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Creative reuse of unpicked shirt pockets. March 15, 2011

Posted by Sarah in bag, blanket stitch, clothes, fabric, felt, hand made, holiday, home made, recycle, refashion, reuse, sewing, thrifty.
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J and I purchased a shirt each for wearing while we travel through South East Asia.  We’ll be travelling very light, so we need to pack clothing that’s so practical it’s almost laughable.  Clothing with features that would be completely irrelevant in Sydney – like back vents for example.  Things that you can wash by hand in a sink and have it dry in just a few hours, ready to be worn for the 30th day straight.  My shirt is blue, long sleeved, and looks like my mother dressed me in chambray for a family photo in 1990.  But, it’s actually a really nice fit, and surprisingly comfortable.  J however was not so lucky.  Thanks to the Amazon sizing charts it’s a size too big for him.  That probably wouldn’t have been too bad if the shirt didn’t also come with two huge, incredibly unflattering chest pockets.  J and I took one look at the shirt on and decided that the pockets had to go.  They weren’t much use anyway – and since we’ll have daypacks with us there’s really no need to be carrying anything in shirt pockets.  I took to them with my quick unpick, carefully removing each stitch so as not to leave any visible marks or holes.  Now you wouldn’t even know that there had ever been pockets on the shirt, and it looks so much better!

The hoarding maybe-that-will-come-in-handy-one-day part of my personality decided to put the two removed pockets into my fabric stash until I decided what to do with them.  After pulling them out last night and having another look at them I decided that they would make great little pouches to keep our electronic cables in while we travel.  I cut out black felt for the backing pieces of the pouches and sewed around the edges with blanket stitch.  I incorporated the original pocket closure on one pouch by sewing it onto the felt, and with the other I added snap closures.  Each pocket took me about an hour to complete.  Now we can store all of our chargers in one spot, and we wont have to go rummaging through our bags only to find a tangled mess of cables at the botton of the pack!


My ‘To Do’ list April 1, 2010

Posted by Sarah in art, cosy, Craft, draft snake, felt, home made, recycle, refashion, sewing.
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I love it when you write a ‘To Do’ list, and you get to the end of your work week and everything has a nice little tick next to it.

I have to say that it helps if one of the things on your list is ‘sew eyes on door snakes’.

My weekend February 8, 2010

Posted by Sarah in baking, clothes, cosy, Craft, custom order, dining in, embroidery, fabric, felt, food, friends, fruit, gift, green, home made, jam, preserving, sewing, toy.

It rained for days this past weekend.  It was the perfect weather for staying indoors and creating.

This is what my weekend looked like:

I made Jam.

And a sweet little bear for a sweet friend.

We have a bear who sits on our couch to keep us warm and humble.

A friend loved him so much that I was asked to make another for someone’s birthday.

We had said friend’s over to adopt their new Bear.  I made buttermilk scones.

We had the scones with my homemade jam – plum and cinnamon, and boysenberry.

I made this little peas in a pod toy for another friend.

And I stitched this jar cover while we watched a video last night.

I also made some extremely cute and very short sleep shorts.  Which I slept in last night, all smuggly proud of myself for having made them without a pattern.  Or measuring myself!

How was your weekend?  I hope yours was as gloriously peaceful as mine.

December 6, 2009

Posted by Sarah in blue, Craft, embroidery, fabric, felt, gift, home made, kittens, love, recycle, refashion, sewing, thrifty, toy.

My newest newphew Sacha was welcomed into the world on the 23rd of November!  A little brother for my niece Sofia to dote on.

I made this kitty soft toy for him a few months ago, in anticipation for his arrival.  I finally posted it over to him in New Zealand last week, and his Grandma and Grandad took it over to him yesterday.  I used a pattern from the lovely Meet Me at Mike’s book.

The face of the kitty in the pattern is quite different to what I ended up sewing.  I think my kitty has more of a traditional cat’s face, I like this more.

The pattern didn’t include a tail, so I fashioned one for the Sacha’s kitty.  I think every kitty needs a tail, don’t you?!

The main fabric of the kitty came from an enormous thrifted woolen skirt I discovered at a local Salvation Army charity store recently.  The mushroom print on the belly is from a piece of heavy Japanese cotton from my stash.

(The stitching on the side of the belly looks a little rough because of my dodgy hand-finishing stitches.  If I made this pattern again I’d use the tail opening as the turning-right-side-out seam to fix that problem).

Draft snake family November 27, 2009

Posted by Sarah in buttons, cosy, Craft, custom order, draft snake, fabric, felt, gift, home made, recycle, refashion, sewing, snake.
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Miss Maree placed an order with me for four custom-designed draft snakes for Christmas.  One for each of her brothers and their families, and one for her Mum.

Would you like to meet the family?

This is Florence!

Likes: Fairy floss, flourescent felt pens and flavoured fudge

Dislikes: Foul smells, figs and feral cats

And this is Herbert!

Likes: Hemingway, hummingbirds and hotdogs

Dislikes: Hermits, hunting and having to hurry

And this is Hunter!

Likes: haggling, habaneros and hula hoops

Dislikes: haggis, Halloween and housekeeping

And lastly, meet Cordelia!

Likes: Cordial, crumpets and cat naps

Dislikes: Car racing, cabbage and cellphones

Maree picked the family up last night.  She said that if she didn’t already have lilith she’d have snake-envy for Florence!

Leopold the draft snake November 9, 2009

Posted by Sarah in blue, cosy, draft snake, fabric, felt, green, home made, recycle, refashion, sewing, snake, thrifty, toy, wool.
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I’ve just listed this very sweet draft snake in my etsy store.


His name is Leopold.

He likes: croquet, croquettes and croque monsieurs

He disklies: crocodiles, croquembouche, and crocs


He’s keeping Harriet company at the moment, Archibald will be joining them shortly!

Hazel the ruffled hedgehog November 8, 2009

Posted by Sarah in buttons, Craft, fabric, felt, gift, home made, love, recycle, refashion, sewing, thrifty, toy, vintage.

My little niece Sofia turns 2 next week, and I wanted to make her a special toy for her birthday.

I found this great tutorial for making a ruffled hedgehog on the lovely blog Matsutake. I’m pretty sure that Katie’s version is much more petite than Hazel, like handful size.  But that’s ok, Hazel is more the size of an actual hedgehog, and I like that.


I made Hazel out of a great printed vintage polyester shirt that Mum gave to me a while back.  It wasn’t the right style or shape for me, so i’m glad it’s been upcycled!


The purple and black ruffles are made from felt.  They took ages to sew on, I didn’t want to have any issues with a little person being able to pull them off and choke on them.


Hazel is in the post and on the way to Sofia now, I think they’re going to make very fine friends indeed!

Wisdom Tooth softie October 20, 2009

Posted by Sarah in book, fabric, felt, gift, home made, sewing, wool.

I made this little wisdom tooth softie April this year for my friend Lydia, who was having her wisdom teeth removed.  Ouch!


I used light blue embroidery floss to make the eyes and mouth, complete with a set of healthy looking teeth.


Of course if you’re going to have a wisdom tooth you need to make him look wise.  I looked around on the internet for photos of graduation caps, then made one for my tooth out of wool felt.


And I added a piece of wool to imitate the look of the tassel.


I found the idea in this lovely inspiring book.  Yay!!

A gift for a a little man named Felix October 10, 2009

Posted by Sarah in buttons, fabric, felt, flowers, gift, home made, sewing, snake, toy.
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My Niece Amanda and her boyfriend Ryan welcomed their son Felix into the world on the 10th of July this year.  That day is also my sister Lisa’s birthday.  She turned 40 and became a grandmother on the same day!  Special times for us all  : )


I’m now a Great-Aunt, and with that title comes much responsibility.  Like making really cool toys for birthday gifts.  Snakes, for example.


I love the way this photo makes it look like a snake-pretzel : )

Frocktober day 9 October 9, 2009

Posted by Sarah in buttons, clothes, cosy, dress, fabric, felt, Frocktober, Fundraising, home made, recycle, refashion, sewing, thrifty, wool.
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My friend Maree came over a couple of weeks back with a pair of woolen pants that she no longer wanted.  They were really nice quality Veronika Maine wool crepe wide legged pants.  They were worn in a few spots, but otherwise were still in pretty good condition.  I popped them onto my fabric pile and left them alone.  This morning I woke up wishing I had another woolen dress to wear for Frocktober, because most of my dresses are pretty summer cotton numbers, and it’s been so cold here in the last week.  I remembered the woolen pants this morning while I was deciding what to wear.  I sliced up the centre seam in the leg, and removed the pockets, waist band and fly.  Then I ironed the fabric and turned it into this dress!

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There was a little patch on the back heel of the pants where they had been rubbed through and repaired.  I’ve put these colourful buttons on to cover up the marks.

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Joh and I are heading over to Maree’s house tonight for dinner, I can’t wait to see what she thinks when I tell her what i’ve done with her pants!  I wonder if she will recognise them?

Remember, if you want to support the Australian Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation during the month of Frocktober you can.  Click here to donate.

My registration number is 539381.  (you can put the registration number in the final page of your paypal payment).