Tag Archives: christmas

Homemade wreath

9 Dec

I made a wreath!! 

A local “city farm”is doing wreath-making classes this Christmas (for just £15!) so a friend and I popped along. I’ve never had – letalone made – a wreath before but it was a really fun relaxing activity! It took maybe 60-90 minutes.

They also do children’s sessions using paper plates (cutting out the middle) with leaves, glue, buttons, glitter glue, etc which sounds good fun too!


Christmas sewing: boy’s beanbag

7 Jan

I made my sister a beanbag cover a couple of years ago, with a really simple “pattern” I made up (here). I wanted to make a more interesting-looking beanbag for my nephew, so I started trawling websites for cute kids’ duvet sets. I wanted to use two coordinating fabrics, and duvet covers with a different top and bottom are the easiest (and often cheapest) way to achieve that! I managed to find a cute lorries-and-diggers design in a toddlers’ size duvet, with a nice bright pattern on the back, which gave exactly the right amount of fabric for this pattern! :) :) :)

Joeseph's beanbag.png

It was very hard to photograph!

I used the tutorial from Reese Dixon which is great because it isn’t too strict on the size, or the curve, etc, which helped me to relax a bit if my cutting went astray!

The one problem I had with this is that I didn’t think in advance how the 30″ zip would fit into my approximately 40″ seam. I made the beanbag cover that you see above first, and the zip ends were a little messy, but for the inside bean bag (the one that holds the ‘beans’ safely so my nephew can’t “accidentally” pour them all over the floor / eat them) I used the same method as in this purse tutorial – simply adding a length of fabric to each end of the zip and trimming to make sure it fits perfectly.

I used 3 cubic feet of ‘beans’ – which I think was the perfect amount. It was a bit of a faff to create a cardboard funnel to pour them into the beanbag, but we managed to hoover the stray ones up before the dog got to them…

I also made my niece a hooded personalised (applique) towel, similarly to the one I made for my nephew a year ago (here), but clearly I didn’t take warning from that because I made it in lowercase letters AGAIN which was incredibly tricky! I didn’t actually get a photo of the whole thing, but here is a snippet:

Alexandra's towel.png

I didn’t actually get a photo of the whole front of it! As proof that I did ALL NINE LETTERS (!!!) here’s a mirror image of the inside too, which I’m not sure why I took! 

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to finish my Christmas sewing, as well as the bag I blogged earlier, I had been planning to make a range of hand/neck warmers (using rice to be microwaveable) and turn the leftover half-towel from the applique towel above into a face cloth (using bias binding and appliqueing an “A” onto it) – but I managed to hurt my shoulder so even doing the above was quite painful! Maybe they can be random January presents instead.

Child’s drawstring backpack

22 Dec

I wanted to make my nephew a small backpack with some cute teal elephant fabric I got from Goldhawk road a few months ago – but obviously, at the time, I had no idea what I would use it for I just loved it so bought some!

Joseph's bag.png

The photo on the left is closest to real colours – terrible winter light!

I used the tutorial from Hobbycraft’s blog, but make  sure you read it through carefully and slowly before you start – it is an easy process, but they have made it fairly confusing. I wanted to use the Hobbycraft one despite the many good ones out there because I REALLY wanted to use the eyelets. Here’s the changes I made:

  • I used 4mm drawstring (because then I could get it in grey, and it’s comfier too).
  • I used Prym’s 11mm silver eyelets as the 5.5m ended up too small to fit the drawstring.
  • I didn’t use the quantity of fabric they said to use. Instead I used 4 pieces of 14×12 inches to make this a little bit smaller.
  • As the bag was smaller, I only needed 2m of drawstring, which is great because that’s all I had received despite ordering 3m!

I then filled it with lots of chocolate coins – I don’t expect a 2y old to be particularly delighted by a bag so this is to make sure he still loves his Christmas present!

I still have two sewing Christmas presents to finish off – I hope yours are all going well! :)

Christmas presents: a drawstring bag, and plastic bag storage

22 Dec

I haven’t posted in a while – but I have been sewing!

One thing I have sewn is a plastic bag holder for my mother, a few weeks ago. My sister-in-law saw it and asked for one for Christmas, and I thought I would share it here.

I used this fabric from eBay (ceb1909), and a tutorial from ‘craftiness is not optional’, though I slightly changed how the ribbon is pinned in – after it comes out of the seam, I fold it back out the top of the fabric holder, as I noticed the one I made my mum fell in a weird position because the ribbon was facing into the bag.

Here is the finished thing!



A little saggy without any bags!

I wanted to also buy her a present so I bought a gorgeous pocket mirror from notonthehighstreet, which I decided to make a little drawstring bag for – using a tutorial from ‘georgina giles‘. It was a little more difficult than I’d hoped, but I think I got it! I might try a lined one (like the one from ‘threading my way‘) next time, but here is the finished product:


I love the colour of the cord (from John Lewis)

I am really pleased with them, though my stitching could have been neater. I’ll keep practising!


What presents have you made this year?

Creative Saturdays begin!

27 Apr

I came across this little notevenstarted cross stitch sitting in my sewing box today, which I bought in the Hobbycraft sale years ago and was a bit too intimidated by at the time. I was keen for some procrastination, and finished it hours later – with a very sore left elbow! Here it is:

2013.04.27 Cross Stitch - Christmas Teddy Bear

I think the hat ‘crinkles’ make it look a little evil, almost like odd eyebrows! Anyway, that is my first ever real cross-stitch done :) I am not sure how I got to 22 without completing a cross stitch. I did the children’s ones when I was younger, where you use 6 threads  at once and a piece of incredibly thick material with holes about 1cm apart. Surprising given that my mum was forever making cross-stitch anything…

It finishes at about 2″x2″, and uses only cross-stitch (which I had to re-learn) and back-stitch – neither particularly hard and after about three I stopped having to think about every step, thankfully..!

You can buy these little kits (fabric, thread, needle, and full charted instructions) from places like Hobbycraft from just £1 – I might buy some less festive ones for the summer months!

Have you got any cross stitch tips, suggestions, or creations to share?

P.S. I am away next weekend so will try and find something possible to complete on a train!