Sewing kits on the go…

Have had great fun this week making a little travel sewing kit (or three) for myself and as gifts. I followed a super simple tutorial by Lella Boutiquie and was very pleased with the results. I am not a quilter – so this was an easy introduction to the process.

Inside, the kit is separated into three areas. In the centre is a scissor keep, needle keep and a thread holder. Although you have to work very hard to get a reel on the thread holder – I think I might add a small sliding pincushion to this area instead. There is then an open pocket (or two) to the right of the centre panel and a zipped pocket to the left.

And this is what the finished kit looks like…

If I have learnt anything – it is that I need to follow measurements accurately. I tend to go at things like a bull in a china shop and wing it a bit! I think I have gotten away with it this time – although the binding around the edge of the kits could have been a little more even.

Have a go – they are fun to make. Happy stitching.

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Stitching in reverse…

Stitching in reverse, or unpicking! It was pointed out to me that the colours I had used on the throat of the mistle thrush drew the eye to the centre and detracted from the rest of the head. Once this was pointed out – it really began to annoy me, so the scalloped button hole had to be unpicked, and today was the day!

It was actually much harder to unpick than I had anticipated. Finally all that was left of my original efforts was a small bundle of wool ends. I then set to redoing the area – but this time graduating the colours from dark to light.



This is how it looked.


DSC_0650 (2)

Hopefully an improvement.


I think it looks better, although I am still not sure about the darkest colour. But this is how it will have to stay as I don’t want to damage the canvas beneath.

Happy stitching.

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Sew busy..

What a weekend! I was planning to do a little more work on my Jacobean piece – but I got totally caught up with the sewing machine. I finished my swap pieces and they are now ready to post off to my partner (hope she likes them).


Then I set about making a little something for my cousin as she is a new mum. I thought it might be a nice to make a little tote bag and some pouches to hold ‘mum and baby things’ in – whatever they might be! Maybe I will fill them with wine and chocolates!!

I had some lovely Riley Blake material that I bought ages ago – and found a zipper pouch tutorial by noodlehead which looked relatively easy to follow. It involves cutting four rectangles of fabric (2xlining and 2xoutside fabric) and attaching these to a zip. Once attached the linings are placed together and the outside fabrics. Sew around all, box off all corners and turn back in the right way. Click on the link above for full instructions. I then made a coordinating ‘Pick a Pocket’ bag to pop the pouches into.

Sew, there you have it – a very productive weekend. Next week it is back to the Jacobean, which means a whole weekends work and a few stitches to show for it! Happy stitching one and all.


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Send a little love 2….

Fabric is so expensive these days that I like to use as much of the scrap material as possible. So after finishing the ‘Pick a Pocket’ bag I decided to make a matching armchair sewing tidy for my  ‘send a little love’  swap partner. This is something that I had kept promising to make for myself – but as yet haven’t got around to it!

I started by googling for a simple pattern and settled on a pin cushion and thread catcher designed by sewmamasew . Progress so far………..

Sew, all that is left to do is – fill the pin cushion, sew the ribbon around and add a button to the thread catcher. Quite pleased with this first attempt – maybe now I will make one for myself!

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Send a little love….

Decided to sign up for another swap as I enjoyed the Christmas one so much. This time I have joined the ‘Send a Little Love’ swap that is being organised by Tracy from Mad about Bags. As the name suggests – the swap has to be completed and sent by February 14th. I have run into a few problems as it is a swap on INSTAGRAM. Those who know me well, know I am hopeless with phones and I am currently trying to find the DM button to send a message to my swap partner (who is being very patient!).

Back to the sewing – and this at least I can do. I have decided to make a couple of items, one being the Pick a Pocket bag that I made just before Christmas – it is such a simple design. I began by embroidering  (mainly backstitch) a design onto a plain piece of linen and then chose two co-coordinating fabrics. The embroidery is going to form one of the pockets of the bag. Then you lay the two fabrics on top of each other and hold in place by over sewing the bag strap. Make the back of the bag in the same way.

Then sew the back and front together, box off the bottom corners of the bag and turn out the right way.

I quite like the end result – and the fabrics have worked better than I thought they would.


Next on the list of things to make is a sewing tidy – the sort that goes on the arm of a chair. I just can’t decide whether to use the same fabrics or go for something completely different!

Darn it – just looked at the photo and realised that I have forgotten to applique little hearts in the top square of the embroidered panel. Ah well, something to do tomorrow!

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Not far to go now….

Just a quick update on my RSN crewel work coursework. I spent a quiet afternoon finishing off all the little ‘bitty’ bits – by which I mean all those little gaps that I had been putting off! First I filled the bottom petals of the large flower with herringbone stitch – although I am not sure that I like this. I think I will have to live with it for a while. I then broke up the birds breast with detached fly stitch. Finally I used scalloped buttonhole to create feathers under the birds chin. Again I am not sure about this either!

So all I now need to do now are the birds legs and feet, and the large petals of the flower, and maybe a little stitching around the unfurling ferns. This is how the piece looks at the moment. I hope to finish it soon as I am really beginning to dislike it – purely because it is not how I imagined it would look.

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Heart felt…

Embroidery needs patience and attention to detail – meaning that often, very little appears to have been completed over the course of an afternoon or even day. Usually I don’t mind, but today I wanted a more instant fix. I have had a number of polystyrene hearts on the top of my wardrobe for ages – so decided to make use of at least one of them. I am planning to make a simple wreath for a crafty swap. This afternoon I covered the heart in a lovely felted wool. So far, so good. The next stage is to make a felted bird to hang from the centre, rather like the ones I completed at a workshop by Gillian Chapman . I have also seen some tutorials to make simple felted flowers – which I think I could manage.

I did attempt a little crewel work today – putting in several rows of fly stitch for the birds tail – not sure if I like them though as they look very flat.

I also started to tackle the gaps between the birds feet – initially I thought I could leave spaces for the bullion stitches (which I intend to use for the birds claws) – but this is just so fiddly. So out came the stitches and I will now sew right across the branch and put the bullion stitches over the top. 1 stop forwards, 2 steps back!


Happy stitching!

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