Relaxing sewing!

Yesterday I had my first real sewing day of the year.  I made these pencil and notebook folders with fabric from my stash. 
I used my own tutorial, and since I have made lots of these before, it was a nice relaxing day of sewing!

As I've mentioned before - I'm planning to use my fabric stash this year to make things for my soon to open Madeit shop.  These are the first items to stock the shop.  I plan to sew something each week - probably from my own tutorials.

It was nice to just sew and not have to remember to take photos of each step, or figure out how to make something.

I will make more tutorials this year - but with over 100 of my own now available here on my website , I figure I've earned a break for a while.

I like the idea of choosing something to make each week, and although I'm going to list things for sale in my Madeit shop, I'm not really focussing on promoting it.  It'll be good to stock up on handmade gifts for birthday parties my girls get invited to. Plus I'm helping my girls set up their own Madeit shop for things they make - so it's all about helping them.
At this stage, if I sell anything through it - it's a bonus!!
(of course having said all that, I will post a link when I get the shop set up in the next couple of days!)

So nice to be doing things for a purpose, but without any pressure. (I hope that makes sense).

I feel overall more relaxed this year, happy to be continuing sewing and blogging, but feeling less pressured to focus so much on growing the blog.

Happy days!

Friendship Bracelets

My girls have been asking to make friendship bracelets for a while now, so when this package of embroidery threads arrived in the post  ...

it was the perfect opportunity to try them 

I was inspired by a post from Pam at Threading My Way, who made a little friendship bracelet kit as a Christmas gift - such a neat idea!

We followed a tutorial that Pam recommended, using a braiding disk.

It was so easy, and in no time my girls and I had each whipped up a pretty bracelet:

Or anklet!

I've never made friendship bracelets before and really had fun with this. We're going to check out more tutorials and make lots more of these.
How pretty are they?

Gorgeous combination of thread colours!

Have you ever made friendship bracelets?  Do you have any other tutorials to recommend?

Monster Pencil Case - a tutorial

My youngest daughter saw a pencil case in the shops similar to this and asked me if I could make her one!

Here's how I made it:

First my daughter chose the fabric - fur for the outside, and sparkly red velour for the inside.
Plus I needed a little black and white with some fusible webbing (Vliesofix) for the eyes, and of course a zip.

The size of the pencil case was just decided by laying the zip on it to judge the size of the mouth, and folding the fur in half.
(I cut the fur for this one was 35 x 32cm   - 14" x 12.5")
I then cut an inner piece larger than one side of the pencil case as I wasn't sure how the slanted zip would affect how it turned out.
I also ironed the fusible webbing to one side of a scrap of black and white ready for the eyes:

So the first sewing step was to add the zip. I did photo the steps as I did it, but the fabric doesn't show the details too well.
 I have another tutorial for how to add a zip like this here.

WARNING!! I managed to get my inner fabric the wrong side up here - you should place your inner and outer fabrics right sides facing when you draw, pin then stitch around the zip hole!

Once the zip mouth was in place, I cut shapes for the eyes from the black and white fabric and ironed then stitched them to the fur:

Next I trimmed the red inner fabric piece to the same size as one side of the outer pencil case (half the fur) 

Then I cut another piece of red inner fabric the same size and stitched the two red pieces together around all four sides:

Finally, I folded the fur in half, right sides facing and stitched around all 4 edges, just leaving enough of a gap on one side to turn the case right sides out:

All that was left to do then was to turn the pencil case out, and hand-stitch the opening closed.

My daughter is very happy with her new pencil case!

Cute hey?

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

For lots more free sewing tutorials go here.

There are over 100 to choose from, including a few more pencil case tutorials in the 'things to make for kids' section.

Happy Sewing!

More zip keychain pouches

I made some of these pouches as Christmas gifts to post to family and friends, and got hooked!  
Since this year I'm going to re-open my Etsy and Madeit shops, I thought I'd make a start on some stock for them.
(They are made using my own tutorial - which you can find here.)

They are all made with fabric scraps - the denim from old jeans.

The zips have cute little gold pulls on them.

They just add that extra special touch to these cute little pouches don't you think?

Once I've got a few more things made, I'll get back to my stores and find out how to re-open them again!

Will keep you posted!

Any Etsy or Madeit hints and tips would be gratefully appreciated!