Thursday, 30 August 2012

Build-a-Bag: My fabric has arrived! (Part One)

My Spoonflower order arrived yesterday but I realised I mucked it up!! I'm so annoyed at myself. After getting the test swatch I decided that I wanted the sunflowers a bit smaller so that I don't end up with just one on the bag, but I must have got my numbers back-to-front because I made them bigger! So I've had to order another yard of the sunflower print for the outside of the bag. Unfortunately, this means that I won't be sewing my bag up any time soon and we will all have to wait just a bit longer to see the finished result. Boooooo!!!

The fabric does however, look fantastic! The sunflowers are big and bright and really look amazing.

I'm planning to make a Big Tote Bag with the extra yard I have. The huge sunflowers will work great on the bag.

The scribbles print also came up great and the cotton-silk looks so gorgeous in yardage. I also ordered a yard of the scribbles in Kona for no particular reason, but now I can use it for the inside of The Big Tote Bag! Interestingly, the shades of blue come out a lot more in the cotton-silk, but the yellows come out a lot more in the Kona.

Also in the Build-a-Bag series:
Build-a-Bag: I've Finished! - take a look at my completed bag
Build-a-bag: The little extras - take a look at all the other items you need to get when making a bag
Build-a-Bag: My swatches arrived - so how do my swatches compare?
Build-a-Bag: The Pattern - take a look at the pattern I'm using to make my bag
Build-a-Bag: Let's Start at the Very Beginning - designing fabric with Spoonflower

Monday, 27 August 2012

Launching the Autumn Street Pattern Shop!

Big Library Bag

The pattern for the big tote bag is here!! 

Just last week I put up a post showing you my new library bag. I've had such an overwhelming response to it that I've been working non stop for the last week to get the pattern ready. The pattern has been tested and proof read and I'm so glad it's finished and ready for you to enjoy.

I have dreamt of selling patterns for quite some time now, so I'm very excited to finally be able to launch the new Autumn Street Pattern Shop! It's also exciting to be using the Autumn Street name. Take a look along the top of the blog and you'll now notice a page for the Shop.

So, here's the lowdown on the pattern:
- The Big Tote bag can be reversible, or add an internal slip pocket perfect for your library card or some loose change. The wide straps make carrying the bag on your shoulder comfortable, even with a heavy load.
- The pattern includes 20 full colour photos and 8 pages of detailed instructions. Full size pattern pieces with seam allowances included.
- The pattern is easy enough for a beginner. Skills required are sewing curves and top-stitching
- Finished dimensions: 40 cm (w) x 26 cm (h) x 15 cm (d) approx. (16” x 10¼” x 6”) – measured along base.
Great value for only $5.00 AU (Which is about equal to $5.00 US right now).

And don't worry, I haven't sold out, there will still be free tutorials on the blog just like normal. All the old patterns will still be free and always will be. 

If you make a Big Tote Bag, please add your photo to the Flickr pool.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Works in Progress

Tosh Vintage Baltic

I've been really busy this week working on something exciting, so I haven't got a lot to show you.

Here's some knitting that I have in progress. When it's finished it will be a lovely big cowl. MadelineTosh has to be the most amazing yarn I've ever worked with! The colours are gorgeous and it just feels incredible! So soft and buttery...mmmmm! I won the yarn as a giveaway on Make it Petfect. I had lots of fun choosing what to get from the Suzy Hausfrau site.

I had worked about 10 rows and realised I'd written the pattern down wrong, so I had to pull it all off and start again. I was really annoyed at the time, but it looks a lot better now. I'm using the pattern Stockholm Scarf, which is a Ravelry download. If you're a knitter and you're not on Ravelry, then you should join. It's free and a fantastic resource.

Stay tuned next week for my big announcement! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Build-a-Bag: The little extras


Sewing a handbag involves a lot more supplies than just fabric and a sewing machine. Here are some of the extras I've bought lately to get ready to sew my bag.

One of the things that really makes a home-sewn handbag look professional is hardware! I got these lovely rectangular rings for my bag straps. I bought them here. They came in a kit with the magnetic snap to close the bag.

The zip is for the internal pocket. I considered also adding a zip to close the bag, but I never use the one on my current bag, so it seemed like extra effort for nothing.

The bag uses 3 kinds of thread! I have regular thread (the teal one) for the seams. Then there is topstitching thread for topstitching on the bag and finally upholstery (heavy duty) thread for the stitching of the straps. The topstitching thread is too thick to use in the bobbin, so I'll be using the heavy duty thread to sew the straps so that they match on both sides.

I've got 2 kinds of interfacing. The iron on interfacing will go on the lining of the bag. The sew in woven interfacing will give extra body to the exterior fabric of the bag.

Finally, underneath it all is a piece of template plastic. This will form the base of the bag to give it some shape.

So, if you're thinking about making a handbag, you may soon realise there's a lot more to one than some fabric. Obviously, a simple bag won't need all these extras, but this is to make a designer handbag...designed by me!

Hopefully my fabric will arrive this week so we can all take a look!

Also in the Build-a-Bag series:
Build-a-Bag: I've Finished! - take a look at my completed bag
Build-a-bag: The fabric - my fabric has arrived, but I've mucked it up
Build-a-Bag: My swatches arrived - so how do my swatches compare?
Build-a-Bag: The Pattern - take a look at the pattern I'm using to make my bag
Build-a-Bag: Let's Start at the Very Beginning - designing fabric with Spoonflower

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Biiiiiiig Library Bag!

Big Library Bag

Regular readers will probably know of my love for the Library. Once a week Roman and I walk down to the library for story time and to pick up whichever books take our fancy. The thing is, that library books are heavy! I mostly borrow non-fiction and usually choose books based on their covers - how very discriminatory of me! I take them home and then have a flick through. I'd love to flick through them while I'm at the Library, but Roman loves to pull all the books off the shelves, so it's best if I'm quick. This means I end up with a lot of books!

I normally throw them in the bottom of the pram, but the seams are starting to go on my basket, so I thought I should make up a library bag. I wanted it big! Roman loves the word 'big'! Big car, big blankie, now big library bag. It has nice thick straps so I can sling it over my shoulder comfortably and I put a little patch pocket inside to hold our Library cards.

The fabric is part of the newest range from Prints Charming. It's stocked at Spotlight and when I saw it out on the floor this week, I snapped some up right away. I love anything bright and colourful! The outer fabric is cotton drill and the inside is a cotton poplin. They're both lovely fabrics with a great silky feel. I think I'll have to get some more.

If you would like to make your own Big Library Tote Bag, you can find the pattern in my Shop.

Want to add a centre divider pocket to your Big Tote Bag? See the tutorial here.

Big Library Bag

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Pincushion and Thread Basket

Cathedral Window Pincushion and thread basket

I've made up a few of these sets and they're lots of fun! The pincushion is as close as I've ever gotten to quilting and I can see why people get addicted. I know I'll never have the patience to do a whole quilt, so the pincushions will have to do for the moment. This is a great scrap busting project.

To make the pincushion, I used this tutorial.

Cathedral Window Pincushion

I'd recommend sewing the button on before you stuff the pincushion. It's much easier when you can get to the needle through the back. The pincushion is stuffed with tiny scraps of wool. I chopped it up into tiny pieces. It's meant to be good for the pins.

This is the tutorial I used to make the thread basket/scrap bag.

The only change I made was to use 8 x 10" pieces for the bag so that it was a little wider. It sits on the table next to my machine. Did you notice my label on there? I keep forgetting to add them to things when I sew.

This set was for my Sister-in-law's birthday. I hope they make sewing a whole lot happier for her!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Sewing over at Emmaline Bags

British Stamps Bag

Today I'm doing a guest post for Janelle over on her blog, Emmaline Bags. Janelle is in the process of moving from Australia back to Canada...I don't think you could pick a longer trip! Understandably, she hasn't got a lot of time for blogging at the moment, so she's got some friends helping out.

Janelle's blog is all about hand bags! She sells some patterns and bag hardware and there's lots of tutorials all related to bags.

If you've seen my bag series, Build a Bag, then you've already seen one of Janelle's patterns, the Emmaline.

Seeing as Janelle's blog is all about bags, I thought I'd stick with the theme and tell you about a bag I've made. This bag is covered in British Postage stamps! Head on over to Janelle's blog to check it out!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Recovering Lamp Shades - Tutorial

Recovering a Lamp Shade

Recovering lamp shades is actually very easy. Okay, I know I start a lot of posts like that and there are probably things that I think are easy that you might not, but really, this one is easy!

Armed with some craft glue and pegs (and fabric of course) you can recover your lamp shades in under an hour. I bought these lamps for $7 each at Target. I like the bases, but the shades were pretty boring and most annoyingly, the colour of the shade was different to the base! See the 'before shot' below.

Recovering a Lamp Shade

Recovering Lamp Shades

You'll need:
Lamp shades
Your chosen fabric
12mm (1/2") bias binding
Craft glue
Clothes Pegs
Scissors and ruler

If your shades are drum shades, meaning they have straight sides, then they're the easiest to recover. Measure the height of your shade and then around the shade to get the size of fabric you'll need to cut. Use the exact height, but add a little extra to the length (about an inch will be plenty).

Recovering a Lamp Shade Recovering a Lamp Shade

If your shades are conical, then you'll need to roll the shade over the fabric and trace around it as you go to get your shape. Cut your fabric to size and then drape it over the shade to make sure it fits.

Recovering a Lamp Shade

Now, get gluing! Start where the original shade starts and run a thin line of glue down the seam. Then, dot glue along each edge, on the original binding.

Recovering a Lamp Shade

My craft glue dries in a few minutes so I just do small sections at a time. I find it easiest to dot the glue along each side and then roll the shade over the fabric. Keep going until you get back to the start.

Recovering a Lamp Shade

Run a line of glue along the fabric, underneath the overlap. Fold over the overlap and squash down onto the glue. I used the side of a pen. If it's not glued down enough, just add a few more dots of glue as needed.

Recovering a Lamp Shade

To finish the lamp, add some bias binding. It's easiest to iron one half of the binding open (I didn't do this, but I should have). The open side will fold over the top edge of the lamp, and the folded side will rest on the fabric.

Run a bead of glue around the top of the lamp and stick on the binding. Add pegs to make sure it sits flat. The glue I was using doesn't work on plastic, so my plastic pegs were fine. When you get back to the start, cut the binding 1 inch longer and fold it back on itself and glue. Leave it to dry and you're done!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Pizza Toast

So it's not the prettiest thing to eat, but Roman doesn't mind and neither do I. I eat this more often than I should, but it's easy, yum and not too naughty!This recipe is from The Baby-led Weaning Cookbook, which I refer to often for inspiration. If you can butter toast, then you can make this, just keep an eye on the cheese in the grill!

Pizza Toast
makes 2 slices

2 pieces bread
2 tsp tomato paste, pizza sauce or ketchup if you're desperate
handful grated cheese
ham or other toppings such pineapple, other deli meat, grilled bacon, capsicum or mushroom slices

Preheat the grill and grill one side of the bread slices until golden. Take out of the grill and flip the bread over so that the grilled side is down. Spread the tomato paste onto each slice. Top with your chosen topping and then sprinkle over grated cheese.

Grill until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

If serving to little ones, allow it to cool for a minute or two, then slice into fingers.

Friday, 3 August 2012

New Cushion Covers for the World Traveller


Before the age of 6 months, Roman had been on 3 long haul flights. He was born in the UK, then we moved back to Australia and we also took a trip to the US. Talk about gluttons for punishment!

The cushions on the reading chair in Roman's room were due for an update and I wanted to incorporate a bit of an international theme. At the start of the year, I saw that Spotlight were getting in this lovely London themed Linen, so when it came in I snapped it up! At the time, I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with it. Anyone else buy fabric just cos you love it?

London Cushion

I flicked through one of my sewing books before making the cushions and it had a great tip. Sometimes the corners of the cushion can look a little pointy, so after cutting out the pieces for the cushions, I slightly tapered the edges towards the corners. It works perfectly!

London Cushion

The London cushion was my first go at an invisible zip. I can't believe I waited this long! So easy to put in and, well...invisible! I did buy an invisible zip foot, and it's definitely worth the investment. It makes the job so simple. I didn't even iron the zip first (like you're meant to) and the foot unrolls the zip just enough that the stitches go right up to the teeth. I'm a total convert!

London Cushion

The New York cushion was made from an old t shirt and some spotty scraps! I put a double layer of iron on interfacing on the back of the t shirt to stabilize it and then cut out the square. I added the panels to the sides and a bit of topstitching to keep the seams under the spotty side.

Much more suitable for a little boy's room, don't you think?!

Cushions Cushions
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