Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fabric origami experimenting

After making a couple of fabric origami bags,

and also these:

 and then some paper origami flowers..

 it got me to wondering if you can do any kind of origami using fabric instead of paper?

My initial attempts haven't been too successful..

I suspect that I need to use stiffer fabric, or add interfacing or similar. But I figure I should be able to do it using the iron, and a few stitches here and there!

Have you ever tried fabric origami?
If you google images for fabric origami - there are some amazing things around.

Just as I'm writing this - I've found this great little tutorial for 
making little origami gift bags.  This lady used fusible webbing to add pretty paper to the back of fabric, which also stiffened it, then folded origami style! Brilliant!
Ok - watch this space, and I'm going to experiment some more!

If anyone has any ideas, tutorials and tips for me on exploring fabric origami, I'd love to hear them!

I'll be sure to post what I discover and make!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Refreshing my blog

So are you all watching the Olympics?  I love watching them every 4 years - and this year am looking forward to sharing much of it with my girls, who are now old enough to really start taking an interest.
The only drawback is that they are happening on the other side of the world to us here in Australia - so it's going to mean some late nights and early mornings to catch live events!

Every time I watch the Olympics, I get inspired.  I have to admit that I still (at age 39) watch and think, "One day I'll get there".  I know - crazy - but I can't help it! Although I guess now the options of possible sports I can enter in are reducing rather rapidly as I get older!
I am the eternal optimist though - you never know!!

Anyway - the inspiration I gain from the Olympics, does spill over into all aspects of my life, as I watch so many sportspeople who are really and truly making the most of their own potential - really living life to the full and giving it their all!

So, my first response to this inspiration, has been to start sprucing up my blog a little. I want to improve and grow my blog as much as I can, and will ride this wave of motivation to put more energy and effort into improving and adding to it!

You may notice a new header, and I also changed my button - which unfortunately I chose to do late on Friday night - and managed to stuff up the old button completely, so anyone who did have that on their blog now just has a broken link....SORRY!!

Here's the new one anyway:

Creating my way to Success

As yet - the featured on button hasn't changed - I think I'll leave that till I'm concentrating better so I don't stuff that up too!

I also updated my 'About Me' page, which is something I've been wanting to do for a while now - so it was good to finally get a Round Tuit! If you'd like to read more about me and my blog
 - click here!

Are you watching the Olympics? What are your favourite events to see? and do you get motivated by the Olympics?
Me - I'll be watching the swimming, athletics, gymnastics, diving, and probably anything else that is on at a decent hour here - it's all amazing and inspirational stuff!

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Majestic Peacock Ebook - from Suzy's Sitcom

Have you ever visited Suzy's Artsy Craftsy Sitcom?
Well - it's one amazing blog, written by an even more amazing lady Suzy!

The crafting that goes on over there is unbelievable - such imagination! I'm constantly amazed by the things she comes up with!

Now Suzy has just published her first Ebook - where she is very generously sharing 2 of her fabulous Peacock projects:
A Faux Stained Glass Peacock, and a Quilted Peacock table runner.

As you can see from the pictures on the front of the book that the projects do look incredible..
I mean look at the detail on this..
But Suzy makes the whole thing seem simple enough for anyone to try.
She breaks the processes down into small, manageable steps, which she explains so clearly and adds LOTS of great photos to show exactly what she means!

Having made my first quilt recently - but nothing near as detailed as this, I can't wait to give this Peacock project a try.

The stained glass project is one I'm actually going to try with my 2 daughters.  
Sewing is my craft of choice, but this painted glass project looks so great, and once again Suzy's instructions and photos are clear enough for anyone to give it a try!

If you'd like to read more about this book - and get a copy for yourself..

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Using the walls

This year one of the things I want to acheive is to declutter and better organise my house. Slowly I'm getting small bits done, and this week I completed a whole wall for my girls..

This wall in the corridor was used to display the girls artwork from kindy and then the first couple of years of school.  Now they are getting a little older - they bring home a LOT less artwork, but their sporting achievments are providing us with a different kind of thing to display!

Here's how they were storing their medals and ribbons before..
Stuffed in a bag, in their bedroom.

Now I think this is a real shame - they get these beautiful ribbons, medals and trophies to reward and encourage them, but never really get to look at them or show them off.

A few weeks ago I found some of these shelves in our local hardware store.

Best of all they were on special for just $2 for a pack of 3 shelves...and then scanned for just $1.50 - that's only 50c per shelf! What a bargain!

I found an old tin of stain and varnish in the shed and set to work.

For the ribbons, I decided to use a couple of old canvas prints, which I covered with some plain fabric from my stash.
The ribbons could then just be pinned onto the front.

Once I'd varnished the shelves, I got out my drill and bits and pieces..

And before putting the shelves up on the wall, added some hooks under them for hanging the medals.

My girls were really excited when they got home from school to find their new wall display.
I added the World map underneath as we were looking for a prominent place to put this to help them learn where various countries are.

It's a great place to have it for the upcoming Olympics - which I'm sure will provide some great opportunities for finding countries on the map.
Then as my eldest daughter pointed out, they can look where in the world they themselves win medals in future!

One small organisational victory in my house! And at a nice cheap budget too!

To see what others have been up to in their creative spaces this week, grab a cuppa and head on over here..

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Handy zip-pouch tutorial

I've been wanting to make a pouch like this for a long time. One that zips open flat, with pockets and compartments for things.
Figuring the zip out took a while - but I finally cracked it and made my first pouch shown here - a small first aid kit to keep in my handbag.  
It's a good handy size..

I also made another pouch filled with a sewing kit!
 I used some 'tape measure' fabric for the inside of this one - and appliqued my initial to the front instead of the ruffle this time!

I used denim from an old pair of jeans for these pouches - nice firm fabric helps keep the shape of the pouch without the need for any interfacing. I used small scrap remnants for the inside and pockets. 

Here's the tutorial if you'd like to try one for yourself!


Outer fabric (I used denim)
2 pieces  17 x 11 cm (6.75 x 4.25")

 Inner fabric
2 pieces 17 x 11 cm (6.75 x 4.25")
For slide pockets: 2 pieces 7 x 11 cm (2.75 x 4.25")
                               1 piece  12 x 11 cm (4.75 x 4.25")
For elasticated pocket: 1 piece 10 x 16 cm (4 x 6.25")
1 cm (0.5") wide elastic, 8 cm long
Ruffle - 1 strip 6 x 28 cm (2.5 x 11")

1 zip, 46 cm (18") long

1. First stitch the inside pockets.
For the elasticated pocket, take one large inner piece of fabric and the elasticated pocket piece with the elastic strip:

Fold the long edge of the pocket piece over twice - once to hide the raw edge and the second fold to make the elastic casing. Make this fold slightly wider than your elastic, and stitch close to the edge.

Then using a large safety pin, thread your elastic through the casing.

Then secure the elastic with a few rows of stitching on either side of the casing:

Now lay your pocket piece on top of the large inner piece of fabric with the bottom raw edges together. Pin then stitch down both sides:

2. Now to the slip pockets.  Take the three smaller pocket pieces and your other large inner piece of fabric:

For each of the pocket pieces, double turn the top edges and stitch to neaten.

Then lay the larger pocket piece and one of the smaller pieces on top of the main inner piece of fabric like this:

Then stitch across the bottom of both pocket pieces together:

Now lay your third pocket piece on the bottom of the main part - raw edges matching:

Stitch across the bottom of the pocket, then down both sides of the whole piece to hold all 3 pockets in place:

3. Now to the decorative ruffle for the front of the pouch.
Take your ruffle strip and you need to finish the long edges off to prevent fraying.  You could simply double turn and stitch, or if you have a rolled hem foot for your machine, you could used that:

Then turn your machine stitch settings to the widest stitch, and the highest tension. Run a single line of stitching down the centre of the  ruffle strip, then pull one of the threads at the end to ruffle the strip evenly:

Next, pin and stitch this ruffle to the centre of one of your outer pieces of fabric:
Remember to turn your machine stitch settings back to where you usually have them for this!

So now you have all your pieces ready to put together with the zip:

4. The zip!
First of all, place the zip around 3 sides of your front outside piece of fabric - the one with the ruffle.  Place so the edges fall evenly along the fourth edge like this:

Then with the right sides of the zip and the fabric facing together - pin the zip into place around the edge.  Clip the corners of the zip to help it stretch around the corners of the fabric when you pin:

Only pin around 2.5 cm (1") down from the edges of the fabric on the final edge where the zip ends are.
Then using the zipper foot attachment on your machine, stitch the zip into place.

Now open up the zip fully, and place this front section of the pouch face down onto your other outside fabric piece so right sides are together.

Then open the pouch up and pin the second half of the zip to the other outer piece of fabric like this:

Again, only pin around 2.5 cm (1") down from the edges of the fabric where the zip starts and ends. Machine stitch into place.

Now you're ready to attach the inside pieces of the pouch:

First lay out your pieces like this, then fold one side of the main pouch across and 'inside' the other.

Lay one inner piece face down on top of this - and pin around the edges where you have stitched the zip.

Machine stitch around the edges - again using your zipper foot, and again only stitching 2.5 cm (1") down from either end of the fourth side.
Clip the 4 corners and turn right sides out:

Then repeat this process for the other inner pocket piece. Fold the finished side in across the other side, place the inner pocket piece face down - pin and stitch:

Clip the corners and turn right sides out - you should have this now:

5. Finishing off the 'spine'
Now you need to close the gap in the 'spine' of your pouch/folder.
Take 2 scraps of fabric - one of the inner one of the outer fabric, approx 12 x 5 cm (4.75 x 2").
Fold the smaller edge over and insert under the edge of the zip and inside both side of the pouch.
This takes a little shuffling around.
The inner and outer fabric scraps basically cover both ends of the zip and tuck into either side of the pouch.

Pin the edges together through all layers of the fabric - checking you have the front and back even. Then machine stitch into place.

All done!

Fill your pockets up..

Zip it up around the edges and you're ready to go!

For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

If you liked this tutorial - they you may enjoy my others!
There are over 100 free sewing tutorials for all levels of sewing abilities now available on