Upcycling. Winning all around!

Sophie (2yo) is currently on a huge dress kick and wants to wear dresses all the time. Being winter here at the moment, she’s pretty good about letting me layer her with multiple long sleeved shirts and trackies underneath (did I mention that she’s currently anti-jackets/jumpers/hoodies/warm outerwear too?).

This is extending to sleepwear too, so I was on the hunt for cute knits when I stumbled upon this tute.  Which was perfect, because I currently have a bag of t-shirts that I love too much to give away, but no longer wear.

I had some narrow elastic, I had some time to myself (not true, I made my husband entertain the baby), and as usual, everything took longer than usual…but it’s done. In an evening! And I guess I can whip up more now I know how. I can only improve, right?

Time for bed. Goodnight, all, and send sleepy wishes my way so my 5mo will let me snatch more than 2 hour intervals tonight….

It's flawed, but I did this!
It’s flawed, but I did this!

Project #8: Adventures in bias binding

I have a pile of fat quarters and remnants that have been earmarked to become bias tape ever since I read a continuous bias tape tutorial.

Of course with 2 other projects on the go, this is the appropriate time to have piles of fabric heaped on the table as a work in progress. I’m slowly making my way through – I’ve marked them all with pin lines and I can pin them at my leisure then stitch them all. The cutting and pressing takes a bit longer, but in the mean time I made some pretty cards to put it on and started with the brightest, happiest fabric!

Here is the fixings for my bias tape cards:

Rotary cutter and mat, glue, old cards, IKEA straws and some scrapbook paper.

I had all of these things at home, so I just glued my card on to pretty scrapbook paper, pressed it under heavy books while it dried so it was flat and bubble free, trimmed it to an appropriate size (I chose 6″x4″), cut my straws to 3″ lengths and cut them down one side to form “bumpers” that will (hopefully) stop the tape from creasing.

Et voilà! Bias tape!

Project #7: Dribble bib

Miss Emily is nearly 4 months old now and has had the dribbles for over a month now. Cue the scramble to unearth the bibs from wherever I hid them when Sophie outgrew them.

Some lovely friends got us a couple of Nuby dribble bibs and they’ve been excellent, so I got to thinking.

I have some (tonnes) of bamboo fleece that I ordered, thinking we could stuff Sophie’s pocket nappies with them. I ordered it, washed it, cut it to nappy stuffable size, and then…it never got used.

I figured I could refashion it into dribble bibs. It’s natural coloured so I figured I could add some colour with a blanket stitch, maybe do seven bibs in rainbow colours. Then I had to run out the door to go to my sister’s house, so I grabbed my bag with the DMC Perle 5 variations floss in it, because I have been wanting to play with it and I figured, hey, multiple colours! Here is a great tute on blanket stitch if you need a refresher.

I couldn’t get 2 identically sized pieces out of one piece of fleece, so I cut one template of the bib (just laid the bib on top and cut around it roughly), then the “back piece” which basically was the triangle bottom part of the bib which ended maybe an inch from the ends of the straps. And then there was a little left over so I made a third piece that basically sits around the neckline and down into the triangle. I figured that was where we’d need the most absorbency!

Then I started my blanket stitch, added a few wonky lazy daisies and a snap at the back, and it was done! Probably took me about an hour, all told. And it turned out so cute and I have all the fabric, I may just make some more!

Cat xoxo


Project #6: Finished!

It’s done, hooray! And in time for us to go traveling. Unfortunately I vastly underestimated the time required to stitch my wedding card, and the present I stitched and mounted in a frame suffered a breakage en route, so we had to attend the wedding empty handed. But it does mean I can stitch it more carefully and send a perfectly stitched piece, which will be nice.

So, pics of the finished product:

The opened out case, with the extra pocket and tie detailing, reversed scissor pocket, and adjusted needle book.
The left hand panel. I added in a tie so I had the option of attaching additional pieces eg: a thread ring that would sit in the pocket but might possibly slide out. I just knotted 4 lengths of perle 5 floss and stitched it in with a loop, also in perle 5 floss.
The centre panel with scissor pocket and needle book. I reversed the scissor pocket because I am left handed, and also changed the needle book from portrait orientation to landscape orientation. This also allows me to drape the case over a chair arm if I need to.
The right panel with the 2 pockets.
The filled case. As we were flying, I tied on my thread cutter in lieu of scissors. I also have a pincushion ring attached. The left hand panel pocket holds 2 project cards of floss, and the right hand pockets hold my metallic floss bobbins (metallic floss doesn’t bear up well on project cards!) and my Thread Heaven. You can see one of my embroidery blocks in the back “project pocket”.

They say pictures tell it better than words, so there you go. Reflections: if I were to do it again?

– I’d consider a contrasting fabric. The co-ordinating colours looked great in the store, but the straps and binding didn’t pop because of that. So while it was a safe option, next time I might consider taking more risks!

– the quilting of vertical lines echoed the pattern so made the outer quite boring. While I am just practicing quilting, it might be worth trying something different on a small item like this where mistakes won’t be as obvious and don’t really matter!

If you are interested, I’ve found the pincushion ring to be invaluable, no more clenching the needle in my teeth while I coat my floss in Thread Heaven! You can find them here, along with an array of delightfully geeky patterns. Jacqueline is just lovely and her store is well worth checking out.

That’s it from me today!

Cat xoxo

Project #4: Thank you card and petrol money

I mentioned earlier that we went to Albury to visit Ant’s family. We have some great friends there, and Gab is one of the best. No matter how short the notice we give her, she will ensure we have all her free time to catch up and hang out, and wrangles work and our godson as well.

We went op-shopping whilst there and because The Sophster was due a nap, Ant took her home and Gab took Emily & me around and ran us back home. On the way home, we stopped for petrol and she asked if I could put $40 worth in while she took Ij to the loo.

Thinking I could be sneaky and fill the tank as a thank you for spending all her precious free time with us and for driving us around, I carried on well past the $40 mark and was on my way to a full tank when disaster struck.

I had not reckoned on the super fast toddler peeing speed. So I was tied to the pump still when Gab came out, saw that I had put way more than $40 of petrol into her car, and beat me to the register to pay.  I was FOILED! Also, I felt like a jackass because I had been given specific directions and clearly not followed them. My good intention had well and truly backfired – guess what they say about them is true!

So I drafted a pattern based on our petrol tank, utilized the ever handy blanket stitch, and whipped this card up in one nap cycle.

Then I put the balance of the petrol money in a slit that I cut alongside the gauge, and wrote a thank you to make up for it.

As I told Gab in the card, she had to accept it…because friends don’t let friends feel like jackasses.  And she’s one of the best friends.

Cat xoxo

Project #3: embroidering a wedding card.

I know, you’re thinking, WAIT ONE MINUTE. The LAST project she did was #1, and now she’s trying to pull this #3 stunt?! There are only 3 posts, who does she think she is?!

Project #2 has been documented, but it’s a present for a wedding we’re attending this weekend, so I have delayed its publishing date until after the wedding. Because of that huge fan base I have and all the press leakage that surrounds my blog. *wipes tears of laughter*

ANYWHO. Two of our good friends from Albury got married in March this year, but we were unable to attend because I was expecting my second daughter around that date.

So when we visited Albury for a few weeks, I decided to stitch them up a wedding card.

I used a couple of patterns from Sublime Stitching, specifically Wedding Wishes and the Tattoo Alphabet. I got some pretty cards from Officeworks, traced the pattern and the wording, and taped the tracing paper to the card. Then I punched holes (using a push pin) into the card using the tracing paper template to create my stitch holes.

I was limited in my palette of floss because I had only brought what I was using for my And Everything Nice blocks, but luckily it was a pretty good rainbow palette!

Once I had the pattern punched and my colours roughed out on my tracing paper template, I could get stitching. So I did. I thought it turned out pretty well for a first attempt!


Cat xoxo