All posts in the Sewing category

Thanks Mum – a memory bag

Published February 9, 2018 by Fi-B

I had been thinking about childhood memories with my Mum recently.  Baking gingerbread people was one of our favourite holiday activities.  My Mum is very practical and not one for material things.  She requested if I can make her a shopping bag for Mother’s Day.  So I thought a perfect way to capture our memories and give her a gift she will use.

I used the bag instructions in Minki Kim’s Sew Illustrated Book. Her drawing/sewing techniques was the inspiration for my picture.  I can’t really draw, but managed to capture the elements on paper (to the best of my ability).  The bag’s lined with a zipper pocket inside (yes I did lining and a zipper – I’m impressed with myself).

The details are what makes the bag special for me and hopefully Mum.  Yes I sewed all the words on the sewing machine. How I love erasable pens.

My drawing was pretty close to final design, but I wasn’t sure how to do the detail of the gingerbread men.  I left the tray empty a few days after sewing the rest of the design, then wham – I saw something in my button bottle and luckily it was the right size for the tray.

Hope my Mum likes it.  Have to hide it till Mother’s Day, then remember where I put it 🙂



Fabric paper doll Dream and a wish

Published February 1, 2018 by Fi-B


Made this fabric paper doll using a fabric panel of Riley Blake Designs by Sandra Blackman.  It was part of this range Dream and a wish Riley Blake, but they don’t show the panel I have, which is originally designed to turn into a pillow.  I also have the other panel pictured on the link, so will have to tackle that one another time.  With one daughter and five nieces I’ll have no trouble finding an owner for them.

This is what it looked like before I cut it up.  I decided the pillow was too much effort and decided to make it into a little book that you can take with you.

She’s all set for dresses – 8 to choose from and 3 hats.  I used the print fabric, a layer of fusible interfacing, then a layer of felt joined with double sided iron on adhesive.  I then sewed around the edge of all the pieces to secure and cut them out.   Would of been nice to have some co-ordinating fabric for the outside, but used some other fabric I had in my stash.  I sewed the castle picture for the front.

Bags – fabric

Published January 27, 2018 by Fi-B

Been working on some fabric bag creations this week.

  1. Fabic gift bag
  2. Fabric envelope

The Fabric gift bag is my second one I’ve made.  I used Fabric gift bag pattern which is really a good pattern and has good instructions.  It creates a lining and sturdy handles.  I embroidered the name using my embroidery machine.  I found these lovely hand made labels to sew on that I cut using pinking shears.

The pattern comes with different sizes.  I made this one previously.

I also created a fabric envelope using a pattern from the following book Sew Illustrated.  It’s got some great patterns and of course the sew illustrated technique is one of my new favourite ways to enhance any project.  I will use this envelope for my daughter’s diary at school and to exchange notes with the teacher.

Valentines tag – 2nd one

Published January 22, 2018 by Fi-B

My 2nd try at creating a valentine tag.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2030.jpg

I used Minki’s valentine tag’s pattern Sew Illustrated Valentine’s Day Tags Pattern.  The cute envelope just made me so happy looking at it, I had to do this one next. I cut the one rectangle out – which looks like a little stamp, to put the envelope on top of. Then used the sewing machine to outline the envelope and add the detail.

I think I’ll hang them on the kids’ doors on Valentine’s with a little note.

This is my post about the other tag I made Book Mark/Gift Tag – You decide 🙂

Birthday calendar with lift up flaps

Published January 21, 2018 by Fi-B

My birthday calendar with lift up flaps is finally finished :). It’s Southern hemisphere style.

It all started with this Monthly Sampler Pattern that I found.  It had a image for each month that was super cute and I knew I had to have it hanging on my wall.

I used calico fabric.  I sewed the black border and month names with my embroidery machine.  Then I cut out all the fabric as per the pattern for the appliqué pictures and sewed them on using the sewing machine.  I changed some of the pictures from the pattern.  I created a kite for August – as it’s windy in my city in August.  I put in a basket with Eggs for April and some tulips for the flowers.  I’ve been enjoying this sewing illustrated technique. This was the first time I tried filling a picture with stitches – creating a satin stitch using the sewing machine (see the green leaves in the tulips below).

After sewing on all the appliqué, I had an idea – what if I turned all the months into little flaps that lift up and I could put all my close family/friends birthdays underneath.  The problem was that the pattern had the rows and columns quite close together with only .5 inch in between.  This made it difficult to turn into flaps with the small seam allowance. And it would of looked a lot nicer if I spread out the months with more room and sewed the border on later perhaps.  But I wasn’t going to start again, so I cut away.

I cut out all the months.  Sewed on another piece of calico and batting and turned inside out, ironed and stitched around the border again.

Then I lined up the months on another piece of Calico and worked out some measurements to space it out evenly and mark out where to sew some clear pockets for the birthdays to go in.

Next I sewed on some clear PVC for the little pockets, and sewed interfacing on the back. I then pinned and sewed across the top of each month onto the fabric.  Then I laid it on the background fabric, which I was also used to bind the quilt.

I ironed over the edges of the backing/binding fabric twice and sewed it on.

I printed out all the names and their birthday date I wanted for each month, and stuck them safely under the clear pockets.  Now I can always be prepared for each birthday as well as enjoying all the little illustrations on my sewing wall.


Book Mark/Gift Tag – You decide :)

Published January 19, 2018 by Fi-B

After binging on Minki Kim’s blog the last week or two, I’ve been so inspired to create her projects.  I already used some of her placemat designs in this post: Zara’s Pinic play set.

I’ve ordered her book and am waiting very impatiently for it.  I brought this pattern on her site in the mean time: Valentine’s Day tag pattern.  I did one of the simple designs using her sewing illustration technique, which creates a look I have fallen in love with.

She has the instructions here on how she made similar tags: Tag instructions (Minki Kim).

I’ve been using Calico to sew these designs as it’s cheap and I like the natural look it.  It went pretty well, until I sewed the fabric right + wrong side together.  I only realised after I had already trimmed the corners, so unpick and try again and hope the shape still come out ok.

I had brought this Fiskars tag maker with built-in eyelet setter. I never had much luck with ones you hammer in.  I think it’s designed more for paper – it had a cutter in it to do the shape of the tag and a hole punch.  But that didn’t really work for fabric.   The eyelet turned out ok, I got nervous about having to cut the hole myself through 3 layers.

Should I make more, yes, yes I should.  You could use for gift tags, but I just want some pretty things I made to hang around my sewing area.  Another great use I want to try is school bag tags, with some of Minki’s pencil designs (hopefully in her book when I receive it).


Panel book for Aubrielle

Published January 11, 2018 by Fi-B

My friend recently had a baby and I decided to sew her something.  It timed in well with the Boxing Day sales and I brought way to much from Spotlight so I could get free shipping.  I found this cute fabric panel to make a book.  This is the second time I have sewed something from a panel and now I’m looking forward to doing more.  I even embroidered dear little Aubrielle’s name on the back (with my embroidery machine).


I’m not good at following patterns like this.  Online tutorials are much easier.  Like this one had no instructions on the seam allowance (that I saw).  Then it had page numbers on there, but I wasn’t sure if they were just to guide putting it together or to show for the book owner.  If I was to include the numbers then I wouldn’t have any real seam allowance, so I sewed close to the edge of the print, but leave a little bit of white space.

Each set of pages gets cut out and batting sewed to it, then sewed to another page and turned inside out.  I was lazy and didn’t slip stitch the opening, but instead top stitched around the edges at a hundred miles an hour.  The cover is a bit bigger than the other pages (luckily I read this – or I’d be putting it together and wondering how I stuffed it up).  At the end you sew all the double pages down the middle.  I was worried it wouldn’t go through the machine being so thick – but it ended up ok.

Close up of the embroidered name.  I should of probably embroidered a FROM part as well.  I haven’t created a label to put on the things I make.  Another project idea 🙂


These were my favourite pages.