How to make a sparkly Christmas cushion cover

Today I'm sharing another of my Christmas sewing tutorials.
This one shows how to make a

 Sparkly Christmas Cushion Cover.

This is also one of my super simple 5 steps in 15 minutes tutorials that anyone can have a go at - even complete beginner sewers!

Happy Christmas sewing!


Puffy yo-yo wreath tutorial

Today I'm sharing another of my Christmas tutorials.

This one is for a puffy yo-yo wreath made with scraps from old clothes.

A cute ornament the kids could make themselves!

Happy Christmas Sewing!


Eco Friendly Shopping bags - the perfect Christmas Gift!

I had a lovely surprise yesterday to see that one of the pattern testers for my new e-book posted about it on her blog.
Niki from Roonie Ranching shows the gorgeous bags she made from the patterns and tutorials in my e-book.
She was such a big help as a pattern tester and I'm flattered she wrote such a nice post about my book,
 so THANK YOU Niki!

Go here to see her post

I also have to mention another lovely lady at Wesens Art who bought my ebook, made the bags and posted about them too, THANK YOU!!

Go here to see that post

My e-book would make a great Christmas present for someone who sews.

It includes 5 sewing patterns/tutorials to make a selection of eco-friendly upcycled bags to use for shopping. Helping to reduce the use of those nasty plastic bags.

It's the perfect gift that gives that little bit more!

Happy sewing and upcycling!


Christmas Handibag tutorial

Today I'm also sharing another of my Christmas tutorials.

This one is for a Christmas Handibag. I've been using mine lots over the past few weeks as I Christmas shop.

 I think I'm done now but still have this handibag in my handbag just in case I find some other presents to buy!

So here is my 

Christmas Handibag Tutorial

Happy Christmas Sewing!


How to make a Christmas Snowman nightie

Today I'm sharing one of my Christmas sewing tutorials.

This one is for making a 
Christmas Snowman Nightie.

This was my younger daughter's favourite nightie, until she grew out of it! I might have to make her a new one that's bigger!

Happy Christmas Sewing!


Crochet Owl Keychain

Yesterday I decided to pick up my crochet hook again. I'm still learning the basics.
I had a breakthough this time and finally cracked making a magic ring! I've watched several short videos and read tutorials, but finally it clicked!

After making a pretty neat looking couple of rings, and showing my daughter how since she's learning too; I decided to keep going and make something from the ring.

I looked on my crochet pinterest board for inspiration and decided on a small owl.

I'm still struggling with the whole counting and patterns in crochet, so winged it a little bit too!
Here's how it turned out.

My daughters loved him and claimed him straight away. Now I have to make another one so they can both have one!

What do you think?

How to make a fabric Merry Christmas Banner

Today I'm sharing one of my Christmas tutorials - 

How to make a Merry Christmas Fabric Banner
I made this three years ago, and every year it comes out and is hung on our pool fence by the patio where we spend most of our evenings and weekends at this time of year!

All you need is some scrap fabric and a sewing machine!

Happy Christmas Sewing!


Sock Lion - more clothes upcycling

After my success a couple of weeks ago making my first sock monkey, I was keen to have a go at another sock upcycle.

This time I tried a sock lion. 
I followed this pattern  which was nice and easy to follow.
These are the socks I used.

I didn't use the whole length - so I still have a section from both socks around 20cm (8") long left over, which I'm sure can be used in another future project!

The sock lion was a little more complicated than the basic sock monkey I made - just for the extra features on the face, and of course the mane!

Before I put the mane on - I was a bit worried. the pattern said that it should now look like a lioness...
I wasn't convinced!

But now that he has his gorgeous pink and purple mane,

He definitely looks more lion-like don't you think?

And I'm sure he and the sock monkey will get along very well!

So which sock upcycle do you think I should try next?

Take a look at my sock upcycling pinterest board for the ideas I've collected so far. Or if you have any other suggestions or links please leave me a comment!

If you're interested in upcycling and sewing - please do take a look at my new e-book too - just released this week, it's great value with 5 detailed patterns for a complete set of eco-friendly shopping bags, including a designer handbag made from jeans to carry them all in!

Thank you! and happy upcycling!


Eco-Friendly Shopping Bags - My New E-book

Too many plastic bags are used in the world today.
While they may be convenient to use, their toll on the environment can be devastating. 
Although some are recycled, most end up in landfill - where they will remain for many years - or being light, they can easily blow away and end up in the oceans, forests and rivers.

To try and reduce my personal use of plastic bags, I have made my own reusable shopping bags - from bedding, curtains and old jeans. An eco-friendly solution to a problem that affects us all. 

This is a problem that I believe we can all take a step towards reducing. To help people take this step, I have written and produced this e-book showing how to make your own Eco-Friendly Shopping Bags.

This book provides you with

 5 sewing tutorials and patterns 

to make your own Eco-friendly reusable shopping bags.  

All of my tutorials are full of clear photos and instructions and can be attempted by even a confident beginner sewer.  

The first tutorial is for a simple pillowcase bag that folds into it's own pocket and can be carried in your handbag; 

Next, I show you how to make strong reusable tote shopping bags from old bedding,

 and produce bags from old net curtains

Then finally, the ultimate 'Eco-Friendly Handbag Shopping Bag'.

A handbag that contains a whole set of reusable shopping bags in a special hidden bag in the base of your handbag; for your weekly grocery shop. 
You'll never have to worry about forgetting your shopping bags, or leaving them in the car again!

By making and using your own set of these Eco-friendly reusable shopping bags, you could stop literally hundreds of plastic bags from going to landfill every year.

So why not download my free E-book:

Take positive action today, for all of our tomorrows.

Thank you!


I have to send out a huge thank you to the lovely ladies who were my pattern testers for this handbag pattern. Take a look at the gorgeous bags they made:





 and Niki

Just gorgeous aren't they?

My blog now has over 100 of my own free sewing tutorials. 
I try to make them as simple and clear as possible with plenty of photos.
My new e-book is no exception to this, and all the tutorials contained within it can be tried by a confident beginner sewer.

Since the patterns largely use upcycled and recycled fabrics such as old sheets and jeans, they are the perfect projects to have a go at, even if you don't have much sewing experience. What have you got to lose?  

So why not download my free e-book today, and make yourself your own set of eco-friendly shopping bags.

I would love it if you shared this with your friends, family and followers; on your blogs and social media.

To download this free e-book simply click on the following link:

Thank you for your support.

Upcycled tote bag from clothes

After my successful sock monkey earlier this week, I couldn't resist playing around with some more of the clothes from my upcycle stash.

This time I grabbed a small pair of red jeans, a pair of black trousers and a black and white top.

I used one leg from the red jeans and the waistband for the strap; one leg from the black trousers and most of the top for the lining and made a simple patchwork tote bag.

I tried to incorporate some pockets and seams into the patchwork, but I have to say I'm not really that impressed with the result.

Of course, I learnt when I had a market stall for a while, that sometimes things I made that I really didn't like, sold very quickly to someone who did like them!

Hopefully this design will appeal to someone.

So this bag will go together with the sock monkey and a small tissue holder that I made...
 ..into the start of my upcycled clothes stall for next year's school carnival.  

I've got a year to make things for the stall so plenty of time to play around and come up with some new designs.
Not a bad start though!

Do you ever not like things that you make? 
I don't like this feeling - it's like something is out of place and I know I'll feel unsettled until I make something else I'm proud of!


My first ever sock monkey - another great clothes upcycle idea!

I've wanted to try making a sock monkey for a while now, but since we live in the tropics, we don't wear socks very much and I haven't really had any 'spare' to use!

So when I collected my pile of clothing from the school carnival with the intention of upcycling them all to sell at next year's carnival, I made sure to include some socks in what I collected.

This pair seemed just perfect for a monkey, so I found a pattern to try here and set to work cutting, stitching and stuffing.

This is all that was left over at the end!

I'm very pleased with how he turned out - and I know my girls are going to love him!  
There is such a variety of sock 'creatures' to make - just take a look at my 

for some that I've found so far.

They're quite easy to make too - so I think this is something I'm going to teach my girls and they can help me make some friends for this little guy!

Have you ever made a sock monkey..or other sock creation?


Upcycling clothes - a big project

Last weekend was our school's annual carnival. This is a great day each year - the kids have so much fun, but it's also the school's biggest fundraiser.

I've had an idea swirling around in my head for the past year or two that I finally decided to put into practice.

I went to the clothes stall towards the end of the evening and asked if I could take some of the left over clothes at the end of the day to use for next year's carnival.  They were more than happy to let me rummage through and take away a few bags.

They're now all washed and sorted - and I'm excited with the selection I have to work with!

Lots of lovely jeans...

Even some pretty coloured ones!

Shorts and pants - good strong fabric!

My plan is to make bags, notebook folders, pouches and who knows what else.
Then at next year's carnival have an upcycled, sustainable stall to raise funds for the school - and also raise awareness - getting people into the idea of,

"Use What You've Got"

Now I've committed to this project - it's going to take some planning and lots of hard work, but I think it could be the start of something worthwhile, educational, ongoing and profitable!

Any suggestions of things to make with these clothes would be very welcome!

Has anyone else ever taken on a similar task? I'd love to hear any thoughts or ideas.