My Crafty 2015

I’m still struggling to believe it is the end of December and the end of 2015. This year has been full on, to be honest I had to read back through all my posts to see all that has happened this year.

Craft Gadgets

At the start of the year I vowed to use my craft gadgets more. Confession I haven’t used my Scan N Cut, binding machine or strip cutter but they are on my list for 2016. I did use my embroidery machine to make a set of gifts this year and have learnt how to use a few more of the features on in it.

Ditch Quilting

I did a few quilting classes this year learning the basics and free motion. Books and YouTube are a great way to learn new techniques but I think there is no better way to learn than to physically watch a teacher, try it yourself and have them watch you. You get instant feedback as to if you are doing it right and gain valuable tips along the way. Quilting is something I would love to do more in the future.

Honeycomb Front

 

This year I was involved in a lot of craft swaps on Facebook and Instagram. Some swaps were easy to do as they only involved raiding my scraps stash or going shopping for a parcel of items, other swaps involved a lot of sewing and knitting so took a bit of time. I really enjoyed the challenge of making items that fitted the brief my swap partner had given. I loved all the items I received in swaps. Looking at all the handmade items I was receiving in the mail knowing how much time and effort went into making them for me.

Day 9

Earlier this year I was going through a sewing slump where my interest in sewing waned a little. In May I decided to take part in the Australian Sewing Guild Instagram photo challenge. For 31 days I had to take different photos relating to sewing. It broke sewing down into all the individual elements and made me think about the different aspects of sewing. Sewing isn’t just about hours at the sewing machine trying to get seams to match. By the end of the month my Sewjo was back. It was a lot of fun.

2 ZH Mine Front

 

Bag making was something I had wanted to try since I started sewing. They always looked complicated. This year I had the confidence to try making them. After making my first one I discovered they aren’t hard to do. If you use a good pattern, read all instructions, follow all instructions and take your time you can do it. I’m now running around with a bag that I made. My friends have bags and wristlets that I have made them.

SBS Jun 15

 

One of the best decisions I made this year was so to sign up to Sew Box Subscriptions. To be honest when I joined I didn’t know if I would get much use out of them or not. I was presently surprised after my first box, now I’m stalking my letter box each month when I know the box is due. They are good value for money, the patterns, the fabrics, the notions you get in each box is great. The products are so interchangeable between the boxes that you can mix and match things from different months to come up with ideas. Nearly all my Christmas gifts this year were made from patterns or fabrics I received in the Sew Boxes.

Pretty Cat

At the start of the year I decided to wanted to “Sew My Stash” and use where possible items and fabrics from within my existing stash first before buying new items. This was something I managed to do fairly well this year. When making all my toys and gifts I looked in my stash and where possible my scrap stash first. This was something I had done in previous years but really focussed on it this year more. I enjoyed the challenge of using the resources I had, going through my scrap stash to see if the pattern pieces fitted the scraps I had. As my scrap stash is located within my sewing area I found it quicker to find the fabrics as I could just dive into it anytime time I wanted to, the rest of my fabric stash is stored in my garage.

Knitters Guild Logo

This year hasn’t just been about sewing I joined the Knitters Guild. I wanted to develop my knitting and crochet skills so what better way to do it than by surrounding yourself with others who do it. This year I made my first blanket following a pattern. It is called Cosy Blanket and it is cosy. It has been my go to blanket all year. It lives on top of my lounge within easy reach. Actually even at this very moment it is wrapped around my legs on this cool December morning.

Gem Scarf Complete

The Gem scarf I made this year on a whim ended up being another useful item. I didn’t follow a pattern but just played around with 3 balls of yarn I brought. All winter I lived out of that scarf. If it is rolled up it makes a great mini pillow which came in very handy at times.

SPF Face

It has been a very crafty year in which I have had so much fun. I wish to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has stopped by this year and has read a post or two. I love sharing my adventures in craft with you all and reading any comments you leave. For those of you who craft I hope you had a creative and crafty year.

Cassiy xxx

Christmas Gift Wrap Up 2015

This is my last post about Christmas gifts for 2015 as in my part of the world Christmas has now come and gone.

Pink Taggies

I wasn’t sure what to make for a 2 month old who was girl number 3 and child number 4. Taggies were a good go to gift as you can never have too many of them. This is year my taggies were very simple. I didn’t do embroidery on them instead I used a printed fabric on both sides. They look pretty and neat.

Hooded Scarf Dinosaur

The majority of my gifts this year for Christmas were the hooded scarves. They were simple to make and all the kids loved them. In the one above I made a Dinosaur shaped one. Instead of ears on the front band I put spikes on the hood, this camo fabric was screaming out to be a dinosaur. I think he is cute.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas
Cassiy

Christmas Skirt

Now that my 2015 gifts are done I decided to do make myself a Christmas Skirt.

A+ Christmas Skirt Front

Normally I wouldn’t dress Christmassy. At work I wear a Santa hat sometimes but it is very hot. Christmas day I throw on what ever is clean and wear that. This year when I received the December Sew Box I got some Christmas fabric that I didn’t know how I would use as I don’t decorate for Christmas but it was too nice to just give away, with a little thought I decided this might look nice as a skirt. I made the same A+ Skirt pattern that I made earlier this year (this is skirt number 4) I remembered to cut the fabric the right direction. The panels on the front don’t pattern match but I’m not worried, this isn’t the Great British Sewing Bee and Patrick isn’t going to judge it. I wear tops that cover the top panel anyway.

A+ Christmas Skirt Back

I didn’t have enough for the entire skirt so the back is another piece of fabric that I got in the June Sew Box. In air con I can wear corduroy in summer. Its only a small skirt so you don’t get too hot. Because they aren’t the same fabrics on both sides the skirt doesn’t drape like the other skirts I’ve made it looks more pointy at the bottom. It doesn’t stand out too much. I personally don’t care, the fabric isn’t green so I don’t look like a Christmas tree in it. I had to redo my side seam where the zipper sits as my first attempt wasn’t wide enough. My second attempt allowed me to put the zipper in easily and this ended up being one of my better zippers. I did have a little trouble as I must’ve cut the top panel too big and the waistline doesn’t match up on one side. It is a little bit higher. Now technically I should’ve trimmed it down but I noticed it too late. For something I’m only go to wear a handful of times a year and will be covered up anyway I’m not going to bother with. It zips and I placed the hook and eye closure in line so they close nicely that’s all that is important.

I’m really proud of this skirt. I thought outside the box (the sew box haha) and came up with a wearable skirt from fabric and supplies I had on hand. Even the zipper used in this skirt came from the December Sew Box. It was an 8″ and even though the pattern says to use a 7″ it still worked. It matches in with the colours too.

Cassiy

Pin Cushion Design

Pin cushions are such practical items but I have never really thought about the design of them.

Pin Cushion Design

I received this pin cushion in the Bee Still My Heart swap earlier this year. It is a wonderful pin cushion as it is big and heavy. Up until now I have only used it as a weight as I tend to have my regular pins on a small pin cushion. This morning I was using my special dress making pins (I keep them in a box separate to my every day pins) I decided to use my new pin cushion to hold them. For what I am making I need to cutting out multiples of the same pattern pieces. I discovered the four patch design of this pin cushion was perfect as I could keep my pins in order per pattern piece. I’m not sure if the person making this meant it to be used that way but it got me thinking of how practical it was to have different segments on the pin cushion. In the past I have seen people divide pin cushions into segments and write the different types of machine sewing needles on them (jeans, metallic, quilting) but for regular sewing this could be very useful too. When you are pinning the same pattern piece over and over you use the same amount of pins, why not keep them separate then you know that you have pinned it securely enough.

Cassiy

Make Double

Police Box Wristlet Double

I actually got my first Christmas present for 2015 finished back in May. For an Instagram swap I was making a Police Box Wristlet. I knew my friend would secretly want one when she saw it so I decided to make hers at the same time. Why make 1 when you can make 2. Even though the pattern was a little challenging as I had to make the pieced front panel first then make the actual wristlet itself it was pretty easy to make 2 at the same time. I cut out double of all my pattern pieces. Piecing the front I followed each step in the pattern I just repeated it straight away on the 2nd. It was fresh in your mind what you needed to do so it wasn’t complicated. I made them over a few days so I didn’t rush myself to finish them. These wristlets are a lot of fun and I really like them. I think had I left it later in the year when I was doing the rest of the Christmas items I wouldn’t have done something as complicated as the pieced front on this. My mind would’ve been rushing to finish all the gifts that I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on following the piecing instructions fully. I’m going to start planning the gifts I make more and do gifts in batches like this in future if possible.

This pattern is by the wonderful Erin from Dog Under My Desk. The pieced front is a free tutorial but you will need to buy the Essential Wristlet pattern to make up the actual wristlet. You don’t have to use this as wristlet, omit the strap and D ring and you have a pencil case or pouch perfect for any Dr Who fan.

Cassiy

Sew Box December 15

The December Sew Box was released this week so now I can reveal what is inside. This month’s theme is “Christmas Glisten”

SB Dec 15

This month the box contains

  • 1 yard of Glisten Gold Doves Designer fabric
  • 50cm Ivory Homespun
  • 1m Ivory Pearl trim
  • 3m Cream and Gold ribbon
  • A piece of Ivory and Gold felt
  • 2 Ivory zippers (20cm and 30cm lengths)
  • Gold thread
  • Jingle Joy Christmas dress pattern by Tigerlily Patterns
  • Tinsel Tree Christmas shorts pattern by Tigerlily Patterns
  • Beaded Baubles pattern by Molly and Mama
  • Gift Card Pocket pattern by Sew Boxes
  • Gold Heart buttons
  • Bead and Christmas Charm Embellishments
  • Hand Sewing needles

Ok I’ll be honest with you before the box arrived I didn’t know if it would interest me this month. I don’t decorate for Christmas. I don’t own a Christmas Tree, I don’t make Christmas themed items. I don’t entertain anyone at my house during Christmas so I don’t personally bother with it. I love making toys and gifts for Christmas but that’s as far into Christmas as I go. When I got this box I realised I most likely will never make any of the patterns but that’s ok I’m sure all the other subscribers to the box will as the patterns are great. What I really liked about this months box is that even though it has a Christmas theme with the exception of the Glisten fabric and the Christmas charms all the other supplies in this box can be used in other ways. Not everything is screaming out I need to be used for Christmas. The sophisticated colour tones of the ivory and cream allow you to use them for other projects. The zippers will always come in handy, as will the ribbon and heart buttons. These items will all go into my stash to be used at some point.

I had a long think over what to do with the Glisten fabric. It is actually a really nice Christmas themed fabric that doesn’t scream out “hey look at me I’m a Christmas Tree” I’ve come up with an idea on how to use it. Fingers crossed I get a chance to make the item this year otherwise I will make it for next year.

Cassiy

 

Sewing Machine Pin Cushions

Pin Cushion Sewing Machines

I wanted to make the ladies in my sewing guild group a little Christmas gift. As I like practical items I decided a pin cushion was perfect. A sewer can never have too many pin cushions.

Pin Cushion Sewing Machine

This is a Tigerlily pattern that I got in the August Sew Box. It is designed to be a very basic pattern but the benefit of that is you can embellish it anyway you want.  I decided to personalise them with each persons name. I used a letter font from the regular stitch patterns on my MC11000 I also did single satin stitch dot to make the controls of the sewing machine. The fabric I used came from the September Sew Box. These were a great gift to make in a batch. Adding each persons name only took a few minutes.

Cassiy