June 2012 archive

A weekend of sewing!


I can’t believe that it is Monday, last week was the longest week (sick children, Little Miss refusing to sleep, Mr Husband working late and finally, Little Miss ending the week with a huge bruised bump on her forehead) and it feels like groundhog day today.  We’re still sick, the sleep issues continue, but at least the sun is shining.  One upside to all this is that we decided to have a very quiet weekend at home.  I got to sew on both Saturday and Sunday!!

Even fitted in some modelling, ooh, ahh!

I was playing around with bag designs during the week and really needed to start sewing on Saturday.  After going through all my sketches I decided on the same structure as this bag that I made recently, but with more contrasting shapes and textures.

I’m really happy with it, the solid grey is a lovely cotton linen blend.  The inside features a phone pocket, zippered pocket and key loop.

I actually made the bag for a market night that has the theme “White Plus One”, you can find it here.  It is up to the organisers as to whether your item has enough white to quality so I was planning a backup item while I was stitching away.  Anyway, the bag ended up a lot more work that I envisaged (all that quilting, the centre panel, top panels and straps are heavily quilted) and I started to panic about finding a fair price so I decided to go ahead and make the back up item then decide which to submit.

I love the clutch!  Again, it is my own design (really though, how many ways are there to design a clutch?) and I was really focused on the structure and texture.  It came together exactly as I had imagined and I love the colour.  I’m not sure if I can sell this one, I might have to make a second just the same (I usually only make one of a kind)…

It has a card slot, little pocket for a phone or similar and a small zippered pocket.  I had fun with the wrist strap.  It is detachable, but I made it nice and wide and gathered it.  Again, I was playing around with different structures.  It

Sorry for the weird photo, I took it myself and it is all kinds of weird LOL

Anyway, I had so much fun making these bags that I’ve decided to enter them in Purse Palooza 2012…  Crossing all my fingers and toes!  There are some lovely entries, you can see them in the flickr group here.

Sew SweetnessSew Sweetness

Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday


Hello and welcome to Pretty Bobbins if you’re popping by for the first time :)  I’m hosting Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday (TGIFF) today and I’m so excited!  I was really, really hoping to be sharing Mr 3.5′s quilt as a finish today (you can see it as a WIP here and here), but as usual priorities had to shift (not much sewing has been happening as Little Miss is not sleeping this week!).  Instead I am sharing a lovely little Travel Sewing Kit that I finished today.

Do you like?  Originally I was planning on doing a patchwork chevron but after a little playing around I decided on this design instead.  I really enjoyed the straight line quilting.  I think I just enjoy quilting!  I mentioned a little while ago that I invested in some machine quilting needles, WOW, I love them!!  I wanted the red strips to really pop so I’ve left them unquilted and just caught them in the binding.  I think it works well.

Sorry for the strange angle, I was avoiding my shadow in the late afternoon sun.

I’m really into contrasting textures, shapes and patterns at the moment and I think the ric rac (the wavy red tie) provides a fun contrast to those straight lines.

This sewing kit is for a showcase that has the theme “white plus one”, it was a tough call whether to go with red and white or blue and white, but the red won out.  I love the little stripy pin cushion, it has a snap to keep it in place when you’re on the go :)

I also managed to get the reel holder tie thingy narrow enough to slip inside gutterman reels, now that was a feat!  There is a very, very narrow piece of velcro sewn onto that binding!

My other finish that I want to share with you this week is a custom order for a friend.  (Technically I finished it last week but we rushed off on a mini break to a beautiful Pacific Island, which you can read about here, and I haven’t had a chance to share it.)  

She requested a handbag with red in it.  I love making bags and this one is my own design.  Again, there is lots of straight line quilting in there to play with the modern hearts and the angles of the bag.  

I had so much fun with this bag that I’m working on another similar design, again with some straight line quilting, but a little different.  Hopefully I will have it ready to share with you next week :)  And just in case you were wondering what the inside looks like, here it is :)  

There is a key loop with snap closure, a phone pocket, a zippered pocket and the bag has a magnetic closure.  As always, it is going to be hard to part with this one, but it is so satisfying to make something that I love regardless of whether or not I get to keep it!

But enough of me :)  Now I want to hear all about what you’ve finished this week!  There’s a linky thing below, so please join the party and link up your finish as well as visit the other fabulous finishes this week :)  If you have time it would be nice if you could comment as you visit everyone :)  Please remember to include a link and/or button for TGIFF, you can find it here  :) 

I’m hosting a PARTY, please come join me :)


If you pop in regularly you might have noticed that I link up with TGIFF when I can :)  What’s TGIFF I hear you ask…  Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday :)  You can see their pretty purple button up top but it always sits over there (you might need to scroll down a little) >>>

So, what do you need to do to join in?  On Thursday evening (my time, I’m an hour ahead of Sydney, Australia) I will put up a post with my fabulous finish (pressures on!!) inviting you to share your fabulous finish :)  There will be a little linky thingy at the bottom of the post where you can add a link to your finish.  I’d love you to join in.  It will be my first time hosting anything (well, I do hazily remember hosting some parties back at University, but first time for this kind of hosting).

I hope to see you later in the week!!

Happy Sewing :)

A sneak peak


I think that I mentioned earlier in the week that I’m participating in a secret swap as part of Quilt Club Australia, an online quilting group.  Well, I finished it off this morning, packed it up and managed to post it with three kids in tow.  I thought I had plenty of time, but then I thought about how long it would take to get from here to there and then a last minute trip popped up and all of a sudden I had to have it finished ASAP.

I used some great fabrics.

My partner said that she likes modern quilting so I got all creative.  It was touch and go as to whether it was a complete disaster or a piece of art work.  I’d like to think that I pulled it off if nothing else :)

I even had fun with some insanely small stitches.

But I’ll have to leave it there as any more photos and my partner might guess what is on the way :)

Is anyone else sewing for a secret swap or a special gift for someone at the moment?  I love sewing for other sew-ers, it definitely raises the bar and some great new ideas can bubble to the surface!

It’s cold out!


I just ran down to the basement (why do I feel like I sound American saying that?) to throw some clothes in the dryer.  It turns out the Mr 5.5 has had a growth spurt and nothing fits.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  Following in the footsteps of both his Father and Mother (in my younger days, not so much post-kiddies) he is a very slim and still fits size 2 in the waist, but needs size 5 leg length.  I remind myself these are our genes and he is healthy.

Anyway, I just ran down to the basement only to discover that not only is it raining but it’s freezing!  Well, I am in shorts and a t-shirt, it’s all relative!  But here I was about to stay up and fit in the sewing that didn’t happen today because I was shopping for pants for said skinny child.  Instead, I have decided to work on my secret swap item tomorrow.  It’s so secret that I’m not even going to show you a photo, but I will tell you that I embroidered a button and I’m thinking I might experiment with some pin-wale cord as well as a few new blocks.  If you want some inspiration for a small quilted gift (most but not all of these are quilted), check out my inspiration board on pinterest “Small gifts / swap ideas”

Right now, motivated by the freezing weather, I am about to move to the sofa and enjoy some of the chocolate that Mr Husband is snaffling.  If all goes well tomorrow I might show you a photo or two of my secret swap item.  I’m totally impressed with what I’ve made so far.  My swap partner is luckyyyy :)  I tried out something that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile :)  Yay that it worked, but it has inspired me to go further and keep experimenting.  My swap partner likes modern, so I figure that is licence to experiment away!

Are any of my readers participating in a swap at the moment?  I’d love to see your sneak peaks or inspirations, please comment below with links :)

Happy sewing!

Friday finishes


It’s Friday and I try to link up with a Friday Finishes group, you can see their thumbnail and link over there >>>  just scroll down a little (I need to figure out how to put it in this post LOL).  I finished lots (it’s all relative!) of things yesterday and I really wanted to share a photo of Little Miss in the cutest purple pinwale pinafore, but she spilt milk all over herself so it’s in the wash :(  Trust me, it’s cute and you’ll get a photo soon!  There was a sneak peak over here, but it took me a while to get back and finish the hems and buttons (I don’t mind buttonholes, but I hate sewing on buttons!!!).

I also finished a custom order for the most gorgeous travel sewing kit that I am hoping to post today, but it’s a gift so I can only share a sneak peak :)  See that hand quilting?  That’s my quilting finish for the TGIFF girls ;)  I really love the affect of the verigated thread.  It was also my first foray into reverse applique which I really love and the Japanese fat quarters are such beautiful fabrics!
I also finished orders for two sets of yummy cupcake potholders.  We are using a set in our kitchen and it is so hard to use them, I don’t want them to ever get dirty!  Cute, no?  I guess the TGIFF girls might also like these with all the quilting involved.  Quilting through so many layers of batting makes me appreciate Delilah, my Bernina 440QE all the more.
My other finishes yesterday were just bits and pieces.  It was very satisfying to package up for gifts last night get send them off to the post today.  Hoping to get two more packages to the post office this afternoon.
Next up on my sewing agenda is a long overdue bag for a wonderful lady.  She asked me to make a few things for her when I was waiting on some more interfacing to arrive.  Then it arrived when I was in the middle of another order.  She is wonderful and has been as patient as a saint, so I’m planning on popping something special in as a surprise, just need to think of the perfect thing…  I’ve drawn up a couple of bags and have fabric selected and the weather is awful today, so I’m just about to get started :)
Don’t worry, they won’t all be used in the same bag :)

A new outfit for me!


Today is Mother’s Day in France.  We celebrated by sharing a family meal at one of our new favourite cafes.  The food was delicious and the kids enjoyed praline puddings for dessert!

All gone!  But don’t you love that matching hairclip?
We had lots of fun humming tunes and making each other guess what the song was.  I felt a bit like “The Simpsons” when we started out with TV theme songs, but we soon ran out of them and just hummed lots of our favourite songs.  It was such a simple game but we had so much fun guessing and giggling at ourselves.  After lunch we crossed the road and enjoyed some time at the beach.  It was a super low tide so we had fun exploring the muddy rocks.

Discovering muddy rocks with my tribe <3 

Being Mother’s Day, I decided to be a bit selfish and this morning took the time to make myself a new outfit.  This has something to do with the fact that 6 years ago I was pregnant with my eldest child and recently I realised that most of my wardrobe is either pre-kids and doesn’t fit or is threadbare and the rest of my clothes are hideous or clothes that I wore when pregnant.  I still dream about losing the last of my baby fat, but we’ll see, in my mid-30s I might have to accept the body that I have is the body that I’m keeping LOL  Anyway, with my depressing wardrobe in mind I got busy altering an existing top and making myself a new skirt.  I love it!

My new outfit!

The skirt was really simple to make, I did a yoga style waist band with only one side seam, it is about 3″ smaller than my waist as the red fabric is a 2 way stretch.  I was short on fabric (I’m always short on fabric!) so the skirt meets the waist band at my hip, but the band is extra wide. I put a small pleat in the back and a tiny gather in the front.  I probably won’t do that next time.

Good for find shells.

I did not alter the style of the existing top other than to widen the neck and therefore increase the cowl neckline, increase the arm holes and take it in about 2″ on each side of the torso.  I bought it as a maternity top in Hong Kong and it has never fit properly, I think it was made for someone much smaller than me, but the fabric is lovely and I couldn’t resist.  It is very short, always pinched my arms and pulled at the bust in a particularly unflattering manner so I’ve only ever worn it once or twice.  Now it is fitted (with no room to spare LOL) and very comfortable but still short.  I am considering adding a band to the bottom of it for length, but the lack of length isn’t a problem with this skirt.
Not the best photo of the top, but you get the idea.
We were too busy playing in the sand to pose :)
It was a great Mother’s Day and I particularly loved matching my gorgeous little girl.  You can read more about her dress here.  Wish I had shoes that pretty!
In case you’re wondering, I use a French Moustach
 to cover signage, number plates, etc

Is anyone else celebrating Mother’s Day today?  If so, bonne fete des meres.  And if not, eat a piece of chocolate and enjoy being wonderful! :)