Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More humbugs following on from the tutorial

I'm completely hooked on Humbugs! I love them and can't stop making them. That was of course till I ran out of zippers.
But a quick trip today to my local sewing shop and I'm all stocked up again! yeah!
I've come up with a new variation to my little cutes, and they now have an elastic handle. Don't they look cute!
If you'd like to make these handles you'll need to cut your handle strip 2" x 16 - 18" depending on how much gather you want. You'll also need about 9 1/2" of 1/4" elastic.

Fold your fabric in half length wise with the right sides together and stitch your seam using a 1/4 in seam.
Stitch all the seam but stop 1/4" from the end. Put your needle in the down position and spin your fabric 90 degrees, so you'll be stitching across the short end. before finishing the seam, slip the elastic under your machine foot and stitchover the elastic a few times to secure it.

Turn your handle through to the right side, but make sure to keep hold of the unstitched end of your elastic. Pin your elastic to the open end of your handle. proceed as before and insert the handle in your prefered position.
The photo love fest continues :)
How on earth am I going to sell these? I love them too much!
Oh and see the yellow whirly gig fabric, thats from the Melly and Me range, Where the wind blows, Its so cute I had to buy the whole range!
Till next time
Hugs Paula

Monday, December 13, 2010

Humbug Bag - How to insert a Zipper tutorial

100 posts! Yeah!

This being my 100th post I wanted it to be something special, so a tutorial it is! take 2 ;)

Just to be clear, this little bag/purse is not my original idea! A friend told me how she had been making them for her market stall, so I thought I'd give them a go. There is tons of these type bags out there, this is just the way I have put them together.

I thought they were one of the cutest things on the planet, so I decided to make some for my market stall. The only thing I didn't like about them was the way the end of the zipper bit was a bit raw like in this pic. I overlocked it, but I just thought that if my kids were playing with it, they would have it wrecked in no time. So what to do?
I tried a few different things, like the normal way of leaving a turning hole in the lining fabric, but it just meant that I would have to hand sew it up later, and that defeated the purpose of a quick super simple pattern, so back to the drawing board.
We were out at dinner when my daughter showed me a little purse her grandmother had bought her and it had the zipper inserted in a curve shape, so you actually only use 1/2 the zipper!
Such a clever idea! So this is what I did.

By the way If your scared of trying to insert a zipper, this is the absolute perfect project to start on! There is no zipper pull to get in the way, so its perfect to build your confidence on, its just like sewing a seam.

Anyway, lets get started, here's what you need:

1 x 6" x 8 1/2" main fabric
1 x 6" x 8 1/2" calico or plain fabric for the lining
1 x 6" x 8 1/2" wadding or iron on pellon, its a small piece so iron on isn't 'essential'
1 x 9 1/2 x 2 1/2" main fabric, for the handle
1 x minimum 14" zipper DO NOT use a metal Zipper!
General sewing supplies
Zipper foot for your machine

Some zippers can be a bit tricky to get the zipper pull back on, but I found this brand extremely easy, Especially with the technique I'll explain later. It's funny because they were in a discount bin at my local fabric shop, 50c each! bargain!
Ok first up grab your scissors, not the good fabric scissors though! I have 2 pairs of scissors on my sewing table, a pink and a purple pair.

Pink is for Paper! Is my mantra. Makes it easier to remember.

I use pink for everything other than fabric!

Anyway using your s#*t Scissors, cut both ends off your zipper, pull the zipper pull off and discard one side of your zipper, you can buy extra zipper pulls to use this side later on, but you only need one side for this project.

OK now I have made these bags 2 ways, one with the handle inserted in this step and I've also added it at a later stage, it gives a different look. I prefer the look of putting it in later, but I am using some pics that I inserted it here. So read the rest of the tut and you decide which look you prefer.

Take your 9 1/2" x 2 1/2" piece and fold it in half lengthwise with right sides together. Stitch it together using a 1/4" seam , then turn it the right way out and give it a good iron.

Now take your wadding and lay it on the table and place your outside fabric on top with the right side up.
Now fold it in half like in the picture. You can insert the handle here if you like. Sew along this edge only!
Repeat this step with your lining fabric and then turn it so the seam allowance is sandwich in the middle.
Now take a deep breath cause its time for your zipper :)
Take your lining fabric and push it into your outside piece until your 2 seams are right sides together.
You need to pin your 1/2 zipper in between your 2 pieces like this.
You need the teeth part on the inside.
Guess who just found the super macro button on her camera ;)
The actual teeth need to face your outside fabric (in my case the unicorn fabric).
This picture is of the back of the zipper.
Put your zipper foot on your machine and line it up like this
See where the little intend is underneath the zipper foot, this is where you rest the 'teeth' of the zipper.
Take your time and stitch all the way around the zipper. Go slow over the seam, theres lots of layers there and we don't want any broken needles!
Depending on how long a zipper you used you want to trim a little bit off the ends now, but make sure you leave one end longer than the other, it makes it easier to get the pull back on, and don't cut too close to the edges, just like this.
Now you want to put the zipper pull back on, thread it onto the long piece first, then put the other side of the zipper into the pull and give the pull a bit of a jiggle from side to side as you shut it.
The ends of the zipper will be uneven, but thats ok, we will trim that later.Make sure the zipper is on the right way! (ask my why I'm reminding you about this)
Don't close your zipper all the way yet. Leave it open about 1/2 way.
Now give yourself a pat on the back, because you just put in a zipper! Not so hard was it? This is where I like to put in my handle. you want to open out your purse and flatten it so your zipper is in the middle of the open end. I put my handle in the very middle under the zipper.
(sorry about this pic, still working out the macro picture taking hehe) Stitch this seam using about a 3/8" seam so your sure to get all the layers. Remember theres even more layers, so take it easy and you'll be fine.
If you have a serger (overlocker) finish this seam. If you don't use a small zig zag stitch on your machine and trim the end.
Now turn your pouch through the right way (through the zipper hole) and your done!
This is the way I like my strap.
The picture of my daughter at the top is the other way. With the strap added at the start. Now go and grab your camera and send me a pic!
Aren't you clever!
I hope you enjoyed my incredibly wordy post, sorry bout that :)
Instead of a humbug bag though I want to call mine a 'pub pouch' I recon they'd be great to take to the pub with just a key card, license and change in. Maybe in a different fabric though hehe.
Hugs Paula xxx

*Edit* I have changed the way I do the handles, look here for an add on to the tutorial.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


As promised I have done the draw for the yummy fabric and Magazines and the winner is..........

Number 18 = Jeannie, the Dogs and Cranky cat
hahaha, congrats Jeannie! I'm sure you'll love the fabrics!

Merry Christmas, Hugs Paula

Monday, December 6, 2010

My first Favourite things free tutorial list!

I spend all this time searching for tutorials and find so many I like, so of course I bookmark them, but then I can never remember what the bookmarks are, so I decided that I would do up a list of some of my favourite tuts with pics. I will be doing this regularly from now on, so check back if, like me you are a tutorial fan!

My first favourite things list is of gorgeous decorations and christmassy things.

First up is this awesome take on an old paper folding technique: This one is done using felt,but I made up my own using fabric. If you want me to do up a tut, let me know and I'll tell you how I did it.

Next up is the wonderful Gail Pan, she has about 9 of these wreath type embroideries on her blog. My embroidery group did up a charity quilt using these stitcheries, but we did them in Hexagons.
This was my Hexi that I did after my last knee recon.

Gail also has this super cute stitchery pattern for free.

I've wanted to make a tree skirt for years but just never get to it, this one is cute and uses up scraps! I've got plenty of them, so this goes on my list :)

Here's one I thought the kids could help with. How cool would it look instead of tinsel, (I'm not a big fan of tinsel on my tree) or as a garland with chrissy cards hanging on it.
Next up is somepaper projects. These would look equally good in felt though, or by fusing fabric together.
How cute is this basket! I think it would look great with little choccys or nuts in it, or evenas an easter project. This project is at the bottom of the last tutorial, so just scan down to the bottom.
How effective do these look! Maybe a set of 3 of these will be my centre piece this year.
These are so cute! They are so Me! I love the idea of having a new colour scheme. So why not citrus! Very Australian I think. After all, Snowmen wouldn't last 5 minutes in my yard at christmas, and anyone in mittens would be classed as a fruit loop in my neighbourhood hehe.

And finally, my absolute favourite blog of all time! Sewmamasew has a list every year with heaps of free tutorials evey day in November! Grab a cuppa thoughbecause you could be there for a few hours! Then once you've gotten through this years list theres always the 3 previous years lists :) Like I said, you'll be there for hours! :)

Oh and I nearly forgot, here's one of my own. These are my favourite christmas treats! Apricot balls! You can also make up the mix and spread it out in a slice tray and drizzle them with chocolate. Yum! and less time consuming than rolling up all the balls.

Well thats it for now, but I'll be back over the coming weeks as I find more tuts and make up more of my favourite things lists.
Don't forget my christmas giveaway too, look at the last post for details.
Hugs Paula
Oh and leave me a note if there is anything that you want me to look for in particular for you? I loooove reading comments and like a puppy, I respond very well to praise ;)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Giveaway Time!

I love christmas So I thought I'd have a little giveaway as my gift to you!

I've been making some changes and decided to add some of my handmade items to my etsy site instead of just selling patterns, and I've created a facebook page!

So what do you have to do to win my giveaway? Easy peasy, click on the 'follow me' button and then on the Facebook 'Like' button, leave me a comment and your in the draw!

But what will you win I hear you ask?

Well I've put together 5 of my favourite Fat Quarters from the Eva by Moda range, Plus two of my favourite Christmas issues of Handmade and Patchwork and Stitching magazines!

I will be drawing the giveaway next Wednesday the 8th (my time) because its the eve of my birthday and its always better to give than receive :)

I've also been doing a heap of looking at online tutorials lately, so come back in the next day or so and I'll have a list of my favourite christmas project tutorials!

Hugs Paula

Saturday, December 4, 2010

To market we will go

So I decided that this little sewing habit of mine might actually be able to help pay for christmas :) With that in mind my gorgeous mum and I got busy and made up a heap of things to take to our local markets. Heres a few pics....and heres some of the other bits and pieces. I will also be listing some stuff on etsy, heres some of the bits I have at the moment. As a christmas special, check out my facebook page for a discount code to use in my etsy shop.
This is Lionel Lizard, the Camo Gecko :)
I love his little feet!
These little cuties are my Babys favourite toy! She can easily grab their legs and necks and just loves giving them a big chomp! :) She's a piranha! hehe

These are Dee Dee the Dolphins, Of course designed by Melly and Me. The green ones are made using Minky, soooo soft and yummy, My girls keep saying they hope they don't sell, so they can keep them. lol little do they know, mummy has some stashed away for christmas ;)
Have a great week :)
Hugs Paula xxx