Embroidered and Scented Toybeanbags (1 2 3 4

I’d already decided to make these to use up a bunch of dried basil flowers, and cut up the squares last Thursday afternoon. This project turned out to be a way for me to practice my embroidery, and I’m pleased with how that’s coming along.

On Friday morning I was looking through the Transformation Thursday’s party link and found number beanbags at Lemon Tree Creations. I’d already planned my bags, so the ones at Lemon Tree are slightly different, but it’s still good to see how they do theirs.

After I sewed the bags on my trusty Husqvarna 2000, I stuffed each one with three tablespoons of old lentils and dried basil flowers. I put 15 tablespoons of lentils and a big heap of basil flowers into a bowl, and then a spoon of lavender oil, so these bags smell lovely. A little aroma therapy there for the kiddies!

I planned to do my stitches in thick contrasting coloured cotton. When I went to embroider the “D” on a hanky for David, I had a vague memory of my mum teaching me a chain stitch and tried to replicate it but had a lot of trouble. So for this project I did some research and looked up images of basic embroidery stitches and found a very helpful page at Tipnut. The chain stitch in particular came back to me easily. I also found some youtube videos on how to make a lazy daisy and a french knot.

For this project I used the following embroidery stitches
running stitch
blanket stitch
cross stitch
chain stitch
lazy daisies
french knots

i

Yes, it is true. I am having a hot and steamy secret love affair – with my sewing machine!

Of course, this does not mean I love David any less, how could I? “He da man!” (pretty much, pretty much). And there is no law written that a happily married woman must not love her trusted sewing machine dearly.

What an absolute treasure my old sewing machine is, and oh so lovely. A much-loved well-worn relic, it always works like a smooth charm whenever I feel brave enough to venture near it. I’m not sure why I don’t use it more often, this wonderful refined beast intimidates me with its perfectness. It simply purrs as it glides the seams all my itself, all I have to do is turn it on! But so patiently it waits for me, never pesters me for attention. Just is always there for me when I need it.

And just like a good friend, if I’m making a mistake sewing something the wrong way around, it Knows it isn’t the sewing machines fault. So it says nothing, and just keeps sewing, trusting I will see my own error sooner or later. My sewing machine ain’t gonna tell me I’m wrong and remains silent. I’ve known people like that!

This machine came to me second hand by a friend of my mother who I believe didn’t use it much, and I didn’t realise straight away just how precious this thing truly is.  It’s had two services so far, one in Darwin and one in Brisbane, I should try and find someone I trust here on the south side to do it, but I’m a bit nervous about that! We all know how I have ‘trust issues’! How I would be lost without my Husqvarna, no other could possibly replace it.

Oh, I love my sewing machine!
/smiffle!

A trip to the Library and Lincraft

Every Wednesday I plan to post on my blog about venturing outside, sometimes tagging along with Outdoor Wednesday. Today I’d like to include some pictures of a particularly spectacular snowflake bush which is currently flowering and welcomes you as you drive into our apartment’s complex.

When I turned up for my Monday morning ‘meeting’ I was unhappy to report that I had not managed to leave the house for the week, having found an excuse not to visit my family on Saturday as planned. So after the meeting I went to my local Lincraft store, and while I was there I poked my head in the library which is in the same building.

My visit to Lincraft went ok, it wasn’t too busy so I was free to potter around in peace, and there was no waiting at the counter, which is a bonus for me. I bought some brightly coloured wool which was on special, I plan to make some children’s beanies with it. In the photo you can see my first attempt which is too big and has to be undone. I also bought some new cotton for edging face-washers! They didn’t have any white, so I chose a nice lilac-grey. I bought 1.7m of stretch velvet which I plan to make a skirt with. I also paid a couple of dollars for some crochet patterns, knowing I can get crochet patterns off the internet for free, but I liked this particular collection and want to try making the bolero.

I find going to the library a little overwhelming, which I know is silly! I went and picked up some brochures, one is a very helpful map of the local nature reserve which I hope David and I can go to soon before it gets too cold. I walked around the whole library then wondered what to do next so made myself sit down as I feel stupid walking around aimlessly! After I looked through the brochures I noticed some quilting magazines, so got up to look more closely to see if there were some crochet ones but they only had knitting. I then went and had a look at some more information displays but couldn’t find anything about the craft group that’s supposed to be there at the end of this month. I didn’t feel up to asking anyone about it so I left. I hope to go back to the library again soon, it would be great if I could sit in on that craft group in a couple  of weeks.

Wish me luck!
❤ ❤ ❤

Scented Rice Pack, Ribbon Gift Bag and Flowering Rosella

Today, I made up an organza bag to go with the hot rice pack I made last week. Well, I don’t think it’s proper organza, just a nice white sheer fabric I’ve had hanging around for ages. I finished it off with some of the new pretty deep pink ribbon I got from Lincraft the other week. My old machine did catch on the fine fabric, so I’ll probably have to get around to that service soon.

To make the scented rice pack, I used a cup of rice (I got 10kg when on special), and added a tablespoon of dried lavendar petals, some dried homegrown marjoram, basil flowers, and lemon myrtle along with a drop of rose fragrance oil. I used more of the soft red cotton material, although I know red is not the best colour for a relaxing eye pack, but it is nice and soft. And it smells simply divine, if I do say so myself! It would be handy as a relaxing eye pack, or you can heat up it up in the microwave for a minute on high to use as a soothing hot pack. Alternatively, you can put it in the freezer to use as a cool pack. These rice packs are very handy to have around!

Flowering at the moment is our new rosella plant which is really taking off in this humid weather. We can’t believe we picked this one up in the bargain bin at our local nursery for only $1! Its got a heap of fruit on it now, and also some optimistic white meally bugs. I sorted those bugs out, so hopefully we will have some fruit to try and make rosella jam in a month or so.

Pretty Covered Coathangers

Every wardrobe is not complete without a few of these covered coathangers! I don’t know why I haven’t made these before, they are so easy.

Many years ago I replaced all the old coathangers in my cupboard with plastic ones. But you know how these things multiply, right? Somehow, I now have three old wooden hangers in my cupboards and I’m not sure how they got there! They really needed covering, the wood catches on delicate clothes, and the corners leave imprints in the shoulders. Covering them fixes that!

I searched around on the net for ideas on how to do it, but they all  seemed a bit too fussy. For mine, I just cut up some recycled foam packaging and secured it with elastic bands. Then I simply hand stitched the pretty material straight over the top, folding in the edges, using blanket stitch. I folded in the ends and stitched that down, too. The lavender ones have pretty white buttons to secure the ends. I then finished off with a very simple little bow to cover the tiny gap for the hook. These are a cinch and don’t take long to make at all.

Lovey Dovey Buttons

I’ve been wondering if I could use recycled plastic milk bottles to make buttons, and thought to try it today with some of the left over love heart print.

This post about how to make a fabric button made me wonder if I could make the pieces from recycled plastic, instead of buying the kits from the craft store. Buying new something so simple just to make a button seems wasteful to me. I had three goes at making the pieces from the plastic, going smaller and refining it as I went. My result is, I don’t think this makes a very strong button! You could use it as a decorative button only, not a functioning one on clothing. I also cut and covered a small piece of plastic to form the missing piece for an old fabric button, which worked ok.

So then I went back to the net. This post about how to make a fabric button without a kit prompted me to go through my large button collection for any faded buttons that were candidates for a fabric covering. The large once-were-purple buttons worked the best, the smaller faded blue ones were more fiddly. By trial and error I found the smaller ones really need a round of cloth that was neither too small or too large. I also watched this video on making fabric buttons with a kit, it looks very simple and I wonder if I could make my own. I really like the picture frame on the wall behind her, it’s holding 4 rows of cotton threads, looks cool! (wonder if I could make one from recycled materials … )

So that was a productive day today – I learnt how to cover buttons with fabric! I’m sure to need that skill at some point ….

edit: I’m thinking of trying to make fabric covered thumbtacs when I’ve collected enough tiny plastic bottle tops (eg. toothpast etc).

Lovey Dovey Boxer Shorts

I found making this pair of boxer shorts challenging, but I carefully worked through the steps I knew I needed to pull this off. I took no shortcuts like I normally do with my sewing, so I’m proud of the results.

David likes the love heart motif, but would like to have some choice when buying clothes. Love heart options for women’s clothing are abundant, but for men it’s pretty much limited to g-strings with hearts on it. And that’s just not our style! I saw this love heart printed material and decided to grab a metre with the thought to try and make him some boxer shorts. I would copy a comfortable pair he already has, but making pants in the past has usually resulted in failure. So before doing this, I made a couple of pairs of pants for toys, going so far as to use a paper pattern for the fashion doll pants. Big teddy needed some jeans, so I threw them together from the bottom part of already cut up jeans, to check if I understood the pant pattern shape. Teddy’s pants wouldn’t be complete without a big cheery red button!

Today I was ready to try and make David a new pair of boxer shorts. I started by making a paper pattern by copying David’s black boxers, leaving space for seams, and cut out the shape. Pinning the material, I cut it carefully in half so I had two pieces of material. I folded a piece in half and pinned the paper pattern to the fold, then cut it out, removed it and did that to the other piece. Then I pinned the whole thing together first, before starting the sewing, something which I normally do not bother to do. First I sewed the tummy seam, then the back seam, then the crutch. The boxers looked huge! But when I checked the size by placing the black shorts on top, I saw they weren’t too much larger. I made a pocket for the elastic along the waist, and threaded it through. All that was left to do was hem the bottom of the legs and wait for David to come home so I could check the elastic and sew it up.

Bouyed by my success, I decided to make the scraps into an itsy-bitsy pair of boxer shorts for me! To my surprise they actually worked and are wearable, David even says they are cute! Needless to say, I won’t be modelling them and posting a foto!!

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