Tag Archives: christmas

Another beanbag!

7 Jan

I made a beanbag for my nephew for Christmas 2016 and he and his sister have so much fun playing with it that their mum asked if my neice could get her very own this Christmas. Yes!!!

These are so fun to make, from finding fabric (Goldhawk Road again) to cutting all the curves to pouring the beans in and seeing it become properly 3D (and watching the kids immediately start jumping on it)!

The tutorial from Reese Dixon is great, my only additions (not even changes) are:

  • I use 50cm zips and extend them to the ~150cm needed using a matching fabric to subtly insert it as an extra (thin) panel (like in this purse tutorial) the same length as the others.
  • I use scrap fabric (e.g. old bed sheet) to make an inside beanbag cover so the pretty outside cover can be washed – or changed when the kid’s preferences do!
  • I buy 3 cubic feet of beans, for about £6

I am a very slow sewer, and it took me maybe three evenings. It’s not much cheaper than buying a basic one (say £15 for 3m of outside fabric, a few quid for a bed sheet, £6 for beans, and £5 for zips and thread … comes to about £30) but is excellent value for being able to choose exactly what you want out of the pattern!

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Homemade Christmas wreath

9 Dec

I made a Christmas 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!

 

Image

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:

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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!