September 2011 archive

Arty Farty Purse


I’ve been planning this little purse for about a month. It is super simple and didn’t need that much planning, but it is for my (other) sister-in-law’s birthday. She is studying fine art and I really wanted something that she could use (possibly for art school) but that also met her high asthetic standards. I hope I hit the spot. I think it is gorgeous!

I tried to use scraps, the hardest bit was working out the dimensions of the coloured strip. The size was determined by the closest zipper that I found.

I used this really fun yellow polka dot for the lining.

It would be really easy to add a card pocket on the inside or a detachable wrist strap on the outside. I hope my Arty Sister-in-law likes it. I love it and think I will make myself a chequebook cover in the same fun scrappy rainbow colour scheme.

Car Rolls (revisited)


I posted previously about the cool car rolls that I had made for my boys and a couple of gifts.  Well, I love them, and I think that every boy we know will be getting one for his Birthday this year!
I made a few more last night for gifts but am running out of car related fabric…  I also had an inquiry about selling them.  However, as people have tutorials for pretty much identical car rolls and most tutorials have a a statement along the lines of “for personal use only”, I want to do the right thing and not sell these for profit.  So, I’ve had an idea.  Next time someone asks me if I’ll make one for them to purchase I’ll say yes, but the profit is for charity.  What do you think?  I don’t plan to offer them for sale as such, but if someone asks me to make them one, I think that is a good response.  I had been planning on engaging more with the local community and this might be my opportunity :) 

My next step is looking into suitable local charities.  I was thinking something related to children or women.  Any suggestions?

I also changed the dimensions a bit (I was using the last bits of a couple of fabrics) as you can see:

I think I am happiest with the final size of 16 1/4″ x 12 3/8″ as per the top car roll.

Crayon (or Pencil) Roll


Isn’t this the prettiest crayon roll ever? I made it recently for a friend’s daughter just before they were to spend a month or so travelling. I find it helps to be organised when travelling with kids. A spot for everything means you can quickly and easily get what you need and limit the amount of yelling on the plane (my kids might be screaming, but at least I’m trying to keep them quiet!). I am terrible when it comes to fabric choice. I have a couple of pieces of fabric that I just can’t bring myself to use until I find the “perfect” project.

This piece is my all time favourite and I will probably end up making myself a bag with it. I just need to settle on a design. It is beautiful and soft, I love the colours, and the flowers and the birds are just so pretty without being too cute.

Anyway, the fabric for this crayon roll was a perfect match for some ribbon that I had added to my stash a while back. It is so pretty that I think I might just have to make one the same for Little Miss when she gets up to crayons. There are lots of crayon roll tutorials online but I decided to wing it. I was also trying to make it in 30 minutes. It took a little longer than that as I had to find crayons in the cupboard and then they were long ones (like pencils). I have since bought a few packets of (short) pencils and will change the dimensions a little next time I make this.

Birthday hat!


This week I made a reversible bucket hat for one of the boys’ friend’s birthdays (pluralitis!). I think it is lovely :) The birthday boy has a younger sister so I made the reversible side out of a gender neutral print (it is one of my favourites) and added a detachable fabric flower.

I’d tried a few fabric flower tutorials in the past and hadn’t settled on one that I loved. Until I found this one. So simple and it turned out really well! She glued hers but I don’t like the fabric glue that I have at the moment, so I stiched the whole thing.

Just to make it all tie together I made a button from the same fabric. I love making buttons! I warn you, its addictive!! I hope he likes it!

It’s all in the name


For months now I have been planning this blog, business, thing(!). I live in part of France and tossed around names that incorporated both English and French. Every thing I came up with I googled and it was taken already! Oh, the frustration! And then, from the dark recesses of my brain popped “Little Bobbin”. It’s cute, the spelling (of bobbin at least) is similar to the French word, it looks nice (hence my poorly photographed stitched title that used to be up there). I googled. I trawled IP search engines. I looked up registered business names. Nothing! I was so excited, finally a name that wasn’t already taken! Woohoo!

Oh. On Friday, google presented me with a very similar name of a business also selling hand sewn/made items. !&^(*&$#

What am I meant to do? I’m a nice person. I play nice. I love following other crafty blogs. I LURVE Little Bobbin as my business name. I’d even started a Pintrest account in this name and a Facebook business page as well as almost completed some business cards and designed labels. *(&*&^@#!$%#

What to I do??? I know that I’m not the first person to face this issue. There are HEAPS of similarly named blogs, businesses, groups and organisations out there. So I put on my thinking cap. Names, Names, Names…. Maybe I can change my name to Little Bobbin Sews or Sew Little Bobbin! or Petit Bobbin or Cute Little Bobbin. As Cute As A Bobbin. Sew Bobbin Cute. Cute Bobbin Sews. Sew It Bobbin Sew! Sweet Bobbin. Jolie Bobbin. Jolie Petit Bobbin. If I use a French word do I have to change Bobbin to the French Bobine?? You get my drift?

Coming up with a name that you like, a name that you think is good, suitable, appealing, works in two languages, fits with your product and isn’t already taken.


So I slept on it. Guess what? We have a new name now.

I don’t want to start out knowing that someone has almost exactly the same name. I want to play nicely. So, I would like to introduce “Pretty Bobbins” to you. Not much has changed, just the name. I hope that you like it!

Booby Bag


I’m so proud of this bag and I think I might have to make one for myself :)

I made this bag for my lovely sister-in-law’s birthday. She had a little boy last year and this year has started to train as a counselor for the Australian Breastfeeding Association. I’m really proud of her and I wanted to make a gift for her as a “grown-up” but which also celebrated this new stage of her life.

I designed the Mother-Baby silhouette myself but I’m sure I’ve seen similar ones out there. I wanted to keep it simple, recognisable but not too overt so that she feels comfortable using it anywhere.

Both the lining and external fabrics are ones that I bought in China a few years ago. I used a stiff interfacing which worked well, I would have used a fusible wadding but didn’t have any.

I also put a zippered pocket in it and a magnetic closure.

I was going to sew the strap between the lining and exterior fabrics, but in the end I wasn’t all that focused and kind of forgot… So I just added it to the exterior, I think it looks quite good actually.

This bag was quite easy to make so I might revisit it and put together my first tutorial. Let me know if you’d like me to :)

Passport Covers


I love to travel and there is nothing like travelling in style. This can be hard to do when you have three children under 5 in tow…

But at least with these funky passport covers we can at least look the part when the kids aren’t screaming.

I’ve settled on two styles so far, but have drafted designs for another style that folds out and can fit in 3-6 passports. I’ve given a couple of these away to friends to try out for me and they were happy :) I’ve sold one so far, but am hoping I might be able to sell a few more. Let me know if you’re interested!

Chequebook Covers


So, I think I mentioned that I want to turn my sewing into a business. I do have a day job (well, having kiddies has kept me out of the office recently, but I do have a career on hold) but I desperately want to turn my passion into a source of income. I can spend all day sewing and it feels like ten minutes have passed. Funnily enough the days in the office don’t pass that quickly…

Anyway, here in Noumea the cheque is a used as a form of payment every day. You can buy a can of soft drink and pay with a personal cheque. It is extremely convienient when you go to a cafe or restaurant with friends, everyone can pay their share without having to search for change. My cheque book languished in the bottom of my handbag for far too long getting ratty and scuffed. Then I thought, I need a cheque book cover. A really funky cheque book cover! Then I thought that just maybe people might pay me to make them… Then I sold my first one! Hooray!

I’ve only sold one so far, but it felt good and I hope that I might be onto something here… Let me know if you’re interested :)

Car Roll


What do you do the night before you go on a family holiday? Sew of course! That could be part of the reason that we left 6.5 hours later than planned… We had a great holiday and you can read all about it here if you’re interested.

A few months ago I found some car fabric in an off-cut bin at a fabric shop. I had no idea what I was going to use it for, but having two boys I decided something would come up. Then a good friend was moving away so I whipped up a car roll for her 4 year old son. It was a hit! My boys immediately started asking that I make one for them, but I wanted some longer pieces of felt for the road (the photo above is the original car roll with the shorter track made from an A4 sized piece of felt. I used a number 8 from our rubber play mat as a template for the racetrack. The more recent car rolls below were cut from a larger piece of felt and I drew the racing track freehand). Anyway, the night before our holiday I decided to make one for each of my boys plus two for upcoming birthday gifts.

There are lots of tutorials for car rolls on the internet such as here, here and here. Mine is very similar to this one.  I made mine based on the final size that I wanted. The pockets are big enough for the cars to sit in, but poke out a little so you can easily grab them (I made deeper pockets the first time which is good for storage, but they were a bit fiddly to get out. The mat area is 17″ x 11″. I had bought some black gingham with the idea of adding racing flags, but I had to get them finished so I could get on with packing. I decided to use elastic to secure the roll rather than ribbon or velcro or a button. I think it will last longer, but I guess we’ll see :)