Posts categorized "fabric & sewing"

christmas ideas [day 1] : advent calendars

From now until Christmas Mel and I will be sharing some inspirational crafty Christmas projects and ideas. We'll be posting every Tuesday and Friday until Christmas.

In preparation for the silly season, I created a Christmas-y blog banner, just to get me in the festive mood.

Mel and I thought we'd start our festive ideas with a post about Advent Calendars. I wanted to find out a little about the history of the Advent Calendar. I knew it was a way of counting down the days to Christmas, but I wanted more.... Wikipedia to the rescue, this was one place that appeared in my search. A brief history can be found HERE.

Since having children I (and my girls) have a tradition of choosing a chocolate filled calendar from the supermarket. My girls love opening their calendars every morning through December. Its the only time of the year they are allowed to eat chocolate before breakfast!

And since having children I always had grand plans of making a calendar for each of them, something that would become a "long term" tradition. Last year I finally made two calendars. . I did share photos of these last year, but I didn't go into detail of how they were made, so here's a little more information (not a tutorial, but a few tips to making them).

Emily's Advent Calendar

I didn't measure any pieces of fabric for Emily's calendar. The larger background pieces (front and back) are the size of fat quarters. I did machine quilt fabric I used in this project, but you can leave this step out, or just use a light batting to give the calendar a little substance.

I created 4 large strips of fabric to go across the calendar background fabric. These were embellished with ribbons and rick rack. I sewed them to the front base piece only. I then sewed lines from top to bottom to create the smaller pockets. Six pockets were created across each of the four rows. The flowers and buttons were then added to the calendar.


Now is the time to consider how you would like to hang the calendar. I made some fabric tabs and sewed them to the top of the calendar, leaving the tabs facing inwards before finishing off the project.

The back of the calendar is sewn in place at the end... with the right side (pockets side) of the calendar and the right side of the back fabric together, sew around the edge, leaving a small hole to turn the calendar right side out. Stitch the hole closed.

And your calendar is ready to be filled with little treats. Now I didn't add number to this calendar, we used a little decorative peg last year to show the number, and moved it along to each pocket.

Phoebe's Stockings Advent Calendar

Phoebe and I made 24 quilted, fully lined stockings for her calendar. Phoebe did alot of the quilting herself. Now this seems alot of work, but set up a little production line to make the stockings and it's not such a huge task.

The stocking pattern I used was from Martha Stewart. Any stocking pattern can be used, just ad adjust the size to what you require. Martha Stewart's stocking template can be found HERE. Her original project was made using felt which was very cute. There are good instructions there for making the stockings.

Here's a few tips for making fabric stockings.... Cut out 48 stocking pieces (if making unlined stockings or using felt), cut out 96 stocking pieces if making lined stockings.

Fix 48 of these to a fusible webbing and quilt (only the outside stocking pieces were quilted, not the lining pieces). Below is a photo of the pieces once quilted, we quilted the whole wadding piece, not each individual stocking:

Cut out the stockings (from the wadding) and embellish with ribbon and rick rack across the top. I only sewed ribbon to the front piece of the stock not the back:


Sew the stockings together. I sewed a front (quilted) piece to a front lining, then back piece to back lining. Then right sides together and sewed around the whole edge, leaving a small hole in the lining (near the heel of the stocking) to turn the stocking to the right side. Stitch the hole closed and stuff the lining back inside the stocking. I hope that makes sense, if not ask any questions. Unfortunately I don't have any photos of that step.

Once finished, we pegged them up on string.

Now all I have to do is fill them all with goodies and we're ready to another year of our Christmas tradition.

I have found many more calendars on the web. Some favourite handmade advent calendars from other crafters are below. Please click on the links to visit their blogs and instructions to creating their calendars.

Cathe Holden's Simple Spool Advent Calendars:


Roxy Creations advent calendar:

Miss Gioia's Frankincense Advent uses buttons for the numbers:

Full Circle handmade advent:


Pink Chalk Studio's quilted advent:

And lastly, one great place for creative inspiration is Flickr, one group to look through is the Creative Advent Calendars group. So many ideas all in one place!

If you have a favourite advent calender idea, please share a link in the comments, I'd love to take a peek.

Thanks for visiting, see you on Friday for our next installment of our Crafty Christmas ideas.


Fiona x

patchwork class

Last week I went to the first of my patchwork classes over at Prints Charming.


It was a nice day surrounded by fabric.


After trying a few different combinations of fabrics, I finally chose some fabric which I'm really happy with. The fabrics I picked are actually quite different from what I thought I'd pick, more earthy than the usual brights I'm attracked to.


All my pieces are cut, I just need to start some sewing now. I'll show more as I get to work on my quilt.


Fiona x

maya road projects

Just wanted to share my last Maya Road projects which went to CHA recently.

This is a tabbed chipboard binder mini book, covered with some of my favourite fabric, Park Slope by Erin McMorris:




Some new cute stamps which I used for some card making:




This was a small coaster chipboard album coloured with some Maya Mist. This book contained some photos of Phoebe's fundraising efforts recently:




Thanks for visiting.


Fiona x

prints charming embroidery class

Last night Emily and I went to an embroidery class over at the Prints Charming studio at Annandale. We had a lovely evening stitching and chatting with a lovely group of ladies. Here's our stitching pieces in progress, we both need a little more stitching to finish off our pieces. I'm very pleased to say I have finally learnt how to sew french knots correctly.


Below is Emily's piece. Her chain stitch was so neat and even (as was all her stitching)...


Any my funky flower piece (which is actually a bindhi design). I came home last night and continued sewing while having my cuppa tea.


The little hand printed motifs used in the class can be seen/purchased HERE.

The girls at Prints Charming are holding some fabulous classes over the next few months. Join their mailing list to be kept up to date. I so happy as I've booked into one of their patchwork/quilting set of classes for next term, so looking forward to that.

Hope you have a good weekend. Thanks for visiting.


Fiona x

a phoebe for my phoebe


During one of my recent visits to the Central Coast (Phoebe's sports have been taking us far and wide of late) I managed to sneak away for a short time to visit Blueberries. [Yes, any opportunity to surround myself in crafty stuff when I should be watching sport I will take.] My goodness, Blueberries is such a beautiful store. I wish it was located closer to me with it's gorgeous selection of fabrics, although that could be very dangerous to my budgeting. I did buy a couple of Melly & Me softy patterns which I'd been wanting for a while now.

One pattern I bought is Phoebe the Elephant. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have this patten. It's very, very cute. I showed it to my Phoebe. I told her I'd make one for her birthday. I let her loose on my fabric stash. She picked out some blue fabric and I started making and stitching.


I quilted the little blanket and edged it with rick rack.


I usually hand sew little details, but I wanted to try using the blanket stitch on my sewing machine. I need to practice a bit more, but liked the machine stitched look.


Phoebe is a very cute elephant. And my Phoebe loves her.


Fabrics used (all from Hello Betty by Chloe's Closet for Moda Fabrics):

Thanks for vising my blog.

Still no news on the release of Australian Homesewn magazine, will keep stalking the stores.


Fiona x

australian homesewn


A little while ago I was thrilled to be asked by Mel Goodsell to create a project for a new publication, Australian Homesewn. Last week my copy arrived. It is just lovely, with so many sewing projects for kids, the home and of course, us girlies. Mel has created so many gorgeous projects for the magazine herself.

My brief was to create a stationery set with a matching pencil case, covered note book (which you can see on the cover, above) and a laptop bag. 


I wanted to make something colourful, so I used some fabric from one of my favourite fabric collections, Park Slope by Erin McMorris, and mixed it with some lime chenille

The covered note book was fun to make with a place for your pen on the cover.


The pencil case....


and the lap top bag...


One of my favourite little details on my sewing projects at the moment, fabric covered buttons.


There are full instructions for these three projects included in the magazine.

Australian Homesewn is published by Derwent Howard. I've emailed Mel to find out when it will be on sale. To be honest I haven't ventured out over the last week to see if it's in stores yet, but when I find out, I'll report back here.

And in other news... 18 months ago I had braces put on my teeth. A little know fact to most and something that has not been well documented in photographs. Well, tomorrow I'm having them removed. YEAH!!! They've done their job. I'm not sorry to see them go, to be honest, but I did get a little sentimental this afternoon that I didn't have much photographic evidence of their existence. So this afternoon I dragged Phoebe outside to have a photo. Yes, a self portrait taken with Phoebe's little digi camera, a quick snap shot, a little memory captured of this little stage of my life. Bring on tomorrow!


I seem to have lots of other little things to report on, but have been really busy with family life and birthdays and Ribbons Galore. So I will attempt to post some more little projects very soon.

Thanks for dropping by.


Fiona x

new ribbon pouches

New ribbons pouches/pencil cases/make up bags are now available at the Handmade store at Ribbons Galore.


Some pouches feature new German ribbons. This Babushka Dolls ribbon is just beautiful. 



Some pouches are decorated with some of my favourite Portuguese ribbons...

 Little Red Riding Hood ribbon.



And Flying Dolls ribbon.



There have also been some changes over at Ribbons Galore.

  • I have replaced the Ribbons Galore blog with a WHAT'S NEW page, where I'll be adding news as it happens.

  • The IDEAS GALLERY has been replaced with a new look gallery.

  • I have also added a TESTIMONIALS page. I receive lovely feedback about the Ribbons Galore website and the ribbons, so I thought it time to give these a home.

While I'm giving a Ribbons Galore update, I have also created a Ribbons Galore group on Flickr. If you have a creation using ribbon from Ribbons Galore, please feel free to add it to the group. I'd love to see how you use Ribbons Galore's ribbon.

Thanks for visiting. Have a great weekend.


Fiona x

Productivity update

School holidays are over, time for a crafty catch up.

Firstly I'm going back to before Easter. I did finish my other Easter basket for Emily in time for the Easter bunny. This was our last project from the Easter Egg-ceptional Egg-xtravaganza. Here's the finished product.


The cute birdie fabric used on the outside of the basket is manufactured by Timeless Treasures Fabrics. The only details I can find about this one is its code name on their website, it's mod-c4867-sorbet. The lining is another fabric from the same collection, but I can't find any details of it at the moment. That fabric has small hearts printed in matching colours.

And here are the baskets together on Easter morning.


I have been quite productive over the holiday break. We went up to Hawks Nest for a few days and seeing the weather forcast I didn't think we'd be spending much time outdoors, so I packed my sewing machine, fabrics and ribbons and settled in for a few days of sewing.

I have made a few changes to the Ribbons Galore site. One being a dedicated section for my new Handmade at Ribbons Galore goodies. And here is a batch of new pouches/pencil cases in the making, the result of my holiday sewing.


A few favourite designs are coming back.

Little Red ribbon pouch:


Snow White ribbon pouches:


And a few new designs...

The Snow White ribbon is now available in pink at Ribbons Galore. Here's the pouches in the making:


Tea Time ribbon pouches are coming soon too:


Golilocks ribbon pouch:


I have several new favourite ribbons which can all be found in the Fairly Tales and Fables collection at Ribbons Galore. One ribbon which I've loved using is the Babushka Dolls ribbon:



If you would like to pre-order any pouches before they are available at Handmade @ Ribbons Galore, please send me an email, [email protected] and I can send some more details about the designs.

That's about all for now. Have a great week and thanks for visiting.


Fiona x


Day 8 of the Egg-ceptional Egg-xtravaganza

Well here we are, our last day, day 8, of our Egg-ceptional Egg-xtravaganz.

I'm sharing some photos of a fabric Easter basket I've made for Phoebe. [I have a basket for Emily half sewn and will share photos of that one when I'm finished.]

The idea for the fabric basket came from Liesl's disdressed blog, where she made a very cute Easter fabric basket with bunny ears.

I've made a similar box style basket. The handles of my basket are semi-circles of fabric. I have quilted both fabrics (the outside and lining) to give the fabric extra body.

The finished basket measures about 20cm square, which gives a very generous space for the Easter bunny to fill with eggs on Easter morning.



I finished the top edge of the basket with rick rack.


I loved this cute fabric for the lining of the basket. It is a Japanese fabric by Sevenberry. The brown fabric for the outside is a Michael Miller fabric called Espresso Pod Ditz.


One of my blog readers, Julie, asked about the girls bunnies. We still have Bubbles and Butterscotch, they are nearly six years old, which I believe is "getting on" in bunny years. I admit to being a bit slack when it comes to taking photos of our little darlings lately (that's the bunnies, not the girls). So this afternoon in the fading light, I quickly took some photos of beautiful Bubbles.


Bubbles is still very cuddly and loves a snuggle.


Butterscotch was reluctant to leave the hutch this afternoon.... I will have to try one the weekend to take a better photo of her.


I'd like to thank everyone for visiting my blog during our Easter Egg-ceptional Egg-xtravaganza. Mel and I have chatted abouthow much we've enjoyed sharing our Easter ideas. We're hoping to bring you some more crafty ideas sometime soon.

Have a happy Easter.


Fiona x