been given as a child. It was one of her favourite toys as a child and she had not seen anything like it since.

So I took it upon myself to create a Burlap Version. The great thing about sewing and crafting with Burlap is that you can use it to give your projects real structure and form. If you were to make this out of cotton, it would collapse when turned into the cradle position. But using Burlap, it stands really well.

I hope the judges at the show appreciate the dual functionality of this cradle. The Ekka starts next week, so I’ll let you know how I go.

It is a bit complicated to explain how to make, so I will work on a proper sewing pattern and put it in my pattern store soon.

This cradle got me to thinking about my favourite toys as a child. Most of the really memorable favourites were handmade. The timber crib for my dolls and washing line that my Uncle Dave made me, Maxi and Mini dolls that Uncle Dave’s Mum made me. What were your favourite handmade toys as a child? Have you made them for your kids? Let me know. I think we should restart the handmade toy movement! I’d love to hear about your handmade toys as I think my boys could do with some Handmade love!

Ekka Entry Number 2, Funky Fashion and Wearable Art Chevron Burlap Skirt

Last week I shared with you my first entry in the upcoming Agricultural Show Burlap Christmas Trees. This week I would like to share with you my entry in the Funky Fashion Wearable Art Category. My Chevron Burlap Cocktail Skirt.

I just love this Chevron design Printed Burlap, and thought it had great impact and would make a perfect statement piece. So it seemed the natural choice for the Funky Fashion Wearable Art category.

Last year I made a Burlap Cape with Free Motion embroidery for this category and managed to take out 2nd place. So this year I have my sights set on 1st place, but we’ll see!

I didn’t follow a pattern for the skirt, I just winged it as I went. If you are interested in making something similar I will give you the brief run down on what I did as a starting point.

Basically I measured waist to knee and cut a long strip of Burlap that width. I hemmed the bottom, sewed on two strips of ribbon. I then gathered the top and added two layer of tulle underneath (attached at the waistline) to give the skirt some structure. Then sewed the side seam together.

I then measured around my waist and cut another strip of Burlap that length by about 6 inches wide. I folded this in half long ways, wrong sides together. Stitch the ends together, then folded right side out. I then attached this to the top of the skirt, starting and ending at the side seam. I then inserted a zipper into the side seam from the waistband down about 5cm into the side seam.

I know that is a very rough guide, but that is pretty much all there is to it. If you don’t feel comfortable winging it, then probably best to purchase a pattern. Just make sure you allow for the skirt plus the tulle to give the skirt structure.

It’s not an everyday skirt as I think constant washing would ruin the stiffness of the skirt, but it is a fun special occasion skirt, perhaps for my next cocktail party….

Next week I’ll show you my last entry for the Agricultural Show.

In the meantime, I love to hear about anything you’ve made that would constitute Funky Fashion or Wearable Art! Let me know, I need inspiration for next year!

A Very Special Mothers Day Memory Quilt

It was Mothers Day here in Australia about four weeks ago. And this Mothers Day I was actually ready and waiting with my handmade present for my Mum on the day! It’s taken about 2 years to make, but worth every minute.

My grandmother passed away about 2 years ago, and I managed to keep a few of her favourite pieces of clothing. I then re purposed these into a beautiful quilt for my Mother for Mothers Day this year. It was a double whammy gift for her as it was from her daughter as well as her Mother which was really special.

First I sorted all the clothes by colour palate and chose a selection of garments that were in similar tones. I then cut a lot (63 to be exact) of 10 inch squares and some 5 inch squares. I sewed the 5 inch squares into groups of 4 to make 10 inch squares.

I then joined the squares, 7 squares wide and 9 squares long, a total of 63 (10 inch squares) in total. I used a wool batting and a flannel backing and tied the quilt at 4 inch intervals with wool. I then bound the quilt with bias binding.

The quilt is a single bed size, but would also look great as a splash of colour across the bottom of a king size bed.

My Mum was thrilled with the quilt. I think she appreciated the use of her Mums clothes in a very practical way that can serve as a constant reminder of her Mum. My kids loved cuddling up it and agreed it felt like a hug from their Great Grandma which was also really lovely.

So next a close friend or loved one passes away, before you donate all those clothes to charity, consider saving a few pieces to make a beautiful quilt that will honour their memory for years to come. It can make a really personal and sentimental gift for a grieving loved one.

Easter Egg Lavender Sachets – An alternate Easter gift

With Easter fast approaching, Burlap comes into it’s own. Burlap is the king of Easter. What could be a better fabric to celebrate Spring, Nature and New Life than Burlap. Not to mention the meaning of Lent and going without, the humble Burlap fabric is the perfect companion.

Easter Egg Burlap Lavender Sachets

Burlap Lavender Sachets are the perfect gift when you don’t want to give chocolate for Easter. These sweet little sachets can be hung in the wardrobe to keep your clothes smelling fresh and bug free all year round – and best of all not a calorie to be seen!

To create your lavender sachets cut two Egg shaped ovals (mines about 12cm high) of Burlap.

Two Egg Ovals

On one of the ovals of Burlap stitch rows of ribbon in complimentary shades and patterns.

Place Burlap Eggs right side together and insert a 15cm length of satin ribbon, folded in half, inside the top of the egg to form the hanger. Pin in place. Stitch around the circumference of the egg leaving a 5cm gap on the side.

Stitch around the circumference leaving an opening

Roll an A4 sheet of paper into a funnel and insert in gap in Burlap, fill egg with Lavender. Stitch opening closed.

Fill with Lavender

Fray the edges back to the stitching line. Your Lavender Easter Egg Sachets are now complete.

So quick, so affordable and so easy! The perfect Easter gift.