Thursday, November 27, 2008

Designer Fabric Doggie

I had so much fun making this project! It started off with me buying a book from a local second-hand bookshop. The book was published in 1978 but has some great projects in it. I wanted to make this fabric dog in lilac for a colleague's baby due soon but I decided to first make one for myself. In pink of course!

The original pattern shows the dog made with corduroy and I tried that with the bright pink corduroy shown in the photo as the dog's "cushion". What a mission! The fabric is too thick and turning the body right side out was murder! Not to mention all the fluff this fabric shed all over my room! It was also too large. I had the pattern enlarged as per directions but boy it was big! So I downscaled the size and changed to cotton. The Heather Bailey pink peonies was perfect for it!

A close-up picture of the doggie's collar. I made it from a piece of pink felt and handstitched it and added a little bell I bought at a local fabric store. How cute is this?

A close-up of the doggies face. It is meant as a decorative item for your bed so the doggie is sleeping. Isn't it the cutest little thing? The eyes and nose are made with scrap pieces of felt and handstitched. The nose template is a heart shape. It now naps away in my craft room every day...

Book review: Seams to Me by Anna Maria Horner

Wow! I cannot get enough of this book! My friend Lova at recently posted a review on this book and that prompted me to buy it. I am not sorry at all! Thank you, Lova!

I received the book on Tuesday and that night I was already cutting out the pattern for the Taxi Tote, above. What a lovely bag. And not like anything else I have seen on the internet.

This apron is another favorite. Simple but so different than any other patterns available. I love the BIG fabric-covered buttons! I went to my local fabric store earlier today to buy some buttons for this pattern.

This caddy is another project I plan to make. Really cute and useful. I highly recommend this book to any fabric-crazy person like me! Anna Maria has done a great job with this book. All the projects are old favorites but with a fresh, new twist to it. Lovely pictures and step-by-step instructions on each project. The best of all?

At the back of the book - in a beautiful envelope - are FULL SIZE patterns! I have had so much trouble recently enlarging patterns that this was the utmost GENIUS for me! Overall a fantastic book and I highly recommend it!

New pink designer bag

I recently posted pictures of my pink designer eyeglasses pouch. This is the matching bag made from one of my favorite Heather Bailey bijoux fabric. The lining is my favorite pink polka dot fabric I ordered from JandOfabrics in the US. I designed the bag myself to suit my needs for a daily bag. This includes the size of the pockets inside to fit all my goodies I cannot live without.

This shows a view of the inside and my pink polka dot fabric lining. Love the bag!

New Book Review: Oilcloth Inspirations

I am crazy about craft books. Recently I went a bit wild buying some new books on a variety of subjects. This is a review on one of my favorites by Sophie Bester. I am in an "oilcloth phase(craze?)" at the moment and this book is great!

My favorite must be this chair cushion cover. My chair in my sewing room has been bare for a while since I cannot find any inspiration to make a cushion. I have found it. The frill is cotton and the seat is oilcloth. Beautiful!

A cute tablecloth also with the frill in cotton fabric. The flowers on the frill are made from oilcloth. Wow. I could not believe the flowers and embesllishments in this book made from oilcloth!

A portable cushion for picnics or outside. Too cute!

Several bags in this book. From shoppers to totes to this elegant bag with the most devine oilcloth flowers on it!

An adorable oilcloth apron with FRILLS on the shoulders! These are just a few of the amazing projects inside this book. If you like oilcloth, like me, this book is worth getting!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Designer reading glasses pouch

In the spirit of continuing to use my designer fabric, I made myself a simple pouch for my reading glasses from the lovely Heather Bailey fabric range. I only recently got my first pair of glasses which I was told is a result of hours in front of the computer. Like that will change anytime soon!
So here is my badly wrinkled pink pouch, the new home for my pink framed reading glasses. I used felt inside and made a velcro fastening for easy use. I have been using it for a few days now and love it! Now my son wants a similar pouch for his i-pod. Another weekend project coming up!

Craft Book Review

As promised, I will be doing a review on some of my craft books on a regular basis. So this is this week's review: Easy Felted Accessories.

What a lovely book. It has many quick and easy projects made from felted wool or purchased wool felt. Projects range from slippers, bags, hats and many more. It has a lovely Russian furry hat project that I have to try sometime!

Here is an example of just one of the many bags you can make from this book. The instructions are easy to follow, step-by-step with pictures. The patterns can be found at the back of the book.

Another handbag project with lots of embroidery on it.

The cutest little baby jacket I have ever seen!

And cute mittens!
This book is well worth buying if this is your kind of projects. I love working with felt but I have not had the time to make any of the wonderful projects in this book. Part of the reason is the availability of wool felt in South Africa. I have only found one supplier in Cape Town and need to order some soon. I can see many pretty Christmas projects I can do!


Let me just clarify that I sew and I also scrapbook, but knitting and crocheting is not a strong point. I can do both but not well. Mostly I am happy doing small items that are quick to do. Patience is also not a strong point and you need plenty of that for this kind of craft!

So when I got this mad idea in my head that I want some crocheted and knitted cupcake pincushions I knew trouble was around the corner. I sent the knitted patterns to the professional - my sister Linda. But I can crochet a little cupcake, right?

I crochet very lose. When my Mom-in-Law and I crochet exactly the same item my finished product is DOUBLE the size of hers! Anyway, I was determined to make a cupcake! By the third row I had lost the plot completely. I had no idea why I had more stitches than the pattern or why mine did not even look the same. What happened?

By the 6th row I knew this is not working. So I improvised. I made my own pattern up. So, here is my wonky crocheted cupcake. My apologies to the lovely person who designed this beauty, but I am hopeless at crochet! It is kind of cute though...

I made a few other pincushions to compliment my wonky cupcake. I was not making another crocheted one! I think I will wait for Linda to make me some lovely knitted ones now and stick to sewing!

Craft Apron

I finally decided to use some of my small stash of designer fabrics I ordered from Etsy. Since I received my copy of "A is for Apron" by Nathalie Mornu I have been dying to make a craft apron. I used my favorite Pink Peonies from the Heather Bailey Pop Garden range. Just LOVE this fabric!
I could not find bias binding that was the right colour so I decided to try making my own. This was great fun and worked out great. I made three large pockets for the items that seem to get "lost" when you are sewing...I wear it every time I craft and love it!

New Sewing Machine!

I received an early birthday present last weekend! I am so thrilled to replace my almost 20 year old Janome with a brand new one. It works like a dream and the best is that I can get parts and accessories for it from several local shops. I have already purchased a few extra feet to do free motion quilting and some other fancy stuff. I cannot wait to start experimenting!

One thing that did not impress me is the lack of extra goodies my machine came with. My first Janome had a lovely zipped plastic cover to store it in and various feet and other accessories. This one cost a lot more and had just a handful of items included.

One of the first things I did was to make a cover for my new machine. I did not like the covers they sell and this gave me an excuse to try my hand at sewing with oilcloth! This is however a very thin oilcloth which was an absolute breeze to sew. I made a pocket at the back of the cover that has a velcro closing for the control foot but it turned out the foot was too heavy for the thin oilcloth. Might have to make another cover...

This is a close-up of the pocket at the back of the cover. Love this blue and pink print oilcloth.

Swap update

I completed another swap! The Creative Swap was great fun and my partner is the nicest girl! I really enjoyed "getting to know" her secretly on her blog. I hope she likes the stuff I sent.

The Sassy Apron Swap has turned out to be a problem. I have been unable to get any shop to enlarge the Apron pattern I want to use. So last night I improvised! I made my own pattern by doing careful measuring and calculations. And it worked perfectly! So, tonight I can start on the final item for this swap. The parcel should go off early next week.

I will be taking a break from swaps until January since Christmas is coming fast now and I need to get my own stuff done, mostly handmade presents. Very exciting!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Great Give-away at Lola's!

I am such a fan of Lola's! I have been visiting (stalking) her blog for several months, made bags with her beautiful free patterns, but only recently stopped lurking and introduced myself. Lola is celebrating her 300th post and starting next Monday, November 17th, she will be giving away some awesome prizes! Some are projects that she made herself and other are items from her stash. They are ALL worth having though! All you have to do is leave a comment. (Actually, I would rather you don't go there as it makes my chances of winning better if you don't!) If you are crazy about sewing like me though, you need to visit Lola's blog at as soon as possible. Congratulations, Lola! Thanks for all the inspiration you have given me!

Pink Pig!

I nipped out to visit a local Craft Store that sells handmade items from local artists called The Crafters Market. I love this shop. I found this cute little pig made from wire and beads!

Isn't it cute?! I love the wire and bead crafts. Wish I could do this...I am planning to buy a book for myself as a birthday present on making these pretty things.

Thrift Store finds

I paid a visit this week to my favorite thrift store and found a couple of cute things there.
This cute little bowl is ideal for a pincushion. It has a pink flower on the one side and a yellow flower on the opposite side. It has two holes near the top facing each other. I am not sure what it was used for but I am thinking of a creative way to make the holes part of the design.

I also found this cute little cow cup and side plate. This will be added to my sister's parcel next week. Her whole kitchen is decorated with cows!

I loved this cup the moment I saw it. Another pincushion in the making! Sadly there was no matching saucer, but that's OK.

Last, but not least, I found this stunning wire bowl that is now gracing my cutting table.

Cow Applique Apron & Potholder set

I recently posted about the Apron and potholder set I was making for my sister, Linda. She loves cows and I made an attempt at applique' on the apron bib and the potholder. I finally finished the apron and potholder and I must say I am rather pleased with the result! Here I am modelling the apron. (Sorry, not ironed!)

Here is a close-up pic of the apron bib with adjustable neckband and my attempt at applique'.

And a close-up of the potholder, once again with a cow applique'.

And a picture of the two completed items that shows the pleats off better...

I have another two aprons to sew this weekend- one for me from my brand new book "A is for Apron" and another for my swap partner in the Sassyapronswap.

Guitar Case continued...

I spent the whole Sunday last weekend to complete my son's pirate guitar case. It brought back memories of the "Amy Butler Weekender Bag" with all the layers and piping. I can assure you they were NOT good memories! I kept on asking myself why I am doing this! At 10pm it was finished and the great moment arrived. I called my son to bring his XBox Guitar Hero guitar and let it grace it's new "home". Bummer! It did not fit!!! The only thing I did not measure - and I measured all possible angles! - was if the guitar can go in with the zip all the way open. It is a good 10cm too short.

I am NOT taking this thing apart! I cannot believe I was so stupid...I asked my son to remove the bag from my craft room and tried to forget about it. I will have to make another one. With a longer zip. Sometime. When I have recovered from being mad at myself....

Friday, November 7, 2008

I am on The Big List of Sewing Blogs!

I received word from Suzi that I have been on The Big List of Sewing Blogs for a few weeks already. I just did not know it! I am number 393 on the list. If you have not been on this list, you should go there now. I am working may way through the list and have found great sites and inspiration.

I won pretty earrings!

A few weeks ago I left a comment on Maricris' website for a chance to win a stunning pair of her handmade earrings. I then completely forgot about it until I received an e-mail from her pronouncing me the winner! Today I received the parcel in the post.

I am thrilled! Maricris makes the most beautiful jewelry and you can buy from her Etsy shop Thank you, Maricris! And thank you to the lovely future mom blogger for picking me!

Craft Room

I often enjoy seeing posts and pictures of other crafters' craft rooms. I realized that I have not taken and posted pictures of my craft room before and decided to post a few pictures on my blog and more on my Flickr page. I re-organized my craft room last weekend and added a few new items I found at home decoration shops. I created this little corner in my craft room to show off my pincushions. The jewelry stand caught my eye in the shop and it looks so beautiful with the pink dress! you can also see my strawberries I made one weekend from a tutorial on Martha Stewart's website.

Here you can see the lovely scrapbookpaper stand my dear Father-in-Law made for me. In South Africa you cannot buy the scrapbook furniture you see in the USA, so I showed him a picture and he made this. I could not believe it when he delivered it! You can also see my old desk where I cut and scrapbook.

Here is the my cupboard where I store my fabric stash. The drawers hold my homemade patterns and habberdashery and on top is an assortment of scrapbook papers, books, inspiration, tutorials I downloaded from the internet, beads and other crafty items. On the far left you can see my old typewriter peeping out below the basket. I use it for journaling on my scrapbook pages. I found it in a second-hand store close to work.

This is my work area. You can see my printer below. I use my computer and sewing machine on this table. It is facing the window and during the day I can see our garden and braai (barbeque) area from here. I recently found this lovely oilcloth fabric covering the table at a local fabric shop. I just cut it and used clothing pegs to hold it in place. I plan to sew a hem this weekend.
I will post more photos on my Flickr page (Pinktulipza) in case you want to see more.

Crafty Book Reviews

Last night I was looking for a specific craft book and decided to post a regular review on some of the craft books I own. It has been so useful to me to see reviews of craft books I was interested in buying on other blogs that I decided to do the same for other bloggers. The problem is, which one to do first? I LOVE books. I love ALL my craft books. I decided to start with a firm favorite that I often take off the shelve and page through for ideas and a recent purchase from the South African version of Amazon.

The book Sew Many Bags, Sew Little Time by Sally Southern has no less than 30 bags in it. It supplies step by step how-to's and even some patterns at the back of the book. I selected a few pages to show you some of my favorite bags inside...

I still want to make a handbag with a wooden handle. I have quite a nice little stash of handles but have not used any of them yet. The black little bag on the right is made from felt. It is so easy to make and so cute. Sewing on a few beads and ribbon trim and you have a cute bag!
This book is well worth the money if you are into making cute and easy bags. It has the popular totes, purses, messenger bag and many other styles in it.
More regular book reviews to follow.

Unfinished Wall Hanging

Several months ago I got this MAD idea in my head that I can make a quilt. Ha! It did not last very long after I started scouring the internet and saw how looong it took to make one. I am all for projects that can be finished in a few hours, at the most a few days. This looked like months of work! So, the project changed to a small wall hanging.

I amd very pleased with the result so far. I plan to hang this behind the door in my craft room and to actually USE it for crafty bits. This was my first attempt at applique' by hand.

I used embroidery thread and the famous blanket stitch to outline the flowers and the leaves and insides of the flowers were done on my machine using a very small zig-zag stitch. All I need to do now is to "bind" it, I think they call it? Well, I have several documents on how to do this and I also asked my new blog friend and fellow South African, Karol-Ann from for advice. She is an EXPERT in quilting as you can see on her blog. I will post this baby as well when it is finally done!