Bunting and bags… part one

I have been making a few smaller projects recently, most as promotions for the Jamberry business. I also had a commission to make some nautical bunting for a private boat themed bar.

I decided to make my own gift bags for any Jamberry customers who book a party with me. I couldn’t decide the best (easiest) design to do. I did some planning after looking on my favourite place for inspiration: pinterest. I decided on a Japanese knot bag. If you don’t know what these are (& I didn’t!) they are bags with two handles at the top, one shorter that the other. The shorter on loops over the longer one to form a ‘knot’ and then the longer loop goes around your wrist to keep it secure. Brilliant, simple Idea. Mini Japanese knot bags it was then.

I drafted my own pattern, using my trusty (and cheap!) greaseproof paper. IMG_2197I decided to buy some spotty, purple fabric as this would go with the Jamberry branding. However, the fabric I had bought was a little thin, therefore I decided to double layer it. This would also negate the need to hem around the handles etc. I decided to make 10, therefore needed to cut out 20 of these, on the fold.

I then sewed two of the bags together – to make a double sided piece of fabric. I did this by sewing right sides together

I left a gap on one side of the handle so as to be able to turn the bag right way out

In order to close the gap I decided to top stitch along the seam of the handle. IMG_2298Next was to join the shorter handle sides.

Now to make it into a bag, once again, right sides together, I sewed from the bottom of one handle around to the bottom of the other handle

Then I turned it right side out to complete the bag! Nice and simple 🙂

I decided that I wanted to make something extra to pop into the bags. This is were the hearts came in, once again inspiration from pinterest.

I had to draw the hearts onto the fabric, not my forte! I should have really made a template – but I was being lazy so they all turned out uniquely shall we say!

 In order to be able to make a lot of these quite quickly I stitched around the heart on the right side, leaving a gap for the stuffing

Next was to insert the stuffing through the hole I left in the side

I needed to close the gap, so I decided probably the easiest way to do this was to use my zipper foot and stitch that gap shut.

Next, in order to stop the material fraying I used my pinking shear to pink around the outside.

I thought this was a little plain, so decided to add some embellishments! IMG_2351

Buttons, lace bows and lace hanging loops, then I put these into the bags along with some other Jamberry goodies.

Hopefully they will entice people to book parties!

I will detail the bunting I have made this week in the next post: bunting and bags part two!


Half term fun :)


I have been rather AWOL for a few days as I’ve been suffering (with my ear), making and creating, and making memories (in equal measure).

Firstly I have been busy with trying to promote my Jamberry business. I had my launch party last night and it did not go well 😦 But so long as I know I tried my best then that’s good enough for me 🙂 and I still love the products 🙂 I jamberryed my big toe and painted the rest of my toe nails and everytime I look down with my sandals on I get the happys 🙂IMG_2583 I have handed out some leaflets to my neighbours in envelopes with free samples in, I papercut some hearts and glued them onto the envelopes to make them look like Jamberry symbols

I have also arranged a coffee afternoon to try to get people to try and buy for a week on Thursday at a community café IMG_2135

After last nights disappointing performance I’ll just be glad to get my investment back 🙂 so hoping this generates some interest

It been lovely weather here all week too. We’ve been trying to make the most of it including getting the pool out again

and the first bbq of the year 🙂 Here’s my grump – I mean hubby –  trying to get it to light haha IMG_2190

Early in the week my finger slipped (a lot) and I ended up ordering a few fabrics….

Including Lewis and Irene, free spirit, riley blake and windham fabrics… ooops, I may also have some more fabric and patterns coming too …..

I have also been enjoying more paper cutting:

Some of my designs I put into frames, the apples and red riding hood I put onto acetate first and they are in box frames, apples in my living room and red riding hood in the girlys bedroom. The rainy girl is going to the mother as a present

It was the girlys birthday this week too – she is growing up way too fast, it makes me sad how quickly my childrens’ childhoods are going

She has quite a bit of playmobil and what she desperately wanted was the new summer fun water park sets:

These are brilliant! So much fun, didn’t take too long to assemble and all 4 have non-stop played with them 🙂 they are great (all kids love playing in water – and most adults too haha)

I also got her a cheap soap crafting set off of amazon – so the girly, no 3 and I all set about doing it:

For the price this was good value and we enjoyed it. It was fairly easy to do as well, so long as we were careful. I would definitely make soaps again – but with different scents 🙂

On Sunday we decided to take a trip out to Antony House, which is owned by the National Trust. We have been here many many times, and we have National Trust membership, and have done for several years.

A quick mention about National Trust membership. For families it is great, and especially for larger families such as ours it is amazing value. Your family membership covers two adults and as many children you can manage haha 🙂 It gives you access to over 300 places in England – great when you camp and also go all over the country. I would highly recommend it, and the National Trust has really become child friendly in recent years, from games out on lawns to touchable exhibits in houses, and indoor and outdoor quizzes and parks and play equipment.

If you don’t know Antony House was used when they filmed the newest Hollywood remake of Alice in Wonderland for some of the scenes. It is beautiful and huge – you can spend hours there and not realise it! Our children enjoy it whenever we go

For me personally one thing I do love about going to National Trust properties is the beautiful things there is to look at, and gain inspiration from, both inside and outside.

Some beautiful fabrics, paintings and interiors at Antony house. One thing I did find questionable was the position of this loo on the first floor mezzanine: IMG_2544

Loo with a view…. of you! haha 🙂

On the way back we went travelled home we took a trip over the water to Devon via the Torpoint Ferry as the kiddiwinks love it and on a warm sunny day looking across the Tamar is beautiful, and the dockyard awe inspiring.

Hope this weather continues and you all had a lovely week 🙂


Simplicity 1133: How I did…

The parents are visiting this week, and whilst they are here I thought I would take advantage of the excuse and sew Mum a dress. I have had some ikea fabric that I wanted to use for an adult – but I hadn’t bought enough for me. My mum is very slight so she doesn’t need much fabric haha. I also had bought this retro reproduction of a 1960s pattern in a sale a wee while ago, and was really wanting to make it. IMG_2031

This was a fantastically easy project to do whilst I am still recovering as its only one piece – yep, one pattern piece!

How simple? Once you have cut out this so very complicated piece (haha) you can begin sewing 🙂

Firstly you prepare the neck shoulder pieces, by folding down and creating a hem

Next, the pattern asks you to cut out a little bit of fabric the size of the buttonhole, to stabilise it. I decided to do a piece the whole of the back shoulder flap as the fabric is quite thin.

Once this is done it’s buttonhole time!

Now, I don’t know if you watched the great british sewing bee this week, but on it they were playing ‘sewing top trumps’. One of the contestants asserted that in this game piping would trump darts. I have to strongly disagree, I would have to say that for me darts definitely trump piping in terms of difficulty! I think it’s because I actually have to measure out etc haha.

On this pattern there are just two darts on each side of the bodice. I drew them out under the pattern paper using my trusty air erasable marker.

Then, match up the bottom of the darts, pinching together and pin up to the top – they taper off at the top into a very pointy triangle.

Then, sew down the pin line – simple right? I just have a mind block I guess haha

Next is another of my favourite things: binding. As I was only using what I had in my home haberdashery I only had thin binding to complete the tunic. This is not as enjoyable as thicker binding (10mm ish as versus 20mm ish).

First step is to pin the binding around the edge on the WRONG side, I decided to mitre the corners of the neck shoulders. You also need to stretch the binding as best you can around curves.

Next, fold over the binding to the RIGHT side of the fabric. Pin and stitch.

I will cover binding more in depth in a late post if you’d like? I really do enjoy it 🙂

Lastly, and one of my most hated bits, the hand sewing on of the buttons. IMG_2057

 Finished 🙂

And the mother modelling it:

Simple but effective I think you’ll agree? I’ll definitely be making one for myself I think 🙂

A burst ear drum and half term.

Well, its half term this week, so the kids are off school. Hubby has gone away with work for the week also, so the parents are down for the week. On Sunday night I suddenly began suffering from horrendous ear pain – which culminated in me crying and screaming for about 10 minutes until suddenly my ear drum burst with blood and pus everywhere (lovely). So I’m on these babies for a week as it was caused by an severe ear infection. Cannot hear a thing in my right ear, hope that improves! IMG_2004

In other news my Jamberry consultants kit arrived:

I’m pretty pleased 🙂

I’ve booked myself a few parties – one facebook, and one at a local café 🙂

If anyone has stood still lately I’ve been jamberrying them haha

The eldest, youngest and my latest Jamicures, and the youngest being 3 and insisting on doing it himself haha 🙂

We have also been out and about whilst the weather was good. Prior to my exploding ear drum moment we went to the beach at Cawsand (one of our favourite beaches)

I, of course, took my knitting 🙂 IMG_1632

The next day we set up our new paddling pool 🙂 The kids went mad for it 🙂 Havin 4 kids we need a fairly large one now haha

Been enjoying my paper cutting lately too

Unfortunately though I ran out of blades and my replacements didn’t arrive until today 😦 IMG_2039

So I can resume what I was doing! yay!

I have also made a quick dress for my mum, its called a Jiffy dress, a reproduction of a 1960s simplicity dress pattern. IMG_2031

I really liked this simple pattern, it was very satisfying – I will go more in depth in my ‘how I did’ post 🙂

Mum’s dungaree pattern: How I did…

When I started sewing my mum gave me some patterns that she used to sew us when we were children. The one I’ve used the most is a vintage 1980s dungarees pattern. IMG_1416

I don’t even know who its by! haha. I only have sizes 2/3, 3/4 and 5/6 so I’ve only made view 2 (the boys version).

A wee while ago I got a few Riley Blake fabrics on sale from a facebook retailer I follow. One of them was little flyers: IMG_1341

So cute! and retro! My favourite part of the design is this 50s/60s star that reminds me of the Jetsons! IMG_1419

I do love fabric – it’s one of my favourite things about sewing 🙂 There are so many colours in this fabric I was spoilt for choice with the thread I used: IMG_1415

I wanted it to contrast, but I think I played it a little safe by choosing the green closest to the camera. Note to self: be braver next time!

I adjusted the pattern as I wanted it to be shorty dungers for the youngest for this summer :).

Once you’ve sewn the centre seams of the front and back, you sew the in-seam, quickly followed by the side seams. Because I’d adjusted the pattern to shorties there was a bit of a discrepancy in leg length between front and back haha.

As these big bits are sewn first then you get an idea of what the finished product will look like pretty quickly: IMG_1422

So cute 🙂

Next up was the arm hole facing. Firstly you need to assemble the facing. You cut 2 front facings and 2 back facings from the fabric. They do look rather similar so I use my air erasable marker to mark which is front and back (I have also done the same with the main bodice of the dungers because again they are quite similar!). IMG_1424

You match pairs of fronts to backs. Pin and stitch, right sides together.

Flatten out into one piece:

Next is to pin the facing right side to right side of the arm hole, as you want it to encase the raw edge.

Match seams also.

Once pinned, sew.

Once you have sewn this seam, you need to flip it to be wrong side to wrong side. IMG_1441


and sew, topstitching to keep the facing over to the inside. Use a longer stitch so as to look like topstitching.

Next, either sew the bottom edge of the facing to the garment or finish the raw edge. IMG_1447

Next are the straps. Put each strap piece right side to right side, pin:


Clip seams and corners and turn the right way out

I like to topstitch, so I decided to topstitch these

Next is to assemble the front and back yoke pieces. For the back yoke the straps need to be attached. Firstly they need to be attached in the right position to one back yoke piece.

Next, is to attach the other back yoke piece to this, being careful not to keep the straps out of the way!

Once sewn, turn right side out

And once again my top stitching obsession kicks in haha IMG_1464

Repeat for the front yoke, without the straps obviously IMG_1465

Now, you need to attach the yokes to the main bodice. There is a right, well finished way to do this and there is the way you do it when you’re rushing as you want them to wear it the next day and you’re being mithered. I choose the second method haha. I attached the yoke to the main bodice, right sides together – both pieces of bodice.

For both front and back piece.

Just an FYI the correct, well finished way involves attaching one layer of yoke to front and then slip stitching. It does look sooo much better, but when its for your own child and you’re desperate for them to wear it this way will work as well for simple garments – although it does add bulk to the seams.

Lastly is button holes and buttons. I love these star buttons that hubby got me for another project ages ago that I never used! clever hubby! haha

This is the finished project:

And the youngest wearing it for nursery this morning:

I love it, it is so cute and he is so very cuddle-able in it.

This isn’t the first time I have made this pattern. I have done a shorty version for both the youngest and no3 last year out of some fabric I was given from my grandmothers stash by my aunts.

These were age 2/3 and 5/6 years. The pattern does actually call for front pockets to be added but I didn’t want to add them to the latest version as I think the fabric is too cute to obscure.

I also made the long (correct) version for the youngest for last winter. I made it out of heavy linen and added a fire engine applique as that’s what he was into last winter and contrast pockets in red from my stash. I loved this, and the pictures of him in it I think he looks like a child model! haha. Unfortunately he outgrew this before winters end (it can be rather short in the crotch this pattern unfortunately) – might make him a similar one for this winter 🙂

So, overall I do love this pattern, it is simple to make and you can experiment with it, personalising it etc. Its just a bit babyish, and I’m quite limited with sizes as its a vintage pattern. I’m sure I’ll be making it again as I’m sure you’ll agree my boys look so cute in it! 🙂


No think cushions

Sometimes I think you just need to do a no think, easy sewing project. Kind of like an palette cleanser. Something to just enjoy, and not have to think to much about. Envelope pillows are one of those projects. I have had plans to make some for quite a while now, just not had time. IMG_1311

The material I planned for the cushion covers.

I wanted to make a couple for us to cover a couple of duck down cushions I bought a while ago. IMG_1334

I love this material – I got it at Ikea near my parents back at Easter. I added some pretty floral piping too 🙂

I also wanted to make a couple of cushions for the older two as I don’t tend to sew as much for the eldest especially. I made him a cushion from some funky material I again got from Ikea, with some nice blue piping 🙂

The one I’m most proud of is the one I made for the girly. I got given loads of second hand material a few months ago when one of my craft clubs shut down. In there was an old ikea curtain which I loved but couldn’t be used as a curtain, so I decided to upcycle it. I used the middle bit as the front with some extra applique added, and the top and bottom as the back flaps on the envelope cushions. I also added some cute piping 🙂

Really like this one 🙂

One first was that I managed to bed a needle without snapping it 🙂 IMG_1317

It was a 90/14 as well haha 🙂 making these definitely cleansed my palette 🙂 sometimes its good to enjoy some simple things 🙂

My week :)

Firstly, the big news: I signed up to become a Jamberry consultant :). I have been so impressed by the products that I decided to shell out the £99 to become a consultant. This may sound a lot but the kit is pretty good and my manager gave me a £25 gift card for joining! You also get a minimum 30% commission so I am fairly pleased. I just hope I can fit it in! 🙂 IMG_1336

In celebration I have given myself a new Jamicure, and had also ordered the girly a set of the junior jamberrys 🙂 IMG_1387

 The sun has been shining (well, a little bit). As soon as the youngest saw this he insisted I get a paddling pool and put it up:

Despite him having his wet suit on and me having put lots of hot water in with him he didn’t last long! I put him into one of my favourite outfits – a towelling all in one that was no3s from little bird by Jools Oliver at Mothercare. I do love the little bird range 🙂

He was freezing by the time he’d stopped playing – and judging by these pics the mummy cuddles wrapped in his towel in the sunshine were just what the doctor ordered 🙂 love his face – I think he looks like the cat that got the cream 🙂

I do want to savour these moments. Then I looked up and saw this: IMG_1374

Sometimes you are so busy you don’t look about and notice some of the simple things in life.

Speaking of being busy, Sunday was quite busy, the youngest and no3 were invited to an superhero birthday party. No3 went as Spiderman and the youngest as doc mcstuffins 🙂

The eldest had a football tournament – which his team won 🙂

I’ve also been doing quite a bit of papercutting from the book I bought by paper panda.

A couple of weeks ago one of my friends from knit and natter asked me to sew her a dress that I have made several times which she liked, if she bought the material. She did and I started to cut the dress out, but there wasn’t quite enough material to make the whole dress. So I am awaiting the rest to be delivered to her so I can complete cutting it out and then sew it 🙂 So look out for that pattern How I did… 🙂

I also made some cushions – which I’ll cover in another post 🙂

Simplicity 1318: How I did…

In a word: horrendously. I don’t know why. I think it was a combination of things. I was a bit apprehensive about using such fine material. I also had several ill children, therefore very mithery children, making it hard to concentrate. I was also having a bad few days with regards to my mood – I don’t know, why, perhaps because I’ve been a wee bit under the weather. IMG_0574

This pattern is simple, and effective. However I managed to mess it up royally in virtually everyway imaginable. As I said I was apprehensive before sewing it as I’ve never sewn with such fine material before. I used a 70/10 needle, and this was ideal, about the only right decision I made haha.

When cutting out I found that the material was much more see-through than I thought, the stripes are completely see-through. IMG_1158IMG_0660

I was unable to find lightweight iron on interfacing, so I had to make do with sew on interfacing. I have never used this before, so I just sewed it onto the fabric with a minute gap at the edge.

The pieces that require interfacing are the collar and front edging pieces.

Once this was done, I went to begin sewing. I decided then that the fabric was too transparent for its use, so it needed a lining. I used one of my charity shop bedding sheets, cut it up into the pattern pieces I needed. I then stayed in interfacing mode and sewed each piece of lining onto each fabric piece. Arrrggghhhhh! What can I say? I’m an idiot! I of course was on auto-pilot and didn’t realise until I’d sewn both the back seam and the shoulder seams what I’d done wrong and how dreadful it looked.

The only thing I could think to rectify it slightly was to use bias tape (thankyou dottie angel for introducing me to that finishing technique!). I didn’t have any of the right colour in my notions at home. The hubby was promptly dispatched to the local haberdashery once he had finished work. I attached the bias tape over the back and shoulder seams. Of course the stitching shows through to the right side of the fabric – but I do actually quite like this look (thankfully!)

The Next bit to attach is the sleeves. This is fairly easy as you just match up the centre seams of the shoulders with the centre mark of sleeves, its a straight line and I decided to use bias tape to finish the seams. IMG_1183

Next, is to sew up the sleeve and side seams, very easy, straight lines. That must be the mistakes over with? Its an easy pattern – so how can any more mistakes be made. Well, here is the biggest one: I had attached the fronts on the wrong sides….

Spoiler: its not supposed to go up at the sides like that! doh! and because I’d decided to use the bias tape to finish the seams, they were well and truly finished meaning if I unpicked this flimsy material then it would be wrecked. Unexpected gap at the side it is then! I must admit I don’t hate the gap.

Next is the collar – this you stitch the back neck piece to the two side pieces, on both the interfaced pieces and the non interfaced pieces. Because I’d attached the front pieces the wrong way, this threw up more problems, namely that the front collar pieces weren’t long enough. I trimmed the front pieces a bit, but even then I needed to add extra bits onto the long collar pieces.

I trimmed the width to ensure they matched. The next is to stitch the interfaced piece around the neck of the jacket.

Right sides to right sides. You then stitch the non interfaced pieces onto these, again right sides together. IMG_1211

I then trimmed it down at the bottom to ensure that it lined up with the bottom of the jacket. You then turn this collar piece right side out, so the non interfaced piece becomes the facing to the collar. This then made the next issue I had become apparent. The collar. I have no idea what is wrong with it, why it looks like that. I’m going to have to ask my more experienced friends I think – it is a mess though and I don’t know how to rectify it.

I have mentioned previously that I like to topstitch when I can as I like the extra finish it adds, and I also hoped it might sort out the collar a wee bit, it didn’t.

The next step is to turn in the edge of the collar and slip stitch along the seam. I have lamented my lack of ability when it comes to hand sewing previously. I actually don’t mind the stitching showing often, hence why I’ll often use a contrasting thread. So I machine stitched the bottom edge of the collar, this predictably made the collar worse.

Next, I hemmed it, which, the gap at the sides that shouldn’t be there made that process even more interesting haha.

Finally, onto the last step – phew! Attaching the sleeve cuffs. I lined these also and you sew the seam right sides together.

Next you attach them to the main sleeve body, once again right sides together, then hem.

I am so upset with how badly I made this, the mistakes I made, as he pattern is a great pattern and had I made it well it would have turned out great. The next time I can I’m going to buy some less transparent material and I’m going to make this well, learning from my mistakes. with concentration, and I cant wait to put it to rights as it should make up really well (still unsure on what to do with the collar though haha). I’m so cross with myself.

On a more positive note I did manage to produce a garment that is wearable and I’m happy to wear it, I just have to keep the collar flipped down haha.

Life over the last week…


Firstly, I haven’t been particularly industrious this week, especially on the sewing front. This is due to a number of factors but mainly because we’ve all been struck down by this horrid cough and cold that seems to be doing the rounds, so each child has had at least one day off this week. IMG_1165

No 3 has been the worst affected due to his asthma so hubby and I have been up several nights with him.

Due to some of the kiddiwinks being off school I was unable to go to my paper cutting class on Friday. I have been practising at home however!

One of the things I enjoy about paper cutting is that you work at cutting out from the smallest piece to the biggest piece. This means it requires you to be ‘in the moment’ and concentrating on figuring out the right order. This makes it a great mindfulness activity and I would recommend anyone who suffers from anxiety to give it a try! You also can see each picture getting more clear as you go on. EZFZ1909

I stuck some of the smaller pieces onto card – glueing them onto coloured paper first – that didn’t go to well – I don’t think glueing is my forte haha. IMG_1065

I am so enjoying paper cutting and am finding it such a good mindfulness activity that I have bought some equipment, not a massive investment as its quite a cheap hobby!

The eldest wanted to try papercutting also, so I allowed him under constant supervision, with my heart in my throat – but sometimes children need to experience threat to know how to handle it. He is 10 years also, I wouldn’t allow any of the others to do it, but he’s old enough to learn from it.

He seemed to enjoy it.

I also updated my Jamicure – and got some more free samples as I’m hoping to become a consultant at some point in the next few weeks for Jamberry.

I have also been beavering away making knitted squares for creative space cornwall’s (who I go to knit and natter and the craft classes with) yarn bombing project (of a tree) in July.

I framed the picture that number 3 drew me – I’m hoping to persuade the other 3 to draw me one each in their own style, which I’ll also frame.

And finally I have done a bit of sewing this week. I covered two of the projects  in How I did … blog posts already. The third, the kimono did not go well…. I will detail why in the blog post about it, but it was entirely my fault, and not because it was too hard either!

Heres to hoping we and you all feel much better next week 🙂

IIt’s not going well…

I’m doing this pattern at the moment and it’s not going well! 

I’ll go more into depth when I write my ‘how I did’ post but just be warned it is going terribly & it is entirely my fault :/ I’m off to knit as ran out of the binding I need to rectify one of my many mistakes so until the binding fairy (aka hubby) arrives then I can’t continue :/