“Stitch Castle HiIl” 2015

Last weekend I went to a new craft show “Stitch Castle Hill” it was held by the Craft Alive team.


Craft Alive mainly hold shows in regional areas which is fantastic as it gives people in those areas a chance to be involved in events they’d otherwise have to travel to city for. This year they decided to hold a show in the outer Sydney suburb of Castle Hill. Craft Alive did a great job at hosting it. There were lots of stall holders (Fabric Garden, Black Possum Fabrics, Annie’s Designs) there were workshops you could do, demonstrations given by various stall holders, a café. All the stall holders were lovely. It was really nice to chat to them as I went around the show. I picked up a few bargains for some gifts I’m making and some craft swaps I’m involved in.

Stitch Goodies

I hope Craft Alive decide to hold the show again next year at Castle Hill. It was really good to have it in the Sydney area. It seemed very popular to the public on the day I was there so hopefully that means they will return next year.


Panel Skirt Sew-Along

I’m not a girly person but I’ve always loved skirts and making one for myself has one been on my sewing wish list / todo list for ages. Debra (Stitching Rules)  held a sew-along to make a panel skirt so I decided now was the time to finally give it ago. I have heaps of skirt patterns but Debra provided one so I thought as this was my first time skirt making it would be a good pattern to start with as I could ask her questions I had along the way if needed.

Panel Skirt

Constructing the skirt was pretty easy. As suggested in the tutorial I overlocked all the pieces before doing the seams. On the seams I used a trip stitch for a bit more strength. I did struggle with inserting the elastic a tiny bit. I tried stitching over the elastic to enclose the waste band but I wasn’t happy with it so I unpicked it and stitched the casing first then threaded through the elastic. It worked better this way but elastic and I are not friends. To stop the elastic from rolling I did do a line of stretch stitching across the casing on the sides.

Test Stitches On Scrap Fabric

Normally I’m a lazy crafter and cut corners but not on this project. I tested the tension on my overlocker on a scrap piece of fabric. I checked the colours on my overlocker (pink and purple) wouldn’t show through once I finished the skirt. Before doing the seams I tested the triple stitch. These are big steps for me. I used a stretch cotton drill fabric that wasn’t from my stash however I did buy it in a recent Lincraft 50% off fabric sale. I knew the sew-along was coming up and saw the fabric and thought skirt. It was only when I was stitching it I noticed the tiny ‘s

I must admit once I took my measurements I was really shocked by pattern size I had to go to. My waste to hip ratio was not the same as any size guide. Rachael (Sew Today Clean Tomorrow) made a really good point about pattern sizing on her blog. Perhaps next time I might make the elastic a bit smaller in the waste, but I have no fear of it falling down as I walk.

After this sew-along I’m encouraged to make more of my own clothing.



PJ Top Completed

Last October I went to the Lingerie workshop. I never worked on a piece of lingerie but instead I started a pj top using the same techniques.

PJ Top Complete

After the workshop the only remaining thing I had to do was hand slip stitch the neck facing into place. The top got put aside until I was cleaning up my craft area over the holiday period and I came across it again. It didn’t take long to finish off.

For a first attempt at adult clothing making I was happy with the results. The pattern itself I will need to adjust. The neckline was too big. I like my clothing to be baggy and loose around the back and bust so I went with the largest size but the neckline was almost boat style. To wear this (winter or summer) I would feel my shoulders too exposed and prone to getting chills. Next time I make it I will do the neck more rounded like a t-shirt style to give better coverage. Also I won’t put the lace on but it was fun trying. I’ve got more cotton jersey so I will make it again or maybe even the shorts to go with it.

Unhappy Pony

Not all toys work out the way you want and this is one of them.

Unhappy Pony

From the book Fun at the Fair by Melly & Me, Pony is a great pattern. I had no issues with the pattern. The hair and mane are stitched in the seam line so I enjoyed the challenge of not getting them caught when constructing her. The legs were the items I found myself procraftinating on until I decided on my method (finishing them off by hand and not on the sewing machine) After I stitched the button joints on she just sat on my craft table ….. for over 4 weeks. I’m not sure what it is but I just wasn’t happy with the look of her. Think it had to do with the buttons, they were all I had in my stash but they just didn’t seem right. She was due to be a gift for March but I’ve decided to make something else for the child. I’m not giving up on Pony and I intend to use her for another purpose later in the year. I’ve got some ideas for her, she just needs a slightly different look. Maybe without me even knowing she was always destined for another job and not to be given in March.


I’ve made another Melly & Me toy this time from the book Kaleidoscope. She is to go with the unicorn pillow.


I found Bubbles very interesting to make. Her mane is tied on after she is constructed by threading lengths of embroidery floss through the neck seam and knotting it in place. I used my sashiko need to insert the yarn as it had a larger eye and could handle the thicker floss in one go. My girl guide knot skills came into play as I did reef knots to secure each piece. After I tied each floss piece into place I separated out the strands and ran each one over my finger nail which gave the threads a curled effect, similar to curling ribbon over the blade of your scissors when wrapping presents. I did buy the embroidery floss for her mane and tail (on sale after Christmas) but everything else came from my existing stash.

Car and Caravan

I made this toy a few years ago but was thinking about it yesterday.


This would’ve been one of the earliest softies I made and is still one of my favourites. It’s from The Big Book of Softies As soon I got the book and saw this I knew the child I wanted to make it for. It brings back memories from my childhood of my neighbours and their caravan. Their granddaughter was my first friend. 30 years later we are still friends and I made this for her son. This is a sentimental softie.



I found all the materials and embellishments for it in my stash. It was fun to make as there was lots of little elements to it (applique, embroidery, sewing) At the time it was the most complicated softie I’d made and would still be probably be the most embellished softie I’ve made.

Gnome Swap Sign Up


I’ve signed up for another Instagram swap. The lovely Kerry of Kid Giddy is our host and it has a fun theme Gnomes! If you want to take part you have until Feb 16th to fill out the registration form but items made aren’t needed to be sent until June so you have a bit of time to work on things. Its an international swap so all are welcome to join. I’m really excited about this swap for a couple of reason

  1. How can you not love gnomes – They a cute and magically. They hang out with the fairies and get into mischief. They don’t come in the one shape and size. Each one is different.
  2. Your not limited to the item that you have to make – This is an open swap where you can choose the item you want to make. You can make a mini quilt, tote bag, softie, mug rug. You will get a list of items or things your swap partner likes then you make a gift around that. If your good at making a particular item then you can theme it around what your partner likes (colours, fabric)

I’ve got a couple of ideas in mind for items I know I can make pretty well and I have already started sourcing patterns for them. When I get my swap partner details I will plan colours and fabrics. From the moment I heard about this swap I found myself continually going back to the website all day with more and more ideas in my head so I had to be involved.